This... This really was supposed to be a shorter piece, truer to the "20 truths" style. BUT... It didn't really turn out that way xP

Disclaimer: I do not own Soul Eater. Or the Beatles "Here Comes the Sun". Or the Beatles for that matter. Or the moment inspired by "A Lady Raised High," just in case. Wow, that's a lot of disclaimers.


1. Maka knows this about marriage: it's complete and utter bullshit.

Don't get her wrong, the idea of it's nice and lovely, but there's just so many things going against it that makes its "sanctity" impossible: the financial issues, the arguments, the lack of private space, the inability of one party AKA THE MALE'S to remain faithful, the default gender roles- especially the gender roles. Why should the wife be in charge of cleaning the man's dirty underwear? What, he can't be the stay-at-home dad once in awhile either? What is a strong, independent woman supposed to do when she comes home late from work, cooks dinner and at the same time has to manage a crying toddler because her husband's not there, he's busy at a bar with some younger woman- and this is when Maka forces herself to stop thinking, because it just isn't worth the painful crescent moons cutting into her palms or the tears in her eyes.

There's a small, innate part of her that wants to believe in marriage, that maybe she'll be the exception... But it retreats further and further with every signature on the divorce papers.

2. Soul doesn't get so passionate about the idea of marriage, since he knows it's all rather political. From what he's learned, it doesn't matter how much "love" is in the relationship (or, more specifically, what it started with); each party is-unconsciously or not- looking at what kind of family the other comes from, what kind of school they graduated, their income now and their predicted income later, how attractive their children will look, etc.

As for the "love" part of it... Well, a cheesy part of Soul likes love, but isn't so sure about its lasting. Because never hearing one "I love you" from either of his parents, seeing the awkward way they stand together when greeting guests, knowing that they sleep in two separate bedrooms- well, it kind of does that to a guy. But he also knows this: if he ever gets married, she's going to be someone he chooses, not someone he feels obligated to be with.

3. He never chose her.

4. But the first time he saw her, his whole future flashed before his eyes. This girl was going to be his wife, his darling dear, his partner 'till death do them part and all that jazz. He saw her in a cookie-cutter house with the white picket fence and the dog named Max and the 2.5 kids- well, he kind of discredits this vision, considering that 1. He doesn't think white picket fences are cool at all, 2. He's allergic to dog hair, and 3. Well... The 2.5 kids thing speaks for itself. But the part with her- that's for certain. Eyeing her nonexistent chest and pencil-straight body, he had the urge to smack his palm into his face because seriously, why did Fate always have to screw him over? Still, when she said that she liked his song, he figured that she must not have that great of a taste in music, therefore not the ear to tell what's good and what's not: something his family would require in a girl... He grinned.

5. Maka grinned back because, score, she finally found a partner!

6. Their moving in together begins... Awkwardly, to say the least. Each is a little unsure how to act around the other, afraid that one comment will make this delicate card house of a relationship fall.

It isn't until that night, when they fight about the budget (he wants money for eating out, she wants it for books) that they decide to forget about doting on the relationship, pride is way more important right now and this "partner" is not going to win.

7. They had been bickering constantly when they finally made peace.

On the second "Cleaning Sunday" (as she liked to call it), they had just finished fighting about who will clean the sink and ceiling, the floors and the toilet. On his knees scrubbing furiously, Soul is beginning to think that he had it all wrong because, God, he doesn't think he can take this banshee for one more second. She has just popped one of her stupid CD's into his stereo; but whatever, he'll be leaving soon anyway-

The soft beginning of "Here Comes the Sun" begins to play. He snaps his gaze to her form that's dusting the shelves none too gently.

"... Maka."

"What?" Her voice reflects the deep scowl on her face, though he's not really thinking about that right now.

"... You like the Beatles." It's not even a question, just some stupid assumption he would make about her. She turns sharply, intent on giving him a piece of her mind- but the retort dies on her lips when she sees the look of wonder on his face.

"Um... Yeah. My mom used to always listen to them."

There's a long, strange silence as she tries to figure out what's going on in this kid's head, when suddenly his face erupts into this huge smile and chuckles. "Well, at least you've got one good musical taste, eh?"

She throws a rag at him.

... It's decided thereafter that Sunday is Beatle-Cleaning Day.

8. Contrary to popular belief, Maka likes Blair. She just doesn't like when she distracts Soul by shoving her fake breasts in his face- and she says fake because she's a cat, not a woman, so why is a cat so freaking attractive to him when he doesn't even look at her?

9. ... Not that she wants him to, or anything. It's just... Nice to feel appreciated. But she digresses. (That's the truth.)

10. She had been fine when she got the call saying her parents were officially divorced, calm when she went back to reading her book; but that sight of her when he came back with food will never leave his mind. She was on the kitchen floor, sitting against a cabinet with her skinny arms knotted around knobby knees, a mess of salty tears and blotchy skin and snot and sniffles. Slowly, he dropped the bag of food, sat down next to her, held one of her hands and rested his other upon her head.

11. He'll never forget because it's the first time he notices how nice her hand felt and how her hair was like silk beneath his fingertips.

12. The uncoolest of terribly uncool clichés, Soul totally snaps after school and shoves Maka against a locker, his lips smashing none too gently against hers as one of his hands weave through her damned soft hair, the other finding its way to the small of her back.

He doesn't even remember what she was nagging him about-probably harping on him for not doing his homework- but he does remember her suddenly pulling him toward a classroom as they're still kissing, their hands roaming as they do a little spin into the door and Soul starts to think that this is really, really kind of hot-

The classroom they stumble through just happens to be the after-school detention center. The volunteer teacher that day just happens to be Death Scythe.

13. "Well, I didn't know it wasn't empty!" She hysterically whispers with a cherry-red face. They are in the school nurse's office, and on the cot she sits next to is her traumatized father who's still occasionally twitching here and there. "I just, you know... I got caught in the moment, okay?"

Soul knows he should be more embarrassed and sort of terrified of any future death threats from the man across from him, but the truth is he's a little pleased (ecstatic) about the whole thing and can't stop grinning.

14. When they officially announce they're a couple (what else can you say after a fiasco like that? "I tripped backwards... With his lips on top of mine. Through the door."), Black Star is strangely quiet, a small frown etched into his features. After the couple leave the lunch table, Tsubaki finally asks what's the matter, isn't he happy for them? He muses for a few seconds, and then slowly: "I don't think they're gonna work."

Tsubaki wants to chide him for his negativity- did he really not know this would happen?- but is rather intrigued that he's thinking so deeply about it. When she asks why, he replies very solemnly, "... They don't like the same peanut butter."

"... I'm sorry, say that one more time?"

"They don't like the same peanut butter." He begins to gain momentum, as if he's awakened by his thought process ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Black Star Mode" is his phrase for it). "He likes Chunky and she likes Smooth. Don't you see? Don't you get it? They're two complete opposites. It'll only end in tragedy, like- like that one play, 'Julio and Romette!'"

"Romeo and Juliet, but I don't think that's exactly how the story goes, Black Sta-"

"No, Tsubaki. A Chunky and a Smooth can never live-and love!- in peace." A fist hits the table with a dramatic thud. "I wish there could be a middle ground, but alas! There can never be... A Schmunky. Or a Choonth."

... For not the first time in her life (or the last), Tsubaki is left dumbfounded by her partner.

15. Other than the obvious... Intimate aspects associated with a romantic relationship, their overall bond hasn't changed. They still live together, do their own chores, fight together, fight with each other, hang out with friends-

But each and every time he reaches for her hand-he does it like it's no big deal, too, like's it's the most obvious action next to breathing- a warmth expands in her belly up to her heart and she can't imagine their relationship as anything less than what it is now.

16. He had originally planned on asking during a nice dinner. No, really.

He hates those big romantic gestures that scream for attention ("Hey! Look at us! Look at how in love we are!"), like in those romantic novels Maka hides in her closet. But he also realizes that this is kind of a big moment for a girl, and a Maka-chop never sounds too appealing.

It just sort of... Came out.

They were watching some movie on pay-per-view, eating Chinese takeout straight from the cartons. He's in his sweatpants and she's in some ratty pajamas, and really he had planned on asking the next day-

But then she laughed at something the character said.

... It's stupid, but that's all it took.

He does this thing where he's half-tumbling, half-sliding off the couch ("Like a freaking sloth," she rolls her eyes later to Liz) because he's too busy fumbling beneath the cushion, trying to find that goddamned box. She looks on with mild amusement and curiosity before she sees the ring and hears him mumble a will she, you know, marry him?

To which she Maka-chops him. And scolds him for being so lame. And tells him that, duh, there's no one else that will stand his laziness, is there? And joins him on the floor to kiss him.

17. Needless to say, Papa hits the roof.

This time they were at a nice dinner-the three of them- but maybe she should have just told him at home because he's shouting and throwing his fork around and will he just stop it, people are staring. He gets them kicked out of the restaurant, and Soul quietly makes a phone call to Sid-sensei asking if he could please come pick up Death Scythe. Papa is dragged away by the zombie, meanwhile screaming that the little punk will never have his little girl, neverrrrrrr!

Soul is completely silent the whole walk home.

When they get to the apartment, they go two separate ways: she to the bedroom to (shakily) change into her pajamas, he straight to the balcony. She knows he can hear the glass door slide closed behind him when she joins later, but his back remains facing her.

"So... At least Mama approves, right?" She laughs lightly, but it dies when there's just silence from her fiancé. She looks down at her hands. "Well, it doesn't matter, anyway. He... He's just being Papa. You know how he gets. He'll probably come around... B-but that won't mean anything! It's not like we're gonna see him every day, and if we really need to we can get a restraining order or something from Shinigami-sama and..." She becomes quiet, so close to tears. "... D-do you not want to marry me anymore?"

There's a brief silence... Until she hears a "pfft" sound. Then a chuckle. Then uncontrollable laughter.

Suddenly he's turning to her as his back slides down the balcony railing, his arms clutching his sides and he's laughing so hard, there's tears smarting his eyes.

When his now terrified girlfriend asks (quite hysterically) why he's laughing, he gathers enough strength to speak between his fits and look up at her. "Because I love you." He begins all over again, but not before he lets out a "c'mere" and motions for her to sit next to him. A little speechless, she drifts to his side as he pulls her down, one of his arms snaking around her waist. She presses her face to his shoulder, and after a moment... She smiles softly.

This is the first time he told her he loved her.

18. His family, on the other hand, are all pretty faces and pleasantries.

When Soul curtly announces it at the dinner table, both of his parents keep their frozen smiles, and his mother breathes that its simply marvelous, quite wonderful news indeed. Wes-with an infuriating smirk on his face- continues to cut his meat silently.

Maka knows something is a little off, because this mannequin family is just too stiff to be real, Soul's gripping her hand too tight beneath the table, and his leg always shakes impatiently when he's angry. Right now it's causing the table itself to quiver.

Later, when she retires to the family guest room and he is about to join her, his family calls him into the dining room again.

It's all business now, and they proceed to explain that really Soul, she's a nice girl- but doesn't he think he can do better? She doesn't even play an instrument, for goodness' sake! How would she ever fit in this family? And she is of quite the low class, isn't she? She has virtually no wealth, and why, her parents are divorced. Scandalous!

She has a decent face, Mr. Evans adds, but that doesn't account for much. Perhaps... Perhaps she's more "lover" material than "wife" material, wouldn't you say, son-

Soul leaves the room without saying a word.

He's seething, so fucking angry he can't even see straight. He has enough sense not to go to the bedroom- he doesn't want her to see him like this, doesn't want to see her worried expression after he just spoke with this family (he wants to spit at the word). Instead, his feet lead him to the garden, each door he passes through creating an echoed bang in the high-vaulted rooms.

When he reaches the "garden" (it's winter, all the flowers are dead... Figures.) he runs a hand over his face, still breathing heavily. He thought he wanted this, wanted a girl they would disapprove of, but this-

This isn't about their approval. It's about them judging her, about them taking two seconds to make their decision, about them not even realizing what a girl she is, about-

... About him not deserving even half of her in the first place, and then introducing her to these people. As his flesh and blood, no less.

When he calms enough to make his breathing regular, he trudges back inside, through the parlor, through the countless hallways, through the (lonely) family portraits... Back to her.

He thought she was asleep when he first slipped into the bed, but she quickly turns, wide awake as she scoots toward him. "Your hands are cold," she murmurs softly, taking one of them in her own. "Goodness, Soul! They're freezing."

He doesn't say anything, just pulls her closer and buries his nose in her hair (so, so thankful she still wants him). "I know, " he replies after a minute, and kisses her forehead.

The Evans family never receives an invitation to the ceremony.

19. At their wedding, Soul and Maka finally understand this about marriage:

That marriage isn't a perfect union between two people, because nothing is perfect. It isn't glass slippers and pumpkin carriages, because glass shatters and vegetables rot. It isn't "never going to bed angry" or "can't live with you." There are certainly no sudden riches or happily ever afters and-most of all- it isn't necessary.

... But it is pretty nice.

It's her believing she just might be beautiful when he looks at her coming down the aisle or him thinking that perhaps it can be okay not being his brother after all. It's somehow feeling alive on his old, rumbling motorcycle and his enjoying just the feeling of her hugging him from behind, both basking in this exhilaration.

In marriage, they will go to bed angry- because damn it, it's been a long-ass day and he doesn't feel like talking right now- but somehow she'll wake up and find his arms around her waist, his lips pressed against her neck in a silent apology.

They can live without each other. They just won't.

They certainly aren't rich, but he decides he doesn't really need that plasma screen TV and she has long concluded that she prefers a cozy little home to an echoing, empty mansion anyway.

There is no happily ever after, because they know this is a process rather than an ending, and in this process they're still learning to admit that maybe love is worth it in the end. But that's alright- they've come this far, haven't they? They've got to time to learn some more together.

... They also agree that Kid will never, ever be in charge of flower and centerpiece arrangements again for their friends' weddings if they can help it. Maka's nerves were frazzled enough when she discovered he sent back fifteen-hundred dollars worth of flowers because one single rose was slightly bent and asymmetrical- the morning of her wedding, thank you very much.

20. In one of their kitchen cabinets are two jars of peanut butter: one of Chunky, one of Smooth. Black Star is still baffled to this day.

... I don't know what it is with me, SouMa, and marriage. I promise, one day I'll write a regular fic of them. Really. Anywho, the scene that was inspired by "A Lady Raised High" was #17, in case any were wondering~
Hope you enjoyed it, and any feedback would be lovely as always ;)