Please Protect Her

Ichigo woke up one nice spring morning, and found her parents gone again. Sighing, she got up and started getting ready for school. School hadn't been pleasant lately; Moe and Miwa got suspended for nearly killing Aoyama after he told her he couldn't date an unpopular lowlife, and now all the girls were out to get her. On top of that, Ryou had told her that she had to work late the entire week, since she had been fifteen minutes late for work on Sunday. Sometimes I just wish I could die…. she thought miserably. My life is hell. Little did she know, things were about to get more complicated.

As she went to the front door, she heard a soft mewing sound from outside. Hesitantly opening the door, her jaw dropped.

On the doorstep was a baby girl in a basket. She couldn't have been more than six months old, and she had tiny pointed ears, suggesting she wasn't human. Ichigo suddenly noticed there was a note attached to the blanket in the basket, and picked up the basket, baby and all, and took it inside. Then she looked at the note. All it said was, 'Please protect Tsukiko. I'll try to be back soon.'

Ichigo sighed. There was no signature, and she couldn't very well leave a six-month-old alone, whether she was human or not. Ichigo picked up the basket again, and saw that Tsukiko was sleeping. She went back to her room, and thought about what to do next. She couldn't really go to school or work; not that she wanted to. Getting an idea, she picked up her cell phone, and dialed the Café's number.

Ryou picked up after two rings, and asked, "Shouldn't you be at school?"

"I'm quitting," Ichigo said. "I just thought I'd let you know that I have more important things to do than serve cake to people, so I'm no longer your employee, and you can come pick up my pendant whenever you want."

"Y-you can't be serious, you know we need you," Ryou said, sounding stunned.

"Too bad," Ichigo said.

"What brought this on, anyways?" Ryou asked.

"Finding a six-month-old baby girl on my doorstep this morning," Ichigo said. "And my parents aren't home. Not to mention you're the most evil person I know."

"Ichigo, there's no way you can take care of a six-month-old by yourself," Ryou said. "Where did she even come from?"

"How should I know?" Ichigo asked. "All the note said was, "Please protect Tsukiko. I'll try to be back soon." There was no signature."

Ryou sighed and said, "I'm sending Keiichiro over to see what's going on; I have a feeling I'll get the door slammed in my face if I come over, right?"

"Yes, but Keiichiro's nice, so I'll let him in," Ichigo said.

"Good, he'll be there soon," Ryou said, and hung up.

Ichigo sighed and put her phone back on her desk. Then she looked at Tsukiko, as the little girl yawned, showing tiny fangs. Then she opened her eyes, which were a pretty blue, with slit pupils. I guess she's a Cyniclon, then, Ichigo thought. Noticing Tsukiko's hair was covered, Ichigo hesitantly took the little cap off- and her eyes widened. The baby's hair was the exact same shade as Kisshu's. Ichigo put the cap back on Tsukiko's head, thinking. If she's related to Kisshu, that explains why she was left with me, Ichigo thought. But what's going on, and who is Tsukiko, anyways? Maybe she's his sister or something… but wouldn't it be safer to leave her with family? This is so strange….

The doorbell rang as Ichigo thought this, and she said, "Tsukiko, stay put." The little girl looked at her solemnly, as if she understood, and Ichigo smiled, then ran to get the door. Sure enough, it was Keiichiro, and he asked, "Ichigo, where's the baby?"

"My room," Ichigo said. "Come in."

Keiichiro came in and followed her upstairs. They went to Ichigo's room, and Ichigo gently took Tsukiko out of her basket, cradling her in her arms. Keiichiro came over, then asked softly, "Ichigo, she's a Cyniclon, isn't she?"

"Yes," Ichigo said. "Please don't tell Ryou, you KNOW what he'll do."

Keiichiro sighed. "Do you have any ideas on what happened?" he asked. "I won't share anything with Ryou that you don't want me to; I agree with Lettuce, to be honest. And I can get you baby stuff."

"Thanks," Ichigo said. Then she sighed, and said softly, "I think she's related to Kisshu somehow. Her hair is the exact same shade of green as his is. If her eyes were gold, she'd be Kisshu in miniature."

"I think you may have stepped on a landmine," Keiichiro said. "That note probably wasn't signed for a reason. You're going to need to keep this from everyone, and I'll do the same."

"What about Ryou?" Ichigo asked.

"I'll keep him away from you and Tsukiko," Keiichiro said. "And I'll tell the other Mews that they have to do the same. I won't tell them about your suspicions on Tsukiko's identity. There's only one person I trust to keep the secret."

"Who is it?" Ichigo asked.

"Zakuro," Keiichiro said. "She and I are dating. Don't tell anyone, please."

"I won't," Ichigo said. "So you'll tell her?"

"Yes, and if you need help, I want you to contact her," Keiichiro said. "Do you have her number?"

"It's in my phone," Ichigo said.

"Good," Keiichiro said. "I'll go buy you some diapers and stuff."

"Thanks, Keiichiro," Ichigo said.

"You're welcome," Keiichiro said. "I'll be back soon." He left, and Ichigo looked down at Tsukiko. She looked back solemnly, and Ichigo smiled. "I'll take good care of you, Tsukiko," she said softly. "I promise."

Tsukiko smiled cutely, and Ichigo giggled. "Tsukiko, can you say 'Ichigo'?" she asked.

"Ichi?" Tsukiko asked.

"That was close," Ichigo said. "Ichi-go."

"Ichigo!" Tsukiko said happily. "Ichigo! Ichigo!"

"Good job, Tsukiko!" Ichigo said. Her smile faded, though, as teleportation sounded in the room. She tensed, waiting to see who it was.

It turned out to be Kisshu, and he looked panicked. "Kisshu, what's going on?" Ichigo asked.

"There's no time," Kisshu said. "We need to go; I'll explain when we get to the dimension I created." He grabbed her shoulder and teleported.

They landed in what looked like a bedroom, and Kisshu immediately let go of Ichigo, and ran out. A few minutes later, he came back and closed the door, looking slightly calmer. "I can explain this now that this dimension is hidden and sealed," he said.

"Okay," Ichigo said.

Kisshu sighed and said, "Deep Blue apparently never intended to help my people, and I found out. I told Pai, and showed him proof, but I didn't realize that Deep Blue had brainwashed him, so he told Deep Blue I was a danger. My parents had come for a visit, bringing my new sister to meet me, and Deep Blue captured them, leaving Tsukiko behind by accident. I had to find somewhere safe for Tsukiko, so I took her to your house. I knew you wouldn't turn her away no matter what, so I left her on your doorstep and went to try to free my parents. Unfortunately, Deep Blue had brainwashed them too, as well as everyone else I know. There's no one left who can help me defeat Deep Blue, so I came to find you, since you were Deep Blue's next target, and got you and Tsukiko out of there before he could brainwash or kill you. This is probably the only safe place anywhere, so I think we'll need to stay here."

"But what about the others?" Ichigo asked.

"The Mews were next on the list of people to get brainwashed," Kisshu said. "You and I can't defeat all of them and take care of Tsukiko. And if Tsukiko gets captured while we're fighting, we'll be screwed."

Ichigo sighed. "So I guess we'll be here a while?" she asked.

"Yeah…." Kisshu said sadly. "I can't go back to Earth and kill Deep Blue's human host and still protect this dimension."

"Who is it?" Ichigo asked.

"Treehugger," Kisshu said.

Ichigo thought, then said, "My school friends want him dead; maybe we could ask them to kill him?"

"How are they going to get away?" Kisshu asked. Ichigo drooped. Before she could say anything, though, Kisshu said, "Someone's trying to access this dimension."

"Just one?" Ichigo asked.

"Yeah, and I don't think whoever it is can teleport; they're using some kind of machine," Kisshu said.

"My guess would be Ryou," Ichigo said- just as they heard teleportation. To their surprise, Keiichiro was the one who appeared, and he was carrying a bag and a machine.

"Why are you here?" Kisshu asked warily.

"I told Ichigo I'd bring her some baby stuff for Tsukiko, so I used the portal machine to get to her," Keiichiro said. "Did something happen?"

"Yeah, Deep Blue brainwashed everyone, and I'm guessing the Mews are brainwashed too," Kisshu said. "I'm guessing you didn't get brainwashed because you don't pose a threat to him."

"Well, it's probably better that way," Keiichiro said. "Is there a way to defeat him?"

"His human host is apparently Aoyama," Ichigo said. "If we kill him, Deep Blue will also die."

"Then I'd suggest that Kisshu goes to do that, and you and I can stay and take care of Tsukiko," Keiichiro said.

"If I leave, this dimension will be unprotected, and the others could get in," Kisshu said.

"I can fight if that happens," Ichigo said. "You should go, you've got the best chance of getting away with this."

Kisshu sighed. "Promise you'll take good care of Tsukiko," he said.

"I promise," Ichigo said.

"So do I," Keiichiro added.

"Alright," Kisshu said. He teleported out, and landed in a park. Looking around, he saw Aoyama standing under a tree- like he'd been waiting for Kisshu to come. Kisshu took out his sais, tensing as Aoyama started to glow. Unsurprisingly, he turned into the Blue Knight, and took out his sword. Then he lunged at Kisshu.

Kisshu leaped back to avoid being stabbed, then lunged in, managing to slice the Blue Knight's shoulder. To his worry, the Blue Knight didn't appear fazed; he lunged at Kisshu as if nothing had happened. This time, however, Kisshu didn't dodge fast enough, and the Blue Knight slashed his right arm open.

Back with Ichigo, Keiichiro, and Tsukiko: They were sitting on Kisshu's bed, watching Tsukiko sleep, when she suddenly woke up and started wailing. Ichigo gently picked her up and started rocking her, but she didn't stop. "I wonder why she's so upset," Ichigo said.

"Could it be that she's sensing something happening to Kisshu?" Keiichiro asked. "They are related, after all."

Ichigo looked worried, and said, "If that's the case, I need to go help him."

"Tsukiko's attached to you," Keiichiro commented. "I'll go. Not many people know, but I can use a sword."

"And where are you going to get one?" Ichigo asked.

Keiichiro reached into the bag he had brought, and took out what looked like a dagger. He pressed a button on the hilt, and it lengthened into a sword. "I designed this, in case I needed to fight," he said.

"Are you sure about this?" Ichigo asked.

"Positive," Keiichiro said. "Take care of Tsukiko."

"Okay," Ichigo said. She looked down at the little girl, who was still crying slightly. Keiichiro took the machine he had brought with him, and pressed a few buttons, then opened up a portal and stepped into it.

With Kisshu: Kisshu was fighting left-handed, but the loss of blood was starting to get to him. Suddenly he heard teleportation, and he and the Blue Knight looked over as Keiichiro appeared. To Kisshu's shock, Keiichiro was holding a sword, and he said, "Blue Knight, I know your weakness."

"Oh really?" the Blue Knight scoffed. "What is it?"

"Your sword," Keiichiro said.

The Blue Knight's smirk dropped off his face, and he lost interest in Kisshu, lunging at Keiichiro instead. Kisshu was getting dizzy as he watched Keiichiro block a strike from the Blue Knight. The Blue Knight tried to push Keiichiro's blade down, and Keiichiro pushed back, then suddenly broke the contact, causing the Blue Knight to stumble. Keiichiro took the opportunity to cut the Blue Knight's hand off. His sword fell to the ground, and abandoning his own blade, Keiichiro picked up the Blue Knight's, and as the Blue Knight staggered, he stabbed him through the heart.

The Blue Knight screamed, and then his body went up in smoke. Keiichiro shielded his face until the smoke cleared, and saw a scorch mark and a ball of Mew Aqua where the Blue Knight had been. He picked up the Mew Aqua and went over to Kisshu, who was unconscious. The bleeding on his arm had slowed, but he had lost a lot of blood, and Keiichiro knew that the amount of Mew Aqua he had was going to be too much for Kisshu's body to handle. Sighing, he tore a strip of his shirt off, and bandaged Kisshu's injury. Then he grabbed the portal machine, which was miraculously not broken, and set it to get him to Ichigo. He picked up Kisshu, and stepped into the portal.

Ichigo was waiting, having succeeded in calming Tsukiko down, when Keiichiro came in with Kisshu. "What HAPPENED!?" Ichigo asked.

"The Blue Knight slashed Kisshu's arm open," Keiichiro said. "I killed him, though. His weakness was his sword; without it, he was powerless."

"Wow…." Ichigo said. "I hope that snapped the brainwash on the others."

"Me too," Keiichiro said, setting Kisshu down on the bed.

A few minutes later, they heard teleportation, and Pai appeared, looking panicked. "Is Kisshu okay?" he asked.

"Not so much," Keiichiro said. "He's got a pretty bad gash on his arm, and he lost a lot of blood."

Pai came over and unwrapped Keiichiro's make-shift bandage, then put a hand on Kisshu's injury, and started healing it. Ten minutes later, he sighed and said, "You're right, he did lose a lot of blood. We should take him back to the ship. Are you coming?"

"I can set the portal machine to get us there; you should take Kisshu," Keiichiro said. "We'll come to the main room."

"Alright," Pai said. He gently picked up Kisshu and teleported. Ichigo picked up Tsukiko again and got up as Keiichiro reset the portal machine. Keiichiro opened up another portal, and they stepped through, landing in the main room of the Cyniclons' ship a minute later.

Soon after they landed, they heard teleportation, and a woman with green hair and blue eyes appeared. She looked relieved when she saw them, and came over. "Is Tsukiko okay?" she asked.

"I think she's fine," Ichigo said. "Are you her mom?"

"Yes, I'm Kisshu and Tsukiko's mom, Anzu," the woman said. "Are you Ichigo?"

"Yes, nice to meet you," Ichigo said. "Do you want Tsukiko back?"

"Please," Anzu said. Ichigo handed Tsukiko over, and the little girl woke up, making a soft mewing sound. Anzu smiled, and asked, "Do you like your new sister, Tsukiko?"

Tsukiko smiled and said, "Ichigo!"

Anzu giggled, but that faded as Pai teleported in. "How's Kisshu?" Ichigo asked.

"I gave him a blood transfusion, but he's still very weak," Pai said. "He should be fine if he rests, though."

Anzu, Ichigo, and Keiichiro all sighed, relieved. Pai turned to Keiichiro, noticing the ball of Mew Aqua, and asked, "Where did you find that?"

"That's what was left after I killed the Blue Knight," Keiichiro said. "I'm SO glad I learned to use a sword."

"YOU'RE the one who killed him?" Pai asked, shocked.

"I knew his weakness ahead of time; it wasn't too hard," Keiichiro said. "Take his sword away, and he'd be powerless."

"Wow…" Pai said.

"I was thinking that you could use this to heal your planet," Keiichiro said. "With Deep Blue dead, do you really need Earth if you can save your own planet?"

"That's a good point," Pai said. "I think that would work fine."

Ichigo sighed, and the others looked at her. "I'm going to be very lonely without Kisshu around…." she said.

"Do you not have parents?" Anzu asked.

"I do, but they spend all their time traveling, so I rarely see them," Ichigo said gloomily.

"Well, Tsukiko and Kisshu both really like you, and I know Kisshu doesn't want to be separated from you for too long; why don't we ask my husband if we can adopt you?" Anzu suggested.

Ichigo perked up, and asked, "Really?"

Anzu smiled, and said, "Sure. He's with Kisshu, come on." Ichigo followed her to what looked like a hospital room, and saw a tall Cyniclon man with black hair styled like Kisshu's sitting next to the bed Kisshu was in. He looked up, and asked, "Anzu, is this Ichigo?"

"Yes," Anzu said. "I want to adopt her; both our kids love her, and she says her parents spend their time traveling rather than taking care of her. Is that okay with you?"

"If you're fine with it, so am I," the man said. Looking at Ichigo, he said, "My name is Higashi, but you can call me Uncle Higashi."

"Thanks Uncle Higashi," Ichigo said. "I think it'll be nice to have a family."

Higashi smiled, and Anzu said, "Ichigo, you can call me Aunt Anzu, okay?"

"Okay," Ichigo said.

Anzu smiled and said to Higashi, "We're taking Mew Aqua back with us to heal Cyniclonia, since Deep Blue is dead now."

"That will please the Council," Higashi said. "They didn't really like having someone order them around."

"Good," Pai said from behind Ichigo. "Ichigo, do you have anything you need to pack?"

"What do I need?" Ichigo asked.

"I'd say just stuff like books and maybe toiletries," Anzu said. "It might be better if we got you some clothes once we get back to Cyniclonia. You've probably noticed we don't wear human clothing."

"Okay," Ichigo said. "I think I should say goodbye to my school friends, though; they'll have a fit if I don't, and Ryou will most likely die, which will land them in jail. I don't want them to go to jail for beating people up to find out what happened to me."

"Alright," Pai said. "I'll take you to your house, and you can pack and say goodbye. I'm taking Keiichiro back too, and telling Taruto it's time to go."

"Okay," Ichigo said. Pai took her hand and teleported to her room, setting her down before going back to get Keiichiro. Ichigo grabbed her cell phone and dialed Miwa's number. When the other girl picked up, she said, "Miwa, get Moe and come to my house, I've got important news."

"On it," Miwa said, and hung up. Ichigo took out a suitcase, and packed a bunch of books, sketchbooks, pencils and markers, and then went to the bathroom, where she got her comb and hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a few other necessary items. She put them in the suitcase, and then heard the doorbell. She ran downstairs to get it, and found Moe and Miwa standing outside. She let them in, and Moe asked, "What's wrong?"

"You know I'm Mew Ichigo, don't you?" Ichigo asked.

"Yeah, we guessed a while back," Miwa said. "What happened?"

"We decided to form a truce with the aliens- or at least, Keiichiro and I did," Ichigo said. "And I fell in love with Kisshu, one of the aliens. His parents are going to adopt me, and I'm going back with them, since my parents are never here. I called you up so I could say goodbye in person."

Moe sighed, and said, "We'll miss you, but maybe you're right; you'll have a family now, besides just us. Good luck."

"Thanks," Ichigo said, smiling. "I'll miss you guys too." She hugged both of her friends, and as she was breaking off the hug, she heard Pai call, "Ichigo?"

"Downstairs," Ichigo called back.

They heard footsteps, and Pai came into the room. "These are your friends?" he asked.

"Yep, this is Moe, and Miwa," Ichigo said. "We just finished saying goodbye."

"Good," Pai said. "You can probably visit once in a while, so it's not like you'll never see each other again."

"That's good to know," Moe said. "Ichigo, take care. We have to get home, we kind of snuck out to see you."

"Thanks guys, you're the best," Ichigo said. Moe and Miwa hugged her together, and left. Ichigo went back upstairs, followed by Pai, and grabbed her suitcase. "Ready?" Pai asked.

"Ready," Ichigo said. Pai took her hand and teleported back to the ship, this time to a large green room. "This is Kisshu's room; you can stay here for the trip back," Pai said. "Aunt Anzu is probably going to be here soon too."

"Okay, thanks Pai," Ichigo said. "Is Aunt Anzu your real aunt?"

"Yeah, Kisshu and I are cousins," Pai said. "I have to go meet Uncle Higashi in the control room, so you should get settled for a bit. It's a nine-hour flight."

"Alright," Ichigo said. She set her suitcase down in a corner, and sat down on the sofa. Anzu teleported in soon after, and sat down next to her, holding Tsukiko. "How's Kisshu?" Ichigo asked her.

"Still unconscious," Anzu said. "I told Taruto to stay with him, so I could come keep you company."

"Wow, thanks," Ichigo said. "It's kind of hard to believe I'll be on another planet soon."

"That's what Kisshu said when he left," Anzu said, smiling. "I hope you'll be happy with us."

"I think I will be," Ichigo said.

"How did your friends take the news?" Anzu asked.

"Pretty well," Ichigo said. "They understood it was for the best. They've always understood me better than anyone else, and they usually seem to know exactly what's best for me. They're also very overprotective. And they beat up anyone who hurts me."

"Wow…" Anzu said.

They noticed Tsukiko was waking up, and she opened her eyes. "She's going to look exactly like you," Ichigo said.

"Maybe," Anzu said. "She's got the same eyes and hair, but you never know."

"I look a lot like my mom," Ichigo said. "She also has red hair and brown eyes. The only real differences between us are our height and the length of our hair."

"Wow, so you could almost be twins," Anzu said.

"Yep," Ichigo said, a bit sadly. "I wish they could have been there for me more, but as it is, I doubt they really care that much about having a kid."

"Well, you'll never have to worry about me or Higashi leaving you alone like that," Anzu said. "All parents on our planet stay with their kids no matter what."

"That sounds nice," Ichigo said softly. "I think I'll like your planet."

Anzu smiled and put an arm around Ichigo as the ship kept flying.

I know the thing with Keiichiro killing the Blue Knight was a bit weird, but I liked it. If this gets continued, it won't be anytime soon, so for now I'll list it as Complete. And I hope you liked it!