It was one of those days. One of those days, when someone would, even if accidentally, remind her of how different she was from her mother; How she had nothing to prove that she was indeed daughter of Kurosaki Masaki. Those days when she would disappear from 11Th's grounds, and sit in his office, waiting for him to return from a Captain's meeting. In those days, he would arrive, sometimes accompanied by Ukitake, Unohana or Matsumoto, and turn silent by the sight of her. In such days, he would excuse himself, close the doors, pick her up like a child, and carry her to his room, where they would both stay the rest of the day, with him comforting her in all ways he could.


The way he got close to her face while they argued made her think he was going to kiss her at the end of her rant but no contact comes and she grows even more hostile; It is when she starts to yell about his lack of a backbone that he grabs her waist with one hand, pulls her forward, supports her head with his other hand and kisses her until she feels dizzy.


The first time they embraced was actually shocking. Toushiro was surprisingly warm and Karin, surprisingly soft.


All the time that took Renji to remove the 10 swords impaled all over her body without causing further damage to her body, he held her hand and whispered words of comfort to her, holding her head and whispering of how proud he was when she closed her eyes and fisted her hands in his hakama to prevent from yelling out in pain.


No matter how great Karin was in football, Toushiro seemed to be the only one taking in consideration that she had one hefty throw. Yet, when Kurosaki Ichigo arrived home to his wife Rukia with a bruise with the shape of a potato on his forehead, all he could growl out was, "Karin. Toushiro. Good Reflexes. Caught of guard." before fainting on the couch, the former Kuchiki seemed to take Karin's strength in a whole new way.


After that day, 50 years ago, when he saw her lying there, in her own pool of blood, under the cold rain, she always found him sitting outside in those dark, rainy days, looking like he was staring at each drop of water that came from the skies with glassy eyes. She would come outside, no matter what time it was, and she would stand before him, let him rest his head on her stomach as she whispered words of comfort to him while holding him. He had done his job. He had been kind to her. He had saved her. He did not steal her away from her living friends and family. She did not hate him.


This would often happen. He would wake up in the middle of the night, tip toe over to his office, and find his fiancee sitting on his desk, already eating the chocolate bar his fukutaicho had bought during her visit in the real world and tried to hide from him in her drawer. He would sit on the futon, and she would silently follow him, sitting in his lap and snuggling against his chest, before kissing him enough time to let him taste her with a hint of chocolate, and then when they parted, they would silently sit there, with the occasional sounds of her small fingers breaking the chocolate in little squares, feeding them to him and squealing once in a while when he licked her fingers clean or when he would suck them while holding her wrist.


Renji wasn't quite sure where did the happiness of normal couples fit into Karin and Toushiro's relationship; But as he saw them through the window playing office soccer using two piles of paperwork as a goal, he knew some of it was somewhere in that glow of their eyes.


Soul Society is a funny, twisted thing. Things happen, and by the end of the day, it looked like those chick flicks where the gossip is spread through the phone lines. "What do you mean Karin and Toushiro destroyed the 11th training grounds making out?!"


One day, while tidying up his office due to some...sake meetings chaos, Karin took her time to admire how hot her fiancees behind was. No, seriously, he had the hottest butt she had ever seen in her life. And her life was pretty long. When he finished piling the last number of scattered paperwork, she hopped off her desk, passing by him, slapping his butt in the process. Keeping her hand in her fiancees delicious behind, she whispered in his ear. "Nice ass." Before skipping of the 10th's grounds to the 11th. According to the gossip hanging around, Hitsugaya Toushiro had later been dismissed from a captain's meeting for looking 'extremely flushed, probably a fever' and even after a week, his ears burned when he saw his fiancee glancing at his precious behind.


It wasn't the inappropriate thoughts of each other during the day that signaled their growing attachment; it was the fact that he took every opportunity to say her name because it rolled off his tongue so naturally, and she did it because his felt smooth and refreshing to her.


There was something sensual about Toushiro's eyes. She didn't quite know what, but it was there. She knew, and he knew. And the bastard took advantage of it. Which was why, this time, when she barged in his room and started to yell at him for bribing her taicho into forbidding her to go to the real world on this mission, she started to stumble in her own words, turning into a pile of goo with each second that passed where he would be staring at her with those eyes and smirking. At some point, she gave up on her argument, sighing and massaging the bridge of her nose while she waved her other hand in the air, and placing it on her hip. "Just...take off your shirt." Broadening his smirk, he stepped in her direction, tugging at her shihakusho's belt to bring her closer, wrapping his arm around her waist and using the other to close the door behind her while sucking and nibbling on her neck, pulling her in the direction of his bed as she followed him dreamily.


Oh, she remembered it alright. Remembered like it was yesterday, when in truth it was more than 50 years ago. She was lying there, trying to breathe properly, failing at it thanks to the heavy rain falling to her gaping mouth, and the Military Knife pierced right in the middle of her chest, swimming in her own blood as she struggled to lift her hand, letting her cold fingers to softly trace the wound that oozed out blood at an alarming rate. Thank God the little girl had run away. Finally, she acknowledged the shihakusho clad boy leaning against the railing of the empty road, hands in his pockets and eyes fixed in her wound. Forcing her lungs to work -she still remembered how much they stung that time- she croaked out, glaring at the turquoise-eyed Captain. "What are you doing here?" Finally, his eyes snapped to stare in her own, slightly inclining his drenched head to gaze better at her face near his feet. His lips lightly curled into a bitter smile, and he spoke. "Waiting for you to die."


With a loud bang, the doors to 11th squad's dojo were opened, and Kurosaki Karin, 4th seat and the first woman beside Yachiru to go to 11th squad in Seireitei's story, walked in perky and with a satisfied glint in her eyes. Preparing her zanpakutou, she immediately started to eliminate all the seated officers who lunged at her with a bright grin on her face, her moves swift and graceful, not even paying attention to the battles. In 10th squad, Hitsugaya Toushiro spent the whole day in a good mood, doing paperwork at a flashing speed, and not even scolding his fukutaicho for skipping her duties. Later that day, as Matsumoto Rangiku, Madarame Ikkaku and Ayasegawa Yumichika joined for a drink and traded the day's stories, they all stopped to ponder what influenced the Icy captain and the violent Kurosaki's mood. In a moment of decision, they all chorused. "Sex."


Sometimes, Toushiro could swear they had a touch dictionary. Their slight discomfort to PDA's was as big as the sexual tension in public, so they had to find a way to communicate outside their bedroom doors. A touch on the hip meant 'I long for you', a touch in the elbow meant 'come with me', a hand on the chest meant 'I miss you', in the hands meant 'I want to be with you' and then, his personal favorite, a touch of the lips in the collarbone - a very discrete one- meant 'I love you'. Each time she did that to him, he longed to kiss her; but then, he would place his hand right below her collarbone and above her breasts, but still her chest, and wait for the time to retreat to one's quarters to come soon.


It was a battle of weaknesses, Nanao had decided, as she watched with something akin to amusement and curiosity to the complex silent battle ensuing between Toushiro and Karin. The Kurosaki girl had been temporarily transferred from 11th squad to be the fukutaicho of the 9th just for a couple of months until they had everything arranged when it came to captaincy, which was why she found herself accompanying the acting taicho Hisagi Shuuhei to a taicho's meeting. Finding herself between her aloof taicho and Hitsugaya, Nanao immediately chose to silently observe the white-haired teen. Before him, was Iba-fukutaicho. Needless to say, it would be easier to drop a bomb before the man than he would realize the silent communication between the fukutaicho beside him and the taicho before him. Karin, with a perfectly displayed fake expression of concentration, tilted her head in the direction of the soutaicho, being careful to let all of her hair to fall to one side, leaving her creamy white neck naked to the eyes of a certain captain. But he would not yield. Making sure his slightly tanned collarbone was visible, he fixed his eyes on her, smirking in triumph when her eyes flickered to him, leaving a blush on her cheeks with the sight of his collarbone and his eyes. But there was no way she would lose. Throwing her hair behind her shoulders, she ever so slightly arched her back, giving to Toushiro a perfect angle to see her perfect cleavage, until he blushed so intensely that he pretended to scratch his cheek and use the sleeve to hide his red face.


The only time he had seen her cry, was right when the Winter War was over, and all shinigami were celebrating the victory, and she saw him, there, in the distance, beside Aizen's dead body, staring at the sky, the sun peeking between two clouds, illuminating him. Tears started to come to her eyes, and then he had tossed Hyourinmaru to the ground, waltzed up to her, picked her up by the waist and kissed her like she never knew it was possible.


As Matsumoto quietly drank a cup of tea - her sake had run out. But no matter-she would have a new stock by the morning- as she sat in the garden on 12th squad in that beautiful summer night, when she heard a thud, and couldn't help but laugh as she saw two blurs of black and white shunpo'ing to her taicho's quarters at a speed that would put Yoruichi to shame. "My, aren't they in a hurry?"


Karin made a point to never stare at her fiancees bare chest during a match again, as she went flying through the room, the wind knocked out from her due to a certain captain's attack.


In the presence of Toushiro, Karin always felt free to act like she wanted, be sarcastic, grumpy, cold, angry and dangerous to outstanding extents, and somehow, he always managed to outdo her.


To Matsumoto, life in 10th squad turned far more enjoyable and alive when Karin came to Soul Society. She made everyone feel so amused that they carried with their duties without even noticing during her visits. Matsumoto was a fine example of such. As she sat in the futon, doing her paperwork, she observed with a smile on her face as her taichou carried the Kurosaki on his shoulders, the girl stretching herself to try and reach the familiar old book on the top shelf. "Hurry up, will you?" "The hell do you want me to do? Sprout wings and reach it? Not my fault you don't know the damn code." "It's been 20 years since we got a 658, how do you expect me to remember? Besides, you recently learned the codes for graduation, your memory should be better than mine." So fixed in their discussion, Karin and Toushiro forgot to tense their limbs to prevent then from crumbling the moment Karin picked up the heavy book, which ended up with both of them crumbling to the ground, and the dirty book along with them. When the dust died down, Karin and Toushiro stopped their fit of coughs, and started to laugh, with Karin laid on top of the captain, shaking with his chest from the laughter. When it died down, she sighed in content, before leaning up and giving him a soft peck on the lips. The moment was too short to enjoy though, for the next thing the captain felt was the book slammed into his chest, his fiancee leaving the office, and his fukutaicho in a mad fit of laughter. Oh yes, life was definitely better in 10th after Kurosaki Karin showed up.


She absolutely and relentlessly hated him at first; how could he come in and already inflict fear with just one look when it took her years to build up her thuggish reputation? But now, as they both walk side by side on the halls more than a hundred years later, their captain's haori and wedding ring giving them a high level of authority, it amused her that most shinigami in the Seireitei were jealous of the famous pair.


Toushiro loved to hold her hands. They were perfectly shaped, the skin was smooth and creamy, petite yet strong and warm. Yet, for a person who is on 11th squad, being a woman changes nothing, thus it was already common for Karin to come back in the end of the day with cuts and bruises in the pale hands. Toushiro would just sit there with her, his cold hands clasped in hers and caressing every inch of abused flesh, and Karin would welcome the soothing feeling of his hands.


To Hitsugaya Toushiro, the perfect snack for a break from a day filled with paperwork was a good cup of masha accompanied by Takoyaki. However, without either of them noticing, Toushiro started to invite Karin to join him in his break, and most of the time she would bring a fair amount of wagashi for both of them. "Yuzu loves to do this stuff with Hanataro, so she gives me loads of it. Besides, wagashi goes very well accompanied with masha." She had once told him, and after tasting the combination of the bitter tea and the sweets, he found he couldn't complain. And yet, he found it much more enjoyable when he would kiss her and taste her combined with their snack. That was a flavor worth working yourself out for.


Toushiro pondered with amusement the situation he was in. He was lying on the futon, having recently returned from a mission in the real world, with lots of souvenirs in the form of cuts and bruises, courtesy of the hollows. Karin sat beside him, eyes glinting with devotion as she lightly cleaned his wounds and dabbed them with a cloth soaked in a dilute solution of iodine and water. He chuckled when he noticed the irony of the fact that she -the 4th seat of the most violent division in the Gotei 13- was the one tending his wounds with a gentleness worthy of Unohana's praise. Karin, noticing his amusement towards her concern, glared at him and dabbed the cloth on a particularly nasty cut with too much force, making him hiss in pain, all amusement out of the window.


Seeing her blood made him react differently in various occasions. Seeing her blood being shed made him boil with rage, seeing her blood staining her clothes as she coughed it out made him heavily concerned, and seeing her blood rush through her cheeks and ears made him amused, proud, and powerful.


A curious fact about Toushiro and Karin was that, the rare times one of them got sick, the other did too. The reactions from people about this matter were different from each others. Unohana thought their reiatsu was so connected, that by feeling the distress of the other, the partner would instantly weaken; Hinamori thought it was the fact that they were soul mates, and since they couldn't live without each other they put themselves in the same state, in other for them to be together in everything, and thought of that as intensely romantic; Yumichika thought it was the beauty of their love that made the other have to become sick as well so that their beauty could match; Kurotsuchi couldn't care less, and was more interested in the prospect of having the opportunity to study and run experiences in the pair to understand their coordination. Ichigo called them all idiots and said that as soon as one got sick, the other glued himself to the partner to get sick as well, for them to spend time together and keep acknowledging the other as it's equal.


The door to Toushiro's room finally slid open, rather slowly. His body was hunched over as he hobbled down the hallway. Matsumoto was sitting in the office, again, making more tea. With several groans of pain, he managed to sit opposite his fukutaicho. For the longest time, silence hung between the two.

"So…how's the "situation"?" Matsumoto asked, breaking the awkward silence. Toushiro held back his scolding when he noticed her subordinate holding back fits of laughter. Instead, he groaned.

"Never again will I fall for the 'take off your haori so I can clean the tea I just spilled on you' trick. I'm lucky I can still walk."
He twitched when he heard his lover's melodic laugh hanging in the air, coming from his room. It somehow made him relax, and forget the ache he felt in his muscles and in the place that made him a man to try to please the Kurosaki the whole night.


It was not rare for Ukitake to meet Hitsugaya Toushiro and see a small star drawn somewhere in his body. He never understood the origin, until one day he saw a scene that made him smile with amusement and understanding. Zaraki Kenpachi sat down in the lazy summer afternoon, lips curling into the less scary smile he possessed, while the two females of 11th squad had their fun drawing small figures over the man's body. While Yachiru adorned 'Ken-chan's body with pink marker drawings of hearts and rainbows, Karin used a blue marker and drew small lightning bolts and rocks in the man's hand, and then, somehow, he understood the logic. Yachiru saved her affectionate skin drawings only for the man of her life, and Karin did the same, for he noticed, that during those 2 hours they sat there using the fearless but putty in girl's hand's captain as a canvas, that not even once did she draw a star on his skin, saving it for her lover later.


As he saw her sitting there, with bare feet and curling her toes to feel the soft sheets, wearing only her hakama and the white haori used underneath of the shihakusho, sipping some tea as she read a book, he couldn't help it but to feel at home as he worked on taking off his sandals, his haori and the top of his shihakusho, cuddling beside her only wearing his hakama, letting the sun bask them in that fine morning.


"I'm confused." Matsumoto remembered Karin saying more than 100 years ago, little before she graduated from the academy. "You're supposed to bow to your opponent in a friendly match? Where's the fighting in that??" Toushiro sighed in annoyance, and mumbled something about knowing he did the right thing when he bet that the girl would end up in 11th division, before wrapping his arms around her figure, teaching her about the posture in battle as he fixed her mistakes, and was clueless to both Karin's blush and Matsumoto's laugh at the situation.


Even though they were stronger than most, when it came down to it, they were really both just cowards, unable to face their growing attachment to each other, when it became so obvious to the others that one day they eventually started welcoming the taunts their friends sent them, but still having a slight edge of fear in their eyes each time they almost came to a conclusion of how they felt towards each other. But that was almost to decades ago, and now the only negative thought they have for each other is the fear of losing each other.


Suprisingly, Karin hated lightning. The first night he discovered this was when he knew that she was puling an all-nighter in her division -someone had to fill in the paperwork- and decided to go over there to check up on her since the small storm came unnoticed and was quite rare in Soul Society. When he arrived, he found the place empty, and when he heard a thump under the desk, he walked over to see Karin curled up in a ball, trembling and pale. He then carried her to his room, her legs wrapped around his waist and her hands fisted in his haori, burying her face in the crook of his neck. Ever since that day, she always slept with him, curled under his cover, legs wrapped around him and clutching like a child.


Due to Matsumoto's persistence, every week Toushiro and Karin took permission to visit the living world for a few hours, and during that time, they took as much as possible to learn and bond even more with each other - as if it was even possible.


Once, for the lack of a better thing to do, Toushiro decided to take Karin to the market in Rukongai. When he saw the pearly grin and the beautiful glint in her eyes as she absorbed everything she could, he decided that it wouldn't be that bad to take her here once in a while.


There were three things Toushiro was bad at, Matsumoto was good at, and involved Karin's interest. Those things were technology, blackmail, and a photograph of a glaring Toushiro just after he blew up with Orihime's kitchen when he put the hairdryer inside the microwave. Yet, Karin seemed to forget that Toushiro, besides being a prodigy, was labeled by none other than yours truly as a Sex God and very convincing. Combining those two, Toushiro left Karin's room victorious the next morning, waving the accusing photograph in his hand, planning to use it for target practice.


The first gift he ever gave her was a pendant with a diamond dragon when she graduated. He gently pushed her hair aside, and delicately tied it around her neck, and stepped back after softly brushing his fingers at the base of her neck. Since she wasn't one for jewelry, he was more than suprised to see 30 years later that she maintained the necklace on her as he saw her naked for the first time. Until today, almost 80 years after that, he still remembered with a smirk on his face that she was more suprised than he was when she noticed that he had one just like hers.


He would do anything to see her smile. Shuuhei seemed to firmly believe that when one day he entered the office to see Karin riding the captain's shoulders to try and balance a ball made out of paperwork in her head. The smile on her face was enough to lit up the room, but Shuuhei's shock when he saw the soft smile in the captain's features as he stared up at the girl was priceless.


The first scandal that involved Toushiro and Karin had been years ago, and Sentarou and Kiyone raced against each other to see who would be the first one to deliver Ukitake-taicho's message to Toushiro about meeting him for tea later that evening. When they opened the door, they did not expect to find the Captain straddling the Kurosaki girl, him without his Haori and hers a bit too loose, faces flushed as they both looked at the two 3rd seats. Sentarou immediately bolted from there and Kiyone covered her face, running out of there, yelling about her innocent, virgin eyes.


In more than a way, they completed each other. While one was relaxed, the other was stiff. One had a fiery attitude and the other was ice cold. One liked to fight, the other preferred to make strategies, one loved eating candy, the other was more than sick of it. One was Karin, the other was Toushiro. One without the other would be an empty shell.


In those days, the days where they had to keep the deadline to hand over the paperwork, she would be on a nervous wreck. She would throw more than colorful death threats to anyone who tried to sneak out of their duties. Not even Kenpachi dared to leave the office. She would give candy with sleeping potions -courtesy of Kurotsuchi-taicho- to Yachiru, and let her sleep in her room not to distract anyone, and she would even promise Yumichika to take him to a beauty salon in the real world if he finished the paperwork. At lunchtime, Toushiro arrived in the middle of one of her death threats towards the 7th seat that somehow involved a cupboard, a microwave and a banana. Sighing, he grabbed her by the waist and flung her over his shoulder, and the 11th division practically kissed his feet as he walked away with their scary 4th seat. Later that day, Kurosaki Karin returned with a dazed look on her face, walking dreamily over to her desk, and spent her whole day with her head up in the clouds.


She had always tried to imagine how it would be to fly. The first day she said that to him, he smirked at her and told her the day would come. Then, on her birthday, celebrated in the real world after Ichigo's persistence, just as she was going to be dragged by Matsumoto and Hinamori into a shopping spree, Toushiro grabbed her bridal style, and in his bankai release, took her away from the ground, giving her a personal tour from the skies for the rest of the day. Karin could have sworn she had fallen in love with him all over again that day.


A fine way to describe Hitsugaya Toushiro's and Kurosaki Karin's relationship was: If she slaps you 7 times, then you kiss her 8. It was all about persistence, it seemed, because the 'Oh yea, I'm in heaven' smug look hanging around Hitsugaya Toushiro after he and Kurosaki Karin reappeared after 2 hours gone missing, no one dared to defy the man's techniques.

#45 Hell

Her hands instinctively gripped his arm while she stood behind him as the doors to hell manifested itself in front of them to swallow up the cowering spirit; it was quiet and still after the doors disappeared and Renji made sure she was all right before teasing her about that moment of fear.


Karin balanced on a tree branch, Toshiro standing in front of her.
"I'm taller, Toushou." she said with her usual mischievous smile.
"You're gonna fall, you do know that, right?" Ignoring that she had just called him Frostbite, he looked up at her, and she looked back down at him.
"No, I'm not, Toush." she muttered down to him, smiling to herself.
"Yes, you are," he said, grabbing the front of her shirt at the stomach and pulling it just the tiniest bit. She suddenly lost her balance, falling into his arms.
"Hmph," she said quietly. "Only 'cause you pulled me."
He chuckled at her. "I love you," he said.
"Yeah, I love you too." she said, smirking and wrapping her legs around his waist, letting the sun warm them.


Most of the time, the moon is the only witness to their open displays of affection, searing kisses, gentle caresses in naked flesh, pants and whispers of sweet nothingness, gasps of passion, scorching lips reaching for more delicious skin, passionate words, moans of ecstasy and eyes of pure love and dedication. The moon is the only witness of their warm caresses after heated lovemaking, laying in each other's arms, leaving the winds of the night to soothe their burning skin.


His movements are painfully slow, yet deliciously addictive. Wave after wave of pleasure and passion pass through her body, making her shiver despite how hot the room suddenly felt. His hand had spread her top shihakusho apart, and her hands blindly searched for his hair, tugging at it when she found it. His scorching mouth neared her breast, and she blinked when he slid away from her. He walked to the door, straightening himself, smirk tangible in the air. "You should get ready to the captain's meeting." After he closed the fusuma, Karin sat there, mouth agape, waves of embarrassment, anger -and disappointment- flashing in her face as she stomped to the meeting. It was Toushiro's turn to feel waves later that night. Waves of pain as he tried to once again find a comfortable position in the cold floor of his doorstep.


It was not the first time that he arrived to see her sleeping outside, a white sheet stretched under her, bare feet and with her knees tucked in her chest. He would smile, take of his haori -it makes you look more human, she had once told him as she saw him only on his shihakusho, it looks good on you- he would bare his feet, silently walk over, lay down and wrap his arms around her, inhaling the scent of freesia from her silky black hair, falling asleep under the sun, her onyx tresses soothing him.


Life does not change with a bang, but with hardly any noise, if at all. Which was why the only sound heard from Toshiro's and Karin's first meeting after the soccer incident was the thud of them running against each other, both too focused on the news of Kurosaki Ichigo's promotion to Captain. But the secret smiles after that impact, made a huge change for each party.