I've been out the scene for almost a year. This has been in my hard drive for months, but I never really had time to post it. Another Stein/Marie drabble - set after their return to Shibusen and talk with Shinigami-sama, in short after manga chapter 62.

This can be related to my previous Stein/Marie fics: "Flowers and Stitches", "Habits", and "Mutual Understanding" - there will be references to the teddy bear.

Anyways, I really hope you enjoy this, even though it's kinda late. ^^;;

[Soul Eater]

Spirit-sempai came with them as they walked home. Tired both physically and mentally, dragging on what little items they've deemed important in their trip away from Shibusen - Stein and Marie started their trek home on foot.

They said they want to do it just like the usual: as if they're just coming home from a long day of teaching students.

Spirit-sempai noticed the particular way Marie was stiffling her yawns and the unusual awkward twitch of Stein's arm up whenever the blonde would almost trip or stumble because of fatigue as they made their way. He was preparing to catch her fall, or pull her back to stand.

They've had a long day. A battle with Justin, walking back to Shibusen, a talk with Shinigami-sama and a small 'welcome back' celebration with the students who missed them.

Finally, Marie wasn't able to stifle her next yawn. When she almost really fell down, Stein did something Spirit had never ever seen him do.

Spirit-sempai was too astounded to complain about the items shoved forcefully on him as he watched Stein swiftly, smoothly, even confidently, scoop up their female companion in his arms as if Marie was a little girl. The mad scientist carried the woman bridal style, and Marie simply grunted and rested her head against the white-haired man's chest, sighing deeply and falling into slumber.

"I should get a car, sempai." was Stein's remark.

Spirit could only nod uneasily. "D-Do.. you a-always.. do this?"

The scientist shrugged. "Kind of. I'm used to it. She tires out fast because we always use massive soul wavelength attacks. Besides..."

The red-head caught sight of the meister looking down at the blonde lady in his arms and smiling lightly.

"...she drags me around all the time whenever I pass out, anyway. You wouldn't believe how capable she is at carrying out a piggyback."

Spirit only smirked, and adjusted the new load of items over his shoulders. "I should get used to that, then."

Spirit was used to Marie sticking up with him to try to relate to Stein. He was used to being the link so that the two would feel at ease with each other. But now, shame on him - it feels as if he's interrupting a really important moment.

When they got to the house, Stein sighed, looked around and smiled lightly (he's been doing that more often since they came back) - stating something along the lines of 'it's good to be home'. Marie stirred and was put down, and it was as if all her energy came back.

"Kyaaa! We're home!!!"

Stein shrugged at the woman, and Spirit laughed at her childish antics. The blonde squealingly bounded towards the bedroom.


Stein flinched. Spirit blinked. "Is she calling you?"

"No, she's-"

"I missed yooouuu, Frankiiiieee~!!"

Stein looked away, pride damaged. Spirit, ever-curious bubbly Spirit-sempai that he is, ran to the room and peeked at the squealing Marie.

She was lying on the bed - or more like rolling in it, really - and hugging a teddy bear to death.

It scarily looked like Stein.

"Oh, so the cute teddy's name is Frankie, then?" Spirit asked cheerfully, sniggering at his ex-meister. Stein shamefully nodded. "I asked Nygus send it to the laundry a week ago. It got dust all over while you were away-"

Marie then squealed. "I'd have to thank Mira for that! I loooooove Frankie so much~! Franken gave Frankie to me!!! It's cute, right? Franken made Frankiiiiie for meeee..."

"Oh, shut up." Stein mumbled. Spirit laughed at the scientist, and then headed to the kitchen to make some tea for himself. "Be a good girl and get some sleep."

All they heard was a muffled squeal against the pillows and sheets. "Okaaaaay~!!"

She really was too happy to be home.

Spirit and Stein sat on the dining table as they went down for tea. A few moments of some biscuits and tea, some conversations that weren't serious, and some that were entirely deep shit, Spirit finally set off and left the house for its two occupants. After Marie's squealing had died down sometime earlier, both simply assumed that she finally fell asleep.

Stein stood up and looked around. The house was the same. The gray, stitched-up monotonous residence dashed with splotches of bright colors everywhere. After putting the dishes away, he headed for the bedroom. Marie was fast asleep, huddled like a child against Frankie. Stein shook his head - she hadn't even changed clothes. He simply put the blankets safely over her before heading to his lab.

He touched the operating bed and found that it had gathered dust, then he trailed his fingers along the mess of dissecting tools, test tubes, flasks and other materials in the open toolbox. They were dusty too, but he missed the feel of the tools in his fingers - the cold metals and the smooth silvers.

He stood in front of his computer. There were still neon green post its beside his monitor. Notes of 'don't tire yourself so much' and 'eat breakfast, k?' had been dusty and was slowly fading, but still readable. Absentmindedly, he pushed the 'ON' button on his CPU.

The computer booted, and when his desktop loaded, he couldn't help but smile at his wallpaper - Marie had set it for him ecstatically shortly before hell broke loose. It was the family picture of Shibusen. Shinigami-sama, the teachers and the students.

Stein picked up stray papers that made their way on the floor, and then stacked them up neatly on his deck. He rubbed his eyes behind his glasses and sat down on his swivel chair.

Thinking of it, he dearly missed the swivel chair.

"Franken?" - he saw Marie standing by the doorway, holding her teddy bear loosely. She stiffled a yawn. "Won't you go to sleep?"

Stein shrugged. "I don't know."

His weapon pouted stubbornly as she made her way to him. "Nonesense. Let's go to bed-" she was about to say something when her eye caught the computer screen and the image on it. She smiled, plopping herself carelessly in the meister's lap and wrapping her arms around his neck, not withdrawing her gaze from the picture. "I missed them so much."

He swivelled the chair around to take a look. "Ah. We're home." Marie smiled at him and then buried her face on his shoulder, nodding. "Alright. Let's go to bed."

Stein turned the computer off and swivelled the chair 180 degrees. Marie looked up. "What are you-"

"Hold on tight."

"Don't tell me- AAAAAAAHHHHHH~!!!!"

Marie shrieked in horror as Stein spun around several times and finally anchored the wheeled chair out the room. It didn't take long before the chair hit the door frame and weapon, meister and teddy bear went tumbling down the corridor.

Marie sat up, traumatized. "DON'T DO THAT AGAIN!"

But Stein was laughing at her, apparently not giving a damn about the teddy bear stuck in his head.

Marie gaped, and after a while, her expression loosened to a small, affectionate smile, and she finally laughed with him. Stein got up first, still making that silly face, and helped her up. They made their way back to the bedroom hand-in-hand, and were both asleep before they even realized they were going to sleep.

- finis. -

A/N: Thanks for reading!