It doesn't occur to him that this might not be the greatest plan until he's crouching next to Chrona in the bushes, watching his meister take a seat in front of the Italian cafe ten minutes before five.

"Wow," Ragnarok said dryly, head propped up on his fist and his elbow digging into his miester's head. "If that's what she looks like before a date with the hottest guy in school, then it doesn't surprise me that she doesn't get out much." Soul couldn't help but agree. Maka was all business, sitting on the bench with her hands folded in her lap. The only indication that this wasn't a business meeting was the slight hint of makeup that she wore. Soul had watched as Liz and Tsubaki had all but kidnapped her after the final class, dragging her to the bathroom to get ready for her date.

"W-well I think she l-looks nice," Chrona said quietly, fidgeting slightly was a light blush on his face. Soul turned and glared at the pinkette, quirking his eyebrow.

"What did we talk about earlier Chrona?"

"O-off l-limits, I know," he mumbled. "But n-no one else was g-gonna say it."

"Well of course not! We're here to prank her, not take her out to dinner!" Ragnarok jeered. "It doesn't matter how pretty she is, she's not gonna be too pretty covered in condiments." The black blood creature cackled loudly, and Soul and Chrona immediately tried to quiet him.

"Idiot!" Soul hissed. "She'll hear you!"

"Sorry."

"So, that's the target I assume?" The albino Death Scythe looked up at the newest member of their little group, none other than the one and only Parker.

Parker Walden, sorry.

Soul sort of got why all the girls fawned after him, but he had been hanging out with him for the past day while planning out this last prank, and can he just say that he does not get the appeal. Parker Walden was an ass. It had taken them ten minutes longer than usual to get to the stupid meeting place because he was too busy checking himself out in every reflective surface he passed. "Wow, not bad," the black haired boy said with a faint smirk. "Not much in the chest department, but she's got some killer legs."

"Okay," Soul growled, pinching the bridge of his nose. "You're new, so I'm gonna make this quick. Maka is my meister. MINE. So no touching, no flirting, and no sweeping her off her feet. I've seen what you do to girls and I'm not gonna let you do that to my meister." Parker Walden held up his hands in defeat, his smirk growing.

"Hey man, chill out. I'm not going to touch your girlfriend. She's not my type."

Soul had long ago given up on correcting people when they called Maka his girlfriend, so he just sighed and made a mental note to introduce the boy next to him to his cat. He had a feeling that Blair would be able to whip him into shape. "Alright, enough joking around," he said, rising up slightly and heading back towards the rest of his group. "Let's do this."

Soul couldn't help but feel proud as he surveyed the large group of teens that were milling around the clearing. In one day, he and Ragnorok had been able to gather up a group of sixty kids to help them out, gotten them organized, and assembled them here to pull off the greatest prank yet. They had built an army in a day, and he wondered if Maka would have been proud of his leadership skills.

"Soul!" A busty girl ran up to him, smiling widely. Soul recognized her as one of his fangirls and groaned internally. "All the balloons are filled up and ready to go sir!" It scared him a bit how eager she was to pelt his meister with mayonnaise, but brushed the feeling aside. He had come this far...

"Good job," he said with a grin and a nod, rolling his eyes when she swooned. He turned back to the group of chatting teens and clapped his hands together once. "Hey! Can I get everyone's attention? Guys!" The group turned to him and a hush fell over the crowd. Soul felt Chrona on his left and Parker Walden on his right, and smiled.

He loved it when a plan came together.

"Alright, I'd like to thank everyone for helping us out today!" he started, projecting his voice so that even the people in the back could hear him loud and clear. "Now I'm sure you all know about the prank war going on between myself and a Miss Maka Albarn. Well, as of today, that war is over. This is the final attack! The one that will bring us victory!" There was a loud cheer, both Ragnorok and Parker Walden pumping their fists into the air. "Now, is anyone still a bit unclear about the plan?" Soul asked the crowd, not expecting anyone to step forward. Half of the group had been briefed about the plan at lunch and then given instructions to relay the plan to the rest of the group. A sure silence followed his question, and the Death Scythe grinned. "Perfect. Now let's go!"

There was a loud cheer as the group went into action. Some of the teens were passing out the goop-filled balloons to the others, each teen getting two. Soon they had all disappeared from the clearing, getting into position and leaving only Soul, Chrona, and Parker Walden.

"Well boys, I guess that would be my cue to leave," the raven haired boy said with a confident grin. "I'll meet you slowpokes there." Soul rolled his eyes and turned to go after him, but was stopped by a hand on his arm.

"S-soul, please s-stop this now," Chrona whispered to him, glad Ragnarok had disappeared into his back during the speech and had yet to resurface. "You c-could really h-hurt M-maka!"

"Maka's a tough girl Chrona, I doubt this is going to phase her," Soul said reassuringly, though he was having his doubts. "Look, once this is over, the prank war will be as good as over and everything could go back to normal."

"Could it?"

Soul's smile dropped as Chrona's words sunk in. "S-she trusts you S-soul, and let's f-face it, y-you're playing w-with her f-feeling to win a s-stupid war," Chrona said softly. "J-jerk or not, M-maka still thinks P-parker Walden called her h-here to confess his l-l-love. S-she's going to be h-hurt by this, I just k-know it." He took a deep breath and looked a Soul with hard pale eyes. "Stop this before you ruin your partnership forever."

When Chrona managed to talk without his stutter, you knew he meant business. Soul sighed quietly, running the fingers of his free hand through his shock-white hair nervously.

"I…" he trailed off, biting the inside of his cheek. "I'm sure it'll be fine. Maka's the toughest person I know, she'll be fine." He gave Chrona a reassuring smile and tugged his arm gently from his grasp. Turning on his heel, his smile dropped as he walked towards his meister. "We'll be fine," he said under his breath, closing his eyes and steeling his nerves.

Chrona watched him leave sadly, shaking slightly as he turned and walked in the other direction. "Hey dumbskull!" Ragnarok yelled, shooting out of Chrona's back and pulling roughly on his meister's hair. "You're going the wrong way!"

"N-no I'm n-not," the thin boy said, picking up speed. "I g-gotta go tell t-the girls."

"TELL THE WHO!"

"T-tell the girls," he said again, this time with more conviction. "I h-have to warn them s-so they can p-protect Maka!" And with that, Chrona sped towards the basketball courts, ignoring the shrieking, writhing blob of Black Blood on his back as he ran.

-0-

MAKA: 42

SOUL: 39.75

-0-

"Maka?"

Soul watched as his meister turned around, smiling a bit. "Hi," she said calmly, standing up.

"You look beautiful," Parker Walden said, smiling softly at the blonde meister, and Soul cringed when she blushed, Chrona's words echoing in his skull. No, she'd be fine. This was all for the best. Just one little prank and he'll have his meister back.

Right?

"Um, thank you," she said shyly.

"I've been looking forward to this moment," Parker Walden said, stepping closer and taking both of her hands in his.

"Look, I really appreciate the letter but-"

Parker Walden's smile turned into a smirk and Soul took a deep breath. It was now or never. He shoved his conscious back violently and stood, plastering a smirk on his face as he walked into the street. Maka turned and looked at Soul, eyes wide with shock.

"Soul?" Maka asked, confusion written all over her features. Soul could feel all the other teens join him, forming a circle around an alarmed-looking Maka. "What's going on?"

"All's fair in love and war," Soul said with a grin.

And the balloons flew.

Some of the group cheered, some screamed battle cries, some laughed. But Soul just watched in absolute silence as his meister was pelted with the water balloons, the projectiles seeming to knock her around more than they should have. He winced when one balloon hit her in the cheek, the white sauce splashing across her face as she cried out in pain. He noticed a bit of blood on her cheek and realized with a start that someone had probably shoved a rock in one of the balloons. That was not cool, he had set rules with everyone! Nothing above the shoulders and nothing but mayonnaise in the balloons. Some fucker had just broken both of those rules.

What felt like hours had in reality only been a few seconds, and soon all the teens were out of ammo. They were all smiling anxiously, waiting for the human hurricane that was Maka Albarn to strike, but nothing happened.

She just stood there, arms held away from her body as mayonnaise dripped off her. Her bangs hung in her face, and Soul felt his heart skid slowly to a stop.

"Maka?" he said, a hint of concern in his voice.

She cringed at the sound of his voice and his heart dropped to his feet. Maka stood there for a few moments longer before she looked up at him. Her eyes were wide and dewy, her bottom lip trembling a bit before she pressed her lips into a thin line.

"Maka?" Soul said again, stepping closer. He felt his stomach tie itself in knots at the heartbreaking expression that twisted her pretty features.

"Come on Albarn," Parker Walden said, his smile turning nervous and weak. "It's just a joke."

Her head whipped around, eyes sparking dangerously as tears began rolling down her cheeks. "Just… a joke?" she said quietly, her voice sounding so weak and frail compared to the cold steel of her eyes. "Let me tell you something, Parker Walden. This? Was not a joke." Maka turned around, looking at Soul with such hatred and disgust that he felt dizzy. He'd only ever seen her look at her father like that. "This was not funny," she said softly, as if talking any louder would break her.

Soul took a step closer to her, wincing when she took a step back in return. "Maka, I-"

"EVERYONE GET OUT OF MY GOD DAMN WAY."

Soul's head whipped around as Tsubaki shoved her way through the crowd, her normally serene features twisted into a fearsome scowl. Liz and Patti trailed after her, followed by a very beat up looking Chrona. The four teens all rushed towards Maka, Patti wrapping the towel she brought around the shorter girl's shoulders. "We got ya," the blonde said reassuringly, wrapping her arm tight around her shoulders.

"You should all feel ashamed," Tsubaki hissed, eyes sparking with a rage that rivaled her meister's. "Playing with a girl's feeling like that, and for a joke!" She spun around, accusing every teen in the crowd with only her eyes. Soul could practically feel everyone shrink under the Dark Arm's glare. He stiffened when she jerked her head towards him, looking at him with a look that rivaled Maka's. "And you!" she screamed, storming up to him and gabbing her finger in his chest. "How DARE you! She is your meister. Prank war or not, your duty is to protect her!" Tsubaki grabbed his face and forced him to look at the crying Maka, who was being shielded from view by the Thompsons. "Does she look protected to you?" she hissed in his ear.

Soul jerked himself free, and Tsubaki watched as his face contorted in worry and remorse. "But I-"

"I do not want to hear what you have to say, Soul Eater," Tsubaki growled. "To think, Maka was about to turn down the hottest jackass in school for you." Soul froze, looking up at the Japanese weapon with wide eyes. She turned away with one last disgusted look, facing the rest of the crowd. "Go," she growled, glaring at the crowd.

"But-" one of the teens spoke up, falling immediately silent when there was the loud sound of metal being sharpened and Tsubaki spun on him, part of her ponytail shifted into a chain scythe.

"GO!" she screamed, pointing the blade at him. The group scattered, some scrambling over each other to get away from the Dark Arm's anger. Soon, only Soul and the girls were left. Soul took a step back when Tsubaki spun on him, scowling. She opened her mouth to yell at him some more, but a tiny voice stopped her.

"Tsubaki."

Both weapons turned towards Maka in a flash, Tsubaki's expression instantly softening. Maka had stopped crying and most of the mayonnaise on her face had been smeared off with the help of the towel. She was staring at Soul with a blank expression, and his gut fell at the sight. "Don't bother," she said quietly. "He's not worth it."

Soul's heart fell as he watched Maka turn away, flanked by a Thompson on either side and Chrona walking in front of her, begging for forgiveness. Tsubaki turned to rant at him some more, despite Maka's wishes, but had to stop at the heart-breaking expression on his face. She was pissed, but not heartless. With one final glare, she ran off after the four, leading the way to Gallows Mansion and threatening to murder anyone who stared at her best friend for longer than a few seconds.

-0-

MAKA: 42

SOUL: 40

-0-

Soul was running out of rocks to throw.

"COME ON MAKA, I SAID I WAS SORRY!" he screamed at the window, throwing another rock with enough force to crack the window this time. After several attempts to get inside, each attempt foiled either by a Thompson or a Tsubaki, Soul had tried to get to his meister through the window. The one time Chrona had come to the door had resulted in a huge fist fight, and the pinkette refused to come near the door now.

"GO AWAY!" Liz screamed, throwing the window open for a moment so she could yell at the Death Scythe. "We don't want you here, fucktard!"

"I just want to apologize!" Soul yelled, his face contorting in pain. "Please! Look, I know what I did was stupid! I was being prideful and jerkish and an asshole! Please, just let me apologize! I don't want to lose my partner over this!"

Liz contemplated this for a moment, before closing the window and turning back towards the room. Soul wanted to kick something, but instead plopped into the grass, holding his head in his hands.

"God, I really fucked up this time," he growled, smacking himself upside the head.

"I'll say."

The demon scythe's head jerked up, watching as Maka leaned against the window sill, green eyes flat. She looked like she had just come out of the shower, and the fluffy white bathrobe she wore was starting to slide off one of her shoulders.

"Maka," Soul breathed, scrambling back onto his feet. "Maka, I'm so sorry," he said sincerely, holding his palms up imploringly. "Please, forgive me."

"You're going to have to do better than that," Maka said. Her tone was cold, but her eyes were what broke him into a thousand pieces. She turned away from the window and Soul almost screamed "Wait!"

Maka stopped, but didn't turn back towards him. Knowing this was the most he was going to get, Soul took a deep breath. "I surrender," he said loudly, sighing quietly in relief when she turned slightly back towards him. "You win. I know it's not much, but it's all I can really offer. I know we never decided on what the prizes would be, so just… I'll do whatever."

The blonde meister turned all the way around, her hands gripping the window sill as she looked down at him. She may have been the one who had bruises all over her body from where a fangirl and thrown a balloon too hard, but she couldn't help but wonder who looked more miserable.

She just stared at him for what seemed to be years, and Soul sighed, his entire body collapsing on itself as he slouched. "Never mind," he said as he turned away. "I'll just leave you alone now-"

"You have to do your own homework for the rest of the school year."

The Death Scythe spun around, watching her with wide eyes as she sat on the sill, her arms crossed over her chest. "I'm not going to do it for you anymore," she said dryly, "you're on your own."

"Agreed," Soul said quickly, turning back towards her.

"And you have to do all the house work for a month, and none of that half-assed bullshit."

"Wouldn't dream of it."

"You have to cook dinner too," Maka said.

"I will try not to burn anything," Soul said earnestly. There was a moment of silence, where Maka just stared at Soul and Soul stared at her.

"This doesn't mean I forgive you," Maka said coolly. "It's going to take a long time for you to gain back my trust Soul." Soul nodded sadly, eyes fixed guilty on his feet.

"Yeah… I know," he said quietly.

"I'm going to stay here for the night," Maka continued, standing and unfolding her arms. "I'll be home tomorrow. Maybe."

"I'll be there," Soul said, watching as she stepped back and closed the windows. He turned and left with his head down, broken and defeated, unaware of the green eyes that watched him leave.

"He s-seemed really s-s-sincere," Chrona offered, holding a raw steak over the black eye Soul had given him.

"Doesn't mean we're not still pissed," Liz growled. Tsubaki placed her hand on the Demon Gun's shoulder, restraining her gently. The good thing about Tsubaki's anger was that it passed quickly, and usually left her calm and ready to listen.

"Maka, what do you think?" Tsubaki asked, the attention of the other four in the room on the blonde.

"He really is sorry," she said quietly. After a moment, she walked over to where Patti was sitting on the bed, plopping down next to her and curling up in her side. "Is it wrong that I don't forgive him yet?" she asked, looking up at her friends with teary eyes. Both Patti and Liz wrapped their arms tight around their friend, whispering encouragements in her ears.

"It's up to you when you want to forgive him," Liz said. "I personally think you make him work for it."

"Yeah yeah!" Patti said happily. "Make the fucker pay!"

Maka smiled weakly at the two. "Thanks guys."

"No prob!" the two sisters said, grinning widely. After that, none of the friends mentioned the awful prank, instead focusing on cheering Maka up. For the most part, it worked, though there were still moments where they would catch the meister looking out the nearest window with sad eyes.

What they didn't know, was that across town, Soul was doing the exact same thing.

-0-

MAKA: Winner

SOUL: Pathetic Little Fuc- Loser

-0-

"Aw crap," Soul growled, sticking his bleeding finger in his mouth. "Thas the third thime this week."

For the past month, Soul had been on dinner duty. And though he had gotten significantly better over the month, he still had a tendency to cut himself with the kitchen knife.

"You'd think a scythe would be able to cook without slicing his finger open," Soul grumbled to himself, sticking his nicked finger in the stream of running water from the sink.

"You would, wouldn't you?"

Soul's head jerked around, watching as Maka pulled herself onto the counter. She turned towards him and the Death Scythe felt the air leave him.

She was smiling at him.

After a month, she was finally smiling at him again.

The road to forgiveness had been tough for both weapon and meister. Maka had given him the cold shoulder for nearly ten days before finally giving in and speaking to him again. For Soul, the road had been paved with Maka-Chops, slammed doors, and the evil glares that the three female weapons would shoot him. Shinigami had been smart enough to not send the two on any missions during their month of dissonance, and even Spirit had known well enough to leave them alone.

"Want some help?" Maka asked, swinging her legs back and forth as Soul shook the thoughts out of his head. She snorted quietly, amused by his reaction.

"Yeah, that would be great," Soul said, still watching her with a slightly stunned expression. Her smile grew and she hopped off the counter, taking his place in front of the cutting board. Soul watched her work in silence for a few moments before joining her, working over the stove and directing her when she asked what ingredient came next.

He didn't need to ask if he had been forgiven. He could already see it in her smile, and in the way her eyes lit up when she laughed. He smiled warmly at her and she smiled back, their souls synching together easily with an unspoken "I'm sorry".

Together, they had dinner finished in half the time that it would take Soul to do it alone, and they sat down at the table, eagerly digging into their meal. They didn't talk much, only a few random snippets here and there, but the silence was warm and comforting, unlike the tense silences that had followed the mayonnaise incident.

Somewhere between dinner and dishes, it hit Soul like a ton of bricks to the face.

It was there in the way she made his stomach twist itself in knots in the best way possible, in the way his mouth watered at the scent of coconuts ever since she started using a similarly scented shampoo. It was plain to see in their entire partnership, hell, he had the proof slashing across his chest in a pink line of sunken-in flesh.

Soul was in love with her.

It was a natural realization, and Soul let it wash over him in waves. Maka must have sensed something through their bond, because she looked up from the sink.

"Soul?" she asked gently, eyes big and green with curiosity. He let himself drown in the various greens of her eyes before he smirked, throwing a handful of bubbles in her face.

"Gotcha," he said teasingly, his smirk growing when she spluttered and growled.

"Oh it's on," she said, smirking back as she grabbed the spray nozzle from its hook and turning it on him. Even as she drenched him, he just laughed.

Besides, all's fair in love and war.

-0-

MAKA: Winner

SOUL: Surrender

(the sweetest kind)

-0-