The sky was a mixture of orange and gold and the sun slowly sunk beneath the horizon as Karin slowly made her way home. The custom soccer ball was slung over her shoulder and and her tied-back hair was half falling out. She didn't bother trying to pin it back up, though; Karin was already sick of her new hair length. It had been months since she last cut it; since she last wanted to cut it.

Karin could still remember how he had told her that it looked good long. She could also remember him framed against the blood red sky, ice cream in hand, trying to take in the quirks of the living world. Her lips twitched as she remembered him trying to comprehend the amount of food kept at the 24 hour store; His turquoise eyes narrowing in concern when he found out she had sprained her wrist during a violent soccer game.

For some reason, Karin felt herself subconsciously speed up a little. When she reached the top of the hill she had been hiking up, Karin found herself staring out over a familiar downward slope. The white railing was still in place, however this time, no boy in a black polo shirt and skinny jeans leaned against it, texting or doing god knows what on his phone.

Instead, a tall, black haired teenage Karin stood, staring wistfully out over the sky. 'Why do I keep coming back here?' she asked herself, 'it's not like he's comming ba-'


An all too familiar voice called her name tentatively from behind her. She whirled and found herself staring into the same turquoise eyes that she saw every time her eyes closed. The same white, gravity-defying hair that she thought about every day, stood out astoundingly against the darkening sky. He wrung his hands nervously and he was standing on the balls of his feet. He hadn't taken the time to acquire a gigai; instead he stood before her in the complete shinigami outfit, Hyourinmaru resting on his back and his Haori draped over his shoulders.

"Toshiro?" Her voice was barely more than a whisper.

Toshiro looked in Karin's eyes for a few seconds, and then ducked his head in shame. He knew that what he had done was unforgivable; he just needed her to know that he was sorry.

"Karin...I...I just-"


Toshiro felt his jaw come close to dislocating as Karin's fist met his cheek with surprising strength. He could've dodged or blocked it, but he knew he deserved it. Instead, Toshiro staggered back half a step and felt a bruise begin to form, immediately.

Silence rang in the air, but Karin felt no need to break it. He had a lot of explaining to do, and she was in no mood to help him. Eventually, Karin began to think she was wasting time and shook her head while turning to leave.


She felt a hand on her wrist, and whirled to face Toshiro. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Karin remembered herself doing something similar. The same day she had begun to think something was strange about the silver haired grade schooler. Karin pushed the memory back, though, and snatched her arm back from his grip. She was still furious at him; she usually loved the rim of fading sunlight that could be seen around his hair. She usually laughed a little internally when his face was so serious and brooding. Now, however; Karin hated it.

"What?" Her voice was sharp and brisk and Toshiro almost flinched a little at the one word.

"I…I'm sorry, Karin. I should've said goodbye and-"

"Yes, you should have," Karin brushed a stray hair out of her eyes in frustration and glared at a spot just past his ear. She knew that if her eyes met his turquoise ones, her resolve to be angry would dissolve, "Do you want something, else?"

Toshiro did flinch, that time, but he raised his eyes, and they bored into Karin's with an intensity that only he could pull off. This time, she averted her gaze to the ground, and he spoke.

"Yes. I want to tell you that I was an idiot-"

"Don't need to tell me that…" Karin muttered, but Toshiro pressed onward.

"I was an idiot and I know that you probably can't forgive me, but I can't do it again, Karin! You may not realise how many people have been hurt because of me. I thought that maybe if you hated me, then it would be easier for the both of us…but…I just…"

Karin sighed.

"Okay, stop." He looked up quickly, a pleading look in his eyes that she had never seen him wear before, "I'm sure you had your reasons, and all, but…you don't want to put me in danger? Really?" Karin gave a short, humourless laugh, then continued, "I'm Ichigo's sister! I apparently have prominent reiatsu and I'm attacked by hollows about twice a month. I'm already in danger! If anything, I would be safer with you around…"

"You mean…you're not angry?" Toshiro was bewildered. He came here expecting Karin to beat him to a pulp, yell at him, then beat him some more. Her understanding threw him off, but for some reason, he still felt a slight uneasiness.

"Not…not angry?" Karin paused for a minute, a thoughtful look on her face, "Oh, I'm angry, of course…but not so much at you as myself. I mean, this always happens. I end up sitting around waiting while I watch others, out there," she was pointing to the sky as she talked and Toshiro noticed her eyes were almost brimming with tears," fighting my fights! Fighting my enemies and doing what I can't!" Her cheeks were streaked, then, as she finished, "Do you know how frustrating it is to sit back and feel so…so helpless!" Karin's voice dropped to a near whisper, and at first, Toshiro thought he misheard her, "Do you know what it's like to hide and watch as the people you love fall, one by one as they try to protect you?"

Toshiro shook his head slowly, "I don't…Wait…Karin, did you just…"

Karin seemed to notice what she just said then, and her cheeks turned a faint pink, " No, I mean…"

"You…you love me?"

There was another silence, this time, though, Karin broke it.

"So what if I do? It's not like it's a big-"

She was abruptly cut off as Toshiro's arms flew around her waist, and his lips met hers. Taken aback, her eyes flew wide, she involuntarily gasped and she could've sworn her heart stood still for a minute. The faint pink heating her cheeks, grew into a flaming blush and she stood stock-still for a minute.

Then, finally, Karin's head processed everything, and she relaxed as her eyes slid shut. Her arms, seemingly of her own accord came up around Toshiro's neck and she tilted her head so that they could kiss more deeply. His skin seemed to burn her where his arms rested, but she loved it and Karin pulled him closer, enjoying every minute.

Eventually, Toshiro leaned back, a small smile playing around his slightly-open lips. Karin stared at him for a minute, before realising what had just happened. His hair was dishevelled from where her hands had been and she laughed at his comical expression- a mix of surprise at her reaction, and elation.

With his arms still around her, Karin pulled him forward so that she could rest her head on his chest. Toshiro complied and he gently rested his forehead against the top of her head, murmuring, "Are you still angry?"

Karin considered for a moment then leaned back in his arms and looked up at Toshiro, "Yes," She replied, then seeing his worried expression, she smiled, leaned up and muttered against his lips, "Just kidding"

She felt him smile and even when Karin finally broke their embrace, Toshiro still kept his hand encircling hers. She smiled and thought to herself, 'Toshiro, you idiot…I never was'

A/N: Don't worry, guys, I'm not dead- just overloaded with homework :\ Urgh. But, yes, this is my (brilliant?) return from Hiatus! Yay! What better break through, than a definate end to the Toshiro/Karin story that was gonna be the end of me! Anyway, I don't think this is my best, but I'm still a little rusty after a serious lack of writing for about 3 or 4 weeks. But yeah, enjoy, and review!