Okay, I haven't written a RxI yet. I don't expect you to go easy on me if the story sucks, I was just saying. Soooooooooooooo...yeah. On with the story!


Momomiya Ichigo was, per usual, running about the packed Cafe Mew Mew, trying to do the work of five people. It was getting close to Christmas, and there was always a big rush around holidays. At the moment, she desperately wished she could grow enough limbs for five people. While she was setting down a tray of apple tarts and Irish breakfast tea, a shout of, "I could use more water, miss!" came from waaaaaaaaaaaay across the cafe. "H-Hai..." said Ichigo, clearly tired of sprinting across the cafe to fill orders.

"Ichigo, don't slow up, we have customers." said Mint calmly, as if she had every right to sit and drink gallons of tea all day for ten bucks and hour. Ichigo silently fumed to herself, but she had no time to waste. Customers all over the place were shouting for more food or drink. By the time the cafe had closed, she was dead on the couch in the changing room, quite tired. "Will you be okay, Ichigo-san?" inquired Retasu, a tad worried about her friend. Ichigo smiled weakly as she got up. "I'll be fine, Retasu. Arigato!" Retasu smiled back. "Good! I'll be taking Pudding-san home now. Ja ne!"

"Ja ne!" As soon as she heard the door shut, she collapsed back on the couch. Does no one have a life? Why is everyone stuffing their faces at a cafe at Christmas of all times? I need a raise! She angrily, yet weakly, got up to, once again, gripe to a certain blond cat-guy. She quickly pounded up the stairs, and opened the door only to find who she was expecting to find.

With one exception...

He was fully clothed. (Didn't see that coming, did ya?)

He was sitting on his bed reading a book. Well, no longer, because he was looking up at her, an eyebrow raised. "Well, this is new. You find me clothed. Too bad for you, baka Strawberry." he said with a smirk. "No, good for me. Why would I ever want to see you of all people half naked? Wait...what am I here for?" She pondered for a moment, as Ryou rolled his eyes. "Oh yeah. Shirogane, I-"

He cut across her, "Strawberry, if this is about a raise-"

"No, let me finish! Shirogane, I am the only one who works around here, and it's getting old! I don't make near the amount of money that I should for all the work I do. Minto always sits on her butt, Zakuro is always at a photo shoot, Pudding breaks all the plates, and Retasu breaks twice as many! And furthermore, I-" She paused for a moment, feeling lightheaded and a little dizzy. "Strawberry?" said Ryou, wondering why her rant stopped. He got no reply as she fell over, tired from being overworked. Luckily, her caught her before her face hit the ground.

"Whaa...gomen ne Shirogane...I'm okay." Ignoring her reply, he gently set her on the bed. Ichigo blushed, not knowing his motive. "Have you been sleeping well at night?" Ryou said, looking worried. "Shirogane, I'm fine. Really."

"Are you entirely sure?" He was looking skeptical. "I'm okay. There's no need to worry so much." She got up to leave.

"It's late. I'll walk you home." He grabbed his jacket and walked out of his room. Ichigo was at a loss for words. Why did he all of a sudden go into bodyguard mode? She quickly shrugged it off as she swiftly went down the stairs to join him.

"Uhhh...Strawberry?"

"What is it, Shirogane?" Ichigo said, as she slipped on her coat.

"We kinda can't leave."

"Well, why not."

"We're sorta...snowed in."

3..

2..

1..

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO? I HAVE MY SPANISH AND ALGEBRA TO FINISH! I'LL BE STUCK IN HERE FOR DAYS! MAYBE WEEKS! WHAT DO I DO, WHAT DO I DO, WHAT DO I..."

Ichigo was suddenly cut off by Ryou's lips connecting with her's. He broke of quickly, his hands on her shoulders. "Can we please take a few seconds to calm down?" Ichigo nodded subconsciously, a little dazed. "Now. One, I doubt you're going to be at school tomorrow from the snow. Two, the snow will melt in less than even three days. Three, you are going to call you're parents to tell them you're staying at the cafe with all of the other girls because of the storm. Okaaaaay?" She nodded in agreement, still alarmed from the kiss.

She went ahead and made the call to her parents, letting them know the situation. After calling, she found Ryou in his room. "So...what do we do now?" He shrugged, wondering the same thing himself. "You like video games?" He said, mentally kicking himself for the question a nanosecond after asking it. "Are you kidding? Of course! Whatcha got?" She asked, suddenly hyper. "You actually like video games?" He asked, a little surprised.

"What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing. I just wouldn't expect it from someone like you."

"Someone like me? And what would that be, may I ask?"

"Loud, hyper catgirls who are over payed."

"I am not!"

"Look, are we gonna play or not?"

Ichigo huffed, but looked through his games. Super Smash Bros, Pokemon: Battle Revolution, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess..."How about Mario Story?" He took the game from her and put it in the console. About five hours later, Ryou stared wide-eyed at the screen, his mouth agape.

"Ne, Shirogane? Are you okay?" said Ichigo as she waved her hand in front of his blank stare.

"I just got totally pounded at a video game by a hyperactive catgirl."

"What? Never gotten beaten by a girl?"

"Not on a video game."

"Well, not anymore." He turned his gaze to her, now impressed. "How did you learn to play like that?" She chuckled lightly, "You'd be surprised at what my dad considers a "necessary life skill", Shirogane."

"So, now that the torture of losing has been suffered, whaddya want to do?" said the blond, his cool poker face replacing his previous expression. "I'm hungry. Can we order out?"

"Oh no, Strawberry. You already waste enough of my money during the day. I'll be cooking."

"I am not a waste of money! And you cook?" Ryou smirked, "You'd be surprised what Keichiro considers a "necessary life skill", Strawberry." Ichigo blushed as she laughed at his clever retort. Ryou in turn blushed at her adorable laugh. "So, what are we eating?"

"Tantanmen." Ichigo stared, "Did you know that was my favorite food?"

"No. It just came to me," He lied.

While they were eating, Ryou looked up at Ichigo and began to chuckle.

"What?" inquired the catgirl as she tilted her head cutely, making Ryou chuckle more. "You have sesame broth all over your face." This of course was an exaggeration, as there was only a little smear on her lips. "Where?" she said, blushing from embarrassment. Ryou made a motion to her lips, and Ichigo proceeded to wipe her right cheek.

"Lips, Strawberry."

She wiped her chin.

"Higher."

She wiped again.

"Jeez, Strawberry, can you do anything." He said in a low whisper. He leaned over to her and placed his lips on hers once more. Ichigo, for some odd reason, had expected the kiss, and readily responded, to Ryou's great surprise. He wrapped his lean arms about her waist, pulling her closer to his toned chest. Her hands found her way into his soft bed of hair. He soon opened his lips to release his tongue, licking the broth from her lips, and sending a shiver down Ichigo's spine. Wanting more, he pushed the moist muscle into her mouth. She gave a little gasp of suprise as her own tongue rubbed against his. Desperately needing air, Ryou pulled away from Ichigo, his arms still around her waist.

"Shirogane..." She whispered, her arms dropping from his hair to her sides.

"My name is Ryou, Ichigo." Her eyes widened, as if she wasn't aware that he knew her real name. He stared deeply into her wide brown eyes as if he was staring into her mind...or her heart. "Uh..." she said, attempting to break the trance he had invoked. "Gonna go take a shower..." she sputtered.

He followed her with his eyes as she walked. "Ryou, why do you always screw it up?" Ryou had loved the catgirl from the very beginning, but managed to refrain from confessing knowing that she was with that tree-hugger, Masaya. He cringed as he thought of him. He hated him for having the one thing that his money couldn't buy...dear, sweet Ichigo.

Ichigo quickly bounded up the stairs to the bathroom as she attempted to get as far away from her boss as possible. How does he do that? He's the biggest jerk to me one minute and the next...

She refrained from finishing the thought by undressing and removing her hair ribbons. After running the water, she sunk low into the bathtub to vainly attempt to clear her head of the questions that pounded in it.

Well...he always has treated me differently...and he gave me a nickname...

"Get back to work, Strawberry!"

"You need to stay an hour late to clean up."

"You're late again, baka Strawberry!"

He never picked on anyone else...just me. Maybe...just maybe...

She washed her head, trying to relax. But then she thought about another thing.

I always do get nervous around him. Heck, being a foot away from him makes me stutter. I never felt that way around Masaya...ever.

Thinking of him now sent a shock from her head down to her toes and even to the tips of her fingers.

And that kiss...Masaya never kissed me. She touched her lips with her fingers, once again feeling his own upon them.

I...I...

"I'm in love with Ryou Shirogane..." She thought aloud. After saying it, a large smile crept upon her face. She was no longer afraid to admit the truth. For so long, she had wasted her time with a guy that she hardly even knew. As she drained the water, she couldn't keep him out of her head. After drying her hair and getting into her pajamas, (she kept an backpack full of necessary items for such an occasion as this) she crept into Ryou's room. He was typing on his laptop, completely unaware of her presence. "I'm done." He looked in her direction, startled.

"So where do I sleep?"

"Where else but the bed?" She tilted her head cutely, "Then where will you sleep?"

"Also the bed."

She blushed darkly managing to sputter an, "Are you sure?" Ryou sighed, "Well, I'm not letting you sleep on the floor because you'll freeze, and I don't feel like waking up with a sore back." She blushed greater still. "C'mon, Strawberry, I'm not going to try anything." Yeah right. She thought, once again remembering the kiss. "Hey, Strawberry?"

"Hmm?"

"Where's your bell?" The question had been bothering him for two weeks when she first stopped wearing it. "Oh, Masaya and I broke up. I gave it back to him."

"Oh, Ichigo, I'm sorry." He tried to sound sympathetic, but he couldn't help but feel ecstatic. "No, it's fine, Ryou." Nevertheless, he walked over, pulling her into a tight embrace. She blushed as he held her for minutes on end. All the while, one thought was pumping through Ryou's head...

This is your chance. Take it while you can, Ryou. Take it! He pulled away, making his decision.

"Oh, yeah, I just remembered. I got you something, Strawberry." He rummaged through his drawers, eventually finding whatever he was looking for. He sat down on the bed and patted the spot next to him. She sat down, anxious. After taking a deep breath, he handed her the small velvet box. "Merry Christmas, my Strawberry."

Not noticing the possessive comment, she opened the box, her heart racing. In it was a dainty silver ring, set with three diamonds, the middle shaped like a heart. She carefully removed the ring from the box, breathless. While turning it in her fingers, she found an inscription:

I love you, Strawberry.

Ryou gazed at her, realizing that he had been holding his breath. Without warning, she burst into tears. "Ichigo! Ichigo, please don't cry. You don't have to keep it if you don't want to..." His heart was shattering as he said it. She smiled at him, tears glistening on her cheeks. She slipped the ring on, and took his face into her hands, kissing him with firey passion. Ryou, thoroughly shocked, grabbed her waist, pulling her as close as the laws of physics would allow. He slid his tongue against her lips, easily gaining entrance to her mouth. After what seemed like hours, they pulled apart, both with tears in their eyes. "I love you, Ryou." He smiled, enjoying the sensation her words gave him. "I love you too, Strawberry."

The next day, the snow had melted, so Ichigo reluctantly attended school, with help from her boyfriend, Ryou. Afterwards, at the cafe, Ryou looked over at Ichigo, smiling seductively, and nodded to the stairs. Understanding his gesture, she grinned slyly, running up the stairs, Ryou following closely behind.

After a few minutes, Minto, while sipping her third cup of tea, noticed that her catgirl coworker was nowhere to be found. "Ne, Keichiro?" He came out of the kitchen, his usual smile on his face. "Hai, Minto-san?"

"Have you seen Ichigo? She came in, but I haven't seen her."

"Oh, she went up the stairs a few minutes ago with Ryou."

"With Ryou?" She said, suspecting something was up. She started up the stairs with Keichiro and the other Mews, who heard the conversation. Minto yanked open the door without knocking. "Ryou, have you seen I...chi...go?" What they found was Ichigo and Ryou tangled in a serious makeout session. Zakuro smirked knowingly as the couple pulled apart. "It's about time, you two." Ryou and Ichigo laughed, both blushing. "We'll just leave you two alone." said Keiichiro, shutting the door.

"Ne, Ryou?" said Ichigo.

"Hai, Strawberry?"

"Does this mean I get the raise?" Ryou chuckled and changed the subject by fitting his lips with his Strawberry's.


Owww...my hands hurt from typing...Well, please read and review! Everyone who does gets...

FREE HUGS!!

Yeah, I know it's a rip-off, but it's the thought that counts, right? Right?

Ja ne, minna-san!!