Stressed Out

Kisshu was really stressed out. Between scoldings from Pai, rejections from Ichigo, ranting from Taruto, and fighting, he felt like he was going nuts.

I don't know how much more I can take, Kisshu thought gloomily, as someone started banging on the door of his room. "What NOW!?" he shouted.

"Kisshu, Deep Blue says you have to attack the Mews solo again!" Pai called.

"Tell him I'm going now," Kisshu called back. He put his boots on and teleported to a park near Café Mew Mew. He sent out a Chimera Anima, and waited for the Mews to show up as the Chimera started destroying a swing set.

Finally the Mews showed up, but as Ichigo started to do her usual motto thing, Kisshu sighed and called, "Can you skip the motto? I just want to get this over with."

To his surprise, Ichigo sighed and whispered something to Zakuro, who apparently got the message, because she took out her light whip. The whip came towards Kisshu, and before he could dodge, wrapped around his wrist, and pulled him to the ground- right in front of Ichigo. "Thanks Zakuro," Ichigo said, as Zakuro let Kisshu go. Ichigo took the pendant off her choker, handed it to Zakuro, and said, "Tell Ryou."

"Got it," Zakuro said. "I'll be by later."

Ichigo nodded, and grabbed a very confused Kisshu by the hand, then started dragging him down the street. "Where are you taking me?" Kisshu asked warily.

"My house," Ichigo said. "No offense, Kisshu, but you look awful."

"What is THAT supposed to mean?" Kisshu asked.

"You've got dark circles under your eyes, you're even thinner than when we met, and your hair is a mess," Ichigo said. "I know my acting is part of it, but I intend to try to make that up to you."

"Acting?" Kisshu asked.

"I don't hate you, I just don't want Ryou to think you brainwashed me," Ichigo said. "I'm actually head over heels in love with you, but Ryou will kill both of us if I say that straight out."

"You love me?" Kisshu asked.

"Yup," Ichigo said. "And it's pretty obvious you're really stressed out, so I'm going to help you get less stressed."

Still a bit confused, Kisshu let Ichigo pull him to her house. She pulled him through the door, and said, "Let's go to my room."

"Okay…." Kisshu said. He followed Ichigo to her room, and went in. Ichigo sighed and ran a hand over Kisshu's hair.

"Kisshu, when was the last time you washed your hair?" she asked.

"I don't know," Kisshu said. "Why?"

"It's really greasy, that's why," Ichigo said. "Do you like taking baths?"

"Sometimes," Kisshu said.

"Come with me," Ichigo said. She led the way to the bathroom, and asked, "Do you want me to wash your hair? It feels nice to have someone else do it once in a while."

Kisshu smirked, and Ichigo sighed. "Not too perverted, please," she said. "Do you want me to wash your hair?"

"Yes," Kisshu said, still smirking. Ichigo just shook her head and said, "I'll go get you some clean pajamas, you get to start the bath water. There's bubble bath on the shelf over there." She pointed, and Kisshu went over as Ichigo went back to her room.

Ichigo picked out a pair of black pajama pants and a green shirt, then took them back to the bathroom. She found the door closed, and called, "Let me know when you get in the tub."

"I'm in," Kisshu called.

Ichigo opened the door cautiously, and was somewhat surprised that Kisshu actually was in the tub. She went in, closing the door behind her, and asked, "What kind of shampoo do you like?"

"I don't really care," Kisshu said.

Ichigo picked out a bottle at random, and said, "Okay, dunk your head underwater."

Kisshu obeyed, and came back up with his hair soaked. Ichigo put her hands in the water, and the squirted some shampoo into her wet hands. Then she gently massaged it into Kisshu's hair. "That feels nice…." Kisshu said.

Ichigo smiled. "Good," she said. "Do you use conditioner?"

"Sometimes," Kisshu said.

"'Kay, wash the shampoo out," Ichigo said.

Kisshu dunked his head under the water again, and washed the shampoo out. Meanwhile, Ichigo had found some conditioner, and when Kisshu finished washing the shampoo out of his hair, she put some conditioner in her hands, and massaged it into Kisshu's hair. "Let it sit for a few minutes," she told him.

"'Kay," Kisshu said. "Thanks for doing all this, Koneko-chan."

"Sure Kisshu," Ichigo said. "Besides my faking hating you, is there anything else bugging you?"

"Yeah…" Kisshu said.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Ichigo asked.

"Can you finish washing my hair first?" Kisshu said. "I like your room."

"Sure," Ichigo said. "Dunk your head again, I'll wash the conditioner out."

Kisshu obeyed, and Ichigo gently washed the conditioner out of his hair. "Okay, I'll let you get dried off and dressed; the pajamas are right over here," Ichigo said, pointing. "Let me know when you're dressed; I'll come comb your hair out. You've got really nice hair."

"You think so?" Kisshu asked.

"Yes," Ichigo said. "I'll let you get dressed; call me when you're done." She got up and left, softly closing the door behind her. Kisshu sighed and got out of the tub, then dried off and got dressed in the pajamas Ichigo had left for him. He pulled the plug in the tub, letting the water drain, and then called, "Koneko-chan?"

Ichigo opened the door, and came back in with a blow dryer. She plugged it in, and started blow drying Kisshu's hair. A few minutes later, she turned it off, took a brush out of a drawer, and said, "Come back to my room."

Kisshu followed her back to her room, and she said, "Come sit on the bed with me, I'll brush your hair."

Kisshu obeyed, and Ichigo started brushing his hair. Kisshu started getting sleepy as she was finishing, and Ichigo noticed. "Do you want to go to sleep for a while?" she asked softly.

"Can you stay?" Kisshu asked sleepily.

"Of course," Ichigo said. "We can talk later, if you want to." She got up and put the brush away as Kisshu climbed under the covers. Ichigo went over and tucked him in, then sat down with him and gently started stroking his hair. He leaned into her hand as he fell asleep, sighing happily.

A little over an hour later, Ichigo heard teleportation, and looked up. Pai appeared, and he didn't look thrilled, especially when Ichigo held a finger to her lips. Use telepathy, Kisshu's sleeping, she said.

What happened? Pai asked.

I dragged him back here so he can relax for a while, Ichigo said. He's completely stressed out, I figured he could use some relaxation time. I was faking hating him, before you ask.

He's not sick? Pai asked.

Ichigo gently felt Kisshu's forehead, and replied, He doesn't have a fever. He got sleepy when I was brushing his hair, so I told him he should go to sleep for a while, and we could talk when he woke up.

Pai sighed. Maybe it will be good for him to get away for a while, he said. You're going to take good care of him, right?

Of course, Ichigo said.

You don't have any bananas, do you? Pai asked.

No, Ichigo said. Bananas are evil.

Pai snorted, and said, Good, because Kisshu's severely allergic to them. Don't tell Blondie.

Don't worry, I won't, Ichigo said. I hate bananas and anything related to them, and I also hate Blondie.

Alright, Pai said. I'll leave, and you can have fun with Kisshu. Tell him I said to keep it G-rated.

I will, Ichigo said. Pai nodded and teleported out as Ichigo started stroking Kisshu's hair again.

Two hours later, Kisshu started to wake up, and Ichigo noticed. "Kisshu?" she asked softly.

Kisshu sleepily opened his eyes, looking up at her. "Hi Koneko-chan," he said.

"How are you feeling?" Ichigo asked.

"I feel a lot more relaxed," Kisshu said.

"Good, I'm glad," Ichigo said. "Pai came by earlier and said to keep the fun G-rated."

"I'm surprised he didn't drag me back," Kisshu said.

"He said it might be good for you to get away for a while," Ichigo said. "Do you want to talk about what's bugging you?"

"I guess…." Kisshu said. "It just seems like everything's getting harder to take lately. Pai's turning into a mindless drone, and he won't stop going on and on about how Deep Blue is the only hope for our peoples' survival. I don't believe that Deep Blue really wants to help us; I think he just wants the Earth for himself. But I can't convince Pai of that, and considering he's a genius, it frustrates me that he can't see the truth about Deep Blue."

"That does sound frustrating," Ichigo said. "Maybe he's brainwashed?"

"Maybe," Kisshu said gloomily.

"Is there anything else bugging you?" Ichigo asked.

"Taruto," Kisshu said. "He won't stop ranting about how he's going to make Pudding cry, even though I know he's head over heels in love with her. He's totally in denial, and I think if he actually manages to make Pudding cry, he's going to be really upset with himself. But I can't convince him of that, and the other day he came up to me and started listing reasons Pudding is annoying, until I teleported to that big sakura tree. Frankly, he's ten million times more annoying than Pudding could ever hope to be, and I don't think she's annoying- just overly hyper."

"I'd have to agree with that," Ichigo said.

"His sugar high problem isn't helping, either," Kisshu said. "He eats all this candy and stuff he steals from the Café, and then spends the rest of the night screaming about 'fanged snowflakes' and 'giant poisonous gummy bears'. And Pai and I have to sleep in trees, because Taruto is screaming and destroying stuff."

"That sounds more like drugs than sugar…." Ichigo commented.

"To Cyniclons, sugar IS a drug," Kisshu said gloomily.

"Well, from now on you can come sleep over here if Taruto's on sugar high," Ichigo said. "And Pai can have the guest room."

"Really?" Kisshu asked, perking up.

"Yup," Ichigo said. "Sleeping in trees doesn't sound very comfortable."

"It's not," Kisshu sighed. Then he looked at her, and asked, "Why did you reject me so much?"

Ichigo sighed. She had known this was coming. "At first it was because I thought I loved Aoyama, but when I realized he was actually pretty boring, I ended it," she said. "The main reason was that being called a toy hurt my feelings, though."

Kisshu looked sad, and said, "I'm sorry…."

Ichigo sighed again and said, "After a while, I figured out that you probably didn't realize it hurt me, by which point I had realized that I do have feelings for you. The other Mews wouldn't mind if I told you that I love you, but then I heard a conversation between Ryou and Keiichiro, and that's what made me decide to start acting like I hated you, even though it hurt me too."

"What did you hear?" Kisshu asked, curious.

"Ryou's got this idea that since I work for him, I would eventually fall in love with him," Ichigo said. "And if I fell in love with you, he'd assume you had brainwashed me, because he thinks he's the only person I should love. For someone who's supposedly a genius, he doesn't seem very smart. So I was listening to their conversation, and it sounded like Keiichiro was trying to convince Ryou that if he kept treating me like dirt, he'd never get me. Ryou said he wasn't going to stop, since he thought I'd realize that he's the only guy I could date who would understand my cat genes, and he thought my reactions were funny. Keiichiro asked him what would happen if I fell in love with you, and Ryou said that that would never happen, so there was nothing to worry about. And then he said if that did ever happen, he would just brainwash me into killing you, and problem would be solved. I heard what sounded like Keiichiro smacking him, and got out of there fast. And that's why I decided to act like I hated you, because I didn't want you to die. I finally told the other Mews my feelings in secret after our last battle, and we decided that the next time you showed up without Pai and Taruto, I would take you back to my house and tell you about this, and Zakuro would take my pendant to Ryou and tell him I'd had it, and that he was doomed if he tried to get me back. She said she'd come by later, to check on us."

"Wow…" Kisshu said. "I didn't know all that."

"I didn't expect you to, so I decided to tell you all that while we're alone," Ichigo said. "The other Mews and Keiichiro want to form a truce; Keiichiro thinks we've got enough Mew Aqua to heal your planet. The only problems left are Ryou and Deep Blue."

"Deep Blue's human host is Treehugger," Kisshu commented.

"I suppose you want to kill him?" Ichigo asked.

"YEAH!" Kisshu said happily.

"I think you should wait a while," Ichigo said. "You should rest some more before doing any more fighting."

Kisshu sighed. Ichigo ruffled his hair and said, "You can probably do it tomorrow; for now, you should take it easy. It's pretty obvious that you're not taking very good care of yourself. The dark circles under your eyes are a little better, though. Are you hungry?"

"I'm ALWAYS hungry," Kisshu said.

Ichigo giggled and asked, "Should I order a pizza?"

"Pizza?" Kisshu asked, puzzled.

"It's a kind of round flat bread with tomato sauce, cheese, and lots of other toppings, like meat and vegetables," Ichigo said. "I like pepperoni bacon pizza."

"I'll try it," Kisshu said.

"Okay," Ichigo said. She reached for her cell phone, but then the doorbell rang. Looking out her window, she said, "It's Zakuro, do you want to come downstairs with me?"

"I guess," Kisshu said. He got up and followed Ichigo downstairs, watching as she opened the front door.

"Hi Zakuro," Ichigo said.

"Hi, how's it going?" Zakuro asked. She was carrying what looked like a pastry box.

"It's going pretty well," Ichigo said. "How'd it go after we left?"

"Ryou had a fit, and said he was coming here, so we beat him up and tied him to a chair," Zakuro said. "Mint and Lettuce are keeping an eye on him so he doesn't turn into Alto."

"Good," Ichigo said.

"Alto?" Kisshu asked.

"Ryou has the ability to turn into a kitten, and his name in that form is Alto," Zakuro explained. "Are you feeling any better?"

"I'm happier," Kisshu said. "Koneko-chan says I can kill Treehugger!"

Zakuro looked at Ichigo, who said, "Aoyama is Deep Blue's human host, so it makes sense."

"Alright," Zakuro said. "Oh, Keiichiro said to bring this over." She handed Ichigo the box she was carrying, and Ichigo looked inside.

"Wow, this looks great," she said as Kisshu looked over her shoulder.

Inside the box was a cake frosted with ganache, and decorated with chocolate shavings and chocolate roses made of frosting. There was a ring of chocolate-covered strawberries around the cake, and it looked delicious.

"It's yellow cake," Zakuro said.

"Tell Keiichiro thanks," Ichigo said happily. "We were going to order a pizza, so we'll have some of this after dinner. Should it go in the fridge?"

"Probably a good idea," Zakuro said. "Do you need money for the pizza?"

"If you have some, that would be great; I still have to think about food for the rest of the time my parents are gone," Ichigo said.

Zakuro took out her wallet, and took out some cash. "This should be enough for one of those party-size pizzas," she said, handing Ichigo the money. "Kisshu looks hungry."

Ichigo looked at Kisshu, and giggled. Then she turned back to Zakuro, and said, "Thanks Zakuro, I appreciate all this."

"Sure," Zakuro said. "I'll go tell Keiichiro thanks for you." She left, waving, and Ichigo waved back, then closed the door behind her. Then she went and put the cake in the fridge. Kisshu was following her hopefully, and she said, "No cake till after dinner."

"Aww…." Kisshu said.

"Come on, let's go order the pizza," Ichigo said. She took his hand and pulled him upstairs to get her cell phone.

When they got to her room, Ichigo picked up a take-out menu, and dialed the number into her phone. Kisshu watched her as she got a response and said, "I'd like to place an order for delivery, please. The phone number is 327-7839, and the address is 328 Ayame Street. I'd like a party-size pizza with chicken and bacon. No, that's it. Half an hour? That's fine, thanks. Bye." She hung up and said, "It'll be here in half an hour. Would you like some fruit while we're waiting?"

"Do you have apples?" Kisshu asked hopefully.

"Yes, lots," Ichigo said. "You like them?"

"I'm addicted," Kisshu said. "Can I have some?"

"Sure, they're in the kitchen," Ichigo said. Kisshu jumped up and teleported. Ichigo giggled and went downstairs. She found Kisshu in the kitchen, happily munching on an apple. Wow, he really likes that, she thought.

She sat down at the table and watched Kisshu eat the apple. When he was done, she asked, "How was it?"

"Great!" Kisshu said. "I love apples!"

"I can tell," Ichigo said. "So how did you get addicted to apples?"

"They're the first type of fruit I ever ate," Kisshu said. "There's no fruit on our planet, and it was kind of overwhelming when I first came to Earth, since there's so much food."

"It must be strange," Ichigo said.

"I'd say exciting is a better word," Kisshu said. "Despite the pollution, I actually really like it here. There's lots of food and stuff to do, and there's you."

"Me?" Ichigo asked.

"Yep," Kisshu said. "You're the only girl I ever liked. The entire female population on my planet spent all their time swarming me if they were close to my age, or scolding me if they were adults."

"You had fan girls, in other words?" Ichigo asked.

"Yup, and I hated every last one of them," Kisshu said.

"Why did you get scolded?" Ichigo asked.

"According to Pai, it's because I'm a juvenile delinquent, but I don't see what's wrong with making the evil teachers' lives a misery; they were doing the same to me," Kisshu said.

"In other words, you pranked all your teachers?" Ichigo asked.

"Yup," Kisshu said. "Wanna hear the best one?"

"Sure," Ichigo said. The doorbell rang, and she said, "After I get the pizza, that is. Stay here." She grabbed the money and went to the door.

Kisshu listened as she thanked the delivery girl, and then she came back with a large flat box that smelled really good. She set it down on the counter, and got out plates, then put a slice on each. Handing a plate to Kisshu, she asked, "What do you want to drink?"

"Anything's fine," Kisshu said.

"I have chocolate milk," Ichigo said. She smiled when Kisshu perked up, and got two glasses out, then poured them both full of chocolate milk.

Kisshu waited till she sat down, then took a bite of his pizza. "This is GREAT!" he said happily.

"Good," Ichigo said with a smile. "Don't forget to save room for cake."

"I won't," Kisshu said. "Can I have another slice?"

"Sure," Ichigo said. Kisshu got another slice and started eating.

After they were done, Ichigo closed the pizza box and got the cake out. She cut two slices, and put a chocolate-covered strawberry on each plate, then handed one to Kisshu with a fork, and sat down with her own. "This is heaven," Kisshu said happily.

"You're right," Ichigo said, after trying it. "Keiichiro's such a good baker."

They ate the rest of their cake in comfortable silence, and then cleaned up. "I'm tired," Kisshu said. "Can we go to bed?"

"Sure," Ichigo replied. "You should rest up tonight, and then you can go kill Aoyama tomorrow."

Kisshu perked up as they went upstairs.

This was originally meant to focus on Ichigo helping Kisshu, not on killing people, so I'm going to end it here, and hope you all liked it! PLEASE review!