Disclamer:I don't own Tokyo Mew Mew. If I did it would be a little scary...

CHAPTER 1

"Ryou, you jerk! Why won't you give me a raise? I'm the only one who works around here!" Ichigo fumed, kicking over the nearest chair.

"Pick the chair up Ichigo." Ryou stated bluntly, turning her towards it unkindly.

"I don't want to'" she said immaturely.

Ryou stared at her angrily and walked away. But before he left he made his anger quite clear.

"You WILL work the late shift for the next two months, and I'm docking your pay $2." He said, not even bothering to turn around.

"You stupid, bossy, son of a !" Ichigo yelled, tossing the broom at him.

Unfortunately for her, she had horrible aim. Ryou turned and watched the broom clatter to the floor and break. He smirked and turned back to the door.

"Oi baka, you just lost yourself five more dollars." Ryou called out, leaving Ichigo to her thoughts of killing him slowly and painfully.

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Ryou tried to pay attention to the information on the screen, but knowing that he had made Ichigo so mad disturbed him. It's only a lousy seven dollars…why does it matter? It's not like she needs it… he thought bitterly, banging his fists onto the keyboard.

"Ryou, don't beat up the keyboard. What did it do to you?" Keiichiro asked, laughter hinting in his voice.

"I'll tell you what it did! It got in the way of my fists." Ryou grumbled, deciding that the keyboard would have to succumb to his pummeling.

"Now Ryou, you know the keyboard was there before your fists. Now, what's really bothering you? Our favorite strawberry haired kitty?" Keiichiro asked, a smile hinting at his lips.

"NO! Why would I care about that baka?" He said unconvincingly.

"Ahh, so it is her. Did you play Mr. Tough guy again?" He asked, shaking his head.

"What do you think?" Ryou snapped, glaring at his older friend.

"I think you can't find a way to express your feelings so like a little kid you pick on her. I also think that you should apologize for whatever you did." Keiichiro said undaunted by the glare of death that Ryou was giving him.

"Fine. I doubt she's still here though." Ryou grumbled, standing up and walking over to the stairs.

"She's still here." Keiichiro said softly.

Ryou noticed the look on his friend's face and gulped. Did I make her cry? Oh, please no…. he thought starting up the stairs.

"Ichigo? Are you okay?" Ryou asked, walking up to her where she sat in a puddle of water and soap.

"Yeah. Go away." She sniffed, turning away from him.

Ryou looked down at her hurt. He sighed, and then kneeled down next to her. She didn't move, but he knew she could see him.

"…I'm ...sorry…" he said slowly, looking down at the ground.

"Yeah, right. What am I supposed to say? All better? 'Cause I'm not. You treat me like dirt and you think a simple apology will make everything better until the next insult?" She said furious, glaring over at him.

"I guess not. What do you want from me? Because I obviously don't know. I wish I did. Why don't you tell me, hmm?" he retorted, standing up.

"Be nice, give me a raise, and act like you care about my feelings for once!"

"You think I don't? I know every word you say. I know what you think of me. I know how much you love your precious 'Aoyoma-kun' and how much you hate how I never give you a raise." Ryou yelled angrily, throwing his arms into the air.

"But do you give a crap about my feelings? No! I have feelings to you know! Just because I don't act like I care doesn't mean I don't. Do you know how much it hurts me when I go to sleep alone with your angry words playing in my head over and over! Do you know how much it hurts me to say all the stuff that I don't want to but have to, because I can't let anyone in? You don't know how much I suffer. You don't know anything about how people feel!" He snarled, knocking over a chair.

"You don't know anything…" he sniffed, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.

Is he crying? Ichigo gasped, watching him try to hide his face.

"Ryou, I…"

"Shut up. 'You' don't get it. It hurts Ichigo. It hurts me to love you when I know how much you hate me." He yelled, tears staining his face.

"You…you love me?" Ichigo stuttered, processing what he had said.

"Yes, but you hate me and all you care about is Masaya! I know how to love, but all you have for me is hate." He snarled bitterly.

"But, I, I…don't hate you." She said, standing up.

She walked over to him and touched his shoulder. He flinched and moved away from her. She turned her head away and said quietly.

"I don't hate you. I think…I think I like you." She whispered, looking at the floor.

NOTE: review please if you want chapter 2. all types of reviews welcome...