Ahahahaha! I wrote a Bleach fanfic! It was originally supposed to be smut, but it committed cuteness suicide. And is instead a decent fanfic that does not have smut. Maybe (if enough people review and ask) I'll write a sequel. That's up to you though. Anyways... typical disclaimer: the characters aren't mine. They belong to Tite Kubo who can't decide on a plot for his story so I'm making one up for him.

TatsukiXIchigo... the real canon pairing of Bleach

.:Start:.

Tatsuki Arisawa did not like the fact that there was something serious going on behind her back. She wasn't dense. She was a highly intelligent young woman. She could read people. And this ability let her know that all of her friends were up to something. And it wasn't just something. It was a big something. Orohime hadn't said a word about it to her, but the girl had seemingly disappeared. And then not only that, but Ichigo and Chad and Ishida all vanished not long afterwards. Tatsuki couldn't decide if she should be worried or angry.

She was certainly a little of both. But her worry was more for Orohime. The anger, however, she directed solely at the one and only Kurosaki Ichigo. He certainly deserved it. Orohime had always tried to prevent Tatsuki from worrying about her. That she hadn't informed her friend that she was going to be leaving for a little bit wasn't really that surprising. But Tatsuki expected better from Ichigo. Didn't he trust her? Didn't he think she was strong enough to handle the truth?

She had followed him on the day he'd left. Her and Keigo and Mizuiro. They'd walked in the unlocked door and followed him. And they could hear every word he said before he disappeared into the void. "I'll apologize when I get back," he'd said. Urahara, the owner of the shop, had called them out after the trio had entered the portal. It was later that Tatsuki approached him, extracting a semblance of an explanation from him.

"They've gone to another realm to rescue Orohime," he'd told her. "It's a complicated situation, and it needs much more explanation for you to fully understand." She grew frustrated, trying to physically take it out on Urahara. He caught her arm easily, stopping her intended assault. He looked at her gravely. "Ichigo is what is called a Soul Reaper. They destroy bad souls that wander. And help good souls cross over into the next life. Ishida, Sado, and Orohime all have powers to some extent. Orohime was kidnapped. They go to rescue her."

Tatsuki nodded, confusion evident in her eyes. "Whatever else you want to ask, Ichigo will answer upon his return."

For the next few weeks Tatsuki simmered in her anger. And upon their return, Tatsuki avoided them. All of them. It was only when cornered by Orohime that she vented her frustration, angrily shouting at Orohime for not informing her. She'd had to go to a complete stranger for an explanation. After stomping off, Orohime couldn't figure out what to do. She could deny that events had happened. Heal them as if they'd never occurred. But the betrayal that had burned in Tatsuki's eyes was more than Orohime could heal.

She brought the situation to Ichigo's attention, hoping that Ichigo could help out their mutual friend in some manner. Ichigo nodded, face expressionless and eyes vacant as he'd been since their return. Orohime was worried about Ichigo, too. It was if he'd left an important part of himself in Hueco Mundo. He was just so lifeless. Orohime, looking for a good reason decided that his withdrawn demeanor was a result of being far too war worn.

~

Ichigo let out a sigh as he moved his hand to knock on Tatsuki's door. It was cold out, and he quickly placed his hand back into the warmth of his coat pocket after knocking. She answered the door, gave him a scowl and shut the door in his face. Ichigo muttered to himself, and knocked again. Tatsuki didn't even bother opening the door, opting to yell at him, "Go away," from behind the closed door. Ichigo knew that she was sitting down, back against the door to bar his entry.

"I think I know why you're angry," Ichigo said, annoyance in his tone. "If you'd give me a chance, I'd explain."

"I already know all about your adventure," she retorted.

"Tatsuki," Ichigo said, placing his hand on the door.

"Just leave me alone," she said. He could hear her stand up, and pound her fist against the inside of the door. "If you cared about me, you would have told me all of this before you left."

Ichigo heard her feet against the floor as she retreated into her bedroom. He groaned. She was angrier than he had expected. And he knew it was his fault. It was too cold to linger outside of the house. Under more normal circumstances he wouldn't have been opposed to breaking into her house. But she was pissed. And a pissed off Tatsuki was the last thing he wanted to meet in her natural environment. So he decided to head home. He'd see her in school. He'd have another chance.

~

Tatsuki considered skipping school. She knew that Ichigo was damn persistent. If he'd wanted to talk to her before, she knew he'd be looking for an opportunity now. Maybe it would be better to pummel him to a bloody pulp and have it out of the way. Then he could apologize and everything would be better. He could hug her, look her in the eyes, and tell her that he was sorry for not trusting her. For not believing in her strength.

She took steps to stay away from him for as long as possible. She rushed into class at the last possible minute. Between classes she rushed out of the room, heading for the bathroom. It wasn't until lunch when he cornered her as she was putting on her shoes that they had their confrontation.

"Tatsuki, we need to talk."

"No. We don't."

"Listen, I'm sorry for not telling you the truth about what was going on. I… I didn't want anyone else to get involved," Ichigo explained.

Tatsuki ignored him, trying to walk away. His arm reached out in front of her, blocking her path. She glared at him. "Get out of my way," she spat.

"Listen," he said, almost pleadingly.

"No."

"Suki, please," Ichigo said. Tatsuki's jaw dropped, and she stared at him incredulously. He'd used that. That nickname. But it had only gotten her attention. It hadn't softened her anger.

"I thought you were 'too grown up to use that childish name'?"

He smiled wryly. "I am. But since we're both behaving childishly, I might as well."

She glared. And punched him in the face.

~

His head was pounding. Damn, she could throw a powerful right hook. Ichigo stood up, wiped off the blood on his upper lip, and groaned. She'd knocked him good. Orohime was standing there, almost as if she'd been watching the whole thing. "Are you alright, Kurosaki-kun?" she asked.

"Ugh, I've been better. But I've been way worse. A little knock on the head isn't too bad."

"She flaming pissed," Keigo said somewhere from the background. Ichigo wasn't quite sure how he's missed the presence of his other friends. Maybe it had something to do with the huge welt forming on the bridge of his nose.

"What did you say to her, anyways?" Ishida asked.

"I didn't really get to say anything. She stormed off before I had the chance to explain anything to her."

Chad shrugged. "Try later," he suggested. "She might be willing to listen then."

Ichigo smiled woefully and nodded. "Maybe if I pin her down and make her listen."

~

The school day had been over for awhile. Tatsuki had never gone back. She had wandered around rather aimlessly for the entire day. Evening had come, and Tatsuki was sitting on the river bank, her knees drawn to her chest. The sun was starting to set, lighting up the sky in a fiery display. The water reflected the brilliant colors filling the sky, glimmers of light flashing as the water rushed along. She saw his reflection in the water. "I told you to leave me alone," she whispered as he sat next to her.

"Tatsuki, I'm so very sorry. I've hurt you so much. You have every right to be angry with me."

"Damn, right I―" Ichigo stopped her.

"Please let me finish." She nodded. "I couldn't let you get involved. Not in this mess. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if you'd gotten hurt."

"What about Orohime? Didn't she get hurt? Was that allowed? Orohime? Who can't fight back?"

Ichigo tilted his head back. "Orohime's involvement… wasn't my choice. She was the one who got kidnapped. I had to go save her. I had to. I had to save her for your sake."

"I'm not helpless, Ichigo," Tatsuki said, a hint of arrogance in her tone. "I could have helped you. I can fight, you know."

"I know. But…" he looked at her in the eyes. His chocolate eyes were begging for her to understand. The emotions running through them confused Tatsuki.

"Ichigo, I―"

It was pointless. His mouth was against hers preventing her lips from moving. Even if the physical contact prevented movement, she wouldn't have said anything. She was speechless.

He pulled back, and looked at her seriously. "Do you understand now? I couldn't let you come. I couldn't have put you in danger like that."

"But why didn't you tell me?"

"If you knew, you'd just try to find me. And then you could have stepped into something more than you were prepared to handle. It wasn't that I doubted your skills. It was the overwhelming power of the enemies we fought. I almost died. The only reason I live now is because of Orohime's abilities. I couldn't have lived with myself if you had died. It… Life wouldn't be worth it without you. Suki, I love you."

"Since when?" Tatsuki whispered, breathless, light reflecting in her eyes. "Since when did you love me?"

"Since forever. I loved you when we were just little. Even when you punched me and made me cry."

Tatsuki smiled at the pleasant memory. "I guess I can forgive you," she said finally. "But promise me that you'll take me next time."

Ichigo nodded.

Tatsuki twined her fingers through his, and smiled up at him. "You know, I've loved you for about that long, too," she said as she looked away. Ichigo knew that the rosy shade cast on her face was not just from the crimson sky. Tatsuki was blushing.

He cupped her cheek and leaned in, giving her a kiss on the lips. "Thank you for forgiving me," he whispered.

"Hmm," she replied with a nod. He stood up then, and brushed off his pants. She did the same, readjusting her skirt and wiping off the grass. With hands entwined, they walked back home.

.:Finish:.

Please review. (Gets down on knees and begs.)