Disclaimer – I do not own bleach.

…~ Coffee ~…

A nice cool breeze blew through Karakura town, the smell of the weather crisp and inviting. Karin found that this would be a good day to either go and practice her soccer skills, or practice beating up Hollows if she couldn't get any of her guy friends to go along with her. Her whole body was filled with energy and excitement and in no way wanted to be cooped up.

One of the places she passed on the way to the park was a coffee shop that had rather nice aromas coming from the place. As she was going by there, she bumped into someone on his or her way out, the bell jingling. She immediately spoke up. "Gomen… I didn't mean to bump into you!"

"Kurosaki-san?" came the surprised reply from whoever it was.

Karin lanced up from looking at her shoes, which was part of the problem with why she had bumped into the person. She saw a familiar white haired boy in front of her. "Toshiro? Why are you so surprised to see me? Karakura Town is rather small, isn't it?"

"I guess it is," the boy stated, his tone remaining level. "We shingami don't get to come very often, especially those of the captain and lieutenant level. I didn't expect to be back so soon, but we had some orders to check back on the town now that the whole mess we were in is over."

"You mean the war?" Karin suddenly stated, giving the boy a glare, folding her arms across her chest. "Seriously, Toshiro… I am not blind to what is going on. I thought you would figure out from when we talked before that I don't like things kept from me."

Toshiro closed his eyes, then went and sat down on the bench, setting a small paper bag down next to him. "I am guessing that you want to talk to someone? I can't guarantee how much I can tell you, as there are some things I am not allowed to talk about and there are things that I feel would be disrespectful to your brother to tell you."

Karin plopped down on the bench, rather irritated. "Do you think it is nice that my brother, when I confront him about being a shingami says nothing? He thinks that by not saying anything, he's protecting me, as if I am a small child that needs to be sheltered. I am mature for my age, so why can't I know the truth about things?"

"And what exactly am I to do about that?" the white haired taicho asked, taking a sip of the coffee. "I can't change his mind about that, can I?"

"I don't expect you too. What I expect is someone who understands," Karin muttered. "I can't talk about this with him."

"But why me?" Toshiro sighed, pulling off the lid of the coffee cup. "I don't see what we have in comment."

"You don't like being treated like a kid either," Karin suddenly commented, leaning back.

"There is an age difference between the two of us Kurosaki," Toshiro muttered, becoming grouchy about her comment.

"You are younger then Rukia, aren't you?" came the black haired girls first comment.

Toshiro took another sip. "Yes… I am defiantly younger then her."

"Then you should only be at most, three years older then me?" Karin stated, folding her arms across her chest. "That isn't that much older."

Toshiro sighed, closing his eyes. "Kurosaki-san… Kuchiki is over a hundred years old. The age difference between her and your brother is astronomical."

"So… people age differently where you come from," Karin muttered. "That's why someone as young as you can drink coffee?"

"What?" Toshiro gave her a surprised look.

"My father says that coffee stunts ones growth…" Karin stared at the sky.

"Good grief! Everyone gives me that as I am still growing!" Toshiro snapped, his eyes going wide.

"Caught you… didn't I?" Karin suddenly smirked.

"What?" Toshiro gave her a puzzled look.

"Rukia is equivalent to Ichigo's age, even though she has lived longer. So… my guess is that because you are around my height, you're around ten to twelve physically?" Karin commented.

"I never said I wasn't. I only said I wasn't an elementary school student," Toshiro muttered, glancing away. "Can we please go back to what we are talking about?"

"The coffee thing stunting ones growth… it is a myth, and my dad should know that as he runs a clinic. However, he just says that so I don't drink coffee," Karin suddenly stated. "Why do you like it?"

Toshiro made a face at her, then pushed the cup towards her. Karin raised an eyebrow at this. Toshiro then glanced away. "There is nothing wrong in trying, is there?"

Karin shrugged her shoulders and took a big gulp, then shoved it back, a rather disgusted look on her face. "How can you drink that stuff?"

"Typically I make sure they don't fill it all the way up," Toshiro commented, pulling out four creamers from the bag, each positioned between a finger. "All of this goes in."

Karin watched as he popped each one open and poured in the white substance. "That looks like milk."

"It's called creamer," Toshiro stated, then pulled out a few packets. "And these go in too."

"So… you don't drink it strait most of the time?" Karin gave him a weird look.

"No…only when Matsumoto has found a way to give me a headache, or I am extremely tired. How exactly did we get on this conversation exactly?" Toshiro gave her an odd look, stirring the coffee until it was thoroughly mixed. "Now try…"

"You don't exactly seem the type to share your stuff like this," Karin stated, taking the cup and taking a sip. "Hey… this time it is actually good."

"Don't drink all of it down!" Toshiro protested, as Karin took a few more sips to tease him, then handed it back. "How can you handle drinking it that fast?"

"I have coco drinking competitions with my dad… do not ask?" Karin muttered.

"You mean, he's the kind of person who would do crazy insane stuff like that?" Toshiro shook his head. "Why do you go along with it?"

"Because the buffoon would go and start in on my hot coco if I don't," Karin muttered. "He is the most annoying person I have ever met."

"Bet my old taicho was worse," Toshiro stated, taking a sip of his coffee.

"Ehh… you weren't always a taicho Toshiro?" Karin got a surprised look on her face.

"No… I was Rangiku's rank before this, and she was a third seat. Actually… there was a lieutenant before me too," the boy stated.

"Hey… Toshiro?" Karin suddenly asked.

"What is it Kurosaki-san?" Toshiro stated, taking a sip of his coffee.

"Stop being rude to me," Karin stated firmly. "If you can call her by her first name, then surely it wouldn't hurt you to call me by my first name."

"I…" Toshiro started, only to find that his lieutenant had found them.

"Karin-chan is right taicho!" the woman grinned. "You can call her by her first name."

"Hello, it is nice seeing you again. What would you like me to call you Matsumoto?" Karin asked.

"Oh… I would love it if you called me Ran-chan," Matsumoto smiled. "So, what have you two been doing?"

"Talking," Toshiro took another drink of his coffee, this time taking a bigger drink.

"Toshiro let me try his coffee," Karin stated.

"Ehh… indirect kiss?" Matsumoto muttered, a small smirk on her face.

"Baka…" Karin muttered. "That is the stupidest thing I've heard of."

"What exactly is she talking about?" Toshiro suddenly asked, before taking another sip.

"Taicho… you are so young and naïve… Karin knew exactly what I was talking about," Matsumoto pouted.

"Unfortunately… yes," Karin shook her head.

"Someone willing to enlighten me?" Toshiro commented. "Or is this one of those weird things you've concocted again Matsumoto?"

"No taicho," Matsumoto was suddenly chuckling.

"It's something really stupid that the kids at school are starting to talk about," Karin rolled her eyes. "There is no truth to it… but they get excited about it anyways."

Suddenly, two teal eyes turned wide, coffee stuck in his mouth, then he swallowed. "That isn't exactly enlightening me."

"It is just something stupid," Karin stated as Toshiro suddenly took another drink.

"An indirect kiss is a kiss where a boy shares something with a girl, or a girl shares something with a boy… food or drink… and saliva…" Matsumoto didn't finish, as she suddenly had coffee sprayed all over her. Karin was laughing hysterically. "Ahh… taicho… is your nose bleeding."

"I just had hot coffee go out my nose and mouth Matsumoto, it should be no surprise that I got a nose bleed from that!" Toshiro snapped, holding his nose shut.

"But doesn't taicho have a crush on Karin-chan?" Matsumoto muttered.

"Matsumoto! You read too much into things!" Toshiro's cheeks were flushing, which caused Karin to raise an eyebrow.

"But taicho… you would make a cute couple," the woman muttered, only to have the temperature drop as Toshiro's reiatsu suddenly fluctuated.

Karin stood up, dusting off her pants, feeling that it was time to go. However, she suddenly got a smirk on her face, leaned over and pecked Toshiro on the cheek, causing his face to suddenly turn red from embarrassment. "I did that on purpose to see what kind of reaction I would get."

"Kurosaki!" Toshiro then became livid as the girl turned and hurried off. He closed his eyes and his breath came out a bit stressed.

"Taicho?" Matsumoto bent over, looking him strait in the face.

"What is it Matsumoto?" Toshrio muttered, irritation written all over his voice. The woman opened her mouth, but then shut it, closing her eyes. "What is it exactly that you want to tell me?"

Matsumoto reached out and ruffled his hair. "I am so enjoying you grow up. I don't know how to word it any better then that… that you are defiantly showing signs of growing up."

"I don't get it," Toshiro glared at her.

"Which was exactly why I didn't say that you're starting to go through puberty… oops," Matsumoto put a hand to her mouth.

"Matsumoto!" the temperature yet again dropped.

Author's note – I was inspired by the indirect kiss in some Anime. I didn't think that Toshiro or Karin would think those thoughts, so naturally… Matsumoto had to come into the picture.