Chapter sixteen

Two weeks had passed, everyone fully recovered but Gin, who had been injured the most. Toshiro hadn't woken up once, Ichigo remained paranoid, positive that Aizen couldn't have died that easily and that was an illusion like his other deaths. Karin blocked him out, always remaining in her bedroom where the Snowflake was sleeping fitfully.

Her head was bowed and her head was resting on his chest. She refused to go to her school and was receiving countless complaints from her school, but Isshin let her stay where she was, understanding what she was going through… sort of. He knocked on her door and told her that Yuzu had prepared the dinner, but she merely nodded, her mind elsewhere.

Somewhere deep down, she knew that Toshiro didn't want to wake up in case he was left all alone, after all, he was knocked unconscious before anyone else and if he woke up now there was a high chance that everyone could have died. She looked at him and scowled.

"Snowflake, wake up damn it!" she growled, frustrated. There was no response, as she expected, but it still made her upset. She looked out the window and smiled slightly, noticing the sudden change of weather. Light snowflakes were falling down and lightly catching off branches, making the sparkle as the stuck to the morning frost. She stared up at the completely white sky and then looked at Toshiro, looking down sadly.

"Happy birthday… Toshiro…"

She continued her gaze out of the window and then opened it up, stretching her hand out and catching one of the snowflakes in her palms. It glittered slightly before melting, cold water instantly warming up before being absorbed into her skin. It felt slightly soothing, but then it just tingled away into nothingness.

"To think I thought… Karin Kurosaki… that you never got emotional over a boy?" Karin froze and then looked round and widened her eyes in surprise lunging at the now sitting Snowflake and hugging him to death.

"H-How long have you been awake?" demanded Karin, causing Toshiro to smirk and ruffled her Raven hair.

"Long enough for me to know that you were worrying about me." He said slyly, "so what does that mean?"

"I-I…" Karin's face turned an extreme red as she turned away from him. He knew he was actually that annoying? Sure, when they were in Huecho Mundo he acted all serious and tense, here he's just sly and damn cheeky!

"It mean nothing you idi-" she turned round quickly to continue her rant to find soft lips against her own. They were delicate, slowly moving against hers anxiously. She was already as red as a strawberry, but now she had turned beetroot. Her brain shutting down on her as she didn't know how to respond. She had never really experienced something like this, considering she was quite a tomboyish girl and of course, no one really liked her that much apart from her small group of friends, most of them were just plain scared of her! So why… why him?

"Gonna say something Karin?" he whispered, brushing her hair away from her face to look at her eyes. She stared back and put a mischievous grin on her face.

"Dinner's ready birthday boy." She teased, feeling him frown. She bolted down the stairs, laughing her head of as she ran into the kitchen, meeting a surprised Ichigo, Isshin and Yuzu who were all staring at her strangely. Realization plastered their expressions as Toshiro stumbled after her, only just noticing that he had been placed into a gigai when Yuzu was able to see him.

"I see you decided to wake up Toshiro." Said Ichigo, staring him up and down.

"It couldn't be helped." Responded Hitsugaya sharply, "Anyway, where is everyone?"

"Most people have returned to the soul society and have been filing in reports on the recent incidents that had occurred..." replied Ichigo, staring at him before returning to his newspaper, "And they've been covering up the mess Aizen made in the world of the living too."

"Ah, I see." Said Toshiro, blinking and then turning to Karin as if nothing had happened. "And what about you?"

"Been refusing to go back to school." She said cheerily, earning a scowl from the Snowflake. "What? I was worried about you damn it!"

"like I care." Said Toshiro, "You need education or you're getting nowhere in life."

"Who are you, my father?" scoffed Karin, narrowly avoiding a death hug from Isshin himself, "I shouldn't have worried about you at all!"

"And you worried… because…?" said Toshiro, looking at her and smirking. She immediately went red again.

"Don't go there!" she muttered, sitting down, "Just eat already!"

It was now around 3:00pm and Karin and Toshiro were outside, lying in the thick snow. Karing was shivering slightly while Toshiro stayed completely still, enjoying the coldness. Snow was still falling and Toshiro looked down as a piece of it landed on his nose and refused to melt.

"Why does it do that Shiro?" asked Karin suddenly. Toshiro looked at her while raising a questioning eyebrow.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"I mean... You know, why doesn't the snow melt when it touches you?" asked Karin again. Toshiro thought about it for a moment before sighing, closing his eyes.

"Probably just my Reiatsu or my Zanpaku-to." said Toshiro after a thought, opening his eyes and turning his head towards her, "Why?"

"It's just..." Karin hesitated for a second, "I thought maybe you might have lost your powers since you no longer are an Arrancar..."

"No, I still have my powers, but it will take time for them to regain their former power." said Toshiro, narrowing his eyes before widening them, suddenly sitting up. "What about your powers Karin?"

... Silence. The silence lasted for around three minutes before Karin let out a sneeze.

"I lost my powers." she said, looking at him, "But it doesn't really matter, I shouldn't be put in such danger again, should I?"

"No, of course not." he said automatically, his mind thinking differently, "But... I don't think Aizen is dead..."

Karin got to he feet and let out one of her smiles. she grabbed his hands, her hands slightly icy feeling as she helped him back to his feet.

"C'mon Toshiro, it's your birthdy right? the town should still be open so I need to get you a present."

"But Karin-!" She pressed a finger to his lips and smirked.

"Tough luck Shiro, you're getting a present whether you want one or not!"

Nightfall came quickly and Toshiro sat on the roof while Karin wa sleeping peacefully in her room. He examined his book and noted it was a classic and that it was probably really expensive due to the leather bindings and complicated designs on the front. he sighed and rested his knees under his chin, thinking.

"I really do care for her... I really do... But I don't want her to go through all of that again..." He thought "I will become stronger, for her at the very least."

Karin made sure she was quiet and sat up, reaching for the her side of the cupboard and opening it up, she found a blade. Fiery red hilt, straigt blade that shone bright like silver and a red ribbon trailing from it.

"Fenix, let me in." she said, quietly, closing her eyes as she got sucked into her inner world and was greeted warmly by her Fenix, whoi sat on top of the volcano in her human form.

"It's been a while Karin, you never even came to visit me in the morning like you normally do." commented Fenix, "Been spending a lot of time with the Snowball?"

"It's SNOWFLAKE!" Said Karin stubbornly, but she nodded still, "Yeah, he woke up today and it was his birthday so I had to spend some time with him, you understand that right?"

"Sounds like someones in love!" giggled Fenix, earning a glare from her master, "Anyway, I wanted to ask you something."

"And what would that be?"

"Why did you tell him that you lost your powers when your powers have actually increased?"

"Because..." said Karin, "Because I don't want him to worry about me. I want to train by myself and then when I think I'm strong enough, I'll tell him then."

"But then he'll end up staying to make sure you are safe!"

Karin let out a smrk as she twirled a bit of hair in her fingers. She tapped her foot and looked around before grasping the hilt of her Zanpaku-to and placing it in front of her.

"That's the idea, I don't want him to leave." said Karin, closing her eyes to leave when Fenix started laughing.

"When you go back, try and get another kiss from him!" she teased, jumping into her volcano before Karin could turn round and begin shouting. The Raven scowled before brushing it off, leaving her inner world.

As she came back to the physucak world, she heard shuffling outisde her door and panicked, hiding her sword once more and running over to her bed, tripping in the process. Toshiro entered the room and blinked as he heard a dull 'THUD' and found the girl he vowed to protect lying on the floor, clutching at her head.

"Ow..." she said thickly, oushing herself up and then looking at the side to see Toshiro standing over her, concerned. "Oh, hey Toshiro..."

"What were you doing to make you end up on the floor?" asked Toshiro, looking round for whatever made her get up. Karin looked round quickly too, aything would do.

"I was looking for that!" she said, pointing at a ball, "My soccer ball! I want to play tommorow-!"

"Tell me the real reason." said Toshiro bluntly. Karin widened her eyes in surprise, knowing that she was a terrible lair but she couldn't tell him the truth after saying she lost her powers earlier!

"I... nothing..." she said quietly, ruffling his hair, "I don't know what I was doing."

Toshiro let it drop but he still knew she was lying. he followed her until she got onto her bed and tucked her in silently, his eyes looking tired.

"Karin, rest for now, I'll be back shortly." he said, hearing his soul pager, that he had recieved back off Isshin, bein beeping. He was about to leave when Karin grabbed his wrist.

"Don't go! Your not fully recovered!"

"It's the duty of a Captain, I'm sorry Karin." he replied softly, patting her head, "I'll be back shortly."

He ate his soul candy and shunpo'd away leaving a rather annoyed Raven still sitting on bed, her arms folded crossly.

He appeared in the middle of a park, scanning the area before, draing his sword to counter a hollow, who had tried to claw him from behind. He turned round and looked, scowling.

He didn't know how long it had been since he had been forced to fight a hollow, but he knew it was shocking that a hollow would dare come here after what happened previously. Aizen left over spiritual pressure should have been enough to scare anyone away, even hollows. So why...?
Toshiro was dragged out of his thoughts as he dodged another swipe and raised his blade into the air, releasing his spiritual pressure. The alerady snoy ground became totally frozen, making it like an ice rink- but everyone knows this, don't go on ice without skating boots on.

Toshiro glared at the hollow as it slipped all over the place, howling in its attempt to stand but then failed as he slid and fell back again. The Snowflake went to finish the killing blow when he felt a presence behind him. he whipped round but he lost his footing and slipped himself, whacking his head off the frozen concrete.

"How idiotic Hitsugaya."

Toshiro looked up and growled. The person before him wore a hood and supressered his spirit energy, making it impossible for him to know who it was, the only thing he had to know was that this person was his enenmy, for now. So called person raised a blade in the air and Toshiro forced himself to roll over, widening his eyes as a blade dug itself into the ground, just beside his head.

"It appears I missed."

Toshiro flipped round and attempted to stand, grabbing his Zanpaku-to at the same time, but he was too slow and got pushed back onto the ground.

"Damn it! Ever since Aizen stole my spirit energy, my skills have grown shabby and my speed has dipped!" Hitsugaya cursed, feeling a foot place itself on the back of his neck. He felt a blade brush against his cheek and slice it slowly, drawing blood instantly that reddened the ice underneath his face. He shot a glare as the blade continued to come downswards, cutting into his flesh and running down to his throat, were it rested at the centre.

"Should I just kill you? Or should I have some fun?" commented the attack, kneeling down and grabbing a tuft of white hair, "Or should I make it fast and painless? What to do, what to do..."

Toshiro let out a low hiss. He was being toyed with and he knew it.

"Flare, Fenix."

Toshiro snapped his head up as an intense heat flickered past him, and the weight on on his neck had vanished. The hollow that had been lying on the ground and long since disintegrated. He looked up and blinked, surprised.

In front of him stood Karin, but it wasn't Karin. Sure, it was her, in a pair of jeans and T-shirt, the black hair... but her face was covered with a Hollow mask. She quickly withdrew it and stared at the attacker with cold onyx eyes.

"I don't think it very fair that you attack someone who isn't even healed yet... Aizen."


A/N: I deliberately left it there in case I wanted to do a sequel in a few weeks, but then again I might not be in the mood. If I do make a sequel, the things will be in it

- More explanation on Karin's powers and why she has a sword

- Aizen has more power than ever

- Toshiro gains some more abilities to Protect Karin

- Lots more fighting scenes and knowing me, more torture

- Some other pairings tied in

- A whole lotta random

And a lot more, I just can't think of it right now. Review please XDD