Author's Note:My first PoT fic! This thing's my baby... Please review! I appreciate all comments!

Notes on the rating: The majority of the story is actually rated "G." The rating "PG" is mostly a precaution, because I'm still not sure what direction I'm going to take this story.

Interpret as you see fit.

Enjoy!


"Nyaaaa! What a mess! I'll never be done before dinner!"

I glanced over to see my despairing redheaded friend tossing various objects left and right.

"Not if you keep throwing things around like that," I responded, as gently as I could without laughing. For the moment, I wasn't sure why I didn't join my friend in the realms of despair. Observing my surroundings, it was impossible not to see what a mess Eiji's room really was. There were several gigantic piles of stuff that Eiji had built up, like mini-mountains that were impossible to climb. The task at hand seemed hopeless at this point, despite the fact that I had offered to help. Even with two people, I wasn't sure how we'd do it. But we had to. Mostly to convince myself, I assured my friend, "Don't worry, Eiji; we'll get it done in time." I heard a little, frustrated moan from Eiji, and I could tell he was pouting. Maybe he had been hoping I would let him give up.

I was kneeling in front of a huge pile of junk that had somehow fallen out of Eiji's closet. Luckily, I knew where everything in his room went, probably better than he did, seeing as how he had ordained me "Chief Organizer" last time he found himself in this mess. I felt a bit of annoyance at the destruction of my system. Eiji Kikumaru, can't you keep your room clean for just a day? One day! I felt the maid-like voice in my head say. I couldn't believe what sorts of things Eiji had stuffed in his closet. Scissors, magazines, a mug that had held hot chocolate a long time ago (and was never washed), lost homework, tennis balls, a pillow, and whatever this was…

I started with the things that I knew belonged in the closet. I folded a shirt or two, and held up an old pair of pants so I could fold that, too… when something fell onto my lap with a tiny, golden clang.

That thing… I couldn't believe that Eiji had kept that thing. I never knew he even took it home, this old thing… This little object that deluged me with memories like a tsunami. This little noise that still sounded in my dreams. This little, golden bell on a shiny, black ribbon… I thought I'd never see it again. And yet here it was, in my lap.

I turned to look at Eiji. He was sifting through something by his desk. He had not heard the sound. That made perfect sense, when I thought about it later. In any case, now was not the time to remember. I pocketed the bell, knowing for certain that my friend wouldn't miss it… It wasn't really stealing, but somehow I felt guilty. I hated not telling Eiji things, keeping little secrets. And the bell was sort of… my secret. Eiji didn't really know anything about it, what it meant.

I shifted my focus back to the task at hand. I quickly noticed that Eiji had a nasty habit of throwing things into my pile if he didn't know where he should put them. There were so many things I should have told him to throw away, but he was a packrat, and he would complain. Besides, there wasn't really enough time to be thorough. Towards the end of the ordeal, we sort of resorted to stuffing things in odd places. This made Eiji happy. I, on the other hand, strained myself to rationalize each case of stuffing, only rarely coming out with a satisfactory explanation.

We finished at 5:24. Eiji was ecstatic. "Nya! Oishi! We did it!" He jumped on my back, hanging around my neck, but quickly sliding off because he was too heavy, then falling into a giggling heap on the floor. I couldn't keep from laughing with him. The littlest things could make him so happy.

Then again, this was quite an accomplishment. I had the feeling of one who had conquered a mountain, or killed an angry beast with my bare hands. Relieved and triumphant, I told Eiji I was going to get the vacuum cleaner and left the room. Behind me, I heard him jump onto his bed with a chuckle and a sigh.

By the time I came back with the heavy appliance, Eiji had fallen asleep and was making soft little sleeping sounds. I didn't have the heart to pop his safe, quiet bubble of dreams with the roar of the vacuum, so I just set it near an outlet and walked over to his bedside.

He really was adorable, sleeping like that. Most people are, and I knew that well. There's just something about the face of someone who is having a nice dream… But I couldn't help liking Eiji's the best. From that, I always concluded that he must have very sweet dreams.

I leaned over to get a closer look, and it was so quiet that I heard the bell ring in my pocket, gently reminding me that I had forgotten. I took it out and looked at it. It was a little spotted and dull, probably from being stuck in Eiji's closet for so long. Some of dirt and dust may have been left over from the days we actually used it, just two years before…

Had it been such a short amount of time since then? Had it also been so long? It felt like both. And I smiled when I thought of those sweet summer days when we played and sweated and dreamed and felt silly together. I could almost smell the air, and I felt like I had at that time…

Eiji stirred, as if reminding me to come back. I ruffled my fingers through his hair, still smiling. Don't worry, Eiji; I'll be back in a moment…