Hey everyone! I know that I've got two stories already, but I've had this idea for a while now. It's a one-shot, my first one, so I hope you guys like it! :) I don't own Bleach by the way, in case you didn't know that.
Rangiku Matsumoto was bored out of her mind. Tomorrow, Ichigo Kurosaki would be sworn in as the captain of the 5th division, and since this was such a prestigious occasion, his family was also going to be there. She looked over to her captain's desk, and he was sitting behind it doing paperwork.
'Ever since that trip to the World of the Living all those years ago, Captain has been more down in the dumps than usual. He was so happy back then. He may not have showed it openly, but I could tell,' Rangiku thought. She saw her snowy-haired captain look at her, so she pretended she was working so he wouldn't snap at her.
"Matsumoto, do your work. I can tell you're slacking off by the look on your face," Toshiro said in an icy tone. Rangiku looked over at her captain, and saw his serious expression.
"Yes Captain," she replied, nodding her head to show she understood. He gave her one last, wary glance before he turned back to do his own work. She picked up her brush and began to do her work, thinking all the while.
'Why was he happy all those years ago?' Rangiku thought. 'It wasn't because of the mission we were on that day or anything like that.' She began to think of all the possibilities that it could be, what it was that made her captain's disposition brighter. She racked through her memories many times, but the only thing she could think of was the girl that he was watching from the rooftop. Her face visibly brightened as she stopped working again, and Toshiro looked at her suspiciously.
'Of course! How could I have not remembered sooner? What made him happy was Ichigo's little sister, Karin, the one he played soccer with! They haven't seen each other since that day, and I'm sure that she returns his feelings. Since she's going to be here tomorrow, it will be the perfect opportunity to get them together. But what will be a good way for them to notice each other?' She was interrupted from her thoughts once again by the harsh glare from her captain. She looked at him, and she could see the angry look in his eyes.
Rangiku's eyes swiftly glanced over her captain's features. His eyes were burning with frustration and anger, and his mouth was drawn into a tight line. She looked to his white hair, and a thought suddenly occurred to her. She smiled deviously.
"Why are you looking at me like that, Matsumoto? Did you hit your head or something?" Toshiro said, raising an eyebrow at her strange look.
"No, Captain, I didn't hit my head. But I have a favor to ask you," Rangiku replied. Upon hearing her reply, Toshiro let out a deep, frustrated sigh. He brought up his hand to pinch the bridge of his nose in impatience.
"Alright, what is it? This had better be good."
"Captain, I need to go to the World of the Living to see Urahara before Ichigo gets sworn in as a captain. It's important." He seemed to ponder her answer, because his eyebrows scrunched together in thought.
"Fine, but get back in time to finish the remainder of your work," Toshiro said, giving her an I'll-kill-you-if-you-don't look. Rangiku swallowed loudly and nodded.
"Yes Captain," she said while walking out the door. 'This will be perfect.'
About twenty minutes later, Rangiku arrived at Urahara's shop. She walked to the counter, and looked for the mysterious shopkeeper, but he was nowhere to be seen.
"Urahara, are you here?" Rangiku called out. Suddenly, Urahara rose up from out of nowhere, making Rangiku jump back about two feet in surprise.
"Why hello there Rangiku," Urahara said with a smile. "What can I do for you?"
"I thought you'd never ask," she said with a smile. "Do you remember last Halloween, more specifically what we all were dressed as?" Urahara thought for a moment, a hand going to his chin. Finally, after a few moments, he smiled and removed his hand from his face.
"Yes, I remember, why do you ask?"
"I need you to give me something to make a certain transformation happen, and I think you know which one I'm talking about, don't you?" Rangiku said, smiling while giving him a questioning look. Urahara seemed to understand exactly what she was talking about, because he gave her a knowing smile in return.
"I believe I have just the thing for you," he replied, reaching down behind the counter while he was speaking. Once he found what he was looking for, he brought his hand up in front of her line of vision. In his hand was a small vial that contained a clear liquid. "You know, you're quite lucky that I was working on a potion like this."
"Thank you so much," she said while taking the potion from his hand. "So, how do I make the person transform, and how long will it last?"
"Well, this can be taken like a regular medication. Since it has no taste, you could just tell the person that it's water, or slip it into something they're already drinking. After they drink this, however, the person who consumes the potion will fall into a deep sleep for about an hour, so the transformation can begin. They will be in that state for 24 hours, and nothing can change them back except for when the 24 hours is up," Urahara said. "Use it wisely."
"Oh, trust me," Rangiku said, giving Urahara one last smile. "I will."
The next day saw Seireitei in an uplifting, joyous mood. Many of the Soul Reapers were happy that the last captain's position was finally going to be filled after the years since Aizen's betrayal. There were quite a few that were running errands that were necessary for the ceremony that afternoon.
Even though she was supposed to be at work at 8:00 this morning, Rangiku woke up around 10:00, and took an hour to get ready. She walked through the tenth squad's office doors about five minutes later.
"Do you know what time it is, Matsumoto?" her captain's voice rang out through the room. She looked over at his desk, and saw him glaring at her.
"Yes, its five after eleven, Captain," she said with a smile. Toshiro's eyes narrowed more in anger and frustration. "Sorry, there were just a few things I needed to take care of."
"That's no excuse," he said, picking up his brush once again. "Before the ceremony at 3:00, there's going to be a brief captain and vice-captain meeting at 2:00. Unless you get a lot of work done, you're not going to get a lunch break." Rangiku visibly straightened and her face fell after his words, as if finally realizing her situation. She rushed over to her desk, sat down, picked up her brush, and began to do her work.
"Yes, Captain," Rangiku said. She signed and read through many documents before putting them into the correct piles. She had gotten through over half of the stack that she had to do that day, and when she looked at the clock, it was 12:00 noon.
"Captain, it's noon," she stated. Toshiro stopped working momentarily, and glanced at the clock as well.
"So it is," he said in a calm voice. "What of it?"
"Well, since it's noon, and I've gotten over half of my work done, I was wondering if I could take a lunch break now?" She clasped her hands together in front of her, and had a pleading look on her face. Toshiro came over to her desk and shifted through some of her papers to verify that she did as much work as she said she did. After a moment, he stopped and stood up straight again. He crossed his arms over his chest and looked at his vice-captain.
"Since you're telling the truth about the amount of work you've done, you may go," he said. She smiled and walked to the door, but before she could leave his words stopped her for a moment. "But you must be back by 1:00; no exceptions."
She turned her head back to face him, and she gave him a smile. "Of course Captain." She turned her back around and walked out the doors.
Toshiro shook his head and went to sit back behind his desk. He began to work once again.
'That was odd,' he thought. 'Usually she whines and complains about having to do work, but today she didn't say anything. And to top it off, she did over half of her work in less than an hour, which is unheard of. She's been acting peculiar ever since she came back from visiting Urahara yesterday. She must be planning something.'
Toshiro decided to work straight through lunch since he was finishing off the work that Rangiku left yesterday. He had been working almost non-stop since early this morning, and he didn't sleep well the night before, so he was starting to show signs of fatigue. His eyes looked red and puffy, and dark circles were present under his eyelids. After he read and signed the last document from her work, he sighed and ran his left hand through his hair. He looked up to the clock, which read 1:00, and sighed again.
'Where is she?' he thought. 'I told her to be back in exactly one hour.' As soon as the thought left his mind, however, his vice-captain walked through the door.
"I'm back, Captain!" she said brightly. "And I made it back in an hour like you said!" Toshiro jumped up in his seat, as hearing her loud voice in the silent office startled him.
"I can see that," he said in a lazy tone. Rangiku looked at her captain, taking in his tired appearance. "Captain, since you look so tired and you've worked so hard, why don't I fix some tea for you?" He eyed her warily for a moment, before finally nodding his head in approval.
"Fine," he said. Rangiku nodded in return and walked behind his desk to the teapot in the back of the room. She began to brew the tea, silently waiting for it to be finished. When it was finished, she poured a cup for her captain and one for herself. She reached inside her robes and pulled out the small potion vial, and emptied all its contents into one of the cups. She put the empty vial back into her robes again, and picked up the plain cup of tea in her left hand, and the potion-filled cup in her right. She turned and walked to her captain's desk, placing the cup in her right hand down in front of him.
"Thanks, Matsumoto," Toshiro told her in a tone that held a fraction more of warmth than his normal icy tone.
"No problem, Captain," she said. She walked back to her desk and sat down. She began to drink some of her tea and looked over to Toshiro. He was drinking his tea as well, only the way was doing it could be compared to a man that had been out in the desert for a month. Once he took a few gulps he was finished, so he set the cup down on one of the corners of his desk. His eyelids began to droop, and he looked like he could barely hold his head up.
"Matsumoto," he said sleepily.
"Yes, Captain?" Rangiku replied. She looked at him calmly so as not to arouse his suspicion.
"I'm going to sleep for a moment," he said, his voice getting deeper by the minute. "Do your work or else." That was all he got to say, for at the end of his sentence, his head had fallen on his crossed arms that were on the desk. Rangiku got up and walked to his desk, looking at his prone form. She poked him lightly in the side to test if he was asleep or not. He didn't stir, so she concluded that he was indeed asleep.
'This is perfect!' Rangiku thought. 'He'll be out for an hour, we can go to the meeting, then the Kurosakis will arrive, she'll see him, and the rest will be history! And to top it off, now I don't have to work!' She looked at her captain one last time before she made her way to the doors. She opened one and stepped through, smiling all the while.
Rangiku came back through the tenth squad's doors and sat behind her desk just in time for her captain to wake up. Before his eyes cleared, she picked up her brush to make it seem like she had been there working the entire time. Toshiro stretched his arms over his head and yawned, alerting Rangiku to his presence and showing off his newly-enlarged canines.
"Matsumoto, what time is it?" Toshiro asked his vice-captain. He began to stand and stretch his legs while waiting for her reply. Rangiku, upon realizing the time, stood as well.
"Captain, you'll be happy to know that you woke up just in time for the Captain and Vice-Captain meeting," she replied brightly. "We even have time to walk there."
"Good, let's go then," Toshiro said while walking to the doors, Rangiku on his heels.
The tenth squad captain and vice-captain were walking down the main walkway of Seireitei that led to the first squad meeting room with only a few minutes until the meeting actually began. They passed many Soul Reapers on their way, and both members from Squad 10 nodded in greeting to their subordinates. Most of those Soul Reapers, however, did a double-take, making sure their eyes weren't playing tricks on them. When Rangiku noticed this, she put up a hand in front of her mouth to hide her laughter. Toshiro seemed not to notice, since he still had the same, indifferent expression on his face.
Soon, they reached the doors to the meeting room, and both Toshiro and Rangiku walked in together. Upon hearing the noise, all the captains and vice-captains looked up at them. Almost simultaneously, all of their jaws dropped and looks of shock were present on their faces when they saw the tenth squad captain. The two made their way to their seats and sat down. Since the head captain was not there yet, the Soul Reapers that were there were talking amongst themselves. Shunsui, who was sitting beside Toshiro, turned to talk to him.
"So, Captain Hitsugaya, what's with the new look?" Shunsui asked with curiousity. The other captains and vice-captains, who were secretly listening to their conversation, were all eager to hear the explanation as well.
"What are you talking about?" Toshiro asked in his normal tone. Shunsui had a questioning look on his face upon hearing Toshiro's answer.
"You mean you don't know?"
"Know what? What is going on?" Toshiro asked, his tone beginning to have hints of irritation.
"Well, since this isn't getting anywhere, Rangiku, give him your mirror," Shunsui said to the vice-captain. She nodded, reached into her robes, pulled out her mirror, and handed it to her captain. He took the mirror and held it up to his face.
"Ah!" Toshiro shouted while jumping up a little in surprise. In the mirror, he saw that he was somehow transformed into a werewolf again. He had wolf's ears that replaced his human ones, and his hair had grown longer. Fur had formed on his neck, and covered most of his body, though it was hidden under his robes. The nails on his hands and feet became claws, and he had grown a long, white, fluffy tail. Upon seeing all this, he immediately turned to his vice-captain.
"Rangiku! What did you do?!" he shoted at her. She held up both hands in front of her body, trying to signal she meant no harm.
"Captain, I didn't do anything," she replied. His eyes only narrowed more.
"The hell you didn't! The only person it could've been was you!" Toshiro said angrily. He held up one of his hands in front of her face, his claws directly in her line of vision. She seemed to get the message, because she sighed and put his hand back down.
"Alright, it was me," Rangiku admitted. "Yesterday, when I went to Urahara's in the World of the Living, I asked him for something to make you transform into what you are now. He gave me a potion that was in a small vial, and I put it into your tea this afternoon." Toshiro seemed somewhat satisfied by her answer, as his face contorted from an angry expression to a semi-calm one.
"Somehow I believe you," he said in an even tone. "So, why did you want me to be like this so badly, and how long are the effects of the potion I consumed?"
"The potion lasts for 24 hours, and you won't be back to normal until those hours have passed. As for why I turned you this way, I can't tell you yet."
"What does that mean?" he asked her. She never got a chance to reply, however, because Head Captain Yamamoto had arrived and was in his seat.
"Don't worry Captain, I'll pay attention for this meeting since it's just about the ceremony this afternoon," Rangiku said. "Here, you can chew on this." She pulled a ball out of nowhere, and held it in front of his eyes. He stared intently at the round object, ready to chase it if need be. Rangiku tossed the ball up in the air, and Toshiro caught it in his mouth. He lowered himself on the ground, his feet behind him, tail wagging back and forth excitedly.
While the meeting was going on, Rangiku, true to her word, was actually paying attention to the meeting. Her captain, who was on the floor beside her, was chewing and playing with the ball she gave him. She reached out her hand and stroked his hair.
"Good boy, Captain," she whispered to him. He smiled for a moment while she was petting him, then slapped her hand away from his head.
"I'm not a dog," he said. She tried to reach for his ball to distract him with it, but he held his hand around it so she couldn't get it. He growled, and began to chew the ball again.
"Whatever you say," Rangiku said, turning back to pay attention to the meeting. A few of the captains and vice-captains, namely Jushiro, Shunsui, Renji, Shuhei, Rukia, Momo, and Izuru saw their exchange, and held up hands in front of their mouths, trying to reign in their laughter.
Since the ceremony was in less than an hour, the meeting ended rather quickly. Toshiro momentarily let go of the ball to watch most of his fellow Soul Reapers leave. Rangiku grabbed the ball, stood up, and held the ball where Toshiro could see it.
"Captain, look what I've got!" Rangiku said joyfully. Toshiro's ears twitched and he looked in her direction. When he saw the ball in her hand, he began to bark and wag his tail. "Do you want the ball, Captain, do you?"
"Woof! Woof woof woof!" Toshiro barked, lifting his hands off the floor and toward the ball.
"Fetch!" Rangiku shouted while she threw the ball outside. Toshiro's eyes followed the ball for a moment before chasing it, running on all fours. When he reached the ball, he grabbed it with his mouth before running back to Rangiku. She was already outside, along with the Soul Reapers that were laughing earlier. He dropped the ball at her feet and sat back on his haunches, waiting for her to throw it again.
"I wonder when Ichigo and his family are supposed to be here?" Renji asked the group.
"I don't know," Shunsui said. Suddenly, Toshiro's ears twitched, reacting to the noise of a far-off sound. He turned his body so that it was facing that direction, sniffed the air for a moment, let his head fall back, and howled for about five seconds. After he howled, Toshiro shook his head, as if snapping out of a trance.
"Why did I just do that?" he asked aloud. The others pondered his question for a while, until the thirteenth squad's captain spoke.
"Well, there could be many reasons why a werewolf howls, though a few do not apply here," he said evenly.
"What are the reasons?" Toshiro said, eager to know the reason behind his transformation-induced impulse.
"Let's see, the reasons a werewolf howls are when it locks onto its prey, when it goes or is on the hunt, it is communicating with another werewolf, howling at the moon, or. . ." Jushiro cut off, as in lost in thought.
"Or what?" Toshiro asked, beginning to get impatient.
"Or when it senses the presence of its mate," Shunsui finished for the other captain.
"W-What?" Toshiro said, shock all over his features. "How could that be right? I don't have a mate, wife, whatever."
"Not yet you don't, but I believe your transformation has honed your instincts in to the one that you truly desire to be your mate, whether you're aware of it or not," Jushiro said. As soon as he finished speaking, he looked at Shusui and Rangiku, who had the same expression on their faces as he had, like they all felt something at the same time. Toshiro just rolled his eyes at the exchange.
Just then, two figures using shunpo appeared a few feet in front of the shinigami, along with two more, one on each of the figures' backs. As soon as they stopped moving, both of the figures that were standing let the ones that were on their backs on the ground. Upon closer inspection, the shinigami discovered that it was Ichigo, his father, and twin sisters.
"Thanks for carrying me Ichigo," the darker-haired twin said while looking at her brother. "I was seriously about to punch out Goat-chin over there."
"No problem, Karin," Ichigo replied.
"But Karin, Daddy only wanted to carry his little girl-" Isshin said, but was interrupted by Karin's fist on his left cheek. He flew a few feet backwards, landing on his back on the ground.
"Karin, you shouldn't have hit him that hard," her twin said. Karin turned to face her sister, giving her an uncaring look.
"Yuzu, he was seriously asking for it. I told Ichigo I was going to hit him, so I did. Besides, you shouldn't worry so much, he'll be alright. We both know I've hit him harder than that before," Karin said, shrugging her shoulders. At her last words, all three of the Kurosakis that were standing laughed.
"You've got a point," Ichigo said while smiling at his sister. Karin smiled back at him.
The group of shinigami watched the family, and many of them were trying very hard to hold back their laughter. One of the shinigami, however, did not watch all of the Kurosakis, but had his eyes trained on only one. Jushiro, Shunsui, and Rangiku noticed this, giving each other a knowing look. Rangiku bent down and grabbed the ball that lay forgotten on the ground. Once she stood straight again, she held the ball in front of Toshiro again.
"Captain, Captain, look over here," Rangiku called out to Toshiro in a playful tone. Upon hearing the voice, Toshiro's ears twitched and turned his head toward his vice-captain. His eyes brightened when he saw that she had the ball in her hand.
"Fetch!" she said, throwing the ball forward, Toshiro hot on its trail. Rangiku had thrown the ball high, so even if he stood and jumped he couldn't catch it. Toshiro continued to chase after the ball, watching it intently, running on all fours, when suddenly-
"Uh!" the dark-haired Kurosaki grunted when something crashed into her suddenly, causing her to slam on the ground.
'What the hell was that?' Karin thought. 'Was I hit by something?' She tried to move to get up, but found that she couldn't because something heavy was on top of her. She looked down to see what it was, but all she could see was snowy, white hair and matching wolf ears.
'Did I get attacked by a wolf?' she thought. She was starting to panic a little bit, but then the wolf raised its head and looked her in the eyes. Stunning teal met shining, dark gray.
"Karin?" the wolf asked her in a husky, masculine voice. Karin didn't recognize the voice, but she knew that she had seen those eyes before. She began to think of all the people that she knew that had white hair and teal eyes, but after a few moments, she realized that only one person came to mind.
"Toshiro?" she asked hesitantly, because she wasn't entirely sure it was him. After all, since when was the cold, short shinigami part wolf?
"Yes?" Toshiro asked her, looking into her eyes once again. "What is it?" At his words, a smile came to her face.
"I knew it!" she said, her tone full of excitement. At seeing her smile at him, Toshiro's eyes shone with something he didn't know he was feeling yet. Of course, the two on the ground seemed to be in their own world, because neither heard nor saw the group of shinigami come to stand beside the Kurosakis.
"Ahem," someone, who sounded just like Ichigo, cleared their throat. Upon hearing the noise, both snapped back to reality, and looked down, seeing that Toshiro was on top of Karin in a compromising position. Toshiro rolled off of Karin and to one side, allowing her to move freely. Toshiro stood and held out his hand to Karin to help her up. She nodded and took his hand, and he pulled her up. Once she was standing, he removed his hand from hers, and crossed his arms over his chest.
"So ,Toshiro, care to explain why you look like that, and why you tried to molest my sister?" Ichigo said, a hint of anger in his voice.
"First off, Kurosaki, that's Captain Hitsugaya to you. Second, Rangiku slipped something into my tea this afternoon that she got from Urahara, and I'm stuck like this for 24 hours. And third, I would never disrespect Karin in such a way. What kind of man do you take me for?" Toshiro replied, his voice cold.
"Yeah Ichigo, chill," Karin said, a slight blush forming on her face from Toshiro's words. "It's not like he meant to run into me like that."
"Karin's right, Ichigo. I threw the ball over Karin's head, and since Captain is a werewolf now, his instincts took over," Rangiku said, defending both Karin and her Captain. At Rangiku's words, Ichigo calmed down.
"I guess I overreacted. Sorry you guys," he apologized.
"They forgive you man," Renji said, coming up and clapping Ichigo on the back. "Come on, it's almost time. Even you can't be late for your own Captain's ceremony." He laughed, and the others joined in, except for Toshiro.
"Yeah, you're right," Ichigo said.
"It's this way, everyone," Rukia said, walking in a certain direction ahead of the group. Ichigo, along with everyone else made to follow her except Rangiku, who went to find the ball she threw earlier. Once she found it, she picked it up and followed after the others. Toshiro, who was walking beside Karin, turned his head so he could see her better.
"I'm sorry about earlier," he said in a quiet, yet sincere voice. Karin heard him clearly, and she smiled and shrugged.
"Don't worry about it, really. It's not like you could help it or anything," she said. She noticed that they were entering some kind of courtyard, and she gathered that Ichigo's ceremony would be taking place here.
"We're here," Rukia said in a happy voice. She turned to face the rest of the group. "Isshin, Karin, Yuzu, you can come sit with Rangiku and I in the crowd, since the captains have to be up front, and Momo needs to be close to her new captain." The Kurosakis nodded and the group split off in different directions.
The ceremony began when Head Captain Yamamoto declared it was time. The eleven other captains sat behind him, and Ichigo was kneeling alone in the front. As soon as the Head Captain began to speak, the entire crowd was listening intently to what he was saying, save for a certain shinigami-turned-werewolf and one of the Kurosaki twins.
Karin looked down the row of captains until her gaze fell on Toshiro. 'He's changed too,' she thought. 'Of course, it's hard to tell how much because of his transformation. I can tell he's gotten taller, though.' She began to think of the time that he saved her and her friends from that hollow all those years ago. That seemed like so long ago. 'It's been so long since I've seen him, and it made me really happy to see him today. I wonder if it'll be this long before I see him again.' She tried not to show her emotions on her face, but after the last thought crossed her mind, she couldn't help the sad expression that settled there.
Toshiro, who was normally so attentive during any sort of meeting or otherwise, was not really paying attention to the ceremony at all, but rather one Karin Kurosaki.
'She's like me; she's changed over time as well,' Toshiro thought. His eyes roamed over her form, taking in her new appearance. Her face had not changed since he had last seen her. Her midnight hair had gotten longer, and most of it was pulled back in a ponytail except for a few strands left down to frame her face. She had gotten more muscular in some places, such as her arms and legs, but the rest of her body had more curves than before. His eyes returned to her face, and he noticed the sad expression that suddenly appeared. 'I wonder what she's thinking about to make her have that look of sorrow in her eyes. I wish there was something I could do for her.' He began to think about anything that could help her, but coming up with nothing. His ears twitched at something Head Captain Yamamoto said, and at that he finally figured out what he could do. After having the epiphany, he listened to the Head Captain, since he knew it was about to be over.
"Ichigo Kurosaki, over these past years you have proven yourself to everyone here. You have proven that you were more than just a substitute, but truly a Soul Reaper. There have been times when you have been reckless and not used good judgment, but there were also times that you used great strategy and wisdom that is beyond your years. You've exhibited true courage and loyalty, and it is for all of these reasons that this honor is being bestowed to you," the Head Captain said evenly. He motioned his hand, and Momo came forward holding a captain's haori in her hands.
"Do you understand and accept the responsibilities that come with this title?" he asked Ichigo.
"Yes, I understand and accept the responsibilities that come with the title, and the challenges I will face," Ichigo said in a sure, honest voice. Head Captain Yamamoto nodded his head in response. Momo unfolded the haori in her hands, and walked behind Ichigo.
"Then you are no longer Ichigo Kurosaki, Substitute Soul Reaper. You are now Ichigo Kurosaki, Captain of Squad 5. Vice-captain Hinamori, you may give him his haori." Upon hearing the Head Captain's orders, Momo slid the sleeveless haori up Ichigo's arms and stepped back so everyone could see him. Ichigo turned around and bowed his head. Momo smiled at her new captain.
"You may take your place among the captains," Yamamoto said. Ichigo walked the few steps to his spot between Retsu Unohana and Byakuya Kuchiki. Once he got between them, all of the captains stood, and the crowd cheered.
After that, the ceremony was officially over, and everyone came up to congratulate Ichigo. Once most of the shinigami had left, Isshin, Karin, Yuzu, Jushiro, Toshiro, Shunsui, Renji, Rangiku, Shuhei, and Momo came over.
"Congrats, Ichigo!" Karin and Yuzu shouted, hugging their older brother tightly. They smiled up at him, and he looked down and returned their smile.
"Thanks Karin. Thanks Yuzu," he said. Isshin came over and put a hand on his son's shoulder.
"My son has finally become a captain!" Isshin said joyously. "It's about time you caught up with me. Now all I need is for you, Karin, and Yuzu to get married and my dream will have come true." The two former siblings looked at each other, irritation evident in their features.
"On three," Ichigo said. Karin nodded.
"One," Karin said.
"Two," Ichigo said eagerly, his impatience growing by the second.
"Three!" Ichigo and Karin shouted at the same time. At the same time they were shouting, the siblings extended their arms quickly, punching their father in the face together. He flew back into a wall head first. Once the smoke cleared, there was a hole in the shape of Isshin present, and the man in question had went straight through it and landed on the floor in the next room; upon seeing this, Ichigo and Karin high-fived each other.
"That was totally hilarious," Rangiku said, laughing at their antics. Everyone else joined in her laughter, even Toshiro chuckled at the look on Karin's face.
"Ichigo, you know we have to have a party later tonight to celebrate," Shuhei said excitedly.
"After all, we've got the three new captains all here," Renji said, smirking at Ichigo and Shuhei.
"You guys are captains, too?" Karin asked skeptically. Renji and Shuhei nodded at the elder Kurosaki twin. She smirked at them, and nodded back. "Well that's awesome."
"Thanks," they both said at the same time.
"So, since there's going to be a party later, why don't we meet back here at seven?" Shunsui said, looking around the group for their approval. Everyone nodded, and smiled at each other. They began to go their own ways, each in different directions. Karin made to follow her family, but a hand caught her wrist. She turned and saw that it was Rangiku.
"Here, you might need this," she said with a wink. She placed the ball in Karin's hand.
"Why would I need this?" Karin asked her.
"It'll cheer you up, you'll see," Rangiku said, turning and walking away. Karin looked at Rangiku's back, wondering what in the world she was talking about. Suddenly, Toshiro cleared his throat and walked in front of her.
"What's up, Toshiro?" she asked him. His eyes found hers before he spoke.
"Karin, what do you say we go somewhere else and talk?" Both his voice and eyes were serious, so she nodded.
"Sure, sounds good." As soon as Karin said yes, Toshiro nodded and turned to walk away; Karin following close behind. They walked for a while. Karin thought that maybe he was taking her to the squad 10 office, but when they came close, Toshiro turned another way. He led her outside the city a little ways before finally stopping at a pond with green, rolling hills around it. Toshiro sat on the ground, and Karin followed suit. She used both of her hands to get on the ground, but in one hand she felt something instead of the grass. She looked down and saw that it was the ball Rangiku has given her earlier.
'Why did she give me this?' Karin thought. She glanced at Toshiro, and saw that his ears and hair had caught the breeze, moving slightly. His eyes were closed, enjoying the feel of the wind on his face. She had never seen him so serene before, and felt glad that she got to see a side of him that probably not many people knew he had. She looked back down to the ball again, and got an idea.
"Toshiro," Karin said calmly.
"Yes," he said, opening one of his eyes to look at her. She raised the ball in her hand so he could see it. Once he saw it, he opened both his eyes and turned his head to focus on it.
"Do you want the ball, Toshiro?" she asked playfully. He narrowed his eyes, figuring out her plan.
"Karin, I'm not a dog," he said, crossing his arms over his chest. She raised an eyebrow, giving him a pointed look.
"Oh really now? Well, I suppose you don't want this then," she gripped the ball tighter, emphasizing her point. Toshiro's eyes widened a little bit, but he narrowed them quickly so she wouldn't notice. Karin did see his reaction and smirked. She moved her arm backwards, the ball in her hand, ready to throw.
"Don't you dare," Toshiro warned, his voice full of mock irritation.
"Fetch!" Karin shouted, launching the ball several feet away. As soon as the ball left her hand, Toshiro ran forward as quickly as he could, barking all the while. He ran so fast that he managed to get under the ball, and used his legs to jump up and catch the ball in his mouth. When he landed back on the ground, he ran back to Karin. He set the ball at her feet and sat back on his haunches. Instead of reaching for the ball again, however, she moved her hand into his hair.
"Good boy," she said while petting him. Toshiro, letting his new instincts take over, smiled and leaned into her touch. When Karin felt this, she smiled. "Rangiku was right. This did cheer me up." Toshiro looked up at her words, and his eyes were burning with curiosity.
"Karin, may I ask you something?" he asked. She met his eyes, knowing what he was going to ask.
"Yeah," she said, nodding. She removed her hand from his hair, and he frowned at the loss of contact.
"Earlier at the ceremony, I saw that look of pure sorrow on your face. What were you thinking of that caused that look?" His gaze was intense, like looking into a fire. She began to get nervous looking in his eyes, so she turned her head down so he could barely see her face.
"I don't know if I should say. I mean, if I do, things might never be the same between me and this person I'm talking about," she said nervously.
"I'm not sure if I understand exactly what you're trying to say," Toshiro admitted. She sighed, trying to think of another way to phrase what she was going to say.
"I mean, there's this guy that I've come to like over the years, but I don't think he feels the same way. If I say something to him, it might change our relationship from friends to something worse. I just don't want to risk loosing a friend like him, you know?" Karin said. He nodded.
'Who is she talking about?' Toshiro thought, jealousy beginning to consume his thoughts. 'What kind of man could possibly turn Karin down like that, breaking her heart?' He didn't know who she had come to have feelings for, but whoever it was, he didn't like them at all. 'Why am I so jealous? It's not like I care. . . but that's a lie, isn't it? I do care, and I feel stupid for just realizing it now, when it's too late. She already has feelings for someone else.'
Toshiro's facial expression changed from one of happiness to one of deep sadness in a matter of seconds. But, trying to be impartial to the situation, his expression became his normal icy one.
"Well, I think that you should tell him how you feel," Toshiro said, his heart clenching painfully at his words. He tried very hard to disguise the hurt in his voice. "After all, you will never know if you don't try. Besides, if it makes you feel any better, I think any man that turns you away is a complete moron."
"You really think so?" Karin asked, sliding a little closer to Toshiro. The usually observant shinigami-turned-werewolf didn't seem to notice, however, because of his internal struggle.
"Yes, I do," he replied, his tone even and cold. He was staring straight ahead into the distance, thinking it would be less painful if he didn't have to see her face. Out of nowhere, he felt something warm and soft touch his right ear. It began to rub light circles on the skin and fur. Since his new appendages were sensitive, Toshiro moaned quietly in pleasure, leaning into the warm touch. Suddenly, the hand gripped his ear and pulled down quickly, causing his head to be pulled down as well.
"Ow, what was that for?" Toshiro whined in pain. Karin's face was now level with his, and she only smirked at his predicament.
"I wanted to make sure you heard me," she said. Toshiro returned her gaze, curious as to what it was she had to say to him. "Ever since that day that you came and saved me all those years ago, I looked up to you. I thought about you a lot, and I slowly came to realize that I had developed feelings for you. You were so different from all the other guys I knew, and I liked that about you. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, I like you, Toshiro." Toshiro's eyes widened, and a shocked look appeared on his face. Karin had a dark blush forming on her face at his expression, and turned her head down in embarrassment. Toshiro only needed a second to recover, however, and noticed her head was down. He reached out a fur-covered hand and put a finger under her chin, lifting her head so he could see her face.
"I was hoping that you returned my feelings," Toshiro said, relieved.
"You had feelings for me?" Karin asked, both shocked and confused by his statement. Toshiro chuckled at her response.
"Yes, Karin. I have for a long time, but I didn't realize what they were until recently. When you said you had feelings for a guy, I didn't think you were talking about me. I was jealous and upset, because I thought that someone had stolen your heart away. I love you, Karin." Karin smiled brightly at him, and he smiled back.
"I love you too, Toshiro." The hand that was under her chin moved up to caress her cheek. He began to lean his head toward hers, closing the distance between them. She looked deeply into his eyes, and they shone with nothing but love and adoration. Soft lips met hers, and both felt like they were on fire. Their lips began to move against each other in prefect sync, as if they knew what the other would do. After a few seconds of this, however, both Toshiro and Karin wanted more. Toshiro ran his tongue across Karin's bottom lip, silently asking permission to enter.
Karin shivered in anticipation, and after a moment she opened her mouth. As soon as she did, he didn't hesitate to push his tongue into her hot, moist cavern. He explored every part of her mouth that he could, and he searched for her tongue. When their tongues finally brushed against each other's, both of them let out a moan escape from the back of their throats. Karin's hands, which had been resting at her sides, flew into his hair, tangling her fingers into his soft locks.
After a few minutes, they both had to pull away for air, Toshiro resting his forehead against Karin's. They were both panting heavily and smiling at the other.
"Wow," they both said at the same time. Karin looked into Toshiro's eyes and saw that they had changed; the shining teal had become darker. Toshiro noticed that Karin's eyes had darkened as well, the once dark gray had become almost black.
Suddenly, Toshiro heard footsteps behind them, and turned his body toward the noise. He saw that it was his vice-captain and the other shinigami from before, only this time Renji and Shuhei were holding Ichigo back. Yuzu and Isshin were also there, standing beside one another and smiling.
"I knew it!" Rangiku shouted victoriously. "I knew my plan would work!" Ichigo, confused by what Rangiku said, stopped struggling for a moment.
"Plan? What plan?" Ichigo asked.
"Well, ever since Captain and I came back from the World of the Living many years ago, he has been even colder than he was before. When we were in the World of the Living for that short time, he was actually happy. I started to think of why that was, but then I realized that he was happy when he met Karin and played soccer with her." Rangiku said, stopping for a moment to let everyone take it in.
"Yeah, so then what?" Renji asked after a few seconds.
"Well, the rest was quite simple, really," Rangiku continued. "Since Ichigo's ceremony was the next day, and I knew his family was coming, I went to see Urahara. He gave me the potion for Captain's transformation, because I wanted to make double-sure that Captain and Karin would notice each other, talk to each other, spend some time together, and admit their feelings to the other."
"How did you know we had feelings for each other?" Toshiro asked his vice-captain warily. Rangiku rolled her eyes.
"Captain, it was really obvious, at least to me anyway," she said. Toshiro shook his head, running a hand through his hair.
"But there's still one thing that needs to be answered," Toshiro stated calmly.
"What's that?" Ichigo asked, speaking for the group.
"Why are you all even out here?" Toshiro asked. The others looked everywhere except Toshiro and Karin, and Rangiku shrugged. Toshiro's eyes narrowed at her actions.
"Matsumoto, were you spying on us?" Toshiro questioned, anger evident in his tone. Hearing the tone of her captain's voice, Rangiku flinched.
"No, Captain," Rangiku said, obviously lying. Toshiro's eyes started to glow, and the temperature around them seemed to drop drastically. Karin shivered beside Toshiro, and he immediately pulled her close to his body, his robes and the fur on his arms keeping her warm. All of the other shinigami that were present, along with Yuzu and Isshin, had disappeared as soon as Toshiro became very angry at Rangiku. Rangiku, who hadn't noticed the others leave because she was facing her captain's wrath, was standing alone, slowly backing away from the two on the ground.
"Now, Captain, don't be too hasty," Rangiku said, palms out in Toshiro's direction. Toshiro stood, and began to growl at her. He took slow, short steps in Rangiku's direction, making her back up even more. The vice-captain reached into her robes, pulled out a long object, and threw it at Karin. Karin caught it, and looked at it confusedly.
"What do you want me to do with this?" Karin asked.
"Restrain him, what else?" Rangiku said. "It is a leash after all." After her last comment, Rangiku turned around and ran away, using shunpo to put as much distance between herself and her angry captain as possible.
"RANGIKU! GET BACK HERE NOW!"
Whoo! It's finally done! Lol. Well, since this is my first one-shot, please tell me what you guys think. I do realize that Toshiro may have been a little out of character, but that's how I wanted him to be. I will gladly accept feedback. I appreciate all you guys! :)