1Its Always Been You

Note that italic words are thoughts. Some times I'll specify who's thinking this, but most of the time I think its pretty obvious. It starts out in third point of view, though it does change. I will state when it does though. Pretty straight forward it think. See yaz and I hope you like it. Its my first! D

Chapter 1

(thoughts are from Ryou here)

Ichigo seemed to shimmer as she entered the café. Her face was so bright and happy. Its my Strawberry. Ryou couldn't help but smile in spite of himself. He stood there a little flushed as he watched her stumble over her own feet. She was such a klutz. Even after she was infused with the genes of the iriomote she still couldn't help but trip over things and make stupid mistakes.

Ichigo looked over at Ryou. He quickly hid his expressions and walked slowly over to her. She was about to protest about her being on time, which she rarely was, when Ryou flicked her on the forehead.

"Nice to see you on time for once Strawberry," he said simply before turning around to face the girls who stood before him in the almost empty café. "I am happy to say that you girls are free of your duty as the Mew Mews."

No one really responded to what he said. Wonder what everyone's down about? Ryou could remember a time when they were like this. It was at the beginning of this whole thing. Everyone was rather doubtful about the whole thing and what they wanted most was for it to end.

But now, with the end finally there, they weren't really sure if they wanted it to end. Ichigo would be leaving with Masaya. How I wish it wasn't so! Mint was going with Zakuro to go to London for a modeling label of some sort. Lettuce had to leave, though she didn't tell Ryou why. Wonder what that was all about? Pudding was off to visit her father and do shows for people. They all had things they were planning on doing, and yet they cherished the friendship they had gained over the whole experience. Each had learned about the other, both their flaws and their aspects. Even someone like me had grown to be friends with all of them.

"Well, what's with the glum faces? Its over! Your done!" Ryou said cheerful, a fake smile on his face. It really is over, but I don't know if I want it to end. He looked over at Ichigo absently as he said this. Ichigo...She was the one that had suffered the most from the whole thing. Maybe it was because she was the leader, or maybe its just because of her nature, but she seemed to have been hurt the most by the whole thing.

Ichigo shifted slightly, then noticed Ryou was looking in her direction. "What? Is there someone on me?"

Ryou jerked awake. He had been admiring her beauty and remembering all the things that she went through. "No Strawberry," he said flicking her forehead again. "I was just remembering all the stupid things you've done in this café."

"Hey!" she said sternly, stomping her foot in protest. Then she though about it. She giggled lightly. Ryou rolled his eyes and flicked her again. He turned away, flatly saying "Baka Strawberry." I'm going to miss you...Ichigo just stood there, her face slightly flushed, though Ryou was turned away, so he didn't notice.

"Ichigo," she heard her name being called as she watched Ryou climb the stairs to his room. "ICHIGO!" Finally she looked away.

Mint had been the one calling her. She seemed slightly confused by Ichigo's lack of concentration. Keiichiro had already brought out a large cake for the girls, little figures like themselves designed in it.

"What were you doing?" Mint asked, apparently she hadn't noticed what it was that Ichigo had been looking at.

"Nothing," Ichigo said, smiling at Mint as she went over to meet with the others to marvel over the cake Keiichiro had made.

"Hmm..." Mint's mind raced as she tried to think of what it was Ichigo had been doing. She finally discarded her thoughts, not knowing what it was she had been doing, and went to get some cake before it was all eaten.

"Ohh! Its strawberry filled!" Ichigo squealed happily.

Ichigo had a large slice of cake on her plate as she made her way into the kitchen. "Needs some strawberries," she said to no one in particular. She opened up the fridge and quickly found some fresh strawberries. She giggled as she placed what seemed like a dozen strawberries onto her plate before going back to sit with her friends as they ate.

Ryou smirked as he watched her from the top of the stairs. She would never change. At least not in his eyes. She would always be the clumsy, crybaby that leads the Mew Mews. She would always be Ichigo, the girl he fell in love with. Ichigo...

Lettuce saw Ryou standing at the stairs as she was grabbing something to drink. "Umm..." she said as she began to blush a slight pink.

Ryou turned when he heard her. He smiled in her direction as he came down the stairs and made his way towards her. This of course made her blush more. "Hey Lettuce, how's it going? Do you like the cake?"

Lettuce blushed even more. "H-hey Ryou..." she said, obviously having faltered by the fact that Ryou had come over to talk to her. She shook her head as she remembered the question that Ryou had just asked her. "Oh no, this is a really good cake. Did you help make it Ryou?"

Now it was Ryou's turn to blush. He looked over at Ichigo as she took a bite out of one of the strawberries she had gotten from the fridge. Ichigo...Then he noticed that Lettuce was waiting for an answer, not having noticed where he had been looking. "I helped Keiichiro out a bit here and there. Though I did pick out what kind of cake we were going to make," he said, his thoughts trailing once again. It is her favorite after all. Its so sweet, just like her...

"So Lettuce," Ryou started, wanting to get his thoughts away from her. Away from her, and the truth that she's leaving with him... "Why is it that your leaving again?"

Lettuce shuffled slightly back and forth and looked down at her feet when she heard his question. "Well..." she began, but couldn't find the words. She wanted to tell him how she felt towards him, but she knew that he liked someone else. She wasn't sure who, but he drifted off in his thoughts all the time. She knew that it was someone special to him, but Ryou and herself were merely friends. A friendship that both needed and wanted to keep.

"If you don't want to tell me right now you don't have to," Ryou said, understanding her completely. Lettuce smile warmly at him. He and Ichigo were the only ones that truly understood him. Everyone else was still her friends, but they seemed to see through every barrier that she puts up. They were able to really get her. With Ichigo, it helped her to make a lot of new friends that she didn't expect herself to make. But with Ryou, he was always there for her and he always seemed to understand her. Though sometimes she wished he didn't understand her, when she was blushing because of him, or when she was thinking of him. She was almost positive that he knew she liked him.

Ryou smiled warmly to her before turning away and making his towards the rest of the group. Lettuce smiled slightly before following after him to join in the party.

(Ichigo's point of view)

"ICHIGO!" came several voices at once as Ichigo stood in front of the café, looking back at her friends. "WE'LL MISS YOU!" her friends yelled to her. Lettuce, Mint and Pudding were crying, while Zakuro and Keiichiro stood their with unreadable expressions on their faces.

I cant believe that he isn't here! That jerk Ryou! Ichigo pouted slightly as she stood before her friends. Wait a minute... Why does it matter anyway? Its not like I care! I just thought he would at least say goodbye to me before I leave...I mean I'm going to be gone for a year before I can come back! He could at least show up!

"We have to go now Ichigo," Masaya said as he waited in the back seat of his parents car. "If we don't go now..." he said, softly, though he sounded slightly paranoid. Ichigo had been standing there for some time just in silence. They were going to be late.

"I'm coming," Ichigo said, sighing that she had to leave. I want to be with Masaya, but why is it that he wants to leave this place? Its my home, and I don't want to leave. But I guess I made the decision to follow him a while ago. I cant turn back now. At least I get to come back next year for summer vacation...

(change to Ryou's view)

Ichigo...Please don't be mad at me. I guess I just didn't want to say goodbye to you. Or maybe I didn't want to see the expression on your face at that moment. At least not up close...Ryou stood hidden in the trees beside the café, watching as the scene unfolded. Mint ran up to Ichigo and have her a hug, then she turned and got into Masaya's car. Seconds later they had sped away down the road, disappearing into the distance. My strawberry is gone...