A/N: First Soul Eater fic, so bear with me folks! I adore Soul and Maka as a couple (and I swear if they don't get together in the manga, I will kill someone). So this is just a little something I whipped up in a "sure, it could totally happen" frame of mind. Hope you guys enjoy it!
Rated T, although there IS one F-bomb, sorry if it bothers anyone.
I don't own Soul Eater-if I did, the anime would have ended differently.
Down on one knee, holding the small velvet box, opened to reveal the most beautiful diamond ring he had stolen money from his parents in order to buy, all for her…Soul Eater felt like the most uncool—no, the absolute lamest person on the planet.
He promised himself he was going to wait until Maka had achieved her goal of making him a Death Scythe, but too many near-fatal assignments had made him reconsider. And now he was paying the price.
Goddammit…he was so sure she would accept.
Thirty minutes earlier
Maka leapt up from the couch when she heard the knock at her apartment door, wondering who could be dropping by around dinner time. Praying silently that it wasn't her father, she opened the door and was confused to see Soul standing there.
"Soul? You live here, remember? Why didn't you just unlock the door?"
"Happy anniversary," Soul said with a toothy smile, producing a bouquet of yellow roses from behind his back—not red, as was traditional. Didn't want to scare her off before he even got started.
Maka simply stared back at him, her brow furrowed, "Am I…missing something?" Her cheeks were slightly pink.
"The anniversary?" Soul repeated, his eyebrows raised. "Of the day we became weapon and meister?"
"Oh, oh yeah, of course!" Maka spluttered, her cheeks fully red now. What the hell was she thinking otherwise? "Um, thank you," she said quietly as she took the flowers from him and headed into the kitchen with them.
Soul hastily checked his watch—5:20. Shit, he had less than forty-five minutes to do this, before Black Star, Kid and the others showed up. Why did the damn florist have to mix up the orders and make him fall behind schedule?
Maka arranged the roses in a glass vase she produced from the cabinet and set them on the kitchen table. Soul had never given her flowers before, what was going on? He looked particularly happy—maybe he had some really good news to tell her. A white card stuck out from amidst the yellow petals, and Maka pulled it out and opened it. She smiled: "You're more than just the coolest partner ever—you're the best friend a guy could ever have. Love, Soul."
Soul had just finished digging the candles out of the cupboard to set on the table, when Maka came up to him and hugged him tightly, "That card was so sweet, Soul, thank you…" As suddenly as she'd embraced him, she pulled back and looked at him sternly, "What'd you and Black Star do, and how much is it gonna cost to repair whatever it is?"
"What are you talking about?" Soul asked, putting the candles down on the table, thoroughly taken aback.
"You bought me roses, you gave me a flattering card, you're putting candles on the dinner table—last time you did something nice like this, you and Black Star got suspended for knocking over a shelf of toxic liquids in the nurse's office."
"One: that was never fully proven that it was us," Soul defended, striking a match and lighting the candles. "And two, we didn't do anything! God, can't a guy do something cool for his partner once in awhile?"
"A great while," Maka muttered, turning back to the casserole and setting it on the table.
Fifteen minutes, Soul lamented to himself. He felt for the small velvet box in his jacket pocket—how much longer could he stall? How in hell was he going to do this, what was he going to say? They could hardly call themselves boyfriend and girlfriend in the first place, so how could Soul just come out and tell the only girl he ever had strong feelings for…that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her?
"Soul, dinner's getting cold," Maka said, watching him stare off into space, his hand in his pocket. "You gonna sit down and eat?"
"Yeah, sure," Soul replied, squeezing the little box in his hand tightly. No more mulling it over, no more practicing in front of the mirror, no more private meetings with Spirit to assure his blessing—it was now or never. "But I gotta ask you something first."
Why did she have to say it so casually? It only made his heart pump faster against his ribcage as she stared up at him with those concerned green eyes of hers, her hair, the dirtiest of blonde, shining with a silky luster under the kitchen light—he had never voiced it allowed, but Soul had always thought Maka was beautiful.
"Alright look," Soul began, moving closer to where she sat, shoving his other hand in his pocket so he wouldn't look suspicious. "We've been partners for a while now, and we're—gonna graduate from the Academy soon. Not to mention we got ninety-six souls under our belt, which means we're four away from—"
"—making you a Death Scythe," Maka smiled—God, he loved her smile. "I know, I'm excited, too. Is that what this all is about?"
"Kinda," Soul said. "I mean, with the card and the flowers and everything…what I'm trying to say is…I care about you, Maka. A lot."
Maka's smile only widened as she got up from the chair and took his hands in hers, "Oh Soul…I—I care about you, too. I wouldn't trade my time as your partner away for anything else in the world."
Soul felt immensely relieved to hear her say that, as if a great weight had been lifted from his chest. Alright, you got this in the bag…just stay cool and spit it out. Still holding Maka's hand with his right hand and slipping his left back into his pocket, he got down on one knee before her.
"Soul, what are you doing?" Her smile was gone now, and a look that nearly resembled panic crossed her face.
"When everything starts to change when we leave school, there's one thing I know I won't be able to live without—and that's the bond I have with you." He pulled out the black velvet box.
"Oh dear God…" Maka breathed in a shuddering gasp, raising a hand to cover her mouth.
"So I've got this diamond ring here," Soul said, showing his pointed teeth as he smiled up at her, opening the box. "For you—because I love you, Maka Albarn. I always have, even when I didn't show it. Will you marry me?"
There was silence, deafening throughout the kitchen, the entire apartment—Soul couldn't have been more proud of himself, he had said what was really in his heart and he nailed it. He half expected Maka to start crying, flinging herself at him like those chicks in the movies—but she just stood there. Minutes passed and they still didn't move, Soul kneeling on the hard and incredibly uncomfortable tile floor, Maka staring down at him, her eyes traveling from his face to the ring. She didn't smile, not once since he'd knelt down and told her he loved her. She still didn't smile when after several agonizing minutes, she finally opened her mouth to respond.
"No." It wasn't hesitant, it wasn't spoken in such a way to let him down gently—it was prompt, harsh, tactless, as if saying that word wasn't causing Soul's entire world to crash down around him.
"W-what?" He was stunned. It was just like the nightmare he had last week in which she had denied him—except when he pinched himself this time, he didn't wake up. This was really happening…how could this really be happening?
"I said no, Soul," Maka repeated, yanking her hand out of his grip, staring at the ring as if it were a dagger poised to strike her breast. "What…what the fuck were you thinking?"
"Maka!" He almost never heard her use that four-letter word, only when they were battling something particularly nasty. "I just told you how I feel!"
"Since when have you felt all that?" Maka shouted, blowing out the candles and snapping them up off the table. "Got tired of Blair pushing her boobs up against your face?"
"That's not gonna happen anymore, Maka," Soul said, and he meant it. "I was stupid, I'm sorry. But everything I just said—it's the God-honest truth. I love you—"
"Shut up!" Maka screamed, scooping the roses out of the vase and throwing them in his face. "You don't love me, you—you can't love me! Yellow roses, ha! Don't those symbolize friendship?"
"Because I didn't wanna buy you red roses and freak you out!" Soul yelled back, now she was just pissing him off.
"Oh I see, 'cause the five carat diamond ring wasn't gonna freak me out at all!" Maka snarled sarcastically.
"I robbed two thousand dollars from my old man's bank account to buy that ring for you!" Soul shouted, his voice now louder than Maka's. Striding towards her, her grabbed her by the arms and held her fast to keep her from getting away from him.
"Let me go, Soul!"
"No, you're gonna hear this again—you're gonna hear this as many times as it takes until it gets through that stubborn, ultra-thick skull of yours," Soul hissed under his breath. His grip was strong, his nails digging into her arms, but his eyes and voice conveyed a softness that she had always been able to trust. "I love you, Maka. Why the hell is that so hard for you to handle, you're acting like Crona!"
"Stop saying that, Soul—"
"I can't, it's how I feel," Soul shook his head, placing his hand under her chin and forcing her to look into his crimson eyes. "You hear it, every time I play the piano—and I haven't been able to put my feelings for you into words until now."
"Soul, how can I possibly marry you when I don't even love you back?" Soul was shocked into silence, his grip slack, which allowed Maka to pull herself free and head for the door. "I'm going out for awhile, don't follow me."
"Maka…" Soul's voice trailed off, completely at a loss for words as Maka flung the apartment door open—to reveal the absolute last people she wanted to see.
"Congratulations!" came a chorus of voices as Black Star led the party into the room, two bottles of Jack Daniels in each hand. Tsubaki carried a plate of finger foods and dip, while Death the Kid, Liz and Patti each held a bottle of champagne.
"We were starting to think this day would never come!" Kid said happily, shaking Soul's hand vigorously as Black Star flung a slightly tipsy arm around Soul's shoulders.
"Let me see it, let me see it—for Christ's sake, put it on!" Liz grabbed Maka's left hand and jammed the diamond on her ring finger. "Oh my God, Maka it's gorgeous!"
"Drinks all around!" Black Star yelled, pouring his liquor out.
"Black Star, those are the champagne glasses!" Tsubaki moaned, grabbing the glasses away from him.
"Guys, hold it!" Soul roared, and everyone froze, Maka's hand moving towards the doorknob. "The party's off, we're not celebrating anything."
"Sure we are, you proposed didn't you?" Kid laughed.
"Look at this rock!" Patti giggled, holding out Maka's hand, which she yanked out of the blonde's grip.
"Yeah, I proposed!" Soul said, starting to get angry again.
"And I said 'no'," Maka said in a quiet, trembling voice. There was a general intake of breath from across the room as Soul and Maka simply stared at eachother.
"Maka," Tsubaki said, going up to her. "What's wrong, why did you turn Soul down?"
Maka lowered her eyes and shook her head. She knew if she sat down with Tsubaki, sweet-natured and understanding Tsubaki and poured her heart out, her composure wouldn't hold much longer. She wouldn't understand anyways, none of them would. And the only person she ever thought understood her completely was the cause of all of this in the first place. Ripping the ring from her finger, she tossed it on the floor at Soul's feet and grabbed her jacket.
"I'm sorry, Soul," Maka said, her eyes filled with unshed tears—and to everyone's surprise, Soul had tears in his eyes as he bent to pick up the ring. "I'm sorry you love me." With that, she zipped up her jacket and slammed the door behind her—but not before she heard Black Star scream "What the hell was that all about?"
It was freezing—why hadn't she grabbed a scarf; it was December for crying out loud. Maka swiped at her cheeks and nose as she wandered into Death City's downtown area, confirming that the streets were deserted before she had let loose and started to cry.
I can't believe it…I should be happy, I've dreamed about him asking me ten thousand times, she thought, rubbing her face roughly as the tears began to freeze on her cheeks. But not now—no, this is way too sudden. I'm only sixteen, he's seventeen. The same age as…
There it was at last, the hidden core behind her anguish, the reason she had refused Soul's proposal. The images of her mother screaming at her father when he came home drunk and thoroughly pleasured, the memories of sitting at the top of the stairs as a little girl, crying her heart out as she overheard them—it was all she could think of as Soul held out that diamond ring for her.
It was why Maka had no choice but to lie to his face. I don't love you back. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Even though her father's endeavors had led to her scorning of the male race, even though her partner was lazy, unambitious, and drooled, even though she had sworn she would never let a man in while still so young and fall into the same trap her mother had, she had been forced to lie to Soul. Because she loved him. There, she had admitted it at last—Maka Albarn was in love with Soul Eater Evans. But she couldn't marry him, not now. She had to push him away to avoid either of them getting hurt in the future—causing their children to suffer as she had all her life.
"Disgusting, ugh! Why do I have to do this every night?" came a whining voice, and Maka looked up to see Blair coming out of Chupacabra's, holding a bag of garbage daintily between her thumb and index finger, pinching her nose. Once she'd flung the trash in the dumpster, she whirled around and smiled at seeing Maka.
"Hi Blair, how's business?" Maka offered casually, her voice thickly holding back tears.
"Slow, it's only nine o' clock," Blair rolled her eyes. "Anyways, what are you doing out by yourself? Where's Soul?" At the mention of Soul's name, Maka all but completely lost it right there on the sidewalk. Blair's smile faded at the distress on Maka's face.
"We uh—we kind of had a fight," Maka choked out, her voice breaking.
"Oh, you poor thing," Blair cooed, wrapping a comforting arm around the younger girl's shoulders. "Come on inside, it's freezing out here."
"Uh, I don't know if I should go in th—"
"Oh come on, besides you never know who you'll meet in here," Blair sang out with a wink as she led Maka inside.
"I can take a wild guess…" Maka muttered under her breath. Sure enough, once the door opened, the raucous laughter of a man sandwiched on a plush couch between two women reached her ears—a certain man she worked so hard to despise.
"Maka?" Spirit cried out, spilling wine down his shirt as he quickly let go of the women beside him.
"I'm outta here," Maka declared curtly, turning on her heel.
"No, Maka, stay here just for a little while!" Blair whined again, sounding more and more like a cat each time. "Maybe you should tell your dad what happened with you and Soul."
"My dad's the reason this happened between me and Soul!" Maka cried out, her hands balling into fists as she fought against breaking down again. "Thanks to him going out to little bars like this one and fawning over every stacked female that walks the earth, I very well may have lost the only person I've ever cared about tonight!"
"Ladies, that's all for this evening," Spirit said in a suddenly serious tone, as the women got up to leave. He smiled at Maka from across the room, "My little girl needs her papa tonight."
"No I don't," Maka snapped, making to leave the bar again only to be blocked by Blair.
"Maka, what have you got to lose?" Blair said softly. "Besides your papa, the only other person you could talk to about something like this is the person you're mad at in the first place."
"Come here," Spirit said, patting the seat next to him. Grumbling unheard profanities under her breath, Maka skulked over to the couch and plopped herself down beside her father. Blair smiled over at them before turning the lights up and disappearing into the back room.
"Now—what did that no good Soul Eater do to my precious little girl?" Spirit demanded at the top of his lungs, pulling at his hair in frustration while Maka sat unfazed. "If he hurt you, I'll march right over there and stick my pointed scythe up his—!"
"He asked me to marry him," Maka said blankly.
"He did?" Spirit said, his demeanor changing completely as he pumped his fists triumphantly. "Oh at last! He's been carrying that ring around for almost a month now—!"
"I turned him down," Maka said again in an emotionless tone, her arms crossed tightly over her chest.
"What?" Spirit cried, clutching at his face. "But Maka why?"
"Because of you," Maka said, turning to face her father for the first time. "You and the baggage that comes with marrying too young, you and your lies and your cheating. You, letting a terrific woman who you didn't even deserve get too close to you so you could marry her, sleep with her, have a daughter who would spend her whole life watching her father dance at parties with other women and knowing that was wrong." Maka stared into her lap as she started to sniffle, the tears falling again. "A daughter who built her entire life around not letting men get too close to her or she'd wind up hurt. But the one time she did let a man in, she not only entrusted him with her life, but also with her heart. Her soul. And he always kept that trust, no matter what—and I fell head over heels for him. Even though I want to so much, I can't give myself completely to him…because I know we'll get hurt somewhere down the line and I'll have to leave him! And I can't subject Soul to the same pain I've felt because I love him too much! That's why I couldn't say yes to him! That's why I'm alone and scared and—it's just—times like this—that—I wish Mama was here!"
Maka flung her face into her hands and burst into tears, blubbering like she was five years old again, not even shrugging off her father's arms as they wrapped around her.
"Shh…" Spirit soothed, holding her close as she turned her face into his chest and sobbed. "Maka, it's alright…you don't have to worry about any of that happening to you."
"How could you possibly know that?" Maka gulped, pulling back from him and he kissed her forehead.
"Soul and I met a few times over the past couple of months," Spirit explained, keeping an arm around Maka's shoulders. "When he first told me he wanted to marry you, I wasn't prepared to give him the time of day, much less my blessing. But then you two had that horrible assignment in Russia, against a Kishin egg too corrupted for either of you to handle. Soul told me everything—you just wouldn't quit, no matter how many times he told you to stop and retreat. Maka, if it wasn't for Soul…his resonance with you, his devotion to you, then I would have had to bury my only child." He squeezed her shoulder gently, "So I met with him again once we were sure you'd make a full recovery, and after making an explicitly long list of things not to do to my baby girl—!"
"Papa…" Maka moaned, rolling her eyes.
"—I gave my permission," Spirit finished proudly.
"So Soul saved my life—well, wouldn't you have done the same for Mama?" Maka said, her eyes narrowed.
"Of course," Spirit said. "Maka, I love your mother and she loved me—no Maka, I really do," he said firmly at Maka's cruel scoff in his direction. "To this day I'd do anything for her. We made an amazing team, our resonance was always spot on, up until the very end. What your mother and I had…is nothing compared to what you and Soul have."
Maka's head snapped up, "What?"
"You have a faith in eachother, an acceptance of the other in spite of everything—your mother and I never had that," Spirit said quietly. "Soul's a better man than I'll ever be, you know that more than anyone. So why won't you let him reach out to you?"
"I told you why!" Maka sighed in exasperation.
"Soul is not me, Maka," Spirit said resolutely, forcing Maka to look at him and gripping her shoulders. "He may be lazy, he may get on your nerves every single day, but that boy would die before he ever hurt you…I know, because he told me so himself."
"He—he really said that?" If Maka hadn't loved her partner before, she sure loved him now.
"He shows it every day," Spirit said with a smile. "Now go back to him, Maka…and give him the honesty he deserves."
The melody was dissonant, clashing chords right and left, but not frantic as it was that one time in the Black Room. No, it was a soft minor-key ballad he played out from ear as Soul ran his fingers effortlessly across his keyboard. He could hear them all talking quietly in the kitchen with the door closed—no doubt about him and Maka and what could have gone wrong. He himself didn't know, and it was why he just wanted to be left alone with his music. Being a total introvert, it was the only way he could express himself when Maka wasn't around to listen to him rant—especially when his overachieving, over-infuriating partner was the cause of it all.
Soul could have sworn he heard the apartment door open and close, and hastily came up with a conclusion to the piece in his head. The haunting tune drew to a close, and he withdrew his fingers from the keys. He looked up at the clock, it was almost midnight. Then slowly, very slowly, he turned around on the bench to see Maka standing just inside the door.
He stared at her as if she had succumbed to insanity again. You ripped out my heart and stomped on it with your pointed high heels and all you can say is "Hi Soul"? Deciding that would probably not be the best way to start things off, he got up from the bench to face her, shoving his hands deep in his pockets. "What do you want?"
"I want to tell you…why I said all those awful things I did," Maka said quietly. "Where's everyone else?"
"In the kitchen, pigging out on Tsubaki's cooking," Soul grunted, jerking his head towards the door where a sudden hush had come over the kitchen area.
"Hey, Maka's back!" came Black Star's voice in an excited stage whisper.
"SHH!" the other four hissed, no doubt every single one of them had their ear pressed up against the kitchen door.
"Alright, shoot," Soul said, crossing his arms over his chest, and Maka rose her eyes to meet his glare.
"You're really mad at me, and I don't blame you," Maka said, stepping closer to him. "But I did a lot of thinking while I was out."
"You've been crying," Soul noticed as Maka moved closer, her eyes red rimmed and cheeks still blotchy, not just from the cold.
"So've you," Maka pointed out, and Soul hastily brushed away the salty tracks that had trailed unnoticed down his face as he played the keyboard. Not cool.
"Soul, when I said I didn't love you…that was a lie."
Soul snorted, "I knew that."
"Maka, come on. There's no way our soul wavelengths can resonate the way they do if you didn't love me." Maka was relieved to see him smirking that crooked smile again, but was still incredibly annoyed with him.
"But—but—why did you look so shocked when I told you earlier?"
"'Cause for a sec, I actually believed you," Soul said, staring down at his shuffling feet. "I know that wasn't how you really felt, but—you know sometimes when people try and deny something that's right in front of them, over and over again for God knows how long…" He looked back up at Maka, his glare replaced with a soft earnest expression that broke her heart into a million pieces. "They start believing it's the truth. And I was afraid that's what was happening to us and…that I was losing you."
"I'm sorry," Maka said in a hushed voice that grew into a strangled sob, "I'm so sorry." Darting forward, she flung her arms around his waist and buried her face in his shoulder as Soul embraced his meister tightly, feeling her lithe body shake with quiet sobs. "You won't lose me, no matter what happens I promise—!"
"I know," Soul breathed into her ear, rubbing her back and hair soothingly as her tears began to thoroughly soak his best shirt. "It's okay…it's alright now…I'm not going anywhere either."
"I just got so scared when you pulled out that ring and told me you loved me and wanted to marry me, and then all I could think of was my parents when they got married fresh out of the Academy, then got divorced, and I just didn't want the same thing to happen to us because we've been through so much and we can't just fall apart after all this time together—!"
"Hey Maka, shut up for a sec," Soul drawled lazily, before pulling back slightly and pressing his lips gently against hers. It only lasted a couple of seconds—but for both of them, those few moments made everything so much clearer.
"I love you, Soul," Maka breathed as their lips broke apart. "I love you so much," she repeated sincerely, burying her face in his chest and inhaling his sweet scent. "And that's the truth."
Soul held her closely against him, a single tear slid down the side of his nose and into her hair. "I love you too, Maka…"
"Give her the ring!" came a voice smothered by a fake cough on the other side of the door that, judging from two girlish giggles that followed it, had to be Kid. With a sigh, Soul reached into his pocket and once again withdrew the diamond ring.
"Take two," he grinned and Maka smiled as he got down on one knee before her. "Maka Albarn, I love you and I've alwaysloved you. Will you marry me?"
Maka closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them again to gaze down into his pools of crimson. "Yes," she said quietly, bending down to meet his lips briefly once again. Then she straightened up and said loudly, "Did you hear that? I said yes!"
The kitchen door banged open and five figures that had been kneeling or hunched against the door came spilling out onto the floor, grunting as they fell on top of eachother. But the engaged weapon and meister pair barely noticed as Soul slipped the diamond ring on Maka's finger, her eyes never leaving him as he rose to his feet to kiss her again. There was a loud whooping from Kid and Black Star and several "aww's" from the girls as the kiss grew passionately, then they broke apart grinning broadly at eachother.
"Looks like the party's back on!" Black Star pumped the air with his fists before grabbing the drinks. "C'mon, the liquor's getting warm!"
"You're the only one drinking it anyways," Tsubaki said, shaking her head in defeat.
"Line up the champagne glasses in perfectly equal lines, girls!"
"We can't, Kid."
"Yeah, there's only seven!"
"Gah! We need another glass, quick!"
"Champagne?" Soul offered Maka before taking a glass himself. "To the future Mrs. Soul Eater…Evans?" He squeaked out the last word with some difficulty.
"Sounds good to me," Maka smiled as they clinked their glasses together.
A/N: Hey, you made it to the end! I must be doing something right then. Anyways, reviews are always nice, so please leave one on your way out to read fics that are much better than mine :D