Yo so like this story was posted six years ago and I was hanging on to a lot of internalized bullshit so here is a warning: there is a buttload of problematic stuff in this story (including but probably not limited to: SLURS, INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY, SHIT I NOW CONSIDER DUBCON, KIND OF SKEEVY ABUSE/MANIPULATION, AND PROBABLY SOME OTHER CRAP) which I am both aware of and not proud of. My apologies. Please take everything with a grain of salt and know that, these days, I actively try to keep gross things out of my writing and my life. As it is, Amp kind of stands as a testament to my growth as not just a writer but also a human.
Between the two of them is a link. He assumes it's a by-product of being her weapon and resonating almost every freakin' battle. Not that he will ever suggest not using Soul Resonance; as long as he can keep the demon shut up, there isn't a more satisfying feeling than being completely merged with his meister. Her ability to balance him perfectly and the resulting kick-assery is worth the current side effects.
Some days, the link is like having an extra set of eyes. If they're attuned to each other enough, he knows when to run to her. Like when there's a knife at her throat, or when she trips down the stairs. Likewise, he knows when she's absolutely furious. Like today, when she sees that he's left his boxers on the bathroom floor again, and he's about to be Makachopped.
Other days, the link is a curse in which he fears for his blood pressure. Like when she's thinking about kittens and polka dots and ruffles, or when she's reading a romance novel. Particularly when she's eying the muscular structure of Black Star's calves or Kid's bare back and it makes his heart start beating erratically.
Like today, when she's on the rag, and all he can think about is chocolate.
He wants to start a fight with her, though he can't tell if it's to attempt to dissolve their resonating side effect or because he may or may not have PMS. The better terms they are on, the sexier Soul Resonance becomes, and the better their teamwork- but the more he eyes chocolate pudding. Sure, yeah, if they're fighting with each other the chances of them dying in battle is significantly higher. It's probably a bad idea. Can't stop a guy from dreaming. But if they both are in the same room and have a tandem mood swing, may Shinigami have mercy on Soul's soul.
In the late evening during such a week of The Albarn Cycle, Soul finds himself inside a convenience store run by some bastardized hybrid of a mummy and a phantasm, torn between a display of chocolate covered cashews and the specialty ice cream freezer. He feels the clerk staring at him, though he doesn't have legitimate eyeballs.
Irritated, he gives up and buys two pints of something too hard to pronounce but appears to contain brownies and fudge, two tins of the cashews, and pays for them without mauling anyone. Thirteen steps outside the shop's door, he stops, swears, and does a one-eighty back in to buy tampons, because he knows she's been meaning to buy more today but has been preoccupied between contemplating kicking babies in the face or committing seppuku. As he leaves the second time, he contemplates kicking babies in the face or committing seppuku, understanding the dilemma.
The closer to the apartment he reaches, the more aware of her discomfort he becomes. She's in a lot more pain this time around. It makes him twitchy. He fumbles with his keys to unlock the door; berates himself for fumbling over period cramps. So not cool. He plans his next course of action to calm down his nerves: she's not being attacked. Blair should still be home so it isn't like Maka is alone. No one's in their house trying to kill her. He has ice cream in a bag. He'll put it in the freezer, casually check up on her, possibly chuck some tampons at her face, eat some cashews and watch the most violent movie he can find in their DVD stash. Sounds like a plan.
He shuts the door and juggles his keys and grocery bags to flip the dead bolt. Maka's discomfort buzzes in the back of his head, white noise trying to overtake his thoughts. The moment the bolt snaps home, he's already flying to her before her tidal wave of panic reaches its full, stinging throb in his gut. He thinks somewhere in his mind that this is uncalled for- there's no one attacking her, there's no need to become the scythe, damn it all, there goes the ice cream- as his arm becomes the blade and slices the fragile plastic handles like air. His legs can't move any faster though he hears quiet whimpers and choking gasps resonating off bathroom tiles.
He rushes into the bathroom, ready to kill anyone. It takes a full four seconds for his body to accept that she is, in fact, alone in the room, and more or less safe from harm if only from outside sources.
On the fifth second, she gives him a look that completely alienates him. She has pigtails but it isn't her. This person is too pathetic. Legs too pale and splayed too haphazardly. Spine too hunched. Fingers splayed too wide. Circles too dark under wet and entirely too frightened eyes. It scares the blade back into his arm. It gives him the impression of someone else, like Crona. This isn't his meister, crumpled up next to his crumpled boxers he'd left on the floor. It isn't her at all, though that is her toothbrush that's slid under the still-running sink with a smear of toothpaste on three separate tiles, and that is definitely his favorite shirt he's been missing for two weeks that she's using as pajamas.
But as she hunches over- mouth grimacing, hands clutching abdomen- he feels it. It hurts. Crona-possession be damned, he nearly collides into her, grasping for her, grappling her body to find what is wrong, swearing and confused and scared. What the hell? Why is she hurting? Poison? Crazy-assed spy parasite? His heart skips a beat when he considers the unknowns of black blood. Where is that pumpkin-titted excuse for a witch? She should be here, helping! He does not like not being able to fight whatever is making her cry out this way. He itches to be the scythe again.
Maka shakes and looks even paler than ten seconds ago. Her skin is clammy and it feels wrong to touch her. She hisses as she sucks in air, forcing herself to breathe. He scrambles to get up and get the phone and call for help because evidently, he's fucking useless. His steps echo on the tile and then the hallway. His foot gets caught on a grocery bag and, in effort to keep his balance, ends up sliding on his ring of keys on the hardwood floor. He narrowly dodges the corner of the parlor grand, and barely reaches the living room without major injuries. He has to use his entire brain to get a coherent language out of his mouth to relay information over the phone, all the while her panic stabbing him and his panic eating it and growing from it.
Once he hears that an emergency unit is on the way, he tosses the phone and goes back to Maka. He's shaking, but he tells himself it's because he's hugging her from behind while she's shuddering and moaning. He's cursing and apologizing and he just wants to get at it but he can't and it pisses him off. She's trying her best not to scream; he can feel it held back in her lungs, which was a better job than he was doing. She garbles out things like 'I can't' and 'What is' and 'I'm sorry' and he can't help but bark at her, "Shut the fuck up! Those are all things I should be saying!"
So she settles for more moaning and "Soul, Soul," while clutching her left side as she's blinded by pain. The link between them is swarming with things he can't keep track of, but he tries his best to take it all in, because he doesn't know what else he can do. Every cry of his name stabs him. His meister is calling for him but he can't respond in turn.
He had just returned from the bathroom when he finds her doctor with a jar of something bulbous, disconnected, and nauseating. The doctor places it on the night stand, next to the flowers her father had sent earlier. Maka is awake now, looking calm with a slightly tired face and a drugged look in her eyes. Her hair hangs down- out of it's usual style- amplifying the drowsy look.
"They're my cyst bits," she says matter-of-factly after the surgeon leaves. Soul feels her amusement at his grimace. He pulls the chair he had been using the past night to her bedside.
"Well, let's see your battle wounds," he deadpans. She grins, lifting up her hospital shirt and carefully leaving her lower half covered with her blanket, revealing a square of gauze she gently peels away. Underneath is a four-inch long incision to the lower left of her navel. A tiny mirror of his own scar. "Very cool. It's easy to tell it wasn't Stein who did your stitching."
She giggles as she tapes the gauze back over it and settles back into the covers. A silence. Her feet shuffle underneath the blanket. "Soul," she says, "I'm sorry. Go home. You should sleep." He snorts. He looks at his reflection on the jar of her 'cyst bits.' The unattractive blobs in their contorted shapes merely accentuate how much of a wreck he looks.
"I'm staying," he grumbles. She opens her mouth to retort, but as he leans in his chair to place his crossed arms on her bed and cradle his face in them, she gives up whatever nonsense she had been planning to say. He feels her hand on his head, fiddling with his hair and gently massaging. Along their link, he feels something from her, somewhat of satisfaction, somewhat of relief. And he feels something else, not sure what it really is or who it belongs to, but he's tired and her fingers make his scalp feel good. Soul decides sleep is best.
He couldn't have been asleep for more than five minutes before she nudges him to wake up. He glares at her, growling his annoyances, but she's pulling at his jacket sleeve and then his hair because he doesn't budge the first time. He knows he's being taken advantage of, as he fumbles with his knees and hands trying to not squish her, because despite the fact that he's grumpy when he's half-awake, he's still easy to manipulate and mollify. And mollified he is, when she scoots over for him on the narrow bed, laying on her back, and turns her face away to make room on her shoulder. She tries her best to keep her knobby elbows to herself. He takes off his jacket and lets it slip through his fingers on the floor. He rests on his side and puts his free arm over her stomach. She squawks a bit when his draped arm gets a little too close to where she's had surgery and again when he's a little too close to her so-called tits, but eventually they reach acceptable ground. He kicks his shoes off and they thunk loudly on the floor. He closes his eyes and breathes evenly, even though her hair tickles his nose and she smells like antiseptics.
He feels rather than hears her voice through the shoulder his face rests upon when she again says, "I'm sorry, Soul."
He quietly grunts. The hands that are pinned between their bodies find each other. He dimly thinks that this position probably crosses a few lines, but he's comfortable, she's alive, and the contact between them is reassuring in ways that nothing else can ever replicate. He doesn't know why she's apologizing- he blames himself for not being at her side, and failing when he finally had been. He's too tired to argue, though. He yawns, and her fingers squeeze his.