Hey everyone! Yes, there's finally an update! I am so sorry for how long it's taken me to do this story. I have been extremely busy with college and work and trying to keep a social life. I hope you understand why it's taken me forever to update and I hope your patience will soon be rewarded.

Thank you so much for all your reviews and favourites/alerts for this story. It does help me continue this story. I'm guessing it's gonna have about 3-7 chapters left of this. I have an ending ready so I hope I can get it typed up in time before I lose your interest. Again, thanks and enjoy!

Chapter 19: It's because of you, Ichigo

"Ichigo-chan! Are you ready?"

Ichigo Momomiya appeared at the top of the stairs dressed in a white sailor fuku styled shirt and dark red skirt. Today was her first day at Kikyo High School, an all-gender public school. Mrs. Momomiya had explained Ichigo's situation to the head of the school, and was allowed entrance to the school without having to do the entrance exam, as long as she sustained high grades and showed a positive behaviour.

"Hai," Ichigo stepped down the stairs with a happy spring in her step. All week she had been relaxing her mind. Her mother took her shopping for new room décor, her father paid for her to have a spa day with her mother (Believing that this would help Ichigo warm up to him again), and Ichigo had invited Zakuro and Purin over the previous night.

The two girls were worried about Minto and Retasu; they had been missing for a while now, and Ichigo knew at least one of their whereabouts.

"Retasu went to Australia to visit some ill family members," Ichigo lied to them, not being able to tell them she was in fact a vampire. "It was a bit sudden, and she didn't have much time to explain to us what was happening. I only know because she needed one of her outfits back I borrowed off her a few months ago."

Zakuro and Purin had bought everything she said about Retasu, but the three of them still worried about Minto as she was still nowhere to be seen. Where could she be?

Ichigo shook her head at the thought of caring for Minto. Minto despised her, it wasn't right to care for someone who felt like that. But she was her friend, no matter what.

Ichigo left her house at 8am precisely (School started at 9) so she had a chance to remember where she was going. The area was without a doubt confusing to her, as she had only ventured here twice and that was when she went shopping and had the spa day. Her stomach was flipping at the thought of a new school and new people.

The school was in the city, by the shopping centre. Ichigo knew that if she made it that far she'd know the rest of the way easily.

But she couldn't find the way.

The path Ichigo followed did not lead to the city, but a more barren land of woods and wild flowers. Trees were scattered everywhere as there was now no clear path. Ichigo's feet sank into thick mud with each step she took into the woods.

Maybe this is a shortcut? She thought optimistically to herself as she approached a large, mossy rock which was oddly perched in the middle of a stone path. She walked around it, but something obstructed her feet and she flew to the floor.

"Ouch!" She cried out, and sat upright on the floor, pulling her knees up to her chest; they were grazed badly, blood trickled wonkily down her leg and stained her white socks.

Ichigo hadn't noticed what she tripped over until a low growl emitted from it. Her eyes widened with shock as she looked up at what, who, was in front of her.


Oujou looked through his red hair, that was hiding his eyes, directly at Ichigo. He felt his heart pound fast and hard. Ichigo's heart was doing the same, and she scooched over quickly to him and wrapped her arms around him.

"Oujou, are you okay?" She squeezed him tightly, and she was surprised when she felt him hug her back.

"I'm fine," He felt himself smile and slowly pull away from Ichigo. "What're you doing so far from your home?"

Ichigo smiled awkwardly, "I moved home, then got lost on the way to my new school."

Oujou laughed a little, and Ichigo blushed; it made her think of Ryou, as that would have been how he would have reacted to what she said. "What school are you attending?"

"Kikyo High," Ichigo replied slowly, and looked around her, "Where am I?"

"Not in Tokyo, I can tell you that," Oujou stood up, stretched his arms out and then held his hand out for Ichigo to get up. She softly held his hand, admiring how soft his hands were, and was helped up swiftly.

"Thanks," She smiled, and dusted herself off, "How do I get back to Tokyo then?"

Oujou thought for a moment before answering. Did he want to show her the way? Or did he want to prolong their encounter? It had been a long time since he last saw Ichigo, and he had missed her too much.

"Ichigo, you do realise you're an hour late for school?"

"It's 10 already?" She screamed, and then sighed in a defeated manner, "My parents are gonna kill me."

"They won't kill you if you don't go back home." Oujou calmly stated.

Ichigo sent a confused look at Oujou, wondering what he was proposing with his statement. Was this an offer for something?

"If you want, we can go somewhere, away from here, just the two of us." He slowly approached Ichigo, and when he was close enough he slinked his strong arms around her waist and pulled her in. "Or, if you want to, we can go and find Ryou, unless you two are over."

"Over?" Ichigo was struggling to comprehend, "We were never together."

"I'm glad to hear that." Oujou smirked a little, and slowly grew close to Ichigo's face."You deserve much better than him." His voice was forming into a low growl, "You need someone who won't let you down. Who'll protect you, not land you in danger." Ichigo could feel his breath on her lips, "Ichigo, let me protect you." Oujou softly touched Ichigo's lips with his own.

Ichigo slowly pulled back, "Oujou, you're with Monika, you can't do this."

Oujou sighed, the thought of Monika turning his mood harsh, "Monika isn't here anymore."

"What do you mean by that?"

Oujou growled with annoyance at Ichigo's question. He would have rather not said anything about Monika to Ichigo, he wanted to make her happy, not upset her. He finally composed himself, and took a deep breath before answering, "She's dead, Ichigo."

Ichigo felt her heart stop for two reasons; one was that one of her closest friends was dead. Monika was always so kind to Ichigo, and always by her side. The second reason was because Oujou sounded oddly content about Monika's death, like he couldn't care less.

Ichigo gulped down a lump in her throat before asking how she died.

Oujou stepped away from Ichigo, feeling himself shake. "It's because of you, Ichigo."

"Me?" Ichigo sounded very panicky. A rush of guilt swept through her body.

"If you never found out about us, Monika would still be here." Oujou looked down at this hands which were curled tightly into fists.

"How did I kill her?" Ichigo was getting angry; her voice increased in volume and grew stern.

Oujou stepped back from Ichigo, backing into the rock. He slumped down, pulled his knees up and looked directly at her. "You don't realise how amazing you are, do you?"

"Excuse me?" Ichigo was definitely confused.

"You're one of a kind, Ichigo. Attractive, great personality. You light up any room you walk in…and you can also send us crazy."

"I'm not following."

"You make the guys fall at your feet, and the girls despise you. You're perfect, Ichigo. But you've harmed our clan. Ryou was fine until you showed up. Minto wouldn't have run away if you hadn't seeped into his mind." His voice quietened, "And Monika would still be here if you didn't get into mine."

As each word spilled from Oujou's mouth, Ichigo felt more and more guilty. She hadn't meant to cause so much trouble. She also wished she hadn't met the clan, but she knew it couldn't be helped now.

"Why did you follow Ryou that night, Ichigo?"

Ichigo was startled by Oujou's sudden question, and it took her a while to compose an answer in her mind.

"He was amazing to me." She simply said, a tear forming in her eye as she remembered that very moment when she followed him into the park. "He was mysterious, gorgeous, he drew me in like a bug is drawn to light…" She trailed off as she began to cry heavily. "Oh, Oujou, I can't deal with this anymore! I miss Ryou too much. I need to know where he is."

And then those words slipped her mouth, the words she had wanted to say to him. "I love him."

It was a cool, Monday morning when Ryou emerged from his temporary home and took it upon himself to stretch his legs and explore the surroundings. He was on the outskirts of Tokyo, in a barren forest land full of flowers. This had been his home for some time now, as he had been able to keep an eye for people he wanted to observe, like the redhead who drove him crazy.

He hadn't seen Ichigo since he told her they should stay away from each other, and she hadn't left his mind since that day. Since the day they first met. He had tried to find her outside her home after he told her they shouldn't see each other anymore, but he noticed an old-ish man had moved in, meaning the Momomiya's had moved out.

He checked daily to see if she did in fact still live there, but it was just that old man. And the previous day he waited outside the house until 5 o'clock, when the old man got home.

He walked up to his house, noticing Ryou stood with his arms crossed, leaning against the gate to the house. He was quite intimidated by Ryou, but was shocked when he spoke so politely to him.

"Excuse me, do you happen to know what happened to the old habitants of this house?"

"Ah, the Momomiyas! Yes, erm, they live on the other side of Tokyo now. 12 Ringo Street. You can't miss the street, it's a 5 minute walk away from the city. Apple trees are all along the street."

"Thank you, sir." Ryou bowed his head and then swiftly walked away, his heart beating hard.

He told himself that this would be the morning he would find the house. He was too exhausted last night to find the house as he hadn't eaten in weeks. His skin was aging terribly, and his eyes looked drained and dull.

He stopped his steps however, when he heard a familiar voice speak his name.

"Why did you follow Ryou that night, Ichigo?"

He quietened his steps and drew closer, wanting to know who was speaking his name. He listened in on the conversation, and was surprised to hear his favourite red head speak about him. Butterflies were fluttering in his stomach, his heart was racing with joy. It was definitely Ichigo's voice. And he overheard the most life-changing sentence come from her lips.

"I love him."

A smile tugged at his lips, and he let it. He was so elated to hear those words come from Ichigo.

"I'm gonna try and find my way home now, Oujou. If that's okay?"

Ryou heard Oujou mutter something back to Ichigo, and a single pair of feet was coming towards Ryou. He turned swiftly to discover who's they were. They were female. Ichigo?

She hadn't noticed his presence yet; her head was down, every now and then her body shook. Was she crying?

Ryou stopped in front of her, and she still hadn't noticed someone was in front of her. She eventually walked into him, and he held his arms out to catch her.

A small scream emitted from Ichigo, and when she looked up to apologise, her eyes widened.