Under the Rain

A string of notes wove into a soft, fast-paced melody and overtook the small, dim room. The intricate notes were beautiful, flowing gracefully and smoothly. The song danced fluidly upon whichever pair of eardrums it came into contact with.

Mr. Nickerson, the pianist teacher, nodded his head in approval at the music emitting from the black, grand piano. He pushed his wire-rimmed glasses up the bridge of his nose then placed one of his wide hands on his student's shoulder.

The music stopped abruptly as the small child looked up at his teacher. His sad, bored expression stared lifelessly at Mr. Nickerson who in turn pursed his lips and ran his other hand through his wavy, dark brown hair.

"You're free to go, Soul. That's enough for today," he said and gave Soul's shoulder a light pat. "Go on," he urged.

The corner's of Soul's mouth upturned into a small, unnoticeable smile before nodding and sliding off of the piano bench. He walked over to the coat rack and removed his black jacket from one of the low hooks. "Thanks, Mr. Nickerson!" he called out as he grabbed his umbrella and walked through the doorway.

"Sure," Mr. Nickerson muttered as he walked over to his desk and grabbed a pack of cigarettes. "Go do, I don't know, little kid things."

Soul hopped down the steps of the front of building and put his umbrella up just in time for droplets of rain to slide off the slick material. He looked through the haze of the rain to the empty street, frowning at the lack of his parents' limo. He sighed and asked himself if they would ever pick him up on time.

The albino-haired child dragged his feet across the soaked concrete until he reached the end of the sidewalk and stared at the street.

'I wonder if mother and father will let me play soccer,' he thought as he looked up from the ground. He shook his head, dismissing the thought immediately. His parents would never allow him to do something so - what was the word that they used? - degrading. He shoved his left hand into his dress pants pocket and rocked back on his heels. Music was all they cared about because it was so elegant.

The rain began to pour down harder, thumping onto his umbrella faster and more often. The soft whish of the rain hitting the pavement thundered in his ears. The rain fell so thick, he could hardly see past the block. A desperate whimper climbed up his throat from the thought that he could be standing in this for more time until his parents finally remembered to take him home. Goosebumps prickled his arms as the harsh wind bit through his jacket. He hoped that they would come soon.

Soul looked down the street, watching for the familiar black stretch limo to cruise down the street, inviting him inside away from the cold rain. When it didn't come, his frown deepened and his shoulders slumped.

What if they had forgotten him? Or just couldn't be bothered to come get him in this downpour? No. His parents were strict, but never neglectful.

A sob broke into his thoughts and Soul's head jerked to his right. The source of the sob came from a metal bench. The rain pelted down on the bench, making it clang and vibrate. But on the bench sat a girl who looked to be his age, give or take a year. Her soaked hair was pulled into two pigtails that drooped onto her shoulders. It looked brown, but the water probably made it darker than its true color. Little water droplets could be seen collecting at the tips and falling off into her lap. She was wearing a pair of jean shorts and a yellow T-shirt, both soaked and clinging to her thin frame. Her feet sported dirty, floral flip-flops.

She was. . .strange. She was exactly the opposite of everything he had been brought up to believe. Her clothes were indecent and informal, her shoes were definitely not appropriate, especially for weather like this, and she was without a jacket in the cold rain.

Yet. . .it intrigued him. She was so different. He hardly saw people like her in his neighborhood. Their idea of dressing casual was a sundress or some khaki slacks. But this girl, soaked in the rain, was nothing like he'd ever seen.

So, wanting to know more about her and the reason she was crying, Soul walked over to her slumped form. He stood there for a few seconds, pondering on how to get her attention. Then, out of common courtesy, he held his umbrella out over the girl's head, ceasing the rainfall on her.

Noticing this, the young girl looked up at him with tear-filled green eyes and her lip trembled. She wrapped her arms around herself and said in a small, scared voice, "I can't find my mama."

Soul stared at her for a second or so before asking, "Where was the last place you saw her?"

The little girl blinked and more tears fell down her glistening, wet face. She used her arm to wipe her eyes and Soul cringed. He was brought up to never use his sleeve or his arm to wipe anything. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a white handkerchief and held it out to her. She stared at it in confusion before feebly taking it in her small, frail hands and dabbing at her eyes.

"She g-got mad and left the house. S-so I left too so that I could f-f-find her. But now I'm l-lost and I don't know where she is!" she cried. More tears fell down her cheeks and she rose the handkerchief to catch them. "And now I'm sc-scared and I don't know what to do!"

Soul jumped when a car horn sounded from the street and he looked back to see the black limo. It honked again and he turned and began walking towards it. 'Finally they've come!' he thought relieved. Just as he reached the door, his hand froze on the handle. He looked over his shoulder to find the girl sitting there on the bench, clutching his handkerchief tightly to her chest and sobbing again. Occasionally her eyes would glance up to him, sorrow tainting them before she looked down at the ground again.

Ignoring the calls of his mother's voice from inside the limo, Soul swiveled on his heel and jogged back to the bench. The girl looked up at him in shock before holding out his handkerchief. "I-I'm sorry. Here."

The silver haired boy reached out and grabbed the young girl's wrist. "C'mon! I'll help you find your mom!" He gave her a small, reassuring smile. "I'm Soul."

The girl looked up at him in gratitude and she smiled shyly. "Maka. Will you really help me find my mama?" she asked hopefully.

Soul pulled her off of the bench and dragged her to the limo. "I'll try. But first, I have to tell my mom."

He pulled open the limo door and was greeted by his mother and older brother, Wes. Wes smirked at him and crossed his arms, anticipating the scolding that was sure to come to his younger brother.

"Soul Eater Evans! What are you doing? We need - Oh! Hello there!" Soul's mother greeted Maka whose hand was still gripped in Soul's. She hid behind him, nervously peeking at the two people in the limo.

"Mommy, I met this girl and she can't find her mom and I promised I'd help her," said Soul.

The platinum blonde blinked. Then she smiled warmly and motioned for Maka to come closer. "Come here, sweetie. Do you know where the last place where your mother was?" she asked.

Maka emerged from behind Soul (who was only a few inches taller than her) and took a nervous step towards Soul's mother. "She left the house when she got angry and I tried to follow her but I got lost and now I'm scared!" she said in a rush and ended with a choked sob. Soul's mother's face fell and she gently pulled Maka onto her lap and hugged her.

"You poor girl! Oh. . .we'll help you find your mother, don't worry!" she said. She waved her hand, motioning for Soul to close the door to the limo. Once he had, the limo began moving slowly down the street.

"Honey, do you know where you live? Perhaps we can talk to someone there," said Mrs. Evans. She ran her hand down Maka's wet hair as Maka shivered on her lap and wrapped her arms around herself.

Maka's face scrunched up in concentration before she finally muttered a quick "273 Mort Avenue." Mrs. Evans repeated the address to the limo driver who gave a short nod in response.

"We're headed there right now, okay? Do you have any idea who might be there?"

Maka sniffled and shivered again. "M-my papa might be there. But he's angry, too." Her teeth began clattering and Soul's mother frowned.
"Wes, honey, can you get me a towel from the lower compartment right there. This child is freezing!"


Mrs. Evans blinked and faced Soul. "What did you say?"

Soul's eyes flickered to the wet, crying girl in his mother's arms before returning to his mother's flawless face. "Maka. Her name's Maka."

"Maka," she repeated. She nodded her head. "Maka."

A towel was placed on Maka's lap by Wes and Mrs. Evans picked it up and wrapped it around her. "There you go. Now you won't be so cold."

The rest of the ride was silent except for the soft crying from Maka and the whispered assurances from the woman's lap that she sat upon. Soul watched silently, still staring in admiration at how this girl was so different yet so interesting. Wes sat off to the side, silently pouting at the lack of punishment for Soul.

The limo slowed to a stop and Mrs. Evans looked out the window to see a tan house with a drowned out yard standing before them. There was a narrow porch with a small roof overhead that led to a large red door. Three slim windows were aligned in a row at the top with a brass door knocker right below them. "Maka." The young girl lifted her head. "Is this your house?"

Maka stretched her neck and looked out the dark tinted window and nodded. "Yeah. That's my house."

Mrs. Evans nodded. "Okay. Will you come with me to talk to you dad?" she asked.

Showing a little bit of hesitation, Maka nodded. "Alright." She slid off of Mrs. Evans's lap and removed the towel from her shoulders and dropped it on one of the seats. The limo driver opened their door and held out an umbrella for them to stand under. Soul's mother walked awkwardly out of the car in her beige high heels, gripping the door for support.

Maka glanced at Soul one more time with a sad look before hopping out of the car onto the sidewalk. Mrs. Evans took her hand and walked down the sidewalk, the limo driver on their tails with the large umbrella.

Once they had reached the door, Mrs. Evans gripped the door knocker and banged it three times before letting her hand rest back at her side. A smashing of glass was heard from the inside and Maka gripped Mrs. Evans's hand tighter.

"He's still angry," she whimpered into the woman's dress.

Mrs. Evans glanced dance questioningly at her. "What did you say, Maka?"

Said girl lifted her head up to speak when the door swung open and a blast of cool air hit them. Maka shivered involuntarily and pressed into Soul's mother's body for warmth.

In the doorway stood a man in askew clothing and bright red hair that hung down to his shoulders. His clouded blue eyes were hazed over and slightly unfocused as he stared the two of them down, a scowl on his lips. He reeked of alcohol and smoke and Mrs. Evans's dainty nose scrunched up.

"What do you want?" he snapped.

"Hello, I'm Jane Evans and I believe you are Mr. Albarn?"

"Spirit." His chest heaved with a short cough. "Spirit Albarn. Now what do you want?"

Jane's hand absently ran down her dress, smoothing out the imaginary wrinkles in the material. Her other hand slid from Maka's grasp and placed itself between her shoulder blades. "Your daughter was out lost in the rain and my son found her. I'm here to return her."

A silence dropped onto their conversation with only the rain to fill it. Spirit's head lowered to look at his daughter. His hands gripped each side of the door frame as he bent down lower to Maka's eye level.

"Papa?" she squeaked peeking her face out from the creases of the dress. Her wet bangs flopped into her eyes lifelessly and she looked through them at her intoxicated father. "Papa? Where's Mama?"

The instant those words left her mouth, Spirit's face twisted in rage and he jerked up straight. His left hand closed into a fist and trembled in pent up anger as he rose it above his head. He slammed it into the door with all his might, producing a loud bang which caused both Maka and Jane to jump. Maka whimpered and hid her face in Jane's dress again who wrapped her arms around the crying girl.

"That good for nothing Kami just up and left us! What the hell am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to take care of a kid all alone? What did I do to deserve this?" he shouted, banging into the door repeatedly.

Jane lifted Maka off of the ground who curled up into a ball and rested her head on Jane's shoulder. "I think I'll just come back later, Mr. Albarn when you're feeling. . .uh, better." Without a second's delay she turned on her heel and walked off the porch to the safety of the umbrella. Banging could still be heard behind them as they walked briskly down the sidewalk to the limo, eager to get away from the drunken rage of Maka's father.

"Papa was so sad about Mama leaving and he just sat there. But then he got mad and so he started throwing things around. I got scared because he was yelling so loud and looked so mad, so I went to go find Mama to tell her. But I couldn't find her," Maka whispered as they stepped into the limo. The limo driver shut the door behind them as Jane sat down on one of the seats, still holding Maka. Wes and Soul threw them questioning looks, only to be brushed off.

Maka lifted up her head to look directly into Jane's eyes. "Do you think they'll ever be happy again? Do you think that they'll stop yelling at each other and have fun?" she asked quietly.

"Mommy, what's she doing here? I thought you were taking her home," spoke up Wes. He tugged on the sleeve of her dress. "So why's she here with us?"

Jane used the pads of her fingers to gently press Maka's head back down on her shoulders. "I don't know, Maka. Why don't you just rest for now? I'm sure you're tired." The young girl nodded her head and closed her eyes.

Mrs. Evans then turned to her eldest son. His hair, which was white just like Soul's, hung limply down to his shoulders and his tired red eyes looked up at her with curiosity. Her eyes flickered to Soul, who was sitting across from them, who had the same tired, curious expression. They were both anxious like little school girls gossiping at the lunch table and Jane chuckled to herself.

"Maka's father isn't feeling well, so we're letting her spend the night at our house tonight," she replied and fingered one of Maka's pigtails. Maka had fallen asleep quickly after she had laid down on her shoulder and her face was full of peace. "Won't that be fun?"

Wes crossed her arms. "I don't know. I mean, she's a girl after all." He turned away and looked out of his window.

"What's wrong with letting a girl spend the night?" asked his mother.

"Isn't that something that boyfriends and girlfriends do?"

Jane hesitated for a short moment before answering. "Well, I suppose. But that doesn't mean that she can't spend the night."

Ignoring the last statement, Wes looked across the limo to his younger brother who was sitting there, staring at his shoes. "Does that mean that she's Soul's girlfriend?"

At that, the albino pianist's head snapped up. His crimson eyes narrowed at his older brother and his hands clenched into fists. "Ew! No way! I don't want a girlfriend! She just needed help!" he shouted defensively. He threw himself against the back of his seat and crossed his arms. "She can be your girlfriend. I don't want her."

"Now boys," snapped Jane. Both Evans siblings immediately silenced and turned to their elegant mother. "That's enough. She's not anyone's girlfriend; she's just a friend who needs help." She looked at Wes pointedly. "And is spending the night." She swiveled her head to face Soul. "Is that clear?"

Both boys nodded and said in unison, "Yes ma'am."

"Honey, wake up. We're here."

Maka's eyes slid open and she lifted her head up. She looked around at her surroundings, noticing that they were still in the limo. She rubbed her eyes will her balled up fists and yawned noiselessly. "Where?" she muttered sleepily.

"Our house," said Jane. "You'll be spending the night here."

Spending the night? At a stranger's house? Maka squirmed. "What about my papa?"

Jane bit her lip and forced a smile. "He was feeling a little ill. So you'll be staying here since he's in no condition to take care of you."

Soul and Wes both got up and walked past them and ran into the large house. The rain had stopped during their ride, but the air was thick with humidity and the gray clouds hung over their heads like watchdogs. They threatened another downpour, maybe planning to drown out the world completely.

"And my mama?" asked Maka.

Jane sighed and lifted her off of her lap. "We're still not sure where she is, honey. I'm terribly sorry."

To Jane's surprise, Maka smiled brightly at her. "It's okay!" she chirped. "I had a dream where I found my mama and she came back to my papa and we were all happy again! I know she'll come back." She hopped out of the car and began walking down the sidewalk, admiring the large mansion and the large yard in front of it. The perfectly green grass sparkled with the remaining drops of rain. The cobblestone sidewalk wound its way through the lawn of green grass and led up to a pair of beautiful black double doors.

Hesitantly, Maka climbed the stone steps leading to the door which was left open by the two boys. She stepped over the threshold and gasped in awe as she took in her surroundings. It was a stereotypical mansion: tiled floors, glass chandelier high above their heads, a grand staircase leading to the upper levels of the house. Potted plants lined the entrance hallway adding a touch of bright color to the dark theme of the rest of the room. The tiles of the floor were checkered black and white and it reminded Maka of a chess board and the week her father had spent teaching her to play the game.

Her thoughts then wandered back to her papa, who was still at home, angry on the outside, but weeping on the inside. It made her want to weep too.

But who could find the time to weep with two noisy boys constantly bugging her?

Wes walked over to her and smiled. "So what do you think of our home?"

Maka took another look around, drinking everything in again, admiration struck on her face a little too obviously. "It's so pretty! Like a castle!" She looked at him. "I've never seen a house this big."

Wes chuckled and crossed his arms. "I'm sure you haven't," he muttered.

Maka turned a questioning eye to him. "What's that supposed to mean?" she asked testedly.

The eldest Evans sibling shrugged. "Did you see how shabby your house is compared to our house? Of course you've never seen anything as classy as this," he stated. He looked at her out of the corner of his eye and smirked. "Especially your clothes. That's a dead giveaway."

Maka's eyebrow twitched and her eyes narrowed to thin slits. "Makaaaaaaaa. . ."

Wes rose one of his eyebrows in confusion. "Huh?"


Doubled-over and clutching his aching head, Wes shouted, "Where did you get that book?"

Maka smiled and tucked the book under her arm. "That's not important." She whipped her head back and forth as if in search for something. "Where's your brother?"

"Right here."

Maka shrieked and jumped away from Soul who had appeared behind her. His hands were stuffed into his pants pockets and his lazy, red eyes bore into hers. Maka frowned. Funny, he wasn't there a second ago. . .

"Okay, boys! Leave Maka alone! She's going to take a bath and change out of those wet clothes!" their mother called as she walked into the room. Once she reached the three children she smiled at Maka and shooed away her own children. "She'll be ready to play later. Until then you can practice your instruments."

Wes shrugged and walked over to the steps leading upstairs. Meanwhile, Soul's shoulders had slumped forward as he gave one more lingering glance at Maka and his mother before following Wes.

Once the two had disappeared from sight, Jane looked down at Maka with her moss-colored green eyes. She placed a thin hand between Maka's shoulder blades as she led her out of the entrance hall into another room. "I'm sure you're uncomfortable in those clothes, so we'll have you take a nice hot bath and then get you changed into some new ones. Okay?"

Maka tugged at her wet shirt and bit her lip. "But I don't have any more clothes. They're at my house." A butler walked past them and gave Mrs. Evans a short "Good Evening" before hurrying down the hallway.

"Don't worry about it. I already have that taken care of. You just worry about getting clean and warm."

Nodding, Maka let Jane lead the rest of the way to the bathroom where a maid sat ready for them. Her dark brown hair was pulled into two tight braids that hung down her front and secured at the ends with small white ribbons. Her eyes matched the color of her hair and had a bit of warmth in them. She smiled at Maka as she walked in cut off the water in the tub. "Hello there! Are you ready for a nice, warm bath?" she asked cheerily.

Maka wavered for a few seconds as she stood staring at the maid from Jane's side. It was so strange how these people were being so nice to her and she hardly knew them. In fact, it scared her a little. It just wasn't something she was used to. It was so weird.

But she took a step toward the maid anyway and whispered a shy, "Yes." Jane patted Maka's head and turned around to leave the room. "I'll be right back. I'm going to pick up Maka's new clothes."

She left Maka alone with the maid who instructed her to remove the wet clothes so that they could be washed. She did and the maid helped her climb into the steaming bath. Maka gave out a cry of relief and pleasure as the warm water hit her cold skin.

A smile crept onto her features as she sank lower into the sudsy water. "Mmmmmm. . .this feels so nice!" The maid pulled the hair ties from Maka's ponytails, letting her hair droop all the way down to her mid-back. Going straight to work, she took a bottle of shampoo and began applying it to Maka's knotted hair.

Maka scooped a pile of bubbles and smiled even wider. "My mama used to give me baths like this all the time. She would brush my hair while I played in the bubbles and sing me songs or tell me stories. My favorite story was about how she and Papa met and fell in love." She blew the bubbles out of her hand, leaving it empty but still cupped as if they were still there. Her smile dwindled until it was replaced by a sad frown. "But then she started getting really sad and tired and stopped singing songs and telling stories. So instead I would tell her stories that I'd read from books." The ash-blonde girl smiled again and scooped up some more bubbles. "She always seemed happier then."

The maid continued to lather the shampoo into her hair. "Sounds like you really love her."

Maka nodded and blew the bubbles out of her hand again. "Yep! That's why I wanted to find her!"

The brunette remained silent for the rest of the bath as Maka told stories of her and her parents and all the good times they've had. But their story-telling was soon interrupted by Jane who entered the bathroom. "Maka! Your clothes are here! Are you ready?"

"Yeah! I was telling Stella about the time my papa took me to the zoo on a school day and when my mama found out she yelled at him!" She laughed behind her hand. "It was funny!" Stella helped her out of the tub and wrapped a red towel around her small body.

"I'll help you get dressed okay? Why don't you head into that room right there?" she said, pointing. Maka nodded eagerly before jogging to the room, clutching the large towel around her tightly.

Stella turned to Jane with a sad expression. "She's conflicted. Her parents seem to be going through a divorce and she doesn't have a clue." She looked down the hallway to where Maka had run off. "That poor child! She doesn't know how to deal with all of this and it's all happening so fast for her. She's so young, too."

Jane nodded somberly. "And that's not even the worse part. Her mother left with no warning and devastated the father. In fact, he so devastated that he's intoxicated himself and is scaring the living daylights out of his daughter!" She walked towards the room where Maka was waiting slowly with Stella close behind.

Stella's eyes widened and glazed over. "I'm not even sure what to say in a situation like that, let alone know what to do. Imagine that for a seven-year-old," she said as they reached the door.

Jane lowered her voice. "Well, make sure you're quiet about this around Maka. We don't want to upset her any further." The maid nodded in agreement as the two ladies stepped into the room to find Maka on the floor, towel wrapped tightly around her.

Upon their arrival, Maka beamed at them. "Hi!" she greeted. She stood up and walked over to them, her hair flopping around behind her. "I'm ready!" she chirped.

Jane and Stella smiled identical forced smiles and walked into the room. Jane reached behind the door and removed a bag with hanger. "Your clothes are in here. Why don't you take a look?" she suggested and held out the bag for Maka.

Maka yanked the zipper down on the bag, excitement winning over modesty easily. She lifted the flap and gasped at the contents inside. "This is for me?" she asked, surprised.

Jane nodded and Maka squealed with delight.

"Where's Mom? I'm getting hungry," whined Soul. He gripped his stomach with one hand as it shook, declaring its emptiness. He groaned again and banged his head on the dining table.

Wes, who was laid back in his chair, rolled his eyes. "You're always hungry, Soul. You might as well be a bottomless pit."

Soul lifted his head to glare at his brother and gritted his shark-like teeth. "Shut up! That's not the point! The point is that Mom's not here and it's dinnertime!" Another rumble ripped through his stomach and Soul winced. He needed food fast.

"Soul, you need to learn to be more patient!" his mother scolded as she walked into the room. Both Soul and Wes sat up straighter as she walked in and took her seat at the table. "I was getting Maka dressed."

"Sorry, Mommy," apologized Soul as he tucked his hands into his lap. He looked down, feeling a bit ashamed, but more ravenous.

Wes looked around the room. "Where is Maka anyway? Isn't she going to eat dinner with us?"

Jane sighed and turned her head towards the door to the dining room. "Maka, dear! You can come in! There's nothing to be afraid of!" She took her cloth napkin off of the table and placed it into her lap neatly as the door slowly creeped open and Maka poked her head in, taking in the room.

Deciding that she was safe from whatever hidden threat that could've been in the room, Maka stepped into full sight, earning stunned silences from both of the boys. She smiled shyly and whispered, "I've never had a dress this fancy before."

And in fact it was fancy (for a seven-year-old anyway). It was a shadow black dress with short sleeves and a U-collar. Around her waist was a moss-colored silk ribbon that tied into a large, perfect bow in the back. Below the ribbon, the dress fanned out a little more to make it poof up with life instead of hang limply around her legs. Her light brown hair, which looked dull and dark when wet, was dry and brushed into two pigtails, the same as before. They were secured with short black ribbons that were tied into loose, hanging bows. Maka clasped her hands in front of her, still smiling shyly as she made her way to one of the seats. Neither boy took their eyes off of her the whole time.

Wes recovered first. "Didn't know you could dress up so nice," he teased. A smirk turned up the corners of his mouth as he crossed his arms again. "Good job."

"Wes," his mother warned quietly.

Said boy sighed and leaned back. "Sorry."

The chef and his assistants began bringing in delicious-looking dishes of food to which three of the table's occupants gushed over. The last one however. . .

Well, the last occupant couldn't stop staring at Maka. Or rather what she'd become.

She looked so elegant, just like them. There wasn't a trace that she had been wearing soaked jean shorts and tattered T-shirt. She looked just like one of them. Her hair was so straight and neat, brushed precisely, bringing out highlights he didn't know she had. She looked just like one of them. She even had black ballet flats, making her look graceful.

She looked just like one of them.

But was still so unique.

It was just how that he couldn't decipher.

And he was dying to know.

Nighttime came quickly and the kids were soon put to bed. Jane had ordered a short sleeved pale blue nightgown for Maka to sleep in and showed her to the guest bedroom down the hallway from hers and between the boys' bedrooms. She tucked each of them into bed separately before heading off to bed herself. Wishing them sweet dreams, she headed down the hallway, yawning and anticipating her soft, feather bed.

Maka lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling. Sleep would not grant its blessing on her as much as she wished for it. She even tried counting sheep, but eventually she got bored of that useless technique and resorted to stating at the ceiling again. Taking a deep breath, she rolled over to her side and curled up into a ball and closed her eyes. She thought of her mother and began singing one of her favorite lullabies to herself quietly, hoping to lull herself into sleep.

She imagined it was her mama singing, rubbing her back, soothing her from her anxieties. Comforting her after a long day. Lulling her to sleep with her lovely, soft and wisped voice. . .


Maka sprung up from bed and looked at the dark figure standing in the doorway. Panic filled her heart for a short second and she squinted into the darkness for a better look. Relief washed through her when she saw the identifiable bleach white spiked hair and sighed.

"What do you want?" she asked, aggravated. Her mother's smiling image was slowly fading from her mind even as she tried to grasp it once more. And it was his fault it was going away.

Soul stood quietly for a moment before turning his back to her. "Follow me," he said and walked out the door.

Maka sat there and considered just lying down and going back to sleep. She could reawaken her mother's image and lull herself to sleep and just ignore him. Besides, she was going back home tomorrow, right? Yet, she couldn't keep her curiosity at bay and so she slid out of the guest bed and walked across the room to the door. She looked down the silent and dim hallway and saw Soul leaning against the wall just outside of a closed off room.

Her bare feet hardly made a sound against the padded carpet in the hall as she made her way to the albino-haired boy. Once she had reached him, she cleared her throat and clasped her hands behind her back, expectant.

Without a word or even a gesture, Soul opened the closed off room and stepped into the opaque darkness. Maka nervously followed and walked cautiously with her hands held out to warn her if she was about to bump into anything.

A click was heard to her left and light illuminated the room. Maka looked over at Soul who had just turned on a lamp and was making his way to a large piano. Maka stared at the grand instrument and shivered. It looked like it could swallow them whole. But since Soul remained fearless as he sat down at the piano bench, she would too. After all, she didn't want to portray herself as some scaredy cat. So she walked over to the piano bench with as much courage as she could muster and plopped herself down on the hard bench next to Soul.

"Start singing."

Maka looked up from her feet up to Soul who was staring at the piano keys. "Huh?"

"That song. Start singing it."

Maka quirked an eyebrow. "Why?"

Soul sighed and closed his eyes. "Just do it, okay?"

Still unsure of what was going on, Maka channeled her mother's voice and concentrated on the song and not who was listening to it. Her eyes slid shut and she began to sway to her own melody as Soul silently listened beside her.

Her voice, though small and innocent, it was also strong and beautiful. It surprised him, but in a way, it was to be expected. After all, she was different from the rest.

His fingers slid across the ivory keys, feeling the sleekness with his fingertips. They were so familiar, but new in a weird sense. Like, he knew what the felt like, but for once, they felt. . .natural. Friendly. Not hard and cold, daring him to mess up, but soft and smooth, urging him to express hisself through music. No, begging him to play.

And so he did.

Maka's voice faltered as the sound of the piano's keys rang throughout the air. She looked at Soul whose concentration was solely on the piano. His head was bent down, his white hair pretty much the only thing visible. But the song he was playing. . .was the song she was just singing.

So she sat there quietly and listened to the wordless version of her lullaby. While she liked hearing the words, the notes were just as gratifying. She continue swaying, her pigtails brushing her shoulders occasionally. She didn't know he was this talented; in fact, she didn't know that he could play the piano. They'd barely spoken except for when she was crying in the rain. He was quiet and introverted; the type of person who was hard to engage in a conversation. It seemed that his brother was the talkative one.

But the quiet ones always had that amazing talent that no one knew about, right? Maybe it was for the best, somehow.

He kept playing, surprisingly not waking up his mother or older brother. So Maka relaxed and let herself enjoy his silent company.

Soon, he stopped playing her song and changed over to something more low key and dark. She opened her eyes and poked out her lower lip in disappointment. The lullaby was so soothing, but this song was beautiful. Extraordinary. This must've been something he learned from a lesson or something.

Feeling a little drowsy, Maka scooted over closer to Soul and rested her head on his shoulder. While she only found this as a way of resting her head, apparently Soul found it disturbing or awkward because he froze immediately. At the stop of the music, Maka shook his arm and let out a groan. "Keep playing! Please?"

After another moment of silence, Soul placed his hands back on the piano keys and started playing the same dark tune. Maka smiled and sighed, content and comfortable once again. "You're really great, you know that? Your music is so pretty."

Soul scoffed, probably offended at his music being called "pretty" but continued to play anyway. He had grown accustomed to the girl laying on his shoulder and played as if she weren't there at all. It all just felt so warm and fluent and he never wanted it to stop. For once, he actually wanted to play the piano.

"Hey, Soul," said Maka.

"Mm-hmm?" he responded, not taking his eyes off of the piano.

Maka bunched up the cloth of her nightgown in one of her small fists and took a deep breath. "Do your mama and papa ever fight and yell at each other? Do they ever say mean things and hurt each other's feelings?"

Soul shook his head and his hair brushed against Maka's head. "Not really. They normally get along just fine." His fingers began to slow down, decreasing the tempo into something more calm and poetic. "And when they do fight they always get over it after a few minutes."

Maka remained silent as she let go of her nightgown and pulled it down over her knees. "You're really lucky then. Your parents are still happy." She reached forward and pulled one of Soul's hands off of the keyboard and gripped it in both of hers. Soul remained frozen as she squeezed his hand tightly and smiled up at him. Her action was so sudden and bold, there wasn't really any other appropriate reaction. But what surprised him the most was her smile. It was clearly there, bright and wide, but anyone who had eyes could see how fake and plastered it was. How much force was behind it. And if you couldn't tell by the smile alone, you could always refer to the obvious pain in her eyes as they hazed over with tears.

"Don't ever let your parents be sad or angry, Soul. Because when they're sad. . ." She sniffled and forced an even larger smile. "You're sad." She dropped his hand into his lap and gave him a short hug before sliding off of the piano bench and leaving the room.

Right before she passed the doorway, though, Soul saw her use her arm to wipe her eyes.

Author's Note:

Okay~ I'ma stop here for now. I actually had a little more planned for this, but I was afraid that if I added that, I'd be dragging it out. (I mean, the story's already 6690 words EXACTLY.) If you really wanna see the rest (which is basically just the next morning and then a HUGE time lapse before I have them meet again) either review or PM me. I'm not saying the rest is bad, I just don't wanna make it too long and bore you guys (if I didn't bore you already).

Well, anyways, I really hope you guys review. Please? PLEASE? It's my birthday. . .it would make some of the best presents I got (except for the 3rd and 4th SE mangas and part 1 of the anime. NOTHING can top those).

Before I go though. I do have something that I'd like to announce:

As all of you know, it's Christmas time. In honor of this wonderful holiday, I've decided to be generous enough to become a FanFiction Santa! You can request any oneshot to be written by me and I'll TRY to have it delivered by Late Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. You may request only the fandoms I know (I'll make a list) and it can be Christmas Themed or not. But warning! You must tell me by December 18! I absolutely will not accept any more after that day. And I only have two rules: 1) it must be a oneshot and 2) NO LEMONS! Happy Holidays everyone~

List of Fandoms:

-Soul Eater
-Teen Titans
-Maximum Ride
-Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
-Princess Ai
-Elemental Gelade
-The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Heads up. I've only read the 1st two books)
-House of Night
-Vampire Kisses
-Pirates of the Caribbean
-Kingdom Hearts
-Avatar: The Last Airbender
-I Am Legend
-Darkest Powers

And before I forget (I always tend to) I'ma include the disclaimer.

I don't own Soul Eater because apparently, no matter how much I pleaded or mentioned it was my birthday, they would not give it up for free. So, unfortunately, it's not mine. Sorry.

Until next time~!