Author's Note :

wow an update this year what a miracle!

I am full swing back into Soul Eater so expect more updates soon! Hehe.

kinda shameless self promo here but I actually run an roleplaying blog on Tumblr as Asura, URL is kishxn. Check it out if you want and if you send me a message mentioning that you've read this fanfic, you'll get yourself a special shoutout on the next chapter!

wish I had something more exciting to offer like money or somethin'

oh well.

anyway I hope you enjoy! Review n' stuff!

With the absence of Blair in the kitchen, the silence was much more awkward. Maka remained on the kitchen floor, pretending to examine her healed wound or some imperfection in her shirt. Her eyes avoided Asura's; she didn't make a single sound.

Asura wasn't doing the opposite, either. He shifted legs when one began to shake under the pain of soreness. His scarves brushed the walls and other objects lying around idly. He stared persistently through the window at birds that fluttered by. He didn't blink once.

It wasn't exactly uncommon for him to clam up under uncomfortable situations. But now he felt like he had to. The conversation between them the night before left so open-ended. They sat in silence for a half hour. Both unable to say a word.

Asura remembered it so clearly. What it felt like to sit beside her, his skin itching with nerves, watching his toes so intensely to avoid thinking of how jumpy just being there made him. Wanting to stuff his head into the wall so she couldn't look at him with those strange eyes. Being afraid of how she might respond to his questions. Afraid of being rejected. Afraid of how he really felt. Afraid. Afraid.

In the midst of all that fear, it had taken some time for him to realize that Maka had fallen asleep. A soft weight suddenly against his shoulder. He had looked over at her rather sharply, he hated being touched, but...but he couldn't be upset. Or scared. Seeing that face, always so stern and confident, melted into sleep. Her brow, always furrowed in frustration - usually toward him - and her lips, usually pressed into a permanent frown, relaxed, slightly parted, breathing with the softness of a breeze in the autumn.

She had looked so foreign. Fragile.

And so close. Never this close while she was awake. She warmed him. Not warmed a cold that would come from the winds of the North, no, a cold that chilled from the inside. He hadn't realize he had been frozen until she...

He had shifted ever so slightly, so slowly and with such diligence that he feared she would break at the most sudden of movements. His face was brought closer to hers, eye to eye, so close...

His eyes had begun to close as well. He wanted to embrace all that warmness, never be cold again. He remembered touching her cheek, brushing her porcelain skin with fingers lighter than a petal. And he almost...almost did it. His lips to hers, it would surely have been lovely.

But he was a coward.

In that last moment, just a thought away, he backed out. Instead he let the little bird fly away. He had laid her back, tucked her under that pink comforter. He let her be.

A part of him now felt that he would never get a chance like that again. A chance to feel. Alive. Breathing.

Standing here now, he felt cold again. But now that he'd felt it once before, he wanted that warmth again.

So he turned, starting to speak, when a loud, muffled thump came from the hallway. A door opened, and several voices came filtering out:

"A little warning before you pull something like that, Blair! It's like the middle of the night!"

"Oh, Soul-kun, it's almost eight! Maka-chan wanted to wake you up so we can all go to school!"

Soul shuffled into the living room with the cat woman in tow. The weapon's hair was a mess and his clothes hung loosely on him. Well, he wasn't wearing a shirt, much to the kishin's disgust. Maka clearly noticed, because when she had looked up to see his approach, a faint blush painted her cheeks.

"How indecent." Asura growled, turning up his chin at the sight of the weapon's disheveled appearance.

Soul didn't pay him a glance but as he sauntered past muttered, "Like you're one to talk."

A vicious retort rose in the kishin's throat but Blair's sudden hand grasping a stray scarf made him jump. Her eyes gave a warning and once, just this once, he took it. He allowed the feline woman to stroke his arm to calm him while Soul helped Maka to her feet and commented on her healed injury.

Asura noticed she intentionally failed to mention his role to play in it. He'd have to casually reiterate that later.

"That was a really sweet thing you did for her." Blair whispered.

"Doesn't seem like she loves to be reminded that I did it."

"Oh, I wouldn't take that to heart. She's stubborn like that, not liking help. Just likes to do things herself."

Funny, Maka had no trouble mentioning it to Blair. But why not her weapon? Could his childish ego not handle it? Would he feel threatened that Asura could do more than him for his meister?

Asura blinked. Hm. Where might that have come from?

Blair perked up, releasing her hold on the kishin's arm to join her roommates, placing hands to each of their shoulders. "Go one, get dressed you two! Don't want to be late for the first time ever!"

That got Maka going. She yanked her weapon along and both disappeared into their rooms.

Which of course left the cat and kishin alone.

Dreading the conversation Asura tried to slink away but was inevitably cornered by the feline. "Sooo...did you talk to Maka about it?"

"About what?" Asura asked, playing stupid, still trying to slither against the wall to try and get around her.

Blair wasn't fooled. "Oh, come on! I know you asked her."

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

"It's a small apartment. It's hard to not know what goes on around here. So what did she say?"

That was a difficult question to answer even if he wanted to. The conversation wasn't exactly straightforward, and Maka had fallen asleep before she could either confirm - or reject - his curiosities. In the end, he still didn't know much about how she felt about him. Part of him - alright, the entirety of him - did not want to know, fearful of the answer. "It was, well, a kind of open-ended response..."

"Did she just not answer or did you chicken out?"

The lord of madness did not 'chicken out', he j-

Maka came trudging down the hallway, adjusting the tie to her uniform. Without her cape; she must have apparently only the one, and it was entirely ruined in the battle. The longer he stared, the more Asura noticed that would have escaped even sharp eyes among humans; the crease in the sides of the shirt indicated it had been folded for quite some time; it didn't fit quite as well as the other, it clung to her form in rather odd ways, tight here and there, on the chest and shoulders; the pleated skirt's ruffles stood on an edge, rather than loosely like yesterday's; this might have been a much newer article of clothing, not to mention it revealed a bit more of her legs than the former, particularly the curve of her upper thigh a-

"Soul!" Maka barked, snapping the kishin from the (lewd?) thoughts he himself was surprised to find himself thinking. "Hurry up, we're going to be late!"

Asura blinked, averting his gaze from the meister, to unfortunately find the feline had indeed taken notice of his observations, as her eyebrows raised and lowered several times. A black stain painted his face and instinctively he hid his face behind his scarves. What was she turning him into, some kind of animal?

"You'll be alright, Asura?"

Maka suddenly speaking made him jump, his back thumped against the wall and Blair unsuccessfully hid a snicker. He glared at her but remembered hat his eyes were hidden. Another disadvantage.

"Y-yes, just fine..." he answered, not telling the truth in any way but still far too flustered from his thoughts to not keep talking on it. True, his legs were absolutely killing him, and yes, he'd rather be here, alone preferably, sleeping like he usually did when he was wounded or exhausted, but arguing wouldn't help. Maka would probably not allow it anyway, he was to accompany her wherever.

Maka seemed to accept it, though she did scan him over a bit obviously, as if she were assessing if he would topple over as soon as they stepped through the front door or something, but nodded curtly and returned her yelling to Soul.

"Come on, Soul!"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming!" came the reply.

One eternity later, the weapon joined them, adjusting his unsightly headband and zipping his loose-fitting jacket before giving his meister a curt nod. Maka reminded Blair of some basic chores, and then they were off.

As the door of the apartment closed, Asura being last to limp/shuffle out, he turned to glimpse Blair holding a thumbs-up with the widest grin even he'd seen. He rolled all three eyes, made it a serious priority to talk over boundaries with that cat, secretly wondered if it was possible to casually resume the conversation without evoking the same awkwardness as earlier, decided it wasn't probable, and followed Maka and her insufferable weapon away from the complex.

I'm getting too old for this.