All's Well That Ends Well
As Soul stared grimly at the screaming girl dressed as William Shakespeare, he lamented for the nth time agreeing to help his friend with security at his dad's event. It had seemed like a good idea at the time - earn a few extra bucks just for standing around at a charity concert. Besides, it was raising money for a new kindergarden to replace the one that had burned down last month (which he may or may not have had a part in), so why not? Good money. Good karma. What could go wrong?
Well, he thought as the cries of his OCD employer echoed in the background, apparently a lot could. The track for the band had been 'misplaced', the pony for the pony rides had gotten free and was missing, the screws for the stage had come loose (very nearly crushing him during his coffee break), the doves had gotten run over by a van when they'd escaped, and the fridges belonging to the catering company had been unplugged - spoiling most of the food.
And now this.
"You asinine, illiterate monkeys! I won't stand for this!"
Soul sighed and ran a weary hand down his face, eyes directed upward in a feeble attempt at regaining patience. People rushed passed him like scared little fish swimming up stream, muttering nonsense about 'crazy college girls' and 'at least she didn't take her shirt off this time' and 'I just don't know what's wrong with kids these days, I know my Jimmy would never...'.
At least this solved the mystery of who had caused all the earlier mishaps.
"Ma'am... if you'd just - eep!"
"Don't touch me you piece of uneducated filth!"
Soul had to duck when she threw her picket at a frazzled looking security guard, missing by a mile and sending the sign flying into the crowds. He really didn't know what she was so pissed about. Sure, they were tearing down the century old library (that even she had to admit was looking every bit its hundred years), but they were building a school for fuck's sake - which pretty much negated her whole 'don't smother the learning!' motif. That left the conclusion that she was really only using her learning approach so her personal supply of books wouldn't get knocked down. Knowing the passionate little protester like he did, he figured that was likely the case - her reasoning when it came to literature was usually more selfish than not.
Resigning himself to the pain that was sure to come his way, Soul walked up to the Shakespearean impersonator currently screaming sixteenth century profanity into a megaphone. He paused when he reached his harassed co-worker, tapping his shoulder and pointing a thumb towards the exit. "Go scrape the birds off the catering van, I got this."
Nodding impatiently at the teary 'thank you', he watched the other security guard hurry away before turning back to the angry girl, hands moving into his jean pockets as he sauntered foreword. Soul couldn't help his grin when, after a flicker of surprise flashed on her face upon noticing his approach, she sent him a seething glare.
"Hey Maka," he greeted, unconcerned by the people around them who had stopped to watch curiously. "It's been awhile."
"Soul..." Maka growled through her teeth like she was some tacky cartoon villain, fully turning to face him. From the corner of his eye he could see his employer sigh in relief when she lowered the megaphone from her lips, propping it against her hip as she raised an eyebrow.
Because he knew it'd piss her off, Soul blatantly looked her up and down, humming appreciatively. "Killer tights. And the goatee is a surprisingly good look for you."
"What do you want?" Maka snapped, staring down her nose at him from up on the stage - the one that she'd physically kicked five performers off of not ten minutes before. It was an impressive feat considering they had all been beefed up men twice her size.
"Can't you tell?" Soul pulled out the top left section of his shirt so she could see the white S embroidered there. "I'm a part of the security for the charity gala."
Her eyes darted briefly to the letter before returning to his face. "Some idiot finally hired you, then?"
"Ooooh," someone whispered in the background
He made sure his smile was pleasant. "Careful, you nearly hurt my feelings with that one."
"And that would be awful," Maka muttered to herself before turning away and lifting the megaphone back up to her mouth in a pointed dismissal.
Soul pretended he didn't notice. "Why do you want to keep this thing up anyway?" he asked conversationally, waving his hand at the building behind them. "It was kind of the reason we broke up."
Several gasps erupted from around their growing audience and Soul shot them an annoyed glare.
Maka looked at him incredulously, hand dropping back down and sputtering, "Excuse me? No it wasn't."
He rolled his eyes, folding his arms over his chest. "You were always here, Maka. I was lucky if I saw you once a week."
She glared. "Blame the books all you want, Soul. We both know it was because I wasn't cool enough for you." There was a series of differently pitched oooh's in the background and Maka turned to sneer at the people surrounding them. "Oh, shut up!"
Soul frowned when he saw that she was serious. "I never said that."
Maka looked back at him with a hard stare. "You said I was weird!"
He gestured wildly to her tights and poofy shorts. "Maka, you're dressed up as Shakespeare! You are weird!"
"Not cool, dude."
Soul turned as he recognized the voice and glared at the flash of blue in the sizeable crowd. "Star, is that you? Shut the fuck up."
When his eyes returned to Maka, an angry flush had appeared on her cheeks and she pursed her lips in annoyance. She straightened the sleeves of her jacket stiffly as she told him, "This has been great and all Soul - and I mean really - but if you don't mind, I actually have some important things that need doing."
Second dismissal of the night, Soul thought as he watch his pissed off ex-girlfriend turn away from him. Then Soul remembered why he was there in the first place and grinned wickedly, uncrossing his arms and moving foreword.
"What are you doing?" Maka asked a moment after she'd noticed he hadn't left her alone like she'd ordered, but was instead stepping closer. "Stop that!"
"Security," he said in explanation, shrugging. "My hands are tied."
Maka watched him cautiously, scrutinizing his expression to see if he was serious. Not liking the conclusion she came to, Maka took a wary step back. "You wouldn't."
In answer, Soul brought his hands out towards her, wiggling his fingers threateningly. She gasped. "No! Soul, don't-!" Maka shrieked as he lunged for her, grabbing hold of her ankle before she could run away. "Let go!" Maka demanded angrily, kicking out. Soul dodged her foot and gave a sharp tug so she toppled over against him with an "oof!". Though slightly breathless from Maka knocking against his chest, Soul wrapped his arms tightly around her middle before she could gain any footing.
"I said let me go!" Maka struggled in his hold and, as Soul swung her around, the crowd stopped their delighted murmuring and began scrambling over each other to get out of range of her flying legs.
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks," Soul grunted against her shoulder as she jerked around in his arms, nearly unbalancing them several times. Spotting the exit, Soul carried the squirming woman towards it.
By the time he had finally managed to drag her away from the gathering (receiving a round of applause and loud cheering for his efforts), she had kicked three people, brought two to tears with her insults, and had even managed to pull down the ticket stand by hooking her foot around the post. Even he was grudgingly impressed by the last one.
Deeming they were far enough away, Soul finally let her rip out of his hold. "You are such a jackass!" she hissed as she stumbled away from him in the dark parking lot, her chest rising and falling from exertion.
"For doing my job?" Soul responded dryly, rubbing his numb arms.
Maka whirled around, eyes flashing as she marched up to him. "Remember when I said you didn't appreciate my interests?" she snarled, pointed her finger at the gala angrily. "This is what I'm talking about!"
Soul straightened then, returning her glare evenly as he crossed his arms. "Excuse me? Don't appreciate your interests? I helped you recite Hamlet six hours everyday for a week so you could audition for that stupid play. You didn't even get the role!" And even now he couldn't help remembering with a twinge of anger how sad she'd been, curled up in the bathroom for hours hiding her tears in her rejection letter. He forced it from his mind with a mental shake of his head.
Her hands flew up in exasperation. "Why do you always bring that up in arguments!?"
"Because I spent six hours a day reciting Hamlet."
"So? I waited 10 hours so I could cross the boarder and get that stupid part for your stupid bike. Without air conditioning, might I add - in the middle of summer!"
"This isn't a competition!" he growled.
"Then don't make it one!"
They stared at each other angrily for several moments, toe to toe and breathing heavy, their faces separated by mere inches. Finally, Soul took a deep breath through gritted teeth and nodded. "Fine. We have a clean slate. I won't bring up favours I did in order to sway an argument and you won't either. Deal?"
Maka hesitated a moment, but nodded. "Fine."
The silence that followed lasted two long seconds before a nagging curiosity forced Soul to ask, "So why were you always in the library, anyway?"
Maka looked up at him in surprise, then down to the ground. For awhile she just stood there, and Soul was beginning to think she wasn't going to reply when he heard her sigh deeply and answer, "Because you didn't think I was cool."
That again. "Where the hell did this come from? And if it bothered you so much why is this the first time I'm hearing it?"
She shrugged. "I overheard some girl talking at a party. She was telling her friends that you told her I was nowhere near cool enough for you and that you were thinking of breaking it off with me."
"And you think I actually said that?"
"It doesn't matter if you did anyway, I don't really care."
Soul was teetering between the two separate urges of ripping all his hair out and shaking some sense into the woman in front of him. "It does matter. And you do care. I never said anything like that - because it isn't true - and frankly, it's getting pretty insulting that you think I did."
She still didn't look at him.
"Was this why you started avoiding me?" he asked, trying and failing to catch her eye.
When Maka did finally look up, her expression was oddly vulnerable. "I was trying to keep from overwhelming you with my... quirks. But then you cornered me and got angry and then of course I got angry and we fought and... well, you know the rest." They'd broken up. Badly.
Frustrated by the entire situation, Soul reached over and grasped her shoulders firmly. "Listen, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I do think you're cool and when I call you weirdo... it's more of an endearment than anything."
Glad she hadn't thrown him over her shoulder like she'd wanted to when he grabbed her, Maka smiled at the bit of pink staining his cheeks. "Don't be sorry," she replied, patting his chest lightly, feeling an answering warmth developing in her own. "I just got insecure."
"So then... do you want to try again, or something?" he asked.
Her lips twitched. "I would."
Grinning, Maka cupped his face in her hands and pulled him down so she could kiss him hard on the mouth. Pleasantly surprised, Soul moved his hands from her shoulders so he could wrap his arms around her waist and deepen the kiss. When she pulled away she smiled sweetly and told him, "Only if you take off your security shirt and protest with me - I still have live snakes I want to plant in the performer's dressing rooms."
"You brought live snakes?" he deadpanned as Maka peeled off the the fake facial hair from her chin and held it out to him, wiggling it enticingly when he just glared at it.
"...Fine," he muttered, reluctantly allowing her to smack it on his face with a look of disgust. "But, Maka?"
"We are never roleplaying in this outfit again."
"But we had so much fun!"
Maka fell limply against him as she dramatically pressed the back of her hand to her forehead, gasping, "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou pants, Romeo?"
"Shh!" Soul hushed, grinning with her as she muffled her giggles into his shoulder.
A/N: What do you do when you have writer's block on your chapter story? Write mediocre one-shots! Yay!