Uhm I'm about to go away at Amsterdam on Monday. I'm also currently in deep dog crap with my mum 'cos I rebelled for once in my life....and walked out of the house. That doesn't sound soo bad does it? Well you aint met my muvva!! Lol any way! I worked hard on this even writing through writers block! So I hope to high heaven this is okay! Oh and forgive the damn mistakes that spell check never finds!! I even read it through 4 times -glares at laptop- Why won't you let the dame space bar work? and is the 'T' button so muc hof a problem!!! -shakes laptop-

Eh heh heh...Here's the next chappy! Enjoy!


"Uh, what time is it?" Ichigo groaned, moving her arms. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing herself back to sleep, but the light flooding into the room was proving a worthy opponent.

She sat up and stretched her arms high above her head, taking in a deep breath; only to find that she could breathe again! Ichigo grinned taking another huge breath, happy to finally be free of that annoying cold. Her blocked nose was gone, and now that she thought about it, so was her bad throat, and her fever too!

"Kya, it's about time," she giggled, feeling slightly smug. "I'm finally better, that means I can...leave. Oh."

She looked down to her side seeing the blonde curled up against her, his shallow breathes falling over her arm in a silent rhythm.

Some how I feel this is unfair, Ryou should be better too. I can still see his fever though, his face is so flushed.

Ichigo smiled faintly at the boy, sighing to herself. She moved to get out of the bed, making sure that she moved her sleeping friend as little as possible. Standing up she walked over to her bag resting in the corner of the room and rooted through it, bringing out a pair of clean clothes and her bathroom stuff. She took one look back towards the bed before walking into the bathroom and locking the door behind her.

A whole week of rest and I really want to do something right now. I wonder if Akasaka-san would let me work back downstairs again? Ichigo thought to herself as she turned on the shower. She stepped over to the window, opening it just a enough to let the worst of the steam out. From the looks of the sky it didn't seem to the nicest weather she'd seen, it looked more as though the previous storm was back for another round.

Ichigo shook her head; she had been hoping for some warmer, or at least drier weather for the day. She removed her pyjama's, sulking, and stepped into the shower.

The water was hot against her skin, warming her from the morning chill. She sighed happily, watching the steam move around her as she washed her hair. Today will be okay...I hope. I need to thank Akasaka-san for looking after me this week, and Ryou...for putting up with me so long. I'll have to convince one of them to let go back to work...even after every thing I said; heh I guess they did last the week without me, barely. The noise they make downstairs, it's a wonder this cafe even runs with all of our accidents.

Laughing to herself, she turned off the water and grabbed the towel she had left on the floor. I won't ask Ryou, not when he's sleeping properly for the first time. Besides it'll be easier to ask Akasaka-san, she figured, drying her self off with a thoughtful expression. Less awkward than having to explain it to Ryou.

Ichigo pulled on her clothes and brushed her teeth, watching herself in the mirror as she did so. Her hair was dripping wet but she didn't have anything other than her towel to dry it with. Her complexion was back to its normal self; no longer pale and fevered, but glowing and bright.

She finished up in the bathroom and unlocked the door, walking back into the bedroom. Leaving her bag by the door she gave a last glance backwards to see how Ryou was doing, checking to see if he was still asleep. Thankfully he was and she headed downstairs.

Ichigo didn't know why she was doing this; sneaking down the stairs on the tips of her toes, or why she was straining to hear any noise coming from downstairs. Though she stopped dead in her tracks as the voices of her friends floated towards her; Ichigo could hardly believe what she was hearing.

--

"So what's going on already? How are they doing?" Mint asked, her voice clipped and impatient. She took a gulp of her tea as she spoke to the tall pastry chef.

"Well, Ryou's still ill, but it's good to know he's starting to get better," Keichiiro told her. "As for Ichigo-san, her cold has almost completely gone, you'll be glad to know."

"That's all fine and dandy Akasaka-san," Mint scoffed, sitting back in her chair. "But what I meant was, how are our lovers doing? Surely there must be some kind of progress."

"Eh heh, I see," Keichiiro laughed, awkwardly. "Well it's hard to say, given I'm not there much; you did say to leave them alone as much as possible. Demo, I'd like to think they're getting on well. They haven't been arguing and they...to be honest; from what I saw the other day..."

"What is it na no da?" Pudding asked excitedly, bouncing on the edge of the table.

"Yes, please tell us Akasaka-san," Lettuce asked, her polite voice almost silent with the noise of her youngest friend next to her.

"Well, it's as if...almost as if they really are made for each other," Keichiiro started. "When I went upstairs the other day, watching them I could see that when they moved or spoke; they'd be moving to suit each other."

The girls all listened to him, their expressions all betraying their confusion at what he had just said. Even Pudding had calmed down enough to give the brunette an expectant look.

"Not to be rude Akasaka-san," Lettuce started. "Demo, we don't quite understand."

"Ah, I guess it's hard to explain, gomen." Keichiiro apologised. "It's sort of like; every time Ryou moved, Ichigo would too. Like they knew what the other would do so they made it easier, without actually putting any distance between them."

"Their compensating for each others moves?"

"Iie," Zakuro spoke, sitting straight in her chair. "Reacting. They are reacting to each other unconsciously."

Reacting...? Ichigo's mouth hung open in a silent gasp. C-could that explain this week? We have been getting along so much-

"Onee-sama that sounds wonderful," Mint cried, over joyed at her idol. "Ah I was right; they are in love!"

"Love, love na no da!" Pudding chimed in, jumping up.

LOVE!! Ichigo had to hold onto the wall for support. Iie, that can't be right. I mean just because I react to him doesn't mean that I'm...in...love. Right?

She sighed, sitting down on the step, now more interested in her thoughts than her friends conversations. Demo...I always have an answer for his comments, I always seemed to be near him when I knew he'd probably say something.

I know I've forgiven him from when he called me that...Demo, I think even if Aoyama had never broke up with me, I would still have cried...still have said those things and been hurt. Hurt him too.

Sure If he had just broken up with me I'd have cried, though it was more of the cherry on top of the cake when he did. He made my already horrible day just that bit worse.

Sigh, in this one week I've seen so much of Ryou that he'd never show normally. All the things he usually hides; his feelings, his attitudes, kindness. Everything I always thought he was unable to do he's proven me wrong, just by being ill!

Love...even before I saw this part of him I guess something still drew me to him. All those arguments, my uncanny knack for walking in on him every time! Maybe it wasn't love, heh It's probably a curse....

Mou who am I kidding!? No one's ever made me feel so guilty, made me so embarrassed and flustered...made me care so much. No one ever made me so worried about them...the weather looks awful; I don't want him to be scared, not when he's just getting well again.

Damn you Ryou! Look what you're doing to my thoughts, and to think I could've been just happy to go and work. No, no it's fine, nothing to make a big deal out of...Nothing except falling in love with such an annoying jerk! How could you Ichigo, after all you said you just go an fall in love with him! That annoying, mean, cute jerk of a boss!

Grrr I don't care! I fell in love and what of it? It's not like any thing's gonna happen anyway...he doesn't love me back.

Ichigo sighed and thumped her head against the wall, the internal debate was doing nothing for her but she couldn't help arguing against herself. She knew her friends were right, they could see every thing that she couldn't, but she just couldn't believe it herself. She had fallen in love with the person she claimed was her complete and utter enemy, the guy she worked so hard to avoid and get a raise out of. The guy who could hurt her and heal her with with no more than words...who was now making her think way too hard, and worry too much.

Even after listening to her friends go on about it, there was still one thing she found impossible to believe was true; he couldn't love her back, he just couldn't. But that didn't mean she was now going to walk away; Ryou still needed her, and she would definitely be there to look after him.

She just needed to get her job back first.

Sneaking a peak around the corner of the wall, she was delighted to see that no one was in the main area. The cafe was still closed before the morning shift, and the other four plus the chef, were all busy talking in the kitchen. Kya! So lucky!!

Ichigo grinned and tiptoed out from her hiding spot and into the the front half of the cafe, she looked around the room shiftily before darting to the other corner of the room, slipping into the girls changing rooms.

Once inside she headed straight over to her spot, happy to see her uniform still hanging there as if she had just put it away yesterday, and not several weeks ago. Now, still wary of any small noise, she took off her clothes and replaced them with her work uniform, sneaking back out of the changing rooms even shiftier than before.

"Ichigo-san?"

"Eeep!" Ichigo's heart nearly burst out of her chest hearing her name. Holy...that scared the life out of me. Oh, breathe Ichigo, breathe!

The shocked girl span around, taking a deep breath to calm her self. She wondered vaguely if she was the only one who could hear her heart pounding. "H-hai..."

"You've changed into your uniform."

"Ah hai I d-Akasaka-san!" Ichigo gasped. She had finally lifted her gaze from the floor to see who she was speaking to, or more accurately; who had scared her half to death.

"Could I assume that to mean you would like your job back?" The brunette asked, smiling suspiciously over cheerful.

Mind reader!? "Well, I uhm, that is if it isn't too rude of me," Ichigo started, looking slightly ashamed as she remembered her previous behaviour. "I mean from what I could hear from upstairs, it sounds like a lot of chaos is going on, and I also owe you both for taking care of me so..."

"Ichigo-san, your job has always remained open for you," Keichiiro told her, smiling at her expression. "You owe us nothing though, it feels more as if I owe you Ichigo-san, for finding Ryou when you did."

"Nani? Iie, any one could've found him, don't feel like that," Ichigo argued back, getting worked up for no real reason. "You don't owe me anything."

"Exactly, in fact she was right the first time," came a new voice. "It's her fault Shirogane-san got ill in the first place, she owes you Akasaka-san."

"Mint-san that's not true," Keichiiro told the blue haired Lorikeet.

"Because of her Shirogane-san wasn't sleeping to well, it's no wonder he got ill so easily," Mint smirked, looking directly at Ichigo. "With a low immune system he'd be significantly more likely to get ill. Common sense, ne Ichigo?"

"Mint!" Ichigo snapped. She felt half pleased to see her best friend...while the other half was feeling the need to box the stuck up girls ears. "Akasaka-san if I made Ryou loose sleep...then it is my fault. I owe it to Ryou to make up for it. You have to let me work again, that means there will be less for him to worry about ne? I'll also pick up his medicine so you don't have to worry about him being left by himself. Onegai Akasaka-san."

Ichigo gasped, finally out of breath, and gulped down a lung full of air as she bowed towards the older boy. Mint just watched her, gaping at her best friends actions, and more importantly her words. Wow, I was only joking about the whole blaming thing. I didn't think the baka would take it to heart so much, geez Ichigo.

"Uhm Ichigo-san...I already said you could have your job back," Keichiiro said, chuckling lightly.

Ichigo dead panned. "Y-you did?"

"Hai."

"Oh, well then," Ichigo smiled, back to normal. "Lets get to work!"

"Oh Ichigo-san," Keichiiro asked, remembering what she had just said. "If you could go to the pharmacist, I would be really grateful. If it isn't too much trouble that is? Oh and are you sure you're feeling up to this?"

"Hai! I feel fine, the best I've felt in weeks. I'll go after work," Ichigo agreed. She then turned around and walked towards Mint. "It so nice to be back here with my friends."

Either Mint didn't hear the enormous amount of sarcasm in Ichigo's voice, or she was just being the irritating friend that she was and ignoring the poor red head. It really was great to be back at work.

--

"Ichigo-san table three still hasn't had their order taken."

"Hai!"

"Ichigo, be a dear and re-fill my tea."

"Hai...why don't you get off your lazy a-"

"Ichigo-san, take this to table twelve."

"Ah, hai Akasaka-sa—No Pudding don-"

-CRASH!-

Mint sighed, looking at her tea pot with a less than amused expression. "Some things never change."

Zakuro nodded, surveying he scene before them. She never thought it possible that cake could land in the most awkward of places, but there it was; on the cafe roof...

"Ichigo, clean that up would you?" Mint asked, her request sounding more like an order.

The blue haired girl followed the cake trail with her eyes, until it began to climb the walls. "Oh and I still don't have my tea."

"Well if you want it so bad get it your self!" Ichigo cried, pushing herself out from the tangle of cake, chairs, a bust balloon, several wooden poles, and of course Pudding.

Even Zakuro had to stifle a laugh at the sight. Mint didn't bother to try and hide it, sniggering while she tapped her fingers impatiently. "You know, this place isn't looking any cleaner, and we're still getting more customers."

"Grrr- ah Lettuce! Take those tables orders," Ichigo cried, seeing an opportunity. "Pudding clean up your mess, and watch what you're doing next time."

"Hai," they both chorused, one voice sounding more pain than the other.

Ichigo stood up and dusted herself off, shaking her hands to rid her self of the goopy, sugary, mess that had attached itself to her. Even her hair hadn't survived the onslaught of sugary goodness, and she was too certain it had gone down her top.

"I'm getting the replacement orders for...this," she told them, running over and into the kitchen where Keichiiro was ready with the orders.

"Zakuro-san, please show these customers to their table," Lettuce asked, politely. Bowing quickly to the idol before attending her own customers.

Zakuro gave her no response but walked over to the front door. "Here."

The customers could only shudder at her cold demeanor as she lead them to their seats at the other end of the room. The model handed them their menu's and walked of back towards the door to get the next set.

"Gomennasai for the problems, here are your orders," Ichigo smiled, placing the cakes in front of two girls, along with their drinks. "We hope you enjoy your meal."

No longer smiling Ichigo ran back over to the kitchen to get the next cake. Luckily for her it was on a trolley. Grateful for the not so hazardous order, she began rolling it over to the large party at one of the center tables, only to slip on a wet patch that Pudding had forgotten to dry.

"W-woah~ Oh no!"

Ichigo cringed inwardly as she spun around with the trolley, holding on for her dear life. Stop, stop, stop!!!

The four remaining mews, as well as the customers could only hold their breathes as she spun around the open floor heading toward a crowded table.

Opening her eyes, Ichigo saw the table just in time and forced her feet to find some grip on the floor, she pulled back on the handle and used her legs to spin it to face sideways, coming to a perfect halt in front of the table.

"H-Here's your...order," she stammered, her eyes practically spinning in her head. The entire cafe erupted into an applause, while Pudding gaped.

"Ichi-nee-san was amazing na no da!" the monkey girl cried, completely awed. "Ne, ne, teach me! Teach me that trick na no da!"

"Wh-what...Pudding go dry the f-floor," the Iriomote said, walking away from the scene as if her legs were made from jelly. She wobbled her way over to the next table, giving them a wonky smile. "Welcome to Cafe Mew Mew, c-can I take your o-order?" Mou~ some things never change.

Later that day the girls sat around one of the tables, sighing or groaning as they ate their lunch. The morning shift had ended and they had an hour until the next one started, one lovely hour of not taking orders, and resting for all it was worth. An hour just wasn't long enough.

Ichigo yawned, putting the last of her lunch in her mouth and stood up. "I'm exhausted."

"Hm, you're right," Mint sighed, sipping at her tea. "Such hard work."

"You didn't...do...a thing!" Ichigo hissed, Medusa hair raging.

"Ichigo-san, please calm down," Lettuce pleaded, trying to keep the peace they had just been having.

"Well maybe if she didn't sit there drinking tea all day..." Ichigo continued, walking away from the table to finish her rant. "...then maybe some work would actually get done and we wouldn't always be so over crowded. I mean there's so much work to do and the least she could do is to help!"

The girls dramatic complaints were interrupted as the kitchen doors swung open, making room for the cart that was being wheeled out. On top of the first shelf sat a large, carefully crafted cake, decorated with white icing, pink and yellow swirls lining the edges, and several icing flowers dotted over the surface.

The girls' faces lit up at the site of the cake heading their way, and Keichiiro was -needless to say- very pleased at their reactions to such a simple dessert.

"Wah, that looks amazing!"

"I bet it tastes good too na no da!"

"I-it looks wonderful Akasaka-san."

Keichiiro stopped the cart at the edge of the table and thanked the girls for their compliments. It wasn't that big of a deal, but it was nice to know his creations could inspire such responses.

"Ichigo-san, perhaps after you've eaten you could go to the pharmacy for me," Keichiiro asked, cutting a slice and serving it to her.

"Uh huh..mnn...dis iz fo oog!!" Ichigo replied, eating her cake straight away.

"Ugh, please Ichigo," Mint growled, grimacing at the strawberry haired girl. "Talk or eat; choose one."

Ichigo swallowed her food and stuck out her tongue with a grin. "There. Ah I can go now, that way I'll be back quicker."

Lettuce and Mint looked up, watching as their friend ate the last part of her cake and ran over to the door.

"Won't be too long!" she cried, over her shoulder.

"Never seen her so willing to help Shirogane-san," Mint muttered under her breath, smirking. "Ah, love."

Thankfully Ichigo was outside the cafe doors and an argument was avoided. She was now on her way down the street, half skipping as she walked.

The sky above her was darkening, threatening to burst at any second, while the people around her didn't seem to pay it the blindest bit of attention. Ichigo on the other hand was feeling a little apprehensive, not for herself of course, but for someone else. She wondered if he had noticed the weather yet? Hopefully he would still be sleeping, hopefully he wouldn't look out of the window and see the sky.

She could only run now, trying harder to pick up her pace as time wore on; those few minutes were like hours with the amount she was worrying. Onegai, be okay. Don't wake up yet, just-

"Ichigo-san!"

Ichigo stopped and swiveled her head from side to side. "Huh?"

"Behind you," a voice she now recognised spoke softly. "Didn't you quit the cafe?"

Ichigo turned around, smiling briefly before anxiously hopping from foot to foot. "Aoyama-kun...what a surprise."

"Back to formalities I see..." he noticed, a little down. "It's understandable."

"Ah, uhm...I guess. Demo I'm working there again now," Ichigo told him, still edgy. "Listen I have to go."

"Ichigo-san, if you're still mad at me I'll understand," Aoyama said, watching her eyes. "I thought maybe we could still be friends, or maybe you're sticking to your decision?"

The koneko inwardly grimaced, remembering all too well how she had reacted to that proposition the first time. "It's not that, honest. I just really need to go somewhere."

Aoyama could see that, watching her jumping around and fidgeting impatiently. "I meant to ask what you were doing out in this weather."

"I'm going to pick up some medicine," she explained, hoping to end this quickly. "My friend's ill so I really need to go before it-"

She never did finish that sentence. A bright bolt of lightening ripped through the sky, followed just as quickly by the tremendous roar of the thunder that came afterwards. Ichigo's skin pricked, her hair going on end as she jumped. Crap.

She spun on her heel and tore of down the road in the direction of the pharmacy, calling out to the boy behind her. "Gotta go, he might need me!"

Aoyama sighed, same old Ichigo. She never was in one place for long, and now she was off running out in the rain, without an umbrella or coat. The brunette shook his head and carried on walking, wondering briefly who 'he' might be.

­-Ding!-

"It...i-is...free-e-ez-z-zing!" Ichigo gasped, teeth chattering together so fast her jaw ached.

She crashed into the pharmacy doors, flinging them open with the dire need to be warm and dry. And that baka managed to get knocked unconscious in weather worse than this!

"Uhm...can I help you miss?" A young lady from behind the counter asked nervously.

"Y-yeah," Ichigo chattered, pulling out a sheet of paper from her pocket and handing it -dry, thankfully- to the lady. "I n-need this p-p-prescription."

"Okay," the lady said, mostly to her self, reading over the sheet. "I need you to sign this, and then sign down here."

"H-hai," Ichigo agreed, taking a pen and willing her hand to stop shaking. Isn't she supposed to ask me a bunch of questions or for ID? I should have asked Akasaka-san. "Done."

"Ah arigatou," the pharmacist said, passing the forms to someone out back. "It'll be just a moment. Sigh...it's a shame about the storm returning."

"..." Ichigo mumbled some annoyed complaints under her breath about the womans attempted small talk. Maybe she just feels sorry for me! Poor soaked girl, let's give her a break...mou guess I shouldn't complain.

She glanced around the store briefly, her eyes resting on a certain section. She asked the lady for the price and paid, once again going back to waiting.

"It's ready for you," the woman spoke, breaking her thoughts and handing her a bag. "We hope to see you again."

Ichigo didn't even want to reply, instead, dashing out of the building and into the pelting rain as she ran back to the cafe and through the storm.

--

The sound of the renewed storm rattled through the windows of the pink cafe, making the many people inside jump and turn to face the windows. The rain pelted noisily against the glass, rebounding off with as much force as it hit.

-Crash!-

"What order was that?" Keichiiro called through the saloon style doors.

"Th-that wasn't any one's order Akasaka-san," Lettuce replied, frowning softly. "It came from up stairs."

"Ah," Keichiiro realised. He turned his gaze to the stairs leading up to the floor above.

"We're all gonna get wet na no da~" Pudding groaned, pulling a face at the window.

"Pudding-chan, the tables are waiting," Lettuce reminded her, pulling her away from the view outside. "Akasaka-san?"

Lettuce looked over to the brunette who was locked deep in thought, still glancing worriedly up the stairs. He jumped at the sound of his name being called.

"Ah hai. Gomen Lettuce, but could you-"

-BANG!- The cafe doors swung so far open they hit the walls.

"I'M FREEZING!" screamed the drenched red head, shivering from top to bottom as she dripped her way towards the kitchen.

"Ichigo you're leaving a mess," Mint called, smirking at the sight of her best friend. "Make sure to clean it up."

Ichigo hissed, pushing the kitchen doors open hard enough for them to swing on their hinges several times. She looked over at Keichiiro before grabbing a tea towel with the idea she could dry herself off.

"Ah, Ichigo-san you're back," Keichiiro stated, giving her a wry smile.

"Yeah..." Ichigo pouted, rubbing the towel over head sulking. So cold...so wet... "Nn, Akasaka-san, I'm going upstairs. Oh, I got his medicine."

"Ichigo-san...I think the storm woke him up," he told her, somberly. She was out of the kitchen before he got the last words out.

She ran up the stairs, calling back to the girls that she'd be back down in a minute or so, and came to a stop outside of the bedroom door. She didn't even wait a moment to catch her breath, pushing the door open wide and walking through.

The room was dark, save for the light coming in from the storm outside, and she could see the silhouette of the bed against the wall. Lightening flashed and the room was bathed in the white glow. Ichigo groaned at the fact the blind was wide open, giving a full view of the chaos. She sighed and switched on the bedroom light knowing full well that Ryou was awake.

"Hey, you okay?" she asked. The boy didn't reply so she walked over to the bed. "Ryou...? Oh."

Ichigo sighed. Ryou's head was hidden under his pillow, only the tips of his grey ears could be seen where they were flat against his head, shaking. She lent down and placed her hand on his shoulder, making him jump as she gained his attention. He shifted under the covers and peaked out from the safety of his pillows.

"Ichigo?...You're free- You're drenched!" Ryou sat up fully, staring at her in surprise.

Ichigo laughed dryly, and sat on the edge of the bed. Ryou frowned at the patch that quickly began forming on the covers. "How are you feeling?"

"Better," Ryou told her, still looking unimpressed she was making his bed wet.

Thunder rolled in the background making the blonde jump, he lowered his head ears still pinned back s far as they could go. Ichigo sighed again, placing her hand to his forehead.

"Wow, fevers gone down a lot," she said, surprised at the difference.

"Y-you can't judge," Ryou mumbled, trying not to look out of the window. "You're own temperature is off. Why were you out in this."

Ichigo had never heard so much conviction in one word, she had to stop her self from flat out laughing.

"I went to get this," she said, holding up the bag. "I went at lunch but then I got caught in it, heh heh."

"Baka," Ryou smirked.

"I liked you better when you couldn't talk," Ichigo grumbled, standing up and walking away from the bed. "I'll put this on the desk."

She was just about to walk back to the bed when a flash of lighting lit up the room; it wasn't as bright as before with the bedroom light on, but it still shocked Ryou enough for him to yelp.

He held his hands tightly over his ears and watched the floor, nervously awaiting the arrival of the part to follow. Ichigo couldn't stand it, seeing him shaking so much. This irrational fear was starting to get on her nerves, especially when it made her friend so scared. She stood in front of the window and pulled down the blind vindictively.

The red head walked back over to Ryou and sat back down, placing her hands over the top of his, pulling him closer to her. "Stupid DNA."

"We have the same DNA in respects of animal genes," Ryou started, resting his head on her shoulder to her surprise and delight. He wanted to keep talking if only to distract himself. "How is it you're not affected?"

"Huh...Some genius. I never thought about that before though," Ichigo mumbled, practically telling herself. Hmm...he has a point. I don't understand myself, demo I used to love storms...Hm

"Akasaka-san said you never used to be bothered by storms," she spoke, thinking about what the pastry chef had told her. "Not until Alto at least..."

"Mhm," Ryou confirmed, hiding his head even further into her neck. "I never really noticed them. They were just nature at work."

"...Hm," Ichigo frowned, thinking.

"Strawberry don't think too hard," Ryou smirked. "I'll f-"

"Scales!!"

"W-what?" Ryou asked, slightly shocked at the girls outburst.

"It's like scales! Uhm how to put this...," Ichigo uhm-ed and ah-ed for a moment, working out her words. She didn't want to sound too stupid, even if she thought her idea was going to get shot down any way. "Uhm well, you used to be indifferent to storms ne? Then there was the DNA and bam! You're afraid."

"Where...on Earth are you going with this," Bam you're afraid...Pfft bam, Ryou asked sceptically. Flinching as thunder shook the windows; Ichigo held him tighter, reacting to him.

"Well j-just think about it, even if it does sound stupid," Ichigo pressed, trying to sound a bit smart and argue her case. "I used to love watching the lightening, I thought it was amazing...demo, now as a mew, I'm completely indifferent. It's kind of sad really."

Ryou sat back, letting go of his ears to get a better look at the girl in front of him. He studied her eyes carefully, one eyebrow raised in apparent disbelief. "... are you feeling alright Strawberry? Maybe that cold messed with your mind."

"I'm fine you jerk!" She snapped, thwaping him over the head with her hand. "It has to make some sense to you! You...you so called genius!"

"Wow, that really hurt," Ryou drawled, sarcastically.

"How 'bout I lock you out in this weather," Ichigo hissed under her breath.

"Yeah, yeah," Ryou sighed, glancing over at the window. Ichigo waved her hand in the way, stopping him from looking.

"I liked storms, I turned mew, now they don't bother me what so ever," Ichigo pressed. She knew he was teasing her, but she didn't want to admit defeat. "You didn't care about them, you injected yourself and now you're scared. Think of it like a scale; if you change one side the other gets effected. It either makes it equal or makes the scale tip in either direction! Hmph!"

Ichigo crossed her arms trying to look superior, and turned her head in a huff. Ryou laughed and put his hand on her head.

"That has to be," Ryou paused. Here comes the snarky comment, Ichigo thought grumpily. "...the smartest thing you've ever said."

"YEAH WELL- Ehh?!" Ichigo blinked, utterly gob smacked.

"Amazing, you actually do have a brain in there," Ryou finished, knocking her on the forehead.

"Jerk! I oug-"

-Knock Knock-

"Ichigo, get your lazy butt back down here," Mints voice breached through the door. "Now is no time for a cat nap! You have work to do, and clean up that mess you brought in!"

Ichigo sweat dropped, and got up for the door. Crap...I knew I forgot something..."H-Hai!"

"That reminds me," Ryou spoke up, bringing his attention back to the koneko. "Why?"

Ichigo didn't need to ask any further into that simple question; where his gaze was, was answer enough: on her uniform.

"I...Well Akasaka-san looked after me while I was ill and I thought I should repay him...and I missed my friends...and I owe you," Ichigo some what explained, mumbling the last part to her self. "B-besides, someone needs to look after you. Akasaka-san has to bake, so I thought maybe I could help out up here as well. Demo, if you'd rather I wasn't back here..."

"Strawberry you're rambling," Ryou cut in.

"Ah, gomen," she said, feeling her cheeks heating up. She tried again to walk to the door, but the loud crash of thunder reminded her of something. "Oh yeah!"

She quickly ran back over to the desk and rummaged through the bag, pulling out two items and bringing them over to her boss.

"Here," she more or less ordered, handing one of them over while she stuck the other on his head. "They were selling these with all the bits and bob, so I thought they'd be okay."

Ryou blinked; in his hands were some ear plugs and resting on top of his head were a pair of white ear mufflers. He felt like laughing but smiled at her instead, not smirking in the slightest, but an actual smile.

"They're so you won't hear the thunder when I'm working nya," Ichigo added, feeling happy with his reaction.

"Thank you," he replied, looking at her gratefully.

"You're welcome," Ichigo added, turning once again back to the door. "Gotta get back to work, okay? Oh leave the light on; the lightening won't be as noticeable."

"Strawberry?"

"Uh huh?"

"Welcome back."

The flushed koneko left the room and went back downstairs, and for reasons the girls couldn't quite find out, Ichigo didn't stop smiling for the rest of the day.


My day's! This is my longest chapter! It's also the second last, so I'll get writing the last chapter after I'm back from Amsterdam, and I'm more settled into my FMP. So that means a lot of course work's coming up, so please be patient!

Arigatou, onegai Read and REVIEW!

They make my worse day's so much better! ;D