A/N: Another kinda fluffy one-geez, I'm starting to get cavities from all this fluff, LOL. But this is just a sort of day in the life with Soul and Maka-with a big twist. Enjoy!
To my eternal dismay, Soul Eater STILL does not belong to me.
The clock said 10:25 when Maka blinked and realized she had been reading the same sentence in Advanced Soul Awareness over and over again—and hadn't retained a word of it. Marking her page with a light pink bookmark, she slammed the textbook shut and pushed herself away from her desk to look out the window. The lit streetlamps were foggy from the snow that cascaded from the dark sky, the grinning moon nowhere to be seen. The light, Christmas-like snowfall had officially become a blizzard and didn't look like it was letting up any time soon.
Sighing, she got up and stretched her arms over her head with a wide yawn before heading into the living room. Soul was fast asleep on the couch, a rerun of Contemporary Clan playing unwatched on the television. No sooner had Maka taken the remote from his limp hand and switched off the TV than the phone rang. What—? She dropped the remote on the coffee table and headed to the kitchen. Who could possibly be calling at this time of night?
"Hello?" she asked once the receiver was at her ear.
"Maka Albarn! This is Lord Death speaking," came the unmistakable whimsy of the Grim Reaper himself.
"Um, h-hello Lord Death," Maka answered, kind of taken aback that the headmaster had a phone line in his Death Room, much less was able to use one with his enormous hands. Maybe it's a Bluetooth type thing, she shrugged before continuing, "What's going on?"
"Well Maka, I'm afraid I have some bad news..."
A thousand scenarios burst through Maka's head at once as she nearly dropped the receiver. Bad news? How bad? Did she fail that exam from last week? She hadn't been completely confident on those essay questions—but was it worse than that? Was she falling behind? Was her Death Scythe going to be reassigned to someone else? Did Black Star and Tsubaki get hurt on an assignment? Or Kid and the girls? Her insides froze suddenly…Did something happen to Papa? Mama? She finally took a long calming breath—she was getting way ahead of herself. "B-bad news? What is it?"
"It has come to my attention that this surprise blizzard is not going to be letting up until late tomorrow afternoon," Lord Death explained. "Therefore, I have decided to close down the Academy tomorrow."
That's it? A snow day? Maka slowly felt her twisted insides unraveling with relief. "Oh, uh—well—thank you for calling. But…why is that bad news?"
"Because I won't get to see all your bright, smiling faces tomorrow!" Lord Death replied with an air of tragedy. "Oh well, you and Soul enjoy your free time."
"Thank you, we will," Maka said before hanging up the receiver and smiling widely. No classes tomorrow…well, maybe it was a good thing she hadn't finished that chapter in the book. She'd have plenty of time to read it tomorrow. Better wake up Soul and tell him the good news. Heading back into the living room, she knelt in front of the couch where her weapon lay snoring and gently shook his shoulder.
"Mmm…just…a little to the left…Blair…" A smack against the side of his head sent Soul jolting awake. Blinking rapidly, his eyes focused on the glaring gaze of his meister. "Maka! Um…"
"Don't tell me, I don't want to know, and you just be lucky I don't have a book nearby," Maka hissed through gritted teeth in one breath. "Anyways, Lord Death just called."
"Called our place?" Soul asked, sitting up and propping his head up on his elbow. "Is something wrong?"
"No, we just have a snow day tomorrow," Maka said with a grin, and Soul let out a whoop of joy as he punched the air.
"Yeah, no school! Man, I thought an apocalypse was gonna have to happen for them to shut the Academy down."
"Me too," Maka said, "But it is really bad out there."
"Who cares? Black Star and I have been planning the ultimate snowball combat for weeks!" Soul announced as he got up to head to the bathroom. "What better day to start the showdown than tomorrow? You should come, it's either gonna be guys versus girls or weapons versus meisters—"
"No thanks, I think I'm gonna use this time to clean up around here and get some extra reading done for class—"
"Seriously Maka? The first snow day the DWMA's had in like…ever, and you're gonna spend it doing what you do every day?" Soul called back as Maka heard the toilet flush. "You need to live a little!"
"Ugh, can we argue about this tomorrow?" Maka yawned, "I'm exhausted."
"Whatever Maka, but I'm not letting you sit around here on your skinny ass all day tomorrow—it's not cool."
"Oh shut up, I'm going to bed," Maka shot back before shutting her bedroom door with a loud snap. Slipping quickly into her pajamas, she turned off the light and dove under the warmth of her electric blanket. Shutting her eyes and willing herself to fall into unconsciousness, Maka's peace couldn't help but be invaded by the gusting winds howling outside, rapping ominously against her window.
It felt like an eternity had passed before a loud yell came from the direction of the bathroom. Maka's eyes flew open, Is it morning? The room was almost as pitch dark as it was last night, but sure enough when she looked at the clock it read 7:42. Well, at least she had eventually stopped waking up every hour on the hour, thanks to the weather rattling the window frame. Flinging off the covers, she went into the bathroom that connected their two bedrooms and found Soul muttering angrily as he wrapped a towel around his waist.
"What the hell's going on—?"
"Soul, what's the matter?" Maka asked sleepily, stifling back a yawn.
"The water's freezing—I must've let it run for like five minutes!" Soul roared, storming over to the light switch and flipping it upward. Nothing.
"Oh no," Maka whispered, flicking the switch on and off rapidly. She went back into her bedroom to try her own light switch…still nothing. "You don't think—?"
"The storm blew the power out," Soul realized, slumping down on the closed toilet seat. "This is so not cool…"
"Alright don't panic," Maka said, more to herself that her always composed partner. "It's probably out all over the building so we're not the only ones. Why don't you call Black Star and see if they have power over at their place while I take the necessary precautions?"
"Yeah whatever," Soul replied as Maka handed him a flashlight, one of two she kept stashed in her room. Heading into the living room, Soul glanced outside at the still raging blizzard, snow swirling past against a dark gray sky—This day is gonna blow, he thought as he picked up the phone and dialed Black Star's number.
"Hello?" came a bright female voice.
"Hey Tsubaki, it's Soul," Soul said, hearing faint commotion in the background on the other end. "Do you guys h—?"
"Tsubaki, where'd you put the candles your dad sent over from Japan, huh?" asked the booming yell of Black Star, "I can't see a damn th—ow, my face!" which followed a loud thud, suggesting Black Star had run into a wall or something similar.
"I…take it you guys don't have power either."
"I'm afraid not," Tsubaki sighed. "You too?"
"Affirmative," Soul grumbled, "I think Maka wanted to see if we could come over there until our power came back on."
"What's going on?" Maka called from the kitchen, where Soul could see the light from her flashlight waving against the wall.
"Their place is out, too," Soul called back. He could've sworn he heard Maka swear under her breath.
"I don't think going outside today is the best idea—hey!" Soul heard Tsubaki's voice go suddenly faint before a new loud and egotistical voice replaced hers.
"Who's calling the great Black Star's domain?"
"It's me, you dumbass, calling to see if you have power," Soul sighed.
"Your place is out, too? Man, this blows!" Black Star yelled into the receiver. "Well at least we can still have our snowball war!"
"Black Star, no!" came Tsubaki's reply in the background. "You are not going out in this weather, and neither is Soul!"
"Oh c'mon, a big star like me can handle anything—especially a couple of snowflakes!" That was the last thing Soul heard before the connection fizzled into static and finally cut off completely, not even leaving a dial tone behind.
"Shit!" Soul yelled, slamming the receiver down. "We lost the phone line, too!"
"Are you kidding me?" Maka sighed exasperatedly, coming into the living room. "Uh…Soul…?"
"What?" he asked, noticing Maka staring at him strangely. Staring down at himself, he knew why—he was sitting on the couch, still wearing nothing but a towel. "Oh, sorry…"
"Yeah…" Maka nodded, thankful that it was dark and he couldn't see the blush that rose into her cream cheeks as he got up to put some clothes on. Maka sat down on the same spot where Soul had just been and counted off on her fingers: No lights, no hot water, no phone line…it's like a bad horror movie. Well, at least it can't get any worse than this.
Soul had pulled on a pair of khakis and his orange T-shirt when he noticed it. Normally he put on his black leather jacket just to keep up his "cool" image, but now he didn't just want to put it on, he needed to. Because the air was cool, and seemed to be getting cooler by the moment…Fuck. My. Life.
"Maka," Soul called as he found her sitting on the couch, "I—I think our heat's out."
"What?" Maka said in a hushed voice, her face turning pale in the light from her flashlight.
"The heat's out, can't you tell?"
"No…no, the heat can't be out." Maka leapt up from her seat and sprinted over to the radiator, feeling it with her hands—its surface was cool. Breathing hard through her nostrils, she booked it over to the thermostat and raised her flashlight to read the temperature—59 degrees Fahrenheit and dropping.
"Calm down, Maka, it's okay," Soul said quietly, placing his hands lightly on her shoulders. He knew exactly why his meister was acting like she was about to have a heart attack. Ever since she was a little girl, Maka had had poor blood circulation; she had warned Soul about this when they first moved in together and told him she would have to keep their apartment very warm in order for her to function. At first he was totally annoyed, then later realized it was kinda cool walking around the apartment in shorts and a T-shirt in the dead of winter. But now that the heat was out…this is not cool at all.
"No Soul, it's not okay," Maka said, her breath shallow. "You know what I told you about my having to keep the place at 72 degrees or higher! If the heat doesn't come back on soon—?"
"What, you're gonna die or something?" Soul smirked at the absurdity of the whole thing. "C'mon, it's gonna take a lot more than a little cold to kill you off." Leading her back to the couch, he sat her down before going into her room and grabbing her a warm change of clothes, plus an extra sweater. Out the corner of his eye, he saw the thermostat now read 53 degrees. When he got back to Maka, she was hugging herself tightly when he tossed the clothes at her, "Go in the bathroom and put these on." As she did so, Soul went around and checked all the windows, making sure every crack was covered up with washcloths and other things he could find to plug up the little defects this beastly wind could maneuver through. As he double-checked the door, the bulb in his flashlight flickered ominously and then popped off. "Seriously God, how much do you hate me?" he screamed skyward, throwing the dead flashlight against the wall.
"Here, use mine," came Maka's reply, and Soul turned around to see her holding out her flashlight to him with a soft smile.
"You feel better?" he asked, taking the flashlight and examining her now fully-clothed body.
"Yeah, a bit," Maka said quietly, though her arms were still crossed tightly over her chest. "Um, do we have any extra blankets?"
"Sit down, I'll go check," Soul said, pushing her back over to the couch. Wrenching open the linen closet, he found two thick blankets and brought them over to Maka. To his alarm, she was starting to shiver, her lower lip shaking, even though the thermostat still read 50 degrees.
"S-Soul?" she looked up at him as he set down the flashlight to open up one of the blankets. His heart ached—he almost never saw her look so vulnerable. Sitting down beside her, he gently wrapped the soft down blanket around her shivering frame, her lips slowly becoming more discolored as the temperature continued its decline.
"Dammit…it just keeps getting colder in here," Soul muttered angrily as he added the second blanket around Maka.
"What about you?" Maka asked, twisting her arms inside the blankets before pulling them over her head, creating a hood.
"Eh, I'll live," Soul shrugged, though his fingers were getting cold. Bringing her legs up onto the couch, she curled her feet under the blankets until all Soul could see of his meister was her face. "Wish I could make you some hot cocoa or something…"
"It's fine Soul, you've done all you can," Maka smiled at him, sniffling a little and rubbing her nose with the corner of the blanket.
"Aw c'mon, don't get sick on me now," Soul said softly, lightly running his hand over the top of her head. "Who's gonna take notes for me in class if you're down for the count?"
"Take your own damn notes," Maka smirked, despite her lips still shaking slightly. She looked around the room for a moment, taking in the snow still swirling against the window, though the less stormy sky was bringing more light into the room, causing Maka to finally turn off her flashlight. "So…now what do we do?"
"I don't have any plans," Soul replied, leaning back and stretching his arms over his head. To Maka's surprise, one of his arms came down and draped across the back of the couch behind her. "What do people do when they're stuck inside with no power, no heat, and no working phone line?"
"Well, we could just…sit here and talk," Maka suggested slowly, her eyes rising to meet his. Even to her, the words sounded strange leaving her lips. When was the last time she and Soul had actually sat down just to talk to eachother? Maybe once when they first became partners, but that was two years ago. Now, the both of them were definitely treading into unfamiliar territory.
"Alright, what do we talk about?" Soul asked, clearing his throat uncomfortably. He had never been one to open up to people—living in a family of people better than he was at everything conditioned him to that. He had half a mind to run into his room and lock the door, hide himself away from having a serious discussion with his meister—but something in her gaze left him frozen to the spot. Maybe…just maybe he could use this unprecedented opportunity to get her to open up as well.
"Soul, look, you're my partner," Maka began, shifting her body around so she was facing him. "And I know a lot about you, but…I don't feel like I know enough."
"Do you…need to?" Soul hesitated; he did not like where this was heading.
"Okay, we're gonna do Exercise Number 42 in the DWMA Student Handbook," Maka suddenly stated brightly.
"You actually read that thing?" Soul spluttered; then again, why should he be surprised? But deciding to play along, he forced a smile back at her, "Okay, what's Exercise Number 42?"
"It's an optional part of the Soul Binding process between the weapon and the meister," Maka explained. "Basically we ask eachother a question about anything and the other has to answer completely honestly, all barriers down." Her olive green eyes sparkled, "You in?"
"Can I go first?" Soul asked—he had to get something out of this deal.
"Of course, go ahead," Maka asked, wrapping the blankets around her tighter and almost bouncing on the edge of the couch cushion in anticipation.
"Um…" A million questions popped into his head, but he decided on the one that would be the least uncomfortable. "Why do you wear your hair in pigtails all the time?" He reached up to where the blanket had slipped off Maka's head and tugged playfully at the right tail.
"Oh, that's easy," Maka said, almost relieved that her first question wasn't too heavy. "Mama did my hair like this every day, for as long as I can remember. I guess it's become too routine for me to break. I guess…it's my way of keeping her here with me, even though she's not." Her eyes grew misty for a second before she snapped her head back around, "Okay, my turn. Umm…"
Soul braced himself for the worst.
"What city have you always wanted to visit?"
That's it? "Well, I've seen most of them," Soul shrugged, "with my family traveling all the time for Wes' concerts. But…I've never been to Las Vegas."
"You've never been to Vegas?" Maka asked disbelievingly. "It's only about two hundred miles from here."
"Huh, I'll keep that in mind," Soul smirked, conjuring up a quick image of himself and Black Star taking a road trip and getting completely wasted. But his thoughts quickly went back to thinking up a new question. Round One was way too easy for both of them—he had to make this next one good. After debating heavily with himself, the words came tumbling out of his mouth almost before he could stop them. "Are you a virgin?"
"Am I a WHAT?"
"You heard me," Soul grinned, baring his sharp pointed teeth at her. Gotcha now…
"Of course I am," Maka answered quickly—thank goodness the light from the sky was still faint enough that he couldn't see her flaming cheeks.
"Well…your soul wavelength isn't jumping all over the place, like it does when you're lying," Soul emphasized the last word hard, "so I'm trusting that's your final answer."
"It is, Soul," Maka spat at him indignantly, while Soul was perfectly contented with her answer. She narrowed her eyes at his smug expression, "Same question."
"What, am I a virgin?"
"You heard me," she repeated back to him with an air of malice. Then her heart twisted painfully…what if he says 'no'? There was no denying this answer would bother her, if not crush her.
"Surprisingly…yes," Soul said casually, propping his feet up on the coffee table. "Cool guys don't do it with just any pretty girl 'cause she's there…the real cool guys wait for an angel to come along." Interesting choice of words, Soul, he thought once he'd realized what he just said and mentally kicked himself. But there was no denying that glow of warmth he felt when he saw Maka smile softly at his answer.
Then she just had to open her mouth, "Why are you here?"
Soul furrowed his brow, "Huh?"
"That's the question," Maka clarified.
"What do you mean 'why am I here'?" Soul asked warily—was she starting to get all deep on him now?
"Soul let's face it, you could be in New York or Chicago right now, playing concert halls to hundreds of people—you're that good," Maka pressed him. "So…why come here? To the Academy? To…me?"
"You already know why?" Soul muttered, staring into his lap. "I couldn't stand it there anymore…"
"Soul, you had a great life! Your parents were wealthy, you and your brother were prodigies—"
"Wes was the prodigy," Soul corrected her darkly. "I was the leftovers."
"That can't be true—"
"It was, Maka!" Soul suddenly shouted, whipping around to face her, "It still is! I swear the only reason they even kept me around was so I could open for Wes' concerts 'cause I was the semi-talented younger Evans brother! Nothing like Wes—oh no, there would never be anyone else like Wes! That's what the audiences would say, that's what the people at the huge parties my folks threw would say behind my back—that's what my own fuckin' mother told me on a daily basis. That no matter what I did, I was never going to be good enough, and finally I snapped. I was at the piano, she said something—I don't even remember what it was—but it hit a nerve hard. I slammed my hands down on the keys before jumping up and knocking the bench right over. It's a miracle I didn't slap the bitch right then and there, but I just stared her down and said 'I'm done.' And I was out of there in a matter of hours, on a plane for Nevada with my application for the Death Weapon Meister Academy. Yeah…I had weapon blood in me…it was the only thing that kept me going as long as I did or I would've left sooner. When I met you and you offered to be my meister, for the first time, I felt like I had accomplished something. I was on my way to doing something for myself, not just to please someone else. And then that night…when we fought Crona in Italy, and I got slashed through with the demon sword…in a way, that was the best day of my life. I'd protected you, Maka—I'd nailed the ultimate job of the weapon: to protect his meister, even if it means dying for her. I'm here…because that night, I knew I was good enough. I was good enough to be your weapon."
Soul's gaze fell into his lap, his elbows resting on his knees as he buried his face in his hands for a few moments. Maka stared at him for a moment with such tenderness before extracting one of her arms from the blankets and rubbing Soul's back soothingly as he calmed himself down. He finally looked up at her with slightly red eyes, "You happy now?"
Maka swallowed back the hard lump that had formed in her throat, suddenly finding herself resisting the urge to kiss his cheek. The barrier Soul had put up around himself, the "cool" physique he hid himself behind from everyone—including her—was finally crumbling. Withdrawing her hand slowly from his back, she simply whispered, "It's your turn."
Soul swiped at his nose quickly, hoping he was just feeling under the weather and not…something else. He cleared his throat and racked his brains for some question. Throwing his hands up in defeat, he asked the only thing he could think off, although it had been something that kept nagging at his brain for a while. "What happened the night your mom left?"
There was an instant, sudden disturbance in Maka's soul wavelength, and Soul could sense that he had hit her with a really sensitive topic. "I…" Maka began, and now it was her turn to stare into her lap. "I don't want to play this anymore."
"What? C'mon, you can't back out, I just spilled my guts to you!" Soul said in an outrage.
"Is it getting colder in here?" Maka cast around for a change of subject.
"Yeah, but that's not the point here," Soul said in a miffed tone. "This was your idea in the first place!"
"Soul, I asked that question because I was genuinely curious—I didn't mean to make you upset!" Maka said apologetically, that sweet sympathy never having left her eyes. "You're just asking me that question to get back at me!"
"No I mean it, I'm genuinely curious too!"
Maka took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Soul could tell this wasn't going to be easy for her, but now that he had gotten all his baggage off his chest, he had to admit he felt a lot better than he had in a long time. Placing a hand gently on her shoulder, Soul knew that if Maka could just get this out, she'd feel better as well. "Maka…what happened?"
"It was—like any other Saturday night, really," Maka began, drawing the blankets around her tighter. "Papa came home around 3AM. He was drunk and probably got laid a couple times. Mama was waiting up for him, and they had their usual scream fest while I stood at the top of the stairs, just listening…just wanting them to stop. I didn't care what it took at that point, I'd already accepted the fact that my family was falling apart and there was nothing I could do about it. I hated that there was nothing I could do about it. So Mama finally said she was going to leave—but that wasn't anything new, she'd been saying that for years. Even Papa didn't believe her, until she pulled out the divorce papers. Totally cool about the whole thing, didn't say a word—and that's when Papa started blubbering and apologizing, saying he loved her and all that bullshit. And that was when I realized…Mama was leaving. She was really leaving this time. So I went into my room and packed my things into a duffel bag while Mama locked Papa in the basement to shut him up. I was going with her—nothing was gonna keep me here with Papa. So I dragged my things out of the room just as Mama came up the stairs. She saw me standing there with my things all ready…and we just looked at eachother for a minute. And then Mama started to cry. I had never seen her cry before, and it scared me. She just started hugging me really tight, whispering my name over and over, and then I was crying, telling her how I was gonna go with her and we'd be okay. Then…she looked at me, and…and she just shook her head. She wanted me to stay in Death City, work hard at the Academy and find a partner, become an amazing meister like she was. She held me close one more time, told me she loved me no matter what, then went downstairs to get her things…and walked out the front door. And that was the last time I saw her."
"You just wanted to get away…like I did," Soul said with quiet realization. Maka nodded, wiping her eyes with the blanket as Soul moved his arm around her and pulled her against him, "Go ahead and let it out, you'll feel better."
"It's not fair, none of it is fair," Maka choked out. "I can't tell you how many times I've sat in my room pretending to be reading or doing homework, when I'm really just trying to make sense of it all. Mama knows I love her and that I look up to her, so—so why would she leave me behind?"
"She knew she couldn't hold your hand for the rest of your life, and you were gonna have to start making choices for yourself," Soul proposed, "She cut you loose that night—same way I cut myself loose with my own folks. Your mom wasn't trying to just leave you alone with your pathetic father, and even then she knew you could handle yourself fine."
Maka nodded, her lips trembling again, not just because of the cold, "Soul…if I hadn't found you, I really don't know what I would've done." She leaned against him, burying her ice cold nose in his neck. Soul wasn't sure if she was seeking warmth or comfort from him, but he wrapped his arms tight around her either way. Something was different now, in the way their souls connected with eachother. It was almost like an icy wall had kept their souls apart as they hid away from eachother, true feelings and emotions never being a factor in their partnership. Now, their very different souls were pulsating as one, almost like a heartbeat—that wall between them Soul had always thought was frozen solid was starting to melt.
"You wanna stop playing now?"
"Can we?" Maka's breath hitched as she dried her tears on the front of Soul's jacket. She felt Soul press his lips briefly against the top of her head before whispering, "Okay then…"
A sudden surge of energy sent a current through the walls as the lamps in the living room flowed back to life, flooding sudden light into the room. The meister and weapon pair jumped apart, then looked at eachother happily, "Well, look at that, huh?"
"The radiator's working!" Maka said cheerfully as she rushed over to it to feel its hot surface. "Thank goodness!"
"Maybe our soul resonance brought the power back," Soul said, stuffing his hands in his pocket.
"Or…maybe the storm let up long enough for the electric company to get to work," Maka said with raised eyebrows.
"Hey, I can dream can't I?" Soul shrugged. "I'm gonna make some hot cocoa now, you want some?"
"Sure, thanks," Maka said, shedding the blankets off as Soul made his way to the kitchen. "Uh, hey Soul?"
"Just one more question…what do you look for in a girl?"
Soul faltered for a second before grinning at her, "That's easy, she's gotta be cool—like me."
"Soul?" Maka asked again, lowering her eyes to her shuffling feet. "Am…am I cool?"
Soul pushed open the door to the kitchen and stood in the doorway for a minute, before turning around and giving his meister the most confident smile that made Maka's entire heart and soul soar.
A/N: And this is what you get from me when I'm stuck inside due to crappy weather! I love reviews, so please leave one on your way out 3