A/N: Well this has been a fun ride, but here is the final chapter of my first Bleach fanfiction; a simple, short conclusion that probably doesn't conclude much. Anyways, enjoy.
Disclaimer: I have no legal rights or claim to the anime/manga Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto. This is solely a fan work.
Orihime wore a bright smile as she walked the halls of Karakura High School, her classes now complete for the day. Things were different for her now since her last visit to this place. That incredible night, the wonderful weekend that followed, they were but a blur now, yet Orihime knew these were the first steps in her new future, a future with Tatsuki close by her side.
But still, she thought, even if Tatsuki Arisawa was her lover now instead of her best friend things hadn't changed for her too significantly. She would still visit the same places, meet the same people, do the same things. The only difference between now and then was in her and Tatsuki's happiness.
"Orihime." A voice called out from behind her as she walked. She turned to find Uryu Ishida standing there before her.
"Oh hey Uryu Ishida. What's up?' Orihime replied with a wide smile using a carefree tone.
Ishida put his hand to his mouth, using a finger to adjust his glasses. In a cool tone he pried, "Nothing. I was just wondering if you were ever able to confront your friend."
"Uh huh. I sure was!" Orihime replied with a cute, energetic nod as she remembered her confession to Tatsuki.
Uryu returned his own nod. In a meticulous manner he next asked, "So were you right?"
"Yup. I was." Orihime said brightening her smile.
"So who is this friend anyway?" Ishida questioned, showing obvious signs of immense curiosity, despite trying his hardest to look otherwise.
Orihime thought a moment. Her and Tatsuki were lovers now. In her mind they would always be lovers now. So in that case what point was there in hiding it anymore? Her friends at least deserved to know. She started with a proud, soft smile, "Well, you see, actually it's Ta-"
"Hey Orihime!" Came a loud call from afar, cutting Orihime off before she could finish. She turned her head to this time find Ichigo Kurosaki.
"Oh, hi Ichigo!" Orihime called back with enthusiasm as Ichigo grew near.
"Hey Ishida..." Ichigo sighed as he noticed Orihime's partner in conversation.
"Ichigo..." Uryu said acknowledging the greeting, as he tried even harder to look real cool.
"So what are you guys talkin' about?" Ichigo asked with a slight grin.
"About one of Orihime's friends." Uryu replied sounding serious.
"Oh. Hey that reminds me, did you and Tatsuki get everything sorted out yet, Orihime?" Ichigo asked in a concerned voice.
"Yep! It's all better now." Orihime assured with vigor.
"That's good. I guess, everything's back to normal for you now." Ichigo said with a faint smile.
She'd have to tell Ichigo. Orihime would never be at peace with herself otherwise. In a sweet voice she sighed, "Actually things are better than ever for us now. You see, me and Tatsuki we are-"
"Hime!!" sounded a loud call. Without warning Orihime was pinned against a nearby wall. Chizuru Honsho was on top of her.
"Umm, hey Chizuru..." Orihime said reluctantly as she struggled to free herself.
Chizuru then turned her head to see Ichigo and Uryu still there, looking on with wide eyes. Apologetically she said as she withdrew herself, "Sorry, I didn't see you were talking to people."
"It's okay." Orihime replied with a cute laugh that made Chizuru smile.
"I'm happy you're not angry with me, my sweet little Hime." Chizuru said endearingly.
"Chizuru, do you remember what you said last time we talked?" Orihime asked in a soft voice.
"Last time we talked? Hmmm..." Chizuru said as she began to ponder. After a few seconds of thought, she continued in a light tone, "You mean Friday, when, I said you were by beautiful sweet Hime and then Tatsuki came up behind me and then beat the crap out of me."
Orihime shook her head as she remembered this scene that had occurred the day before that night when Tatsuki became her lover. Giving a nice laugh she said, "No I mean the last time we really talked, you know that day after school last week."
"Oh yeah." Chizuru said at once. Adding in a proud way, "I was able to get pretty far that day without being stopped."
"Uh huh. Well do you remember what you suggested?" Orihime asked lightly. She added in a serious tone, "You see I did some research into it..."
"Research?!" Chizuru exclaimed, perplexed. Thinking moment she then added with a look of terror on her face,"Wait! You don't' mean- You don't mean into that...!"
"Yeah..." Orihime said sadly. Chizuru loved her, and being a lesbian herself now she had no right or reason to dismiss that love. It was unfortunate, but Tatsuki had loved her first, and Tatsuki was who she loved, and though she knew it would hurt Chizuru, she had to say it.
"Please tell me you didn't find anything." Chizuru cried desperately.
"I'm sorry, but you were right." Orihime said trying to sound comforting.
"No! No! No! Of all the things for me to be right about, why this?' Chizuru shouted as she lashed out in anger, kicking the nearby wall several times.
"Do you have any idea what's going on?" Ichigo asked Uryu, thoroughly confused by the scene before them.
"None what so ever." Uryu replied with a blank look as he shook his head.
Chizuru and Orihime remained oblivious to the others' confusion as Chizuru continued to speak with disappointment in her voice, "So I suppose the two of you are together now?"
"Yeah we are. We're happy." Orihime said hesitantly, a little touched by Chizuru's tantrum.
"I just can't stand it." Chizuru exclaimed. She added while grinding her teeth bitterly, "'To lose to someone like her..."
"Hey guys. What's up?" A new voice said as it approached. All at once the four gathered there turned to find Tatsuki Arisawa standing before them.
"You!"Chizuru's face scrunched up with rage as she approached Tatsuki.
"C-Chizuru..." Tatsuki said with reluctance at sight of the other girl's anger.
"How dare you take Orihime away from me!" Chizuru shouted causing Tatsuki to blush and start backing away.
"Take Orihime away...?" Ichigo started in bewilderment at the words as he tried to follow the conversation.
Tatsuki made no effort to defend herself, she stood frozen with her face a vibrant red. Chizuru continued to vent her anger, "All this time you beat me up for wanting her and in the end all you wanted was to use Orihime in anyway possible as well. It just isn't right."
"Use Orihime in anyway possible..." It was Uryu who repeated Chizuru's words this time, though he seemed less confused and more intrigued as he was drooling slightly and his mind was wandering.
"L-Look. I, I don't know what to say. I, we just-" Tatsuki still found it difficult to talk as her words went nowhere.
"So wait! Does this mean, does this mean that your friend who you asked me about was Tatsuki?" Uryu snapped out of what ever preoccupying thought he had been having to ask conclusively.
"Yep it sure is!" Orihime admitted cheerfully.
"So then the two of you are together now?" Uryu said showing signs of surprise.
"Wait a second." Ichigo spoke this time. Still slightly confused, he asked with a look that showed he was impossibly unprepared to approach the subject, "Orihime and Tatsuki, together? You mean like boyfriend and girlfr-, er I guess girlfriend and girlfriend in this case, like that?"
"We are. It's true love!" Orihime declared exuberant with a slight giggle. Chizuru's face became angrier, Ichigo stared ahead unbelievingly, Uryu gave a wide, awkward smile, and Tatsuki became further paralyzed with embarrassment.
"So I take it that when you asked me about Tatsuki the other day it wasn't because you were beginning to feel distanced..." Ichigo said in a low, uncomfortable tone.
"Nope. I was beginning to wonder if what we had together was more than just friendship." Orihime said, sounding as bubbly as usual.
"I see..." Ichigo replied awkwardly.
"So I guess I should be thanking you two, I might not have had the courage to say anything to Tatsuki without your help." Orihime smiled as she addressed Uryu and Ichigo.
"Uh, no, problem..." Ichigo said slowly, disjointedly.
"Yeah, I'm glad I could help, I guess..." Ishida seemed unsure of everything as he said his bit.
"And Chizuru, I should thank you the most, because without you, I might of never realized how much Tatsuki means to me." Orihime said in a sweet voice.
"No! Why? Why couldn't I have just kept my mouth shut?!" Chizuru shouted in frantic anger.
With that Orihime walked to Tatsuki's side. Bending in close she asked in a romantically charged voice, "You ready to go, my love?"
Tatsuki backed off again as Orihime drew even closer. In a unnerved manner she commanded, "Please don't kiss me Orihime."
"What? How come?" Orihime said cluelessly. She continued with disappointment in her voice, "You always let me kiss you. And when were in bed we don't stop kissing."
All at once everyone gathered there besides Orihime turned bright red; Uryu and Ichigo at vivid thoughts of this imagery, Tatsuki in deep embarrassment, and Chizuru in uncontrollable rage.
"Orihime! Let's just go!" Tatsuki yelled sternly through her blush. She proceeded to grab Orihime by her arm and drag her away.
"Hey Wait a minute!I'm not done with you yet, Arisawa!" Chizuru called angrily as she followed them.
"Chizuru there is nothing more we need to say to you." Tatsuki snapped back fiercely.
"I refuse to except it. I won't let you have my Orihime." Chizuru shouted with determination.
Seconds later Tatsuki had made a move and with a hard jab to the stomach Chizuru was at her knees.
"If you even think of touching Ori-, my girlfriend, again I'll seriously hurt you." Tatsuki threatened while causing herself to blush once more.
Chizuru made a few painful grunts as she clenched her stomach. In a desperate voice she pleaded, "Come on, were three of a kind now, right?" Tatsuki glared at her. She continued lightly, "I mean we should stick together. Maybe you could squeeze me into things? What do you say?"
"Do you want me to hurt you more?!" Tatsuki yelled sounding insulted at the very idea.
"Uhh, it was only a joke. Yeah." Chizuru said in a frantic way forcing a laugh. Then hastily she said before running for her life, "Well, uh, see you around. I gotta go. Bye!"
With no further distractions Orihime and Tatsuki were on their way home. Once they were a ways of school grounds Tatsuki extended her hand to Orihime who took it and grasped it warmly.
In a loving coo Orihime asked, "Why did you look so upset back there, Tatsuki?"
Tatsuki gave a hard sigh. In an apologetic voice she explained, "It's still hard for me to be open with my feelings, Orihime. I love you, but it's hard to be so open with that love in front of others."
"I'm sorry, Tatsuki. I made you uncomfortable." Orihime said sweetly.
"No. You shouldn't apologize, Orihime." Tatsuki said giving a warm smile to her lover. Lovingly she spoke, "I need to learn to be comfortable with it. You're worth that much."
Things went quiet for a few moments as the two continued their walk. Then Orihime broke the silence with a new question which she uttered in a soft voice, "What are we going to do now, Tatsuki?"
Tatsuki smiled faintly as she looked at the sky. In a reflective way she answered, "I'm going to work at telling my parents this week. Either way, whether their cool with it or not, I'll move in with you."
"Really? You mean it?" Orihime said with excitement.
"Of course. I mean if you don't mind?" Tatsuki gave a slight blush.
"Of course I don't!" Orihime said at once. She then said happily, "I guess it's good thing that I live alone."
"Orihime, you know that's not the case..." Tatsuki said with a sad look.
"I know. I shouldn't forget brother or any of my loneliness." Orihime admitted her voice, slightly melancholy. then in a return to her usual happiness she concluded, "But now I have you Tatsuki. I won't be lonely anymore."
"I'll be there for you, Orihime." Tatsuki said smiling asshe pulled Orihime in close.
"From now on, we'll od everything together Tatsuki." Orihime said as she reveled in Tatsuki's warmth.
"Yeah it will be nice, won't it Orihime?" Tatsuki sighed romantically.
"Is it okay for us to kiss again yet?" Orihime asked as she came to rest her head on Tatsuki's shoulder.
"Yeah..." Tatsuki said simply before pulling Orihime into a gentle yet passionate kiss.
It wasn't long before the zombies returned to Orihime's daydreams. This time Orihime's love (and her chainsaw) proved to be enough. Her and Tatsuki worked together, stood their ground and succeeded in butchering each new wave of vile zombies that encroached upon them. Eventually she was alone with Tatsuki and the two could finish their dance; gliding effortlessly over the decayed, hacked-up remains of zombie flesh that lie about the empty ballroom as they followed their hearts to new worlds of happiness.
A/N: Eh, I'm not the best with endings but hopefully this one was adequate. I know retuning to the whole zombie bit for the last paragraph might have been a bad idea but the ending just seemed lacking without a conclusion and it seemed like the best idea. Either way, I think this might be my new favorite of the fics I've written. I like the take on the Tatsuki X Orihime dynamic I went with here, I think it seems more realistic to me that effort from Orihime would be the key if they ever were to actually end up together. I really enjoyed writing a Bleach story for the first time and hope to do it again someday; there are still plenty of interesting girls in Bleach I'd consider wiring (Rangiku, Yoruichi, Nanao, Soifon, Rukia, Nemu, Momo, Kukaku, Kiyone, Isane, Retsu, to name most everyone). As for where I go from here, I really don't know. I've ran into some things and now all that time I had at the start of summer has shrunk dramatically. As such for the next few weeks I'll be taking a break from fanfiction (after I finish my other fic, of course). However, during this time I'd like to hear any ideas you all might have for what my next fic is to be. Please note, I will not be committing to any of these suggestions, I am not taking requests, I simply would like to hear some ideas. So far I've only written for Naruto and Bleach but I'm willing to branch out so don't be afraid to make suggestions from other anime.