Title: Solace

Rating: PG-13

Pairing/Characters: Kid/Maka

Spoilers: The 'Brew' chapters, and maybe a little of the 'Capture Baba Yaga's Castle' arc.

Disclaimer: Soul Eater © Ohkubo Atsushi

Summary: Her eyes are glassy and green as ever, and the sound of his name almost breaks his heart.

Author's Notes: Takes place fifteen years in the future. I've heard quite a few theories concerning Shinigami-sama and the relation with the lines in Kid's hair. That's interested me since it first came up, so that makes its way a little bit into this.

Death the Kid pushes Maka Albarn up against a wall on the night of Shibusen's founding ceremony. She doesn't even flinch anymore - not since that first time years ago. It's just a fleeting memory now; the open surprise, the fumbling hands against his coat, the soft kisses along her jaw before noticing a loose thread on her dress. Now she simply looks at him, as if she understands this need for solace and gives it without question.

The dimmed, empty hallway brings no interruptions to their moment of secrecy. He brings his hands up and touches her hair, so lightly it doesn't even wreck the neatly tied bows that hold up her pigtails. Her hair is longer now, he notices, and almost tells her so before she leans into him and tangles her fingers in his own hair. Her lips move delicately over his ear.

He shivers, and remembers a time when she wouldn't touch him at all, a time when he wouldn't even think of being this forward. The closest he's ever been to her before he became Death, he thinks, was when Marie-sensei pulled them into a group hug during the mission for Brew. That was when they were children, though, when there was no implication of more. They've both changed.

"Kid-kun," she says. Her eyes are glassy and green as ever, and the sound of his name almost breaks his heart. She's one of the few who still calls him that. Ever since his father's death (he's come to despise the Sanzu lines), he became that replacement, that beacon of hope. He had trouble responding to it at first, but he's grown into the role. Maybe she's just used to calling him by the old name, or maybe she understands he needs to hear someone say it.

Either way, he's grateful for the comfort she provides. He places a kiss on her forehead and wraps his arms around her, hands rubbing circles on her back. He's never been able to tell her in words, but she's always been the perceptive one. Thank you.

He's not foolish enough to think of this as more than what it is, though. He refuses to become a replacement for Soul (and he remembers her face on that day when they lost him: crumpled in sadness, open to everyone, blaming herself for a war she couldn't stop). Maka doesn't want to be protected by him, regardless if it's his job as a shinigami or not. He can't be her weapon, or even let her protect him.

So they compromise. When one of them comes back from a trip, or on nights such as this, they get wrapped up in each other and settle into this pattern of reassurance and consolation. He doesn't pretend it's anything more than that. He doesn't dwell on where her hands are roaming and just moves on, taking in the feel of her against him and the quiet hum of her soul.

He wants to tell her she's beautiful. He wants to tell her that he loves the shape of her face, her wavelength, the intent look she has when she's reading a book.

Fifteen years and counting and still not a word.

He tells himself that he does not love Maka Albarn, and kisses her on the mouth. It's not so soft anymore, far from hesitant, and he won't be able to do it again for awhile. He wonders what'd it'd be like to be with her in the open. To tell her she didn't have to worry about the weight she carried, or even just play basketball with her like when they were children.

No, Death the Kid does not love Maka Albarn, and Maka Albarn certainly does not love Death the Kid. That's the unspoken agreement.

But when they hear the excited voices of guests from the other room, they separate. He looks at her and smiles a little as she licks her bruised lips and tries to straighten her dress.

"Ready?" she asks. She holds out her hand for him to take.

He pauses for a moment, surprised. Then, he reaches for her and clasps their fingers together. He feels something resonate inside of him, and thinks, against his will, perfect fit.

She smiles, and takes a step forward. He follows right behind her, just like always.

And in that moment, they both are content.