Closer

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Prelude

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He never thought a day would come where he'd be reluctant to exit a clothing store. But when he left the air-conditioned boutique and ventured once again into the excruciatingly hot outdoors, he longed to retreat. He cursed the mass of hair that hung over his face, which only served to decrease the amount of time it took for his forehead to become covered in sweat.

"Isn't shopping just the most fun, Taicho?!" Rangiku exclaimed as she skipped along beside him, shopping bags dangling about in her grasp. He grunted in response and shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans. "Now, we just have to get you a pair of shorts and a shirt, then we're off to the beach!"

If it hadn't been the threat of incessant sexual harassment she gave him, he would have stayed back in Soul Society. However, since he did not want her breasts and rear end in his face every waking moment of everyday for the next week, he was forced to endure a whole day at the beach.

It didn't help his fast growing agitation that a massive crowd of men were following closely behind them, prominently ogling his flamboyant lieutenant. This was to be expected, due to her high-rising skirt and barely concealing blouse, which showed off her ample chest as well as her long toned legs.

So with his eyes closed, Toshiro trekked along and suppressed the urge to knock them all out. He was so concentrated on keeping his cool that he didn't notice the approaching person, until he bumped into her.

"Watch where the fuck you're going!" She chided him angrily, her onyx eyes fierce. He stared at her for a mere two seconds before wordlessly continuing on.

"Jeez, Karin. Way to flip out."

Karin turned to Yuzu and scowled, "Well if it wasn't for the fat old man grabbing my ass back there I wouldn't be so fucking angry."

Yuzu regarded her sister's clothing, which consisted of a baggy and tattered tank top and cut off jean shorts, "Maybe if you didn't wear such scant attire, you wouldn't have been harassed." She suggested matter-of-factly. Karin scowled. "Anyway, that doesn't mean you can yell at random bypassers if they accidentally bump into you."

Karin rolled her eyes and began dragging her battered combat boots along the sidewalk, "Whatever. Let's just get this over with, you know I hate shopping."

"Alright.." Yuzu scanned the area, then pointed to one of the various stores, "That place looks cool, lets go there."

Karin nodded and followed her sister into the colourful swimsuit boutique. Yuzu began picking through the racks of various beachwear, while Karin flopped down on the sofa and basked in the nicely conditioned air of the store.

"How about this one?" Karin glanced at her sister, who held a pink polka dotted bikini out for her to see. She nodded once. Yuzu eyed it, "Do you think Jinta will like it?"

"Is it easy to take off?"

Yuzu's brow furrowed, "Um.. yes?"

"Then yes, he will like it." Karin confirmed with a smirk.

Yuzu, always one to miss the underlying meaning of such a remark, just smiled, "Then I will get this one." She ushered her sister from the sofa, "Start looking."

Karin skimmed the nearest rack and pulled out a plain black bikini. "Done, now let's pay and leave."

"Wait, I need to find matching sandals." She rolled her eyes and followed her sister around the shop, "So, are you excited to meet Ichi's friends from Soul Society?"

Karin shrugged, "I guess."

"Aha!" Yuzu exclaimed moments later and picked up a pair of pink sandals, "Okay, I'm all set. Let's go."

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Author's Note: I'll say now that Karin and Yuzu are 18, and Ichigo is 21. Please Review!