A/N: Anime-verse. By the end of Soul Eater anime, I told myself - Marie and Stein should adopt Chrona.
So why not?
And. Document Manager broke down a few days ago. I got pissed off. Thankfully, it's fixed now. And enjoy. ;)
Looking back at it now, Stein knew he wasn't antisocial.
Mad, yes. Insane, yes. A scientist, yes. But he wasn't antisocial. It was that he was okay on his own. He gets along fairly well with subordinates and students, he can laugh, he can throw jokes and he can say 'please'. If desired, with sugar and cherry on top. Marie would sometimes plead for sprinkles. But that was just her.
No, Stein wasn't antisocial. He was okay with others, and he was okay with just himself.
Though he finds it.. odd - that tonight he had company.
Screw that, THEY had company. Company that would last.
Marie should explain.
Chrona has always been a loner. But that's just because she didn't know how to deal with people. She was raised that way.
She wasn't antisocial. 'Anti' being the keyphrase. She doesn't know how to handle company, but she doesn't shove them out her way and shout, or get all pissed off and go on a killing spree.
Chrona wasn't antisocial.
But she finds it just weird and bizzare and different and fortunate and shocking and everything else - that someone welcomed her over dinner and probably to a brand brand new life.
Hm, to correct - TWO people welcomed her.
And Marie-sensei certainly would explain.
It was that afternoon that Marie noticed one of her students head to the basements. She only noticed it now, but Chrona has been residing in that dungeon-like room for weeks.
The Kishin was gone and obliterated. Medussa was sure dead, and evil is reduced to minimum.
What harm could Chrona-chan possibly do?
Shinigami-sama says that the kid had been okay with it, that Chrona personally wouldn't stay over and freeload into someone else's house. She didn't think she'd fit in with Black Star and Tsubaki, or with Kid and the sisters. Chrona was also reluctant to stay with Maka and Soul.
"Why don't you try taking her in, Marie-chan?"
So that was when Marie had ran as fast as her heels could and clung to Stein upon sight. That was five minutes before his classes end and he was lecturing about the insides of a polar bear.
Doctor Franken Stein was sitting on his chair and pointing out the anatomy and special featurettes of said white furry animal when Marie had gone nonchalantly bouncing in, ignoring the stunned faces of the cringing students.
"Can I talk to you for a minute?"
"I.. can it wait for five?"
That was supposed to have authority but there was nothing but bounciness and charm in her tone.
Stein knew that he had to give up early, so he waved off his students. "Surprise five-minute quiz. Take out a paper and write everything you've learned about polar bears. Pass your work upon the ring of the bell."
Whines and groans and complaints emitted from the young crowd, but the children complied anyway.
Before Stein could even ask, Marie had glomped at him, shaking him by the shoulders back and forth and peering close to her face with a sparkling one-eyed smile in her eyes. "Franken, can I invite Chrona-chan over for dinner?"
"You didn't have to.. ask me." he said blankly over the vigorous shaking. "What else?"
"Can we.. can we.. can we-"
"Get to it, Marie."
"Can we take her in?"
Stein paused for a second, thinking and trying to ignore the woman who was repeatedly shaking him - ah, yes, she's "The Pulverizer" and she had loads of energy. "What do you mean 'take her in', Marie?"
Glancing shortly at said student, who was mulling over the quiz because she didn't know how to deal with it, Marie smiled charmingly at her partner. "I mean, 'take her in', make her live with us! Please, please please???"
"We just HAVE to adopt her-"
"Because she's sad and who the hell puts such a lovely little child in a prison cell like that?"
"He says WE should TRY to adopt Chrona-chan--"
"Well, he suggested I take her in, but you were the one who took me in, so I'm asking you if I could take her in-"
"Because-.. oh, Stein. This is going in circles. Just agree!"
"May I dissect-"
"No. 'Adoption' is different from 'taking-in-an-experiment-subject'. So please let me take her in, I want a kiiiiiiid-"
"Then get Kid. Kid needs a mom, I mean, besides Liz and Patti-"
"I want Chrona-chan!"
Stein was too lazy to argue. And it was merely a minute before time, and Marie, when wearing that charming face, was in no mood to be said 'no' at. Besides, the woman pinching his cheeks and stretching said body parts to their limits was really in full determination.
"..Will I be a daddy then?"
"..Uh, that's up to you." she thought for a moment. "Just let me adopt her, pleeeeease-"
"Anything you want, Marie." he sighed. Stein knew there was just no choice. She didn't give him one in the first place. Besides, this also happened with the bright purple couch, the new fridge, dinner arrangements, strawberry shampoo on the bathroom and those neon green post-its in his lab's bulletin board.
And no harm came in bundles in those incidents.
So tonight, Stein was sitting on the dining table with Marie and Chrona. The former utterly pleased, and the latter just plain nervous.
Chrona gulped, hardly comprehending her situation. Why would Stein-sensei of all people invite her over to dinner at his house? She didn't know how to deal with this.
Err, count Ragnarok in, there are four of them. And the black creature was happily eating Marie-sensei's jelly beans.
"So, Chrona," Stein started. Why did he have to do this? Didn't he had to simply agree? "How are your quarters in Shibusen?"
Chrona bit her lip, surprised at the question and terrified to hear Stein addressing such a serious matter. A punch on the back on her head alerted her, and Ragnarok commented her stupidity, and the weapon answered for her.
"Heh, y'know, same same, it looks like a frickin' dungeon and I feel like I'm a friggin' criminal who killed people-, uh, I killed people alright, but I'm not a friggin' criminal and that room JUST SUCKS!"
Stein raised an eyebrow while Marie giggled and gave the weapon more jelly beans. Chrona kept on apologizing.
Chrona tried to restrain any more impolite comments from the weapon, but Ragnarok babbled on and on. Stein simply sighed and nudged his blonde partner to go on with the 'transactions'.
"Chrona-chan, would you and Ragnarok like to stay with us here?" Marie asked, reaching out and gripping the student's hand. "See, you're sad in that room, all alone! But here you're with me and Stein-"
"B-Bu-But..." Chrona stammered, shaking, freaking out and looking back and forth from Marie to Stein to Marie's hands in hers and ultimately failing to finish her sentence.
She's guilty - she had betrayed Marie-sensei and Stein-sensei enough that it almost broke their relationship and almost got them all killed. And NOW they want her to stay with them?
Another slap on the back of her head. "SAY YES, IDIOT! HER JELLY BEANS ARE FUCKING AWESOME!!!"
Marie and Stein both waited patiently, but Chrona saw that Marie's eye was shining hopefully.
"But.. aren't.. M-Marie-sensei.. and.. and.. S-Stein-sensei a-angry at m-me-"
"THEY'RE NOT, STUPID! SAY YES SAY YES-"
Marie frowned. "We're not angry at you, who says we are? We love you so much!"
At the overly affectionate phrase, Stein sighed, uninterested. He'll probably start caring about adopted kids when the population at their house reach seven or something - because that'll probably ruin his peace.
Yes, he'll just let her have her way, like what happened with the bright purple couch, green post-its, new fridge and that colorful 'welcome' door mat. Yes, and his shampoo smelling awfully like strawberries.
"B-But I.. I.. I've been a bad s-student, a-and.. y-you.. hate.. me.. r-right..?"
Now Chrona was about to sob.
"I-.. I don't know how to deal with this-"
At Marie's incessant tugging, Stein finally turned his attention back to the student. And he grabbed Chrona's other hand.
"I'll tell you how. Say 'yes', and it'll be settled, Chrona. Marie will shut up."
Chrona didn't know that Stein suffered a kick in the shin for that. But Stein only cringed and then tried to smile convincingly for the kid.
"Just agree. We won't eat you here or anything-"
"Chrona-chan, come on, aren't you lonely you have no home to go to? Maka-chan and the others will surely be happy for you!"
Chrona looked up, ignoring Ragnarok tugging on her hair and giving her noogies and punching her head repeatedly. She looked up, seeing Marie's smiling face and Stein's reassuring one.
"Is that a yes?" Marie cut off, hopeful, and Stein rolled his eyes at her.
"HELL YES!" Ragnarok screamed.
So now it was quite odd how Stein managed to recruit two new housemates within a year, and how he comes home not only with the lights already on, but also with two welcoming smiles, not just one.
Stein wasn't antisocial. Having Chrona around didn't change much things in his lifestyle. Just adding a new voice in his small list of voices calling him for meals or telling him to have some rest. Just a new plate on the dining table, a new mug on the shelves, a tiny new closet on the room and a new pillow on the bed. Nevermind that he was forced to buy a new bed.
Chrona found it quite odd how she agreed in the first place, and got dragged inside the house by Maka herself when she reluctantly held her little baggage the day of her move. Now she had someone allowing her to help in the cooking and the chores, telling her how to deal with dirty plates and laundry baskets. And she had someone to greet 'welcome home' without any grudges or worries.
Chrona wasn't antisocial. She certainly proved this when she didn't complain about Marie-sensei dragging her around the house everytime and taking little happy chats with her. She had been okay by herself in Shibusen, really. But it was something new when she moved in with Marie-sensei and Stein-sensei. New dresses that were sweetly handmade, new shampoo scent - strawberry, and someone who, along with her, inwardly complained about that. Ragnarok seemed content too. His daily dose of jelly beans were enough.
As Stein stood up after his last class for the day, he took note of Maka and Patti pulling Chrona with them hurriedly to leave the classroom. He called his lavender-haired housemate over before the gang could escape school effectively.
Maka and Patti still clung to the girl when he walked over to them, peering curiously at him.
Stein did nothing but pat the girl's head and say, "I'll be late tonight. I have some research in the library."
"A-Alright, I-I'll make sure to.. tell Marie-sensei. T-Take care." a small smile blossomed on the child's face as he waved them off and set on his own. Maka, Patti and Chrona then resumed to their walk through the corridors, Maka having a particular grin on her face.
"Ne, Chrona, you smell like strawberries."
Chrona simply smiled back and nodded, whilst Patti busied herself with sniffing out the girl's hair.
"Yeah, yeah, strawberries! Hehee~!"
Maka knew that Chrona wasn't antisocial, and so was Stein, but they were both absurd oddities. The girl who didn't know how to deal with anything, and the mad scientist who would dissect anything interesting.
And she knows that it was only Marie-sensei who could make such a combo work out in a harmonic way. Maka knows that it was only Marie-sensei who could possibly make Stein take a child of his enemy under his wing, who could possibly make Chrona so comfortable with a man that she had once betrayed in so many ways.
After all, Marie-sensei was an absurd oddity herself. The woman who was so obsessed that she'd marry a toilet.
Three's a crowd and there's a crowd in that stitched-up house. Even if that crowd consists of a panic-stricken girl, an insane man and an infatuated woman, that crowd is a family, and that's why they have a home.
Because they weren't antisocial. They're simply... special.
A/N: Hope you like. School already started for me, so I won't be doing as much. O_o But I'll keep writing because Stein and Marie are mai heroes.. XD And they deserve more love.