1

"Pai, when are you going to be done with that thing?"

Pai shrugged, not bothering to turn around to face Kisshu as he fumbled to place a piece into the machine he was constructing. "This is a very delicate instrument, and it will take time to—"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Pai was cut off by a young voice that came from behind him. Taruto yawned. "All I want to know is who we're attacking. Is it that old hag?"

Kisshu shot him a death glare, and Taruto took a quick step back. Pai nodded, and fitted another piece into the cylindrical machine. It was starting to look a bit like a pencil with a red switch on top. It had a miniature speaker attached to the bottom.

"Yes," he said, "we shall be attacking Mew Ichigo. If we get the cat girl alone and get her, the rest of the Mews will be helpless without their leader."

Taruto rubbed his palms together gleefully. "I like how you think. Then I can make that stupid monkey cry!"

Kisshu raised his eyebrow at the young alien, amused, who shrugged.

Suddenly, Pai clapped his hands and leaned back in his chair. "It's done!"

Kisshu jumped up. "Let's go then! I'm so bored!"

However, underneath his placid features, he was deathly afraid. What would happen to Ichigo? He didn't want her to get hurt.

Pai grabbed the machine and the three aliens teleported to Earth.

2

Ichigo hummed as she walked down the sidewalk. It was a beautiful evening, and she had just gotten off from work. The bell around her neck jingled as she walked, interrupting her thoughts.

I wonder if I should tell him… she thought, stopping and standing still, that I'm a Mew Mew.

She shook her head. No! I can't tell Aoyama-kun! He'll think I'm some kind of freak!

Beginning to walk again, she noticed where she was. She stood at the gate, staring at the house behind it. Masaya Aoyama's house…

"Ichigo?"

She was snapped out of her trance by a confused voice. She turned towards it, and blushed when she saw the owner of such melodious tones.

"Hi, Aoyama-kun!"

The boy stepped toward her and hugged her, but Ichigo became tense and did not hug him back, for she was overcome with a wave of guilt. The boy pulled away and looked at her. "Is something wrong?"

She began to shake her head, but then she nodded.

Ichigo took a deep breath and said, "I-I've been lying to you."

Masaya blinked. "What?"

"Can…we go somewhere to talk?"

Masaya smiled gently. "If there's something wrong, let me help you fix it. You can tell me here."

Ichigo nodded and looked the boy in the eyes. As she opened her mouth, however, an explosion behind her threw both her and Masaya into a wall. Ichigo stood up shakily, glaring at the alien floating above her.

"Kisshu, go away! I don't need this right now!"

The alien tapped the tip of his sword against his chin. "No, I don't think I will…"

"H-how do you know him?"

Ichigo gasped and turned to where her boyfriend was propping himself up against a wall. "Aoyama-kun…"

Kisshu smirked. "She hasn't told you, pretty boy?"

Ichigo growled. "I was about to, before you interrupted!"

Masaya's brow wrinkled as he stood up and walked over to Ichigo. "T-tell me what?"

Ichigo's mouth opened again, but Kisshu chose that moment to raise his swords above his head, conjuring an energy ball.

"NO! Mew Mew Strawberry Metamorpho-SIS!"

She leapt in front of Masaya, blocking the attack with her Shield.

She turned to face her boyfriend after the energy dissipated, and smiled gently. Masaya's eyes widened.

Ichigo continued to smile. "Aoyama-kun…I-I'm a Mew Mew."

He took a step towards her, reaching out to stroke a furry cat ear and taking a quick breath when he felt the warmth coming from them.

"Ichigo…"

Suddenly, Ichigo whirled around when she felt a ripple in the air behind her.

"Good, Kisshu, you found her." Pai smirked slightly. Taruto giggled.

Oh, crap… Ichigo thought. Turning back to face Masaya, she said to him very quietly, "I need you to go to the Café and get Shirogane. Run!"

He gave a small, barely noticeable nod and took off down the road.

The three aliens looked after him. "Aww," Kisshu said, "he can't stay to help? How cowardly of him…"

Ichigo hissed at him and Pai shouted, "Now!"

The three aliens teleported, trapping Ichigo in a loose circle. Ichigo looked left and right, sizing up her opponents. She conjured her weapon and said, "Ribon Strawberry Sur—!"

"Fuu Rai Sen!"

The Strawberry Bell flew out of her hand from Pai's well aimed attack and Kisshu reached out and caught it with ease, twirling it on his wrist. He smirked, and her eyes widened.

"W-what do you want?" Ichigo asked, her voice trembling slightly.



"We want you to come with us."

Ichigo turned quickly to face Pai, who was twirling what looked like a silver stick between his fingers.

She scoffed. "Like that'll ever happen!"

He raised an eyebrow. "Very well…Kish?"

The younger alien turned to face Pai. "Yeah?"

Pai adjusted a dial on the side of the machine numbered from 1 to 20, set it to '1', and flipped the switch. "Kish, can you hear that?"

Kisshu shook his head, and said offhandedly, "No. Why?"

Ichigo, however, drew her eyebrows together. "I hear something," she said, rubbing one cat ear. "What is that? It's like a…a high-pitched whining. It's really quiet though."

Pai smirked and turned the machine off. "Kish, I have an interesting fact for you. Did you know that cats can hear five times better than us or humans?"

Kisshu shook his head. "Nope. Cool, though."

Pai looked down at the slender device again, turning the dial up to '9'. He turned to Ichigo.

"This is a little project I whipped up this morning. If you won't come willingly, I'll have to use it. Do you really want that?"

Ichigo scowled. "I'll never go with you!"

Pai smirked. "Very well, then. Oh, hey, cat-girl? Remember that high-pitched whining?"

Ichigo nodded hesitantly.

The purple haired alien aimed the miniature speaker on the end of the machine at Ichigo.

"Well, it's about to get louder," he said evilly, and flipped the switch.