A/N: I hope you like it. Read, review, enjoy.
She hadn't seen his face in two years.
She knelt behind him, waiting for him to turn and address her.
He did not, however, turn.
"Maka. I take it your mission was a success."
It wasn't a question; he already knew that she had completed her assignment perfectly.
Still, she stayed kneeling on the ground. Still, he stood before her, his black cloak billowing behind him perfectly, the bone white mask covering his perfectly smooth face.
"Of course, Shinigami-sama," she answered anyway, lifting her eyes up to stare at his back.
His voice was cold and very formal, as it usually was these days. Gone was the friendship that had filled their younger years. Gone was the fire, the drive behind his eyes for complete balance. He was different, he was powerful, and he was the Lord of Death.
The silence between the meister and Shinigami stretched on. Finally, Maka stood, catching her reflection in the cool surface that he faced, but focusing mostly on that mask.
The mask that hid his face from the world.
He stayed in his position, staring out into the mirror, seeing things that she never could, hearing things that would never have to pass her ears. His mirror was gateway into a world that he hardly accessed; through it, he saw the deaths of hundreds of people daily. Through his mirror, he saw the world, if only the darkest parts.
"Please, Meister Maka," he said quietly but sternly.
She cleared her throat and mumbled an apology. "Shinigami-sama, then, if you prefer. I was wondering-"
"It's your birthday today, isn't it, Maka?" he asked, once again cutting her off.
She dropped her gaze quickly. "Y-Yes," she stammered.
"You're turning twenty two, right?"
Again, she answered affirmatively, feeling a small bit of guilt well up inside of her.
"Is there going to be a celebration? To mark another year that you have been alive?"
She raised her eyes and locked them with his through the mirror. "Actually, that is what I wanted to ask you about, Ki… Shinigami-sama."
"I see," he said, his voice neutral. "Continue."
She took a deep breath, still staring into the mirror, into his golden eyes, even if they were hidden.
"I want you to be there," she answered.
He was silent. Still, she stared into the black shadows that hid him from her.
She remembered the last time she had seen his eyes.
It was nighttime. The witch was charging at her, grinning with her razor sharp teeth and extending her piercing claws toward Maka's face. Maka had grimaced, blood already dripping out of her mouth from the battle, expecting the worst.
Soul wasn't with her at the time; she had been sent to scout out the enemy on her own so she could report back to Sinigami-sama. They hadn't expected something like this when they chose her, but in the back of her mind, she had been prepared for it. After all, she was a meister, and she always had to be prepared to die.
The claws had sunk into her shoulder, and the witch had flung her backward onto the wall. Maka's head was then slammed into hard cement, and it was all she could to do keep from passing out and giving up.
"MAKA!" someone yelled, and she looked over the woman's shoulder to see Kid flying toward her, his golden eyes wide. He had jumped, placing himself in between the witch and the bloodied meister. She remembered the panic on his face- the woman was a lot stronger than Kid had bargained for. But the witch jumped backward, seeming to sense that this was no ordinary meister.
"Liz! Patty! Soul Resonance!"
But the woman wasn't having that. Maka remembered her chanting, and then something dark and sharp was hurtling toward Kid. He grabbed Maka and moved out of the way.
"Kid, go…" she had muttered. "You can leave me here. Go get back up…"
But Kid just shook his head. "I'm not leaving my friend behind." He faced the witch again, raising his pistols and firing. The witch had been fast, and Maka, who was very close to passing out, remembered Kid starting to get worried. He was trying to make sure she was alive, protected, and the witch was aware of this fact. Very, very aware.
Every attack was then directed at Maka, making Kid go on the defensive.
In a moment of desperation, Maka watched Kid tap into his Shinigami powers, and she felt a small surge of power as he connected the first of the Sanzu lines. The witch was then blow away by an attack and Kid could complete Soul Resonance, but it wasn't enough. Soon, the second was connected, and the witch was going faster, trying to trip up the young shinigami.
Maka was close to passing out when something came up from the ground and pierced her flesh, making her scream. Her scream seemed to trigger something in Kid, and Maka's vision swam before finally giving out.
She remembered, even though she couldn't see, feeling the power that exploded from him as he pushed himself further to save her.
On that day, Kid had become the Grim Reaper. When the third lined connected, his Shinigami powers fully awakened, turning him into an immortal, and replacing his father as the lord of Death.
She woke up a week later with all of her friends surrounding her. Soul was gripping her hand, calling her an idiot for going without him. Black*Star was standing with Tsubaki, and both looked relieved that she was awake. Liz and Patty stood slightly behind them, and Kid sat a few feet away, in a chair. She had asked to talk to him privately, and so, reluctantly, they all left.
"Hello, Shinigami-sama," she said, look at him.
He smiled humorlessly. "So, you can tell?"
"Your soul feels different," she said. It was silent for a while, and then Maka looked at him, staring into his golden eyes. "Thank you. Thank you so much for saving me."
"You were my friend. I wasn't going to leave you."
She almost winced at his tone- it wasn't warm or friendly, concerned or anything. It was just neutral, empty, dead.
She bit her lip. "Well, I'm very grateful you felt that way, once."
Something in his face shifted, and he looked at her, slightly confused. "What do you mean by that?"
"I can tell that something is upsetting you, Kid, and I can only assume it has to do with saving me."
There was another pause, another silence, and then his voice started, low but angry. "It doesn't have to do with saving my saving you, Maka. It has to do with how I went about doing it. I'm the Grim Reaper now- I am stuck like this, until my child becomes a Shinigami as well. I am never going to age until then. I will be 21 for hundreds of years, and I am never going to change. I will watch each and every one of you die, and the only thing I can think of right now is how silly it was of me to think that making connections with mortals was an intelligent thing to do. How my father must have felt, watching each one of his friends die. He attempted to make them stronger, more durable, live longer, and what did he get? One of his guards became a kishin. And now here I am, suddenly pushed into a power that I was not ready for, all because I panicked and let my emotions take over. In saving you the way I did, I failed. I robbed all of you of an experienced Shinigami to rule, of a friend to count on, and I robbed myself of the chance of have a truly human experience before living forever."
"I… I'm sorry, Kid. I'm so sorry," she started, feeling guilt well up inside of her and tears begin to fall. He looked up at her, his face full of pain at her expression, almost as if he was upset for burdening her with this. Like he wished he hadn't said anything so he could keep her from being hurt.
He looked away, and Maka had the strange feeling that he was also crying, ever so slightly. "It's not your fault," he finally said, turning back to her. Kid stood up, and then placed a hand on her head. "Happy 20th birthday, Maka."
That was the last time that she ever heard Kid express emotion, and the last time she had seen his face, his eyes, his hair, his smile. Ever since then, whenever she had to face him, she would feel the guilt associated with his condition inside of her.
But that never stopped her from trying to get him to come out and join his old friends. She would ask, and when he denied, she would say that he needed to get out every once in a while. That unlike his father, he was not trapped in this city. That just because he was immortal did not mean that he had been robbed of living his life to the fullest.
Maka was still looking into the mirror, waiting for him to respond.
"You want me to be there?"
"Yes," she answered. "I really, really do, Kid. It's because of you that I'm finally turning twenty two, anyway."
He turned, and then looked at her, his face still hidden by that mask. She took a deep breath, staring at the mask.
"I think that it would be enjoyable, and I realized recently that I had not done many enjoyable things in a while. I would very much like to come."
She was completely taken off-guard by his answer; she had been expecting a flat out refusal, as he always gave whenever they asked him to join them. But the surprise was quickly replaced by a huge smile, and Maka felt a tear roll down her cheek, followed by another.
"Thank you, Kid," she said, and then turned to leave. "Thank you so much."
Yes, it had been two years to the day since she had last seen his face. But for some reason, she was feeling very confident that she would see it again soon.
A/N: What, Rai does Soul Eater now? Why yes, yes I do (because so many of you are probably wondering). Just a quick one-shot that I was inspired to write… Please review if you liked it! Questions, comments, and critiques are always appreciated.