Disclaimer: I don't own Soul Eater or the characters or anything.
Setting: This is supposed to take place some time after the Brew retrieval incident, sometime before the invasion of Arachnaphobia's castle, and approximately a month after the Death Scythes were summoned by Shinigami. There are spoilers, sort of...well, *SPOILERS* there I warned you all.
Warning: This story is rated M for violence and sexual content and Stein being a crazy mofo.
Stein was a level-headed man of science, when he wasn't crazy. For his safety (and probably the safety of many others) the Shinigami had assigned Marie to be partners with him once again. This also extended into the role as a sort of caretaker for Stein though he preferred to imagine Marie as his lab assistant. Marie kept herself busy with things like cleaning up the lab/house, making meals when Stein forgot to eat (which was often), and lately bringing him down from his psychotic fits.
Medusa chuckled as she gazed at Stein safely from a distance through the magic of her crystal ball.
"What are you up to now, my Stein?"
A few weeks ago Medusa had ordered her child, Crona, into tricking Marie into drinking some tea. The tea was ordinary except for the fact it contained a small snake constructed of Medusa's magic. When Marie drank the tea she consumed the snake at which Medusa now cackled at as it writhed in Marie's unsuspecting body. The brilliance of Medusa's plan was that the snake was like a transmitter which magnified ones insanity levels. The snake didn't affect Marie because Marie's soul was too pure and cleansing to be tainted by insanity. However, since Marie was around Stein more often than not, Stein's insanity was heightened.
Medusa grinned snake-like into the glass ball to see Stein finish setting the table and head into the other room to get dressed.
Stein paused for a moment as he entered the bedroom. He collected his thoughts, inhaling deeply and releasing at the same careful pace. He didn't understand why he was feeling a bit frantic, it wasn't the insanity...could it be, nervousness? It was truly an odd phenomenon to be feeling so many emotions and yet remain sane. He hung up his lab jacket on the black wrought-iron coat-rack in the corner and stripped his wool undershirt off in the dim light of the setting sun which poured in through the room's single window. Dark clouds were gathering, threatening to end the day's light even sooner. He discarded the shirt into the hamper and looked in the standing vanity mirror at his shirtless reflection. He took his glasses off and looked at the stitches on his chest. One seam holding the skin over his ribcage together was a little looser than he'd like, he'd have to fix that later. He set his glasses on the dresser and retrieved a slightly dusty dress shirt, it was white with ivory buttons and ebony stitches across the front of it. He normally wore it to weddings but since it was the only nice shirt he had it would have to do. As he buttoned the shirt from the top down he made his way over to the closet and retrieved a handsome black jacket with bone white stitches laced in the same pattern as those on his labcoat. He retrieved a tie as well before hesitating, would the tie be too much? He decided to hang the tie around his neck while he thought about it and proceeded into the bathroom to check his breath for the third time that evening. He smoothed his hair down with his finers as best as he could when he heard the front door rattling. His eyes widened as he stumbled into the bedroom for is glasses. Hurriedly putting them on he made his way into the front room which also qualified as his lab (in one corner), the dining room (in the area near the kitchen), and the lounge (near the front door). His eyes skitted over every surface of the room for any flaws, before he could feel satisfied with his surveillance the door creaked open noisily as Marie entered.
"Sorry I'm late, Stein." she sounded a little exausted, that made Stein nervous she'd want to skip dinner and go straight to sleep. "Even though I've lived here for a few weeks I got a little lost-" Her eyes widened as she looked at the newly decorated surroundings. Instead of finding the usual balls of crumpled paper on the floor or empty beakers sitting on various surfaces, Stein's lab area was clean, the floor was spotless, and a wonderful aroma wafted through the house.
"Stein..." Marie exhaled in a way that made the hairs on the back of the professor's neck dance. She entered the room in awe looking at the table covered in a stitched table cloth, set for dinner and illuminated by two elegant candles, which somehow also appeared to have stitches holding them together. The other light in the room came from the kitchen behind the table where the delicious mouth-watering smells of dinner reached out to her. She laughed quietly, smiling at him, his heartrate raised significantly, "What is all of this for?"
Stein stood rigidly, his hands becoming clammy,
"I..thought it would be a nice change. You've been taking care of me- my house, for a month now. I thought it time I showed my appreciation." Marie set down her bag by the door and moved to him swiftly. Stein nearly took a step back, but he sensed no danger. Marie swung her arms around him, hugging him tightly. He was surprised. Marie was a very caring person but she was also very cautious and stubborn. The only time he had seen her hug anyone was when she hugged the Shibusen students after their attempt to recover Brew (nearly killing themselves) and that was right before that she had been about to hit them.
Suddenly, she released her grip and stepped back, looking away bashfully,
"Thank you." she then saw the loose tie around his neck and giggled, "Forgot how to tie your tie?" She took each end of the tie in either hand and began tying it for him.
She smiled once she was finished and stood back to admire her handy work.
Stein nodded mutely and made his way into the kitchen to retrieve dinner.
"I can't believe it." He heard her say from behind him, "The house looks so clean." he turned around to see her pouting,
"If you're better at cleaning and cooking than me, then I'm out of a job!"
He chuckled as he brought dinner to the table,
"No, I'm far too busy with my research to cook and clean like this everyday."
Marie shook her head and headed for the bathroom,
"I'm going to change really quick-"
She turned to look at Stein confused. He explained,
"I can tell you're hungry, and we're just in the house. There's no need to change. Besides," He glanced at her out of the corner of his eyes, sliding his glasses back to the top of his bridge, "You look fine."
Marie turned away, falling into one of her stubborn moods,
"Fine, but you look great, I want to look 'great' too." She took her seat, her back facing the bathroom door. Stein used a fork and a scalpel to carved into the ham. It was glazed with slices of pineapple at its base.
"Well, you always look beautiful. How much did you want?" Stein laid a large slice onto Marie's plate. The pigment of her face rose till it matched that of the ham.
"Um, that's fine for now...thank you." Stein put two slices onto his plate before going to retrieve the next dish. Marie sat awkwardly, playing with the edge of the tablecloth until Stein returned, then she dropped it, still embarassed,
"Hmm?" Came his reply as he served a scoop of salad onto Marie's plate,
"That's enough. Um,"
Stein moved on to serving himself salad,
"When did you learn to cook?" she asked curiously. Stein walked away with the salad to retrieve the last of the meal which appeared to be cooked carrots.
"Well," he served a few to Marie, and guessing that was enough, served himself twice as much, "I live by myself. So if I wanted to eat something I had to figure out how to make it." He walked back to the kitchen and put the rest of the food away in the fridge. As he returned to to table, a bottle of red wine in hand, Marie asked,
"But you could have just gone out to eat?"
Stein stabbed into his salad, and observed the forkful before replying,
"I have difficulty with adjusting myself for social situations." he realized there were no glasses, still, in his house and so quickly made his way over to the lab and grabbed two beakers.
Marie was used to the science equipment by now and took a sip of her wine after Stein poured her some. As he was pouring some for himself she took a bite of her ham quietly. She gasped,
"This is delicious!"
Stein continued to eat his food wordlessly, not knowing how to react. When he didnt' say anything Marie continued,
"Really, it is! It reminds me of living back on the islands." She beamed at him. He looked up, surprised by her expression,
"I," he wondered what sort of response to give, "I'm glad you like it."
Medusa laid on her stomach, her chin buried in cross arms as she observed the two dining. She stared drolly at the orb,
"Oh Stein... You should be dissecting and experimenting. Letting your talents go to waste on things like cooking and stupid women." she said with a sing-song tone. Though her next words were laced with venom,
"Time to make things a bit more exciting."
Stein listened as Marie started to tell him about a story back on the islands, their glasses had been filled again. As Marie neared the end of her second stein could tell the alchohol was taking affect and laughed to himself.
He listened quietly, wondering why he had been so nervous. Was he nervous? He could feel his pulse picking up again and his mind a bit panicked. He tried to focus what he was doing by cutting into his ham when his scalpel slipped. The blade cut across the soft flesh of his fingers, he thought he felt the hard resistance of metal scratching the bone even. He tittered. He watched a blood poured out of his fingers, falling down like a waterfall of garnets and rubies. He giggled, he thought he could see strands of red hair falling down onto his dinner plate joining the river of blood that now poured openly on the table. Suddenly the hair began turning a dark blonde and a scalp appeared pushing it's wayout of his cupped hand. Stein giggles stopped as he felt a rush of panic. Sure enough the head raised out of his hand revealing medusa smiling seductively as she continued to rise, climbing up out of his hand,
"Stein." She called to him, he scooted back in his chair and tried to close his hand, to move it, anything, but his arm was frozen, "Stein...Stein..." She kept whispering his name with her snake accent. He tried to push back further away as a bust of her was now showing, she was naked, she rose more her breasts about to be revealed,
"You want me Stein. You need me. Stein... Stein..."
"Stein?" Suddenly everything was quiet and calm again save for the distant sound of thunder. He looked down at his hand (where Medusa had been) to see Marie's hand, holding his unscathed one,
"Stein, are you okay?"
Stein was beathign heavily, he unclenched the table with his free hand, making a fist and opening his fingers repeatedly to get circulaton back into his white knuckles. He inhaled deeply, and exhaled just a deep.
"Yeah." he ran his free hand through his hair and looked down at Marie's hand and his own touching. He looked up into her face to see she had also just looked from their hands and up to him. Before she could pull away, as he knew she would, being embarassed, he held onto her hand, with his free one, so now both his hands held hers. "Thank you, Marie. I needed you. That's why I wanted to have this dinner for you. I really do need you."
Marie blushed again as he continued,
"I know you said that you'd stay here until you found another place. But I'd really like you to stay. I need you here."
Marie smiled her other hand going on top of Stein's,
"I'd like to."
Stein felt the same emotions he had before when he was getting ready for her to come home. He was feeling anxious and protective, nervous, but something else as well. Something tha rivaled the intensity of insanity yet it was completely opposite, as opposite as he and Marie were. Was it...could it be love?
His attention redirected back to Marie, she looked as if she wanted to pull away from his hands, so he let her,
Stein, as he paid more attention to Marie discovered something: whatever insanity was, she was the farthest thing from it. She was familar and safe, and lately looking into her golden eye had felt more like home than his lab ever had. He knew how she felt, their mental link as weapon and meister even when not in battle or souls resonating, he knew Marie well enough by now. He stood up, distracting her from her nervous behavior. He took a long step towards her and leaned down, head angled ever so slightly. His hand came up and tilted her own jaw so their faces lined up better. He leaned in, their lips centimeters away. He sensed no eason for him to stop. He closed the remaining space between them and kissed her. He felt his quickening pace suddenly calm and comforted by Marie's aura. Stein inhaled as he drew the kiss longer. Marie's own lips full and unsure were soon kissing Stein back.
Marie wasn't sure how she felt about Stein. It's true she once had a crush on him and that living with him these past few weeks had reminded her of that. However, she had never expected this from Stein. Assuring him she was okay with the kiss as the two slowly pulled away from each other, looking into each others' eyes, Marie wrapped her arms around Stein's neck. She stood up slowly and Stein's hands fell to her hips where they gently pulled her closer for another kiss. Marie pulled herself towards Stein as well and, tilting her chin, gave him another kiss, this time deeply romantic. Stein's pace quickened as he pulled the woman against his body. Yes, yes he knew now, he did love her. All the doubt vanished with their surroundings as Stein felt a great rush. It was the same thrill he got as a scientist when one of his experiments went correctly it was almost as great as dissecting.
"Almost Stein, but not quite. You would rather dissect her wouldn't you?" Medusa scowled at the couple through her orb. She seemed to catch herself in a foul mood and smiled. Medusa permitted a small chuckle, "Oh Stein, I know what you need, what you seek." Though Medusa could not hold her cheerful mood very long. She glared darkly into the ball and began murmuring incantations, "Cobra, cobra, snake, cobra..."
Marie felt small and fragile as Stein handled her delicately but kissed her so passionately. This is what she needed, this was the man she had been waiting for, she could sense his wave-length and how well it read and worked with her own.
Suddenly a loud crash of thunder rolled over the house, the storm had now manifested over the town.
Marie jumped, pulling away from the kiss in shock. An instant later the power went out the only light in the house was the two candles on the table.
As the thunder rumbled away Stein felt himself a little panicked as to what to do next.
"I guess we have to call it a night?"
"I'll do the dishes." he said. Marie grabbed her own plate and a candle, and took them to the sink. Stein watched the glowing flame flicker dance as it illuminated Marie and her way across the room,
"Leave the dishes, you've been working all day. We can do them tomorrow." Stein stood still in the darkness, suddenly feeling vulnerable. He felt his glasses slip off his nose and watched as they fell to the floor. He watched them fall then hit the floor, shattering.
As he bent down to retrieve the broken lenses, he felt himself kneel off of a ledge and fall down through the floor, he screamed. He was falling through a pitch black pit, tumbling down, down... The only thing he could see was that the edges of the pit were covered in broken shards of glass that cut and tore into his flesh. As he fell his white shirt turned red as he was cut open again and again. He fell onto a surgical table only to find himself strapped in. His heart was racing as he tried to break free, his feet were secured too. He was naked, suddenly fifty or more scalpels came falling from above, puncturing his chest and shoulders, he screamed in pain and terror. A figure appeared looming over him, he squinted against the bright surgical light. It was himself but obviously crazed by the Kishin. The Kishin's eye's stretched across the standing Stein's face, he chuckled revealing rows of razor sharp teeth. The insane Stein opened his mouth, licking his lips as his tongue began bleeding, sliced by his own teeth. Stein squirmed and writhed in terror turning his head away from the Kishin-Stein as the demon's mouth dripped blood and saliva onto him. The kishin moved in closer, Stein screamed and thrashed.
Stein gasped clutching onto the arms around his neck, he realized Marie was burying her head beneath his chin. Again, his breathing labored he lightened his grip on Marie's shoulders and finally returned her hug.
"I should go." He stated, his body trembling as he rose to his feet. Marie stood with him, pulling back so he was looking down into her tearful gaze,
"No!" Marie insisted. "Please, I can't leave you alone."
Stein looked into her exposed eye. Again, warm as honey, her eyes were comforting and full of concern. "Shinigami gave me orders." she said with a small smile. Though Stein knew she was genuinely concerned for him. That might not have been enough, and normally he might even render her unconscious while he slipped away. But there were strict laws enforcing what Marie was doing, so like it or not he had to accept it. He sighed running a hand through his hair,
"I...I don't know what to do." Stein always was conifdent he knew what he was doing or at least what was going on. The only thing he was certain of was the Kishin's wavelength was threatening to take control of him, and that Marie was the only thing that was preventing that from happening. Marie stood up, holding Stein's hands and insisting he do the same. He looked up at her, she gave him a small smile,
"Come on, you should get some rest."
He nodded mutely as she led him into the bedroom.