Four years. Four years since the final battle. Four years since the Cyniclons left. And four years of nothing but heartbreak and pain for Ichigo.

Soon after the final battle, Ichigo noticed Aoyama was acting strangely arrogant- like Deep Blue. She told Ryou and Keiichiro, and they discovered that part of Deep Blue was still alive. Ryou told Ichigo that it was possible they could destroy the part of Deep Blue by erasing Aoyama's memories of the entire time that he had known Ichigo, and that the only other option they had was to kill him.

Ichigo wasn't willing to let anyone kill Aoyama- but soon the choice was taken out of her hands when he tried to rape her. Her school friends, Moe and Miwa, stopped him and landed him in the hospital, paralyzed from the neck down. After a few months of being in a coma, Aoyama died, much to everyone's relief. Ichigo took a while to recover from that, and stopped working at Café Mew Mew. Her parents were supportive, and she finally told them her secret, along with Moe and Miwa.

After a while, Ichigo realized she really missed Kisshu. She saw that Lettuce and Pudding felt the same about Pai and Taruto, but there wasn't much they could do; Ryou refused to contact the Cyniclons, and none of the others besides Keiichiro knew how to contact them. At this point, all the girls could do was hope that someday the Cyniclons would at least visit.

As one year ran into the next, Ichigo started to get depressed. By the middle of the fourth year after the battle ended, she was a wreck. Her parents had started homeschooling her, and Moe and Miwa had moved in with them so they could also keep an eye on Ichigo.

One day Sakura came to wake up Ichigo for homeschooling, and found that she was sick. She had a high fever, and couldn't stay awake for very long. Sakura took Ichigo to the doctor's, but even after various tests and taking her to the hospital for more thorough tests, no one could figure out what was wrong. Sakura finally took Ichigo home, where Moe, Miwa, and Shintaro were waiting. After putting Ichigo to bed, Sakura went to the others and said, "No one can figure out what she has. And because of that, they don't know how to treat her."

"Do you think we should call Ryou and Keiichiro?" Miwa asked. "What if it's something to do with her powers?"

"I'll call Keiichiro," Sakura said, and got the phone. She explained the problem, and described Ichigo's symptoms, and Keiichiro said he'd come over.

About fifteen minutes later, the doorbell rang, and Moe went to get it. She came back with Keiichiro, who asked, "Where's Ichigo?"

"In her room, sleeping," Sakura said. "She still can't stay awake for very long."

"Alright, is it okay for me to go up?" Keiichiro asked.

"Yes, come with me," Sakura said. She led the way to Ichigo's room, and let Keiichiro in. Keiichiro examined Ichigo, and finally said, "I don't think it's because of her powers, but I'm going to call Pai; I know he's a healer, and if anyone can figure this out, he can. I just need someone to keep Ryou busy."

"Take Moe and Miwa; they'll be thrilled," Sakura said dryly.

"Alright," Keiichiro said. He and Sakura left, and went back downstairs.

"What's the verdict?" Shintaro asked.

"I'm calling Pai; I can't figure out anything either," Keiichiro said. "Moe, Miwa, will you keep Ryou busy for me?"

The two girls cracked their knuckles and said together, "We'd be happy to." Keiichiro sighed and led the way to his car.

He drove the girls to Café Mew Mew, where they found Ryou waiting. "Where were you? And why did you bring Ichigo's school friends here?" Ryou asked Keiichiro.

"I'm calling Pai, something's really wrong with Ichigo," Keiichiro said.

"Are you INSANE!?" Ryou asked.

Keiichiro sighed and said, "Moe, Miwa, have at it, and clean up when you're done."

"Roger," Moe said. Keiichiro headed off to the basement as Moe and Miwa attacked a now very nervous Ryou.

Keiichiro went to the room with the big screen, and typed a number into the keypad next to the screen, then waited. Eventually Pai's face came up, and he looked startled. "Keiichiro? Is something wrong?" he asked. "You look grim."

"Something's seriously wrong with Ichigo, and the doctors here can't figure out what she has, and neither can I," Keiichiro said. "Can you come?"

"That's odd; Kisshu is also sick, and I can't figure out what's wrong," Pai said. "He's got a really high fever, and can't stay awake for very long."

Keiichiro's eyes widened. "Those are Ichigo's symptoms," he said. "What if they're connected?"

Pai looked thoughtful, then asked, "Does Ichigo love Kisshu?"

"She's head over heels," Keiichiro said. "She realized it a while after we had to kill Aoyama. What are you thinking?"

"We need to get them back together as soon as possible; I think they're sick because they've both realized their feelings for each other now, and being so far apart is bad for their bond," Pai said. "I'll explain further when I get to Earth; I'll be there in two to four hours."

"Alright, are you coming here or to Ichigo's?" Keiichiro asked.

"I'll go straight to Ichigo's, you should go tell her parents," Pai said.

"Will do," Keiichiro said. Pai nodded and cut the connection. Keiichiro ran back upstairs, and found Moe and Miwa surveying their handiwork- namely Ryou, beaten to a pulp and duct taped to a wall.

"How'd it go?" Miwa asked.

"Pai is coming, and he's bringing Kisshu, who apparently has the same sickness as Ichigo," Keiichiro said. "Pai thinks it's because they're too far away from each other."

"Let's go tell Mrs. and Mr. Momomiya," Moe said. Keiichiro nodded, and they went back to his car. He drove back to Ichigo's, and followed Moe and Miwa inside.

Sakura and Shintaro were waiting, and Sakura asked, "What did Pai say?"

"Kisshu has the exact same thing Ichigo does; apparently being too far apart now that they've both realized their feelings for one another is bad for them," Keiichiro said. "Pai said he'll explain more when he gets here, which should be in about two to four hours."

"Alright, thanks," Shintaro said. "Let's all go wait in the living room."

The others followed him to the living room, and sat down to wait.

Three hours later: They heard teleportation upstairs, and everyone ran upstairs. They found Pai standing over Ichigo, and Kisshu lying next to her. Pai put a hand on Ichigo's chest, and said, "The illness is starting to dissipate." He checked Kisshu's condition too, and said, "Same with Kisshu; I think they'll be awake soon even without healing."

"So can you explain what you meant earlier?" Keiichiro asked.

"Sure, but let's let Kisshu and Ichigo sleep; is there somewhere else we can talk?" Pai asked.

"Sure," Shintaro said. He led the way to the living room, and they all sat down.

When everyone was settled, Pai said, "This might take a while. My race has the ability to sense who our soulmate is, which isn't a quality humans have. Kisshu found that Ichigo was his soulmate, but at the time, she obviously didn't realize that, or she would have started going out with Kisshu instead of Aoyama. Once she did realize that she loved him, though, it was a bit late for them to actually fully bond, which is probably what caused them to get sick after a while."

"What does 'bonding' mean?" Moe asked.

"Bonding is basically two people forming a connection, and in this case, it's sealed by kissing," Pai said. "But the kiss has to be mutual, so that's why Ichigo and Kisshu never fully bonded; she never kissed him back. In our culture, there are things that come with bonding, so I'll explain a bit more. When two people bond, they form a mental and spiritual connection. So the bonded pair will be able to use telepathy with each other, and sense each other's emotions. There are drawbacks to that, however. If one of the bonded pair is sick or injured, it will reflect on the other person as well- meaning they'll feel pain and or get sick as well. Additionally, if one of the bonded pair dies, so will the other. People who have bonded almost always die within a few minutes of each other. It's actually a good thing Ichigo never kissed Kisshu back; in the final battle, Kisshu died, and Ichigo wouldn't have had the chance to defeat Deep Blue if she had been bonded with Kisshu."

"About the sickness they had," Sakura said. "Could that happen again?"

"If they're separated for any lengthened period of time, it will most likely happen again," Pai said. "In our culture, once two people have bonded, they start living together, and basically spend all their time together, since the connection they have is very strong. Normally the girl would go to live with the guy's family, but since we can't take any of you back to Cyniclonia with us besides Ichigo, I and my parents agreed that Kisshu could live here. I developed something to change his ears to human ones, so I don't think there would be any problems."

"I don't have a problem with taking Kisshu in," Sakura said. "Do you think he'll mind sharing with Ichigo? Moe and Miwa are sharing the third bedroom."

"He'll be thrilled," Pai said.

"Good," Sakura said. "Should we go check on him and Ichigo?"

"That's a good idea," Pai said. He got up and went back upstairs, followed by Sakura. The others stayed downstairs.

When Pai and Sakura went in, they saw that Kisshu was waking up. He looked up as Pai came over, and asked, "Pai? What happened?"

"You've been pretty sick for the past week," Pai said. "How are you feeling?"

"I think I'm fine," Kisshu said. "Why was I sick?"

"Simply put, you were too far away from Ichigo," Pai said. "Keiichiro called me and said Ichigo had a sickness no one recognized, and it was the same exact thing you had, so I brought you back to Earth."

"I thought Ichigo hated me," Kisshu said.

"Apparently she realized her feelings for you a little late," Pai said. "And after she realized that, she got sick like you did, because she was too far away from you. Looks like you were right about the soulmates thing."

Kisshu sat up, and then noticed Ichigo next to him. "Why is she still asleep?" he asked.

"Ichigo can sleep through anything," Sakura said.

"Are you her mom?" Kisshu asked.

"Yes, I'm Sakura," Sakura said.

Pai gently tapped Ichigo's forehead, and she stirred, then sleepily opened her eyes. Then she looked confused, and asked, "Am I dreaming still?"

"No, you're not dreaming," Kisshu said.

Ichigo glomped him, burying her face in his shoulder as he hugged her back. "Why didn't you come back sooner?" she asked in a muffled voice.

"I guess I thought you'd be happy with Treehugger," Kisshu said. "I didn't want to ruin that for you."

"He tried to rape me, and Moe and Miwa beat him so badly he went into a coma and died," Ichigo said.

"I didn't get to kill him?" Kisshu asked.

"No, sorry," Ichigo said. "It was about three months after the battle, and you weren't here, so Moe and Miwa got to do it."

"Mmph," Kisshu said sulkily.

Ichigo looked at him and asked, "Would a kiss make it better?"

Kisshu perked up, and Ichigo giggled, then kissed him. He kissed back passionately, and they didn't even notice when Sakura and Pai quietly left.

That was sort of interesting…. Please let me know if you have ideas for other stories; I'm having trouble with Writer's Block.