I Need Your Help, Ichigo

Another ordinary day at Café Mew Mew for Ichigo. Mint ordering everyone around, Lettuce breaking things, Pudding doing tricks, Zakuro scaring people, Ryou being a jerk- and Ichigo doing everything. By the end of the day, Ichigo was exhausted, and irritated.

It didn't help when Ryou called her over, and said, "Since you didn't get the cleaning done, I'm docking your paycheck again."

Ichigo snapped, as usual, but this time was different. She took her pendant out of her pocket, handed it to Ryou, and said, "I'm not working for you anymore. Try to get me back, and I'll annihilate you. I can transform without that thing."

"You can't quit!" Ryou said angrily.

"Watch me," Ichigo spat, and went to the girls' locker room. She changed, grabbed her stuff, and walked out without a word.

Going straight home, she saw that her parents were gone again. Sighing, she went into the house, took her shoes off, and went upstairs. To her surprise, halfway up the stairs, she heard a small sound from her room, sort of like a kitten mewing. She ran the rest of the way to her room, and looked in. To her surprise, Kisshu was sitting on her bed, holding a small girl with Cyniclon ears, black hair, and Kisshu's golden eyes. They looked up, startled, as Ichigo asked, "Kisshu, who's this? And why are you in my room?"

Kisshu sighed and said, "I'm in your room because I need your help."

"What with?" Ichigo asked, a bit suspicious.

"My sister," Kisshu said, looking at the girl in his lap. "I was sent back to my planet to make a report, and found out our adoptive mom was killed in a rockslide, and our adoptive dad was losing the will to live. I had to bring Kimiko back with me, since I have no other living family who can care for her. And then Deep Blue found out about this, and I had to take Kimiko and leave. I didn't want anything to happen to her. She's all I have, so I came to the one place on Earth where I knew someone. We both need your help, Ichigo."

Ichigo sighed, looking at Kimiko. The little girl looked back with big, pleading gold eyes, and Ichigo said, "Okay, but we have to sleep in the guest room; Ryou might be out to get me soon."

"Why?" Kisshu asked.

"I quit," Ichigo said. "He's evil."

"Well, that works out well for us," Kisshu said. "At least you won't be gone all day."

"Yup," Ichigo said. "Let's go set up the guest room, okay?"

Kisshu gently set Kimiko down, and went to Ichigo's window, then locked it and closed the curtains. Then he picked up Kimiko, and followed Ichigo to the guest room.

They went in, and Ichigo said, "I guess this is going to be your new home, at least for now."

Kisshu set Kimiko down on the bed, and said, "Thanks, Ichigo."

Ichigo smiled a bit, and her smile broadened when Kisshu said, "Kimiko, what do you say?"

"Thanks Oneechan," Kimiko said.

Kisshu facepalmed as Ichigo looked puzzled. "Kisshu, is there something wrong?" she asked. "According to what you've been telling me since the day we met, I'm going to be her sister someday anyways."

"Kimiko does that to everyone," Kisshu explained. "And I'm trying to break her of that habit."

"Pudding does that too," Ichigo commented.

"And you're not helping," Kisshu said.

"Oniichan, if Ichigo-oneechan thinks I'm her sister, does that mean you bonded with her?" Kimiko asked.

"Uh…" Kisshu said.

"Kisshu, did you do something weird to me?" Ichigo asked suspiciously.

"No," Kisshu said. "I just kissed you several times."

"YAY!" Kimiko said happily. "So you bonded with her several times, which means you're going to be together forever!"

"Kisshu, would you care to explain this?" Ichigo asked.

"Um… bonding between my people means they've found the person they want to spend the rest of their life with, and the bond is sealed by kissing," Kisshu said uncomfortably. "And if one of the bonded pair dies, the other will as well."

"You decided you wanted to spend your life with me after meeting me ONCE!?" Ichigo asked incredulously.

"Actually, Cyniclons have an instinct that tells them when they've found the right person," Kisshu said. "I had a feeling that I wouldn't be bonding with anyone on my planet, so I wasn't overly shocked when I felt that you were the one."

"I suppose this is the reason I've been thinking about you nonstop since about the fifth time you kissed me?" Ichigo asked. "I dumped Aoyama, by the way."

"YAY!" Kisshu said. "So now you're going to be mine, right?"

"You get to be mine as well," Ichigo said. "But yes, I'll be 'yours'."

She wasn't surprised when Kisshu immediately kissed her. She kissed back, and immediately started to feel different- like this was meant to happen.

When they broke it off, Ichigo said, "That felt different."

"That's because you actually kissed me back, and that really sealed the bond," Kisshu explained.

Kimiko was watching, and now she said, "I'm hungry. Can you go back to kissing after dinner?"

Ichigo giggled. "Sure," she said. "What do you guys want? I have some lasagna."

"What's that?" Kisshu asked.

"Pasta layered with meat, tomato sauce, and cheese," Ichigo said. "Do you have any allergies?"

"I'm severely allergic to bananas," Kisshu said. "Can you get rid of any that you have?"

"Sure," Ichigo said. "I'll go do that." She got up, and went downstairs. Then she got every banana and anything banana-related, put all of it in a bag, and took it to the garage.

As she was going back upstairs, she heard glass shatter, and ran the rest of the way up the stairs, then to the guest room. As she had feared, Ryou had broken in. "I should have known when Ichigo quit that you had something to do with it," he told Kisshu. "If you don't reverse the brainwash, I'll kill you."

"I didn't brainwash Ichigo," Kisshu snarled. "Just because she does something you don't like doesn't mean she's brainwashed. It's not MY fault she decided she'd rather not have you controlling her life. I'd do the same. Why would she work for someone who takes pleasure in making her miserable?"

"If you won't admit to it, you can die," Ryou said, taking a gun out.

"If you kill me, Ichigo will die too," Kisshu commented. "I'd suggest rethinking this, Blondie. Especially since I can't undo something I never did."

Ichigo sighed. "Ryou, Kisshu didn't brainwash me," she said. "Why can't you get it through your head that I hate you? You wrecked my life, and yet you don't get why I don't love you. I thought you were a genius. Is Keiichiro lying about that?"

"NO, he's not," Ryou said. "And what are you going to do without your friends?"

"I'll get to hang out with Moe and Miwa, and spend a lot more time with Kisshu," Ichigo said. "The other Mews aren't my only friends. Are you planning on leaving soon? It's my house, not yours."

"How do I know you're not lying?" Ryou asked.

"If I was brainwashed, wouldn't my eyes look blank?" Ichigo asked. "And I hated you from day one, and day one was before I met Kisshu. Can you get it through your head that I'm not coming back? I'm really sick of you, and you never had a chance on me anyways. Last I checked, Mint was head over heels in love with you, and you're perfect for each other, so go ask her out, and quit bugging me and Kisshu. Now that we're bonded, there's really nothing you can do to him that won't affect me."

"Bonded?" Ryou asked warily.

Kisshu looked at Ichigo and asked, "Do I have to explain it to the evil blonde jerk?"

"Might as well; he won't leave us alone otherwise," Ichigo sighed.

Kisshu sighed and said, "Bonding means two people have decided that they want to spend their lives together, and it's sealed by kissing."

"Ichigo's thirteen, isn't that a bit young for that?" Ryou asked.

"I'm fourteen," Kisshu said. "Cyniclons have an instinct that tells them who the right person is when they first meet. But the point is, anything that happens to me will be felt by Ichigo, and if you kill me, she'll die too. And before you ask, a bond can't be broken by any means. Once you find the person you're meant to bond with, that's it. And now that Ichigo and I have bonded, she'll never get feelings for anyone else- which may be a good thing, since she's not exactly human, and that would be a hard secret to keep."

"Mmph," Ryou said grouchily.

"You've only got yourself to blame," Ichigo commented. "If you hadn't made me a Mew Mew, this wouldn't have happened. I'd suggest going back to the Café and telling the others about this, and staying away from me and Kisshu. I'd hate to have to Strawberry Surprise you."

"I thought you hated me," Ryou said.

"I do, but I don't want to go to jail, so please don't make me kill you," Ichigo said. "And I'd suggest getting out of my house, because you're not welcome here."

"Grr…" Ryou said as he headed out.

When they heard the front door close, Kisshu sighed. "Kimiko, you can come out now," he said.

Kimiko came out from under the bed, and Kisshu picked her up. "Is Blondie evil?" she asked.

"Yes," Ichigo said. "Don't worry, though. Kisshu and I can handle him, right Kisshu?"

"Yup," Kisshu said. "Can we eat?"

"Sure," Ichigo said. "I got rid of the bananas; just stay away from the garage."

"Thanks," Kisshu said.

Ichigo led the way downstairs, and went to the kitchen. She took the lasagna out of the fridge, and said, "Kisshu, why don't you and Kimiko go sit down? I can heat the lasagna up."

"Okay," Kisshu said. He set Kimiko down in one of the chairs, and sat down next to her.

Ichigo put the lasagna on a plate, and got out two more plates while it was heating up in the microwave. She got out forks, and set the table, then asked, "Do you two want anything to drink?"

"What do you have?" Kisshu asked.

Ichigo looked in the fridge, then said, "Looks like I've got cranberry juice, lemonade, and chocolate milk."

"What's chocolate?" Kimiko asked.

"It's really good," Kisshu said. "It's sweet, though, so you can't have a lot."

"What's wrong with sweet?" Ichigo asked.

"Sugar is a drug to my people," Kisshu said. "You might say Taruto's a drug addict, at this point."

"That's scary," Ichigo said. "He's only nine."

"Taruto-oniichan likes drugs?" Kimiko asked. "I thought Aunt Yuki would have taught him better."

"She did, he just doesn't care," Kisshu said. "For now we have to stay away from him and Pai anyways."

Kimiko looked sad, and attempting to divert her attention, Ichigo asked, "Do you both want chocolate milk?"

"Sure, thanks," Kisshu said. "I can get it, though."

"Thanks," Ichigo said. "The cups are above the sink."

Kisshu went to get the cups, but jumped when the microwave beeped. "It's just the microwave telling me the food's done," Ichigo said. "I'll cut the lasagna up."

Kisshu poured some milk for all of them, and Ichigo cut the lasagna into three pieces. Then they sat down to eat. "This is really good," Kimiko said happily. "Ichigo-oneechan, did you make it?"

"No, my mom left me a lot so I'd have some easy dinners while she was gone," Ichigo said. "She and my dad leave me alone a lot."

"Why?" Kisshu asked.

"Beats me," Ichigo sighed. "I wish they would stay home more, though."

Before Kisshu could reply, the doorbell rang. "You two stay here, I'll get it," Ichigo said. She went to the front door and opened it, and was surprised to see Zakuro there. "Hi Zakuro, what's up?" Ichigo asked.

"I heard from Ryou that Kisshu's here, before he went off into a rant about something called 'bonding'," Zakuro said. "You two haven't done anything, have you?"

"No, apparently bonding is sealed by kissing," Ichigo said. "Would you like to come in?"

"Yes, thanks," Zakuro said. Ichigo let her in, and closed the door behind her. "Do we have to worry about Ryou?" Ichigo asked.

"I'm not sure yet, but Keiichiro and I will try to keep him under control," Zakuro said. "I'd like to speak with Kisshu, where is he?"

"Still in the kitchen, most likely," Ichigo said. "I'll go get him." She went to the kitchen, and found Kisshu washing the dishes. "Zakuro's here," she told him. "She'd like to speak with you, can you come out?"

"Is she going to eat me?" Kisshu asked warily.

"I won't let her," Ichigo said. "Where's Kimiko?"

Kisshu looked around, sighed, and said, "Most likely in the front, finding out who's here." He dried his hands, and followed Ichigo out to the living room. Sure enough, Kimiko was in there, looking at Zakuro curiously.

"Now I see why you're worried about Ryou," Zakuro said. "Does he know Kimiko's here?"

"No, I told her to hide when I sensed him coming," Kisshu said. "I didn't want him to use her against me."

"Good," Zakuro said. "He's steaming, so it's better that he doesn't find out."

"I really hope he doesn't do anything," Ichigo sighed. "If he kills Kisshu, I'll die too, and then who will take care of Kimiko?"

"Why will you die too?" Zakuro asked.

"I bonded with Ichigo, which means anything that happens to me will reflect on her in some way," Kisshu said. "If I die, she'll die too."

"I don't want you to die," Kimiko said sadly.

Kisshu picked her up and said, "I won't die anytime soon, and neither will Ichigo, okay?"

Kimiko nodded, snuggling against Kisshu. Kisshu smiled, then looked at Zakuro and asked, "So what did you want to talk about?"

"I'm curious as to why you came here," Zakuro said. "Did something happen?"

"Deep Blue wasn't happy with me bringing Kimiko to the ship, and had Pai kick me out," Kisshu said. "I had nowhere else to go, so I came here in hopes that Ichigo would help us. And now that we've completed the bond, I have to stay on Earth, since I can't bring Ichigo back to my planet."

"Ryou's going to love that," Zakuro said dryly.

"Can we get rid of him?" Kisshu asked. "If he's that hazardous, wouldn't he be better off dead?"

"That's illegal," Zakuro sighed. "And before you ask, if you're going to be living on Earth, human laws do apply to you. I have another suggestion, though. Ryou can turn into a kitten, but only stay that way for ten minutes. If we could keep him in kitten form for more than ten minutes, he won't be able to turn back. I'll go talk with Keiichiro; he should have some ideas. In the meantime, stay here."

"Okay," Ichigo said. "Thanks, Zakuro."

"Sure," Zakuro said. "I'll be by after I've talked to Keiichiro." She got up, and Ichigo walked with her to the door. "Be careful," Zakuro said before leaving.

"I will," Ichigo promised. Zakuro smiled and left.

Ichigo walked back into the living room, but found that Kisshu and Kimiko were gone. "Kisshu?" she called.

"Upstairs," Kisshu called back.

Ichigo went upstairs and found Kisshu in the guest room. The window was completely fixed. "Wow, you fixed the window?" Ichigo asked.

"Yup," Kisshu said.

"Thanks," Ichigo said.

"Sure," Kisshu replied. "Kimiko's getting tired, and I'm kind of tired too. Can we go to bed?"

"Sure," Ichigo said. "Do you need nightclothes or anything?"

"I brought some, they're in your room," Kisshu said. He went to get them, and came back with a pair of black pajama pants, and a green nightdress.

"Where's your shirt?" Ichigo asked.

"I don't usually wear one," Kisshu said, shrugging. "Are you getting changed?"

"Yeah," Ichigo said. She went back to her room, and changed into her pajamas, then went back to the guest room. Kisshu was wearing a pair of loose black pajama pants, and nothing else. He snickered when he saw Ichigo, and said, "Your face is putting your hair to shame."

"Mmph," Ichigo said. "You do realize when my parents come back, you'll have to put a shirt on, right? They'd freak if they saw me sleeping with a half-naked guy."

"Oh, fine," Kisshu said sulkily.

Ichigo giggled. "You look so cute sulking!" she said.

Kisshu perked up, and Ichigo smiled. "Should we go to bed?" she asked.

"Yep," Kisshu said. "Kimiko gets the middle."

Ichigo climbed in on one side of the bed, and Kisshu climbed in on the other. Kimiko snuggled in between them, and Ichigo pulled the covers up. "Night," she said.

"Night," Kisshu replied.

"Night Ichigo-oneechan," Kimiko said sleepily. She fell fast asleep as Kisshu smoothed her hair back, and Ichigo and Kisshu weren't far behind.

The next morning: Kisshu woke up to the sound of teleportation, and became alert immediately. Pai appeared, and Kisshu looked at him warily. "You were right," Pai said. "Deep Blue didn't intend to help us, so I killed his human host before coming to tell you we should form a truce."

"We're waiting to see whether or not Zakuro and Keiichiro can get rid of Ryou," Kisshu said. "Apparently killing him is illegal."

"So how are they going to get rid of him?" Pai asked.

"Zakuro said something about turning him into a kitten," Kisshu said.

"It's not that I mind you guys talking, but can you talk somewhere else?" Ichigo asked grouchily. "I don't like getting up early."

"Where's Kimiko?" Kisshu asked.

"She's in the pink room," Pai said. "I heard giggling in there."

Kisshu got up, and went to Ichigo's room. He found Kimiko hugging a stuffed cat. Ichigo came in a minute later, and asked, "Kimiko, you like Neko-chan?"

"She's FLUFFY!" Kimiko said happily.

Ichigo smiled, but before she could say anything, the doorbell rang. Kisshu looked out the window, and said, "It's Zakuro." Then he teleported out, and Ichigo heard him open the front door.

Kisshu let Zakuro in, and noticed she was holding a bag. "What's in there?" he asked.

"You'll see," Zakuro said. "Where's Ichigo and Kimiko?"

"Upstairs, Kimiko discovered Ichigo's stuffed animal," Kisshu said. "Come on up. Pai's here too; he said he killed Deep Blue's human host."

"Good," Zakuro said. She followed Kisshu upstairs to Ichigo's room, and went in. Ichigo looked up from playing with Kimiko and said, "Hi Zakuro, what's up?"

"Keiichiro and I turned Ryou into a kitten, and put a collar on him that will keep him in cat form," Zakuro said. "Keiichiro says if he's still a problem, then we can consider other options."

"Fine…." Kisshu said. "So what's in the bag?"

"I got Kimiko a little present," Zakuro said. She handed the bag to Kimiko, who opened it. Her face lit up as she pulled a stuffed cat out of the bag.

The others smiled as Kimiko hugged the cat and said, "Thanks Zakuro-oneechan!"

"You're welcome," Zakuro said, smiling. She looked at Kisshu, and said, "I think we need to get human clothing for her. Keiichiro said he'd handle clothes for you, Pai, and Taruto, but I told him I'd take Kimiko shopping. Is that okay?"

"That's fine, thank you," Kisshu said. "I'll get Pai's latest invention." He concentrated, then snapped his fingers, and a small bottle of pills appeared in his hand. "These will change her ears for ten hours," Kisshu said. "I doubt you'll be shopping for ten hours, though, so one should be good."

"Alright," Zakuro said. She looked at Ichigo and Kimiko, and said, "Why don't you two get ready?"

"'Kay!" the girls said, and started getting ready to go shopping.

I think this will be a two-shot, I don't want to make it five million pages. Please Review!