A/N: If you're one of my usual readers, no, this is not the second chapter of my eleventh Naruto fic I just started, but don't worry I have not abandoned that project. For the summer I have decided to try writing two fanfics simultaneously for the first time in hopes that this will allow me to not get ahead of myself with my updating. For this fic I wanted to try something different, so decided on writing a fic based on Bleach. Actually it'd probably be best if I gave a special thanks to Kyouger for pushing me to actually undertake this project which I had considered for some time. Now if you're new to my writings (which I assume a lot of you are, since Naruto and Bleach don't share exactly the same fan base), know that I am a dedicated writer of yuri (girl/girl pairings) as such this fic is Orihime X Tatsuki and will feature sexual activity between them in later chapters (note the M rating). Anyways thanks, and enjoy.

Disclaimer: Librarians are hiding something... (and I do not own Tite Kubo's Bleach).

It was an average peaceful day in Karakura Town; the kind of day where the spirits were at rest, where even the ones imbued with the gifts to fight hollows and guide wayward souls could simply enjoy time with friends.

Orihime Inoue was one such individual. She was someone with abilities far beyond what was capable of your normal human, she had seen places most humans would ever lay eyes on (at least not until they were dead), but she enjoyed the peaceful days like this the most.

She was waiting. Karakura High School had released it's students only moments ago, and the busy grounds still teamed with the passing masses. It was typical on normal, average days like this, when neither of them had much to do after class, that Orihime and her best friend Tatsuki would walk the path home together. Time had passed since classes were released, and Orihime was now left in a daze wondering where her friend might be. She could only wonder, but she would still wait. That was until the serenity of her wait was shattered.

"Hime!" came an approaching shout. Soon the red-haired bespectacled Chizuru, a female classmate of Orihime was atop her pinning her to a nearby tree, rubbing and cuddling at Orihime's frame in awkward intervals. Chizuru was smiling as she began to say in a sugar-coated voice, "My dear Hime, whatcha doing all in the open like that? Were you looking for me?"

Orihime who had always been slightly baffled by Chizuru's physicality, but had never been one to deny her friends what they wanted did little to remove the other girl from her advances. In a soft tone she simply replied while smiling, " I'm just waiting for Tatsuki."

Chizuru who had readily buried herself in Orihime's bust looked up at the sound of Tatsuki's name, realizing that if the proceeding scene was to be witnessed by the fierce tomboy, she would be in store for some serious pain. As she removed herself from the other girl she said in the most seductive voice she could muster, "Hmm, why don't you forget about her?" She continued, laying it on even thicker. "We could walk home together instead. I'll even show you my bedroom."

"Sounds fun Chizuru, but Tatsuki's expecting me to wait for her." Orihime sighed, making it unclear if she honestly understood Chizuru's intentions. She then added in a distant tone, "I'm sure she'll be here any minute."

"Alright." Chizuru gave her own sigh, accompanying it with a look of defeat. She then proceeded to suggest hopefully, "How about you and me talk for a bit until she shows up?"

Orihime nodded excitedly saying, "Sure, what do you want to talk about?"

Chizuru gave a thoughtful expression as she said quietly, "Let's see..." After a moment more of deep thought and several lustful stares at Orihime, Chizuru started in an excited tone, "Let's talk about how amazingly beautiful you are!"

Orihime looked at her with a sideways glance. She liked receiving compliments. She responded in a carefree tone, "Okay!"

Chizuru was surprised that she was not being shut down today. Even if it was only because Tatsuki was running late, actually being able to spend time basking in the radiant beauty of a goddess like Orihime was too much for her. She smiled as she let a hand travel through Orihime hair, "Why is your hair so long and beautiful?"

"Oh, because of Tatsuki." Orihime answered, unaware that the obsessive lesbian had not really been interested in a rational answer.

Chizuru drew away again, Tatsuki's name being one she associated with pain. She gave a baffled look as she further questioned, "So you wear you hear like this because Tatsuki likes it this way?"

"Yup! It was only because Tatsuki was there to protect me when people would tease me about my long hair that I was able to grow it in the first place." Orihime explained with a beaming smile and some dramatic movements as she in her mind envisioned Tatsuki beating up the ones who bullied her again.

"Hmm, so is Tatsuki also the reason your breasts are so big and soft as well?"Chizuru said in a particularity distracted, but also now curious way through more intense stares.

"I don't think so. That probably has more to do with my diet. But maybe..." Orihime was lost in some abstract thought as she tried to form some sort of link.

"In that case I'm just glad your able to eat what you eat." Chizuru said dropping what lack in confidence she had amounted as she proceeded to hug the other girl tightly once more.

"Well Tatsuki says that I eat things that no human being should. And that one of these days I'm going to try a combination that's just going to make me sick and that I should try to eat more normally..." Orihime decided to continue the conversation, mimicking a stern tone taken by Tatsuki as she did so.

"Gee, so Tatsuki really does go so far to protect you?" Chizuru pulled herself away from Orihime's frame as she spoke in a lower voice.

"Yep! After brother died, Tatsuki's been the one I've been able to count on the most. She's always there to help me. That's why she's my best friend in the world." Orihime was nodding enthusiastically as she said her words.

Chizuru gave a somber expression before saying in a seemingly matching tone, "Always protecting you, walking you home, this preoccupation with your hair, always trying to make sure you're healthy..." She pause as she mulled over her thoughts. She then added hoping she was mistaken, "I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not the only lesbian in our class."

Orihime gave a hard gasp at this declaration. She then said, in cluelessness suitable of Orihime, "So who do you think this other one is?" Orihime had an inquisitive excitement in her smile as she continued, "Ryo, Michiru, Mahana, or wait..." Orihime spent a few seconds lost in her typical bizarre thought patterns before adding with an even heavier gasp, "maybe it's me...:"

Chizuru could only shake her head and laugh at how much of an airhead the one she loved could be. She responded with a intense smirk as she said, "As much as the prospect of you actually being interested in women excites me, that whole conversation we were talking about Tatsuki, so she's the one I was referring to."

Orihime didn't spend as much time on this one, saying near at once., "No. Tatsuki likes guys."

Chizuru wasn't so convinced. Now a little concerned, she searched for answers from the other girl, "You sure? Have you ever seen her with a guy?"

Orihime once again responded without a second thought, "Oh yes! All the time. She spends a lot of her time with the guys actually." She broke for a moment before listing her thoughts, "She plays sports with them all the time, and she practices her martial arts with them, and, and, well she's been friends with Ichigo since before I even knew him."

Chizuru shook her head again. Even if Orihime's airy nature was quite cute, it was a little much at times. Chizuru clarified, "No. that's not what I meant, Hime. Her being such a tomboy doesn't mean she's not gay. In fact a lot of the time stuff like that would just confirm it." She paused before continuing to explain, "What I meant was whether she has ever been on a romantic date with a guy or ever expressed a pysical interest in one."

Orihime thought at this awhile before saying with a lack of certainty, "I don't think she has before." Seconds later she added, with a more certain voice, "But I've never been on a real date before either, and I'm not a lesbian. Or at least I don't think I am..."

Chizuru could now see that the pieces of the puzzle were fitting together perfectly. She just needed conformation of the saddening truth. In a low tone she now asked, "And why is it that a beautiful girl like you has never been on a date before?"

Orihime paused to remember why then proceeded to once more mimic Tatsuki's tone as she said, "Tatsuki says that all men want is to take advantage of me. And if I went out with them I would be in danger."

Chizuru now had a melancholy expression about as the truth to her now seemed undeniable. Still unsure Chizuru gave a further question, "So instead of going out with the guys, Tatsuki has you go spend time with her instead, right?"

"Yep! Me and Tatsuki are always hanging out together and doing stuff." Orihime replied remaining oblivious to the lack of energy in the usually overbearing Chizuru's mood.

Chizuru was certain in her assessment now. It was saddening to think that Orihime might already be out of her reach, taken by another girl, but Chizuru couldn't deny that that was what everything led up to. Sighing, she concluded, "I suppose the only reason she beats me up like that all the time is because she's jealous of my ability to be open with you either that or it makes her angry to think about a girl other than her being with you."

Orihime had remained hopelessly lost throughout this conversation. This statement seemed to jar something in her and for once she seemed to be on the same page as the other. Now frantically she spoke, "Wait! So you think, that she, that Tatsuki likes me...:"

Chizuru's face sunk further at hearing the notion come off of Orihime's lips. She nodded, and said in a down tone, "Yeah. That's what it looks like to me."

Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a flash of motion. Chizuru was on the ground, suffering the receiving end of a dropkick from the very girl who had been the other two's primary topic of conversation. Tatsuki Arisawa was standing proudly with a cool, confident smile as she appeared on the scene.

Tatsuki proceeded to use the red haired girl as a punching bag, all the while yelling, "You get away from Orihime, you sick creep. You should know better than to even look at Orihime with that twisted, perverted mind of yours."

Orihime was opposed to the display of brutality before her today. The suggestion Chizuru had made before was unsettling to say the least and she desperately wanted time to sort this out. Shouting to where Tatsuki could hear, she said, "We were only talking, Tatsuki, you don't have to go so far."

Tatsuki stopped at once, getting to her feet and regaining her composure, before attempting to clarify in a voice of clear disbelief, "Seriously? Chizuru really didn't grab you or jump on you or do any of that weird stuff she usually does? The two of you just talked?"

Orihime, remembering how the conversation began, proceeded to correct herself, "No, she did that stuff too I guess..."

Tatsuki turned her attention back to the bruised girl still lying helplessly on the floor. She clenched her fists in the air and delivered a frightening glare in Chizuru's direction. The redhead gave a slight scream as she stumbled to her feet and proceeded to run for her life, now fully aware that her pursuance of Orihime might be something hopeless.

Tatsuki turned back to her best friend as she let herself cool down. As the two of them began walking off of the now, nearly empty school grounds, Tatsuki gave a concerned look in Orihime's direction as she started, "Seriously though, Orihime, even if you're waiting for me, if that freak Chizuru tries pulling stuff like that you should just run the other way."

Orihime looked up from the pounding thoughts inside her head before defending her actions, "Chizuru's my friend. We were just talking while I waited for you."

Tatsuki was surprised that Orihime seemed to be sharper today than usual. She began to wonder what sort of traumatizing things had happened between Chizuru and her friend. Noticing Orihime likely deserved an explanation for her tardiness she said, "Sorry, I forgot, I had to deliver some papers to the office concerning my participation in that upcoming tournament."

Orihime gave a slight smile as she said, "I figured it was something like that."

Tatsuki couldn't shake the thoughts of her friends encounter with Chizuru from her head, and soon she was asking, "So what did you and Chizuru talk about while you were waiting then?"

Orihime at once realized she could not tell Tatsuki of the conjecture they had arrived at. Quickly she gave an intelligent excuse, "We were just talking about the homework for tonight."

Tatsuki gave this some thought, realizing something didn't add up here. She questioned her friend once more, "The homework from today didn't seem all that difficult to me. It's surprising that someone as smart as you would need help with it Orihime."

Orihime sighed at Tatsuki's persistence. She defended her excuse, "No, Chizuru was the one who needed help, she said that she had gotten distracted during class."

This seemed at once plausible to Tatsuki, as Chizuru's attention span was noticeably slim when Orihime was in the same room as her. Still it seemed a little odd that Chizuru would seek out help from the very source of her distraction. Orihime wasn't typically one to lie to her unless it was something really big that she simply could not tell, like she figured the true nature of that mysterious vacation Orihime had taken over the previous summer was. It was best if she didn't push it; If it was something real important she would learn of it eventually.

After several minutes Tatsuki's thoughts were once more disrupted by the voice of her dear friend. Orihime asked her in a noticeably downed voice, "Tatsuki, why did we become friends?"

Questions like this weren't the kind that typically escaped the usually energetic and bubbly girl's lips. Tatsuki was at once taken aback and honestly didn't know what to say. After several moments of thought she decided on an answer, "You needed someone to be there for you and I made the decision I would make that be me."

This answer did little to settle the now swirling doubts in Orihime's mind. Could Chizuru be right, could Tatsuki honestly have become her friend because she was in love with her. As she took in Tatsuki's statement she couldn't fail to pick up on the subtle romanticism about it. Orihime knew she wasn't the best at picking up on things, but could Tatsuki have always wanted to be more than just her friend and had she just never noticed.

After due thought, Orihime proceeded to search for more answers. She said in a still somber manner, "Tatsuki, why is it you treat Chizuru like you do?"

"Oh, I see. You've always not been one for violence. You think I go too far with her don't you?" Tatsuki smiled, as she believed she had unearthed what was troubling her friend. She continued, explaining herself, "What she does to you is unnatural. It's not normal for girls to do stuff like that to each other. I mean doesn't it bother you, being touched by another girl like that."

Orihime responded at once doing the best to hide her words intentions, "No. It's fine. Chizuru's a little forceful, but it doesn't bother me having another girl touch me and say stuff like that to me. Especially when it's someone I care about." She punctuated this with a hopeful but unsteady laugh as she added, "I like girls."

Tatsuki was less than surprised at this declaration as she realized Orihime largely was clueless when it came to such things. She gritted her teeth as she said with latent anger, "Did Chizuru help you figure that one out?"

"Oh no, I came to that conclusion on my own." Orihime said finally cracking her usual smile, she then began to nod happily as she added, "I mean it only makes sense that I like girls since I am one and I like myself."

Tatsuki gave a short laugh and smiled at Orihime's return to her usual self, and her usual circular logic. Tatsuki forced out a sigh, "Orihime, I'm not sure it works like that..."

Orihime remained baffled. She had confronted Tatsuki about their friendship, shown Tatsuki her feelings would be accepted, and even allowed her smile to resurface yet Tatsuki seemed unfazed. Did she really desire at this moment for her best friend to confess feelings of love to her? It was odd, and even though Orihime would do anything in her power to ensure Tatsuki's happiness, she still was unsure what she wanted from all this. If Tatsuki did love her, she had kept those feeling inside for may years now. As such these surmised feelings would be so bottled up, that any sort of confession might never come. Tatsuki had likely many times given up hope of becoming any more than Orihime's best friend. Wasn't that enough? It always had been. Yes, even if what she thought now was the truth, Orihime would have to just let it stay at that. She would just have to not become preoccupied with these thoughts any longer. Then things could just go back to how they always were.

When Orihime next looked up they were in front of her apartment. Taking notice Orihime gave a wave as she split herself from her friend and ran toward the building, calling out, "Bye, see you tomorrow Tatsuki."

Tatsuki responded with a similar wave as she continued in the direction of her house, shouting behind her, "See ya, Orihime."

Tatsuki wasn't gone a minute before Orihime began to think of her again.

A/N: Hope you enjoyed the first chapter of my first ever Bleach fanfic. This is so different from anything else I've done and not just because it's a different anime. With this pairing there actually is something there to start with. As such I really don't have to do anything entirely fancy with the story to get the two together. It ends up mostly just a trip into Orihime's thoughts as she sorts out her feelings. I'm hoping I can stretch the usual five chapters out of this pairing but I don't want to get repetitive. It is also a struggle to work with characters from a series I have less invested in, that I'm less of an expert on. If I didn't really, really love Orihime, and really, really love this pairing I never would have thought of doing this. I'm a little unsure how it turned out. If you can tell me what you thought of chapter one.