"Kisshu, please wake up!" Kisshu heard the voice, but couldn't identify it. He was feeling really disoriented, and it didn't help when another voice sighed.
"Ichigo, I've told you that there's very little chance he's going to wake up anytime soon," the second voice said.
Ichigo? Kisshu wondered, as the first voice, which Kisshu now recognized to be Ichigo's, said, "This is all my fault…."
"I'm not going to deny that, but it's not going to help Kisshu much if you die," the second voice said. "In fact, it's not going to help anyone. And for the last time, NO, I'm NOT taking the spell off of you."
"Please?" Ichigo asked.
"Puppy dog eyes don't work on me," the second voice, which Kisshu assumed was Pai's, said. "At least wait till Kisshu wakes up before deciding you'd be better off dead."
"But you said it could be months or years before he wakes up!" Ichigo wailed. "I'll never make it that long!"
"Don't make me put you to sleep again," Pai said.
"Didn't you tell Taruto earlier you didn't have enough energy to put me to sleep today?" Ichigo asked.
"I do now," Pai said. "I just needed to eat something."
Kisshu, meanwhile, was trying to make sense of this, and having absolutely no luck. What happened to me? he wondered. And why would Pai think I'd be sleeping for months or years? Was I in a coma or something? But how did I get in a coma, and why does Ichigo seem so upset? I thought she hated me….
Deciding to find out, Kisshu opened his eyes, and turned his head in the direction of Ichigo's voice. He was shocked at what he saw. Not only did Ichigo look utterly depressed, she was much thinner, and she had dark circles under her eyes, which had none of the sparkle he was used to in them. He also noticed that her arms were bandaged from her wrists almost to her elbows. Her hair was left loose, no sign of her ribbons anywhere.
Kisshu didn't notice she was looking at him till she asked softly, "Kisshu?"
Kisshu looked at her, and asked, "Koneko-chan?"
"I'm here," Ichigo said, sounding choked up.
"What happened?" Kisshu asked.
"I-" Ichigo started, but broke off, then started sobbing, burying her face in her hands as sobs shook her thin frame.
Pai came over, then snapped his fingers. Ichigo disappeared, and Kisshu asked, "What did you do with her?"
"Sent her to my room," Pai said gloomily. "She likes the stuffed animals and my Lettuce Wall, so I take her there every time the depression gets to be too much for her. She refuses to set foot in your room."
"Why?" Kisshu asked. "And what happened, anyways?"
"She won't set foot in your room because of your pictures and the fact that it's your room," Pai said.
"My pictures?" Kisshu asked, puzzled.
"They remind her of when she was a Mew, and those are painful memories for her," Pai said.
"Now I'm really confused," Kisshu said.
Pai sighed and said, "I'm guessing you don't remember what happened, but during your last battle, Ichigo broke through your defense and hit you with her attack pretty hard. The result of that and slamming you into the ground sent you into a coma."
"How long have I been out?" Kisshu asked.
"Two months," Pai said. "Most of the changes happened in the first week after that battle, though." He sighed, then said, "I put you in the medical ward after we retreated, and healed all your injuries, but as I'm sure you're aware, I couldn't heal the coma. Two days later, I received a call from Keiichiro, saying Ichigo had quit the Mews the minute she got back. Ryou tried to get her to come back, but she apparently hit him in the head with her pendant, and broke down."
"I thought she hated me," Kisshu commented.
"According to Lettuce, she just hated being called a toy," Pai said. "But part of it was also that her parents apparently not only divorced, they abandoned her. The toy comments were probably the last straw in a long line of really bad experiences. Anyways, she broke down, and the Mews and Ryou had to tie her up to keep her from killing herself. When it became clear that even her school friends couldn't help her get through this, Keiichiro called me, and told me that they all had talked, and decided that Ichigo would be better off living here. He said they thought that even though you were still in a coma, just being near you would help her."
"Did it?" Kisshu asked.
"Not much," Pai admitted. "I didn't realize for a while that she was cutting herself, but then I found blood on one of the kitchen knives. I put a spell on her that will keep her away from sharp objects, and bandaged her arms. It wasn't long after that little incident before she stopped eating, and then stopped sleeping. Anytime I want her to sleep, I have to put her to sleep. And getting her to eat is next to impossible now. The best I can do is sneak vitamins into water, which is the only thing she'll drink. I'm sure you noticed how much thinner she is."
"Yeah, it's a bit scary," Kisshu said. "Do you think she'll get better now that I'm awake?"
Pai sighed. "That's pretty much up to you," he said. "You're the only one who can get her back to normal, and it's NOT going to be easy. Remember when I thought you had the worst case of depression ever?"
"Yeah…." Kisshu said.
"Her case is about ten times worse," Pai said. "Hurting you like this nearly killed her, and it's going to be a while before she recovers. Speaking of recovering, how are you feeling?"
"I think I'm fine," Kisshu said.
Pai put a hand on his chest, then sighed and said, "You can't fly or teleport yet, but I can fix that. It'll be better if you're back to full strength as soon as possible."
"Okay," Kisshu said. Pai's hand began to glow, and Kisshu started to feel stronger.
Fifteen minutes later, Pai took his hand away and said, "That should do it, but try flying and teleporting before going to find Ichigo."
Kisshu got out of bed, and stumbled a bit; his legs were stiff. He floated about four feet off the ground, and Pai said, "That's good. Try teleporting."
Kisshu teleported behind Pai, who sighed and said, "No sneak attacks today, please."
"Spoilsport," Kisshu grumbled. "You said Ichigo's in your room?"
"She should be," Pai said.
Kisshu nodded and teleported off.
He landed in Pai's room, and saw Ichigo curled up on Pai's bed, her face tearstained, hugging a teddy bear. She was fast asleep, and Kisshu went over quietly, then brushed her hair back with his fingers. She made a small sound, and it sounded a bit happy, so Kisshu started stroking her hair. She leaned into his hand as he sat down with her.
A few hours later, Kisshu had stopped stroking Ichigo's hair, but she was still asleep. Remembering that Pai had said she had been refusing to sleep, Kisshu kept quiet, just watching her.
Another six hours passed before Kisshu got sleepy too, and he curled up next to Ichigo.
The next day: Ichigo woke up before Kisshu, and noticed him asleep next to her. He looked really peaceful, and Ichigo couldn't help reaching out and smoothing his hair back gently. To her surprise, he sighed happily. She continued stroking his hair, noticing he was leaning into her hand.
Pai came in a while later, and said, "Hi."
"Hi," Ichigo said. "Kisshu's not up yet."
"That's because you're stroking his hair," Pai explained. "That always puts him to sleep. Is there a reason you both were sleeping in my room?"
"I fell asleep crying; I don't know about Kisshu," Ichigo said.
"He probably didn't want to disturb you," Pai said. "Are you any better?"
"Does Kisshu hate me?" Ichigo asked.
Pai sighed and tapped Kisshu's forehead. Kisshu sleepily opened his eyes and asked, "What's up?"
"Ichigo wants to know if you hate her," Pai said.
Kisshu looked at Ichigo, who looked depressed, and said, "Koneko-chan, I'll never hate you. Even if you killed me, I wouldn't hate you; I'd blame whatever caused me to fall in love with you."
"You should hate me," Ichigo said sadly.
"Well, I don't," Kisshu said. "Can we have breakfast?"
"It's six in the evening," Pai commented.
"Fine, can we have dinner?" Kisshu asked.
"Let's ask Keiichiro what he's making," Pai said.
"Uh… okay…." Kisshu said. "Can't we just teleport there and find out?"
"It's rude to go without calling ahead," Pai said.
"Oh, fine," Kisshu said sulkily.
"I think I'll stay here…." Ichigo said.
"No you won't," Kisshu said. "Come on, it'll be fun!"
"I don't like fun…." Ichigo said sadly.
"You're wilting," Kisshu commented. Then he smirked and picked her up bridal style, causing her to squeak.
"Come on," Pai said. "Let's go call Keiichiro."
Kisshu followed him to his lab, carrying Ichigo, and watched as he went over to a screen and typed a number into the keypad. A few minutes later, Keiichiro's face popped up on the screen, and he immediately asked, "What's the latest?"
"Kisshu woke up," Pai said.
Keiichiro, to Kisshu's surprise, looked immensely relieved, and said, "That's wonderful. Is he okay?"
Kisshu came over and said, "I'm fine. Hungry, but fine."
Keiichiro smiled and said, "Do you want to come over for dinner? Pai's been a regular guest since Taruto moved in with Pudding."
"Dinner sounds nice," Kisshu said.
"Come on over, all of you," Keiichiro said.
"We'll be there soon," Pai said. Keiichiro smiled and cut the connection. Pai looked at Kisshu, and said, "NOW we can go."
Kisshu just smirked and teleported, Ichigo still in his arms. They landed in the main room of Café Mew Mew, and Pai landed behind them as Kisshu gently set Ichigo down. They heard footsteps on the stairs, but to Kisshu's surprise, it wasn't Ryou who came out of the basement; it was Mint. "Glad to see you're awake, Kisshu," she said.
"Um… thanks," Kisshu said.
Mint smiled, and then turned to Ichigo. "Ichigo, you need to take better care of yourself," she scolded. "When was the last time you ate anything?"
"I don't remember," Ichigo said. "Does it matter?"
"YES!" Mint, Kisshu, and Pai shouted.
Ichigo sighed, and Mint said, "I told Ryou he has to eat downstairs tonight, but I also called up all the other Mews to tell them the news. By the way, Kisshu, Ryou and I got together a month ago. I'm glad I finally took Ichigo's advice."
"If you two are together, why are you making him eat downstairs?" Kisshu asked.
"Ichigo can't stand the sight of him anymore," Mint said.
"I despise that jerk," Ichigo muttered.
"I called Moe and Miwa too," Mint said. "They'll be here soon."
There was a knock on the door, and Pai went to get it. Moe, Miwa, Lettuce, Pudding, and Taruto were outside, and Pai let them in. Except for Taruto, they all ran over and jumped on Kisshu and Ichigo. "Uh… nice to see all of you too, but we kind of can't breathe," Kisshu said.
The girls got off sheepishly, and Kisshu helped Ichigo up. "Sorry about that," Moe said. "How are you guys feeling?"
"I'm fine," Kisshu said. "Not so sure about Koneko-chan."
Moe looked at Ichigo, who was looking at the floor gloomily, and asked gently, "Ichigo, what's wrong? Kisshu's fine now."
"I don't deserve to live…" Ichigo said sadly.
"Koneko-chan, I want you to live," Kisshu said. "I'd have a very hard time living without you."
"You should find someone who isn't a horrible person," Ichigo said. "I hurt you too much to still deserve your love. Can't you just let me die?"
Kisshu had about had it. He roughly grabbed Ichigo's shoulders, and shook her, saying, "You're being selfish. I can't live without you, Ichigo, and I would never want you to die. But you don't seem to understand that. Why can't you trust me on the fact that I will never stop loving you, nor will I let you die?"
Ichigo looked up at him, startled, her eyes filled with tears. Kisshu pulled her into his arms, hugging her so tightly she almost couldn't breathe. He was relieved when he felt Ichigo's arms around his waist. He felt her bury her face in his shoulder, and her tears soaking into his shirt. Kisshu started stroking Ichigo's hair as he asked softly, "Are you going to cheer up now?"
"I'll try…." Ichigo mumbled into his shirt. "I'm hungry, can we eat now?"
Kisshu pulled back, looking at her, and said, "We can if the food's ready."
"The food is ready," Pai said, coming over to them. "And Keiichiro made some kind of cake to celebrate."
"Cake?" Ichigo asked hopefully.
"Healthy food first," Keiichiro called. "Dinner's ready!"
Kisshu and Ichigo headed over to the kitchen, followed by the others. Keiichiro had made shrimp scampi and garlic bread, and he handed out plates of it. Ichigo took hers to a table, followed by Kisshu, and they sat down. Ichigo immediately started eating, and Kisshu smiled as he started his own dinner. This is a definite improvement, he thought.
I know you'll all hate this, but I'm not going to continue this story. It was meant to be a one-shot, so that's the way it'll stay. Please review it, though!