Breath of Life
When the bell ran a light drizzle fell outside. The Kurosai twins began walking home when Karin spoke up. "Let's stop by Urahara's shop on the way home."
"I want to go home and see how Uncle is doing." Yuzu's lip pouted out.
"You don't want to pick up any candy for yourself?" The dark haired twin narrowed her eyes as her other puffed out her cheeks. "You could pick up something for uncle."
Yuzu blinked a couple of times. "I wonder what uncle would like."
The set of twins started towards the exit, stopping a few times to speak with some of Yuzu's friends. Karin found herself interrupting her sister once the brown haired twin almost mentioned their uncle. Upon arriving at the shop the two girls found themselves greeted by the obnoxious red head. "Yuzu, you've come to buy some sweets again."
Karin glanced at Ururu and tilted her head for some help. The high school student nodded her head and started over. Yuzu opened her mouth to say something, but Ururu took her hand. "I want to show you something."
Jinta glared at the dark haired twin. Urahrah however spoke up. "I need someone to sweep and reorganize the back room." Karin and the man watched as the red head let out a deep sigh before slipping out of the room. "You wanted to talk to me about something?"
"Is that man staying in my house really my uncle?"
A clicking sound was heard as Urahara opened his fan. "Why would I know anything about the man in your house. If it isn't shinigami business, then..."
"I know he is a shingiami. I also know Rukia-nee knows him. I also know he and Ichigo look a lot alike. I just want to know if I should e treating him as family or if my dad was brought a complete stranger into the house and is passing him off as family."
"That man is your uncle. You do understand I can't tell you much more and your father has a reason for keeping things to himself."
Karin glanced at the ground. "I need to make a phone call."
"I can't let you don anything that will jeopardize the safety of your family. The safety of your brother is another story." Urahara grabbed a lollipop and unwrapped it to put into his mouth."
"I promised Toshiro that he could stay with us now that Ichi-nii is back to normal." She then let out a deep breath. "Plus, if I told him he would just let himself be dragged into this mess. He likes playing hero a little to much for his own good."
"Hitsugaya Taicho is very particular about whom he chooses to go out of his way to protect." Urahara walked over to his phone and dialed a number before handing it over to Karin."
"Hello, this is Hitsugaya Taicho speaking."
"Toshiro... its Karin."
"Kurosaki?? A lull of silence followed the sound of surprise.
"I need to..."
"If you're wanting to know why I'm not there in the world of the living. I'm not going to be able to make it. I'll need to reschedule. Hopefully it will be a couple of days, but it depends on how fast I can get approval."
"You weren't going to tell me?"
"I don't exactly have a way to contact you. I take it you're calling from Urahara's shop."
"Yes. It's all right if you don't come for awhile. The reason I was calling was actually because we have a family member visiting and you won't be able to stay with us."
"I'm guessing either said family member can see shinigami or explaining why I was invited at the same time as them would be awkward or you don't have room to..."
"Toshiro, it's something like that. You don't need to guess." Karin let out a deep sigh. "Can you tell me why you had to cancel your trip?"
"That stupid Kurotsuchi. He's hiding something that he doesn't want another captain find out out about. He used the fact its odd for a captain to be visiting the world of the living like I have."
"But you visiting my brother shouldn't be a problem."
"Except I'm not visiting him, I'm visiting you."
"Toshiro... is being friends with me against some sort of regulation?"
"No. If they knew I'd actually made a friend, particularly one my physical age, they would be ecstatic."
"If its such a good thing then what is the problem?"
"I haven't been upfront about why I've been going to the world of the living. I've left the whole thing ambiguous."
"You do realize you've already said that Toshiro. I'm asking why you are not saying that you are visiting me despite the fact you've said there is no problem with you doing so."
A silence came to her over the phone. Finally Toshiro spoke up, his voice straining. "Do I really have to say what the problem is?"
"I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that I am a girl."
"Kurosaki! I'm not hanging out with you because I have a crush on you. I'm hanging out with you because I honestly want to be friends with you." The words came out of his mouth, straining at strange points, indicating he was upset. He also spoke them in a quite manner.
Karin found herself blinking a couple of times. She felt the corner of her mouth suddenly twitch up. "You know... you could just tell them that. I think it is a silly reason to have gotten your time in the living world revoked. This even holds true if you did have a crush on me."
"Not so loud!" Toshiro spoke louder. "I know that you're having to call from Urahara's place! I'm at least..." There was a pause before he continued. "At least no one is listening in on this conversation."
"Just tell who ever you need to tell the truth and you'll likely be coming here soon."
"It's not that simple. I pointed out the fact Kurotsuchi is up to something in front of the head taicho. He's told me to send someone to the living world to figure out what is going on and until we figure out what is going on there is small chance that I'll be able to come. In other words there is even more protocol to go through and more red tape.. that is the correct term for it."
"You need to calm down. Seriously, I'll see you in a week or two." Karin paused for a few minutes. When she spoke up her own voice strained with worry. "What do you mean Kurotsuchi is up to something?"
The taicho of the tenth let out a deep sigh. "That man is a mad scientist. There is no telling what he could have been up to. So I guess I can warn you to be extra careful."
Karin heard a bit of cursing coming from his end. "Toshiro, is something the matter."
There was a bit of silence as if he had been caught doing something he shouldn't have. "I'm... just thinking about who I should send. I'll likely be sending Kuchiki... the fukutaicho that is."
The black haired twin let out a laugh. "What do you mean by that? Isn't there just Rukia-nee?"
"Kuchiki is the one I would be sending. She's now the fukutaicho of the thirteenth division. I wouldn't be sending Kuchiki though. He's the taicho of the sixth division and her dead sister's..." Toshiro paused, listening to her laugh. "You know... this really isn't funny."
"You need to learn to be a little more informal when using people's names. For example, you know myself and my brother. Would you call both of us Kurosaki? And then there is my sister Yuzu and my dad, not to mention my uncle."
"I see... no I don't see. I don't see how that is confusing at all. That's because there is you Kurosaki, and then..."
"Toshiro... it gets confusing for everyone else." She twisted the cord around her fingers. "I had better let you go. Oh!"
The memory of her uncle passed through her head and she saw Rukia's face. Toshiro spoke up. "Something the matter?"
"You may want to tell Rukia-nee that she'll need to stay with Orihime-chan."
"Sure... I'll do that."
Karin put down the phone and let out a deep sigh. She then turned to Urahara who was looking at her with an amused look on her face. "What?"
"Nothing!" The man's smile simply widened just as Yuzu came around the corner.
When her sister was done picking out a gift for their uncle to welcome him to the household they headed back. Instead of heading through the front door, they instead headed through the clinic. Isshin wasn't within view. Yuzu glanced around. "I wonder where dad is. I want to ask him what room uncle is in."
"I know which room oji-san is in." Karin let out a deep sigh and her sister followed her into the other room. When they got to the room they found the man sitting up with his eyes closed. When they came into the room, his eyes slowly opened and he turned his head to look at the two girls. At first he simply looked at them, but when his eyes fell on Karin they suddenly widened.
The dark haired female felt a sudden flare in the man's reiatsu. While it was none threatening it did catch her breath for a few seconds. She watched as the man clapped a hand on his forehead and closed his eyes. She turned to look at Yuzu, only to find her eyes going wide. Her twin was staring at the man, her eyes wide and her cheeks flushing up.
Yuzu walked over holding the treat she had bought. "Umm... oji-san!" The man waved his hand towards the door, a sign that he wished to be left alone. The brown haired twin ignored the sign. "Umm... I'm Yuzu-chan and this is Karin-chan. It is nice to meet you. I brought you a welcome to the family gift."
"Gomenasai Yuzu-chan." The man opened one eye to look at her twin. "I have a really bad headache right now. I think my head was trying to remember something, but it didn't come. Can I talk to the two of you later?"
"I'll... I'll just leave it on the table then." Yuzu's voice strained with disappointment and Karin watched as her twin brushed past her.