The Enemy Within

Pai sighed. Kisshu had been acting strange lately, and he couldn't figure out what was causing it. One minute he'd be acting normal, then two minutes later he'd be really angry, and that would fade too. Sometimes he acted like Taruto on sugar high, and other times he'd be crying. It's like he's going insane or something, but what's causing it? Pai wondered. This started really suddenly about a week ago, and I can't figure out what's going on. If it was related to Ichigo's rejections, I don't think that he'd be having periods where he acts really hyper- it would be mainly sad and/or angry.

Suddenly he heard teleportation, and looked up as Taruto teleported in. "Pai, I think Kisshu's gone insane!" Taruto said before Pai could say anything. "He's acting like a maniac!"

Pai sighed again. "Do you think the Mews did something to him?" he asked. "This behavior isn't like Kisshu, even if he's getting depressed over Ichigo."

"I'll go talk with Pudding," Taruto said, and teleported out.

Pai settled down to think again. He sure was depressed after Ichigo rejected his offer to take her to 'Paradise', Pai thought. Is it possible something happened to his mind after that? Maybe I should examine him; but I'd have to knock him out, and that's not usually a good idea. Unfortunately that may be the only way to get to the bottom of this.

Before he could go anywhere, though, Taruto teleported back in with Pudding. "Pai, Blondie did something to Pudding's mouth and she's unable to tell me what happened," he said. "Can you fix it?"

Pai went over and put a hand on Pudding's mouth, then snapped his fingers, saying, "Release."

Pudding sighed, and Pai took his hand away. "Thanks Pai-oniichan," Pudding said. "Ryou didn't want Pudding to tell you what he did to Kisshu-oniichan, even though he says there's no way to reverse it."

Pai and Taruto's eyes widened. "What did he do?" Pai asked.

"He said he implanted a second spirit into Kisshu-oniichan," Pudding said. "Pudding doesn't know what that means, but Ryou said he implanted some kind of evil spirit into Kisshu-oniichan, and the implant can't be reversed. Then he put something in Pudding's mouth, and Pudding couldn't tell Taru-Taru what happened."

"Pai, what do we do?" Taruto asked.

"I think the only option we have is to take both the spirits out of Kisshu's body, separate them, and put Kisshu's real spirit back in his body," Pai said. "That's not going to be easy, though, so I need both of you to stay in case something happens, or I need more power."

"Got it," Pudding and Taruto said.

"Are you going to put him to sleep?" Taruto asked.

"Unfortunately, I can't for this," Pai said. He concentrated, then said, "Kisshu's in the kitchen, let's go." He teleported, followed by Taruto with Pudding.

As they landed, Kisshu turned. He looked crazed, and Pai immediately held his hand up, palm out. Ripples started to form in the air between them, and Kisshu's chest began to glow as the spirits inside him started to get pulled out. "Pai…. Why…." Kisshu whispered.

Pai didn't respond; one of the spirits was causing the other to stay in Kisshu's body, and Pai was having a really hard time trying to get them both out.

"Taruto, I need a power transfer," Pai said through gritted teeth. Taruto grabbed Pai's free hand, and started pouring his power into Pai. Pai started to feel the spirits being pulled out, but soon even Taruto's power wasn't enough.

Taruto immediately realized his power wasn't going to be enough, and said urgently, "Pudding, we need help. Grab my hand."

Pudding obeyed, and to Taruto's surprise, as he pulled her power out, she began to glow. He gave her power to Pai, and Pai started to glow as well.

Pai felt that the spirits inside Kisshu were almost out, and he cried out as they finally came out. Kisshu collapsed, and Pai looked at the two spirits. One was a pure blue, and the other was red and black.

"What do we do with the evil spirit?" Taruto asked.

Pudding reached in her pocket, and to Pai and Taruto's surprise, pulled out Masha, the Mew's pink robot. "Masha, wake up," Pudding said.

Masha opened his eyes and said, "Pudding! Pudding!"

"Pai-oniichan, give Pudding the evil spirit," Pudding said. Pai handed the spirit over, and Pudding said, "Masha, collect!"

Masha ate the evil spirit, and then chirped, "Collected!"

"Good Masha!" Pudding said. "Masha can go back to sleep now, na no da."

Masha shrank back into keychain form, and Pudding put him in her pocket. "Pai-oniichan, you can give Kisshu-oniichan back his spirit now," Pudding said.

Pai nodded and went to Kisshu, then put his spirit back on his chest. It sank into his body, and he started breathing again, but didn't wake up. Pai gently put a hand on Kisshu's chest, and said, "He's going to need a lot of rest before he gets over this. I'll take him back to his room." Pai picked Kisshu up, and carried him back to his room. He tucked Kisshu into his bed as Pudding and Taruto came in.

"Pai, Pudding and I are pretty tired," Taruto said.

"I'm exhausted," Pai said. "I think we need to call Lettuce; she'll help."

"Ichigo-oneechan will help too; she realized she should have listened to Kisshu-oniichan," Pudding said. "Does Pai-oniichan want Pudding to call them? They have a portal machine."

"That would be great," Pai said.

Pudding concentrated, and called telepathically, Ichigo-oneechan!

Pudding, what's wrong? Ichigo asked.

Get Lettuce-oneechan and the portal machine, and come to the Cyniclons' ship; Pudding will explain here, Pudding said.

We'll be there soon, Ichigo said.

Thanks, Pudding said, and cut the connection. "They'll be here soon, Pudding will wait in the main room," she told Pai and Taruto.

"Thanks," Taruto said. "We'll try to stay awake till you get back."

Pudding smiled and went to the main room. Ten minutes later, Lettuce and Ichigo appeared, looking worried. "Pudding, what happened?" Lettuce asked.

"Ryou implanted an evil spirit into Kisshu-oniichan, and Pai-oniichan and Taru-Taru are exhausted from getting it out," Pudding said. "Pudding called Ichigo-oneechan to take care of Kisshu-oniichan, and Lettuce-oneechan to help the rest of us. Pudding is tired too, she gave Taru-Taru all her power."

"Alright, where are they?" Ichigo asked.

"Kisshu-oniichan's room; follow Pudding," Pudding said. She led the two older girls to Kisshu's room, and knocked.

"Come in," Pai's voice called tiredly.

Pudding went in, followed by Lettuce and Ichigo. Kisshu was still unconscious, and Pai and Taruto looked exhausted. "I'll stay with Kisshu," Ichigo said. "You guys should go rest before you fall asleep on the floor."

"Don't hurt him," Pai said. "And there's a sofa over there if you need to sleep."

"I won't, and thanks," Ichigo said.

Pai got up a bit unsteadily, and Lettuce came over as Pudding went to Taruto. "I'll help you, Pai," Lettuce said. She helped Pai walk out, and Pudding did the same for Taruto as Ichigo settled down in a chair next to the bed.

Four hours later: Ichigo was still sitting next to Kisshu, and he was still unconscious.

Another half hour passed, and Kisshu finally started to stir. "Kisshu?" Ichigo asked softly when she saw his eyes open.

Kisshu turned his head in the direction of her voice. "Koneko… chan….?" he asked weakly.

"I'm here," Ichigo said. "How are you feeling?"

"I feel so weak…." Kisshu said. "What happened to me?"

"Pudding claims Blondie implanted some kind of evil spirit into you, and Pai apparently got it out, but he used up his power, Taruto's power, and Pudding's power, and now they're all exhausted," Ichigo said. "Lettuce is taking care of them; I said I'd stay with you, is that okay?"

"Yeah…." Kisshu said. "I guess the evil spirit was why I felt like I was going insane for the past week and a half. Why did you decide to take care of me?"

"I love you," Ichigo said softly. "I realized it after I saw the look on your face before you teleported the last time we met, and then I couldn't get you out of my mind, and I finally gave up the façade of being in love with Aoyama, and told him we should go separate ways. He was NOT happy with me, and Moe and Miwa beat him to a pulp, but I realized you were right, I should have gone with you."

Kisshu's face lit up, but then he yawned. "Kisshu, get some more sleep; you look really tired," Ichigo said. "Do you need me to stay up?"

"Can you sleep with me?" Kisshu asked sleepily.

"I guess," Ichigo said. She took her shoes off, and climbed into the bed next to Kisshu. He was half-asleep already. Ichigo pulled the blankets over them both, and gently put her arms around Kisshu. He snuggled against her, and fell asleep. Soon Ichigo was asleep as well.

Ichigo woke up late the next morning, and noticed Kisshu's arms were around her waist. His grip on her wasn't nearly as strong as usual, though. Not wanting to wake him, Ichigo started stroking his hair instead of getting up. He leaned into her hand slightly after a minute.

A few hours later, Ichigo had stopped stroking Kisshu's hair. He was still sleeping. Ichigo heard the door open suddenly, and carefully sat up. To her surprise, Pai came in. "Ichigo, why are you sleeping with Kisshu?" he asked.

"He wanted me to," Ichigo said. "Is there a problem with that?"

"As long as you two are just sleeping, no," Pai said.

"Don't worry, I won't do anything, and I don't think Kisshu's capable of doing anything right now," Ichigo said.

Pai came over and put a hand on Kisshu's chest. "He's still very weak," he said. "I guess you're right."

Ichigo smiled, and then noticed Kisshu was waking up. "Kisshu?" she asked softly.

Kisshu opened his eyes. "Morning," he said.

"More like afternoon," Pai commented. "How are you feeling?"

"I don't think I have the strength to sit up," Kisshu admitted. "I'm hungry…."

"I'll go see if Lettuce is finished; she was making some soup for you," Pai said, and teleported out.

Kisshu looked at Ichigo, and asked, "Will you stay?"

"Of course," Ichigo said. "I'll stay as long as you want, k?"

"That would be forever," Kisshu said, smirking.

To his surprise, Ichigo smirked back, and said, "That's fine too." She smiled when Kisshu's face lit up.

Pai teleported in at that moment, carrying a bowl of soup and a spoon. "It's chicken noodle," he said, even though Kisshu hadn't asked.

"Okay," Kisshu said.

Ichigo took the bowl and spoon from Pai, and spooned some soup up. "Kisshu, open up," she said.

Kisshu obeyed, smirking, and Ichigo started feeding him the soup. By the time he was done, however, he was looking sleepy. "Kisshu, you should get some more rest," Ichigo said softly.

"K…." Kisshu said sleepily. He closed his eyes, and went back to sleep. Ichigo set the empty bowl and spoon down on his night table, then started stroking his hair again.

Four hours later, Ichigo was starting to doze off, when she heard teleportation. Expecting it to be Pai, she looked up- and was shocked to see Ryou standing in the room, holding some kind of machine. "What are YOU doing here?" she asked warily.

"I'm here to get you back to normal," Ryou said.

Ichigo was puzzled, and asked, "What is that supposed to mean?"

"I thought it was strange that you dumped Aoyama, but when you didn't fall for me instead, I realized Kisshu must have brainwashed you," Ryou said. "That's why I'm here, to reverse the brainwash."

"Back up, you thought I was going to fall for YOU?" Ichigo asked. "Are you insane?"

"No, why?" Ryou asked.

"Why on EARTH would I fall for the guy who wrecked my life and enjoys making me miserable?" Ichigo asked incredulously. "You must be a real idiot if you thought I would ever fall for you. I hated you from day one, so even if Kisshu HAD brainwashed me, it wouldn't make much of a difference on my feelings towards you. I hate you, Blondie, so you can forget me falling in love with you. Especially after what you did to Kisshu."

"How did you manage to reverse that, anyways?" Ryou asked.

"Pudding claims Pai pulled the evil spirit you implanted into Kisshu out of his body along with his real spirit, and separated them," Ichigo said. "Then Pudding got Masha to collect the evil spirit."

"Pudding's here too?" Ryou asked warily.

"So is Lettuce, and you can't force us back," Ichigo said. "I'd suggest going back to your stupid Café and telling the others that I, at least, am quitting because of you. Pin my resignation on the aliens, and I'll kill you, got it?"

"I know you wouldn't actually kill me, but I'll go back and talk to the others about how to get you back to normal," Ryou said.

Ichigo snarled, and claws shot out of her fingers. She leapt at Ryou, clawed five lines across his face, and said, "Get out, or I WILL kill you."

Ryou pressed a button on the machine he was holding, and a portal opened up as Ichigo went back to Kisshu. As soon as the portal faded, Ichigo sighed, and was surprised when Kisshu asked, "Is he gone?"

"Yeah," Ichigo said. "You were pretending to be asleep?"

"Yup," Kisshu said. "I can't understand why Blondie is completely nasty to you, yet expects you to fall in love with him anyways."

"Me neither," Ichigo sighed.

They heard teleportation again, but this time it was Pai. "Was Ryou here?" he asked.

"Yeah," Ichigo said. "I got him to go away, though."

"Good," Pai said. He went to Kisshu and put a hand on his chest. Then he sighed and said, "I'll try to heal the weakness, but there's not too much I can do. Stay quiet."

Kisshu and Ichigo both stayed quiet as Pai's hand began to glow. Kisshu realized after about five minutes that he felt a little stronger, and fifteen minutes later, he felt most of the shakiness go away. Pai took his hand away, and asked, "Can you sit up?"

Kisshu tried, but he had to lean back; he couldn't fully sit up yet. "If I'm leaning against something I can," he said.

"Good," Pai said. He put his hand back on Kisshu's chest, and said, "You're probably going to need at least a week in bed; the weakness in your legs hasn't faded at all. Don't stay up for too long, or you might end up staying in bed for two weeks."

"In other words, don't push myself?" Kisshu asked.

"Right," Pai said.

Kisshu sighed, and Ichigo smoothed his hair back. "I'll be here, k?" she said softly.

Kisshu looked at her, and smiled. "Good," he said.

One week later: Kisshu was finally getting back on his feet. Ichigo had stayed with him 24/7, while Lettuce kept Pai out of the kitchen, and Pudding and Taruto went back to Earth to eat candy. Moe and Miwa had been by, with news that they had successfully demolished Ryou, so he was no longer a problem.

Eight days after Pai had taken the evil spirit out of Kisshu's body, Kisshu was back to full strength. He and Pai took Ichigo and Lettuce to Café Mew Mew, since they had decided to form a truce.

Not a great ending, but I hope you like it anyways! Please review, and please don't flame!