First Soul Eater story. I'm still getting a feel for the characters. There was a little Death the Kid snippet to go with this, but it was too short- I may put it in if I add more chapters to this. Please let me know how this is, thanks~

Soul Eater © Okubo Atsushi


Click…click…click…thunk.

It was no use. Stein let go of the bolt protruding from underneath his hair and exhaled. The hand that had been rotating it flopped vapidly over his eyes, palm up.

Death Scythe blinked at the spectacle, hands thrust deep into his pockets. "You really don't look good, Stein."

"I'm fine," the meister replied from his position on the stitched sofa, averting his head. He tried to ignore how everything felt so hot, yet at the same time impossibly freezing. "What are you doing in my house anyway, Senpai?"

Death Scythe almost smiled at how much congestion could alter one's voice. "Why do you think?" he asked. "You never showed up to teach at Shibusen this morning."

"I see. Well, you can go home now." Stein, with his eyes closed, fumbled in his breast pocket for something. After a moment he produced a packet of cigarettes, lit one, and placed it between his lips. Upon the first inhale he preceded to cough dreadfully, then to sneeze, then to cough and sneeze at the same time. Death Scythe gave the professor a look of pity before handing him a folded handkerchief from his coat pocket. With another hand he reached over and confiscated the packet of smokes, much like a teacher taking a slingshot from behind a schoolboy's back.

"And you're supposed to be a genius," he sighed as Stein rubbed his nose. Stein said nothing, perhaps because he was too tired, or perhaps because he had nothing to say.

Death Scythe looked down at his meister, whose eyes had closed once more. He cocked his head and a red eyebrow elevated. "Are you dead?" he asked, half jokingly.

Stein let out something between a groan and a chuckle. "You wish." His head lolled to one side and his breathing slowed, a tell-tale sign that he was getting ready to fall asleep. In a voice softer than usual he admitted, "I could…use some tea…"

Death Scythe got up, smoothing out his cross-shaped tie. "Yeah, yeah," he acquiesced. "I'll get you one of those remote-controlled rolling chairs while I'm at it…" For Stein to acknowledge that he actually wanted something meant that he was very sick indeed.

The kitchen was unexpectedly neat for a scientist's lair. One would anticipate a mess of unwashed dishes and ubiquitous utensils, but Stein kept his house somewhat tidier than the archetype mad experimenter. Death Scythe, having lived here for five years, knew well where everything was in the kitchen. He opened the left cupboard and took out a ceramic mug, teabags, and a spoon.

Death Scythe's eyes wandered to the other room, where Stein had fallen asleep on the sofa. The professor's face was pale, sweaty, but thankfully his breathing remained deep and even.

"I've always had to take care of you, even when we were kids," the weapon muttered to himself as steam from the hot tea rose and curled around his chin. "Honestly."

He looked around the sink for a tray and did a funny little double-take as his eyes came to rest on a metal scalpel. Why Stein would have a scalpel in the kitchen was beyond him, but it made Death Scythe falter for a moment. It was not every day that an opportunity such as this arose.

In the back of his mind, memories surfaced of the five years in which Stein experimented on him while he slept. The mental scars had never truly disappeared… Death Scythe threw another surreptitious glance at the sleeping Stein, who, although generally a light sleeper, would probably not awaken in his current state if someone were to do something to him amid his slumber.

With a swift motion Death Scythe placed the scalpel on the tea tray and carried everything over to the next room. After placing the tea down, he took the scalpel in his right hand. It felt almost welcoming to his touch, cool and unused. He pushed aside Stein's white overcoat and gently lifted his shirt up with two fingers. The professor didn't wake, as predicted.

Death Scythe suppressed a jittery smile and lowered the scalpel.

---

A day or so later Stein was back on his feet, falling off of his rolling chair with his usual finesse.

"~I'm glad to see you all better, Stein-kun," Shinigami-sama remarked pertly. "There has been a winter bug permeating Shibusen lately." Stein nodded and went about his quotidian activities. It was not until he arrived home that evening that he noticed.

The shower eased his muscles, and Stein rubbed them as the hot water cascaded soothingly down his back. It was only due to his myopia that he had not seen it immediately, and even Stein was not eccentric enough to wear his glasses in the tub.

He reached for the soap and suddenly noticed something along his lower abdomen. Stein brushed some wet hair out of his eyes and craned his neck to see what was there.

Carved into the white skin of his stomach were the words, "FRANKY LIKES IT HOT."

---

Back at his house, Death Scythe detected a sudden and burst in soul wavelength from across town and began to laugh.