Disclaimer: I do NOT own Tokyo Mew Mew, nor any of the characters in the series.
Every second of my life seemed to weigh upon my shoulders. My worlds were clashing and destroying each other with nothing left to stop it. A reaction had started when we saw one another, for the first time in years, and slowing it was futile.
The impending reality of everything crashed into me without regards to my emotional state. People will die. Tokyo will fall. And I will watch it happen before my eyes. My life was crushed as easily as a plumb blossom beneath a alien's toe.
I was a stone; hard and smooth, but stone stands no chance in a sea of constant waves. It eventually becomes sand and joins the rest. I felt my heart breaking, piece by piece as I watched the buildings around me plummet to the ground. The world was ending and I found myself unable to even say "no."
Birds mocked the kittens from the unattainable branches of the trees while the park's pond glistened serenely in the evening sun. Couples ate together beneath tree shaded areas, giggling to themselves lightly. The sun played amongst kid's skin as they eagerly kicked a ball in a game of soccer.
It could have been a peaceful day at Tokyo Park and I could have enjoyed my trek through it, if it weren't for my friend dragging me through the grass in search of sweets. Miyuki had an iron grip upon the crook of my arm with an eye on her prize while I took was forced to follow with reluctant strides, somehow matching her eager skipping.
The reason for her hurry? Her sweet tooth. The reason for my leisure? I was forced to skip practice to accompany Miyuki to some café that she heard about today and she couldn't wait until Sunday to try it.
"It's not you were doing anything important at practice anyways! Besides, you always complain about how you always just do the same thing over and over because the coach is never there. And just think of the blueberry tarts, sweet creams, and cheesecake!" Miyuki grinned like a cat before increasing her pace towards a sickeningly pink building.
'As if we didn't spend enough time at a café,' I thought with a roll of the eyes as we approached the castle. It looked as if we walked into Candy Land's domain.
"Just remember that you have work in an hour." She gave a mumble in response before dragging me into the cutified establishment. We were seated by a girl dressed in a bright green maid outfit and handed menus. She seemed scatterbrained in my opinion; but, none the less, kind.
I took a glance around, knowing that I'd just end up eating the leftovers of Miyuki, considering that she always ordered too much. For someone the same age as I, she acted much like a grade-schooler. I figured that it just had to do with the fact that because we were always expected to act mature, being the eldest at the orphanage and an example to be followed; so, any chance that she got, Miyuki acted like a child.
I glanced around the café, finding that all the workers were female and wore a different color maid outfit. One could consider it 'cute,' but that word was not a word in my every day diction.
The décor, much like the outside, looked as if it was decided by a seven year old with pink sparkles and ruby red hearts coating the walls and ceiling. I brushed a hand through my dark grey hair, finding it un amusing.
"Hello," a waitress with short red hair with a matching outfit and a voice that seemed too energetic to be real, "may I take your order?"
I smiled at her, realizing that only her and the girl in green were really working while two sat in the corner chatting and another seemed to be dilly dallying with plates. "Some black tea and whatever she wants," I replied pointing across the table to my blond friend. Miyuki grinned and ordered a total of five sweets. The girl, who I already forgot the name of, thanked up and hurried off to attend another table.
"This place is quite busy," I observed absentmindedly while looking about the room once more. Miyuki nodded while she took out her compact mirror to check her face. "Yup, Rina and Shiho from homeroom were talking about it during science today. They said that they had the best fruit tarts." She then proceeded to apply a thin layer of lip gloss.
I giggled to myself. Miyuki was always the one to be social and know everything about anything or anyone. I think she was the only reason that I had a few friends at school. Despite her popularity, I know that she considers me her closest friend off of sheer experience alone.
"Here's your tea!" The girl in yellow brought me my drink... on her head... I stared absentmindedly as she did a twirl before I took the tea saucer off her head and thanking her. "That will be 100 yen," she smiled and I stared at her for another few seconds before taking a coin out of my pocket and placing it into her palm.
The child giggled and gave a final grin before somersaulting away to another table. "Quite an expensive joint, ne?" Miyuki looked up from her mirror with a blank look, "Uhm... yeah." She smiled before finishing her touch ups and placing her kit back in her school bag. I placed the embroidered napkin on my lab before pouring the steaming water into the English china and letting the leaves steep into the water.
"I'm surprised that you didn't want to change out of your uniform before we left school," I commented, noticing her fidget with her powder blue, uniform tie. "It's not that I mind the uniform," she said, loosening the tie, "I just would rather wear other things."
I laughed to myself, watching her become distracted with the passing trays of sweets. Such a child she could be. Noticing the dark color that the liquid had become, I remove the tea bag and took a small sip of the hot drink.
Down bellow, someone typed at a computer, programming a new launch system.
"Simulator is loaded."
"Program is launching." The enter key was pushed and the machine began to glow. "Test commenced."
I picked up my tea, but as I was about to take a sip, before my eyes narrowed at the content, noticing ripples in the liquid. I felt shaking like an earthquake had started. I felt myself falling before things went dark and two figures appeared before me, glowing eerily.
'A raccoon?' I made out one of them, but my vision blurred as they ran at me. Warmth effulged my body before I felt myself hit the ground, leaving me cold.
My grey eyes opened finding my surroundings vivid and my head dizzy. A groan escaped my lips as I felt someone help me up into a chair.
"Rika?" a voice I knew as Miyuki asked. I rubbed my head while refocusing my vision finding myself staring at my own two feet.
"What just happened? Was there an earthquake?" I mumbled to myself, expecting Miyuki to answer, but found a higher pitched one respond. "No, but you did collapse."
I found myself staring up at six different pairs of eyes of different colors staring down at me. Closing my eyes, I took a breath and smelled tea. Looking down, I noticed that there were spots of brown over my tie and shirt.
'Well, I hope that comes out in the wash,' I thought as I started to take off my tie and uniform shirt.
"Are you okay?"
I nodded, removing my shirt, revealing a white tank top that thankfully had not gotten tea on it. Stuffing the dirtied clothes in my bag, I didn't notice someone eye my exposed, right shoulder blade.
"Is everything okay up here?" A male spoke as he entered the room.
"What are you girls doing? Ichigo, I'm not paying you to stand around gawking at people." Something inside my head went off and my mind went wild.
Ichigo pouted at the incoming figures as the others seemed to disperse from our table. I felt Miyuki's hand settle on my back as she held some water up for me. I took the glass from her and sipped it lightly before I looked up at the two men.
I felt my heart stop and my body freeze.
"Oh my, are you alright?" Keiichiro came and felt my forehead. My voice was lost somewhere between my heart and mouth. Even my thoughts seemed to stop as I stared at the other male that joined the mob.
His eyes focused on me in a disconcerted, yet curious matter. The wheels in his brain turned as he watched Keiichiro ask me questions with no answer. Ryou's gaze went to my eyes and held. Grey and blue clashed and fell into one another before I came to my senses and clenched my fist.
My gaze turned down as my fist began to tense and shake. Ryou's eyes widened as his memory clicked into place. "Oh my god, Rika...?"
Miyuki turned to Ryou with a confused gaze. She hadn't told them my name and I hadn't said a word since the men came. "Rika, do you know him?" She asked lightly while bending down to try and meet my gaze.
Keiichiro's eyes mirrored Ryou and widened, "Rika? Is that really you?"
I turned up my gaze to meet Ryou's, ignoring the two closest to me. "I'm leaving," I stood and picked my bag up over my shoulder before making my way for the exit.
"I'll see you at work, Miyuki," I called behind me, "Sorry Keiichiro, we can catch up later."
I passed Ryou, having the full intention of ignoring him; but I felt a hand set itself on my right shoulder. "Hey, Rika-," he paused and noticed a small, grey mark on my shoulder. Realization hit him as his eyes widened. Fate just would not leave him to choose his own path.
I whipped around and gripped his wrist, gritting my teeth, "Don't touch me!" Ryou's attention adverted from my turned shoulder to my enraged eyes. He was left speechless as I tossed his wrist away, about to leave once more.
"You have a mark on your shoulder," a low voice spoke out. I stopped once more and turned to the new speaker, a waitress in a purple uniform. "What?"
She pointed to my shoulder, "There's a marking on your shoulder."
"Rika, did you get a tattoo?" Miyuki screamed with her hands on her face, I calmly shook my head before attempting to look over my shoulder at it. It was only a glimpse, but there was defiantly a different color on my skin than I remember. I eyed it confused, "Your point is?"
"You've become a Mew..."
Everyone's attention turned to Ryou, even mine. Silence settled upon those in the café before turning to Miyuki, who was the only one not connected to the project.
"Uhmm... I'll be going now. See you Rika!" she picked up her bag and took one last bite of her fruit tart before disappearing out the door. That left me alone with dumbstruck six girls and the two males who I thought I would never see again.
I felt my knuckles turn white as I could feel Ryou shift from behind me. "No," I said, fearing his touch, "do not ask. I refuse to partake in your little superhero, science project." I still faced the door, ready to run.
"This is no science project! We're protecting the planet!" Ichigo spoke out with an air of confidence and fighting fists. Unconcerned, I turned to her over my shoulder.
"You are needed here," Ryou spoke up with a hard gaze. I snapped my head around to face him, looking at him through my stone eyes. "I am never needed," I breathed out before taking even strides out, clutching my bag. It wouldn't be the last time that I hear from them.
"Ryou, why is there another Mew?" Lettuce asked lightly as she felt the tension recede with me. The team had been doing fine; so she saw no reason for another team member.
Keiichiro saw that Ryou had no intention of answering so he took the initiative. "We came across a different genetic coding from crossing the endangered red panda and it's cousin, the common raccoon. It manifested on it's own and became stronger to the point that we decided on testing it in a Mew form."
"It wasn't meant to hit her, but it's like the gene had a mind of it's own and chose a host," Ryou spoke turning from the doorway to the girls, "someone with as much fight as the gene itself. Probably because the red panda has the will the survive while the common raccoon has the mean to, making an even stronger host: a Mew."
"Well, if she has such a strong will to fight then why is she running away?" Mint yawned with her hand delicately covering her mouth. "She doesn't seem so strong."
Mint didn't catch the light glare that was sent her way from the blond. "But she certainly has pride," Zakura commented bluntly.
"Well," Ichigo took lead, "we need to get her to change her mind. Come one-"
"No." All movement stopped and everyone's gaze turned to Ryou, who starred in the direction where no one stood anymore. His hand remained out, as if to touch the void of space that was once full.
"Just let her be, for now." He turned to the girls and his partner with a solid gaze. "I'll talk to her," he decided to do what needed to be done and what should have been done eight years prior. This time, he wouldn't be the one running.
Thank you so much for reading. Yes, this is a new series that I have been meaning to start and with me sick in bed for the first week of summer I finally worked out the character kinks and started writing! Please, I would love to hear any comments about the series. Especially because I have not read or watched the series since my middle school years. (Man, I feel old...)
I know Tokyo Mew Mew does not seem my style, but there was something about how 'cute' everything was that made me want to put in a realistic character. Well, somewhat realistic. I do acknowledge that my character, Rika, does fall on the higher end of the extreme scale; but, hopefully, you will see that she is meant to be that way.
Special thank you to Hallows07 for her great comments on this opening and giving me the inspiration to publish this series.
Again, thank you so much for reading and I hope to hear from you and see you (figuratively) next time!