A/N: Hey guys! Be nice...this is my first non-Naruto, non-crossover story...:D
"The mafia boss has been exterminated, Shinigami-sama." Maka Albarn, the 15-year old book addict explained the final part of their long-term mission, which included, herself, Soul, Kid, Liz, Patti, Black Star, Tsubaki, Sid, Nyugus and the death scythe Justin Law.
"Hai, hai. Very good everyone. Great job. And I believe this is Maka-chan and Soul-kun's 99th kinshin egg soul, am I correct?" The Grim Reaper said, musing with his overly large hands.
The proud meister-weapon team nodded in confirmation, large smiles plastered on their faces. No surprise there too—Maka and Soul were voted most likely to become a death scythe team. Soul would be the second youngest to earn the position, second to a blond archbishop in that same room who earned it at the tender age of 13.
"Okay everyone! You can go now!" The death god shooed the chamber's occupants away, Justin leaving the room first. His black boots (or whatever they are, they're just really heavy) made loud noises with every step as he exited the chamber.
"What's up with him?" Soul asked, jerking a thumb in the direction the blond male left.
"Yeah, he's been acting weirder than usual since we woke up!" Black Star commented. "He's not even listening to his music thingies…"
"Um…well…I know Justin-kun somehow hates this day…" Shinigami thought long and hard, before Shibusen's resident death scythe cut in for his master.
"Justin Law's technician died this day, many years ago."
A collection of sad, angered and surprised faces were thrown at the estranged father of a certain meister.
Five years ago…
Justin Law took his first awkward steps into the magnificent school known as Shibusen. He traveled all the way from the Vatican to go to this school, so he could (quote: high priest)'use his talent as a weapon for the greater glory of the lord'.
He adjusted the black backpack on top of his all black ensemble of slacks, a button down shirt and black leather shoes paired with a white necktie. His blue eyes centered on the large archway where students piled through, supposedly going inside the large castle.
A question entered his mind as he saw some upperclassmen practicing their 'soul-resonance'. Who will he be paired up with? He questioned the Lord as his foot got caught in a hole in the ground and caused the twelve-year old to stumble. His backpack fell off his shoulders and was, along with its spilled contents, trampled on by large looking teenagers.
As he picked up his books and bag, he suppressed an ungodly insult, which would surely make his holy mentors jump out of the cathedral and strangle him. He continued mumbling complaints to himself before a soft voice broke his train of thought.
"Excuse me, what did you say?"
The young priest-wannabe looked up to see a girl about his age looking down upon him, an earphone recently plucked out of her ear at hand. She ogled him with her visible eye, the other one covered by a red and black striped bang. She offered a petite, caramel colored hand that wore a fingerless lace glove to him and pulled the boy up. He ended up taller than her, and he could get a good look at the girl. She was small, and had a red dress framing her body until the mid thigh. Black socks continued her legs from then on, and ended in black converse. She had a white crop cardigan over that, and her hair was completely striped like her bangs. It was tied in a spiky half-ponytail, the spiky half protruding from behind her head. She looked at Justin with a confused look.
The girl sighed. "If you're wondering, yes, my hair is naturally like this." She explained, letting go of his hand to push her bangs away from her eye. Justin could see now that they were a flat charcoal color.
"How did you know that?" He asked, right after seeing her pop the earphone back in her ear. He spoke a little louder, just to make sure she could hear him.
"Yeesh, you don't need to scream." She shrugged him off. "I have mastered the art of reading people. That's why even with these on; I can still understand you by reading your lips. You were mumbling something, so I couldn't understand you." She extended her hand to him once more. "By the way, I'm Evangelea Artemis."
He took her hand and shook it firmly. "Justin Law,"
Obviously, over time, Justin and Lea (as she wanted to be called) were partnered up. As the school law states, technician-weapon teams must live together. So the two were given their own apartment, separate rooms of course. Shinigami-sama isn't that dense, putting two hormonally unstable tweens in the same apartment.
One day, Justin found his meister cooking, a chore she usually abhors. She wasn't even wearing her usual red dress—in its stead was a white printed dress with yellow flowers on the material. Her red and raven colored hair was tied up neatly, her bangs pinned to the side. Her converse was nowhere to be seen, but she wore yellow BC sandals to shield her feet.
"Justin, would you like some eggs?" She asked, a large smile plastered across her rosy features.
He couldn't help but put a confused face when she held up the spatula. "You don't usually cook, or wear anything that isn't red or black. What's going on?"
Her smile suddenly faded into a scowl. She set the spatula down and turned of the fire on the stove. "Oh, okay then. I'm gonna…get my stuff for class." She left the room and entered her own, dragging her feet as she did so.
'What's going on with her?' Justin asked himself as he disappeared into his room. 'Is it that time of the month?'
These questions bothered him until he arrived at school, Lea leaving earlier than him. The meister-weapon pair, Gerard and Aiko, greeted him when he entered the classroom. The male pat him on his back and the Japanese-born female hugged him with a huge smile.
"Hey guys," Justin greeted the pair passively, walking past them as he hung onto his backpack. The sword and wielder pair caught up with the blonde knowing something was wrong. When they inquired, he gave them his full rant. "…And then she wore some pretty dress and shoes and cooked! Then she suddenly became sad and left me to go to school early. What's wrong with her?"
"Uh-oh," Aiko cried. "You forgot it."
"OMG, YOU FORGOT LEA-CHAN'S 13TH BIRTHDAY!!!" She announced to the world, pointing an accusing finger at the celebrant's weapon. "We're even throwing a party for her later!"
What was poor Justin to do? He already forgot his meister's birthday, so he couldn't afford not getting her a present. She was right in the next room, probably studying for the test in two weeks, or downloading some music. He opened his room's window and leaped out, landing on the street two stories below.
He ran through the streets, not minding the passerby's wondering what the streak of black was. He stopped in front of a silverworks store and walked in. The clerk greeted him with a smile and inquired what a young teen would be doing in a jewelry shop.
"I need something made…"
Lea was currently being dragged—blindfolded—along the streets of Death City. Aiko and Gerard had each of her wrists in their hands.
"Where are you guys taking me? Seriously, these are my good shoes! They're not meant for intense dragging!" She cried.
"Just shut up Lea!" Gerard cried, tired of listening to the tween's complaints.
"I can't understand you—I can't see your mouths!" She shouted, wriggling in their grip. He friends rolled their eyes. After she couldn't feel any response, she shut up.
Lea groaned and let her two friends continue to drag her toward Shinigami-sama-knows-where (he probably does). It went on for a few more minutes before she felt the air change, as if they entered a place. She could feel familiar soul wavelengths, and she tried to hide her smile. When Aiko ripped off the blindfold, tons of her classmates were crammed in their favorite hangout, which was decorated with colorful balloons and had a banner hanging that read 'Happy 13th Birthday Lea!' in bright yellow.
The raven/cherry haired girl let her chin hang in surprise. When Gerard waved a hand in front of her face, she trapped her two nearest companions in a headlock. "Oh my gosh! You guys are so great!!!" She squealed in delight.
"Hey," A voice from behind them broke their little celebration. The birthday girl turned around and found her weapon there with outstretched arms. "No hug for me?"
She placed a frown on her face and she poked the blonde's chest with an outstretched finger. "Serves you right," she retorted.
He rolled his baby blues eyes at her and smirked as he pulled out a box from his jacket pocket. He presented it to the girl. "Will this make you forgive me?"
She lifted an eyebrow, but took the box anyways. She opened it and gazed at its contents. It was a black choker with a simple silver cross in the front. She pulled it out, and Justin's quick hand took it from her. He somehow was able to spin her around in the process and tied it around her neck.
"Perfect fit," He admired his technician as she fingered the gift. "Am I forgiven?"
She hugged him across his torso, since he was a head taller than her. "Of course!"
"You want me too WHAT?!" Lea cried when Sid passed on the administrative team's judgment in front of the whole class.
"Well," The gangster rubbed his neck as the young student was turning a newly invented shade of red. "The faculty believes that the earphones and your many layers of clothing can be a form of cheating, so they advise you to take the test without it." He explained.
It was true—the faculty couldn't understand how Evangelea Artemis was getting perfect scores in all of her tests, yet she seems to always be inattentive and humming to the tune played through her earphones. Sid didn't doubt his student one bit; yet he was still curious on how she seems to be the top of her class with that vice.
"Well, fine!" She cried, and ripped the earphones out. Along with that, she took off the choker Justin gave her, her cardigan, her shoes and her dress, leaving on a black under dress (shorter than the one beforehand; probably used for warmth), black cycling shorts and her black socks. She dumped her clothing on the teacher's table before stomping up to her seat and picking up her pencil and ignored the wolf whistles some of the male students were throwing at her.
Justin watched as his partner got humiliated in front of the whole class. He couldn't help but laugh himself—until the deadliest death glare anyone can give was sent towards his direction, and his laughing stopped.
Back to the present…
"I remember that…" Sid said in an 'out-of-this-world' voice.
"So I wasn't your first victim of stripping?" Soul laughed, trying to rub it in his sensei's face.
"Technically, yes, but Evangelea Artemis aced the test even without her clothing and earphones." The zombie retorted.
Spirit sighed, watching the exchange between his daughter's weapon and her teacher. "Anyways…to continue the story…"
Back to Justin and Lea…
"Behind you!" Justin cried, and Lea expertly twirled the guillotine to slice the attacker's head off. The golden rope with two blades on each end whipped through the night, slashing every underling of the witch Akimi, or the Butterfly Witch.
"Got it!" She managed to breathe between pants. She then plucked out her earphone (she can 'hear' Justin's soul wavelength when they're fighting; they're geniuses) and pulled out a walkie-talkie from her utility belt and spoke into it. "Sector five, clear, Sid-sensei." She declared.
"Never mind!" She swung her weapon around and slashed the three insect-human hybrids' heads off in an elegant spin. "Where the hell are all of these things coming from?"
"Language, Lea," Justin scolded his partner's mouth. "And I don't have a clue where these beasts are coming from."
The meister started trudging through the field of ugly corpses and green ooze, thus staining her sneakers. Nevertheless, she walked through the torn up forest in search of the rendezvous point. It was dark—sunset had past and the far off flames created clouds of smoke, blocking out the moonlight.
Justin trusted his technician. Even with her hearing blocked out by loud music, she can still make her way through the desolated scenery. She was the eyes, he was the ears. It was perfectly simple. They were, in fact, the perfect team.
A bunch of silhouettes were grouped by the remaining patch of trees. One was waving towards the red clad technician, calling her and her partner to the rendezvous point.
"Aiko, I assume the cost is clear for you not to be in katana form?" Justin asked as he morphed back into a human.
"Yup. The whole valley is empty except for Shibusen's students." She answered as she fiddled with a strand of hair, bored being the emotion painted on her face. Or was it exhaustion? Who knows—after all Aiko is an open book in a totally different language.
After a few minutes of double-checking attendance and inventory, Gerard turned to his partner and lightly bonked her on the head. "Will you stop humming? I can't count the canned food properly."
"What?" Aiko glanced back at the boy, cutting her conversation with another student. "I didn't say anything."
"Then what…" His voice trailed off and the Shibusen army looked up, searching for the source of the innocent, feminine humming.
"Hahaha, now the great Gerard Kingston of the British Noble Court has caught on…" A voice from the heavens (or the pits of hell) echoed around the group. "…But it is not you I am after…" Suddenly, Akimi herself appeared, sitting on an oversized yet majestic butterfly. "Fly, fly…" The witch started chanting, and electricity started forming in her hand.
All the meisters were armed, weapons ready for action. No matter which one she would attack, all of them were prepare.
The figure of the witch slowly disappeared into the shadows as blue electricity circled the group of technicians. Still, her voice echoed throughout the clearing, leaving every inhabitant of that space on the edge.
"Oh who, oh who," Akimi continued. "shall the butterfly strike at next?"
"Justin was heartbroken that day. I remember when he walked in here, carrying her body." Spirit recalled the memory of the broken blond boy who had just lost his first love. "Her body was a mess: she had cuts and bruises, not to mention burns and the gaping hole in her stomach."
The room was silent, except for the quiet sobbing of Patti and Black Star's chewing (only God knows where he got that bowl of popcorn).
"That's…that's so…" Maka was at lost for words as she touched her heart. What if Soul lost her one day? She was deep in thought, but not for long. Her father's story wasn't over.
"After that, he never wanted another meister again. He finished the course all on his own, in a span of only a few months. He over indulged himself in extra-curricula, probably to cease the pain." Then, something came to the Death Scythe's head. "She's the reason he can never hear you. Those earphones are hers."
"Lea," He whispered, stroking the glass of a picture frame, containing the portrait of a happy, young girl. He couldn't stop blaming himself for her death—if he had warned her earlier, maybe instead of being a deaf and lonely archbishop that he is…if he had somehow pulled her out of the way…
He opened the bedside drawer and pulled out a leather band. It was quite weathered and small for a full grown adult to wear, but then again, it did belong to a petite teenage girl. The silver cross that was attached to its center was scratched to the point that his reflection was distorted, and it barely hung on the string that kept it in place.
It was old, yet he kept it close to his heart.