Disclaimer – I do not own Bleach.

Code of Honor

Everyone in the gotei thirteen thought that the captain of the tenth division was obtuse to when it came to females, simply because of his age. Matsumoto liked playing with his mind to try to check his reaction, as she was looking forward to the day she could tease him about liking a girl, hopefully though, it wasn't herself.

While they were in the real world, she was surprised to catch her taicho watching a girl about equivalent to his age. When she jokingly accused him of stalking the girl, he denied it. Also, when she proceeded to tease him about possibly liking a girl, which she tried explaining off as normal behavior, he stormed off, not even bothering to yell at her.

Then, to her complete surprise, she found him actually speaking to the girl as she hurried up, having come late to the scene of the menos grande. When she found out the girl could see them both, she was surprised, and even more surprised when she found out the girl was the sister of Ichigo, the substitute soul reaper.

She couldn't help but laugh at her taicho's reaction to Karin's insisting on calling him an elementary school student. She had the feeling that Kurosaki's sister was assuming her taicho was the same age as her, while her taicho, as always, missed these things. Karin was going to comment on this, however, ended up being called away by her friends.

Both of them ended up going back to Orihime's place, where she decided to strike up a conversation about Karin with him. "Are you sure you don't like her taicho?"

"Would you quit with that already, Matsumoto? It should be evident now why I was following her," he glared at her.

"That she was Kurosaki's little sister?" the fukutaicho's became confused.

"No. I didn't know that until a little before you did. Whenever the soul phone went off indicating a hollow had appeared, she would look in that direction. When it was just two of us, she even tried stopping me from heading in that direction…"

"Stop you… taicho, did she know you were going after the hollow?"

"No. I didn't even think she realized I could see them too, until the menos grande showed up," the young shingami crossed his arms behind his back, and leaned against the wall.

"What I don't get is how the two of you met, you're so anti-social…"

Toshiro didn't deny that she wasn't right about how he interacted with people. "The first time, she kicked her soccer ball accidently into the street, the second time she tried kicking it at the back of my head. She has guts like her brother, that's for sure. She tired taking out that menos just by kicking her ball at it."

"Hold on… taicho, did you kick the soccer ball back at her?" Matsumoto scowled, worried that he had done something inappropriate.

"No…" Matsumoto let out a sigh of relief when she he said this, not expecting what he said next. "I kicked it into the face of her friend who called me a midget…"

"Taicho…" Matsumoto glared at him. "That was extremely bad behavior."

Toshiro narrowed his eyes at her, not getting what the big deal was. "So?"

"Well, it is no wonder you have problems making friends,"

"Well, I thought it would get them to leave me alone," Toshiro scratched his head, still puzzled at what he thought to be odd behavior. "But it only seemed to get them excited for some reason. They wanted…"

Matsumoto suddenly found him stopping the conversation and staring at her with wide eyes, as if he had almost revealed something he shouldn't… almost guiltily. "What did they want you to do taicho?"

"They wanted me to help with their soccer game…" Hitsugaya glanced away, the guilty look still on his face.

Matsumoto became even more curious. "So… did you?"

"Let's get this straight. I only went there to speak with Ka… Kurosaki-san about her sensing hollows," he retorted.

Matsumoto suddenly smirked. Not only had he almost used Karin's first name, but… "You did end up helping them, didn't you."

"She was hurt…" he commented, a slight blush appearing on his cheeks.

Two observant eyes went wide. "So you do like her!"

"What? No!" came the protest. "They were being bullied, and… I admire her spirit and determination."

"If you didn't like her, why didn't you kick the soccer ball at her, instead of her friend?" Matsumoto smirked.

"Excuse me?" two teal eyes blinked in confusion.

"Taicho, let me ask you something. If Soifon taicho, or myself, or even Yachiru kicked a ball at you in a sneak attack, what would you have done!" Matsumoto smiled.

He gave a look that said that she should already know the answer to her question. "If any one of you had done that, I would have made sure it hit whoever tried doing so."

"Then, taicho, how do you explain why you didn't do that to Karin-chan?"

"I…" there was a sudden bewilderment in his eyes and face. He then smirked, after thinking about it. "I wouldn't have done that for Hinamori…"

"Taicho… I've seen you. You let her throw things from behind you, and just let them hit you until she calms down,"

"True… I'll admit… it isn't the same…" reluctance weighted heavy on his voice. He then gave her another confused look. "Then… why did I do what I did?"

"Taicho… I asked you that first…" Matsumoto sighed.

"So… you don't know? Why bring that up when…" something clicked again. "…you… were trying… too…"

Matsumoto watched as her small taicho's eyes went wide. "What ever is the matter?"

"Does this mean I'm going to become a pervert like Kyoraku taicho?" his face suddenly became flushed.


"I'm sorry I asked…" he muttered grumpily, only to have Matsumoto break into a fit of giggles. "I don't find this funny…"

"You don't become a pervert simply because you like someone…"

"Fine… well… I'm still thinking your off about me liking Ka… Kurosaki-san. Maybe as a friend, but not like you said," and with that he stormed off.

"Taicho…" Matsumoto shook her head in merriment and disbelief.

Author's note – This was inspired by an argument me and my brother had. He had me describe to him what Toshiro did when Karin kicked the soccer ball at him, and we had a small spat about whether or not it constituted him liking her or not. I, the fan of the Toshiro/Karin pairing, was actually arguing against… and eventually ran out of ideas to counter him… thus spawned this fanfic.