I don't own anything about xxxHolic except for a whole shelf of manga and a few DVDs.

#7. The Book of Memories

"Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us." –Oscar Wilde

Shizuka Doumeki's handwriting was often messy. In fact, when it was his turn to lead the class, his printouts were often sent back to him beforehand, with a request from the teacher to copy them over again, more legibly.

"Doumeki…I don't…remember…anything."

Shizuka narrowed his eyes and looked up from the small book in which he was writing so fastidiously. He could remember the trembling in Watanuki's voice, and the utter defeat in the boy's eyes.

It just wasn't right. Kimihiro Watanuki didn't give up like that. Hell, this was the same kid who had tried to kick him down a flight of stairs just yesterday in an eerie reenactment of their first meeting.

Shizuka made a small affirmative noise to himself and carefully jotted down a note on a separate piece of paper to include that incident as well, before returning to the book.

The next day, Shizuka shoved the small book into Watanuki's hands, after confirming that Watanuki had remembered to bring his bento for lunch.


Watanuki turned the book over a few times in his hands before an enraged look contorted itself across his face.

"A composition notebook!? You want me to do your homework for you now? Forget it!"

Shizuka shook his head, and then leaned over Watanuki's shoulder, flipping the composition notebook open, so that Watanuki could read a few passages.

"You said you were having trouble remembering things," Shizuka said.

Watanuki quickly edged himself away from the taller boy, and skimmed a few paragraphs. His face become redder and redder, as he continued, finally closing the book with crisp, 'Slam!'

"They're all about you," Watanuki spat.

Shizuka shrugged, fully prepared to shove his fingers into his ears if Watanuki's voice reached beyond a certain decibel level.

"It was all I could remember."

"Well, as usual, you have stuck your nose in where it doesn't belong," Watanuki said imperiously.

"I don't remember ever asking for, or saying to anyone, that I required your help!"

With a look of irritation, the boy tucked the journal underneath his arm and stomped down the school corridor, mumbling to himself about 'stupid Doumeki, his impeccable handwriting, and why did Doumeki always have to be good at everything.'

Shizuka smiled. He'd settle for a bruised ego over a broken spirit any day.

A/N: Haven't updated this in a long time, eh? (As it has been with pretty much all of my stories.) Anyway, thanks to yuMeNami, Potpourri, IWillBeBlackStar, and Foolish Mortal for their reviews! They mean more than you guys know.