Thank you for all the lovely compliments and critiques! Oh, and Soul Eater (the anime), which sadly includes Kid and Soul, don't belong to me~ Just the cute fluff ideas. … THOSE DO BELONG TO ME. (Heh-heh, I actually own something – It's called imagination and plot, baby!)

ZombieLiz – This was originally supposed to be uploaded on October 18th (as a small gift for you) but well… Here's an adjective and a noun in it for you – "Technical difficulties"… I'd really rather not go into detail, it was kind of depressing for me… So sorry for the late update but never the less… Happy birthday~! X3 Oh, and I made it super long~

Here's Chapter Seven – "Suspicious"

Death the Kid and Soul are making idle chatter as Maka and Tsubaki stalk on, eternally bored. "Ur… Nothing's happening, Maka…" Tsubaki murmurs. Maka is currently up ahead, using the neck of her coat as a mask and holding up sticks and branches in her hands in an oh-so clever disguise.

"All they talk about is class…" The meister grumbles. "How dull; but since this is Mr. Cool/Couldn't Care Less talking with Symmetry Dude, I guess it makes sense." She flexes then yawns before uttering a small "Ah!" when Death the Kid and Soul stop walking. Tsubaki stumbles back at the sudden cry.

They pause briefly as the scythe folds up his jeans, choosing to sit down upon a bench underneath a tree as support. Soul's seen grumbling over his bruised knees as Kid scoffs, his hands still stuffed into his pockets as the two bombard each other with dirty looks. Tsubaki and Maka hide themselves behind a thin pole as they continue to eavesdrop.

"You know, Kid. There's such a thing called a simple apology," the scythe grumbles as he blows into the open wound of his right knee.

"And exactly what am I supposed to feel sorry for?" Kid spat out as he tapped his feet in intolerance.

Maka and Tsubaki glance at each other and nod in affirmation at the body language they portray. It's definitely a lovers' quarrel. If only we could hear what they were saying…

"Well, for one, bruising my knee… Repeatedly if I may so sweetly add," he mutters bitterly. "And the public outcry you caused at the café wasn't the most pleasant thing to experience either."

"What public outcry?" He repeats obtusely.

"Oh brother," Soul rolls his eyes. "You know, sucking on stuff isn't something that only babies do. It's not considered so innocent anymore." C'mon, I can't any more blatant than this… Or I'll just sound like some mother-fucking pervert in the street.

A light bulb clicks in the shinigami's head, and with no delay, he winces in disgust at the imagery that envelops his once poised and prudish mind. "… You knew what my intentions were."

Soul pulls at Kid's sleeve to tug him a little closer, "I'll be cool about it for now, man… I just –"

Maka and Tsubaki's attention are at their peak when they see Soul holding on "endearingly" at the other's sleeve. The girls slowly begin to approach the dark alley that coincided with the store that currently faced the two boys.

Soul cuts off his previous sentence and his tight grip slacks off from the other's sleeve, settling back to his side.

The shinigami begins to iron out the crumpled sleeve as he calmly stares back at the scythe. Some of the cufflinks were unbuttoned, and he quickly goes to fixing them.

Soul drives his fingers through his hair roots and quickly changes the topic, glancing in a vague direction (toward Maka and Tsubaki). "… Hey, don't you feel like somebody's watching you from afar at times?" Soul yawns, making stern eye contact with the quiet shinigami. "… Listening to your every word and seeing your every action?" He vacantly asks as he continues to stretch his hands behind his head, leaning unto the prickly, aged wood.

Maka and Tsubaki hold their breath as they lean into the wall, their steps as well as their breathing rate quickened. OH. CRAP. Is he – Is he talking about us?

Kid went against sitting down upon the bacteria-infested bench, standing comfortably in front of him. He faces him with a thoughtful cock of the brow, "Oh? I didn't know you were the religious type."

Soul chuckles, "Naw, not that… Ha, never mind. Maybe I'm getting too self-conscious."

The other bobs his head down, his eyes gloomily narrowing. What was he going to say before that? He cut himself off on purpose. Kid dismisses his thought all too quickly, "Then… Like a lazy tailor would say… Suit yourself," he murmurs and outstretches a ringed hand.

Soul blinks twice at the phrase. "… You are such a fucking spaz," Soul chuckles lowly and teasingly. He stares at the hand quietly before taking it and pulling up to his feet. His shoes softly clack over the asphalt and Kid lightly stumbles back under the weight he supports.

The shinigami's fingers twitch lightly under the grip, and clasps over the hand reflexively. Soul lightly trails a thumb over the porcelain hand, tugging the sleeve up just by a centimeter, causing the other to stare up with a startled, yet intrigued look.

After quiet exchanges of questions in the form of looks, Kid slowly takes back his hand into his pocket and coughs into his fist.

Soul nervously places his hands into his own pockets and massages the back of his neck. His hands were soft.He must moisturize them. An internal laugh ensues at the thought of the kid purchasing scented hand-lotions in his aristocratic attire. "Thanks… Err, uh, sorry…" His voice comes out flushed and gruff. Ah, fail!

"… Sorry for what?" Kid asks, his voice also a little husky. He quickly clears his throat afterward.

"… Never mind. Let's get a move on." He maintains a cool composure, and puts an arm out to his side in mock-grace as he lightly bows. "… Shall we?"

Meanwhile, Maka and Tsubaki simultaneously sigh in relief, "Whoa, he's sharper than I thought." She peers over the corner of the wall, seeing them walk away side by side.

The weapon outwardly giggles, "That was pretty close, I thought we were caught…"

Soul's ear catches the whispers, recognizing the voices. "Eh? Tsubaki?" He grumbles, turning behind him. Kid also stops, facing the opposite direction yet listening intently. "Hey, someone there?"

Maka's head lunges back, slamming painfully against the wall. The two girls clasp their hands over each other's mouth and begin to count until twenty.

"… Huh." Soul slowly walks in their direction. He stops at the corner, not bothering to look over. He sighs as he closes his weary eyes. "I saw your big head sticking out, Maka."

Death the Kid walks beside Soul and peers over. "Soul… Nobody's there."

Soul's eyes widen as he also peers over. "What?"

There is nothing but a lonely looking garbage dumpster in the alley and a white Styrofoam box dropped in the center of the path. He approaches it and picks it up, seeing warm, plump cinnamon buns laid out nicely in two rows. They're still hot and it's from the café… Hm… The scythe closes the box, slips it back into the plastic bag, and hangs it at his arm. He discontentedly mutters, "… Ch.' Flat-chested speed demon."

As Soul begins to mutter sullenly at the idea of his housemate secretly stalking him and Kid, the latter merely cocks his head baffled, his eyes wrinkling and going into deep thought. He grumbles, "What in the world's a flat-chested speed demon?" He insinuates the words as if it were something entirely foreign to him.

Soul stifles a snort.

When Maka and Tsubaki had arrived to the latter's home, Black*Star was seen foaming at his mouth over the edge of the sofa. "Ah, Black*Star!" Tsubaki immediately ran over and caught him as he fell over. "W-what happened?"

Black*Star, with his pupils rolled back behind his head, pointed over to the TV set where Food Network still aired. Tsubaki glances over in panic before setting him back down when she sees the channel. His head plops to the floor in a none-too-gentle sounding smack.

"Agh, you dummy! You could've just turned it off instead of putting yourself through the torture!"

Maka sighs before walking over to the fridge. She clacks it open before grumbling when she sees it stuffed to the brim with ingredients. "… Tsubaki, the fridge is still full of food too."

Black*Star mutters out a weak sounding: "I was waiting for Tsubaki's surprise…"

The chain scythe grows flustered at his honesty, distress painted over her tranquil features. "Oh… I –" Wait! The cinnamon buns are… She fumbles through her pockets and inspects the floors of their flat. I dropped them on the way here! She groans once then twice before clapping her hands together in a determined pose, "… Black*Star, I-I'll make you onigiri right now!"

"Oh geez, you spoil him," Maka giggles at the weapon immediately tying on an apron. She approaches her friend from behind. "Wow. That was real close, huh?"

"Yeah, I didn't think Soul would actually walk over like that…" Tsubaki nervously smiles as she begins to scoop up fistfuls of rice into her pot to rinse. Her cooker is already clacked open at her side.

Maka walks over as she folds back her sleeves and runs cold water over her palms. "I'll help, okay?"

It's as late as midnight when Soul finally makes it to his home. He seems to be limping a little, his knees giving out under him in each brutal step. He clutches on to a plastic bag, setting it down on a small counter beside the door. Maka is seen innocently reading on the couch as he comes in slipping off his shoes.

She feigns a gasp and puts on the most naïve voice possible, "Oh, hello, Soul, how have –?"

He scoffs at her, "– Don't play dumb with me. I saw your fat head sticking out from the corner."

She continues to look on flabbergasted, "I did no such thing, I was at Black*Star's the whole day."

"I see." He uncaps a soda, drinking it slowly with a little bit of the sugary drink spilling over to the side. "Oh yeah…" He grabs the plastic bag and places it down in front of Maka. "These went a little soggy."

She peers at it curiously before popping the top of Styrofoam casing open. Sweet cinnamon buns are seen inside, wet with condensation on the inner top of the lid. "Oh, these are –!" Tsubaki's surprise for Black*Star! She told me how she'd dropped them in that alley…

Maka flinches, a shiver running down her spine as she's caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Soul gives a malicious and triumphant sneer. The direction of the lighting at this time of night enhances the toothy sneer. His eyes are shadowed by his bangs, his red eyes gleaming. "Yeah? They're – What?"

"– Some of my favorite buns down at that bakery!" She fakes ignorance, "Aren't they also jointed with a café?"

Soul doesn't look convinced, noticing the obvious, abrupt cover-up. "… Didn't know they were your favorite. I'll get some for you next time."

Maka sucks in her cheeks as she nervously laughs, "Aha…" She clears her throat after the awkward chortle. "Well, should I put the kettle on? You've been burning the candle at both ends, and I'm quite sure you'd enjoy a soothing cup of brew for the end of this exhausting ditty…"

He interrupts, "… Maka, shut up. You always sound British when you're lying," he grumbles, sauntering over to the fridge drowsily.

She doesn't say anything, fingering the book's spine. She clears her throat, choosing to set the book down quietly, before breaking into a traditional schoolgirl giggle. "… So~ Soul, old chap, what were you and Kid doing playing footsie at the café?"

"… Hmph. So you were there," he takes another slurp from the soda can.

She goes on fearlessly, "And what was with him kissing your finger like that?" She chuckles maliciously, a twisted smile played across her usual calm and sharp features. She brings up her book once more and flips the page of her book. "… Twirling his tongue over it." She twiddles her index finger in a circular motion, peering up from the page.

He immediately spits out whatever was in his mouth at the time. He begins to cough violently as he looks down to glare at the bookworm.

"… You're cleaning that up," she murmurs.

Soul keeps his composure as he wipes his mouth. Not – cool. "Look, that was him and his weird, isolated kid habits working their magic. I didn't tell him to treat my finger as if it were his Mom's tit…" … Wait. Does he even HAVE a mom?

She clicks her tongue twice, "Uh-uh, you're acting suspicious." She wags her finger to him in disbelief.

"… Ch.' Whatever. Believe what you want, but I really prefer that next time – You keep me the hell out of your perverted fantasies," he slams the bedroom door behind him.

"… Uh-huh, I know who you're going to be taking to the Christmas party now!" She giggles cutely once more when Soul is heard grumbling incomprehensively inside. It's not just a "fantasy" anymore, now is it? She smiles to herself as she flips to the third chapter in her book, clutching the spine gently. She reads to herself the opening title at the top of the page:

Chapter Three: The Bittersweet Revelations of the Frigid and the Callous

She cackles at the irony, before licking her finger and turning the page.

It's the middle of class and Soul is seen bobbing his head almost rhythmically to the teacher's boring lecture. The hand that clutched his chin up was loosening under his fatigue, slipping slightly each time he decided to lean in against it. I can't concentrate… Too sleepy.

Kid taps him on the shoulder and whispers, "Soul, will we be holding a study session today too?" Soul doesn't bother to face him, too tired to comprehend any of the noise around him. Kid, annoyed with that, whacks at Soul's back, causing him to sit up straight in surprise.

"H-huh? What?" He utters quite loudly in his daze, causing the students to stare at him in mild bewilderment. The teacher taps her foot as she waits for him to notice. He raises an open palm in apology, "… Err, uh, my bad."

Kid snickers, "You shouldn't fall asleep during class to begin with, Soul Eater."

"… Agh, whatever," Soul groaned, folding his arms behind his head as he pushed off the floor, tipping the chair comfortably back. He begins to slowly rock it back and forth.

Kid grabs him on the shoulder, forcing his chair down, "Hey, do you want me to tutor you again or not?" He looks noticeably annoyed, not exactly that eager to waste an afternoon with the slacker once more. His learning pace is that of a diabetic turtle and he's not exactly enthusiastic about studying in the first place.

Soul clicks his tongue before staring back at Kid head on, his crimson irises meeting with golden swirls. "Yeah, yeah, Kid. I just hope this is all worth it… I swear; you're worse than Maka when it comes to discipline and crap."

"It wouldn't be so horrible if you'd just pay attention to me in the first place."

He massages the bridge of his nose as he mutters, "I do pay attention. You would just stub your damn steel toed boots at me anyway just 'cuz I didn't get it!" His volume isn't anywhere near loud, but it still manages to catch the attention of some of the more sharp-eared students around him.

Kid's eyes widen atypically as he shakes his head and puts a finger to his lips to shush the aggravated Soul.

Soul, despite lowering his volume, whispers quite loudly: "The hell you shush me –"

"Ahem!" The teacher clears her throat as she raps her baton across the board, "Perhaps the newlyweds would like to make their way outside of class to finish their little honeymoon dispute."

Kid cocks an eyebrow as he scrapes his chair back, "I told you."

Soul monotonously counters, "You said nothing."

The two saunter down the steps before heading out the door to lean up against the wall.

"Wonderful, we just manage to get into trouble every single day of the week, don't we, Kid?" Soul noticeably puts emphasis on the word kid.

Kid growls lowly as he folds his arms and swings a foot over the other. "Your company feels even more unbearable than that of Black*Star's, today especially, and that's saying quite a lot." After saying so, he sighs, ashamed of his blatant show of irritation at a boy he could hardly call a friend. Dropping his hostility, he stares at Soul with a more sympathetic expression. He even brings up a reassuring hand to place over the other's shoulder. "What's with you today?"

Soul jerks under the touch, before sliding a hand over it, clasping his fingers through the spaces of the other's slim, pale ones. He garners an awkward, forced smile, trying to hide the mild flutter of his heart. "Err…" He gently pulls the hand off, receiving an impassive stare from the shinigami. "Look, I don't need pity…" He clicks his tongue, regretting the statement as soon as it slips out. "Wait. Naw, it's –" Soul rubs at the side of his arm, maintain a level head. "Sorry, man, I just wish Maka would stop with her snide remarks. S'been giving me some un-needed stress lately."

"I see." Kid stares at the wall in front of him. "Has she been teasing you about your grades or something?"

Great, he's prying. Soul was quite reluctant to open up to even the most basic questions. He just didn't like sharing his feelings in general, having been born an impersonal man. Hell, he barely told his own family anything, his brother being one of the reasons for his departure from music. "Err… Well, not exactly grades, she's not such an ass that she'd…" He sighs. "No, I take that back… She's been teasing me, alright… About something pretty jackass worthy."

Kid murmurs bluntly, "That seems rather harsh; what's she teasing you about?"

"She thinks I have a thing for y–" Soul holds back a stammer. Phew~ Almost blurted that out. "It's nothing serious."

Kid narrows his eyes and answers lowly, "I find that unfair, you've got me interested and you're just going to dismiss the topic altogether?"

Feeling distinctly more light-hearted, Soul sneers and sticks out a tongue, "… Uh-huh." He cackles lowly after seeing Kid wrinkle his nose in distaste.

He straightens his tie, "… You know, it's considered pretty jack-ass-worthy –" He directly quotes Soul's crude choice of words whilst putting up quotation marks with his fingers, a trademark habit of his. "– To just leave a question up in the air like that after bringing it up themselves in the first place…"

"Eh." The scythe pauses, peering over. "Perhaps… But y'know, a cool guy like me shouldn't care about such things, right?"

The other clicks his tongue as he closes his eyes and leans back into the locker, "… I dislike you, Soul Eater."

Soul vacantly meets the other eye to eye, "And I…" He gives an unenthusiastic half-frown, attempting to mimic the other. "… Dislike you. Kid." He flicks out the tip of his tongue in mild tease. When Kid doesn't respond, breathing evenly with his back supported by the wall, Soul leans closer, utilizing his forearm to keep his body balanced. Weighing his feet down and pushing slightly off the wall, Soul hovers his lips over the corner of Kid's lips, hastily withdrawing when Kid shoots open his eyes.

The other stares back at the scythe bewildered. He doesn't step away though, only staring back with an unusual look, addled with mild curiosity as well as an indescribable emotion. Kid was partly claustrophobic, not liking things to invade his space more than needed – it was mainly his OCD to blame for though as well as his previous 'isolated rich kid' status. He dismisses claustrophobia. No… It's not that… Is it? The shinigami asks himself this as well as reminiscing on past memories.

He rarely had people accompany him; most of his childhood was full of fond memories where an eccentric, younger Kid would reorganize furniture in rooms to be perfectly symmetrical from an aerial point of view or stack columns of perfectly proportional cubes at infancy. There was even one time where a maid caught him sawing off the leg of a table as she prepared to call him for dinner. She began to stammer in front of him as her toes pointed in and her fingers twitched at her sides.

It was asymmetrical, he had replied back matter-of-factly as the woman fainted in front of him. He didn't bother to call his father, continuing to saw off the wood. However weird he may have been seen to others, Kid had a reason for doing the things he did, a sense of logical thinking and obsessive drive for the objects around him to be aesthetically pleasing.

In his thoughts, everyone had some form of goal, drive, some type of obsession whether it was obvious or subtle. Maka wished to create a death scythe. Liz and Patti wished to move away from their dishonorable past into praiseworthy weapons of a shinigami. Black*Star wanted to be an assassin, some form of a godly, established warrior, despite having no espionage tactics, sagacity, or any subtlety and grace to his blunt and clear-cut attacks. Tsubaki dreamed of the day where she would bring honor to the Nakatsukasa clan, the clan being hailed as a long chain of accomplished weapons – and she hoped to do this all while staying at Black*Star's side.

Like Kid thought, everyone had some goal, whether malicious or good, silly or rational, unlikely or likely.

But Soul… What does he want? He admitted to himself that the other was interesting in that respect, that he wasn't as readable or open as the others. But lately, Soul had just been weird, an awkward atmosphere dawning on the two most of their time together. Kid understood that the boy opposite him was clearly aloof and wounded in some way, but other than that… He didn't understand most of the things Soul had been doing. He gets kind of up and personal… It was like that one time in the Nurse's office.

Snapping back to his current predicament, the composed shinigami uncharacteristically blubbers out, "… What was that?"

Soul almost swallows his tongue in aftershock. "… Uh… Your breath stunk," Soul murmured under his breath. He slaps himself in the face inwardly. Yeah, like he'd fall for that…

Kid looks mainly disturbed now. "… You approached my face just to –" He takes a somewhat dramatic pause, sounding extremely bothered in his next sentence, "Sniff my breath?"

"…" I don't know which is worse: having Kid think I have a freaky sniffing fetish or letting him realize that I was about to kiss him then and there. He makes a retching sound at the mention of the dreaded K-word. He quickly reaches a conclusion, "I so did," he mumbles apathetically, not caring particularly how mentally ill the answer had made him sound. Yeah, I'm better off with the former.

"… I… I see." Kid fixes his collar before glancing down mutely at his shoes. A very awkward moment later, the shinigami takes out his hands from his pockets. Flustered, he brings up a palm in front of his mouth and breathes loudly unto it. He sniffs once, before taking out a handkerchief and wiping his hands afterward. I don't smell anything… But then again, one never judges oneself negatively. "Hm… Well then… I'm sorry. Maybe it was some of the garlic pasta I ate at lunch."

I don't understand, didn't I eat most of that garlic pasta though? Huh… Wait a minute. It worked? Instantly getting the gist of it, Soul holds back a laugh, barely muffling it as he clasped a hand over his mouth. When Kid raises an eyebrow quizzically, Soul maintains a very forced vacant look, his hands swiped behind his waist. Luckily, the shinigami doesn't notice. HE – HE ACTUALLY FELL FOR THAT? "By gawd, Kid, you're something special, alright…" He chuckles darkly at the naivety and taps him over the shoulder. "Where do you want to head to for the next study session?"

"Well… Usual place, I guess…" Kid awkwardly shifts his boots around, his fists clenched violently.

"Ur… Something up?" Soul swings his arm off immediately at the unfriendly aura emanating from the shinigami.

"… Hey, Soul…"

He strains out an easy-going look, "Uh-huh, what is it?"

Kid grumbles, sniffing his palm for the lingering scent. He peers up and growls darkly, "… Is the smell gone now?"

You're – you're still on that? Soul could only bang his head repeatedly against the wall as Kid ominously stared.

He repeats, "… Is it gone now or not?"

Soul and Kid are spending an all-night study session at the latter's mansion, the former being in desperate need of it. The exam was tomorrow. They currently sat across from each other on an extravagant dining table fit for an entire brigade.

"What the hell do you mean you don't understand this problem?" Kid growls, his fountain ink pen suffering an agonizing squeeze between the ringed middle finger and the index. "We've gone over this for – What – About a week now?"

"Gah, don't remind me…" Soul groans, his head downcast as stacks of study sheets are placed out in front of him. Ugh, I almost miss Maka's tutoring… He's reminded of the one hour lecture she had given him prior to his second test about what an irresponsible student he was and whether he was planning to develop good work ethics soon. Soul blinks twice. I see I've spoken too soon.

Kid is seen tampering with his ink pen as he fumbles on what to teach next. He's not absorbing ANY of this… "Soul… How about we make a deal?"

He seems interested enough and he leans in, "I'm all ears…" Is he – Is he going to just tell me the answers then?

"I'll buy you lunch, dinner, and dessert for the entire duration of the after school sessions with Stein – As long as you promise that you won't fall asleep on me again… As well as drool over my nice table."

Soul pushes his luck, "What about breakfast?" He gives him a toothy grin, making Kid twitch accordingly to the asymmetry.

"… I've been spending nearly every waking moment tutoring you. And I don't want it to be in the literal sense when I say waking moment." Kid seems dead serious when he says it.

The scythe stifles an irritated grunt, "Now why wouldn't someone want to see this all the time?" He points a finger over to his face, his comment more out of a half-assed attempt in retorting than an ego.

Kid drums his fingers impatiently over the desk. "Lunch, dinner, and dessert – Take it or leave it."

Soul snorts, "I eat your food either way…"

Kid grumbles, bitterly admitting to himself the truth of that statement.

"Besides… Believe me or not, I'm actually trying."

Kid seems to be at disbelief. "… Right." He looks on hopelessly as he flails loose study papers around. And I'm the queen of Yugoslovakia. As Kid continued on with the lecture, Soul's eyes immediately drooped. "Stop falling asleep on me. Your knee's already a mess."

Soul sniggers sardonically with weary eyes, "At least you're barefoot now… Less impact."

"Oh yeah?" Kid stares blankly ahead, maintaining his composure as his foot brutally swipes toward Soul's knee.

The scythe impulsively catches him by the ankle, having developed a sharp reflex due to all the kicks he'd suffered recently. "Ha-ha," he taunts. "Got you in a compromising position, Kiddo~" He playfully tugs at the leg, causing Kid to slide down his chair abruptly.

Kid, hissing lowly, kicks forward with his other foot, only to have both his feet caught by Soul. He continues to semi-dangle, the lower half of his body being supported unto the seat by his arms. "Ugh, you asymmetrical bastard…" He spits the word out as if it were the most demeaning thing he could possibly say. His grip begins to slip on the table as he struggles to pull his legs back. He violently shoves off, causing both Soul and Kid to topple back in their chairs.

"O-Ouch – That hurt like hell!" Soul groaned, clutching his newly bruised stomach.

Kid hisses as his back suffered whiplash. "You deserved as much. Don't ask a person for help if all you're going to do is sleep – This isn't some kind of slumber party, you know…"

"Why the hell would I come here expecting a slumber party, especially from the likes of such a killjoy?" Soul countered. Ah wait, doesn't that imply I've been to slumber parties? He blubbers to himself. Ah… Not cool.

Liz stumbles out, clad in her ice cream cone themed pajama bottoms and her tank top, "Just what the hell is going on? Heard a thudding sound…" She seemed more annoyed from being awakened prematurely from her beauty sleep than worried. But, then again, she lived with Kid and Patti, who were both pure extracts of chaos.

Kid grumbles as he pats off the dust that accumulated on his neatly pressed suit. "Well, you see, Liz –" His sentence is cut off as he stares at her face in horror. "What in the name of all that is aesthetically beautiful are you wearing over your face?"

Liz furrows a brow angrily. She currently sported thick, brown paste across her face, her hair forced back under her makeshift turban.

Soul mutters out knowingly, "Ah… Maka mentioned getting her face-pack from Liz. Something about moisturizing sun-damaged, dry skin?"

"Kid, geez, this is just a mud pack – closes up pores and stuff!" She groans.

Kid continues to drip blood from his mouth as he analyzes the cracks that unevenly formed across the crudely drying, disproportionately spread mud mask. Her PJ bottoms… One side is vanilla cones and the other strawberry… Her tank top's stripes are lopsided in the folds under her breasts. The ice cream cones aren't even patterned across in correct placements… Her turban is faulty with one of the ends folded over the other, tucked in irregularly. Parts of her tips are sticking out under the loose head garment… Three strands of hair stick out from the left and seven on the right. THREE isn't symmetrical from left to right! … SEVEN isn't symmetrical in any direction whatsoever! As his unending list went on, he spazzed out: "G-garbage – Asymmetrical garbage…" His fingers twitch at his sides before he blacks out, sprawled out symmetrically like that of a corpse in a coffin.

Soul and Liz stare for two seconds before facing each other, having grown used to the frequent occurrence of Kid's panic attacks. Said shinigami gags out a small stream of blood in the shape of an elegant fountain from his mouth.

Facing Soul, she answers enthusiastically, "These things do wonders for your complexion as well as fragile skin."

Soul shrugs, "So it seems." Boy, I thought Maka's grass growing pores looked hilarious…

"What are you doing at our house anyway? So far, you've only mooched off Kid's dinner the past few days you stayed overnight," she mumbles. She adds, "Not that Patti and I aren't mooching off Kid ourselves, of course…"

Soul blinks in minor relief. Huh, guess Maka didn't tell Liz yet… At least the rumor won't be skyrocketing up anytime soon. I wonder if Maka knew we were holding study sessions…

Liz smirks, continuing, "Maybe playing another round of footsie under the table?"

Soul narrows his eyes. Oh, of COURSE she told her. Well, better having Maka think I'm dating the freak than letting her know I ditched her tutoring sessions for his. "Whatever lets you sleep at night, lady."

The girl widens her eyes quizzically (or as much as she could under the hardening mud mask), "Oh, you're no longer denying it?"

"Like I said, whatever lets you sleep at night, Liz. I mean, ignorance is bliss, right?" He answered sarcastically, letting her get a grip on his deliberate tone.

She huffs noisily, "Hmph." Liz changes the topic, "Don't you have an exam tomorrow?"

"Ah, right…" Soul glances down at the knocked out shinigami. "Ugh, did he suffer another cardiac arrest?"

"He'd be dead by now if he did, Soul," Liz grumbles, lightly prodding at the unconscious boy. "Kid, get up, your boyfriend wants to give you a goodnight kiss before you really fall asleep."

Soul mutters under his breath, "Huh, you wish." He gently whacks at Kid's cheek, swatting at it as if it were a fly with the palm of his hand.

Liz whispers, "More like you wish."

Having forgotten his train of thought in the lecture when Kid finally came to, Soul had to suffer a review at the hands of a very annoyed and fatigued shinigami. They stayed up until dawn until Soul's head unexpectedly crashed down on the desk in exhaustion, Kid's head following soon after.

Patti came out of her room, wiping her eyes, giggling madly as she saw the two drool over the table and mumble vaguely in contempt. "Hue-heh-heh-heh-heh!" She impulsively snorted out her signature laugh, unable to hold it in, her annoyed elder sister throwing a pillow at the back of her head.

"Geez, your laugh could wake the dead out of their coffins!" She crankily mutters out, before taking in the sight of the scythe and the shinigami. "– O-Oh." Liz snorts herself, smiling genuinely. She pats down Patti's bed-pressed hair as the sisters giggle together. "Well, what do you know?"

Patti sniggers mischievously, "Do we wake them up?"

"Naw, let the Sleeping Beauties continue their little naptime."

Only a white wall could be seen when Soul opened his eyes, and that was when he noticed that he had fallen asleep spread across Kid's floor, staring straight at the ceiling. He rolls his head to his side and sees Kid stacking all their study notes in a neat tower. "What the hell? What's the time, Kid?" Soul rocks off his back and sits flat on the ground, his legs crossed out in front of him. He yawns, rubbing at his watery eyes.

Kid continues to mutter: "Disgusting… Filthy and disorganized heaps of crap…"

Soul grumpily kicks down the tower, leaving a very terrified Kid to tremble at the atrocity. The shinigami faces him with a spiteful glare, one that promised an early and painful death to the provoker. The scythe easily ignores it, having faced worse with Maka-chops. "Hey, seriously, what time is it?"

Kid grumbles to himself before nonchalantly facing the clock hanging on the wall. "You can't check the time yourself?"

Soul rolls his eyes before staring over. His eyesight was still blurry from waking up and he narrows them, trying to read for the directions the hands on the clock currently faced. "Huh. What do you know? We're late. It's about two minutes until our second class starts." Soul didn't seem too worried.

Kid also shares the same insouciance, having been late multiple times already. He blinks twice and mumbles uncaringly, "I see."

The two dully sit with their legs crossed, before sighing to get up.

As they make their way out from the gate, Soul idly stares up at the sky as Kid evens out the placement of his tie. "You don't seem too worried, Soul."

"Eh? I'm usually ditching though… And well, you're just always tardy."

Kid shrugs, "I meant about the exam."

The other smacks his lips as he inhales in his fatigue, storing it for later. "I think you did enough worrying for the duration of my entire lifetime."

Kid blushes lightly, a barely perceivable tinge of salmon pink staining his pale skin, "I did no such thing."

Soul chuckles, catching the other's embarrassment, "And just who bribed me with food?"

The shinigami widens his eyes in revelation as a cloud of confusion envelops his mind. "You're – right." Why DID I care so much?

The scythes picks at his ear as he asks, "What'd you say? I didn't quite catch that…"

Hmph, like I'll admit it again. "Eh. Just get an A or you'll have soiled my reputation as a shinigami," he haughtily mutters, stomping ahead.

Soul loses all trace of relaxation in his face as he flexes his arms over his head with a yawn. The hell was that about? Kid continues to charge ahead like a robot caught in a stampede, his arms awkwardly swaying at his sides in quickened motion. Soul clicks his tongue as he also hastens his pace, "Hey, you'll wear out your heels, princess… Wait up."

Way to kill the happy mood…

By the time they got there, the classes were already approaching an end, Kid having stopped numerous times to fix paintings as well as the placement of certain furniture in the academy (excluding the times they stopped in the street for Kid to repost crooked flyers). Soul, not caring about his attendance much in the first place, decided to stick with him, amusing himself with Kid's intolerance.

Maka caught up with Soul and Kid in the hall after the last bell rang. "Hey, where were you the whole day –" Her eyes widen when she sees Kid standing beside her weapon. "… Oh… I see."

Soul uneasily pulls his bangs back. "And just what – pray tell – do you see?"

"Hmph, I see that a certain someone decided to play hooky with another certain someone." She glances at Soul and Kid whilst saying so.

"Yeah, yeah… Very subtle," he mumbles. "I'll see you at home."

Maka taps him lightly on the shoulder, "Good luck on the test. I'll try and buy you some celebratory sweet buns too."

Soul shrugs, "Cool."

Kid crosses his arms as Maka goes away. "Is she implying something?"

The scythe smoothly changes the course the conversation headed toward, "… Kid, why don't you meet up with Liz and Patti?" I've had years of practice with this. He inwardly smirks when Kid nods.

He scratches at his cheek. "Ah, I should ask them why they never bothered waking us up… Thanks for reminding me."

"No problem, I'll be seeing you later, dude." He waves at the departing shinigami, feeling a little sour. Maybe I should just tell him… He shakes his head.


Kid and Soul reunite in front of Stein's room. They look to each other and see determination. They swiftly bob their heads before making their way in. The set up of the room is the same as always, the lights dramatically (albeit unnecessarily) dimmed with Stein sitting ominously in a corner desk with his rolling chair.

The exam had already begun and Soul's memory was as sketchy as always. Damn it… I don't think this exam will be any better… He stretches his neck then his arms before flipping the booklet open. "… This…"

He reads the question over and answers instantaneously.

I – I actually knew it…

Next question, he takes a moment over it and scribbles in a phrase.

Err… I think that's it…

He moves on to the next one, fills it in and continues the process repeatedly, easily skipping over the ones he couldn't remember for future check-ups.

Huh. This isn't too bad. Can't believe some things actually stuck with me after that week of torment and knee-scabbing from Kid.

He idly twirls his pen as he fills up the last question. He glances at the clock. Wow, and with seventeen minutes to spare. Only forty three minutes had gone by, and he had finished all one hundred questions, a remarkable step ahead from his previous two exams. He smirks to himself at the feat. "Came a long way…" All thanks to Kid… He smirks. And his stupid torture method of potentially dislocating my knee.

After closing up his packet, he glances over to Kid, falling flat on his desk after doing so. HE'S ONLY ON HIS NAME – AGAIN? "Geez, Kid, get started already, you're –" Stein shushes him abruptly, leaving Soul to scowl at the bitter grade in store for his temporary mentor.

Kid seemed lost in his own world as he measured out the shapes with a ruler.

Fifteen minutes… Soul grumbles as he gets up from his desk to turn in his exam.

Stein mutters, "Oh? Done this early?"

"Yeah, need to go to the bathroom."

"I won't let you revise it afterward, you know…" He mutters dangerously, flipping open the packet, surprised to see correct answers written on the first page.

Soul snorts, "I wasn't planning on revising it."

Flipping another page, the professor spots a mistake, a sinister smile forming across his face. He marks a big red X over it, seeing Soul flinch. Stein nods, "It's your funeral then, I'll have it graded right away."

Soul bitterly sauntered out, making it through the halls and into the bathroom. He splashes cold water at his face. Ugh, I hate all-nighters… However, another thought irked him – Stupid Kid and his symmetry fetish… He's going to get another zero despite knowing all the material. He dries his face on a paper towel, glancing up at the mirror than hung in front of him. He rubs his chin ponderingly, "Hmm…"

Stein could only wipe at his glasses with his sleeve when Soul stumbled in with a giant unhinged mirror. "… Kids these days…" He doesn't seem too worried at the potential robbery, refocusing on his papers as he shuffled past through thick packets.

Soul sets it down on the ground, roughly pushing a desk beside Kid's. The shinigami stares up in befuddlement, "What is – that?"

"Piss off, I'm helping your sorry ass," Soul grumbled casually. He picks up the mirror, setting it on top of the relocated desk. The mirror makes it so that Kid's paper is reflected perfectly back.

Kid's eyes widen a little in amazement. "..." This way… This way, it –

Preserves your sick obsession with left and right symmetry. Soul finishes the statement knowingly; he smiles at his clever quick thinking. Whatever you do will be reflected back. "Finish your test. Stein doesn't care 'cuz it's not like you're cheating."

The shinigami looks up at Soul with curious eyes – one that seemed to fuse both gratefulness and veneration. He smiles lightly, Soul blushing as he saw the rare glimpse of happiness in Kid's lifeless, serious eyes. The shinigami finishes his test immediately.

When Soul got his test back from the psychotic mastermind of a professor, he couldn't help but feel a toothy smirk creep up his usual blank slate of a face. "Heh-heh, a seventy eight… Not the best fucking grade, but hell – I passed." He closes his eyes as he sneers in relief at the accomplishment.

Kid approaches him from behind, a quiet and expressionless face returned. However, his eyes remain bright like before, shining a magnificent gold. "Hmm… Very good."

Soul turns around, "Looks like your tutoring paid off, Kid."

"I'll be expecting an A from you next time."

Rolling his eyes, Soul sneers, "You bet I will."

"Say… I…" He coughs into his clenched hand. "… Didn't get to thank you for that… So, uh… Thanks."

Sounds like that word's new on him… Soul lowers his gaze. "Uh… Sure. Consider it a giant favor." He gives him a small thumbs-up sign, holding a composed expression despite feeling a little embarrassed at his own actions. "So, the brilliant Kid… What'd you get?"

Kid smiles arrogantly, "It's the best possible grade." He hands him the paper.

I thought as much – One hundred. "I see…" Soul opens up the packet, flipping through it. The last couple pages were all covered in bright, crimson X's. "H-huh? You missed a bunch in the back…" He flips to the last page, seeing the number grade. "Eighty-eight."

"Yes," Kid confirms joyously, crossing his arms in a pompous stance.

"… Ur… Kid, sorry to kill your mood, but… It was out of one hundred, not eighty-eight."

"That's where you're wrong, Soul Eater," he replies coldly. He taps at the grade.

Wait, what? The scythe hesitantly stares up before a hamster began to spin on its wheel inside of his head. "… You… Have got to be… Shitting… Me…" He fumes over the paper, crumbling the edges a bit in his grip. Every single answer up until the last twelve was correct. There are even erase marks on the last twelve, hinting that he erased the correct markings soon after making them. He marked them wrong on – fucking – purpose?

"Eight is symmetrical up and down, left and right – the rule also applies to two eights standing aside each other. This is the highest form of beauty and the highest grade one could achieve in a numerical form limited to one hundred," the shinigami laughs darkly to himself as his fingers move about in his trademark pose.

Soul could only stare speechless.

Kid's tone of voice takes a very humble and anxious turn. "… Besides, you said it yourself…"

The scythe cocks his head to the side, "H-huh? About what?"

He sighs, "This grade is perfect."

"You missed twelve – I mean, that's good – But it's hardly what people would call perfect…"

Kid looked up with unmistakable fortitude. "It's the flaws that make it perfection…"

Soul stares wide-eyed before authentically smiling. "… Y-Yeah…" He… The talk in the hall that day.

After a short instance of tranquility between the two erratic boys, the shinigami wordlessly brushed back Soul's hair – fixing the other's hair having become an unusual habit for him. His fingers linger, fondling the skin as Soul narrowed his eyes under the touch. Soul slips his hand over the other as he pulled it down, however, he doesn't let go.

The two stood locked in an awkward handshake.

The scythe clears his throat and snickers, breaking the uncomfortable mood. "Now this is where I say, I stand corrected, right?"

Soul and Kid head toward the bakery/café for a commemorative dessert.

The warmth between their fingers continues to loiter.

Meanwhile, in the boys' bathroom…

"Hey, dude, wasn't there a mirror here?" A guy idly asked at his friend whilst washing his hands. The wall of the bathroom is marked with an obvious, square stain – signaling that an object was once bolted to the space. Broken bolts and screws can be seen on the tiled floor – deep cracks, ripping of white pavement that covered the wall, peeling of paint – it all showed obvious hints of someone having wrenched the item out in a violent, rushed fury. "Whoa, damn, I mean… Look at this shit! Looks like some mountain bear tackled the hell out of the wall!"

The guy in the stall responds with a jaded sigh, "Hey –"

His friend goes enthusiastically, "SHIIIIIIIITTT – he has got to be some kind of badass thief to get away with stealing such large –"


"Why a mirror though? – Probably thought no one would notice this gaping space, eh? Cuz' seriously, this is –"

"Hear me out, you LITTLE –"

He cuts him off once more, "Huh. I wonder if he's still carrying it around school campus – You'd expect some teacher to –"

His friend could only be heard grumbling inside the stall, his pants hanging at his ankles, "Damn it! Didn't I tell you not to fucking talk to me when I'm trying to take a dump?"

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