Disclaimer: Bleach does not belong to me. This is a purely fictional story based on the characters and story created by Tite Kubo, to whom they do belong.
Summary: Karin is thinking about what she wants for Christmas. HitsuKarin
Christmas had come around again. So much had happened during the past year it was hard to believe she was the same person. Though the one thing that had stayed constant was the necklace she was given last year. The chain itself was bland, but the gem was one of a kind. Many people had wanted one the same but she wasnt able to tell them exactly what it was. The crystallized ice scale from the legendary Hyourinmaru was still as beautiful and breathtaking as it had been the day Toushirou gave it to her. Though they had broken up some months ago, she still wore it daily, refusing to take it off except to play soccer.
Their break up had nothing to do with any sort of arguments, unrequited love or anything like that. Toushirou had been under a lot of stress with the new recruits, the war and Soul Society in general that his visits had become more infrequent. Karin knew what she was getting into when she accepted and knew she would more than likely always be placed second. It didnt bother her at first, but being placed second to work eventually took its toll on her esteem and sense of self worth. They still loved each other, she knew that without a doubt, but for here and now it was beneficial for both of them to not be together. But even though they werent together, wearing the necklace meant a part of him was with her wherever she went.
She hated it, but knew it was for the best. Sighing, she looked at the clock. The time flashed 12.01am, alerting her to the fact that Christmas had officially started. She never really liked Christmas to begin with, but put up with it because Yuzu and her father loved it. Rolling over to her side, she stared out the window, wondering what this Christmas would bring. She had already bought presents for everyone of importance to her. Even Toushirou. He was frustratingly hard to buy for and she gave up several times. Unlike him, she didnt have a zanpakutou to borrow scales from. So she ended up making her own present for him, much like he had done.
Deciding to get some sort of sleep before Goat Chin decided to wake them up at 6am, she pulled the pillow under her head, ear phones plugged firmly in her ears, and closed her eyes. The rhythmic music eventually took over her mind and lulled her to sleep.
GOOD MORNING! ICHIGO! came the loud battle cry.
Karins eyes flew open, scrambling to sit up and search for her clothes before he decided to make an entrance into her room. Hearing the muffled thud of Isshin landing against the wall and the indignant cries of Ichigo and scooped up her garments and literally flew to the bathroom, locking the door behind as she did so. Turning the water on as soon as she could, she let the water heat up as she took her pyjamas off, sticking her hand into the pouring water to test the heat every now and them. Eventually deciding it was good enough, she stepped into the shower and proceeded to wash her not shoulder length hair.
Brushing her teeth as she soaped up, her thought drifted back to Toushirou, wondering what he would be doing today. Snorting, she knew exactly where he would be; slaving over that desk while Matsumoto ran amok. Shaking her head, she spat out the toothpaste onto the shower floor, mixing it around with her toes as it disappeared down the drain. Shaking her head to get the water out her face, she wrapped it up in a towel and dried herself off with the other. Dressing in the bathroom, she hopped around on one foot trying to get her leg into the other pant leg. The necklace, obviously not clasped all the way, slid off her neck and into the discarded towel on the ground.
Oie! she scolded it gently, rubbing her hair furiously to try and make it dry faster. You know youre not supposed to come off.
Plucking it out from her towel, she undid it and placed it back around her neck where it belonged. Stroking it to make sure it was alright, she opened the door and immediately side stepped a racing Isshin and Ichigo. Rolling her eyes, she called something over her shoulder as she descended down the stairs.
Good morning Karin-chan! Yuzu chirped, turning away from the stove to cast a quick glance at her twin.
Morning, she replied quietly, sitting down at the table and resting her head in her arms.
Yuzu eyed her sister carefully. She had been getting increasingly quiet over the past few weeks and it was worrying her. She thought it had something to do with school, but school had been out awhile before she started going off on her own. Maybe shes thinking more of Toushirou-kun! Yuzu thought. I havent seen him since they broke up... thats probably it!
Karin... are you seeing Toushirou-kun today? she asked innocently, utterly failing at being subtle.
Blinking, she raised her head to look back at her twin. She knew Yuzu too well to even think she was trying to hurt her. Shaking her head, she put her head back down, feeling dejected. She knew she wouldnt be seeing him anyway and had no reason to feel upset, but she did anyway. Sighing, she kicked her legs under the table, so deep in thought she didnt even hear Isshin sneak up behind her.
KARIN! MY LOVELY DAUGHTER WHY ARE YOU SO DEPRESSED?! DONT WORRY! DADDY IS HERE!! Isshin bellowed, latching onto her shoulder tightly.
Argh!! Get off of me you lump of useless coal!! she shouted, twisting out of his arms and sending him flying into the wall.
So cruel!! Why is my daughter so mean towards her loving and doting father?! he sobbed over dramatically into the poster of their mother.
Rolling her eyes, she picked up a piece of toast and stalked towards the door. Rolling her feet around in her shoes because she couldnt be bothered untying the laces, she eventually got them on and walked out the house, slamming the door as she went. Yuzu stared after her sister, worried about her. Isshin also noticed and looked towards Yuzu, who shrugged in reply.
I think it has something to do with Toushirou-kun, she offered, turning back to the meal.
A thoughtful expression crossed Isshins face.
Karin found herself at the place where they first met, and continued to meet for years after. It was her point of solace, her place where she could collect her thoughts and calm down. Though very public, it was the place she got the most privacy because everyone knew that when Karin was in that place she was essentially on sacred ground. Karin went there to escape.
Leaning against the guard rail, she allowed the icy wind to blow against her face for the sun had not properly risen in the sky. It reminded her of Toushirou. It was annoying her how she couldnt think of anything else BUT him today, but she didnt try to not think of him. It was her form of self torture. One she didnt want to give up. It kept those feelings for him alive, though she knew they would never die anyway. Tracing the curve of the scale, she pulled the beanie on her head down further to cover her ears, her breath forming a mist in front of her face.
Pulling out her gift for him, she studied it in the weak light. She didnt do a bad job, she thought. Putting it back into her pocket, Karin watched the sun rise.
Christmas had gone as well as could be expected in the Kurosaki home. Ichigos friends had all come for lunch, as well as Urahara and his family. Even some shinigami had rocked up later in the afternoon, Matsumoto being one of them. She had told Karin that Toushirou apologised for not coming, but a Captains meeting had been called and he was unable to get away. Karin had brushed it off as no big deal, but inside she was disappointed. She had wanted to think that since she heard no word from him, hed turn up anyways in his casual way.
Karin eventually escaped to the roof, having socialised and mingled as much as she could without snapping at anyone. She got a few good presents from people, mostly sporting goods or gift vouchers. She had a sneaking suspicion Ichigo had a hand in that, but accepted them nicely and put them away in her room to look through later on. Now sitting on the roof, wrapped tightly in her woollen blanket, she allowed her mind to wander through her thoughts. She had been in a strange mood all day, she knew that and tried to act as normal as possible. But it had been harder to deal with when Matsumoto had told her Toushirou couldnt make it.
Stupid! It doesnt matter! she chastised herself, huffing deeper into her blanket. Who cares if the stupid midget doesnt show up?
A chuckled ripped through the air behind her. Who are you calling a stupid super midget?
Jerking forward, she turned behind her to see the lithe figure of none other than Toushirou Hitsugaya. Stunned by the sight, her mouth opened and closed of its own will, clearly not listening to what Karins mind was trying to tell it to do. He walked down carefully over to her, using his index finger to close her mouth gently.
Merry Christmas, Karin, he said quietly, amusement still dancing in his eyes.
But... Matsumoto said... meeting... she babbled brokenly, still not believing he was here.
Shrugging, he sat down next to her. I left early.
Eyes wide, she stared at him. But... wont he be angry?!
Shrugging again, he looked up at the stars, no answer coming forth. His arms crept around her shoulder and pulled her closer to him. She relaxed into his side, happy to be in his arms for the first time in months. It was like nothing had happened and they were still together. The glittering of the scale caught Toushirous attention, who then turned to look at it.
You still wear it, he noted.
She nodded. Every day.
Feeling the smugness well up in his chest, he stamped it back down to the back of his mind. He had no need for it to come out and ruin a perfectly good evening. He had every intention of coming early, but the old codger had decided he wanted a meeting right then and there regardless of what anyone else was doing or had planned. He eventually ran out of patience and stormed out the meeting, surprising everyone there. No one had expected it, but no one had ever expected the law abiding genius to disregard the rules.
I made you something... for Christmas I mean... its not too good, but I tried and... she started to babble.
Karin. Ill love whatever you get me, he interrupted gently.
Nodding and feeling her gut twist horrible with nervousness, she pulled the present out her pocket. Holding it out to him, he stared down into her hand. There, in her palm, lay a ring. He picked it up gently, bringing it closer so he could properly examine the gift. Engraved on the outside was a replica of Hyourinmaru. It was very well done, he was impressed. Having only seen him once, Karin had done everything she could to remember all the important features of the majestic ice dragon. On the inside, he noticed words.
Love transcends death. What we have will last an eternity. KK
There was a moment of silence. He reread the inscription again and again, memorising it and letting the words fill his being. He had told her not to wait for him, that if someone else came along to take the opportunity. But she had vehemently refused, repulsed by the very idea. It secretly pleased him that she could love him so much to not want anyone else.
Karin... I... it was his turn to have no words.
Wringing her hands around in her mittens, she looked anxiously up at him. Do you like it?
I knew you wouldnt. Ill go get something else! she blurted out, making a grab for the ring.
What?! Toushirou demanded, holding it away from her. No! I didnt mean to say I didnt like it! I love it! Im just... speechless.
She lowered her arms, uncertainty back in her eyes. Really? You actually like it?
Sliding the ring onto his middle finger, he pulled Karin to him, head resting on hers. Of course I do. Its the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever made me. Thank you.
Letting out a relieved breath, she collapsed into his arms. Rubbing her back gently, they sat in silence, just enjoying being in each others company again. After all, who knew when theyd get the chance to do it again?
KARIN! KARIN? WHERE ARE YOU? Yuzu yelled from the window, not knowing where her twin went.
Up here Yuzu, she called back.
Oh, there you are! Hello Toushirou-kun! I see you found her alright! Yuzu said brightly.
Yes. Thank you Yuzu, he replied quietly.
No worries! Just come inside before you freeze to death! We have cake! she replied, ducking back inside the window.
Shrugging, they both made their way inside after a few more moment of solitude. Walking through the main entrance to the living room, they paused when Matsumoto cried out.
What is it now? Toushirou demanded impatiently.
Lookie where youre standing, Captain! You have to kiss her! she crowed, her plan working perfectly.
Looking up, they both saw the mistletoe and immediately blushing bright red. They had been together for a long time, but having not seen each other for months, they suddenly felt the tension build up dramatically. The chanting of Kiss her! Kiss her! didnt exactly help the matter.
Shall we? he murmured into her ear, his face still tinged red.
Nodding, she leant forward just as he did, their lips finding each other easily. They could have continued on for a lot longer, but Ichigo finally had enough before shouting at them to quit it. Breaking apart, Karin grinned lopsidedly at everyone, head swiftly tucked under Toushirous chin. He just looked content, as if he had finally gotten what he had wanted all along.