In the silence of the late night, Maka cried – believing that she was solely to blame,
thinking that he should hate her; while Soul smiled – convinced otherwise,
and daring to admit that he loved her.

p r e s e n t s

Messed Up

" Soru Ita " is TOTALLY not MINEEE ! it all belongs and is © to Atsushi Okubo ( hope i got the name right , i
didn't bother checking . . . xDDD ^^; )

A U T H O R ` S - N O T E
- ughhhhh . . . no matter how hard i try , i just can't do these A/Ns at the end . . . xDDD;
- so , biatches ! my first SE fic , and i hope you enjoy it ^-^ i havent seen this idea around the soul x maka
archive yet , hehe =D got it from a bleach fic for ichigo x rukia . . . aah , those two are SO similar to SxM !
- but for some reason , i feel like there's something . . . LACKiNG , shall we say ? – in this story , and i
KNOW i could've done better on it ( esp. the ending . . . oh Lord , the ending ! x_x; ) but right now i don't
really care , and i just wanna get this published before i go up to bed :) [ my ' accomplishment for the day ' ,
ehehehe~ ]
- oh , and i also decided to try a slightly different writing style . . . but if you havent read my previous stories ,
dont worry about it~
- so i'm sorry if the ending or any part of the story is rushed x.x;; BLEHHHHHH !i just kept writing and writing
and making most of it up as i went along . . . i dont even know if the first part of the fic has an actual PURPOSE ,
lmaoooo .
- i also apologize if the summary was misleading or made the story sound better than it seemed~ ROFL .
- yeahh , and the title is SO RANDOM , i swear xP ok , maybe not THAT RANDOM . you'll see , try and figure
it out yourself ;)
- ok , ok , one more , i promise – this is around 2,500 words ( it only says that it's almost 3,000 cuz of all my
messed up punctuation and these long-ass notes =P anyway ) . . . THAT , my friend , is a TRUE PHAIL of my
ability to write a ' short ' oneshot xDDDDDDDD;
- so . . . read , review , cherish , enjoy , WHATEVER ! 3 but i DO appreciate your constructive criticisms and your
faves , so keep 'em comin' , kids~
- ( notice how random these A/Ns are ? 8D * gets shot * )

( btw , " che " isn't really a japanese word xP neither is " ne " ; they're just sound effects , i guess ^^ )

F Y I . . .
aishiteru – I love you! ^-^
baka – idiot
gomenasai – I'm sorry
– God
kishin –
demon god . . . ?
shinigami – death god (in this case . . . ?)

She huffed, trying her best to calmly place the cards onto the table, as he gave her a large smirk, revealing his sharp white teeth.

Maka had never been very good at card games, but she had always managed to win at least one round of whatever game was being played.

"Oi, tiny tits, what's wrong?" he drawled. "You run outta luck or something?"

She practically jumped up and slammed her hands onto the coffee table, before yelling out, "My chest isn't that small!" and giving him one of her well-known Maka-chops.

It had been a wonderfully hot summer evening, one that offered pretty much nothing to do – no homework to complete; no kishin eggs to go after; no Kid, Liz, and Patty to talk to (the twin weapons had dragged their symmetry-obsessed shinigami on a shopping spree) … even Black Star had decided to give them a break from his oversized ego. (She thanked Kami for the last one, although she did feel quite sorry for Tsubaki.) In fact, it had been so boring, so quiet, that she'd felt like cheering when Soul finally found an old deck of cards in his messy drawer.

Now, she was regretting it.

And, as Soul continued to stare at her lazily ("Boy, he sure recovered quickly"), she thought that – maybe, just maybe – he had cheated.

After all, he didn't exactly play fair sometimes.

"You set that up!" she accused, crossing her arms angrily before declaring, "I want a rematch!"

"Che." He stood up slowly, then began to gather the cards into one pile. "You can say whatever you want to, but I'm going for a shower." With that, he gave a small stretch, smirked at her once again (he knew how much that made her angry), and walked off to his room.

As soon as she heard his door shut, Maka started yelling her lungs out.

She was still sitting at the coffee table, cards all over the glass surface, when he stepped out of the bathroom.

"Oi, Maka? You're still here?" he asked her curiously, coming closer to take a better look.

"Mmhm," she softly replied, staring down at the jacks, the aces, the diamonds and the spades. "I want to get better until I beat you!" She whirled around to face him with a determined smirk of her own, but stopped halfway. Her eyes would have widened if she hadn't restrained herself.

There stood Soul – ordinary Soul, lazily looking down at her as he had before, but with one difference: he now had no shirt on. She forced herself to not look at the exposed skin; it wasn't that she was secretly admiring his muscular physique and his body, like some of the other girls at school did – rather, she actually had the guts to admit it to his face – but she just couldn't bear to see her mistakes or her failures, all visible in that one huge scar running diagonally across his whole chest and onto his torso.

Every time she had faced that deep, large cut, she would become so discouraged and depressed, that she had actually begun to worry him. She'd laughed when he'd told her that, but also made a mental note to herself, to never have him be anxious about it ever again.

And so she had trained herself to not visibly react to it.

"Oi, Maka, what's wrong?" He squatted down beside her and peered at her face. "You just got all quiet for a second…"

"It—it's nothing!" she practically snapped back, then nervously jumped up and announced, "Maybe you should eat! I already made dinner!"

…Okay, so her training still needed a bit more work.

As Maka began putting their meal into two separate bowls, she glanced over at Soul, who had busied himself with cleaning the cards up after giving her a strange look. She smiled to herself; contrary to the appearance of his room and his ragged appearance, Soul was actually a neat person. She often saw him putting stuff in order and sorting little things out, albeit this was when he thought no one was looking. She guessed that it was because he thought being neat was 'uncool', and also assumed that was the reason for why he dressed the way he did and why his writing was so disorderly.

But yet, although Maka (jokingly) considered Soul's cluttered room to be a safety hazard, she had noticed one thing – there was no dust, no spills; not even any dirty laundry around. Soul was also a very hygienic person, she realized; he just didn't like to show it.

"Thanks," he told her, coming up from behind her to take his share of dinner. She startled from her thoughts, almost spilling her own soup. "It smells good."

"Yeah…" She paused, putting her spoon down. "Actually… I'm not hungry." She covered the bowl once again with plastic wrap, stuck it in the fridge, and placed the spoon in the sink, before telling her partner, "I'm just gonna go shower and head off to bed."

"Mmhm," he mumbled with his mouth full, watching her walk off towards her room.

Maka lay wide awake late into the night. Something about seeing that horrible scar on Soul's chest kept her up. Not only that, but she hadn't really paid much attention to the other, smaller cuts on his arms and back before; they now bothered her largely, even though they weren't as deadly as the main one across his front. She was sure that some of the scars were long, while others were deep… and some, she knew, had been caused by her.

Slowly, she threw the covers off, and silently rose up from her bed, then crept out of her room and down the hall, only to stop in front of his door. She had no idea what she was doing, as she put an ear to the wood, and listened for his slow breathing – an indication that he was fast asleep. Her own breath hitched in her throat, as she ever so carefully pushed the door open and made her way into the room, beside his bed.

Maka knelt down and examined Soul's features; the dim moonlight seeping in through his window offered ample luminosity. In slumber, Soul seemed to look a little bit younger, a little bit more peaceful and innocent. Slowly – as if doing so would shatter that peace and innocence – she reached out her hand, lightly brushing her fingertips across his forehead and against some strands of hair.

Although, she dryly guessed, with that row of stitches running across his chest, she all ready had taken that peace and innocence away from him; and so, she withdrew her hand.

"Ne, Soul?" she whispered. "I… I'm sorry. Gomenasai. All the things you've been through, all the pain you've endured – it's all my fault."

Subconsciously, she began to faintly trace the scar on his chest, her fingers ghosting over the neat stitches and the marred skin. "You shouldn't have shed all that blood for me," she murmured. He twitched, and she fell silent, pulling her hand away, as the words, "My fault, my fault, my fault," repeatedly ran through her head.

"Sometimes, I… I wonder… if you ever thought of blaming me for ruining your life." Her soft voice began to shake, and she lowered her head. "I feel like… I should take the blame for all your injuries… If only—if only I was stronger!"

She then realized that she was crying.

"If only you'd never met me…" she sniffled, trying to wipe her tears away, "then I think… you'd be much happier… I'm sorry—so sorry!—"

"Oi. That's really uncool."

"Huh?!" Maka's head snapped up, and she instantly felt her cheeks redden as she saw Soul, who was very much wide awake, turn on his side and prop himself up with his elbow to face her.

"Seeing a girl – especially your best friend – cry is really uncool," he repeated, reaching his hand out to gently wipe away the tear trails on her cheeks with his thumb.

"Did you—you just—but you were—HUH?!?!" Maka blinked furiously and backed away, hoping that he hadn't heard all of what she'd said.

He simply grinned at her, sitting up. "Yeah," he responded to her unasked question, "I was awake. The whole time." He watched, amused, as she stuttered and, embarrassedly, covered her face with her hands, not really knowing what else to do.

Moments passed in silence. Finally, Soul firmly said, "Maka, look at me," to which she lowered her hands down a bit. He sighed at her reluctance, and took hold of her hands in his, leaving her to blush even more and continue to avert her eyes from his face.

"Maka, look at me," he repeated, tugging at her hands, until shy green orbs met piercing crimson ones. "I'm not going to laugh at you or anything. I promise. I just wanted to say…"

He took a deep breath.

"I thought you were smart. But it seems you don't know me as much as you thought you did, 'cause you were wrong." At this, his frown deepened. "How could you think all those things, baka? These injuries are my responsibility, and mine alone. None of it was your fault, understand?!" He gave her a slight shake.

"And you are strong, Maka! Don't ever let anyone make you think otherwise!" He was practically yelling at her now, holding onto her wrists so tightly. "You're the strongest meister at Shibusen, you've done things no one else can do, like Demon Hunter! Don't forget that! And—" at this point, his voice quieted down, but he was still giving her such a fierce look "—Maka, I've never, ever regretted meeting you."

"Soul…" Maka finally found the strength to speak again. Her eyes were wide with surprise; she felt like crying again, this time with an unknown, yet positive, feeling.

"Shh," he whispered. "I'm not done yet." At this point, Soul let go of Maka's hands and sheepishly scratched his head, as if he knew what he was going to say next, but not how to say it.

"Maka," he finally began. "When I became a weapon, I knew about all the chances, all the risks; I knew I was gambling, with my life on the line. Just like you, a meister." He stopped for a second. "As long as we represent Shibusen, as long as we're meisters and weapons, there's always going to be danger on the horizon." At this point, he stood, pulling Maka to her feet as well. "But for you, that's all it'll ever be – just a risk. I promise, I swear on my life, Maka, that I will always protect you – even if it means that I'll become a sacrifice, even if it means that I'll have to face a thousand of your Maka-chops, even if you never speak to me again…"

"Ne, Soul, that'll never happen—" Maka interjected, when Soul suddenly sat down onto the bed, pulling her with him, so that she ended up on his lap, furiously blushing yet again.

"You know," he murmured thoughtfully, shifting her around so that they both became comfortable, "I always thought that it was just a weapon's duty to do its best and protect its meister." He then proceeded to play with the ends of her hair. "But now, I realize that, maybe—" and he stopped to look her in the eye "—just maybe, this whole time, it was love."

He felt her stiffen up, before quietly asking, "Soul, are you saying…?"

"Yeah, I guess I am." He chuckled awkwardly, before firmly stating, "I love you, Maka. And even if you don't love me back, I don't ever want you to feel like a burden, to anyone. So please," he added in pleadingly, watching tears form in her eyes, "don't cry."

"I'm—it's just—not that," she muttered, fiercely rubbing her eyes with her sleeve. "Soul, I love you too. Aishiteru!" And before he knew what was happening, she threw her arms around him – with such force, that he landed on his back, and she was sprawled out on top of him, bawling like a child.

"Soul…" she kept repeating over and over, feeling his name roll off her tongue, feeling the feelings it brought with it, the feelings she had ignored before.

"Maka, it's OK," he responded, wrapping his arms around her waist. "I'm here, and I'll be here for a long time, so don't cry. I love you, too;" and he took a deep breath, inhaled her scent, and kissed her like crazy.

Afterwards, when they had both run out of breath, realized that they were deeply entangled in the sheets, and decided to just lie there together, she realized – she wanted to Maka-chop him for all the things he'd said, because it hurt to think like that and it would never happen; and she wanted to Maka-chop him and love him at the same time. But this time – just this once – she decided to let him off the hook.

After all, she loved him now – had loved him the whole time, even if she had just realized it – and, she supposed, she couldn't really blame him. He had never exactly played fair, anyway.

e n d