"Loss of Self Worth"

by hitsuzenbutterfly

Disclaimer: I do not own the wonderful series, XxxHolic. CLAMP does though.

It has been a regular day in Watanuki's life. It had been another day that Doumeki had saved him by giving part of his eyesight. Watanuki is now questioning himself about his part in everyone's life. He had been known as the guy who could see spirts and cook.

'Can't I do anything else good execpt cook and wait for that jerk to save me? Am I good enough to give orders rather than follow them? I guess not in my lifetime. Maybe because 'hitsuzen' only wanted me to do those simple things. I am pretty much useless in life, Yuko-san only asks for sake and do crazy jobs for her, which are always life threataning. And that jerk, Doumeki, who just saves my life only to get food. What a pig! Himiwari-chan does not notice me at all, but only as a friend, always putting me in the same level as Doumeki.' Watanuki thought this again and again.

The next day, Watanuki went to school. School was horrible as usual. Doumeki had archery club practice, and Himiwari-chan had gone to vacation in America for one whole week, which left him all alone.

" Isn't that the freak who sees 'ghosts'?" said Meiling, a girl in Watanuki's class, with a smirk on her face.

" Yeah, now he has weird eyes!!" replied her friend.

" I bet he did that for attention, after all, every orphan wants attention. He probably bought a fake contact lens from the dollar store."

" What a loser! Who buys fake contact lenses? I also hear he is a cooking geek!" replied her friend with a loud laugh.

Watanuki was used to hearing these kind conversations behind his back, he learned not to listen to them.Before he used to yell to those idiots and explain the truth, but now that he is old enough to understand that they will never listen to him.He attended class, and afterwards went to Yuko-san's shop.

" Ah, there you are!! I was waiting for you! I want you to do a job for me." Yuko-san said with happiness in her voice.

'I bet it is crazy and dangerous. I can imagine myself running from a crowd of ghosts who want to tear away my flesh, and relish the taste of my soul.' Watanuki thought in disgust.

" Don't worry Watanuki. It will not be crazy and dangerous. You just need to bring some payment from a client. He gave me a rare item so that I can cure his illness. He is still sick enough to not leave his house. He lives on First Sakura street, the house numbered 1718." Yuko-san replied as if reading his thoughts.

'Don't I have any privacy in my mind any more?' Watanuki thought angrily.

" No you don't, Watanuki, and that item is important, but you still have time to buy the man some flowers, and bring me some sake when you come home." Yuko-san said again reading his thoughts.

"Sake, sake, sake!!" Mokona, Maru, and Momo chanted in delight.

" Okay, I'm going. I am also cooking eggrolls for dinner. Bye." said Watanuki as he left, with a hint of unhappiness in his voice.

"That child has a lot to learn, dosen't he Mokona?" Yuko-san said with a smile on her face.

" I agree with you completely." Mokona said in response with seriousness in his voice, which was rare.

"The butterfly is a symbol of change." said Yuko-san after siping the last of sake in her cup.

Watanuki had already gotten the flowers for the sick guy, and was now walking to where the client lived, which was not far from the store that had Yuko-san's favorite brand of sake.

'I wonder what the item is. It must be a treasure if Yuko-san said to get it right away.' Watanuki thought warily.

Watanuki then knocked on the door of the house numbered 1718, lightly.

"Hello? Who is it?" the man said after opening the door quickly.

"Hi, my name is Kimihiro Watanuki, and I work for the witch who grants wishes, Yuko Ichihara." Watanuki said, and gave him the flowers.

"Ah, I have been waiting for you. You want to go inside my house?" the man said with pure kindness in his voice.

" No thank you. My employer told me she wanted her payment now." Watanuki replied.

The man looked at Watanuki like he was probing his mind, and said, " Very well then, let me write Yuko-san a thank you note for helping me, and I will get the item."

Watanuki waited at the door step for ten minutes, until the man came back.

"Here you go. The item is in this box so be careful. Also, Watanuki-san, please do not be hard on yourself." the man said handing the package to him with a smile on his face.

"Thank you for your kindness." Watanuki said politly.

Did he just read my mind? How did he know that I was hard on myself? Watanuki thought after he left for the store to get Yuko-san's sake.

After Watanuki got the sake, he went back to Yuko-san's shop. He was still wondering about that mysterious client on First Sakura Street.

"There you are Watanuki! It has already been forty-five minutes." Yuko-san said, grabbing the package.

" The client also gave you a thank you note." Watanuki said while trying to portect the sake from Mokona.

"Wait Mokona until the eggrolls are served!"

" But I want sake now!!"

" You were drinking sake when I came for work!"

" Not drinking sake for forty-five minutes is very long! I want sake!!"

While the Watanuki and Mokona were fighting, Yuko-san was reading the thank you note.

"Watanuki, when you leave take the item with you when you go home, and put it somewhere that has a lot of moonlight. If you are patient, and nice suprise will happen to you at midnight." Yuko-san said with a serious tone.

Four hours later, after Watanuki cleaned the shop, served dinner, and washed the plates, he said bye to Yuko-san and Mokona with the package in his hands. He followed Yuko-san's orders and put the item, which appeared to look like a pot engraved with golden dragons and butterflies, near his window and waited until midnight. He was a bit skeptical about Yuko-san's instructions, but he realized he was wrong. The witch was right, something did happen.

Something was trying to get out of the pot! It looked like a ghost was going to come out, he did not sense that it was a hostile ghost, but Watanuki still backed away. When the thing came out, it looked very much like his mother.

This could not be my mother! If she was, then why would she be trapped in an old antique than be in the afterlife? If this was mother, then wouldn't father be with her? What is going on?!

" Do not be afraid Kimihiro-kun. What you are thinking is right. I have come to see you, and I have been watching you all the time."

" But, mother, why were you trapped in this antique? Shouldn't you be in the afterlife with father?"

Watanuki's mother suddenly looked forlorn, but replied to his question.

" The whole family can see ghost Watanuki, not only you. We were targeted by a group of demons, and we both sacrified our lives for you, our child. Also, in order to save your life from the demons, your father gave up eternal rest and resided in hell--

" But why?"

" --the demons wanted their pay. We want to save you and the demons wanted to eat us. So in order to become a balance between both worlds, he sacrificed his soul. Your father's soul had as much power as yours have. This is something Yuko-san has told you. In order to gain, we must sacrifce the equal amount of what we gain. This is called Equivelent Exchange (1).

" I get it, but why does everyone try to save me? I am useless in everything. I am weak, I only know how to run, cook, clean, and get angry." Watanuki looked at the floor while saying this, he felt that everything he had just said was true.

" Stop being selfish, Kimihiro! Stop thinking of youself, and start thinking about others. You father cared for you with his life, Doumeki-san protects you with his life every day, Himiwari-san tries to protect you be trying to avoid you so that you don't get hurt by her curse, Kohane-san stood against her own mother when her mother injured you, the Zarashi-warshi, Yuko-san, Mokona, Maru and Momo, and the Kudakitsune also protect you!! They do not protect you because you are weak, then what is the point of saving you at all? They protect you because you bring happiness in their lives. They care as much for you ,as much as you care for them. So, stop being selfish, Kimihiro!"

I have never seen mother so angry in my whole entire life. Okaa-san has a point, I have been wrong all along. She gave real reasons to prove her beliefs. I now realize that I have been selfish, for not counting what other people were thinking of me. If I got hurt, they would worry about me, just like real family and friends. Thank you mother, maybe giving me a stern talk was one of the best things you have ever done for my sake. If you can hear me father, I have learned my lesson. I have now stepped out of the darkness, and into the light.

" I now understand mother, thank you for telling me this. I have been in the dark for too long. Anyway, how did you know about Doumeki and the others?"

" Have you not been listening to me? I am pretty much your guardian angel, and I know what is happening in your life, I know you work for Yuko Ichihara-san, you have a big crush on Himiwari-san, you have a grudge on Doumeki-san for being so cool, and that you think everyone reads your mind. But I have a reason why on that."

" Which one? Do you know a way for me to gain Himiwari-chan's eternal love??"

" You need to earn that on your own. I have an answer to your question of people reading your mind, they do not read it, you give them signs."

" Awwww, I have to do that on my own? And, how do I give signs?"

" Do not whine to me Kimihiro! You give signs by you funny faces. I guess it is time for me to leave." Watanuki's mother said looking at the clock.

" What do you mean by me making funny faces--wait you have to leave?!" Watanuki said this in a shocked and angry voice.

" Kimihiro-kun, don't you notice the time? It is already 1:00 a.m. . It is time for me to go back. That antique pot is a portal to the afterlife, and it always open when it is a full moon at midnight on an October night."

" Will I see you again?"

" No Watanuki, I expect to see you when you die of old age, and let me tell you one thing: Be careful for the final fight, Kimihiro Watanuki. Now I am of, see you decades later, son, I love you."

Watanuki's mother jumped in in the pot and left without a trace. Watanuki had been a bit out of the focus at school the next day.

" Something on your mind, idiot?" Doumeki said with a causual voice.

" Yeah, but before I leave school, I would like to say thank you for everything." Watanuki had forced himself to say that, and left for Yuko-san's shop to call in for work.

Doumeki's eyes looked suprised after Watanuki said that.

Usualy that idiot would start shouting at me after I called him an idiot, probably he is thinking a lot about his life. Doumeki thought.

" Here Yuko-san, here is the antique pot. Thank you for the help, Yuko-san, you probably knew about everything right?" Watanuki thought.

" Maybe I knew, and since I loaned you this, I will have to put this in your working hours." Yuko-san said with a giggle.

" I will be working here forever!!" Watanuki said in gloom.

" Yay! Watanuki is working here forever!" Mokona said in glee.

" Forever, and ever!!" chanted Maru and Momo.

I don't think I will die of old age mother and father, maybe I will be overworked to death by much achoholic employer.And mother, I will heed your warning.

Note 1: A Full Metal Alchemist quote. This does not belong to me.

Thank for reading my first fic!

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