Rating: PG (mild language and mild violence)
Fandom: Bleach (manga)
Pairings/Characters: The Kurosaki children; Karin, Yuzu & Ichigo.
Seasons/Spoilers: Spoilers for The Lost Agent arc (or The Lost Substitute Shinigami, whichever you prefer to call it).
Summary: He knew at that moment, that until he got his powers back, Karakura Town was safer in the hands of Karin.
Title: For kanjo_girl who requested Karin & Ichigo & Yuzu - we keep waiting for you at hyouhakuzai_fic
“Ichi-nii? Dad?” Karin called out into the empty house. The only noise came from the soft whirr of the heater. “I guess they’re not home.” She said to her other half.
“I wonder where they could be?” Yuzu said, dropping her bag to the floor.
Karin shrugged, following her sister’s lead with her own bag, before she headed into the kitchen to get something cold to drink from the fridge. “Dad is in the clinic,” she said, reading the note that their father had placed on the fridge door, after she had gotten her drink. “Who knows with Ichi-nii.”
“Do you think he’s alright?” Yuzu asked softly.
Karin set her drink down on the counter and turned around to see her better half standing in the middle of the kitchen, a sad look on her face. As worried as she was for Ichigo, part of Karin was beyond pissed at him, for putting Yuzu through all of this. Unlike Ichigo and Karin, Yuzu took after their mother more than she did their father, which meant her feelings lay very close to her surface and it didn’t take much for them to show.
Karin crossed the few feet that separated them and placed a comforting hand on the brunette’s shoulder. “Ichigo is strong. Once he’s done doing whatever it is he has to do, he’ll be back and things will be back to normal.”
Yuzu’s brown eyes shone with unshed tears and trust for her twin.
Damnit Ichigo Karin hissed inside her head. I’m so mad at you right now for making me lie to Yuzu like this.
“Let’s go see if Dad needs out help in the clinic.” Karin said, when she was done silently cursing her brother.
Yuzu nodded, a small smile appearing on her lips at the thought getting to be nurse for the day.
- - -
Late that night, Ichigo quietly made his way into the darkened house, exhausted from the events that took place earlier that day. As he place a foot on the bottom step leading upstairs, the light in the kitchen came on.
Ichigo quickly spun around, fully expecting to have to ward off an attack from his crazy father, but was surprised to see that the dark haired figure sitting at the table wasn’t Isshin.
“Karin?” he whispered in surprise, eyes slightly wide.
The look of fury on the young girl’s face almost had Ichigo wishing that it had been their father. Isshin he could handle himself against. The wrath of his sisters, he didn’t even stand a chance in hell.
“Ichi-nii,” the girl replied rather coldly.
“What are you doing up?” the orange haired teen asked, as he made is way into the kitchen and to the table, where he sat across from his sister.
“We were waiting for you,” Karin replied, voice still icy. “Yuzu finally fell asleep half an hour ago.”
A pang of guilt hit hard in Ichigo’s heart. “You guys didn’t have to do that. You’ve got school tomorrow, you’re going to be tired.”
“We always wait for you.”
Ichigo’s eyes widened again in surprise. “What?”
“I know that since you lost your powers, it hasn’t been easy on you.”
“You either, by the sounds of it,” Ichigo interrupted. “You’re gaining power.”
She nodded. “I’ve been going to Urahara-san.”
Now it was Karin’s eyes that widened in surprise. “How did you find out?”
“Inoue saw you go into Urahara Shōten a couple of weeks ago.”
She knew exactly what day Ichigo was referring to. On the walk over to the shop, she thought she saw Inoue on the street, headed in the same direction, but when the orange haired girl never showed up, Karin just shrugged it off as a case of mistaken identity.
Karin sighed. The anger she had felt throughout the night was slowing starting to drain away and it was leaving her feeling exhausted and with a headache.
Before Ichigo could respond, he was sent flying backwards out of the chair, thanks to a hard punch to the face from Karin, who then stood and walked around the table to stand above him.
Ichigo glared up at Karin from his position on the floor, as he held his bloodied nose.
“Don’t make me lie to Yuzu again.” Her tone was crisp but calm. “If you’re going to stay out all night, at least tell her first. She’s not like us. She’s strong, but she doesn’t know it yet. One day she will and until then, I’m going to protect her with all that I am. Even from you.” And with that, she turned and headed up stairs.
Ichigo stayed where he was, until he heard the soft click of the girl’s bedroom door close. Slowly, he pulled himself to his feet and pulled the chair he had been knocked out of, up right, before he sunk down into it.
Despite the pain he was in, Ichigo couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride for his sister. He knew at that moment, that until he got his powers back, Karakura Town was safer in the hands of Karin.