A piercing scream cut through the once silent apartment. Soul jolted from his slumber immediately in a cold sweat, growing ill and panicked when he recognized the scream as his meister's. He threw his blanket to the floor unceremoniously and sprinted from his room to Maka's hoping that nothing serious was going down behind her door. Just in case, he transformed his left arm into a blade and pushed open the door with the other, holding up his scythe-arm in a position of offense.
Seconds of silence passed as Soul scanned the scene, grunting in frustration and annoyance when he saw a dazed and half-asleep Grayson on the floor and a flushing Maka clutching her blankets to her chest. Grayson rubbed the side of his head and Maka continued to shriek obscenities at him, cursing him left and right. Deeming it safe enough to put away the heavy artillery, Soul transformed his arm back into the regular bone and flesh and leaned against the door frame, crossing his arms across his bare chest.
"Damn, Maka. It sounded like you were dying or something," he yawned.
"Shut it!" she yelled, rounding on him with burning fury in her eyes. "I wake up to find this-" she pointed to Grayson "-lying in my bed, smiling at me! What the fuck do you think I'm going to do? Smile back and wish him a good morning!"
Soul yawned and shuffled into the room, shooting daggers at the waking Grayson as he made his way to his meister's bed. She was still sitting there with her blanket clutched to her chest and smoke practically rising from her ears. The demon scythe chuckled at the little display and reached out to ruffle her blonde locks into something a little worse than the bedhead already present. "Relax, Maka. Don't let him ruin your morning. S'not cool."
Her jaw clenched and she released a throaty growl. She was starting to take after him. He was almost prideful.
"So not caring right now, Soul."
"Soooo," Grayson interrupted, jumping up from the ground and dusting his gray plaid sweatpants off. "What's for breakfast? I like waffles. Anyone else up for some waffles?"
"Grayson get out of my room!"
"Sharing is caring, Maka-chan~"
"I will spring across this room to strangle you right now!"
Grayson chuckled and swiveled on his heel, waving his hand casually. "Now, now; don't be rash. Besides," he looked over his shoulder in mirth, smirking in a devilish way far too early to be processed correctly by either member of the weapon-meister pair in the room. "I'm sure you don't want Soul to see your polka dotted panties, hmmm?"
The heat rushed to Soul's face as the awkward silence droned on as he thought of the panties Maka was hiding beneath her blanket, her summer blanket. The one that was ultra thin because of how hot it could get in the summer months in the middle of the desert. He also thought of how much thinner her panties could be….
He could've spontaneously combusted from the heat rushing to his head now.
Luckily, before such a chance arose, he was startled out of his skin by Maka's deathly shriek and the blur of blonde hair and crème skin rushing across the room after a now running Grayson.
"Grayson you're mince meat!"
Ignoring the very eventful morning they encountered – from Soul's wake-up call to a wrestling match that could've nearly demolished the apartment complex – Soul noticed that they arrived to school at a fair time. They had about twenty minutes until class started which gave them enough time to stroll through the halls and talk to friends they ran into. Or rather, Soul talked to friends, while Grayson and Maka argued. Nonstop.
This was beginning to get old before it was ever new.
"Quit smiling at people like you know them! You're not staying here long anyway so don't even try to get friendly with anyone!"
"Oh, c'mon, Maka-chan. I'm just trying to be polite. Don't you know of a thing called 'manners?'"
"I'm surprised you know of the word."
"I can hardly contain my laughter."
"Don't get sarcastic with me."
"Calm down! Don't wanna get your polka dot panties in a bunch, would we now?"
"You know what-"
"Would the both of you just shut your mouths for two freaking seconds? For Death's sake!"
Maka poked out her bottom lip and crossed her arms, speeding up to keep in stride with Soul and escape Grayson. "He's so annoying though! You have to admit, he's annoying."
Soul ran a hand down his face before shoving it forcefully into his pocket. He glanced down out of the corner of his eye, red eyes piercing into his meister. "Frankly, both of you are. There. Argument settled."
Maka froze and whipped around. "Seriously? You're being childish now?"
Grayson put his hands on his hips and jerked his head from side-to-side mockingly. "Seriously? You're being childish now?"
"Oh ho ho! You are so asking for it you twerp!"
"Oh ho ho! You are so asking for it you twerp!"
Maka felt her muscles tense in preparation to pounce and her fingers curled in anticipation of clawing out the eyes of the one causing her so much grief and frustration. She grit her teeth together and began thinking of the many ways to kill the fallen angel without leaving a spot of blood on the newly waxed Shibusen floor. She frowned. None of them were painful enough.
A vise-like grip wrapped around her arm and the tension disappeared as she turned to face her partner, face hard and stern but eyes pleading and soft. "Maka. Don't."
"But he deserves it!"
"You see the way he's acting!"
He sighed and shook his head and Maka hung her head, feeling ashamed that she managed to stoop to such a low level. "Yeah, yeah. Sorry, Soul. He's just so….infuriating."
Soul nodded and started walking again, Maka following closely behind, her back to Grayson. The third member of their party stood for a moment as if expecting them to turn around and ask him if he was coming. When they didn't, he hunched over and dug his hands deep into his pants pockets, grumbling about how it was rude to be ignored in such a way.
They didn't hear that either.
School was to begin in ten minutes, so the group of three decided it was finally time to head to class. Soul had taken to wrapping his arm around Maka's shoulders as they walked down the hall because of the looks she and Grayson continued to exchange when they thought he wasn't looking. But he was watching them carefully: every gesture, every mouthed word (some of which we feel would be improper to repeat), every look, every stare, and even the occasional sound of discontent. He ignored the light feeling it gave him to have his arm wrapped so possessively around his meister (but secretly reveled in the triumph feeling he got as he watched defeated slouches from the male populace of Shibusen) and reminded himself over and over again that it was to prevent a fight from falling out. His morning was full of it.
They took their respective seats; Soul groaned to discover that Grayson sat in the seat next to Maka. The close proximity would mean that they would be fighting all day and Soul wasn't sure if he would be able to take much more before submitting to the Little Demon haunting the recesses of his soul. So despite her protests, Soul plopped himself down in Maka's seat and laid his head on the desk, officially claiming his new territory. Maka grumbled a bit to herself, no doubt about him, but took his old seat without much of an argument and pulled out a notebook and a pen. Grayson didn't even seem to notice.
Time passed, students filed in, and the class began to fill quickly. Chatter buzzed around them like the background noise of the static of a radio that no one bothered to fix. Students laughed and joked, discussing plans to hang out later with smiles on their faces. Except for the three current residents of Maka and Soul's apartment. They were all silent, involved in their own activities. Maka had her face up close and personal with her novel, Soul was leaning back in his chair while he nodded his head to the beat emitting from his headphones, and Grayson wasn't doing much of anything but laying his head on the desk, smiling occasionally from behind his arms when he saw a girl look over his way and blushed cutely.
All was peaceful until a raucous crash from outside the classroom door accompanied with an obnoxious screech and boisterous laughter. Maka groaned and hid behind her book completely, knowing who was about to enter the classroom. She was one of many.
Their "God" had arrived.
Trailing behind the self-proclaimed entity was his weapon and most loyal follower, Tsubaki and the Death Trio (Maka couldn't recall when that name spread around or who started it, but it was catchy). Maka briefly peeked over the top of her book to see Black Star bounding up the lecture hall steps to his normal seat – right behind them – and Tsubaki trudging after him, dark bags under her dim eyes, stark against her pale complexion. Maka visibly flinched at her friend's ill-kempt appearance and sympathized for the poor shadow weapon. In spite of her condition, Tsubaki still managed to find the energy to turn and give Maka and smile and "Good morning" before unceremoniously dropping dead on her desk, not even attempting to get Black Star to climb off his desk and sit down.
Kid and the demon twins climbed the stairs next. Kid was glancing around the classroom nervously, sweat almost visible on his forehead. At first, Maka deduced something or someone must've been asymmetrical but a quick glance around the classroom told her otherwise. Looking back at Kid, she found out why he was so nervous. Leeched onto his arm was none other than his bubbly demon gun, Patty. Both of her thin arms were wrapped around his elegantly clothed one, her head nuzzling his shoulder cutely and affectionately.
It was adorable.
Maka almost giggled behind her book. Something must've transpired between the two the previous night and now here they were, showing the school of their newfound relationship. Of course that's why Kid was nervous. He didn't know how the others would take it. That, or it was because Patty was only hanging on one arm. Either way, kudos to them. At least he had the courage to be so open about it. God knows Black Star was taking forever to confess to Tsubaki. As obvious as he was and as much as Tsubaki hinted that she felt the same, he just would not say anything. Being the caring friend she was, Maka wanted the best for her friend. So if it came to it that she had to beat the blunette over the head with an encyclopedia to get him to confess, so be it.
Maka watched as Kid and Patty took seats next to each other in the row below them, Patty continuing to cling to the shinigami and him finally returning her affection by grabbing one of her hands and clutching it in his own. Maka wanted to gush like the closet romantic she was (she had gotten better over the years since her parents' divorce). Until she saw that Liz had completely abandoned her meister and sister to come up to the row she was currently on. By the way Liz swayed her hips seductively and smiled temptingly, Maka knew just what she was doing. And it made her blood boil.
She had warned her not to fuck with Grayson.
No one listened to the blonde scythemeister. Apparently, for all the books she read, she didn't know anything.
Liz sat on the other side of Grayson and whipped her hair around her head, sending the smell of Parisian perfume three seats down to where she was sitting. She almost gagged on the sweet fragrance and buried her face into her book, which smelled like book and old paper. Thank God.
Tsubaki was exhausted. Black Star was noisy. Soul was half-asleep and unhelpful to anything. Kid and Patty were all lovey-dovey. Liz was flirtatious. Grayson was arrogant.
It was going to be one heck of a day in Shibusen.
"So class! Today we'll be looking at the interior of a soul to see just what makes people tick. Any volunteers?"
A thud resounded throughout the classroom and Maka flopped face down on her desk.
She stood corrected. It was going to be a disastrous day.
Lunch was hell. Actually, no. It was worse than hell. A thousand times over.
Now before things are assumed, no nothing broke out into chaos. A witch did not break into Shibusen and start capturing students as slaves. A kishin did not bombard through the cafeteria looking a good meal consisting of souls and flesh. Black Star did not start a fight with some random unlucky student (well, almost but we'll leave that alone for now). Grayson's friends didn't suddenly decide that they didn't want to wait and kidnap Maka. Although, considering what did happen at lunch, all of the above sounded more appealing.
"So Maka-chan, what should I wear to the party?" Grayson asked.
Maka twitched at the sight of the smirk plastered on Grayson's face and wished nothing more than to be relocated to Timbuktu to get away from everything.
As a means of getting closer to Grayson, Liz had suggested a party to welcome him to Death City at Kid's mansion. Kid didn't seem to mind when she had mentioned it. Then again, as him and Patty were making kissy faces at each other, nothing would've bothered him at that moment, not even Black Star destroying the school unevenly. Their newlywed phase was getting old fast.
Black Star of course agreed fully and enthusiastically to the party (despite the reason for it) because he would be the spotlight of the party blah blah blah. Tsubaki agreed because her meister did, not because she was loyal to him, but someone had to keep him in check near alcohol (which Liz was old enough to access as of a year ago and had started buying it for parties ever since).
The only ones that weren't enthused for the welcoming party were Maka and Soul. Soul didn't like parties and Maka didn't like Grayson. So a party for Grayson wasn't on their wish list of things to do. But Maka wanted to make sure Liz knew what she was getting herself into by pursuing the fallen angel, so she slapped on a fake smile and accepted the invitation, much to her and Soul's dismay.
And now here she was, sitting on the couch trying to get some reading done before she was supposed to get ready while Grayson bugged her to no end.
"I really couldn't care less, Grayson. Now shut it. I'm trying to read," she deadpanned, turning her attention back to her book. Grayson shrugged figuring he'd annoy her later and walked off to the kitchen sifting through the contents in the fridge.
When only the sound of things being moved around in the kitchen were present, Maka relaxed into the couch, diving back into the world of fantasy her book offered her. She didn't understand why no one thought reading was cool (cough Soul cough). It offered a sort of solace and escape. You could forget your own worries for awhile and instead could read of others, even if they were made-up. And since Soul never liked to confide in her as much as she would like, reading would be a great way for him to find comfort. It was the laziness that stopped him, she just knew it.
She heard Grayson re-enter the room but continued to read her novel, her intent on ignoring him. Not a word came from either body in the living room as Maka read and Grayson munched on some chips. Soul was out at the moment, buying some refreshments to bring to the party. He was hesitant to do so, but Maka insisted he get something so it wouldn't seem rude when they showed up with nothing. She stayed behind, meaning to start getting ready and putting on make-up and everything, but then she tripped over her book – literally – and was drawn in by the temptation to read. She'd get ready in a few minutes. Promise.
As she was nearing the end of the chapter, marking it as the place where she'd leave off before she would start to prepare, Grayson spoke up.
"I think your friend Liz is coming onto me."
The grip on her book tightened but her expression never changed. "Oh? And what makes you think that?"
Grayson shifted a bit from the venom in her tone, sensing that this would be a touchy topic. He'd have to tread carefully. "Well she was flirting with me all class today. Lunch too," he added thoughtfully.
"Maybe she just wants to get to know you."
"Yeah, so she can lay me."
Maka slammed her book and closed and whipped to face Grayson whose face was the epitome of fear. "Maka! That was a slip up! I didn't mean it that way!"
"I don't care!" she screeched. Her legs tensed up before she sprung and pounced like a cheetah attacking its prey. Her nails clawed and her teeth ground against each other as she attempted to inflict damage on a struggling Grayson. The brunette below her blocked his face with his hands and she scratched, slapped, punched, kneed…you name it. If Soul was there, she'd have cleaved him in two by that point.
"You don't go near Liz! Don't touch her! Don't talk to her! Don't think of her! Don't even look at her!" She climbed higher and pressed her knee into his abdomen, sending air whooshing out of his mouth as he gagged on the lack of air. "You got me? She's my friend and I'll be damned if I let you betray her like you betrayed me!"
Grayson opened his eyes and looked up at the blonde technician's seething form with hurt chestnut eyes. Easily he took hold of her flailing wrists, holding them still between their bodies as she screeched and squirmed on his lap. He slid off of the chair to the floor, Maka below him and pinned her wrists to the ground. When she continued to squirm ruthlessly, he locked her hips with his knees. She wriggled in his grasp helplessly and glared coldly while she began screeching profanities threaded with his name.
Soon enough, the anger left her high and dry and she laid beneath him, tired and defeated. They both said nothing, Maka looking up at him with dim hatred in her viridian eyes while he gazed back with steeled over dark ones. They stayed like that for a moment, then another, and another, staring at each other with neither willing to look away.
"I never, ever betrayed you, Maka."
Maka tensed and widened her eyes in shock. She hadn't been expecting him to say that.
"But – but you left me! You left me alone to go join that stupid organization!" she cried, her voice croaking and eyes filling with tears. "You did betray me!"
"I didn't," insisted Grayson. "I promise you, I would never betray you."
"But you did!"
Grayson sighed. "I left Death City for a good reason, Maka. I left for you."
Maka paused. "You mean because of me."
Grayson shook his head, throwing his wild hair everywhere. "For you."
If there was ever a good time to sink into the floor and disappear, it was then. Maka just wanted to escape, possibly run to her room to cry and begin the mental process of denying everything Grayson said. All he spoke of were lies. He had when they were younger. Why would he be any different now?
"I don't believe you. You're lying. You always do!" she whispered. She didn't have the energy to scream and shout anymore; she probably couldn't even speak properly.
"I would never lie."
"You're doing it right now!" So she could yell.
"Maka-chan, I promise I would never-"
"Stop it!" she screamed, beginning to thrash on the floor again. "Just stop it! I don't care about you! I'm glad you left! I hate you! I hate you! Just go and leave Death City again! Just! Go! Away!"
"Maka listen! I-"
Grayson grunted and lifted her wrist before slamming them down on the floor again, abruptly ending Maka's tyrant. She fell silent immediately, staring at him with tear-filled eyes and a sad expression.
"They wanted you, okay? So I left. I left for you!"
Her lower lip trembled. "They?"
Grayson relaxed and nodded. "The organization. They wanted you, all of those years ago. Just as they want you now."
"Did I know?" Grayson finished with a smile. Maka nodded and sniffled; a few tears ran down her face when she blinked. "I was walking to your house one night and I saw two weird guys across the street. So I snuck up on them and heard them saying that they were going to kidnap you….and force you to be a part of their organization. So I stepped in and told them I'd go in your place."
The gears in her head turned at inhuman speeds as she mulled over the information provided for her. She lay as she processed everything he told her, wanting to believe it so bad. He still cared for her is what he was telling her. He still cared. And dear God how much she wanted to believe he was telling the truth. She'd give up anything for him to be telling the truth.
But the fact remained that he left her for them. He left her in a high time of need as her whole life was beginning to change. She needed something, she needed him, some sense of normalcy in her hectic life as she started school and moved into her partner's apartment. She needed someone to cry to as her parents fought while they settled their divorce. She needed someone to hold her as her mother waved goodbye before she set off to the world, making hollow promises to visit her a couple of times a year.
He wasn't there for her when she needed him to be.
Grayson's eyebrows knitted together when more tears built up in her eyes and spilled over as she began to tremble with contained sobs. "Maka, I know what you're thinking." He smiled when she cocked an eyebrow. "You're obvious," he shrugged.
"But know this," he continued. "Maka, you know I would never lie to you. I promise you I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to hurt you, but I figured it would be worse if they took you away from your home. You just got a new partner and you were starting school, I didn't want that to end for you. So I took your place. I had nothing for me going here. You had everything."
"But I didn't have you!"
Grayson fell silent and avoided her sorrowful eyes and she cried freely now. "You left me when I needed you! You fucking left me! I didn't know what to do! If it weren't for Black Star and that I had made a promise to Soul I probably would've killed myself or something!"
Without warning, her personal space was invaded (even more than it already was) as Grayson pressed his face close to hers and bared his teeth. "Don't you ever say that again. I don't want to hear those words leave your lips for as long as I live you got me? The Maka I knew was not that weak and you've gotten even stronger since then! Don't even kid around like that!"
He backed up and climbed off of her. He held out his hand to help her sit up, but she just stared at him with wet green eyes rimmed with red. It broke his heart.
He was interrupted by a sudden death hug from said girl, who began to sob on his shoulder. Unaware of what to do at the current moment, he settled for stroking her blonde hair and wrapping his arm around her waist as she soaked his shirt. They sat there in that position for awhile, Maka strewn over his lap, crying and squeezing him while he soothed and comforted her, occasionally whispering apologies. When the crying eventually ceased, Maka leaned back and stared at him with swollen, red eyes and a tear-streaked face. He reached up and wiped the water from her face, cleaning her up the best he could.
"Maka, I love you, you know that, right?"
The scythe technician blinked in disbelief before croaking out a quiet, "Still?"
Grayson nodded. "Still."
Nothing was said for some time, the only sound Maka's quiet sniffling. Grayson still loved her. He didn't just care, he loved her. It made her so happy and so giddy she could've self-imploded at the thought. Because dammit Grayson still loved her! When he left, he didn't start to hate her. He didn't leave because he hated her. He's loved her all of this time! She was a bit sorry to say she couldn't say the same. After his departure, once the initial shock wore off, the hatred kicked in. He left her alone in a time of need. So it was a natural reaction correct?
Gah! Grayson still loved her!
A grin etched itself onto her face and she wrapped her arms around his neck, throwing him to his back on the floor. He yelped in surprise when his back connected with the hardwood but chuckled when Maka nuzzled her face into his chest.
"I love you too, you dumbass."
Soul snuck past the happy couple on the floor in each other's arms, oozing anger and aggression. Once he got into his room, he dropped the bags full of cookies and chips, not giving a damn if they spilled out or crumbled and broke. He just didn't care anymore.
His fists clenched and unclenched as he tried to halt the trembling of his hands from the rage running through his veins. Maka and Grayson….they confessed to each other in front of his eyes. Maka, his meister, his best friend, his crush and maybe-possibly the love of his life had just confessed to another man!
His fist bounced off of his wall, only leaving a small dent as the product of only a smidge of his anger. There was so much more to express but not enough to do so on. Not without completely trashing his room and rendering it unrecognizable if not unsafe to live in.
When he went out, Maka insisted she stay at home. She wanted to have time to get ready. Since she was a girl and girls took forever to get ready – it's a proven fact – he allowed her to. He went off alone, getting snacks for her because she asked him to. He'd gone out in freezing temperatures because she batted those dumb eyelashes at him and poked out that stupid lower lip into a pout. And for what? To come back home to be rewarded with his girl on another man's lap.
He grabbed the nearest thing in reach, a stapler, and chucked it at his wall, putting all of his power and adrenaline into it. It collided with the wall with a loud and stunning thud before clattering to the floor where it lay on its side sadly. Yet it didn't satisfy Soul's anger. Hardly. He was only just getting started.
That bastard! It was his fault! It had to be! He and Maka were happy and alone and fucking a-okay before that bastard came along! The son-of-a-bitch just had to come and fuck up everything he and Maka had going on, didn't he? The universe was surly laughing at the albino demon scythe right now. All of these years, it had dangled Maka right in front of him, clearly in his reach, tempting him to just take her as his. But he'd been chicken and kept putting it off, thinking he had all of the time in the world.
He knew it. Once those partnership request letters began appearing in her locker, he knew he should've made his move then. But he'd still been too nervous. What if she rejected him? Her track record with men wasn't the best. She may've been too afraid to want to start a relationship with him. Perhaps a letter from someone would've have persuaded her to leave him for some other guy and he'd be alone with no one.
That's why he broke into her locker by spying on her as she put in the combination one day. He'd learned it by heart and within a week, all of her partner request letters dwindled to practically nothing. She'd been severely disheartened by this, but Soul assured himself he was doing it for her sake. Those guys weren't good enough. Not for his meister. His actions were justified.
Soul thought by taking away her opportunities to leave him, he'd have more time to gather up the guts to confess.
But someone still beat him to it!
He kicked his waste bin and knocked it over, spilling out balls of paper and empty cans of soda on his floor.
Damn, why him? Why did this have to happen to him?
His anger began to ebb away and was replaced by regret and sorrow. He wasn't fast enough. He'd had all of this time to confess and make her his, to become her one and only, but he'd wasted it by cowering in fear. God, he was so fucking uncool. And now that someone finally had the guts to confess to his meister, he was throwing a tantrum like a toddler.
Soul leaned against his wall and slid down to his floor, gripping the sides of his head. "She's happy now, right? Maybe I just wasn't the one for her," he mumbled as the last of his anger and hatred drained out of him, bringing the rest of his energy with him. Now he just wanted sleep. He was exhausted emotionally and felt weighed down by his despair. Unfortunately, they had this stupid party to attend in honor of him. The very one who stole his meister under his nose.
"Fuck my life."
It couldn't have gotten more awkward than this.
Soul and Grayson both sat on the couch, dressed and ready to go. They were simply waiting for Maka to come out to leave. So there they sat, in silence, being awkward.
Or, at least Soul was awkward. Grayson was probably sitting on his high horse, reveling in the fact that he had just obtained Maka's love, unlike the demon scythe. The thought almost made Soul break out into another violent fit, but he restrained himself. As tempting as it was to reach over and wring his hands around Grayson's neck. He wasn't going to upset Maka because of his selfishness.
He folded his hands in his lap just in case.
After extended moments of strained silence between the two, Maka finally strutted out of her room all primped and pretty. She smiled at the two on the couch and twirled all the way around, giving them a view of her full body. "So, how do I look?"
Stunning. Beautiful. Breath-taking. Gorgeous. Attractive. None of the above could even begin to describe how she looked.
The party was a casual one, a gathering more than anything. Of course it was his meister that would still dress to impress. Her shirt dipped low, her skirt rose high, those heels drew attention to her long, sculpted legs, and her hair hung loose with her bangs swept off to one side. Soul had to bite his tongue to keep it inside of his mouth instead of hanging out in the sudden onslaught of horniness that washed over him.
It was going to be a long night.
They arrived fashionably late since Soul's motorcycle couldn't hold three people. Despite having to walk all of the way to Kid's mansion, Soul didn't mind it. Because if they did take his bike, he probably would've exploded from the closeness of Maka in that outfit. No, take out the probably, he would have exploded if that happened.
Liz greeted them at the door and her eyes brightened when she spotted Grayson on Maka's right. She smiled extra wide and made out a special greeting to him before taking his wrist and dragging him ahead, immediately engaging him in conversation. Soul and Maka were left behind by themselves as Liz clung to Grayson's arm and Grayson just uncomfortably shifted and glanced back at Maka. When he didn't get a reaction out of her, he turned back to Liz and smiled softly, replying to whatever she had said.
Soul looked down at his partner to see her chewing on her bottom lip, obviously contemplating something. She was probably worried or jealous because he'd just been taken away from her and Soul couldn't help but feel a little angry that Grayson had the balls to walk off with another woman while his girlfriend watched. And it made him angrier to admit to himself that Maka was Grayson's girlfriend.
Maka looked up at him and Soul quickly turned away, taking sudden interest in the décor around the large hall they were in, wishing nothing more than to dissolve into nothing at that moment before he exploded from the override of emotions. "Um, I'm gonna go find Black Star," he said and made his way into the crowd. A pair of hands yanked him back and he found himself in the same spot as before, right next to Maka.
"Don't leave!" she begged, eyes wide and pleading. Oh no here it comes.
The lower lip. The batted eyelashes. They got him every time.
Soul sighed and scratched the back of his head, muttering a "Fine" as he glanced around the large room, looking for something or someone to save him from this current situation.
Maka smiled at him, although he didn't see it. "Thank you, Soul."
They didn't do much but stand there and watch the crowd mingle and dance, standing on the sidelines and refusing to join in. Soul spotted Liz and Grayson in the crowd, dancing closely. Liz laughed at something Grayson said while he just grinned and slid his hands onto her waist. Soul's stomach twisted and he looked down at Maka who was staring at the same thing he was. Her face had a look of uneasy, as if she were unsure of what to do or how to go about something. She was chewing on her bottom lip again.
It was happening all over again for her. But this was worse. She had just confessed to the guy and already he was cheating on her! With one of her friends no less!
"Hey, Soul," she spoke up, bringing him out of his thoughts. Soul dropped his eyes down to Maka's shy face and watched intently as she stumbled over her words. "Do you wanna dance with me?"
His ears picked up on the music, it was a moderately fast tune. The tempo was paced nicely, the beat wasn't deafening but it was loud. It wasn't a perfect song or one he could particularly get into, but it wasn't bad either. That didn't really make him want to dance to it however.
"Not really," he dismissed, shaking his arm from her grip. He spotted Black Star preaching loudly to a jaded Tsubaki and decided to save the shadow weapon by stealing Black Star away and doing something stupid with him to get Maka off of his mind. He didn't need to deal with this shit right now. "I can see Black Star bothering Tsubaki. I'm going to go and talk to him. See ya later." And without waiting for a response, he was already being swallowed up into the heart of the crowd. Maka lamely held out her hand for him to come back before hunching over in sadness at being abandoned. She looked around desperately for someone to talk to, but everyone already seemed so immersed in their conversations. They wouldn't have room for her anyway.
She shuffled along the edges of the room, keeping an eye out for someone that was just as lonely as her. Soul had left her to talk to Black Star and the two were currently goofing it up by the fruit punch, laughing and joking around. Patty was talking to Tsubaki, giggling and playing with the elder weapon's hair. Grayson and Liz were still on the dance floor which she wasn't sure how to feel about. Sure, Grayson seemed like a good guy at the moment, but was it just some act to get her to trust him to lure her back with him to that goddamn organization?
No. He seemed so sincere back at the apartment. Liz was fine. She wouldn't interfere.
So far, there wasn't any sign of Kid. Surely he'd be with Patty right?
She'd spoken too soon. He was coming behind her with a large plate of food and sat down next to her, feeding her grapes as she continued to braid Tsubaki's hair. Tsubaki smiled and said something to which Kid and Patty smiled back and responded.
Everyone was busy without her. It was fine. She needed alone time to sort things out anyway.
Making sure that no one saw, Maka crept upstairs, intending on spending some time out on the balcony. No one would exactly miss her anyway. It would give her time to think over everything going on in her hectic life. So maneuvering her way through the vast hallways in Kid's home she finally found her way to a balcony that overlooked the backyard. The air was cool and Maka knew it would only grow colder as the sun set, but she didn't bother going back downstairs for her sweater. She could do without for now.
Below her was the garden layout, tended to carefully and as to be expected, symmetrically. Maka smiled fondly at her dear old friend's obsessive habits and hoped that Patty would be able to loosen him up a bit. Knowing Patty, she'd manage.
The breeze brushed past her, biting at her open arms gently and sending prickles throughout her body. She shivered slightly but remained where she was. It was still nice enough out to admire the scenery and to catch a breather. Not to mention she hadn't even gotten a chance to think about what she came up here for.
Grayson. Liz. Soul. Kid and Patty. Tsubaki.
Everything was just a whirlwind of emotions and events and it was becoming difficult to keep up. Previously, before Grayson had crashed in, things were good. The amount of missions was slimming to nothing, everyone liked each other mutually and equally, and the stress on Maka's plate would've hardly been enough to feed an infant.
Now she wasn't implying that she wasn't happy to see Grayson again, especially now that he'd explained his actions. In fact she was ecstatic that he was here with her after all of these years, even in grim circumstances. It was still great to have someone who cared for her deeply here that she'd grieved over ever since his departure.
Maka smiled. She got her big brother back.
A big brother who loved her.
Sure, she'd still have to wary of him as Shinigami-sama had ordered her to. Even without orders, Maka would've kept a close eye on the fallen angel in case he turned rogue at the drop of a hat. She couldn't risk losing him again. It was bad enough Soul's life was currently at risk, she didn't need to fret over Grayson as well.
The thought of her white-haired partner caused her to sigh. "Oh Soul, why do you always cause me trouble wherever we go?"
"That's not fair to him. How do you know that you're not the one causing the trouble?"
Maka barely flinched. "What the hell are you doing here? As far as I know, I haven't lost any basketballs or bracelets lately."
Stanton stepped onto the balcony in a snobbish manner, smirking at Maka when he approached her side. He leaned on the railing just as she was, looking down at the garden as well. "But there is something you've lost." When Maka quirked an eyebrow in question, curious as to something she could've misplaced Stanton chuckled and leaned in towards her ear. The scythemeister flinched from the close proximity and attempted to escape him as his warm breath tickled her chilled ear. "Time."
Not giving her a chance to finish her statement of surprise, Stanton pushed her into the balcony railing, effectively winding her. As she coughed and sputtered he reached around her waist and yanked her back by her hair. She yelped loudly and reached back to inflict damage just to find her attempts fruitless. She struggled against his grip vainly as he laughed deeply in her ear, amused by the sight of his wriggling prey. He pulled tighter on her hair and his mirth grew when he was rewarded with a pained whimper.
"Grayson, he told me I had a week! It's only been five days! I have two days left!"
The air was still as there was a split second pause before Stanton began guffawing in absolute delight and hilarity of the situation. "And you believed him!"
Maka cringed and the doubts of just how truthful Grayson was kicked in. She knew she shouldn't have trusted him, she just knew! It was her idiocy that had her in this situation and her idiocy that would have Soul's head on a silver platter. It was all her fault.
Stanton shrugged and placed his hairy chin on Maka's shoulder, ignoring the grunt of annoyance he received as one may pass off an unplanned rude comment. "I guess it's to be expected though. You'd do anything just to believe onii-san, hmm?"
Both Maka and Stanton froze at the new voice that had entered their conversation unexpectedly. The first to recover was the brute angel, who grinned and laughed, looking over his shoulder to discover a fuming Grayson in the arch doorway. His humorous steel eyes locked with Grayson's furious chocolate ones. The two stared the other down for a few seconds time as Maka used this new distraction to wiggle out of Stanton's grasp. It was a slow-going process given that his grip was tight on both her waist and hair and she couldn't really get out of either and not expect pain.
Finally Grayson spoke. "Let her go. Right now."
Without further prompting, Stanton obediently let go of Maka, who stumbled a bit as she steadied herself to stand on her own again. When she regained her bearings, she looked expectantly at Grayson who didn't seem to even acknowledge her any further.
"I want you to leave her alone until the week is over. You're breaking procedure by coming here two days earlier than planned." He reached out for Maka's hand and gently tugged her to his side. "I hope Boss punishes you for this."
Stanton only shrugged and opened his wings. Without a word, he leaped onto the balcony railing and saluted to them, giving Maka an extra wink, and took flight into the sky. Once he was gone from sight, Grayson turned to Maka and looked her up and down, checking for any serious damage. "Are you alright?"
Instead of answering, she asked, "Is that guy always hands on with things?"
Grayson chuckled and ruffled her already mussed up hair. "Unfortunately."
Maka stuck out her tongue in disgust and squeezed his hand once. "I'm taking an extra long shower tonight to get the grime from his hands and breath off of me.
"So why are you up here anyway?"
Grayson slid his hand from Maka's grip and turned around to walk off the balcony. He motioned for Maka to follow which she did, closing the doors behind her. "Well first, I could sense Stanton-"
"He's not a very hard soul to miss," Maka agreed.
"And I came to tell you that your friend Tsubaki passed out," Grayson continued.
The panic and worry over the well-being of her friend kicked in the second the last period rolled off Grayson's tongue. Not long after the panic took over did the questions begin.
"What? What do you mean she passed out? Is she okay? What happened? She doesn't have to have some kind of surgery does she? Oh God! She's not dying is she?" The string of questions pursued each other so quickly that she could hardly take a breath, let alone have them answered.
"Look," Grayson said sternly, promptly shutting Maka up. "She's fine. According to Kid, she just felt a little ill and all of the excitement took too great a toll on her. Black Star's already left to take her home to rest properly. Everything's fine."
The relief settled in smoothly and Maka couldn't have been gladder. "Thank Death."
Grayson chuckled and looked down at her out of the corner of his eye. "Can't say the same for your weapon, though. He's been worried sick since your disappearance."
Maka groaned and rolled her eyes. "He's the one who abandoned me. Like I really give a fuck if he's worried or not." Soul had no right to be cold and distant one minute and caring and protective another. She was not into bi-polar guys.
But dammit, he was her partner. The one that's been with her through thick and thin, heated and content, happy and sad, you name it. Maka could hardly think of a time since they've been together that he wasn't by her side either experiencing the same thing or supporting her. Their partnership required them to be close and fond of each other, but they'd already outstepped that level and become even closer. Even in their roughest of times, they couldn't be completely mad at one another, not really. They may think so at the time, but everyone else outside of their situation could sense that they were only so upset because they cared so much.
Grayson was one of those people.
Instead of saying anything, Grayson lightly placed his hand on her shoulder and smiled softly, silently saying he knew all but wouldn't bore her with details. Maka picked up on his silent meaning and stuck out her tongue elbowing him in his side playfully.
And as they walked back into the giant hall side-by-side, on better terms than they had ever been, Maka knew everything was going to be alright. When Soul looked up and spotted her entrance and practically flew over to where she was, frantically asking of her whereabouts and just what was she thinking of scaring him like that and growing more frustrated when she smiled simply at him and assured him everything was fine, Maka also knew that everything was going to work out. Despite all that shit that was going on in her life, it was just something that was going to blow over soon enough. Even if she had to work at it, her life could return to the way it had been, with possibly new additions to her routine.
Of course, for any of that to happen, all had to become worse first.
IT'S FINALLY DONE! AFTER MONTHS OF SITTING ON MY COMPUTER COLLECTING DUST I FINALLY FINISHED YOU CHAPTER 7!
Sorry. That needed to be said. =_= You have no idea how much I struggled over this chapter.
You know something I've noticed with fanfiction? There's hardly any family love. Anytime you see an "I love you" 99.9999999% of the time it's a romance thing. So I decided to be different and have some non-blood-related love between Grayson and Maka. Although, I'm not sure Soul got the memo. XD Meh. Soon enough.
I'm warning you guys now, these next few chapters are going to seem like they're zipping by (and no not because I'm updating so fast. I wish ;_;) As you've read (I hope) she only has two days left. So I'm pretty much just going to do chapter 8 for one day and chapter 9 for the night of the last day.
But! That doesn't necessarily mean the story will be over soon. Not even close. ._. I gots lots of planning to do.
So that leads me to a sort of poll (which I may also put up on my profile later. Idk).
What do you guys like to do on a date? What do you think is fun and/or romantic?
I would really appreciate if everyone answer this because it's going to help a ton with my next chapter (damn I just gave a lot of shit away). But anyways, PM me, review, I don't care just let me know somehow.
Also, I know that I previously mentioned that I like to keep these chapters under 6,000 words but as you can see this exceeds 8,000 with help from the author's note. Since I haven't updated in so long, I thought I'd extend this one a bit. Then again, who knows? Maybe I'll extend them every once in awhile when something important comes up.
Now to answer the few questions I had:
does Maka and Grayson have an old club house in the woods ?
No, that's just where they met. In fact, they hardly went to the woods as children besides then. They had another special place which I hope to mention later.
does soul find out about her being a angel
I can't reveal. ;)
And for my fun fact! Woooo~ I don't know why I started doing these but it's fun letting you guys know behind-the-scenes stuff.
A Grigori (or an angel if you'd prefer to call them that) are born with their wings. However, they are not born with them outside of their body. If that were so, they'd be too fragile and weak and they would snap easily. So until their large enough, which is about the length of an average tablespoon, is when they are ready to come out. To extract a Grigori's wings Seraphim (you've heard him mentioned before ;]) must personally do a sort of…surgery type process. It's not bloody and the Grigori doesn't need to be sedated because it's more of a magic-like process. The details get a bit complicated here, but basically he creates two perfect slits in your back for the wings to squeeze out.
Unfortunately for Grigoris everywhere, as it's nearing the time for their wings to be extracted, they have severe backpain that renders them unable to move sometimes. The saddest part is that all Grigoris ready for extracting are children. D:
I was going to incorporate the story of how Maka got her wings in the story, but I'm not sure how to fit that in now. I'll probably end up writing a random oneshot of Soul asking her.
Until next time~!