Thank you so much everybody for your continued support! I was scared that after so long of a wait for an update that y'all might have given up on me. I am so glad to see that that has not been the case! In a quick overview answer to some of my reviews, if my writing has improved, you can probably thank four years' worth of college level English courses (typically two or three every semester because I'm nuts. If you haven't hit college yet, don't be suicidal. One a semester is usually enough! Unless that's your degree…) are probably the main cause for it. After writing five page essays two or three times a week, and a few creative writing courses, yeah, I think anyone's would probably get a little bit better. One of my assignments was to bring in a fanfic before, too, and I would have used my TMM "To Kiss or Not to Kiss" but I didn't think many in my class would know Tokyo Mew Mew. Instead I used one of my Harry Potter fics. It t'was amazing!
Also, as for why Ichigo keeps fainting, well, you're just going to have to keep reading to find out now, aren't you? ;P
Disclaimer: Alas, TMM shall never be mine, but In my heart I know who Ichigo should have loved…
She left the bathroom, pushing herself out of my grasp. I didn't try following; there was nothing I could say. Instead I watched as she went to the closet, probably heading for the stairs to go to the library. I watched just a few seconds longer after she disappeared from sight before turning to go back into the bathroom. No sooner had I shut the door than I heard a loud thunk.
Quickly, I pulled the door open again, running to the closet. Ichigo was in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, out cold. Her left arm was caught on the railing, keeping her suspended just over the ground.
I screamed her name as I rushed to her side. She didn't budge. Gently I pulled her off the stairs, being especially careful of her arm. She wasn't bleeding anywhere that I could tell, but I hadn't looked closely, either. I carried her over to the bed, setting her down as softly as I could.
There weren't any gashes on her skin, and her head seemed to be ok. There were large bruises forming on her limbs. I lifted her shirt up partially, to check her ribs. None seemed to be broken, but a large bruise was forming on her side. Her left arm was definitely broken.
I went back to her head; checking over and over again for signs that she might have hit it, but it looked like she had been lucky and her body had taken the blows.
In the bathroom I found the first aid kit. It wouldn't have everything I needed, but hopefully it would have something to set her arm.
This was all my fault. If I hadn't turned her away she wouldn't have gone up the stairs. She may have still blacked out, but in the bathroom I could have caught her, kept her from getting so hurt.
Getting out of here couldn't wait any longer. If I had to smash every window in this house, we were getting out of here today.
When I woke up, my arm hurt like none other. I remember going up the stairs, but then nothing. I opened my eyes and looked down. My left arm was bandaged and in a sling, and I appeared to have been brought to the bed. Ryou was sitting by me, concern in his eyes. A small wave of relief flooded through them when I turned to him, but I could see that he was still worried.
"Ichigo, thank God. You scared the heck out of me." He was stroking the side of my face. Vaguely I noticed he was still wearing his sweats. He must not have showered yet. "Do you remember what happened?"
I nodded slightly, but quickly stopped as it set my head to swimming. Groaning, I put my left hand against my head, as I waited on the spinning to stop. I didn't dare try to sit up. "You turned me down, so I was going up the stairs to sit in the library. Next it was black, and then I woke up. That's all I remember."
His lips twitched in a tighter frown. "I think you passed out again."
"It seems like it. I think I need to get some sleep, maybe that's what's causing the black outs."
"Maybe. All I know is we are getting out of here, and we're getting out today."
"We've already tried everything we can, Ryou. We're trapped."
He shook his head. "I don't care that we've already tried everything. I need to get you to a hospital, and if I have to smash every window or blow this house up, I will. I'm getting you out of here, I promise." Softly, he laid his lips against mine, kissing me sweetly.
His hand was shaking against my cheek. When he pulled back, I saw the fear in his eyes. Maybe he does really care…
Lightly I covered his hand with my own, catching it as he made to pull away. I nuzzled against it, and squeezed it reassuringly. He smiled softly in response and gave me another quick kiss before standing up, leaving me alone to my thoughts.
She caught my hand in her small one, and kept me there for just a moment longer. Such a simple motion, an innocent nudge, but it encouraged me. I gave her another quick kiss, leaving her on the bed before I would remain glued to her side. I had a job to do now.
My first goal was the computer, like always. Dad had told me before that there was a way out of this little prison. I just needed to decipher the encryption he had left on his files. Before I had only been trying to establish a connection to anyone outside of this house. I hadn't tried to hack into my father's sealed studies.
Dad had always been a private person. To the outside world he was incredibly open and always available for a long conversation. If anyone actually studied his words, however, they would find that he never said anything about himself at all, except for the obvious facts. His projects were top secret until he finished them, except to his family and Keiichiro, who had been his assistant. I was still young enough that he didn't tell me about too many of the experiments or artifacts that he had dug up. I had never seen the ones that had caused him to be locked up in this apartment.
Keiichiro had, and he had been the one to actually find them, but Dad had taken the blame. I remember that much. Keiichiro hadn't wanted me to know about that, but I'd overheard my parents discussing it one day. I never asked him what he'd found.
"You don't have to do this…"
"You know as well as I do that it well be better if I do. Keiichiro is still young, and it was an accident he found it to begin with. If something happens, we need him. Think about Ryou."
"I am thinking about Ryou. He doesn't need his father locked up either! Wouldn't they take it easier on him? He's still a minor."
"Listen to what you are saying, darling. I'm going to be put under house arrest for two years. That's all. They would put Keiichiro in juvenile hall, and then send him to prison when he comes of age. He would be truly locked up and labeled a criminal. I will only be punished as a misdemeanor. We are too well respected in the archaeological community, but Keiichiro isn't."
"I'm just so worried… what will happen to us? Will they take Ryou and me away until you're allowed out again?"
"No. It's been arranged. We will all stay here together. I have been given permission to make modifications to this house so that we can sustain ourselves. They will have a delivery service bring us the food we can't grow ourselves. Think about it as an extended vacation, my sweet, and Ryou will be able to leave the house. I'll build a tunnel in the green house, and he'll be able to play outside like any normal kid. It will be fun for him, you'll see. We will be fine."
"I hope you are right, my love, I hope you are right…"
The tunnel! I had forgotten all about it. I left the computer and went to the green house. If I remember right, it's beneath the counter under the spices…
Sure enough, I found the trap door. It was locked. I'd need to smash the lock off to get us out of here.
Inside the green house was a small shed, with a few gardening tools. The shovel broke after the first couple of hits. The pruning shears barely made a dent in the rusted chain. Sighing, I stood. Maybe Ichigo will have an idea.
She was asleep when I returned to the bedroom, but stirred when I sat upon the bed beside her. She smiled softly at me.
"How are you feeling?"
I nodded, hurting to look at her in this condition. "I'm sorry Ichigo… this is all my fau-" she cut me off, putting a finger on my lips.
"This is not your fault. Don't even say that. It was an accident, that's all."
"If I hadn't turned you down,"
"-I would have tried to do something I don't think I'm ready for. But I don't think you came in here just to apologize. I know you Ryou. Did you find something?"
I nodded. "I remembered about the tunnel my dad had made for me, so that I could still come and go as I pleased. Problem is it's locked, and I've broken all my tools trying to break it."
Her ears perked up. "A tunnel? Can you show me?"
"I'm not sure if you should try moving yet."
She was already starting to sit up. "Don't be silly. I used to get hurt worse than this fighting the aliens."
So she says, yet the moment she tried standing on her own it was my catching her that kept her from hitting the floor again. "Don't be stubborn. If you're that determined to go then I'll carry you." I picked her up easily, but remembering the first day we met, I couldn't help teasing her again. "You're still heavier than you look, you know that right?"
She smiled. "I think I've been told a time or two. If I remember right it's my turn to call you a 'jerk,' am I right?"
"If you want."
I smirked. "At your service."
Ryou carried me to the green house. On the floor were the scattered pieces of the tools he'd mentioned before.
"Ryou, steady me. I have an idea." He put me down gently, holding me around the middle to keep me upright.
It had been three years since I'd needed to become a Mew Mew. If I was lucky, the powers weren't completely gone yet, and I could try using my strawberry bell to break the lock.
I summoned the change to my center as I had done so many times before. The last time I'd tried, I'd nearly been unable to transform at all.
To our surprise, the transformation came quickly, nearly knocking the both of us off of our feet. I didn't waste any time. I used the bell to break the lock, but didn't change back.
"It looks like the Mews are needed again."
"So it seems. Let's get out of here."
Without further delay Ryou left me to lean against the counter as he pulled the trap door up. He stepped in first, then he helped me into the narrow tunnel. We had to crawl to get out of there, Ryou taking the lead but checking back on me constantly. I was able to crawl using my legs and right arm, though awkwardly. If it wasn't for the sling my left would have dragging the ground.
At the other end of the tunnel was another trap door, but it swung up as Ryou pushed against it.
We crawled out, and couldn't help but stare at what we saw.
"Umm, Ryou… why is the girl's car still here?"
Now hopefully that is a fitting cliffy…
Though I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to have be wrong, but I'll figure something out. This writing bug isn't going away, and I am so not complaining! Please tell me what you think!