Mahiru returned to Amane’s apartment in different clothes, a long white T-shirt and khaki cargo pants.
The T-shirt clinging to her body emphasized her defined, curvy body.
She tied her hair in a bun, revealing her pale nape, which left Amane a little uncomfortable.
She would usually wear a one piece dress or a skirt, so this was a new sight for him.
He always wondered if this boyish look would be suitable for Mahiru, but it seemed he was overthinking it.
It was then he thoroughly realized that beauties would look good in anything they wore.
Nevertheless, while this clothing looked easier to move in, it was also passable as casual wear. He wondered if she was fine with it getting dirty.
“Are you fine with it getting dirty?”
“I intend to dispose of it some time later. It is fine even if it is dirty.”
So Mahiru said as she looked towards the devastation that was Amane’s apartment, and sighed.
“Just to say this, we are doing this thoroughly, understand?”
“If you do, let us hurry. I am not going to hold back, nor am I going to let you compromise.”
Is that alright? Mahiru implied silently. “Yes.” And Amane could only abide.
Thus began the cleaning operation launched by the Angel.
“First, put the clothes into the laundry basket. Cleaning should go from top to bottom, but we need to sort that out if we want to use the vacuum cleaner. The floor is all covered. There are many clothes, so we need to separate them in batches. Also, split those that you have worn and those that you have not. We can wash them all, right?”
“Ahh, I’ll do as you say…”
And as expected, even though they had a vacuum cleaner, they had to start at the mess on the ground.
“…You do not have any undergarments lying around, no?”
“I do keep them in the closet at least.”
“Good. We will deal with the clothing later. Even if we wash and dry them now, the dust will fly when we clean it up. There is insufficient space to dry. If you are not really in need of them, we can wash them once we are done cleaning.”
“… The magazines can be discarded. It would be one thing if you are collecting them, but I am assuming not, given how they are all over the place. Cut out the pages you want to keep and deal with the rest. Tie them up and bring them to the waste collection area.”
Mahiru quickly got down to cleaning, instructing Amane to keep his clothes in the laundry basket as she stacked the magazines up one by one.
She had asked if he had any magazines he really wanted to keep, but Amane shook his head as he was not really bothered with that. Seeing that, Mahiru bundled the magazines with the vinyl string she had brought from her house.
“Once you are done with the clothes, please come here and sort out the other items on the floor. Same goes for them. Sort out what you want and do not want, and discard the ones you do not want. Understood?”
“If you are unhappy about something, do say so.”
“No, not exactly… just that it seems very orderly.”
“We will not have enough time otherwise. I do not wish to see your room in a mess.”
It was their day off, but time was limited. They could only work during the day, given that the noise of the vacuum cleaner would disturb their neighbors.
And the work before the vacuuming was laborious as it was. Mahiru understood this and told him to hurry with the packing.
He was apologetic about having to trouble Mahiru this much, but thanks to her, there was more space for footing. He was truly impressed.
“Since you are addressing me as ‘instructor,’ hurry up and learn. I cannot determine which are your personal belongings, so please sort out those that you require.”
“Please do not treat me like a boy.”
The grim-faced Angel retorted as she cleaned up with her nimble hands, sorting out the things she could.
Amane himself had the urge to keep anything and everything, and thus he was grateful and envious that she could be so decisive.
It was another person’s room, but Mahiru really spared no efforts in cleaning up. She was truly acting like a homemaker.
Her brisk movements made it seem that she could have easily cleaned this apartment herself.
But she might have been too hasty, for she did not notice her footing.
What happened next was undoubtedly Amane’s fault, for Mahiru stepped on his clothes on the floor and lost her balance.
“Ah!” Mahiru blurted, and at that instant, Amane instinctively slid towards the floor she was about to fall upon.
He felt a soft sensation and a sweet scent flooded his nose along with some smell of dust, probably caused when he hurried over.
His buttocks felt a blunt pain as he landed, but it was still bearable and he only grunted softly. At the same time, he could feel her weight boring upon him.
He was fortunate that he was able to stop her at that instant.
Mahiru lifted her face, staring at him with a stunned look. She did not appear to be fuming, but it appeared she had many words on her mind.
“Sorry for falling over. Well, we are cleaning the house because this could happen.”
“My sincerest apologies. I’m reflecting about this… you hurt anywhere?”
“I am fine. Thank you for catching me. I should be the one saying sorry.”
“No, this is my fault…”
She had already been supplying him with dinner, and now she was helping him clean. It would be unspeakable for him if she was to be hurt because of this.
One might say he was so apologetic, he dared not look at her face.
If Mahiru was willing, he would have considered knotowing towards her, but it seemed she had no intention of blaming him for her falling over.
“We are cleaning up to prevent this from happening, you know?”
“I know. I’m really sorry.”
“…No, you do not have to be so sorry. I came here to help after all.”
She seemed to panic as she looked up at him.
Her eyes appeared uneasy while she clung onto him, and he found it very difficult to calm down.
Amane, who had no luck with women, was already having a cardiac arrest at this distance…let alone with a pretty girl in close contact with him.
Neither of them were in love with each other, but he found it really inappropriate.
Mahiru herself seemed not to have noticed her posture, so Amane gently grabbed her shoulders, splitting them apart, and stood up before the shame overtook his face.
“… Shall we, continue?”
Luckily, it appeared Mahiru did not notice Amane faltering, and she held his hand, standing up.
Her face remained stoic like usual, not caring that they made contact.
Amane himself was thinking that a girl like Mahiru would not be so bashful given that so many boys showered her with affection, brushing this matter aside.
He looked towards her with a wry smile, apologetic for having her help. So he motivated himself and got down to cleaning again.
“… That shocked me.”
Cleaning was truly a hassle for him, given that he was unfamiliar with it.
And thus, he never noticed her little whisper and the slightly reddened eyes hidden by her faint colored hair.