A/N: yet another fanfic I randomly started in English class after deciding I had the research sufficient for the essay we were to start the day after. The problem is, I never finished this one – until now. Why? Because I'm bored and am kinda procrastinating from something important I have to do… ish.
Disclaimer: I do not own Soul Eater.
OOC/Screwup Warning: imperfections – everyone has them, and thus every creation of mankind must have them. Enough said.
Soul could not believe what he had gotten himself into – he, the "cool guy," was now being forced to wash dishes for a local restaurant. All because he had forgotten his wallet at home and hadn't realized the blunder until the waiter came with the bill. So not cool. It was Maka's birthday, so he offered to take her out for dinner – his treat. He insisted even that she leave her wallet at home in the event that she might offer to pay or split the bill. Too bad he didn't listen to her yelling from the back of the motorcycle.
What about YOUR wallet, you idiot?!
Alas, such cries had fallen on ears deafened by the roar of the wind resistance. Now, instead of taking her on a detour route through the city on the way home, including a stop he knew she would enjoy… his hands were searing in the hot dishwater as he gripped the rough scrubber in one hand and a gravy-covered plate in the other. Were it not for his intense fear of the restaurant owner, he may have taken his frustrations out on the thing and thrown it on the ground.
"Stupid freakin' cheapskate fatso," the demon scythe cursed under his breath as he completed scrubbing the plate and placed it in the next sink for Maka to rinse.
"If you had just listened to me," his meister replied matter-of-factly, "We wouldn't be here."
"No, you think?" Soul questioned rhetorically through gritted teeth. He finished scrubbing melted cheese residue from a fork and handed it to Maka, sighing heavily in aggravation. "If it were just me, I'd be fine with doing this provided no one found out – it's not like there haven't been idiots like me before. It's the fact that I got you involved, that's why I'm pissed." Maka rolled her eyes and gently lighted the plate and fork in their respective clean dish compartments to dry.
"Soul, it's not the end of the world. We would be doing this if we had stayed home and cooked something."
"You wouldn't. I would've done them all myself. Besides, we have a dishwasher, it's not the same."
"Then why didn't we just do that?"
"Because I can't cook worth a darn."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"It's your birthday – it's not cool making your girl do the cooking and cleaning on her birthday." Maka could but sigh and shake her head at this response.
"How many times do I have to tell you I don't care about that?" she replied with placing the last of her rinse pile in their proper piles. "And a birthday just means I'm getting older, nothing worth taking me out to dinner for." Soul chuckled slightly before adding his two cents.
"You just don't get it, do you?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Maka asked with a slight pout.
"That's for me to know," Soul began, poking her nose with a wet, yet reasonably clean finger. "And for you to figure out at a later date."
Oh, how she hated it when he teased her like that. And that same subject had come up before – every time he gave her that same answer or a very vague hint thereto. If this was his idea of being "cool," then she seriously needed to teach him a lesson. In an attempt to calm herself she stared at her frowning reflection in the pool of water that had developed from several rinses and a rather large piece of food somehow getting stuck in the drain. The water's surface, placid for at least that one moment, gave Maka Albarn an idea that didn't permit it to be such for long – dishes or not.
"What the heck was that for?!" Soul cried in shocked confusion, grabbing a nearby dishtowel to dry the splattered water off of the right side of his face. Maka shrugged.
"Just making the best of a bad situation," she said while she smiled a simple smile, ever so innocent-looking yet all too devious.
Soul no longer cared if the restaurant owner was the Kishin himself - that one simple little splash to the face, as he saw it, was a declaration of all-out war. He returned Maka's deceptive smile with a toothy, demonic one of his own, selecting the largest clump of soap suds he could find in the mass of foam and water before him.
"Bring it on."
With that and a "lethal blow" of suds to Maka's shirt, what started as a burdensome chore had exploded into a war of the Mickey-Mouse molecules. Maka only paused for a moment to worry about her clothing before she took the rinse nozzle in hand and, while rinsing the plate in Soul's hand, sprayed him directly in the face. He threw more suds in retaliation, and the process continued. Within an hour's time, all of the dishes had been cleaned, but not without a lot of… should we call it bloodshed? Perhaps "watershed" would be a tad more appropriate.
"Soul," Maka started as she began walking away from the sink to the door, "Do you think you could clean up the mess while I go tell the owner we're done?"
"Why should I –"
"I'm pretty sure we both know who won the war here. And if he sees it like this…" she imitated the motion of a blade coming across her throat with her finger. Soul gulped nervously – he knew she was right. Taking up a dry washcloth, he commenced in his work. Maka smiled and continued in her path.
If only they had cleaned up before they finished the dishes.
It had all happened so fast. One moment, Maka was on her feet and walking toward the double-doors of a restaurant kitchen. The next, she was falling backwards and… in Soul's arms? Shouldn't she have fallen on her bum? Like what would normally happen when a person slips on a sleek or wet surface? She looked up into his eyes, which were still somewhat wide in fear of what might have happened. If she could see her face in a mirror, Maka was sure it would've been almost as red as his eyes right then.
"You honestly have to ask?" Soul inquired as he helped Maka back to a stable, standing position. "I'm supposed to protect you – people have died from that kind of thing before." He turned away before she could notice his blush. "I… didn't want you to become another statistic." Maka still couldn't entirely believe his answer. She knew he was a dedicated partner – always had been, since the minute they paired up. But there was more to his answer than that, at least this time. There had to be something else.
"It has to do with that, doesn't it?"
Soul turned around to face her again – this time it was his turn to be shocked, but he only let her see it for a moment before repainting that same old image of "cool" for which he had hoped to be known.
"Tell me now," Soul started as he walked back toward her, growing ever near. "Where'd you get that idea?" With those words and a quick peck on the cheek, he left her so as to do the chore to which he had been assigned.
Maka stood there for a moment, allowing the words – and the kiss – to sink in. Could it be possible that what he meant to say, what he claimed she "just didn't get," was that he…
Was that the true reason behind his loyalty? His insistence on treating her to a nice dinner for her birthday? That mistletoe stunt he pulled last Christmas?
But then what was she supposed to do about it? Should she say something? Should she wait until he outright told her? WOULD he ever outright tell her? Figuring it was best not to assume, she remained silent, in her words at least. Her face as she finally trudged out those two doors practically screamed to the heavens she would gladly have taken yes for an answer.
A/N: Gah! What is it with me and staying up into an unseemly hour of the night just to finish a fanfic?! No less, here it is. Hope you like it, and forgive me for the weak points~