Chapter 12

"Zakuro please don't overexert yourself!"

Zakuro ignored Ryou's shouts and continued to force as much of her energy into the tiny crystal.

"Zakuro, with your powers already blocked you could kill yourself forcing so much out!" Ryou shouted, pulling Zakuro away from the crystal.

Zakuro struggled. "I have to bring him back! I have to!"

Ryou grew frustrated and spun Zakuro around, forcing her to look at him. "Look! Just give it time! Even if you force your energy out there's no guarantee that it'll work!"

Zakuro gave Ryou a hard look before all the fight left her and she sank to her knees. "I want him back…"

Ryou placed a hand on Zakuro's shoulder. "I know you do…we all do. But give it time…we'll see eventually how this all plays out…"

Zakuro stayed silent for a moment, not looking at Ryou, until, "Theoretically…how long?"

"Until we know for sure?" Zakuro nodded. "Well…see how much energy is in the crystal and the amount it would need to keep itself sustained it'll only take a few days…can you wait that long?"

Zakuro felt herself grow hopeful and she looked up and smiled. "Yeah, thanks Shirogane…" Zakuro stood herself up, grabbed the crystal, and slung it around her neck.

As Zakuro headed for the staircase, the sound of racing footsteps came down it and Mint came into view.

"Zakuro! You weren't in bed when I checked! Are you alright?! Shouldn't you be resting?!"

The memory of Mint forcing a kiss onto Tohma flashed through Zakuro's mind and it took all of Zakuro's will power not to lash out at her. Mint was her comrade and biggest fan after all… "I'm fine, Mint. I was just checking out what Shirogane was up to…"

Mint grabbed Zakuro's hand and started pulling her up the stairs. "Well come on! You have to get some rest or else you'll never recover!"

Zakuro turned and gave Ryou a pleading look, but Ryou just shrugged and gave Zakuro a look that clearly said 'she's your problem, not mine…'

Sunday rolled by with nothing too eventful happening. Zakuro had gone back to her duties around the café, though her ears and tail had to be covered up. She did, however, receive a pang of jealousy when Aoyama came to visit Ichigo. Watching Ichigo make a fool of herself as Aoyama was being his usual kind self to her was rather entertaining to watch but it made Zakuro feel envious. After every few hours, Zakuro would pull out the spirit crystal around her neck and check on it. Sure enough, bit by bit, its glow was coming back. That gave Zakuro a sense of hope and now she had no doubt in her mind that Tohma was coming back to her.

Keiichiro and Ryou had found Tohma's soulless body and brought it back to the café. There were no physical injuries to Tohma's body. Physically he was in perfect health. The only thing missing was his soul. Keiichiro was worried about what kind of side effects replenishing Tohma's spirit crystal with the spirit of Zakuro's D.N.A. animal might have but all Zakuro thought about was reviving him.

Monday the interference with Zakuro's powers disappeared, allowing her to transform back into her human form. School was completely uneventful. Apart from Zakuro slapping a guy for hitting on her just because Tohma wasn't around, not many people tried bothering Zakuro about Tohma's absence. Tuesday was the same, though minus anyone hitting on her. But when she got to the café she decided to check the crystal around her neck to find it shining brightly.

"SHIROGANE!! KEIICHIRO!!" Ryou and Keiichiro came running and Zakuro held out the crystal for them to see.

Keiichiro took one look at it and started up to towards the room where they kept Tohma's soulless body, Zakuro following close. As soon as they entered the room, Zakuro set the crystal on Tohma's chest, where it shined brightly. The binding keeping the chain to the crystal snapped and the crystal slowly sunk into Tohma's body.

Zakuro held her breath as she watched the color return to Tohma's body. Suddenly there seemed to be a great big flash of light and for an instant, Zakuro could've sworn she saw something strange. A pair of pointed, furry ears, not unlike her own when in her Mew form, on top of his head and a furry tail underneath him. But just as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared, as did the light. Zakuro continued to watch as Tohma's eye's fluttered and slowly, they opened slowly.

"Tohma!" Zakuro flung herself at him instantly.

"Z-Zakuro?! What-?!" Tohma caught Zakuro just in time as he sat up, holding her. "What's going on?!"

"I thought I lost you again…" Zakuro cried into his chest.

Tohma hesitantly wrapped his arms around Zakuro, embracing her and looking up at Keiichiro. "I thought I died…"

"You did die…" Keiichiro said. "But somehow, Zakuro's powers gave your spirit crystal enough energy to reenergize…"

"Is that even possible?"

Keiichiro shrugged. "Well…I'd say you're living proof that it is…"

Tohma was left speechless as he looked down at Zakuro, who was still crying into his chest. He brushed a lock of her hair out of her tear stained face. "Well…I guess all that matters is…I'm back."

I know this is a dinky little chapter but it seemed like a good place to stop. Read and review please!