Chapter one: Operation catastrophe, and punishment.
Looking back, he almost couldn't remember how he'd get into that kind of situation.
Sure, whenever a teenager does something wrong, the usual punishment was no TV, no computer, or no going out with friends…
But he was different. Having no family, no friends and no morale, Soul 'Eater' Evans was almost like a free bird; only if it wasn't because of constantly being watched over by society …
The closest thing he had to friends was a street gang. His home was always a different place where he'd hang out to do nothing at all, and whenever he did do something, it would be bad, or something he wasn't supposed to do…
But really, what could he do about it? Stealing, doing graffiti, being a pest to other good citizens…
It was so easy he just couldn't live without it.
Soul's gang companions were some guys older than him; guys he wouldn't bother on remembering their names. He just knew they were lamer than him. But there were also two girls he almost respected. The Thompson sisters.
Feared by almost everyone, Liz and Patty Thompson were the devious and cruel pair that would do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and showed no mercy no matter who challenged them. So naturally, whoever was hanging out with them could be considered a cool, worthy of fear and respectful street man.
Soul was now standing on the front door of a jewelry store, adjusting a tiny ear-piece to his right ear.
"Evans, can you hear me?" The voice of the older Thompson sister was heard.
"Loud and clear, Liz".
"Okay. In about one minute, we're starting the plan… Do you have the gasoline?"
Soul looked at a paper bag at his feet. "Yeah, here it is. Patty has the lighter".
"Good. Giriko is at the line of the store. He'll pretend to be a client for a couple of minutes, and will make the clerk go to the back store while he takes the clock and rings we want. Remember your part?"
"Yeah. If Giriko screws up, Patty passes me the lighter and I spread the gasoline on the corners of the store, make sure Giriko can escape without being noticed, and take the stuff you want while no one's around…all while you and the others wait in the car…. is that right?"
The gang now had their greedy eyes set on the jewels from that specific store for a long time; the whole plan was extremely dangerous, and if Soul had thought about it, it was even ridiculous how risky his part on it was. But really, there was nothing to lose. You can't lose anything if you don't have anything to begin with.
"Yup, the clerk will think Giriko was the one who took the jewels, and the police, or whoever the clerk calls go after him. He'll escape in a different car… oh, and about the gasoline; if you do get to use it, light it up as soon as possible, so that Giriko can escape".
"Well, I gotta go. Giriko just entered the store. Don't fail to me…And don't you dare getting caught, got it, Evans?"
The voice got cut for a second, and Soul looked to the ground for a few seconds. So far, this was the most dangerous mission yet… they'd normally only steal from convenience stores, and taking such a big jump to a jewelry store was a bit too much for him. He was not ready...
"Evans! You there?"
He gulped silently.
"Yeah, I hear you, I hear you. I, got it"
Soul looked through the transparent glass door to see how the plan was going. He hoped that everything would go fine and that he wouldn't have to set the building on fire…
A minute passes.
All that Soul could see was Giriko talking, talking and talking to the clerk. Giriko's expression turned less and less stable by each second, and the clerk was no fool. Soul felt it coming.
"No... urgh, damn, no…"
And Giriko stopped talking. The clerk took his cell phone and began dialing a number.
And he sure as hell wasn't ordering some pizza.
Soul received a call from the ear-piece; It was now Patty's voice.
"Oii, Evans! Begin covering the corners, I'll deliver the lighter in a moment!"
Soul gritted his teeth.
"Goddammit all…here I go".
Slowly, he took a bottle from the bag, and poured the liquid in a casual way, moving slowly to each side of the store, so people wouldn't stare more than the usual weird looks they'd give to weirdos. When he got the last corner down, a short haired girl ran over him and threw a lighter. That was his cue.
"Well, sorry to the people who are inside…" He apologized lowly.
Soul took the ear-piece and gave it a quick click.
"Liz, tell Giriko to get out of there, I'll start the fire now."
"Okay! Good luck, Evans!"
One click, the ear-piece was off.
Another click, the lighter was on, and he threw it to the gasoline.
And so, in a second, flames burst up and began to wildly take over the store's front…
All going as planned, Giriko escaped through the front door, violently tackling it open. As soon as he began to run full speed into the streets, already a couple of police cars came from afar after him. A few people, both costumers and clerks, ran away from the store through the already broken door, and were so panicked that they couldn't see the somewhat strange white-haired boy in front of them.
Soul took the chance and ran into the store, covering his nose and mouth with his sleeve. He frantically looked for the once called cashier, and took all the money, clocks and rings he could stock into his pockets.
"Good! Now if I can make it out of here…!"
But suddenly, one of the pillars inside the store that was meant for beauty purposes fell over due the fire's increasing force, and covered the front door, which was the only entrance and exit. The fall had also managed to make the fire even stronger and bigger.
Soul panicked- He tried to move over the pillar to get through the door, but it was so hot it instantly burned his hands.
"OW! DAMN-!" He shouted.
Like an animal trapped in it's prey's claws, Soul moved his head quickly, looking for any way out. Horribly enough, there was no escape at sight, and the fire kept getting bigger, and bigger...
" Oh, hell no… At this rate...!"
Fire kept getting closer to him, and now he was unable to move— for the fire had circled him; he finally lost his characteristically cool calmness and screamed to the top of his lungs.
"I CAN'T DIE HERE!"
As seconds passed, the store became more and more dangerous- Fire was dancing wildly around him, and the architecture was almost squashing him to pieces since it kept falling over.
Only once in his life had Soul felt so helpless and desperate—but at least that time he wasn't on a life or death situation. Right now, only the worst thoughts could enter his head.
As a last resort, Soul sat on the floor and wrapped himself in a ball, holding his legs together and sunking his head down, trying really hard to think…
"No…I can't die in here, I can't!"
In any other situation, this would've been very humiliating, but right now, status was the least thing he could think of. He began coughing, affected by the smoke that accompanied the extremely hot temperature.
Then he remembered. Liz and Patty! Surely they could help…
He turned the ear-piece on. Now Liz's voice was distorted and unclear.
"LIZ! THIS PLAN WAS A FUCKING DISASTER FOR ME! HELP!" Soul screamed in a completely angry and terrified voice. He wasn't entirely sure what to feel at the moment.
Then, to his horror, the ear piece's sound got cut off. Now there was no way he could be found…
Madness took over him. He simply embraced himself tightly, closed his eyes shut, and shook with fear.
"Somebody save me….!" He mentally pleaded; although he had already lost all hope.
And just then, in a matter of seconds, a voice different from his was finally heard. A woman's.
"There! Look at the window! There is a boy in there! Get him out!"
Soul opened his eyes as quickly as he heard the orders she gave.
Someone actually saw him, and was good enough to actually bring him out…?
Out of the blue, the pillar had been removed by a group of men in yellow jackets, and one of them extended his arm to Soul in order to help him leave.
" Quick boy! Get over here! You'll get asphyxiated or intoxicated in there!"
Dumbfound, Soul did as instructed.
He was actually going to survive…?
Before anyone could know, he was being dragged out of the store by one of those men, and everything began to grow blurry.
First thing he saw: an enormous crowd of people, worried looks, some gasping, some taking pictures or videos...
Soul fainted as he got to the safeness that was his home: The street.
"—Evans?" A soft, feminine voice called.
Soul opened his eyes; he was lying in a hospital car, and felt utterly tired. A killer headache and an enormous amount of pressure were all over him, and his bones ached. He didn't remember the fire for a second, and looked at a woman who was sitting next to him as he lay down.
"Where…am I…?" He weakly asked. His voice came out as a groan.
The woman was a blonde with wavy middle-length hair, a curious black eye-patch on her left eye (he could have sworn she was a pirate) and was dressed in a formal black dress.
She smiled kindly to him.
"Don't you worry, everything's okay now" She assured, to which Soul only sighed in relief.
Her expression was a bit more serious as she spoke again, "Are you Soul Eater Evans?" She suddenly asked.
The question took him by surprise, for his eyes had widened. "Yeah…" Soul said, and sat up. He had a white blanket over him; he noticed that his jacket was in a corner of the car, almost completely burned up. He was wearing dirty, ashy black jeans, and his orange T-shirt.
The woman's expression softened. "My name is Marie. If you're Soul, Then I got good and bad news for you, son" She said, keeping the serious tone.
Soul got a confused look on his face, as Marie made a very deep sigh.
"The good news: You are perfectly fine... only a few minor injuries, but other than that, nothing lethal. In a few days you'll be good as new".
Soul again sighed in relief. He was alive, and nothing else mattered… although he did wonder what happened to Liz and Patty, and why didn't he see them along the random bunch of people at the store…
But then again, Marie hadn't stopped talking." ..And the bad news?" Soul asked.
"…I'm afraid you're going to the police office as we speak…" Marie said in a slightly sad tone, as if she felt guilty for suddenly breaking this for such a young boy. "…Mr. Evans, so called professional delinquent, and causer of this fire." She finished firmly, while holding a police ID, and a lighter with the initials S.E.E.
Soul's eyes got wide as plates as he stared in horror at the lighter. It had originally been planned that a random lighter they had around would be used.
"It just says S.E.E. You don't have proof that it's actually mine!" Soul tried, to which Marie's look seemed even sadder.
"Sorry, but you just confirmed that you're Soul, my superior recognized your identidy, and you were the only one in the fire... so there's no point in arguing now."
" Wait a second…This was…a set-up? Patty and Liz did this on purpose to get rid of me…?" Soul thought in huge amazement- after all-, he was sure that Patty and Liz respected him, or at least they didn't thought badly of him as to kick him out like this…
"W-wait, I can explain this... It wasn't my fault!" Soul said in a somewhat panicked voice.
Marie got her head on her palms. "Then begin explaining, if you wouldn't mind…" She calmly requested.
"Well…I did put the gasoline…and I did threw the lighter… b-but… it wasn't MY idea…" Soul tried- although it sounded faker than anything, really.
"Yet still you went and did it". Marie simply answered.
All right, she had a very good point. No matter how wrong this seemed, Soul had already done things like this on a smaller scale, and didn't care about it, so this was perhaps punishment for taking such a big deal as a jewelry store rob so lightly…
Soul gazed to his feet.
Maybe Liz and Patty were laughing at his humiliation right now…
In the whole ride to the station he didn't speak a word…
Now, Marie and Soul had gone out of the car they were in, and Soul looked at a little white house.
It clearly was not the police office.
"Hey, just…Where did you take me...?" He asked in annoyance.
Marie giggled. "Might as well give you the benefit of doubt, right?" She stated; apparently not being as firm as she seemed a few moments ago. "I didn't really saw what happened back at the jewelry store, and the lighter might not be yours, so... I'll take you to my superior"
Soul rolled his eyes. The woman gave him another scare to die for just to seem more nice? Just what was her deal?
But then, he recalled the fact that she said something about a superior a second ago, and remembered a certain person working in with teachers and community members in general…
"Oh god, it can't be that Freak…" Soul mentally implored with all his might, and just then, the white house's door was opened.
Before him, a man in a white coat had pale skin, gray-ish green eyes and gray hair stood; his clothes looked completely stitched, and he was sitting comfortably in a wheel-chair. He had a completely sinister smile crossing from side to side of his face.
"Well, Well. Ever since the incident with your family some years ago and since you joined those street kids, I thought I'd never see you up close again, Soul. Much less talk to you". He said in a calm tone.
Marie looked impressed at the fact that Soul and her superior knew each other, and kept herself quiet.
Soul glared at the man with an angry frown. "Yeah, nice to see you too, Professor Stein". In his thoughts, this translated as: "Well, shit, it is you."
"Oh, so you guys know each other…"Marie said awkwardly, looking at Stein's playful expression and Soul's glare. "Um, I'll be taking my leave..." She innocently said, and smiled.
She headed the main door and waved, "Bye Stein! Nice to meet you, Soul!"
The second Marie had gone away into the car she and Soul came from, Soul simply stared from behind and muttered: "Bitch."
And as soon as he said it, Stein stood up and smacked him in the head. Soul growled at him.
"HEY! WHAT GIVES?" Soul shouted angrily.
"Please refrain yourself from talking about my assistant in such vulgar ways". Stein simply lectured in a calm voice.
After a few silent seconds, Stein stared at his new experiment: Soul.
Even when years had passed, Stein could easily see that Soul was the same as ever: just like a rude and wild animal. One that needed to be quickly domesticated and perhaps dissected.
"So I see you started a fire, young man." The professor bluntly said.
At this point, Soul just didn't care anymore.
"Yeah…So? What's it gonna be for punishment? Cleaning service? Jail? Hell, anything's fine about now…" Soul muttered lowly.
Stein smirked- his plans were going to be fun.
"Don't be stupid. I can't send you to jail, you're a minor. And cleaning service won't do a thing for you". He said with his little smug smirk.
"Then can I go now?"
"No…" The professor looked down.
Maybe Soul just needed to learn about kindness and pity? That was all he really missed, since he was already independent and strong. And there was a certain vacant job he had been saving for real problem-childs like him. It was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
"…Because I just thought of a good punishment for you". Stein finished, after thinking out the final details of his plan.
Pff, punishment. What a non-threatening word it had become…
"What is it, old man?" Soul asked with a smirk.
Stein smiled kindly.
"Starting from tomorrow, you'll work as a temporary nurse in Death City's Main Hospital. You'll look out after other people for once, and you'll learn how hard life is for others that way…" He sighed lightly, and added, "Let's see if I can get a bit of humanity out of you, little devil".
Soul's look suddenly became deadly serious. He looked directly at Stein's eyes, and frowned defiantly.
"…After what I was through, do you honestly expect me to feel bad about other people? You know I got orphaned! You know what I have been through! So you damn well know I can't get into a job a stupid as taking care of other people, you sadist!" He angrily said- almost shouting-.
Stein grinned. He smiled maliciously, which made Soul growl at him like a true animal.
"My, my. Self-centered as always, even back then, when you were little-"
The scream provoked another little silence, and Soul glared with hate at Stein. Finally, Stein's smile became smaller, as he began to sink into the fact that this was a serious discussion for Soul.
"Look. The only ones in here that know about your delinquent life are Marie and I. We were the only ones who bothered to look after you, meaning you are not in trouble yet…" He explained, finally sounding sane.
Soul gave him a suspicious look. "…Yet?"
"If I where to tell a cop… probably he wouldn't take such light measures with you…so maybe-" Then, he began walking off the office.
"WAIT!" Soul shouted.
Sure, he didn't care if he was taking to jail or anything that the cop may had gotten him, but as long as he could escape it, anything Stein could ask seemed reasonable enough.
Stein stopped instantly.
"If I do as you say…you won't tell the cops all I've done… And I'm free from your stalking?" Soul asked. He couldn't believe in a new start without cops and Stein… This was a golden opportunity.
"Yes, yes of course, I'm a man of promises!" Stein assured with a huge grin.
Soul stared at the floor, and went through his options again…
There really wasn't anything to lose, nor to win, so it would be the same.
"I'll do it…" He simply muttered.
Stein grinned wickedly, and took a cigar and Soul's lighter to have a victory smoke-
He had won.
This was pretty fun to re-write~ the atmosphere is so edgy that is difficult to manage, but I'll do just fine when I get to romance, which this fic is all about!
I hope you enjoyed the very first chapter of my longest story, and can find yourself as entertained as I am writing :-)
Please leave me a review!
Ps: Hooray for re-writing… I hated the grammar on the first version of this chapter. :P