10th Division's Honorary Member
By Saori Runa Dempsey
He was going to kill her.
She'd been mildly annoying alive…he could admit that. She was a Kurosaki, after all. It seemed to run in the blood, with the exception of Kurosaki Yuzu. How that had happened was beyond him, but that wasn't the point at present. Ever since Kurosaki Karin had died and come to Soul Society, any concept of peace had become non-existent. Granted, he still preferred her company to that of Ichigo, who was still ranting about dying so young.
How Kuchiki Rukia kept a handle on him, he'd never begin to fathom.
Hitsugaya Toshirou let out a sigh of exasperation, a faint wind rustling his uniform as the senkai gate closed behind him. In the years since the trouble with Aizen, there had been few reasons for any of the Gotei 13 captains to return to Earth, let alone Karakura Town. Even fewer had occurred since Kurosaki Ichigo had become a shinigami in truth.
Is it any wonder his sister followed in his footsteps? Karin had incredible spirit power while alive – he'd felt it first hand the day she'd conned him into that soccer match. Ichigo himself was probably the only one truly surprised when Karin had become a shinigami as well, though Sotaichou Yamamoto had one twisted sense of humor to make his unit Kurosaki Karin's first. Matsumoto hadn't stopped laughing for days when she'd learned about it. His headache had lasted just as long.
She followed the rules, at least, unlike Ichigo who was driving the captain commander crazier then Toshirou had ever seen him. Generally, he never had problems with her except when some overly optimistic men tried to make a move on her…though he had to admit, it was hardly a problem. She usually busted them up enough so that they never tried again.
Today, however, seemed to be the exception.
His forehead ticked as he tried to pick up her reiatsu, annoyed when he could find nothing. She'd been dispatched two days ago to take down a menos that had appeared in Karakura Town and had yet to return despite reports that it had been taken care of already. Maybe he was jumping the gun like Ukitake had suggested, but it wouldn't be the first time that a Kurosaki had been the cause of a migraine for him.
She wasn't that hard to find. He let out a breathe he hadn't realized he'd been holding in as he walked down the familiar field, staring daggers into her skull until he saw that she wasn't alone.
The mangiest, scrawniest looking mongrel he'd ever seen was sitting in front of her, tail wagging and staring at her like she hung the moon and stars. It looked towards him and growled in warning, making Karin look up, her face scrunching wearily. He could practically see what she was thinking on her face.
"Kurosaki…" He kept his voice low, reminding himself that technically she'd done nothing wrong, per se. He was here on his own time making sure she didn't get in over her head – again. Last time she'd done something like this it'd been before she'd gotten a grasp on effectively containing her spirit power. She'd had nearly a dozen Menos after her before he and Matsumoto had arrived.
"Oi, Toshirou!" She waved, perfectly cheerful, and the twitching in his forehead became worse.
"It's Hitsugaya-taichou, 4th Seat Kurosaki!"
She flapped her hand at him, ignoring him as usual. "It's a dog!"
"I can see that. What are you dawdling for?"
She stared at him like he was an idiot – something Toshirou prided himself on not being. "Look at him…"
He was looking, alright, and vaguely wondered if shinigami could catch fleas. "It's time to go back. You finished your mission already, didn't you? Let's go."
Karin didn't budge. In fact, she took a step back to stand more solidly beside the dog that whined pitifully and went down to cower by her feet. "I'm not leaving without Hyotan."
Hyo…tan? A vein near his right eye threatened to burst. "We are not bringing a dog back to Seireitei!"
"Why not?" she demanded, leaning forward with a glare even as he crossed his arms and tried staring her down. Not that it worked. Her stubbornness exceeded her brother's when she wanted it to. "I checked the rules. There's nothing that says an animal can't reside in the barracks."
Hell would freeze over first before he let that mutt into the 10th Squad's barracks. He liked dogs fine, but not in a place like Seireitei. They didn't belong in a place like that. After all, there was a reason all animals remained in Rukongai.
"We are not bringing that dog back to Seireitei," he said, attempting a compromise. "We can bring him to the first district in Rukongai before we head back, but not into Seireitei."
She didn't seem happy about it, but at least she didn't look ready to whack him with her zanpakuto anymore. "I can live with that, I guess…it's just those stupid kids…" She glared ahead where he guessed the 'kids' had run off, eyebrow arched. "They threw garbage at him!"
Toshirou took a better look at him, sympathizing despite himself. He'd had days in his childhood like that too, and it made him feel a little bit worse for the mutt. Maybe he could bring it to Gran…
I am NOT sympathizing with a dog. Shaking his head, he opened the senkai gate, relieved that it seemed as if he could get her back to Seireitei with little arguing. Granted, they'd have to make a pit stop to Junrinan to drop the mutt off at Gran's place (she loved all manner of animals and kept a house full of them since he and Hinamori had left), but it was hardly a headache compared to the disasters Kurosaki could've gotten herself into if he'd left her to dawdle any longer. Just thinking about it gave him the beginnings of a headache. "Let's go."
She didn't even acknowledge him, carrying the mangy mutt through the gate while talking to it.
It'll be out of my hair, anyway, he reminded himself. By this time tomorrow, I'll have forgotten the thing ever existed.
Of course, things in his world never went as planned anymore.
Since they were in the 10th squad's dining hall with the majority of the squad present, he was vaguely aware that most of the women were too preoccupied to jump like they normally would. The men all looked at Karin who merely raised both hands and said immediately, "I swear I didn't bring him here."
There, surrounded by the women of 10th squad, was that mutt again, albeit cleaner thanks to Matsumoto, if the smell coming off him was any indication. Only his fuku-taichou ever used that powerful bath stuff that left her smelling like she'd bathed in a pool of flower extracts. The minute he laid eyes on him, 'Hyo-tan' settled a bit, appraising him with a critical eye. It left Toshirou feeling vaguely unsettled.
Shaking his head, he focused on the more important part. "If you didn't bring him, how in the hell did he get into Seireitei, Kurosaki?"
As she wasn't prone to lying, he was inclined to believe her when she shrugged again, obviously at a loss. He trained his eyes on the mongrel too, curious. While it wasn't unheard of for an animal to slip by the gatekeepers occasionally, it was exceedingly rare.
"Ah, so it's true!" Ukitake-taichou and Kyouraku-taichou peered inside, and he bowed his head to them in acknowledgement.
"Yama-jii told us 10th squad had a new honorary member," Kyouraku was saying, grinning. "Thought we would come by and see if it was true. He's been wondering if we can train the many animals we have wandering in Rukongai to be helpful in battle."
"You had a good idea, Kurosaki-chan," Ukitake beamed, smiling at Karin who beamed up at him. Ukitake's supreme fondness of the Kurosaki twins was widely known within Seireitei. It was a fondness both Karin and Yuzu seemed to reciprocate ten fold.
Of course, it took Toshirou all of ten seconds to latch onto a certain part of what Ukitake just said. You had a good idea, Kurosaki-chan. Turning slowly, he glared at the girl who looked decidedly nervous.
And there is my first BLEACH story - a random, plotless little HitsuKarin dabble. Hope you enjoyed - R&R!