A/N: Alright, another one begins. The pairing this time is Yoruichi X Orihime. In case you are either stupid, don't know, or have never watched Bleach, those are both female characters and this story will not change that. This story is rated M, for the sole reason that in a later chapter there will be sexual material between these two. Do not read if it's not your thing.

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, and I am not justice.

Orihime Inoue was thinking. Surprisingly her thoughts weren't exclusively about the impending Robot-Mermaid wars and the avocado fudge ice cream she had had the previous night. No as Orihime lie sleepily in her bed, the humid Saturday morning air clinging to her smooth, white skin, she found her thoughts often converging on matters of a more, serious, somber manner.

Slowly Orihime began to stir from her rest, struggling wearily to sit up so she could start the day. It had only been a matter of days now since she had returned here, to her home. For the sake of a dear friend, she and her friends had departed Karakura town, no, the entire world of the living for the world of the shinigami, the world known as Soul Society.

A sad, faint smile adorned Orihime's lips as she rustled through her clothing; her eyes cast themselves on the nearby photo of her dear, missed older brother, as she reflected on her recent adventure. Her time in Soul Society had left her with a deep feeling of disappointment. This disappointment, as it was, did not find route entirely from the fact that, in traveling to another world, Orihime had found no tiny green men or ponies with giant flapping wings. No this disappointment was not about that; Orihime was disappointed in herself.

Ichigo Kurosaki had saved Rukia Kuchiki. The mission they had set out to accomplish had been well accomplished. But Orihime didn't feel like she had accomplished anything. All her friends, Ichigo, Uryu, Chad, Yoruichi, they had all fought with their hardest, made their great stands, stood up for what they believed, while Orihime had done nothing but watched patiently from the sidelines, never taking more than a supporting role in it all.

Orihime's friends had all shed their blood in the battle to rescue Rukia, some of them coming face to face with death. She had little more than a few scratches. It wasn't just guilt though that birthed this disappointed feeling in Orihime's heart, it was more than that. She wished that was all there was. No, Orihime had discovered a new longing in her heart, the longing for the power to do more.

Orihime hastily dressed and groomed herself. Stopping in her kitchen she slathered some red bean paste on a toasted slice of pumpernickel bread and poured herself half a glass of vanilla milk. Hurriedly she consumed her food. She gave a smile as she exited her apartment, locking the door behind her. Today would be the day where she would start the long fight to acquire that power.

Her thoughts settled down as Orihime walked briskly down the bustling streets of Karakura Town. Orihime smiled as she moved content that today she would start to change. She felt as if she could let her mind return to its daydreams. It seemed that now the Mermaid Queen and the Robot President were suddenly negotiating a treaty for peace.

Orihime's mind wandered thusly as she headed toward her destination. She smiled when she finally caught sight of the quaint structure, the small, nondescript candy and shinigami supply store known as the Urahara shop. With a skip in her step she walked in.

"Welcome to the Ura- Oh it's you. You're one of Ichigo's friend's aren't you?" Orihime was greeted by one of the shop's workers, a young boy named Jinta. The shop appeared to be empty aside from this boy and another child, this one a girl named Ururu.

"Yep! I'm Orihime, Orihime Inoue!" Orihime responded in a bubbly voice.

"We know." Jinta said under his breath. He then sighed, asking, "What exactly did you come here for, Orihime? Ichigo need something?"

"No, nothing like that. I just needed to ask someone something." Orihime answered in a round-about way.

"Oh if you're looking for the boss, I doubt he'll be awake for another… hour… or two." The young boy said, offering an irritated glance in the direction of a closed door at the back of the shop.

"No, I'm not here to see Mr. Urahara. I wanna see Yoruichi!" Orihime finally got to the point of her visit.

"Oh. Yoruichi… I'm not sure I've seen her recently. She only stops by occasionally you know." Jinta explained with thought.

"She's over here." Sounded the meek voice of the girl Ururu as she swept the floor nearby, she was pointing to the far corner of the shop where just barely the figure of a black cat was visible napping behind a display of candy.

"Aww, looks like she's sleeping. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to wait. You guys don't mind do you?" Orihime continued to smile as she talked; she was beginning to feel anticipation.

"Not at all. You Ururu?" Jinta answered the other's question and then asked his co-worker for her answer. The young girl merely gave a slight nod as she continued to work.

"Oh and I'll take one of those!" Orihime said loudly, pointing to a display of over-sized swirl lollipops. Jinta nodded and retrieved the sweet confection for the girl. Orihime paid for it and sat down in the corner next to where Yoruichi slept.

Orihime continued to wear a wide grin as she began to lick the sugary treat in her hand, wondering how it would taste dipped in molten cheese. It would only be a little while now and she would begin her new training, her training to finally make herself someone her friends could depend on. Daydreams preoccupied her once more. It seemed the peace talks had fallen through after the Robot President was assassinated by radicals from an extremist faction within the Mermaid nation. The war raged on harder now than ever before as Orihime licked her lollipop, tridents and laser beams flying in all directions across the battlefields in her brain.

Then Orihime felt the slight kick of a tiny little foot against her thigh and found her thoughts returned to earth. Yoruichi was stretching her legs as she let out what was a powerful yawn for a small cat. Orihime's heart leapt with joy as she remembered how she was once and for all going to put all that disappointment she had with herself behind her.

"Yoruichi! You're awake!" Orihime gave a short shout.

"Wha?! What's going on?! Ori-, Orihime?! What are you-?" Yoruichi seemed somewhere between panicked and confused as she started from her rest at the sound, and found the girl gazing at her intently.

"Good! Now you're coming with me!" Orihime declared excitedly as she lifted the black cat into her arms, and stood up, biting the remnants of her candy from its stick. The barely awake, deeply confused Yoruichi struggled fiercely to free herself but Orihime retained a firm hold. Jinta shook his head disdainfully as Orihime left the shop, Ururu didn't even look up.

Orihime walked a short distance away from the shop before setting the feline down. Yoruichi stared back at the girl with a look of bewilderment, asking with a bit of sarcastic insistence, "So is there something you want from me, Orihime?"

"Yes there is!" Orihime declared certainly, "I want you to train me, Yoruichi!"

"Train you?! For what?!" Yoruichi was taken aback by the girl's demands.

"I want to be stronger." Orihime said with a exuberant accompanying nod.

"I've already helped you find the ability to call on your power at will; if you wish to strengthen that power, really you would know how to go about it better than I would." Yoruichi said a pointed sharpness in her low voice.

"No! The power I have isn't good enough. I want more power!" Orihime said, offering her best imitation of a depraved, maniacal laugh. Yoruichi stared at her blindly.

"Orihime, are you feeling all right?" Yoruichi asked with a look of concern.

"Of course I am… but I'm being serious, I want you to help me obtain new power, Yoruichi, just like you helped me understand the powers I have now." Orihime said in a suitably even voice.

"As I already said, if there are new stages to your power, it's up to you to uncover them. I can't help you." Yoruichi responded for the first time in a level, honest fashion.

"No, you still don't see. The power I have now is okay. I'm able to protect myself and others and I'm able to help my friends get better when their hurt, but it's just not enough. I don't want everyone to always have to protect me, I don't want Ichigo and the other's to fight with their lives while I just sit and watch." Orihime had a commanding, determinant nature to her words that made Yoruichi feel a need to listen. Finally Orihime built up to her ultimate request, which she shouted out proudly, "I want you to teach me how to be a shinigami, Yoruichi!"

This statement caused Yoruichi to lose her focus, she gave a short laugh before she said as if completely taken aback, "You what?!"

"I wanna be a shinigami, just like Ichigo and Rukia and everyone else!" Orihime repeated her desire, still refusing to waver.

"Orihime, that's both ridiculous and impossible." Yoruichi said bluntly, shaking her tiny feline head.

"But what about Ichigo?! He did it. He was just a human and he became a shinigami!" Orihime argued firmly, nodding her head in defiance.

"Well you have to realize how special a case Ichigo is." Yoruichi said with a soft smirk.

"But I'm special too! I have my power, I have a high level of spiritual energy, and I've even been to Soul Society before and worn one of those shinigami robes before! Why can't I become a shinigami just like Ichigo did?" Orihime continued to fight her case; Yoruichi seemed to begin to realize this wasn't as stupid as she initially had thought.

"Orihime, if we let you attempt the special training Ichigo did to become a shinigami you'd die, you'd become a hollow." Yoruichi held a somberness about her this time.

"Maybe, but I'm willing to risk that. This is important to me, Yoruichi. I need you to help me." Orihime didn't back down.

"No Orihime, I didn't say there was a risk or any sort of other possible outcome. If you underwent that training you would die and you would become a hollow, there are no other possibilities." Yoruichi said with a crisp clarity in her tone.

"I see… so it really is hopeless then?" Orihime was greatly saddened at this news. Was this her fate then, to be always the weak and fragile one in need of protection?

Yoruichi, in hearing this, seemed to develop a look of melancholy across her black fur coated countenance. Looking up at the now crushed girl she sighed, "Actually there may be another way, you could become a shinigami."

"What, really you mean that?!" Orihime's face lit up completely at this revelation.

"There are a few things I can think to try at least." Yoruichi said with a sly smile, seemingly eased at the other's return to her previous brightness.

"But Orihime, please realize that the training I put you through will be rigorous, possibly even dangerous, and that there's no guarantee that we will see any sort of success whatsoever." Yoruichi advised, not wanting the girl to get her hopes to far off the ground.

"That's fine. Even if it's only a slim possibility, it's still worth it if we at least try!" Orihime proclaimed cheerfully.

"That's a good attitude. Who knows, maybe you just might be able to do it..." Yoruichi let out a subdued laugh as she spoke.

"You're the best Yoruichi! I'm so happy you decided to help me with this." Orihime cheered ecstatically.

"No problem. Now come on, let's go get started." Yoruichi responded with a look of amusement as she began to lead Orihime slowly back in the direction of the Urahara Shop.

"Okay!" Orihime shouted as she skipped excitedly behind the black cat, her mind alive with thoughts about how strong she might get.

Yoruichi Shihoin had been Orihime's guide the last time she had sought to make herself stronger, the last time she had wanted to make herself valuable to everyone. Now it seemed Yoruichi was positioned to guide her once more. Her heart was warm with deep gratitude for the feline woman as she she chased behind her, dreams of finding strength alive in her heart.

A/N: Wow, haven't written a chapter this short in awhile. Fairly simple plot line this time around so I didn't have too much setup I needed to do. Despite lacking length I think this is a quite promising start for my fic. Sure this chapter had zero going for it on the yuri front, but that I assure you will develop swiftly enough. In all, I remain optimistic about this fic even if the pairing I'm finding a bit difficult. Orihime and Yoruichi are easily and without a doubt my two favorite characters in all of Bleach, that being said I've never ever really thought about them paired with each other before. I'm sure once I get use to the dynamic I'll absolutely love writing this fic. So yeah, tell me what you think; reviews are strongly encouraged.

I usually ramble on at lengths about my weekly poll, but since this week was more of a random meaningless thing I'll keep it short this time. I asked who out of the three main characters of Death Note and tacos best represented justice. 20 voted, and to my astonishment L and Kira both ended up with exactly the same number of votes, 5 each. Of course that means Kira wins, since Misa got two votes and she'd just give those to Light... but then of course tacos (4 votes) might be on L's side, so I guess I can't be too sure about that. I actually had thought tacos was going to win.