Hello. Chapter 4. Only took me a year...

I went back and edited the first three chapters, nothing major. Spelling mistakes and a minor continuity error. Enjoy.

It was official. Hotel beds sucked. Doing nothing sucked. They had taken Soul's advice and stayed at a hotel far enough from the arena to be away from the crowds, but it had been a week and Kid had done little else but "research." Maka rolled over to see Kid still noisily typing away at his heavily personalized, and very symmetrical, laptop.

"Find anything?"

Kid scowled slightly at the laptop screen. "Naturally, all the useful inside information cannot be accessed from the public websites, and hacking is more Liz and Patti's forte than mine, but I was able to find some pretty in depth profiles of this Noah who owns the arena, as well as this Voorhees who attacked us. Noah himself naturally has much more information about him freely available from information sites and the like. From his public financial records pertaining to his arena to his own contributions to the league itself."

Maka rolled over on her back and stretched a bit, cringing at the cracks that ran all the way down her spine. "Anything we can use?"

Kid smirked and turned the screen so she could see it. "Something quite useful, in fact. It would seem that Sir Noah is quite the gambler and loves high stakes."

"And if what Soul told us is true, Noah sees both him and Voorhees as his prized fighters." Maka replied. "We could use this."

Kid frowned. "How?"

"Get him to organize a fight with a wager. Somehow have him agree to a fight that could free Soul and maybe some other weapons if it ends in our favor."

"What sort of fight though? If Soul is the prize, he may also make Soul part of the fight. I'd rather not get an old friend killed. And you're also assuming he'll agree to this."

"Soul or Noah?"

"At this point? Both. Also, the stakes are only on his end in that deal. He is the only one set to lose anything. Yet if he wins, he doesn't really gain anything either. I'm not comfortable with thinking what he would have us wager in return, given his apparent value of Soul. I'd prefer to at least have a decent plan."

Conversation apparently over, Kid went back to typing and ignoring her. Maka huffed and rolled back over, hoping Soul was having more luck figuring out anything they should know.

Soul was a nervous wreck.

He'd been worried about a ramp up in security once Gopher or possibly Noah himself looked at the security tapes in the rec room. Someone always looked at the tapes when a fight started outside of an arena. The borderline riot that had been used to more or less cover Kid and Maka's escape was definitely not going to go unnoticed.

Judging by the extra cameras in every corner, and the new guard rotations, they had definitely been noticed.

He had told them to keep clear for a couple days. It had been a week. He hoped they were intelligent enough to stay away until things cooled down, but he was unsure if that was even going to happen. None of the other weapons seemed to notice or comment on all the extra security, or they just didn't care.

He was on his way to the rec room for lunch when it happened. A flash of consciousness that was clearly not his. The brief headache that came with it caused a small surge of panic and he could almost feel his soul reflexively withdrawing into itself. The other consciousness was gone. A random snippet of his childhood wavered at the edge of his memory. Kid had once told him briefly of weapon/meister relationships and soul resonance, but not exactly how it would feel. He blinked hard and pushed himself off the wall he'd apparently slid into, shook his head, and continued on his way into the rec room.

He'd completely cleared his plate and drained the soda he'd grabbed for lunch when a thought struck him. That consciousness… or whatever… had felt familiar.

It also felt like it was right outside the door to the rec room.



They'd waited until a big fight in the middle of the day before heading back to the arena. Using the massive crowd as cover Kid dragged Maka to a different maintenance shaft this time and they dropped much quicker to the needed floor, much to Maka's horror. He practically shot through the door when he finally found it, dismissed his skateboard, grabbed her wrist, and pulled her into a relatively dark corner while a couple men she assumed to be guards walked by.

They'd both agreed that speed was necessary because of the commotion they and Vorhees had started almost a week ago, but they had to move slowly and carefully through the darkened hall. Kid's soul perception was wide open and on full alert to watch for any guards long before they even made it into the hallway. Maka simply followed him, as he'd told her to keep hers off unless absolutely needed.

She could tell, through the normal use of an odd half resonance, half Kid invading her mind with his Shinigami powers thing that they used for rudimentary contact during missions, that he was high strung and on full alert in the very high chance that something would go wrong. She imagined their conversation that morning hadn't left him in the best of spirits either. So it was quite a shock when she felt another tug on her soul that was definitely not Kid. This particular presence was foreign, strange… and utterly terrified at the unknown contact, as immediately after the tug, it panicked and fled.

Normally Maka would have been intrigued, maybe a little frightened, at such a contact, but she was also an unbound meister in a building full of unbound weapons, and it likely wasn't unheard of for brief flashes of compatibility in close physical quarters. A part of her was immensely curious what weapon here she was so inherently compatible with, but she was also on a mission and that little piece of information wasn't important right now.

She immediately recognized the rec room door when they made it there, but before Kid could reach to try to figure out how to stealthily open the door, it flew open and they were immediately grabbed, pulled inside, and dragged to an empty couch in a dim corner near the door.

Once she and Kid were done being manhandled, Maka looked up into a pair of very familiar red eyes, and was taken aback by the brief haunted flash in them before they hardened and looked to Kid.

"What the hell are you two doing here? I told you to lay low." Soul growled at the Shinigami. "Noah knows you were here and has upped security insanely. You shouldn't be here!"

Maka isn't able to hear Kid trying to placate Soul over the sudden roaring in her own soul. The tug was back, but it felt more like a forceful pull than just a small tug, and the other presence in her mind either didn't notice it yet, as it was yet to panic and flee as before, or it was immensely distracted, or…

Soul suddenly broke off his hushed tirade at Kid and stared wide eyed at her. The haunted look in his eyes was back, and the presence in her soul was starting to panic again.

Oh God.

This time, she was the one to panic and flee, and promptly scooted to the other end of the couch from Soul. Kid, who had broken off his train of thought when Soul's attention had abruptly shifted, now looked to Maka, who was leaning away from Soul and had locked her own soul down so tightly that even he was having issues maintaining their weak link. He looked over to Soul and saw the apparent panic in the weapon as well.

"Alright. What did I miss."

Soul shook his head, still staring at Maka. She sighed and drew her knees up to herself. "I'm not sure if it's because of the forced resonance from a week ago, or if it just happened, but we accidentally resonated… Twice."

Soul blinked. "That was you…? Earlier, I mean."

Maka nodded.

"Huh," Soul blinked at her when she lifted her eyes to look at him again, then shrugged one shoulder. "That would explain how I knew you two were coming. Which brings me back to the point," he turned back on Kid. "That you two really shouldn't be here. You need to go. Now."

"We came here because we are still here on a mission." Kid replied, "While it's not our aim at the moment, if Noah catches us, that will save us the trouble of trying to get to him ourselves."

Whatever retort Soul had planned died in his throat as he simply stared at Kid. "Did I not say you should probably be avoiding-"

"How do you propose we help you if we don't go to Noah himself?"

Soul had no response, but he was clearly not happy. The bits of accidental resonance that seeped through the cracks in her walls were very agitated and nervous, but for them. Maka didn't feel any fear in Soul for his own safety. Then again, he was supposed to be here.

Soul was still glaring hotly at Kid when the back door banged open and the room went silent. Maka felt an odd sense of deja vu, looking around the room. Her gaze settled on two men in similar uniforms as the ones they'd been dodging all down the hallway.

Soul hadn't broken eye contact with Kid the whole time, and his eyes bore angrily into the Shinigami's. "Looks like you got your wish."

As the men roamed the room, Kid narrowed his eyes at Soul. "I've dealt with much worse than arena guards before. I can handle this. You know that. Why are you so angry?"

If possible, Soul looked even angrier, and motioned to Maka, who had huddled close to Soul and Kid again when the men had walked in. "Because you're dragging her with you. And going by what you've drilled into my head my entire five-year-old life, her safety is my top priority now. Like it or not, we're somehow resonating, and for now, that makes me her weapon. She is my meister. And she is in danger. Because of you."

Before Maka could retort that she was here of her own free will, thank you very much, she and Kid were found and pulled to their feet. The guards grumbled something about them going to see Noah, and Soul lunged to his feet, only to suddenly be wrapped in a bladed chain and stutter to a stop on his feet with his arms bound awkwardly to his chest. He bared his teeth at a gleeful Voorhees standing once again at the back door.

"Sorry, Soul Eater," he sneered as Soul struggled briefly against the older weapon's chain, but settled for snarling like an animal when he only succeeded in digging the blades further into himself. "But you're going with them." A vicious grin spread across his face as he pulled slightly on the chain wrapped around his palm, dragging Soul slightly off balance for a second. "Something about you letting them in? You're in a lot of trouble."