Soul Eater is (c) Atsushi Ohkubo. Duh.

It had been a very long night of studying. This had come about due to the fact that Spirit could not stop groveling at his daughter's feet which dangled from the chair in front of her desk, begging her to forgive him for completely embarrassing her during one of his lectures earlier that day.

"I'M SORRY MAKA!! But you really are the most beautiful, sweet, intelligent, number one girl in the world!!"

"You didn't need to tell that to the whole class!!" The blonde kicked her hysterical father away from her for the tenth time, then groaned and let her head fall on her desk which was currently covered in study guides. "Just leave me alone and let me study, Papa," she pouted. "It's already late enough. I have a test tomorrow."

Soul, who had been sitting on the couch adjacent to the desk watching this whole ordeal (and was not interested in getting involved), finally cleared his throat and stood up. "Um, I can look after Maka now... so... uh, you can go, Deathscythe." With a socked foot, he nudged at Spirit, who had curled himself into a ball at Maka's feet and was mumbling to himself through a waterfall of tears. "So not cool... " Soul muttered. Maka's father finally left however, after much persuasion, and Maka and Soul were left to themselves.

Soul, feeling as though the two hours he had spent studying earlier would suffice for him, helped himself to a snack and watched TV quietly as Maka studied furiously. Soul sensed that his technician's foul mood could only be eased by time, so he left her alone. Eventually the TV programming shifted to its late-night infomercial schedule, which was Soul's cue that it was time to get some sleep already. As he rose from the couch, he brushed the remnants of his snack off the grey sweatpants he was wearing to bed and groggily shuffled to his room. "Night, Maka," he called.



Realizing too late that drinking a whole liter of soda before bed was a bad idea, Soul was rudely awoken in the early hours of the morning thanks to an excruciatingly full bladder. After spending a good five minutes in the bathroom, he washed his hands, wiped them carelessly on his pants, and walked out into the living room to see if Maka was still studying. In the dim light of dawn, Soul made out his technician's outline, hunched over the desk, head resting on outstretched arms, her back moving up and down ever-so-slightly as she breathed. She fell asleep, Soul realized, and grinned quietly to himself as he walked over to her. He shook her shoulder gently. "Oi, Maka," he whispered, "go to bed."

Maka's eyelids fluttered open slightly as she dazedly realized where she was. "Oh... " she mumbled, "I was just... studying and... " Maka yawned loudly and made a clumsy effort to stand up and walk to her room. She fell back down into the chair, unable to sync her body and her mind together at the moment.

"Hey, you look like an idiot, trying to walk like that," Soul teased, and in one fluid motion he scooped the girl into his arms and carried her towards her room.

"N-no, I can walk... " Maka, still only half-awake, attempted to resist Soul's strong grip. "Let me do... it... Soul... " Her resistance was met with futility, however, as the boy only tightened his grip and laughed.

"Psh, you're already falling asleep again, stupid."

Soul kicked Maka's bedroom door open with his foot and gently lay her down on her bed. He pulled the sheets up to her chest and carefully undid her pigtails, letting her dirty blonde hair spill over the edges of the pillow. "Don't worry about your uncool dad," he said quietly, sitting on the edge of the bed next to his technician, just as she dozed off again.

"Mm... "

Soul rolled his eyes, knowing Maka probably hadn't fully heard him. Sitting by her side as he was now, watching her calm visage, Soul couldn't really understand how Maka could push herself so much, every day. Although, it was probably similar to the way he pushed himself. But he really couldn't understand how she put up with Deathscythe every day. Even though it was obvious he had nothing but undying love for his only daughter, he was just so damn annoying. It reminded him of how people used to talk about his brother. Every day. It got old, quickly. There was a lot about Maka that Soul didn't understand (and there were many things about him that Maka would probably never understand either), but he supposed that was exactly what kept his soul inching closer to hers with each passing day-- she was an enigma in her own way, and some days Soul found himself maddeningly curious to know more about her. Of course, he never let on about that to anybody; it just wouldn't have been cool.

Losing himself in his thoughts, Soul's long fingers slowly and gently raked themselves through Maka's soft hair, brushing it into straight lines on her pillow. Soul leaned in slightly closer, getting a better look at Maka's peaceful face: her long lashes, pitch black against the contrast of her fair skin, her full cheeks, her pink lips parting slightly as she drew each quiet breath. Somehow Soul could not keep himself from gazing at his partner on this night. She looked different now, in the light of the grinning moon... beautiful, almost. And he couldn't stop his body from moving closer to hers. He could feel the heat from her tiny breath after breath warming his face. His lips drew closer to hers. "Maka... "

Maka stirred suddenly. "Nnn... Soul... ?"

He stared at her, completely frozen, realizing fully what he had almost just done.

"Wh-what are you... ?" she questioned sleepily, her bleary eyes failing to focus properly.

It was absolutely not cool at all to get caught trying to kiss a girl, so Soul quickly faked a scowl and blew lightly in the girl's face. "You had a bug or something on your forehead, dummy. I was getting rid of it."

"Mm... thanks... " Maka smiled tiredly. "Your cheeks... are pink... Soul." She fell back asleep.