But for now, omg. omg. omfg.
Orihime = YES. So very yes. I am becoming genuinely interested in her as a character and not just as a boundless font of awesome. I have always loved the way her powers reflect her inner strength. See, they're all about rejecting reality and replacing it with her will. That's always been her strength. For all her sorrow and all her messed-up childhood, she could have turned out totally nuts, but instead she took hold of that potential for insanity and made it into something good. She could have faded and grown weak in her denial of reality, but instead she draws strength from her fantasies and strangeness--and even her powers center around rejecting what's wrong with reality and replacing it with her magic. I have no idea if that makes sense to anyone but me, but in any case: yes. Very yes. And now she's being so very human and endearing.
Tatsuki and Orihime = omg yes I STILL LOVE THESE TWO.
Ichigo and Orihime = yes.
Ichigo and Rukia = also yes. I do not understand the people who feel the need to compare IchiRuki and IchiHime as if it is a battle between the two. They are very different types of relationships. I still love IchiRuki, but canonically, I don't believe there's a romantic element to it. I think it's interesting to inspect it through that lens sometimes, but...KT has gone to such pains to indicate the difference between Ichigo and Rukia's relationship and Ichigo and Orihime's. IchiHime is romantic. IchiRuki is about two people who need each other, who work right side by side. But because Rukia is female, everyone goes ZOMG SHE'S SO IMPORTANT TO HIM I HEAR WEDDING BELLS. This is despite all the clues Kubotite drops about the differences in the relationships. Even Karin tries to explain the difference when she talks about an "Orihime-level girl," but naturally she gets ignored, even though she is pure awesome.
Yumichika and Ikkaku = hee hee hee yes.
Rangiku and Orihime = YES. Kon's wet dream is now canon! This has to be the most fanservice-y thing I have ever seen. Even more so than the YoruSoi fight, and I never thought I'd say that. Holy shit.
My only problem is I still have no further clues as to Aizen's motives, so in writing Firebird, I'm going to have to go with my initial guess: that he believes the world needs him as its lord and master, no matter how many people he must kill to take that rightful place.