Almost Too Late

Taruto ran into Kisshu's room, yelling, "Kisshu! Pai says we're going back to Earth!"

Kisshu leaped up and shouted, "YES! Finally! When are we leaving?"

"Tonight, start packing," Taruto said, and teleported out. Kisshu smirked as he started packing clothes. Koneko-chan, this time, you'll be mine, he thought.

The three brothers left for Earth that night, each dreaming of the girl they loved.

On Earth: The Mews- minus Ichigo- were having a meeting at Mint's. "We have to find some way to contact the Cyniclons," Lettuce said. "This is getting bad."

"You're right," Zakuro said. "Ichigo's really depressed, and if we don't get Kisshu to come back, she's going to commit suicide."

"Let's just tie Ryou and possibly Keiichiro up and lock them in a room, then figure out how to use the computers to contact Kisshu," Mint said. "We all know Ryou's reason for not contacting them is so Ichigo can be his."

"Pudding likes that idea," Pudding said. "Pudding doesn't like seeing Ichigo-oneechan sad."

"None of us do," Lettuce said. "Let's go." The other Mews nodded, and after finding some rope in a closet, they headed to Café Mew Mew.

At Café Mew Mew: Keiichiro was fighting with Ryou for the fifth time that week. "Ryou, I know you want Ichigo to love you, but for one thing, she hates you, and for another, if we don't get Kisshu back, she's going to commit suicide!" Keiichiro shouted in exasperation. "She can't love you if she's dead!"

"Kisshu doesn't deserve her," Ryou said. "I refuse to contact him."

"He worked really hard to earn her love, and he deserves her ten million times more than you do," Keiichiro said, trying to keep his temper. "You were nasty to Ichigo every time you saw her, you overworked her to the point where I had to drive her home because she was too tired to walk, you turned her into a cat and/or docked her paycheck on a daily basis, and the only reason she worked here for so long was because I was going into your bank account to give her more money. Get it through your head, Ryou- Ichigo. Hates. You. I wouldn't expect her to ever love you after what you put her through."

Before Ryou could respond, the front doors were kicked in by Mint and Zakuro, and they looked MAD. Lettuce and Pudding had the same look on their faces. Keiichiro sighed, and said, "That's it, Ryou. I've had enough." Then he hit Ryou over the head, knocking him out. He looked at the Mews, and said, "I assume you're here to ask me to contact Kisshu?"

"Yes," Lettuce said.

"Let's go," Keiichiro said.

"I'll tie Ryou up, the rest of you go on," Zakuro said. The others nodded, and Keiichiro led the way to the basement.

All the computers and equipment from the Mew Project was still there, and Keiichiro went to one of the computers, turned it on, and when it was booted up, typed a number into it. The big screen in the room flickered on, and they waited.

Finally Pai's face came up, and he looked startled. "Is something wrong?" he asked.

"We need you three to come back to Earth- mainly Kisshu," Keiichiro said.

"Why Kisshu?" Pai asked.

"Ichigo's dying," Mint said.

Pai looked shocked. "What happened?" he asked.

"Kisshu left, that's what happened," Lettuce said.

"We're about three hours away from Earth," Pai said. "We all decided to come back. I'll call Kisshu; hang on." He pressed a button, and then said into what looked like an intercom, "Kisshu, I need you in the control room, now."

A minute later, Kisshu teleported in, looking like he had just woken up. "Pai, what-" he started, but then saw the Mews, and asked, "What's going on?"

"We called to get you to come back," Keiichiro said. "Ichigo's dying."

Kisshu looked horrified. "What happened?" he whispered.

"You left," Lettuce said gloomily. "And she didn't get to say goodbye, and now she's withering away."

"Why didn't you call sooner!?" Kisshu asked. "I would have come back immediately if I knew. I thought she hated me!"

"Ryou was a problem," Lettuce said. "We didn't want him to attack you."

"I could easily kill Blondie," Kisshu said. He looked at Pai, who sighed and said, "Fine…." He pressed a button, and part of the wall opened up, to reveal a small chamber. Kisshu stepped inside it, and Pai pressed another button. Kisshu vanished, and the Mews spun as they heard teleportation behind them.

Kisshu appeared, and said, "I'm going to Ichigo's. Pai, get here soon."

"Will do," Pai said. Kisshu teleported out again.

With Ichigo: Ichigo was lying on her bed, tears running down her cheeks. Sometimes she wondered vaguely why she hadn't run out of tears yet; it had been a year and a half since she had seen Kisshu, and she still cried.

Her parents had stopped going away all the time; the only good thing that came out of Kisshu's leaving. They barely left the house anymore, and Sakura had started homeschooling Ichigo. Tonight, though, they had gone to the movies- after hiding all the knives in the house.

Is there really any point in living like this? Ichigo wondered for the thousandth time. I'm just making everyone around me miserable too. And there's no one around to stop me tonight; I just need to find a knife or something.

Ichigo wearily got up and went downstairs. Unfortunately, her mother had left one knife out, and Ichigo grabbed it, then went back to her room.

Just as she came in, she heard teleportation, and looked at the ripple in the air. The knife dropped from her hand as Kisshu appeared, and she dropped to her knees, burying her face in her hands. She heard Kisshu run over, and heard him ask, "Koneko-chan, are you okay?"

Kisshu was worried when Ichigo dropped to her knees, and ran over, kneeling next to her as he asked, "Koneko-chan, are you okay?" Ichigo didn't respond, but before Kisshu could ask again, she threw herself at him, pinning him to the floor.

Stunned, Kisshu looked up at Ichigo, who was staring down at him, tears running down her face. "Kisshu?" she asked.

"Yeah?" Kisshu asked.

"You're not going to leave ever again, right?" Ichigo asked.

"I'll never leave you alone again, I swear," Kisshu said. "I'm really sorry for putting you through so much pain, Koneko-chan."

"Why didn't you at least say goodbye?" Ichigo whispered.

"I thought you would be happier if I didn't, since you hated me for so long," Kisshu said.

"I dumped Aoyama two days after you left," Ichigo whispered. "I couldn't take knowing I loved you and still go out with him, so I told him we were over. He moved to England, so it was for the best. Why didn't you come back sooner?"

"If I had known you wanted me around, I would have come back as soon as we healed the planet," Kisshu said. "Apparently Blondie was so much of a problem that the others didn't call till today, when we were on our way here already."

"Can he go down?" Ichigo asked.

"Ask Keiichiro, not me," Kisshu said. "I'd say let's go, but I don't know about Keiichiro."

Suddenly they heard the front door open, and Sakura called, "Ichigo, we're home!"

Ichigo didn't respond, and they heard footsteps on the stairs. Sakura and Shintaro came running in, and sighed. "Good, you're okay," Sakura said. She looked at Kisshu, who was still being pinned down by Ichigo, and said, "Hi, I'm Sakura, and this is Ichigo's dad, Shintaro. You're Kisshu, right?"

"Yeah, nice to meet you," Kisshu said.

"It's about time you came back," Shintaro grumbled. "You know Ichigo tried to kill herself like fifteen times, right?"

"She didn't mention that, but the Mews called and said she was dying while we were on our way here, so I went on ahead," Kisshu said. "Of course, if they had called me sooner, this might not have happened. I would have come back after we healed our planet, but I thought Ichigo would be happy with the treehugger, so I didn't."

"They told you I was dying?" Ichigo asked. "I guess that's kind of accurate….."

"You're staying, right?" Sakura asked.

"Yeah, I'm staying," Kisshu said.

"Good," Sakura said. "Unless you want the guest room, you and Ichigo can sleep together, I think that will help the nightmares."

"Nightmares?" Kisshu asked.

"I have the same nightmare every night," Ichigo said. "Deep Blue kills you, and I try to save you but I can't. And then I wake up."

"Usually screaming your name," Shintaro added. "Ichigo, are you getting off of Kisshu at some point?"

Ichigo sighed and got off of Kisshu, and he sat up. "Do you want to go tell your friends you're okay?" Kisshu asked.

"K," Ichigo said.

Kisshu smirked and picked her up bridal style. To his surprise, she twined her arms around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder. He smiled and teleported to the basement of Café Mew Mew.

The other Mews, Pai, Taruto, and Keiichiro were all down there, and they looked worried. "Are you okay, Ichigo?" Keiichiro asked.

"I'm fine now that Kisshu's back," Ichigo said happily. "Can I take Blondie down for making me miserable?"

"Zakuro beat you to it," Pai said. "And I incinerated the body."

"Aww…." Ichigo and Kisshu said together.

"Well, at least he can't cause trouble," Lettuce said. "It's good to see you smiling, Ichigo-san."

"Thanks, Lettuce," Ichigo said. She looked over at Pai and asked, "Are all of you staying?"

"Yep, the hero worship we were getting was creepy, so we decided to come live on Earth," Pai said. "Keiichiro said I can live here, and Taruto's moving in with Pudding. I assume Kisshu's living with you?"

"Yup, and we get to sleep together," Ichigo said happily.

"Your dad actually agreed to this?" Mint asked.

"He and Mom think sleeping with Kisshu will help the nightmares," Ichigo said.

"Nightmares?" Pai asked.

"I keep dreaming that Kisshu gets killed by Deep Blue, and I can't save him," Ichigo said.

Pai came over and put a hand on her forehead, then said, "I think I can heal that."

"K," Ichigo said.

Pai's hand began to glow, and Ichigo got sleepy. Ten minutes after she was sound asleep, Pai took his hand away and said softly, "That should take care of the nightmares. Kisshu, take her home and put her to bed. She needs to sleep off the healing."

"K," Kisshu said. He teleported back to Ichigo's room, and found Sakura and Shintaro still in there.

"Is Ichigo okay?" Sakura asked.

"Pai said he healed the nightmares, and she needs to sleep off the healing," Kisshu said. "I'm kind of tired too…."

"Go to bed, then," Sakura said.

Kisshu put Ichigo down on her bed and tucked her in as Sakura and Shintaro left. Then he took off his boots, and climbed into the bed next to her. As he laid back, he felt Ichigo snuggle up to him.

The next morning, Kisshu woke up to find Ichigo attached to him. "Koneko-chan?" he asked softly.

Ichigo stirred and sleepily opened her eyes. "Morning Kish," she said sleepily.

Kisshu smiled. "Morning," he said. "Should we get up?"

"This is comfy," Ichigo said. "Can we stay like this a little longer?"

"Sure," Kisshu said.

Ichigo smiled and snuggled against him. "I'm glad you're here," she said softly.

"I'm glad to be here," Kisshu said, and kissed her.

Another one….