A/N: Well, another Stein/Marie lying around in my hard drive since forever.

Enjoy.


HABITS

Marie had a habit of holding on to Stein's coat sleeve, telling him to either "don't remind me", "don't say that", "I'm nervous" and a lot of other weird things. Stein had a habit of patting her in the shoulder afterwards, telling her to "get over it", "don't worry" or "you'll manage". It wasn't that helpful, but at least he said something. Those were the days when they were still laidback, inwardly anticipating the revival of the Kishin, but still waiting at peace. She lives with him and he's okay with it; he is a freak but she was okay with it.

When they went into hiding after BJ's death, nobody knew that those habits changed. Marie didn't tug on Stein's sleeve anymore. Stein didn't put his hand on her shoulder. Instead, she will tug on his hand, and he'll twine his fingers with hers. He would give those small, soft, warm hands a squeeze against his big, cold, calloused ones. Out of funds, they didn't mind the cramped spaces, outside-town camps and limited expenses for necessities. Those weren't the reason they seek comfort by gripping each other's hands. There were more things worth worrying about, and without even speaking they both know what those are.

When they went back, Spirit was amused to see Marie not in a skirt, but in pigtails, and Stein in a new shirt which was clearly not made by him, and having a limit to his smoking. When he joked about a runaway honeymoon, Stein just laughed to himself, a if he was about to dissect someone - and Marie pouted and shouted and hit the man on the chest halfheartedly - blushing - as if it had been true. Spirit watched as Stein pat her head playfully, joked around some more (even going as far as to include Spirit-sempai on the joke) and just draped a reassuring, somehow amused, apologetic arm around her shoulders when he noticed that he's getting too far. Marie pretended to be angry (as if she really could get angry - she loved Stein too much) and give him those golden puppy eyes, direct a charming pout to catch him off guard and threatened him with silly ideas, ultimately simply letting him do and smile as he pleased.

Spirit was happy to see Stein less insane and more human, Marie less anxious and more stable. Spirit did not regret letting them go off on their own - it seemed to heal them both. Shinigami-sama seemed to agree with him, for as they both watched an unusual scene unfold, the Death God gave his most powerful DeathScythe a pat on the back.


- - .FIN. - -


A/N: Reviews are appreciated. :D