A/N: So life is pretty hectic…I don't know when I'll really be back on here, but this drabble has been in the backburner for quite a while, so I thought, what the heck, let's just upload it and see what people think. Let me know if you like this kind of stuff…drabbles are a bit easier to write than continuing chapters, especially since I've been away for so long.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Not even a t-shirt that has to do with Soul Eater.
Chapter One: Tantrum
The first time Patti snapped, the three of them had been sitting in the kitchen sharing breakfast. Kid, of course, had no clue that his words would cause a reaction. It hadn't been an obvious phrase that would set her off, but one that set Liz's heart plummeting as she and Patti both were drawn back into the memories of their days on the streets. How could he have known after all? Those words to anyone else would have been harmless, innocent chitchat between two strangers, but to the Thompson sisters, it was so much more.
Her reaction had been immediate to Liz's eyes: the tensing of her shoulders, the way her jaw shifted, and a thousand other hints of the chaos swirling within her. Kid hadn't noticed, too focused on cutting his perfectly-circular pancake into exact eighths. Standing from her seat, she towered over him, face darken with inexplicable rage. Her voice was dark and deep, completely different from her normal chipper tune. "Shut up." And then she whipped her arm around in front of him, sending his plate flying into the cabinet, porcelain shattering.
The room was silent for a second, and Liz could hear the syrup dripping slowly down from the wood onto the floor. Kid was still staring down at where his plate had been, knife and fork still in hand. And then all you could hear was Patti screaming, shouting, howling insanely as she destroyed whatever she could find, kicking in small cabinet doors with all her might, grabbing whatever glassware and plates were in eyesight and smashing them to the ground.
Liz was trembling, trying to get ahold of Patti's shoulders, to calm her down somehow, but she knew it wouldn't work. It had never worked. Not even she could keep Patti from exploding once she was triggered. The only thing left to do was wait until she had blown off enough steam. Still, for Patti's sake, she tried. "Come on, Patti. It's okay. Please—" She winced when a couple of plates whizzed by her head into the wall. "Please, calm down. Patti!" She had known it was hopeless.
Finally, there were no more plates and cups on hand, and Patti was standing there, eyes glazed, gasping for breath, in and out as if there was no air left in the world. Her tantrum had only taken minutes, and yet the destruction was staggering, doors bent out of place, glass and shards of porcelain covering the floor. Food littered the walls and ceiling. Liz clutched at her shoulders, embracing her tightly, grimly realizing that their fairytale was over before it even began. There was no way Kid would keep them, after he had seen the truth. They were damaged goods—she had known that from the start. She had just hoped…just hoped that Patti would be able to keep it in until Kid had thought they were indispensable or she had been able to drain him dry. But it was less than three days into their partnership, and Patti had given the game away. Liz didn't blame her. It was hard to keep in what had been plain for anyone to see. Still, she had to wipe her eyes under the pretense of checking Patti for a fever, lump in her throat. All she had wanted was to give Patti a future. A beautiful future where she didn't have to hate and claw for survival.
Of course they got no happy ending. They were the Thompson sisters.
Kid hadn't moved the entire time Patti had been moving like a tornado through his kitchen. The only thing he had done was lay down his knife and fork at the beginning, and watch with no expression at all. Liz could feel his eyes on them, and she suddenly worried that he would try to pull some charges on them before removing them from the premises. They couldn't afford a run-in with the law, damn it! They were already on probation as it was.
She could at least try to do some damage control. Clearing her throat, which was unexplainably thick, she tried to smile, even though she could feel it turning downward. "L-look, Kid. Um, well—"
"Here." She almost didn't catch the keys thrown her way. She stared down at the dark ring of keys, each a different shade of grey, but in a perfect circle of gradient change. He was looking at Patti, but there was no malice in his eyes, just that blank face that always made Liz a little nervous. "I was going to wait to give you these until after our first mission, but I think you need them now." He pointed out the door. "End of the hallways, final door on your right. It's an indoor hot spring. Take Patti there. The darkest key should open the door"
"But, what about—"
"I'll clean up here." He looked so nonchalant that Liz almost gaped at how unexpectedly cool he was about the whole thing. Maybe the kid wasn't as ridiculous as she thought. Still, these keys…she stared down at them, wondering at their meaning. Could it be…? She couldn't believe it. He still wanted them? Liz tried to speak again. "Kid…" Words failed her though.
She nodded and gently led an unresponsive Patti down the hall, hands still trembling over what should have been their last moment in the house.
An hour later, after making sure Patti was back to normal and sending her off to bed early, Liz headed back to the kitchen, wondering if Kid really had cleaned it up. She had never seen him clean anything before, just panic whenever something was slightly out of place. Lingering at the edge of the kitchen, she peeked in.
Kid was still there, back towards her at the table, muttering incessantly to himself next to a small stack of what she presumed to be the only plates left in the kitchen. On the floor there were perfectly circular piles of broken plates and glass, surrounding the table in a way reminiscent to a witch's circle. She sweatdropped. Kid really did look like a warlock in the middle of a spell, the way he was mumbling, right in the middle of the chaos.
Entering the room, she started to pick up what he was actually saying.
"—but I shouldn't destroy one, it would ruin the perfect symmetry of the piles, oh, but how could only ninety-one plates be broken? It should have been ninety-two, at least then I would have exactly eight plates left. Or why hadn't she destroyed all one hundred? Then there wouldn't be a problem—maybe I should break all the others. No, no, father would be so displeased if he heard I was destroying things for symmetry again. But the plates—" He clutched at his head, almost convulsing in his seat. Screaming up at the sky, he writhed, head falling to the table. "Useless, I'm so useless! Just a worm, unworthy to even crawl along the ground of this world! I don't deserve to live, I should just die now!"
She tried. She really did try. But she couldn't hold it in, and began laughing. Kid whirled around in his seat, clearly surprised to see her. "Liz? What are you doing here?" His pained expression turned into a pout when she kept laughing, almost crying with a mixture of stress and relief.
This guy…he really was something. Wiping away her tears, she smiled at him, more genuinely than she ever had. "Listen, Kid. Let me take the plate. I'll get rid of it, and we can have exactly eight dishes."
He looked like he was going to argue, like her plan still wasn't good enough, but she had already walked around him and plucked one of the remaining plates from the pile. "See? Now you have eight."
She grinned at him. Kid hesitated only for a second, visibly still deciding whether it was good enough, before returning her smile with his own. "Okay."
Taking a moment to glance around the room as if this was the first time she had seen it, she let out a tut of displeasure. "Now, come on, Kid. Is this really how you clean up?" She sighed, placing a hand on her hip. "You've still got all the trash on the floor. Look, just this once, I'll take care of it. But don't expect me to become your cleaning lady or something. I'm a weapon, not a maid." Despite her scolding tone, she was still smiling though as she shooed him out of the room to let her clean up Patti's mess in peace.
Liz would never tell him, but she kept the plate, hidden with her few precious things she had from her times on the streets. It was a reminder of Patti's first tantrum in front of Kid and Liz's despair…and a promise of a hopeful future.