The New Mew
A Tokyo Mew Mew A La Mode Fanfiction
Note: This story takes place after my previous fanfic, Postcard. This is also told from Keiichiro's point of view. Basically, this is Postcard's sequel, so read Postcard first; otherwise, you'll get really lost. (Well, not really…)
It was early on a Saturday, and we hadn't opened up. I was coming downstairs when I heard someone knock on the front doors. I went over to the doors and let her in.
"Hello," I said. I noticed that the girl was wearing a tank top, a hooded sweatshirt, and a tight pair of jeans, which accented her, uh…assets. I tried not to blush as her long, blonde ponytail passed me.
"Hey, Keiichiro. Is Ryou up?" the girl asked.
"No, Tsubaki. Want me to go wake him?"
"Nah, so I'll talk to you instead."
Tsubaki and Ryou met in junior high and were like brother and sister; they're best friends.
"Ryou said," continued Tsubaki, "that if I ever needed a job, that there would always be an opening here for me. Well, I kinda need that job now."
"What happened?" I inquired.
"I got laid off." She forced a smile and a giggle.
"Then I'm sure Ryou would want you to have this job. I'll give you the tour right away!"
As I turned around, I blushed I had a small crush on her, I admit. She was two years older than Ryou and three years younger than me. She was a junior in high school and had had a steady job at another food restaurant- until now.
I showed her the kitchen, the locker-room, and the two places where she wasn't allowed: the basement, where the lab was; and the meeting room, where we meet to discuss kirema anima or Crusader activity. Of course, I didn't tell her why she couldn't go there, but she didn't seem to mind. Tsubaki was just glad to have a job again.
"One more thing," I said as we headed back to the dining room. "We do have a uniform for our waitresses, so I'll make one for you later, okay?"
I paused for a moment and realized that the colors for the girls' uniforms came from their Mew outfits. Mental head slap! "Uh, pick two colors, one being the main color of your uniform."
"That's cool; you let you waitresses choose. Um, black as my main and red as my other choice."
"Okay then! I'll have it ready by tomorrow morning. Just come in at eight and you can change in the locker-room, 'kay?"
"Thanks, Kei-chan!" Her face lit up as she hugged me. "I actually have to be somewhere now, but I'll be here in the morning." Tsubaki kissed my right cheek and dashed off. Just then, Zakuro walked in.
"Isn't she a little young, Keiichiro?"
"Ack! You scared me!"
"I'm sorry. Did I interrupt something?"
"No! Tsubaki just needed a job. And Ryou always left an opening here for her…"
"I see how it is. Girlfriend needs a job, boyfriend gives her one."
I turned around. "It's just a one-sided crush," I stated. Then, I headed up to my room so I could get started one Tsubaki's uniform.
I think I fell asleep after I finished Tsubaki's uniform because it was done when I woke up. I picked up my head up and saw that my clock said eight o'five. Tsubaki! I rushed downstairs with the uniform, and saw Tsubaki standing outside, waiting to be let in.
"I'm so sorry!" I said as I opened the door so she could come in. "I overslept while I was making this-" I showed her the uniform. "-and I-"
"It's okay! Calm down, Kei-chan. I just got here myself. I also overslept."
We looked at each other and laughed. I handed her the uniform and told her to go change in the locker-room. I walked back up to my room and was cleaning up my mess when a bright light came from downstairs. Oh sht! moment.
I stopped what I was doing and ran downstairs and into the lab. There, in the middle of the room stood Tsubaki, shaking Ryou in an angry way. "what the hell just happened to me!" she screamed at him.
Tsubaki was sporting a leather black and red Mew outfit, complete with ears, wings, and a tail. She had just become a Mew Mew, with the help of the Vampire bat genes I had been researching.
Tsubaki saw me and dropped Ryou. "Kei-chan!" she said with starry eyes. "You can tell me what happened, right?"
I forced a smile and mumbled, "You're a Mew Mew now. Like the rest of our waitresses."
Her jaw dropped. After a moment, she asked, "How do I get back to normal!"
"Just think of being normal."
Tsubaki nodded and closed her eyes. A second later, she was in the same jeans and t-shirt she had been wearing earlier.
"Now you know the café's little secret," I said.
"So, everyone's a Mew Mew?" Tsubaki asked.
"Just the girls," I replied. "And for future reference, this isn't the locker-room. It's the other way."
"Sorry!" she blurted. She turned red and zoomed past me, toward the locker-room.
I turned to look at Ryou. "This is the second time this has happened," I sad through gritted teeth. "Now can we install a code lock!" I did my best not to raise my voice.
"Eh heh heh heh…"
"Apparently, someone's been a bit busy with Ichigo. So busy, in fact, that he's ignored how many times this has happened now." I was tapping my foot now.
"This- you- are why I will not have kids." I stormed out of the room and could hear Ryou chuckling in the background. Why did I have to raise him?
I trudged my way back up to my room and sat down on the edge of my bed. This day was going to be a long, long day.
As it turns out, I was wrong. The hours flew by in no time at all. The café was clean and I was carrying dishes and utensils to the kitchen when I overheard the girls talking at a nearby table.
"So, your Ryou's best friend?" asked Mint.
"Yeah; we've been buds since junior high," replied Tsubaki.
"So, now we know your relationship with Ryou, but what about Keiichiro?" winked Pudding.
"WHAAAT!" Tsubaki turned bright red. "What do you mean!"
"We've all seen it, girl," Ichigo chimed. "He's a nice guy to all of us, but he's a gentleman to you!"
"No, I think you're wrong," Tsubaki said.
"Why?" Lettuce asked.
"I…I don't think he would want to be anything more than a brotherly figure for me."
"You don't know how wrong you are," said Zakuro, who was looking out the window. The girls all turned and looked at her.
"What do you know, Zakuro?" asked Berry.
"A lot." Zakuro stood up and headed my way. I dashed into the kitchen.
I started putting the dishes in the dishwasher when Zakuro came into the kitchen.
"Hey, Keiichiro, you mind if I may something?"
"Sure. You want me to help?"
"Whatever you like." She walked over to the cupboard and took out a plastic mixing bowl. Then, Zakuro went over to the fridge and took out eggs, milk, and some food coloring: red, blue, yellow, green, and purple.
Zakuro cracked open the eggs into the bowl, poured in the milk, and dumped some flour that she had retrieved from a cabinet in.
"Keiichiro, would you get the mixer and beaters for me?"
"Sure. Hold on a sec." I walked over to a drawer and pulled out the mixer. I placed the beaters in it, plugged it in, and passed it to Zakuro. She turned it on and soon the ingredients in the bowl became a smooth cake mixture.
"Oh, wow!" I said. "It already looks delicious!" I reached to put my finger in the batter to get a taste, but Zakuro slapped it away. "Not yet," she said.
"Aw, darn. I have to wait?" I laughed. Zakuro smiled, which was odd since she never really showed her feelings.
She took out a heart-shaped pan and poured the batter into it. Then, she walked over to the over and placed the pan in its middle.
"So, how long until pull it out?"
"Fifteen minutes." Zakuro went back over to the fridge and pulled out a tub of butter-cream, which she separated into smaller bowls and colored with the food coloring.
"Icing! I love icing!" I exclaimed. Zakuro smiled again.
In about ten minutes, Zakuro had all of the icing done. "Three minutes 'til it comes out," she said.
"I can't wait!" Okay, so the child in me was showing; I couldn't help it. I like to cook, but I also enjoy other people's cooking.
Pretty soon, Zakuro was putting the icing on the cake as I hovered over. She did a quilt pattern on the cake and then put letters in the boxes every two squares: d, a, i, s, u, k, i.
"'Daisuki'?" I said. Why would she be writing 'I love you' on a cake?
Zakuro said nothing and put the stuff away. After grabbing a plate, knife, and fork, she came back over to the cake and cut a slice. "Try it," she urged.
"I can try it! This is my lucky day!" I took a bite and melted right on the spot. It was delicious! "Where did you learn to make this?"
Zakuro paused and walked over to the kitchen door. Before she left, she told. "When I was little, my grandmother told me that when I find a guy I really like- love- that the most special way to tell him was to make him a cake and feed it to him."
"Wow, what great story. Who's the lucky guy?"
She turned and looked at me. Her face was flushed. "I ma-" she stopped herself. "You can have that, Kei-kun." And then she walked out of the room.
What the hell was that? Zakuro made this cake and started to say something, said something else, and then left the kitchen without. Why!
I stopped eating the piece of cake and looked at the main cake. Did she make this for a guy she loves? Then, she why did she let me eat it? My head started hurting at this point; I was so confused.
I needed to talk to someone. I needed some sleep. I think the latter of the two was more important. I'll talk to someone tomorrow. Good night.
The next morning I woke up with the same huge headache I had last night. Trying to figure out who to talk to was almost as confusing as the situation I needed to talk about.
Apparently, Ryou was up before me, because there was a pot of coffee on when I got downstairs. I poured myself a large cup and was sipping it at one of the tables. I put my coffee down and tied my hair back. I had to get ready for another day and its mishaps and adventures.
Someone tapped on the glass of the front doors. I glanced up and saw Lettuce standing there, smiling. I smiled back.
I let her in when it hit me: Why not talk to Lettuce? "Hey, Lettuce, can I talk to you for a bit?"
"Yeah, sure. Why don't we sit down?"
"Um, yeah…" We sat down at the table with my coffee. I explained to Lettuce about Zakuro and told her about my feelings toward Tsubaki and waited for her to speak.
"Keiichiro, you're…dense!" Lettuce finally said. She giggled and smiled. "I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't mean to be so straightforward, but I couldn't think of a better word."
Yeah, but why am I dense?"
"Well, I'm not the right one to talk to concerning Zakuro, but with Tsubaki… How about I help?"
"Set you two on a date and find out how she feels about you."
"Tomorrow. I'll just say Keiichiro wants to meet her somewhere."
"A stroll through the park should do it. You should buy her some ice cream, too."
"Do you think it'll work?"
"Of course!" Lettuce ensured. "Now, show me your wardrobe. We can't have you looking too preppy or too relaxed, so move it. Come on!" she shoved.
Gulp! My big day today. It was an average day at Café Mew Mew: Pudding doing tricks, Lettuce dropping every plate we own, Mint not working, Ichigo working twice as hard, Zakuro…being Zakuro.
I stayed out of the way for the most part. I helped out here and there, but soon it was time for me to leave.
I looked up to see Tsubaki running towards me. When she stepped in front of me, she had to catch her breath.
"I'm sorry for wanting to meet you out here like this," I said. "Why don't we replenish the energy you used with some ice cream?"
Tsubaki looked up at me, grinning. "Yeah!"
"God, that was good! Thanks, Keiichiro."
"No problem. How about we watch the blossoms?" I asked.
We walked around a bit, just watching the petals sway this way and that. It was quiet; I couldn't think of what to say. Fortunately, Tsubaki broke the awkward silence.
"So, what did want to talk about?" She gave me a puzzled look.
I froze. At the time, yesterday, I had little courage about this meeting. Now, I had zero. "Ah, well-"
"Actually, there's been something that I've been meaning to tell you…" She looked down and turned as pink as the cherry blossom that she had caught on her hand. "Keiichiro…"
Oh, no! I thought. She has a boyfriend!
"Kei-chan, there's someone I like."
"I see…" I tried to hide the disappointment in my voice.
"You know him," she said. "And I don't think that you'll be disappointed with my choice."
"Ryou? But he has Ichigo. And I don't know any of your friends or classmates," I said.
"No, silly." Tsubaki looked in the eye, a mischievous grin painted on her face. "You know him more that I do." I shot her a puzzled and she just smiled. "Kei-chan, I've always been interested in…you."
In my heart, I was jumping for joy. I am really dense. Probably more dense than Lettuce thought. My answer to Tsubaki's next question was a no-brainer: "Kei-chan, what do you feel for me?"
"Tsubaki, you only, alone, call me 'Kei-chan'. You are the only that I am overly nice to because I want to impress you. You- you are the brightest light among my friends." I smiled, not just because I loved Tsubaki, but I was proud that I had the courage to it out loud.
"Keiichiro…" Tsubaki's eyes were moist and shined as she looked into mine. We stood like that for what seemed like an eternity, gazing at each other, barely moving except for blinking and breathing, the of latter of which was heavy. It was silent until Tsubaki, once again, broke the awkward silence.
"Keiichiro, would…would you kiss me?" Tsubaki looked so cute when she blushed.
But something didn't feel right.
I can't believe myself. Here I was, saying that a relationship with the girls of my dreams didn't feel right. I'm not dense- I'm a downright idiot. And I couldn't push my memory of the scene with Zakuro out of my mind. It was sort of nagging me. No! I thought. This is your day. Nothing will put a blemish. When I looked at Tsubaki, she had drooped her head; I guess she thought that my long pause meant 'no'. I lifted her chin in my hand, and her brow furrowed. I smiled to stop her wondering.
And, there, amongst the perfect backdrop of the cherry blossoms and their trees and the blue, blue sky, we kissed. That moment, too. Felt like an eternity. But it was a perfect eternity.
Everyone crowded around us when we got back to the café. Lettuce pushed ahead of them. "I had to tell them," she said. "They were gonna pummel me!"
"I had no doubt in you, Keiichiro," Ryou said. "I sensed something was up with you."
"Yeah…" The girls were crowded around Tsubaki, eager to get all of the details. All except Zakuro.
She stood over by a window looking sullen. I wondered what was wrong. She saw me and walked towards me.
"Lettuce's plan," I said.
She said nothing. Zakuro passed me with an icy feeling as she made her way to the locker-room. When she came out, she was in her school uniform and had her bag in hand. She made her way towards the door by the way of me As she stood beside me, she said, "I don't feel well. I'm going home early."
"Okay… I hope you get better." I turned to smile at her, but she wouldn't look at me. She dashed out and left the café silent. Mint gave me a worried look. "What did you say to her?"
It had been a while since our wolf had missed work. Three days, to be exact. We were all feeling uneasy without Zakuro's uneasiness there.
After cleaning, Mint announced that she was going to see what Zakuro was up to. I could understand where Mint was coming from; Zakuro had been missing school as well as work. I would've with Mint to hear what she said when Mint showed up ballistic the next day.
For Mint, it was unusual for her to be late to work. But today, I wish she hadn't come.
The other girls (except Zakuro) and Tasuku were busy setting when I heard a knock on the front doors. I walked over quickly and let Mint in. After I had the closed the door, Mint just turned around and stared- glared- at me. "What's wrong?" I asked, knowing she had visited Zakuro.
Mint raised her right hand.
She slapped me and all motion in the café stopped. I stared at her, brow furrowed, waiting for her next her words.
"You ASS! You're so stupid, oblivious! You have no idea how others feel! You take everything at face value and you don't look for hidden or deeper meaning! You think that someone's cheerful on the outside, so they must be on the inside! Well, you're wrong, bozo! You can hurt others when you don't open you stinking mind!"
"What did I do!"
"It's what you don't do! You are so simple-minded that you don't recognize feelings!"
"Forget it! What's the use of trying to explain it to you!" Mint turned to the locker-room and changed. She seemed pissed at me all day that she even worked through her tea break, she was so angry.
We had an emergency right after we locked. Some Crusaders had appeared in Shibuya, terrorizing some citizens with their chimeras. The Mews transformed and ran ahead of me, Ryou, and Tasuku. I pulled out my cell phone and called Zakuro's cell. It rang and rang and finally sent me into answering machine mode. "Zakuro," I said. "We need you in Shibuya. If you could make it, I would appreciate it." I click me cell shut and silently hoped that she would show.
"You worry too much about Zakuro-san, you know," Tasuku said from behind me.
I blushed. "What!" I never thought of that. "I know I worry a lot, but it's only natural to worry about friends, right?"
"Don't be absurd! I'm…with Tsubaki." Why was that little 'with' so hard for me to say!
"Sure you are. To me you seem more like brother and sister than boyfriend and girlfriend."
"WHAT!" We stopped in front of Hachiko's statue to find the Crusader known as Blue Bayou and chimera sitting atop of him. "Well, well," he said. "Aren't you three a little late?"
I glared at him and Tsubaki leaped into the air. "Ribbon Camellia Bite!" she screamed. Her attack missed and Blue Bayou all of a sudden appeared in front of Tsubaki's nose. "Poor little bat," he sneered. The expression on Tsubaki's face was suddenly still. Blue Bayou transported back on top of Hachiko. "Damn," ha stated angrily. "I got blood on my sleeve." His raised his hand to his mouth and licked some off of his hand. He turned to me. "Not bad, though." And then Tsubaki fell.
She…hit the ground hard. Blue Bayou had made a hole in her stomach with his horrifying strength. I didn't rush over to her; I was too shocked. But the thing is, I didn't feel as sad as I thought I would. I could only think of Zakuro. I was still worrying about why she wouldn't answer her cell. But still, I was so shocked that I didn't move when the chimera came at me. I just dumbly stood there, in the line of fire, until someone pushed me out of the way. "AHH!" she howled. Zakuro had been struck in the arm, severely. Blood was dripping from a deep cut in her arm above the elbow. I think she may have broken the bone because the trickle soon became a waterfall. I rushed over to her to help her to her feet after she hand dropped to her knees.
"Oh, god! Are you okay? You didn't have to do that. What if something worse had happened to you?" I realized that my eyes were moist.
"I can't let anything happen to you before I tell you…" she muttered.
"You can't tell me if you're dead!" Zakuro gave me a faint smile, but her breath was heavy and hoarse.
"Kei-kun, that cake… I meant- I didn't mean to say that you could have it. I meant that I-I made it for you." She lifted her head, her eyes blurred by the forming tears. I just gazed into her eyes.
"-was meant for you. Yes." She dropped her head. "I'm sorry I never told you. But Tsubaki came along and it ruined my pan and I was angry but happy that you were happy, but-"
"-but you had a hard time coping with that. Zakuro, Tsubaki, I realized, was no more precious than my then the rest of my friends. I liked her because I knew her and she stood out. But it-" I paused. It was going to sound awful because she had just died, but- "It wasn't love. I was nice to her in the same way that a big brother looked out for a little sister. But…but now she's dead."
"Wha-!" Zakuro, too, was shocked as she leaned against me. We both looked over where her body lay, lifeless. "I'm so sorry!" Zakuro blurted. "I shouldn't have said anything! Now isn't the time for me to have a moment. I'm so stupid." Zakuro saw what the other girls were doing and gave her power to Ichigo. Berry and Ichigo then defeated the chimera and Blue Bayou scampered off. We all gathered around Tsubaki; the girls cried aloud, while Ryou, Tasuku, and I just looked away.
Tsubaki's form then started to fade. I looked up just as the fading picture became twinkles of light rising into the sky. And there was nothing. Tsubaki was gone."
It took a couple of days before we could get used to her absence and no one said or mentioned anything or hers or about her. It felt lonely without her there and it affected all of us. But, we had each other. And, even in silence, we that the others were thinking about Tsubaki. Whenever we looked at each other, we would exchanged hopeful glances, but the effect never seemed to last. Especially on Zakuro.
Whenever my eyes caught hers, we just stared at each other. We didn't have to say anything; our eyes explained it all. But I didn't hate her for being jealous or for telling me too late. I was quite the opposite. I felt that I needed to protect her since I had hurt her unintentionally and I didn't want that to happen to her again. So, my lone wolf and I started a pack. No pups yet.
I just wanted to say that even though my name is 'mew-tsubaki', it doesn't mean I'm in love with Keiichiro (that would have to be Ryou 3); I just like the name 'Tsubaki'. So no one jump to conclusions, okay? Oh, and don't forget to submit a review! - 3