Booya! It is I, the master of leaving you evil cliffhangers for all my stories because I take so long to update them! Bwahaha! I am back for the forty-second time with a brand new story to cliff-hang you all! Though you might all beat me with a wooden broom for taking my precious time to update it, you will, at the same time, love me. Well, that's only if you're a RyouxIchigo shipper, which if you're reading this story, you most likely are. And if you're not, you're probably just scrolling down to the review button so you can rant to me about how I suck and that RyouxIchigo is the worst couple alive. If that's the case, feel free! Either way, good review or not, it's still a review. 3 Which, mind you, is an important factor for this story.

You see, I have this arrangement with my fanfiction that I will most definitely not update a story if I don't get enough reviews for the chapter. Of course, getting these reviews won't actually guarantee a new chapter, but it does help. For each chapter, I want 10 reviews. Why, 10, you ask? Simple. This story will be thirty chapters. That's a fact. So, if there are ten reviews for each chapter, that means 300 reviews in total. Which sounds REALLY nice. So, be kind, rewind. Erm, I mean, review. 3

EDIT: Added lyrics to a song at the beginning of the chapter. I figured I'd do that with all of them now. Cause lyrics are fun and spiffy things! D


So little time
Try to understand that I'm
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody's changing
And I don't feel the same

-'Everybody's Changing' by Keane

Flicking her nose, he forced her mind back to reality. "Hey! Are you an idiot or something? You're supposed to be working!" The rude, rich blond would accept no excuses. She had a job to do and daydreaming was unacceptable. Neither was slacking, or resting, or sleeping, or singing, or dancing, or any other form of action that didn't have much work included--although since Ryou was an expert dancer, he did not see that dancing did take a lot of hard work effort.

"Nya? What?" Sweet, red-haired Ichigo finally realized what was going on, removing her head from the tip of the broom. But the sudden shock from suddenly hearing Ryou's voice, caused a lost of balance.

"NYA!" She screamed, landing face first onto the hard floor. Typical action of the little miss strawberry, who was truly not the brightest fruit in the basket. "My chin ...," she whined, slowly sitting up. "Did you really have to randomly pop up like that? You scared me!"

Ryou simply rolled his eyes. He scared her? He wasn't the boogeyman or a slug or a molded sandwich. In his opinion, he was not, at the least, scary."Stop complaining. You've only been here for twenty-five minutes and you're already slacking off work. I don't have neither the time nor the patience to constantly get you back on track." It was the same routine every day. Ichigo makes one mistake and he'll be right behind her to complain. Okay, so maybe he was scary in some ways. Possibly worse than a molded sandwich.

The girl was used to it, but even if it was something that occurred every single day, she still always grew upset. "I swear, I HATE you!" Don't you have anything better to do? I'm probably the only one in this stupid cafe who works anyway! No, wait. I AM the only one in this stupid cafe who actually works!" Again, a typical act of Ichigo. Her speech was a simple, daily routine at the pink, girly cafe.

He knew she was speaking the the truth, though. After all, the employees here weren't hired from experience, but because they were Mews. So whether they were a good worker or not didn't really matter, for they'd still have their job in the end. And unlike the other four girls that worked there, Ichigo was the only one that even really did anything. The other girls had their little ways of never getting the job done, whether they wanted to or not.

"I don't care. Instead of worrying about whether anyone else is working, you should just concentrate on your job," Ryou smirked, leaning down to flick her nose again.

Still on the floor, Ichigo beated the ground with her feet as she was filled with rage. Ryou always had a way with getting her upset. Actually, Ryou had a way with getting pretty much anything he wanted. A quality he had, which molded sandwiches did not include.

Of course, Ryou could care less whether she worked or not. Let's just say he had reasons of his own for treating her the way he did. Could it be ... love?

No, Ryou would never admit to falling in love. He just loved messing with her mind and raising her rage up. He had a mighty good time doing it, too. It was like when starting Kindergarten, where the little boys teased and pulled the hair of the girls they liked to show their affection. But of course, Ryou did not have any sort of affection for Ichigo. Not that he'd admit that.

"Ichigo, dear, you have a very long day ahead of you. It's only morning, and things get very busy when the afternoon comes, so you better be prepared to work as much as you can." He gave another smirk, speaking in a calm voice, waiting for the redhead's reaction.

And immediately, she froze. After all, hearing Ryou say the word "dear" to her wasn't exactly a common event in these parts. "N-nya?" What ... is wrong with you?"

If Ichigo had a wish, any wish at all, it would be able to read what exactly went on in Ryou's mind. It was something she could never do, but absolutely wished for it, considering it would be of much use. Never was she able to understand what he was usually thinking and figured if she could, she would not constantly get upset after every little action of his. Considering the fact that she constantly got angry was because she could never find a reason for his doings.

"You are such an idiot," he muttered, turning to walk up the white staircase, which led to his bedroom. "Get to work, Ichigo. I don't want to have to pick on you again when I get back."

Once again, he had touched a nerve. "Idiot? I am NOT at all an idiot! I have done all that you've told me too, and the only thing you ever do is waste your own time just trying to annoy me! I think that sums up to who the real idiot in this situation is."

"Yeah, it's you." He crossed his arms, stopping in his path, for he wouldn't miss the chance to cause her much more frustration. "And there are more ways to prove you're the bigger idiot."

"I'm not an idiot! What is with you and this idiotness anyway?" She growled, before realizing that she was still sitting on the floor ... like an idiot. Embarrassed, she quickly got on her two feet and stood up straight. "I so hate you right now, Ryou." Although she seemed to hate him every other single day of her life as well.

He snickered, looking back at her, before shaking his head. "It took you this long to get up? Did you even notice you were still on the floor?" He was beginning to wonder if she was actually trying to prove to him what her level of high idiocity really was. And with the high knowledge he had, he knew that that wasn't even a word.

"I-I-I knew I was on the floor!" She stuttered, nervously, trying to cover up the real truth. "I just didn't feel like getting up, that's all. What does it matter to you anyway?"

"I bet I can kiss you about ... maybe thirty times when you least expect it or even when you expect it and you won't be able to do a single thing to stop or prevent me from doing so."

"WHAT?" She screamed, eyes growing wide. She wondered what that had to do with being an idiot or whether it was ever meant to be related to the situation at all.

Again, the smirk was shown. "I really believe I'm capable of this task and in the end, you definitely won't be bothered with it at all."

She blushed, though she was filled with anger. Maybe her rage was the cause of the bright red shades on her face. Why would he kiss her anyway? And so many times! "Thirty, you say? What, you're gonna try kissing me once every day for a month?"

"Nope. I'm gonna kiss thirty times all in one day. Today, in fact."

"What?" Another scream. She really could not believe what he was telling her or what the reason was for this plan in the first place. After all, there wasn't much of a connection between being proven an idiot and being kissed thirty times by an idiot? Aside from the fact that both situations were, in fact, related to the term "idiot". "L-look! What are you trying to do? I have a boyfriend and you know that!" She protested, realizing she hadn't mentioned Masaya when he first brought up the idea of kissing.

Masaya was her all-time perfect boyfriend. He loved her deeply, just as she loved him, and from the very beginning, he had always been there by her side. It was definitely wrong to have some other guy (especially a jerk like Ryou) kissing her when she had a boyfriend that was completely loyal to her.

"Oh, yes. The precious Aoyama. Isn't he like thousands of miles away right now? You do know that long distance relationships never work, right?" He leaned up against the cafe's walls, not really taking much interest in what Ichigo had to say.

She pouted, trying to find the right words to reply with. "Listen, you! Mine and Masaya's relationship is just fine! A-a-and either way, it's none of your business!" She turned on her heel and began walking fast towards the exit of the cafe, though she sensed footsteps coming behind her, which made her wonder why he was beginning to follow her. "I can't take any more of your stupid comments! I am leaving! You can fire me for all I care, too! Or better yet, I quit!"

"Ichigo, look over here."

She rolled her eyes, stopping in her tracks. And though she didn't want to hear another word from him, she slowly turned around. "What now, Ryou? Can't you just--?" But her words were cut off as she felt lips attach themselves to hers. Her eyes wide, she began to beat on Ryou's arms in attempts to remove him away from her.

Still, her attempts were of no use for he didn't pull back. At least not until a few seconds when he decided himself to end the kiss. And still, he kept the trademark smirk. "Enjoy?"

Her lips quivered as she touched them with her own fingers. "You ... kissed ..." She had no words left to express. She could not believe she had let her guard down much too easily. "YOU JERK!" She shouted, just before sending a loud SMACK! across his face. "How could you?"

"You saw it coming," he replied, with no such reaction for the slap he had just received. He knew he deserved it, therefore he knew he had no right to get angry. "I told you I would kiss you, so you really shouldn't be surprised. And you'll be seeing this twenty-nine more times today, so get used to it now." And that was all he had to say, before turning around and once again, walked towards his room.

"I really can't believe you would do such a thing!" She shouted after him, although she knew he wasn't actually listening to her anymore. She wondered deeply as to what were his reasons for even doing this. Was it some kind of punishment (which didn't seem fair since she did actually work)? Was her trying to prove something? If that was the case, then he didn't seem to be trying to prove she was an idiot. If anything, he was proving to her that he, himself, was one for coming up for a stupid idea such as that one.

Maybe the best action for the moment was to ask. "Why are you doing this, Ryou?" Or maybe it wasn't.

He stopped in his tracks, yet he didn't not turn around. There was only silence between them, as Ichigo awaited for an answer. He then slowly turned his head slightly back to face her. "Get back to work, will you? You silly girl ..." And he walked up the steps leaving her in continuous confusion.

"Ryou!" She wanted an answer from him. She wasn't going to continue in this defenseless position as he kissed a girl who already had her heart taken by another. But he didn't answer and disappeared from her view when reaching the second floor.

'Maybe he wants me to fall in love with him or ... something?' She thought, getting a hand to her chin as she remained in wonder. She stucked out her tongue in disgust from even coming up with such an explanation. 'Ha! Yeah, right! He is SUCH a dummy. My heart belongs to Masaya and him alone. There's NO way I'd go for a dork like Ryou. Gross me!'

Rolling her eyes, she reached for the fallen broom, which rested undisturbed on the ground since she had fallen after Ryou's appearance.

"Am I disturbing anything"? asked a quite familiar voice from behind the busy red-haired catgirl. Thankfully for Ichigo, this voice was not Ryou's, unless he had consumed from random voice changer item from his wacko lab, which was truly in doubt. So, instead of figuring this was the case, her lips curved into a smile.

"Keiichiro!" She giggled, turning around to face him, and she was pleased to see that it was indeed Keiichiro and not silly Ryou again holding some sort of voice-changing machine. Unlike Ryou, the pony-tailed pastry chef was sweet and was quite the gentleman. "Nope! Not disturbing anything!"

He gave a kind smile. Sometimes Ichigo wondered how any guy could possibly be this nice. Even Masaya wasn't this nice. Though maybe he was. Well ... okay, she wondered how any guy aside from Masaya could be this nice. "I could have sworn I had just finished hearing Ryou's voice. Was he here?"

Ichigo cringed. She couldn't bear hearing the jerk's name any longer. "He just went upstairs."

"Hmm," Keiichiro smiled, as he shrugged. "Well, it's best to just let him be then. And you, Ichigo, are you alright? Your face seems to be awfully red. If you're sick, you should really get home and get some rest. I did hear of a certain flu going around."

Red? Her face was red? Impossible! It was probably just from frustration and anger. Or ... 'Am I blushing? OH MY BLOODY GOSH! NO WAY!' The thought only made her redder. Was this an effect from Ryou's kiss? Again, it was a total impossibility! "I-I'm fine! Not to worry!"

He nodded, turning to walk away again. "Well, I do hope so. I must return to the kitchen now, but if you are in need of anything, don't hesitate to let me know. By the way, you've just received a letter. It just read her name and the address of the cafe. Why wasn't it just sent to her own house? Eh, probably just spam mail.

"Um ... okay! Thanks, Keiichiro!" She smiled at him, before he turned and walked away to the direction of the kitchen.

Not opening the letter at that moment just yet--increasing your suspense, don't it?--Ichigo quickly grabbed at her cheeks. "Oh my butterfingers!" She exclaimed, shouting out some random saying that wasn't ever really in her vocabulary. "Why am I blushing?" She shouted, loudly to herself, though she soon came to realizations that if she didn't know the answer that question, asking herself would do no good of finding it.

'It is NOT because of that jerk! Impossible!' She chose to completely deny the idea, and stay with the belief that anything dealing with Ryou Shirogane was pretty much impossible. Unless you were stating that Ryou is a complete careless jerk who comes up with the most pointless and strangest ideas. Now THAT was possible! Though, you could say it was more like a fact.

Either way, blushing over that blondie was something she decided the very first day they met that would never occur. Again, something impossible. She would NOT have any love-like thoughts relating whatsoever to Ryou. Of course, the idea constantly backfired since she had much more than one or two thoughts about him in that manner.

But they were all ignored. After all, why would she need to think romantically about Ryou when she had her perfect relationship with Masaya.

Then again, that didn't really change the fact that the thoughts WERE there, no matter how perfect her little relationship was. Having spoken of this secretly to Minto once before, the blue-haired girl suggested that maybe her relationship with Masaya wasn't as perfect as she thought. If it was, why would she need to think of Ryou?

Though, her thoughts of Ryou weren't really anything romantic. It's not like she was stuck in some typical fanfiction story where this whole time, she had deep inner feelings for her rude employer. It was more like just an attraction.

Ryou was gorgeous. She admitted that much. Actually, in her words, he was "hot" minus the fact that he was a complete jerk. Still, that didn't change her thoughts of thinking of Ryou was a beautiful bishounen, because that was indeed what he was. All girls were pretty much attracted to him, without much resistance, seeing as how they were fascinated with his on-going charisma, which was just let out naturally, without much to keep it away.

And Ichigo was one of those girls. Boyfriend or not, she WAS attracted to Ryou, even though with this attraction, came no feelings of romance.

And so, Ichigo ignored any of Minto's silly suggestions of a not-so-perfect relationship with Masaya. Besides, what could possibly be wrong? They were both happy, weren't they? It's true that Masaya chose to continue studying in England while Ichigo chose to stay in Tokyo, but so what?

And then, Ichigo's thoughts were wandered to the kiss. The kiss from Ryou, which she not at the least expected (even though he warned her only minutes before). The truth was that the kiss wasn't at the slightest bit romantic. It was just plain dry with a taste of cheese?--which led Ichigo to wonder if he had some cheddar crackers earlier. Either way, the kiss was completely forced and unwanted.

She, of course, however, still blushed. And she had to admit it was still a pretty good kiss. Unromantic, dry, and forced, yes, but still not so bad, none the less.

Now that she thought about it, that kiss was actually the first they shared together. Sure, they kissed several times as cats, but as Ryou noted before, they didn't really count for anything. After all, would you ever consider telling a friend that your first kiss was received while you were transformed into a feline for several hours? I think not.

Still, they had shared their first kiss together. Of course, Ichigo had been kissed several times before by Masaya, and--twitch--Kisshu, but she had never really been kissed by Ryou after all this time.

BUT! Ichigo didn't care. Why would she? It was just Ryou. Caring about kissing him would be completely unlike her and completely unloyal to her oh-so-loyal boyfriend, which she could not dare to do. Oh, no, no, no. She would not waste her time thinking about kissing some blond, rich, snobby jerk of a boss that spent all his time throwing rude comments in her direction and finding excuses to accuse her of not working.

Whatever. It wasn't really necessary to continue thinking about it. FINALLY pushing her thoughts away, she looked down at the warn-out envelope between her fingers--which was all smudged up from her wrinkling it constantly due to her angry thoughts of dear, ol' Ryou. She began wondering what it was, though she could have found that out many moments ago if she had not wandered through her mind for so long. So now--finally satisfied with leaving the audience in complete suspense--she ripped it open and pulled out a sheet of paper. Reading the contents of the letter, her eyes went wide.


-End, Part I.

Oooh! I left you in suspense, didn't I? DIDN'T I? I bet you all want to know what's in the letter, don't you? I bet you do. P Well, if you want to find out, review. Ten reviews will bring you the answer to what's in the letter and what's in store for the wacko couple. Heck, if you have multiple accounts, just review with them all! I don't care! As long as I have ten reviews, good ones or bad, I'll be a happy chippy. 3

Now, to leave you with my wonderful cliff-hanging voice! clears throat WHAT could possibly be in the letter Ichigo has received? WHO sent this letter? WHY was this letter sent to the cafe and not her house? WHEN will Ryou give Ichi another smack-o-roo--or in the natural English language--a kiss? WHERE in the world is Carmen Sandiego? HOW does Carmen Sandiego have anything to do with this fanfiction story? Find out in the next chapter of ... dun dun dun! ... Thirty Smooches! Erm, I mean, kisses. 3