The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten Compete Edition
A Visit from a Friend
Amane was terrible at housework of any kind, but the thing he was worst at was cleaning.
Surprisingly, he actually could cook. More specifically, he could prepare something hot
and usually technically edible, as long as he was willing to set aside petty concerns like
presentation or flavor and also assumed the possibility of grievous bodily injury at
some point during the process. He wasn completely incapable of preparing food.
Laundry was all right, too. That much was possible for anyone, even Amane. If push
came to shove, there was always the option of taking his clothes to a coin laundromat.
All it boiled down to was a matter of stuffing everything into the machine and letting
it run with detergent and water inside. Amane could pull that off, no problem. The one
thing he was absolutely hopeless with, however, was cleaning.
”What do I do? ”
One weekend, Amane had finally gotten tired of listening to both Mahiru and Itsuki
lecture him day in and day out about cleaning his apartment and had resolved to
finally do something about it. The only problem was that Amane was at a complete
loss on how to get started.
He knew that this was his own fault, but the first problem was that his things were
piled up all over the place, and he couldn figure out how he could even begin to get
them in order. Unsure of what else to do, Amane started by washing his bedsheets and
airing out his futon.
What should come next? he wondered. Clothes and magazines are scattered everywhere,
so theres really no room to walk.
One small mercy was that he always threw out any food garbage right away, so there
were no awful stenches or greasy stains. It was simply an enormous amount of clutter
—enough that it seemed like an insurmountable problem.
As Amane sighed softly at the mountain of work before him, the doorbell rang. He let
out a little gasp.
Rather than a regular visitor, he had begun to think of his neighbor more like a delivery
person, a blessing from above who just handed over gifts and then left. As he stood
before his messy room, however, Mahiru seemed like a savior.
Amane scrambled for his front door but couldn find his footing. He stumbled, caught
himself, and carefully crept the rest of the way to the door with one hand pressed
against the wall for balance.
”Sorry, I wanted to pick up my container a little earlier today… What are you doing? ”
Mahiru asked when Amane opened the door.
”…I was trying to clean, ” he admitted.
Mahiru looked at Amane, still off-balance, with a rather astonished expression.
”I heard a loud noise just now, ” she said.
”…I almost fell. ”
”I bet you did. You haven even begun to clean, have you? ”
”I wasn sure how to start. ”
”I can tell. ”
Amane grimaced at Mahirus comment. It was no less candid than usual, and Amane
really couldn think of anything to justify his lack of progress. Besides, he knew that
if he got sulky now and lashed out, he wouldn be able to get her advice on how to go
about cleaning his apartment. The trouble was that he wasn sure how exactly to ask
for Mahirus help.
I was hoping for some cleaning tips, but I wonder if shell actually give me any advice…
Amane hesitated when he saw that Mahiru was peering past him at the clutter beyond.
Her eyes conveyed her shock at the disastrous scene behind him. It truly mustve been
an awful sight.
”Unbelievable… Ill help you clean your apartment. ”
Even Amane knew that it would be too shameless to ask Mahiru to help him clean.
Thats why hed only been planning to see if she had any suggestions. Never had he
dared to imagine that Mahiru would come right out and offer to help.
”I hate the idea that the apartment next to mine is so filthy. ” Such scathing words, but
again, Amane could offer no argument. ”You must think its so easy to live alone, but
you can even clean up after yourself. Worse, you act like its no problem, like
everything will sort itself out eventually, but it clearly hasn . Why don you stop and
take a moment to look at yourself? ”
Amane was at a loss for words. His mother had always told him that if he was diligent
about cleaning regularly, it would be easy, but hed ignored her, and this was the result.
He was fully aware that he was suffering the consequences of his own actions.
”Look, as long as you keep up with routine cleaning, your place won get this bad
again. Its obvious that you have some terrible habits, ” Mahiru said.
e absolutely right, ” agreed Amane.
He couldn get angry with her. He already owed her so much, and shed been so kind
to him. Besides, everything she was saying about his past behavior was true. He had
underestimated how difficult living alone would be, and he really did just sort of
assume that everything would somehow work itself out, and this was the result.
Amane could only nod solemnly at Mahirus words.
”Well, is it all right if I start with this room? ” Mahiru asked.
”…Is it all right with you? ” Amane answered with a question of his own.
”Im the one whos offering, so of course its all right. Im going to go get ready, so while
I do, if you have anything you don want me to see, or any valuables, please put them
in a closet and lock them up. ”
”Im not worried about that. ”
Amane refused to even entertain the idea that someone who had been so kind to him,
even despite her sharp words, might steal from him. Not to mention that Mahiru was
far too good-hearted to ever harm another person like that.
e not? ” she inquired.
”Theres no way that you would do something like that, ” Amane replied.
”No, thats not what I… Look, aren you worried that I might see something that, as a
boy, youd rather hide? ”
”Ah… uh, well, unfortunately I don happen to have any such things. ”
”Well, in that case, its fine, then. All right, Im going to go change clothes and fetch
some cleaning supplies. I don take cleaning lightly, you know. ”
Mahiru returned to her apartment, and Amane watched her go with a wry smile.
She came back wearing different clothes: a long white T-shirt and khaki-colored cargo
pants. The T-shirt closely followed the lines of her body, the delicate fabric bringing
the curves and edges into full relief. Mahirus long hair had been skillfully gathered
into a perfectly round bun, and Amane felt strangely uncomfortable being able to see
the white nape of her neck.
Previously, he had only ever seen her in dresses and skirts, and he found there was
something refreshing about this look. Amane had thought before that boyish clothes
like this probably wouldn suit her well, but he had clearly been wrong. He was
beginning to realize that beautiful girls looked good in whatever they put on.
This new outfit looked comfortable for moving around the house, but it was also a look
that Mahiru couldve worn around town. Amane never wouldve imagined that these
were clothes that she was okay with getting dirtied.
”You don mind if those get messed up? ” Amane asked.
”I was planning to throw these out soon anyway, so its fine if they get a bit dirty. ”
Mahiru scanned the cataclysm that was Amanes apartment and sighed softly. ”Im
only going to say this once: We
e going to clean thoroughly, got it? ”
”…I understand. ”
”Good, then lets get to it. Im not going to go easy on you, and I won let this end
halfway through. I assume you have no objections? ” Mahiru had posed the question
so forcefully that Amane could do nothing but sheepishly reply in the affirmative.
So began the great battle to clean Amanes apartment. A battle spearheaded by an
”First things first, lets toss any clothes into the laundry basket. Usually when you
clean, you work from top to bottom, but we have to handle the clutter on the floor first
before we can run the vacuum cleaner. Before we start the wash, we can divide the
clothes into different loads, since there are too many to wash at once. Do you want to
split them into things you wear and things you don wear? Or do you want to wash
”Just do it however you like…, ” replied Amane. It seemed so obvious to him now. Of
course they had to clear the floor before trying to do anything else.
”…There isn any underwear out here or anything, right? ”
”Those are in my dresser, as you would expect. ”
”Thats fine, then. We can probably put off washing clothes for now, since even if we
wash and dry them, well kick up dust by cleaning and just end up having to do them
again. If you
e not in a hurry, you can do the laundry after we finish cleaning. ”
”…Now, regarding the magazines. Really, the only thing to do is to throw them out. I
suppose its a bit of a different story if you
e collecting them, but from the way you
keep them piled up everywhere, I doubt thats the case. If you do want to hold on to
some part of one, tear out the page and put it in a scrapbook, then dispose of the rest.
Tie up any magazines you
e getting rid of and put them out for collection. ”
Mahiru set about the task of cleaning right away, directing Amane to put his discarded
clothing into the laundry basket as she gathered up every last magazine. She told him
to speak now if there were any that Amane wanted to keep, but there weren any in
particular that he needed, so he simply shook his head. Having received the answer
she required, Mahiru skillfully tied up the bundle using some plastic cord that she had
apparently brought with her.
e finished gathering the clothes, please go through the other assorted
clutter and decide whether to throw anything out. All these different things on the
floor: same as before, sort them into what you need to keep and what you don . Then
put the latter in the trash. Got it? ”
”…Uh-huh, ” Amane answered meekly.
”If you have a problem with taking orders, youd better tell me now. ”
”No, I don , but… I was just thinking about how quick you
e doing all of this. ”
”If I don , well run out of time. Its total chaos in here, after all. ”
e right. ”
Even though it was the weekend, time was limited. If they were going to run the
vacuum, it would have to be during the day, considering that the noise would be a
nuisance to the neighbors. Since Mahiru knew that it would take a lot of effort to get
the place to a state where they could vacuum, she was working to tidy up as quickly
One part of Amane felt bad for letting her do so much. On the other hand, under
Mahirus direction, more and more of the floor began to appear for the first time in a
”Professor Shiina…, ” Amane muttered.
e going to ask for guidance from me like Im a teacher, first learn by imitating.
Im not going to sort through your personal effects, so please be diligent and keep only
what you really need, ” Mahiru instructed.
”Yes, sir. ”
”Please don address me as a man. ”
The angel nonchalantly returned Amanes jabs as she skillfully cleared up more of the
clutter with a serious expression the whole time.
Amane had a bad habit of hoarding useless junk, and he was both grateful for Mahirus
decisiveness and envious of it. Here she was, in a strangers apartment, picking
through the mess without hesitation. She really was the spitting image of an angel.
Mahiru was so efficient that she could have easily cleaned up the whole place by
herself had she wanted to. However, likely because she was in such a hurry, she got
careless about watching her footing. There was no doubt that it was Amanes fault for
leaving it on the floor, but Mahiru slipped on a piece of discarded clothing and lost her
The instant a small ”Ah! ” escaped Mahirus mouth, Amane dived across the room,
aiming for the spot where he thought Mahiru would most likely fall.
A light, sweet fragrance mixed with the musty smell of the dust that had been kicked
up in the panic.
Amane landed on his backside, leaving his rear end to suffer a dull sting, but it was
tolerable. He groaned just a bit as he felt the weight of Mahiru pressing down on him.
She must be happy that I caught her right away.
”…Fujimiya? ” Mahiru looked up at him. She didn seem angry, but she didn seem
particularly happy about the situation, either. Mostly, she just sounded surprised. ”I
can accept the blame for falling, but this is exactly why you must tidy up, because
otherwise things like this are bound to happen. ”
”Im really sorry, honestly… You
e not hurt, are you? ” Amane asked.
”Im fine. Thanks for going out of your way to catch me. Im sorry, too. ”
”No, its all my fault… ”
Amane wouldn have been able to bear it if Mahiru had gotten hurt while helping him,
especially considering she was already sharing meals with him. That wouldve been
absolutely unforgivable; he wouldn have even been able to look her in the eye.
If he needed to, he was considering kneeling and asking for forgiveness, but Mahiru
didn seem too upset over her tumble.
e cleaning up so that things like this don happen anymore, understand? ”
”Yeah. Im really very sorry. ”
”Its fine; you don need to apologize. Im helping you because I feel like it, after all. ”
Mahiru looked just a little bit flustered as she gazed up at Amane.
Amane suddenly realized how close they were and was aware of her pressing against
him. For a boy who basically never interacted with girls on a regular basis, this was a
heart-pounding situation. Even though neither of them had any romantic feelings for
the other, something felt very wrong about it somehow.
Mahiru didn seem to be conscious of the situation, so Amane gently grabbed her
shoulder and pushed her off of him; then he stood up before the awkwardness could
show on his face.
”…Should we… keep cleaning? ” he managed after a moment.
”Yes, thats a good idea, ” Mahiru replied. Fortunately for Amane, she appeared to be
oblivious to his trembling as she grabbed the hand Amane extended and rose to her
Mahiru seemed unaware of how closely shed been pressed up against him, because
she just maintained her usual expression. Amane figured that a girl like Mahiru
mustve been used to the attention of a lot of boys. Surely a little contact like that
wouldn be enough to unnerve her like it did him.
Smiling wryly at Mahirus demeanor, Amane decided it would be wrong to leave
everything up to her and returned to cleaning with newfound resolve. Even though
the task was wholly unfamiliar, he did his best to struggle through.
”…You are full of surprises. ”
Amane was too focused on his work to notice the quiet words that escaped Mahirus
lips, nor did he see that her ears, hidden by her straw-colored hair, had turned slightly
”…Whew, now, this is clean. ”
In the end, it had taken the pair the entire day to clean Amanes apartment.
Several hours were spent tidying up the clutter on his floor, and then, between
washing the clothes, dusting the shelves and light fixtures, scrubbing the windows,
and vacuuming, the entire day had flown by before they knew it.
The sun had been visible when Mahiru came over, but it had long since set by now,
proof of just how long she and Amane had been working.
It had certainly been no small task, but those efforts were not without results. Amanes
apartment was so clean that he barely recognized it. There was no unnecessary clutter,
and he could see the floor! Once-dirty windowpanes and frames didn have a single
speck of dirt on them. The lights, too, shone brighter now that they had been dusted.
The place was finally clean. Without all the junk crowding every surface, it actually
looked to be quite a comfortable space.
”To think that it took us a whole day, ” Mahiru observed.
”Guess thats what it takes when its such a mess…, ” Amane answered.
”But it was your mess. ”
”R-right you are. ”
Amane verbally prostrated himself before his angelic savior, who had taken mercy on
him. Mahiru, who had wasted one of her precious weekend days helping him, finished
tying up a garbage bag with a beleaguered look. She didn seem upset, but a hint of
fatigue showed on her face, though it was mixed with a sense of accomplishment. That
was only natural, since she had been working all day.
After everything that had transpired, Amane would have been ashamed to simply let
Mahiru go make dinner. Itd be unforgivable to expect her to do any more work,
whether she shared a portion of her cooking with him today or not.
”Now that its evening, I don feel like going shopping, so Im going to order a pizza or
something. Please let me treat you today. After all, youve been giving me all kinds of
food and stuff, ” Amane offered.
”Oh, but—, ” Mahiru started, but she was quickly cut off.
”If you don want to eat with me, Ill order one for you, and you can take it home. ”
This gesture was more about showing gratitude than trying to get Mahiru to eat with
him, so if she wanted to eat alone, Amane didn mind.
”…Thats not what I meant. Its just… I was surprised, because Ive never ordered
”Huh, youve never ordered pizza? ”
”Yeah, I live alone, but Ive never ordered pizza… Ive made it myself, though. ”
”Its amazing that you would even think to make it, ” Amane exclaimed.
Normally, if someone decided they wanted pizza, the three options were to buy a
ready-made one at the store, get it delivered, or go eat it in a restaurant. He was sure
that there were very few people who would think to go through the long, laborious
process of making one from scratch.
”Well, theres nothing strange about ordering pizza for delivery, ” Amane asserted. ”I
do it all the time myself: order delivery or go to a family restaurant solo… you know,
like most people. ”
”Ive actually never been to one of those, either, ” Mahiru admitted.
”Now, that is rare. I go alone pretty often, and my parents go to restaurants whenever
they don feel like cooking. I guess your parents aren the type to eat out often, huh? ”
”…In our house, the help made the meals. ”
”The help? Damn, you must be really rich. ”
Finding out that Mahiru was fabulously wealthy explained a lot. It certainly cleared up
why Mahirus mannerisms were so graceful and refined—and why her clothes and
possessions were always top quality. Even the girls gait seemed to speak of an affluent
At Amanes words, Mahiru broke into a thin smile.
e right; I think I am
comparatively well-off. ”
Quickly, Amane began to regret what hed said, realizing that Mahirus smile was not
one of delight or pride but rather a display of self-mockery. It seemed that her family
was an area of discussion that was better left alone, and Amane didn plan to pry any
Everybody has a thing or two theyd rather not talk about. Its only polite to respect that,
especially with people you don know very well.
”Well, then this will be an interesting experience, won it? Here, order what you like. ”
Dropping the topic of Mahirus parents, Amane showed her a menu for a pizza place
Amane occasionally ordered from. Out of all the places that delivered, it was the best.
Their pizza was no match for one cooked in an authentic wood-fired oven, of course,
but they did offer a wide variety of toppings. Their choices ranged from the standard
fare to stuff more suited to little kids, so Amane figured that there was sure to be
something that would appeal to Mahirus tastes.
Mahiru accepted both the change of subject and the pizza menu. She immediately
began poring over the list of options, her luminous brown eyes drawn to the many
colorful photos of different pizzas. Her eyes weren usually very expressive, but now
they shimmered vividly.
She must really be looking forward to this, Amane thought.
Mahiru seemed a bit nervous, but after considering it for a little while, she pointed out
a party pizza with four types of toppings and said hesitantly, ”All right, this looks good. ”
She turned an expectant gaze to Amane.
With a slight smile, Amane nodded, picked up his phone, and dialed the number
printed on the menu. Mahirus eyes sparkled with anticipation.
An hour later, their pizza arrived. Mahiru dug in without hesitation. The pizza was
divided into sections to allow the different flavors to be sampled on their own, and
shed hesitated a little over which one to try first but finally decided to start with a
piece covered with a hearty helping of bacon and sausage.
Amane was not surprised when Mahiru nibbled at her slice with small, delicate bites.
He supposed her refined upbringing had taught her to eat everything with poise and
grace, even delivery pizza.
Watching Mahiru gave Amane a warm feeling inside, like he was watching a small, cute
animal. She was strangely adorable as her eyes closed and her expression relaxed a
little while she chewed on the stretchy cheese. Usually, the girl appeared so mature; in
this moment, however, she finally looked her age.
Amane quelled an intense urge to pat Mahirus head as she enjoyed the pizza with
little, mincing bites.
”…What? ” she asked.
”Nothing, you just look like you
e enjoying it, ” Amane replied.
”Please don stare at me so much. ”
The frown she cast at Amane was anything but cute, however.
”…Geez, youve really got no charm. ”
”Well, that suits me fine. If I were to act like I always do at school, youd say I was
making you uncomfortable. ”
”Yeah, I guess thats true. Im more familiar with this version of you than the school
At school, Amane barely ever even saw Mahiru, and they had certainly never spoken
there. He only occasionally caught a glimpse of her, and she always wore that same,
impenetrable smile that she showed to everyone.
Here, he got to see beyond that layer. This has to be the real Mahiru, Amane thought.
At school, she always adopted her fake, public persona.
”As far as Im concerned, ” he continued, ”I never get tired of this version. ”
”The version with no charm? ”
”Don hold a grudge… You know, how do I put this…? I can never tell what you
thinking when you
e at school. ”
”Mostly about my schedule and my classes, I suppose. ”
”So even you can be clueless once in a while, huh? ”
Amane had meant to say that Mahiru always looked like she had some secret on her
mind, but Mahiru apparently took his words at face value. She looked at him with a
subtle protest in her eyes, as though she had meant something else entirely.
”I, uh, didn mean it like that, ” Amane quickly added. ”Its just… You don show what
e thinking. All I meant was that its easier to be around someone whos honest
about their feelings, even if they
e a little rude, than someone who you can never
”…Do you think how I behave at school is bad? ” Mahiru asked directly.
”Well, I can really hate on it, since its probably the secret to your success. I just
wonder if you ever get tired of it, ” Amane said.
”Not really. Ive been acting like that since I was little. ”
”Hard-core, huh? ”
If shed been keeping up this act since childhood, spending her whole life trying to be
the perfect young woman everyone expected her to be, Amane could understand how
it would definitely be difficult for her to set that persona aside.
Amane had been able to infer a little bit about Mahirus home life, but he knew that
there was no way he could ask her more about it.
”Well, isn it nice to have a place where you can relax? And now youve even got a
buddy to chill with. ”
”Honestly, I don find you relaxing at all. You make my stomach turn in knots, ” Mahiru
”Im… sorry? ” Amane apologized, a little dumbstruck.
Mahiru gave an exaggerated shrug and let out a strange little laugh.
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