Remember my one-shots Single Father of Three and A Peachy Meeting? Well this is part three of that little storyline. So get ready for more cute fluffiness!
Karin sat on the railing, the same railing where she first met her boyfriend, who she was currently waiting for. She didn't have to wait long as his icy reiatsu came closer.
"What took you so long?" asked Karin as she turned to Toshiro.
Toshiro grimaced a bit. "I had to do Matsumoto's paperwork since she decided to go out drinking again."
"Well you're here now, so let's get going," stated Karin as she stood up and took Toshiro's hand.
The two preteens made their way back into town, looking for something to do. Unfortunately they wouldn't be able to do anything as Toshiro was soon tackled to the ground. Surprised, Karin turned to see who attacked Toshiro, but grew confused by what she saw.
Toshiro's attacker was a pair of twins, who were younger than them and remarkably had the same colored hair and eyes as Toshiro. One of the little boys was wearing a yellow t-shirt with a blue fish on the front, while the other little boy was wearing the same shirt, but the colors were reversed.
"S-Sogyo no Kotowari?! What are you doing here?!" demanded the young dragon child, looking at the twins with wide eyes.
"We wanted to play with Toshi-niichan!" exclaimed the twins with happy grins.
Karin turned to Toshiro with a raised eyebrow. "Toshi-niichan?"
The snowflake's eye started to twitch in annoyance, but he ignored Karin as he continued interrogating the twins. "How are you even here? And are those Gigais?! Where did you even get Gigais?!"
"The candy man gave them to us!" said Sogy-chan with a smile.
"He even gave us lollipops!" said Koto-chan as he held up the candy on a stick.
Toshiro's eye started to twitch even faster now as the urge to kill Urahara grew.
"Toshiro, who are these two anyway?" asked Karin.
The snowflake let out a sigh. "They are Sogyo no Kotowari. They are the spirits of Ukitake-taicho's zanpakuto. Which make me wonder if Ukitake-taicho even knows you two are here."
"Nope! Juu-chan was sleeping when we left!" said Sogy-chan as he licked his lollipop.
The young taicho gave the twins a blank look. The only thing going through his mind was what the hell were these two thinking. He soon came out of his stupor when Karin spoke up.
"I think I'm starting to understand what's going on. Toshiro, I thought you only had a sister? Why didn't you tell me you had little brothers as well?"
The little ones started to giggle while Toshiro gave Karin a narrowed look. "Don't start with me, Karin."
The raven-haired girl only rolled her eyes before turning to the twins. "You know, you two shouldn't be here. Your dad might start to worry when he wakes up and finds you two missing."
"But we wanted to play with Toshi-niichan!" exclaimed the twins.
"You can still play with him, but we're also going to have to call your dad so he knows where you are," replied Karin as she took the twins hands and lead them down the road. She then turned back to Toshiro. "You coming?"
Toshiro raised an eyebrow, wondering what Karin was doing. All he knew was that he had to make sure Sogyo no Kotowari didn't cause any trouble.
Toshiro wasn't sure what Karin was thinking when he found out that they were heading to her house. He was more worried about the other residents of said house when they met the rambunctious twins. He didn't get a chance to say anything as Karin led the twins inside. When they entered, they alerted Karin's sister of their presence.
"Karin, is that you?" called out Yuzu from the kitchen. "I thought you were going to be out all day with Toshiro-kun?"
"There was a change of plans, Yuzu," replied Karin, as Sogy-chan and Koto-chan looked around the unfamiliar surroundings.
"What sort of changes?" asked Yuzu as she came out of the kitchen. In doing so, she saw Sogy-chan and Koto-chan and had the standard reaction. A very loud squeal. "Oh they're so cute!"
"They're Toshiro's brothers," replied the raven-haired Kurosaki.
Yuzu let out a few giggles. "No wonder why they're so cute."
"I am not cute!" exclaimed Toshiro as he sent a glare towards Yuzu. His attention soon went to the two little zanpakuto spirits, who were tugging on his shirt. "What?"
"Who are these two girls, Toshi-niichan?"
Yuzu let out another giggle as she answered for Toshiro. "My name is Yuzu and this is my sister Karin. She's Toshiro's girlfriend!"
Both Toshiro and Karin gave Yuzu a look, wondering why the last part of that introduction was even needed. Considering the confused looks on the younger twins' faces, it probably wasn't.
"What's a girlfriend?" questioned Sogyo no Kotowari.
"…We'll tell you later," said Karin. She then turned to Toshiro. "Go call your dad so he knows where these two are."
The snowflake walked away to do just that, not before muttering something about Ukitake not being his dad though. With Toshiro busy with that, his "little brothers" turned to the Kurosaki twins.
"You're welcome to stay for lunch then," said Yuzu as she herded the two young children to the table. She then went back into the kitchen to finish preparing the food.
Once Yuzu was gone, Toshiro came up to Karin.
"So what did your dad say?"
Ignoring the fact that Karin called Ukitake his dad, Toshiro answered. "He was surprised that his zanpakuto would just leave like that without saying anything. Apparently he'll be coming here to retrieve them soon."
"…Should he even be doing that? I thought you told me he was ill?"
"He is and I tired to talk him out of it, saying I could bring them home myself, but insisted on coming here himself to do that," replied Toshiro with a sigh.
Karin was about to say something, but the voice of a certain strawberry called out.
"I'm home," called out Ichigo as he dodged an incoming attack from Isshin.
"You're getting better at predicting my attacks, Ichigo!" exclaimed Isshin, before he got a fist to the face.
"What's to predict, you crazy old man?! You do the same damn thing every time!" yelled Ichigo as he glared at his father.
"It's surprising that he still even tries," said the voice of a certain Kuchiki midget.
"Welcome home, Ichi-nii! Ruki-nee!' greeted Yuzu with a smile.
"Oi, Yuzu," said Ichigo. It was then he noticed Toshiro, which led him to notice Sogyo no Kotowari. He raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Is there something I should know?"
"Toshiro's brothers decided to follow him, so we brought them here so their dad can pick them up," explained Karin. She hid a smirk when Toshiro cast her another glare. It was just so fun riling him up.
Rukia's eye widened at what Karin said. "Ukitake-taicho is coming here?"
"Looks like it," said Ichigo as Yuzu started to serve the food.
Just they were about to sit and eat; there was a knock at the door. Isshin, being the closest, opened it to reveal the taicho of the Thirteenth Division.
"Jushiro! Long time no see!' exclaimed Isshin with a grin.
The white-haired man let out a chuckle. "It's nice to see you as well, Isshin."
Stepping inside, the others got a good look at Jushiro. In his Gigai, he wore a pair of tan slacks and a light blue polo shirt. His long hair was tied into a ponytail, similar to how he wore it one hundred ten years ago. Upon seeing what Jushiro looked like, Yuzu gained a faint blush on her face.
'He's so handsome,' she thought. She glanced towards Toshiro and then Karin. 'Karin's so lucky then. Toshiro-kun's already handsome as it is, but if that's what he'll look like once he grows up…'
While Yuzu was in fantasyland, those remaining in reality continued their conversation…which was mainly the twins greeting their guardian.
"Juu-chan!" exclaimed Sogyo no Kotowari as they rushed forward and hugged him by his legs.
Jushiro let out a few chuckles. "Hello, little ones. I'm glad to see that you are safe, but I'm still a little disappointed that you two left like you did."
Sogy-chan and Koto-chan just pouted. "We wanted to play with Toshi-niichan, but he was leaving! So we followed him!"
A frown marked Jushiro's face. "Still, you had me worried…but I suppose no harm has been done."
The two little boys grinned up at Jushiro before returning to the table.
"Why don't you join us, Jushiro!" offered Isshin with a grin.
"I wouldn't want to intrude…"
"Nonsense!" exclaimed the former taicho as he led his old friend to the table.
The two families, plus Rukia, sat at the table and had a nice lunch. As the meal wound down, conversations started up. One conversation started by Yuzu though, got everyone's attention. It was of course a question that only she would think of at a time like this.
"So, Sogy-chan and Koto-chan, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"We want to be like Toshi-niichan!" exclaimed the twins with beaming smiles.
Yuzu and Rukia let out a few giggles, while Jushiro and Isshin could only chuckle. Karin and Ichigo were smirking at Toshiro, who had a faint blush on his face.
"Shouldn't be too hard considering a few things," stated Ichigo.
"Like what exactly?" questioned Rukia, turning to the substitute Soul Reaper with a raised eyebrow.
"Ever hear of the legend of the Dragon Gate?"
"What's that?" asked Sogyo no Kotowari as they looked at Ichigo with wide eyes full of curiosity.
"Well, the legend goes that fish could become dragons if they leapt over the Dragon Gate. Given his personality (and his zanpakuto), Toshiro is a lot like a dragon, and if your names and personalities are any indication, you two are a lot like little fish. It's only reasonable that you two would be like Toshiro when you two grow up," explained Ichigo.
Rukia gave Ichigo a deadpan look, not believing that story one bit. Isshin and Jushiro on the other hand, having heard of the legend, knew Ichigo told that story to give the little ones something to look forward to. Sogy-chan and Koto-chan were excited, if the sparkles in their eyes were any indication. Their excitement overflowed as they glomped Toshiro, who had been sitting next to them. Luckily the young dragon child was able to stay off the floor this time.
"Did you hear that, Toshi-niichan! We get to be dragons like you!" exclaimed the young twins. The others let out a few laughs as Toshiro let out a groan.
As the hours went by, it was soon time for the white-haired family to leave. Jushiro stood by the door, a sleeping Sogy-chan and Koto-chan in his arms, as they were tired after a long day.
"You should stop by more often, Jushiro, especially since we might become in-laws one day!" stated Isshin with a grin as he gestured towards Toshiro and Karin, who were saying their goodbyes.
Jushiro could only smile and sweatdrop at the thought. "I'll keep that in mind, Isshin."
With Toshiro, he had just finished saying his goodbyes with Karin when Ichigo came up to him.
"It's Hitsugaya-taicho to you, Kurosaki!" hissed Toshiro as he sent a glare towards the strawberry.
Ichigo just rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Look I wanted to talk to you about something real quick."
"What, Kurosaki?" questioned the snowflake, starting to feel annoyed.
"You need to look out for your little brothers."
Toshiro's eye started to twitch at a rapid pace. He then said quietly, "They are not my brothers. They are Ukitake-taicho's zanpakuto! How many times must I say this?!"
"I know that, you little brat," said Ichigo with a scowl. "And they probably know that as well, but Sogyo no Kotowari see and treat you as their big brother regardless. As such, it's your job as the big brother to look out for them and protect them when needed."
Toshiro was about to argue back, but realized whom he was talking to. When it comes to the safety of their younger siblings, Kurosaki Ichigo was an expert. He'd have to be if he was able to get Byakuya to stop being a bastard all the time.
Letting out a sigh, Toshiro relented. "Very well, Kurosaki."
With a nod of acceptance, Ichigo was happy to see Toshiro taking the responsibilities of an older brother. With a quick ruffle to white hair, making the child captain pout and glare, Ichigo sent him on his way to follow Jushiro out of the house.
Making their way towards Urahara's candy shop so they could return to Soul Society, Toshiro thought back to what Ichigo said. The white-haired child glanced up at the sleeping twins in the elder Shiro's arms and wondered if it was even necessary since they were powerful on their own, despite their appearance.
'Then again,' Toshiro thought. 'They are still children…and part of Ukitake's soul.'
Toshiro frowned as he glanced towards his "father". The man was always ill, to the point where he just might be on his deathbed sooner than later. That thought made Toshiro shiver in fear. While Toshiro gets annoyed with Jushiro from time to time because of the constant candy gifts, the thought of the man not being there one day didn't sit well with Toshiro. He then felt worse when he realized that if Jushiro were to go, so would Sogyo no Kotowari. He quickly wiped away the oncoming tears at the thought of his "family" dying.
With the tears gone, a glint of determination shone in his bright green eyes. Moving at a quicker pace so he could walk side-by-side with Jushiro, Toshiro made a decision.
'I won't just protect my otouto, Kurosaki. I will also protect my Otousan as well. Them, Momo-neechan, Granny, I will protect my family!'
And thus ends part three of the Shiro Family story. Originally this was going to be the last part, but I feel as if this isn't as good as the first two and since I didn't want to end this little series on a lackluster note I might add more one-shots in the future when I get some ideas. This one basically came about because I wanted to write up something about Sogy-chan and Koto-chan following Toshiro to the Realm of the Living. I also wanted to make mention of the Dragon Gate legend, since it fits so well with Toshiro and the twins, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
On a side note, I wonder who would make a good mother for the Shiro children. And before anyone says anything, not Unohana. For one thing, she's Ukitake's doctor and that's a line I know she won't cross. Secondly...she's Yachiru's mommy and the only woman who could keep Kenpachi in line, for obvious reasons.