"Oi! Oi! Look at me! Look how high up I am!"
"I can climb higher!"
The soft crunches of mid-autumn leaves were faintly heard under the feet that strolled along the park path. The browning grass that lined both sides of the concrete path was littered, with more garishly colored leaves. Early winter winds wove through baring trees and waltzed with leaves from the ground. Late afternoon slowly gave in to early evening as fatigue dominated over the exhausted sun. The sky darkened to a deep orange without the sun's powerful rays and kept darkening still.
A thin framed figure trudged along the leaf carpeted path, aimlessly wandering. Thoughts and insecurities flitted about her overworked brain, cutting into her heart and her soul. Her throat felt so raw, even without crying like she wanted to so badly. But she promised herself that she would never cry over a man, not since her parents' divorce. So she refused to cry now. She was stronger than that.
But it still hurt. Worse than she could've imagined. Probably because she wasn't prepared. Not for that anyway. Rejection, perhaps. But what she had seen was too hardcore.
And it broke her.
"Haha! See? I'm stronger than you so I climbed higher!"
"Woooooow. That's so cool! I wanna get up there too!"
"You can't come up here!"
The harsh wind penetrated her jacket like it was tissue paper and gnawed at her crème, delicate skin. She shivered and crossed her arms, wishing to be somewhere warmer. Somewhere more comfortable.
Like his arms.
Or his bed.
But he didn't want her. He made that clear. So, so painfully clear. He couldn't have made it anymore obvious. He wasn't interested.
And it shattered her.
It shattered all of her: her heart, her mind and her soul. Everything. His action was a sledgehammer to her glass heart, smashing them into un-repairable pieces. And as if that wasn't enough, he kept smashing those pieces into smaller ones and even smaller pieces than those until all that remained was scattered dust.
She would never trust men again. And this time she meant it.
"Why not? It looks like fun!"
"Because I am greater than you! So I should be on top! Which means you can't come up here!"
All they did was lie. And cheat. When they were caught, they'd plead for forgiveness. They'd be the same old sweetheart you fell in love with. Empty promises are made to lower your guard. Whispers of fake proclamations of love are meant to lure you back into their soft, cruel arms. Praises and words of cherishes make you trust them again, clouding your mind with the lies that you were so desperate to believe in. All because you were afraid of being alone. All because you wanted to feel love.
Only the stupid ones granted forgiveness. Them and them only were the ones constantly getting hurt.
But not her. Not anymore. Not ever again. Because she refused to believe any man again. She swore to herself to never fall for anyone again. She was content with drifting through life drenched in loneliness. She would find a way to make it through. By herself, without anyone's help.
She was independent. She was strong.
"Well that's not fair! You're being so selfish!"
"Of course it's fair! I'm better and stronger! I deserve to be up here!"
"I'm coming up there anyways. And I'll do it all by myself!"
The chains of the playground swing rattled as she shifted her weight onto the seat. Once she was fully sitting, the chain links became taut and still. The girl sat motionless, reminiscing on the past events absent-mindedly. They hurt, but they were so deeply embedded into her mind that she just couldn't forget them. She wanted to, though. She wished those horrible images away, from both her mind and reality. It never should've happened.
If only she hadn't been such a chicken, it wouldn't have. Then maybe she'd be the one in his arms, pressed up against a wall, lungs craving for oxygen while he ravished her mouth.
But no. That wasn't her. It was someone else. Someone he was obviously more interested in than her.
At first, it was an unpleasant shock. Her breathing had hitched and her heart skipped a beat when she had first seen them come in, tangled in each other's arms. She wasn't sure what to do; she couldn't even fully grasp the situation. So she just stood there, mind numb and fuzzy, staring at them, attempting to process what was going on.
And when she did all Hell broke loose inside of her. Her eyes burned with unshed tears, her lungs burned with lack of oxygen, her heart burned with yearning and rejection, her mind burned from hate and anger, and her soul burned with distrust and a sense of betrayal.
He practically left her for dead. Not intentionally, but the facts were still there. He couldn't care less.
In turn, she felt worthless. Insignificant. Unimportant.
In his eyes, she was trash. Filth.
And in her eyes, she was worse than that. She thought so highly of him that whenever he looked down on her, her self-esteem plummeted.
So as much as she now hated him, she couldn't deny how pointless her existence was. She was a waste of life. She wasn't important to anyone.
"No! You can't come up here!"
"Yes I can and I will!"
"But you're not near as almighty as I am! No one is!"
"And you're so full of yourself!"
Forbidden tears snuck their way down her chilled cheeks; temporary warmth from the tears cutting into them before the wind blew, freezing her cheeks again.
She was nothing.
A sob racked her frail, shivering body as she took in a deep breath of cold evening air. She was nothing to anyone. But she could've been something to him. She could've been everything to him. But he wouldn't let her. She would never even receive a chance. All hope for her was lost.
This was pathetic. She was pathetic. As brave as she acted and as much as she talked about courage, she was just a coward. Running away from her own home because she was scared and upset. She hated him for doing this to her. She hated her father for starting all of these problems with his sleaziness. But she also hated herself for reacting in such a degrading way.
"How can I not be? After all, one day I will surpass God!"
"You're only five though. And Shinigami-sama's very old."
"So? I'll become more powerful than him!"
Maka jumped in fright, startled at the new presence. She must've been so caught up in her thoughts that her perception was a little off tune. Otherwise she would've noticed him for sure.
"Maka, is that you?"
She scoffed; of course it was her. She had seen him hours ago. Had he already forgotten her so easily? Would that even be possible? Well on different circumstances something could've –
"Maka!" he said with determined realization. "Oi, Whatcha doin' here?"
"Nothing," she whispered, voice drowned out by the sudden gust of wind. Goosebumps surfaced on her skin at once and she shivered, body trying to warm herself in the only way it could. Guessing he hadn't heard her by the silence, she spoke louder. "Nothing much. What about you?"
A streak of blue zipped past her and in the next second, Black*Star was crouched on the ground in front of her, looking. . .strange. Looking. . .serious. It was so out of place for the young assassin that Maka had half the mind to pinch herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming. Maybe she had fallen asleep somewhere in the park or, better yet, while she was waiting at home. Then maybe, just maybe, she'd get that second chance her heart ached for. If she woke up then, everything would be all right.
"You're crying," stated Black*Star as his blue-green eyes scanned her distraught face. "What happened?"
Black*Star's confirmation reminded Maka of how her distress had pushed her to the point of crying, something she promised she wouldn't do. She scowled and wiped the useless things away with the back of her hand and sniffed. Her cheeks warmed up a little from the thought of looking so weak in front of the ninja. Now he just had another reason to tease her for being so weak. "I'm fine."
A smirk graced Black*Star's lips, friendlier and cuter due to lack of shark-like teeth (which, she hated to admit, she would've preferred at the moment). His hands gripped the chains holding the swing up just below her hands and stood up out of his crouch. He bent over to level his face with hers, still smirking. "C'mon, Maka! The godly Me can see that you're not. So what happened to you?"
"Leave me alone," spat Maka. Doing anything to avoid his gaze, she looked down at her lap, doing her best to keep from crying again. The bastard got her to do it once tonight; she wasn't going to let him do it anymore. Especially when he wasn't even here to do so.
"What part of 'I know you're lying' do you not get?"
"The fact that you think I'm lying."
"But you are. I can see right through you, Maka."
Maka sighed and looked up to find his face awfully close. She could feel his warm, inviting breath on her nose and cheeks. She could see his watchful eyes trying to catch hers. But she stood her ground and stared at him right back with what she hoped was a bored expression and asked, "So what are you doing here, Black*Star?"
Black*Star blinked and withdrew his face and stood straight up. "Me?" He crossed his arms and kicked at a small pile of golden and red leaves, scattering them a few inches away. "Eh. Tsubaki kicked me out because she got pissed."
Maka quirked a light eyebrow and felt her heart lift from the light conversation. If she could keep him focused on himself (that shouldn't be too hard), she wouldn't have to delve into some lame sob story only to be laughed at or ignored. She would be home-free. "And how did you manage that?"
"I broke a vase," he said shrugging carelessly. "Or maybe it was two."
Poor Tsubaki. Having to live with a narcissistic Tasmanian devil. It was no wonder Black*Star was always over their house. That girl needed a break from him sometimes, too.
"You're so destructive, you know that? Grow up, would you?" chided Maka.
"I'm not destructive! Those vases were in my way. That outta teach 'em a lesson," Black*Star shouted, punching imaginary vases in the air.
"No one's more powerful than Shinigami-sama!"
"I will be! One day, you'll see!"
"I wouldn't hold your breath."
"Of course that's what happened," said Maka, tone layered with sarcasm. But Black*Star, being as thick headed as he was, missed it. Instead he went to deliver a high kick but slipped on a leaf and fell hard on his back. Maka giggled softly at his antics and pushed herself back a little on the swing.
"Baka," she muttered but in a light-hearted manner.
Black*Star looked at her out of the corner of his eyes and asked, "I'm guessing that you're feelin' better now?"
The smile left her face without permission and Maka's heart dropped back into her stomach. They were supposed to be focused on him. Her problems were too. . .hurtful to talk about, especially with him. He would no doubt just brush it off as "dumb girl problems" (even she'd considered that that's what they were). Maka jumped off the swing and forced a smile on her face.
"Let's go to the old playground! Like old times," she suggested, standing next to Black*Star's lying form.
"Maka, you really should have more faith in your God."
"You're not my God."
"But I make an excellent God, right?"
Black*Star jumped up from the ground and grinned. "Yeah! And I betcha I can beat ya there, too!"
Maka sweat dropped and put her hand on Black*Star's shoulder. She motioned to the playground off to their right. "It's only ten feet away, Black*Star. A race would be pointless."
The blue-haired ninja shrugged and put his hands behind his head. "You're just afraid of losing." He flashed her an arrogant, white-toothed smile and thrust out his thumb in a thumbs-up. "That's understandable though. Who wouldn't be afraid of challenging someone as godly as me?"
Maka rolled her eyes and gave him a light push. "Whatever floats your boat, Black*Star."
"Oh what do you know?"
"More than you that's for sure."
"Are you insulting your God?"
"Shut up, Black*Star. And move over."
"Oi! I said you couldn't come up here!"
The playground reminded Maka of her childhood days. Back when her biggest problems were her father's constant flirting with other women. At least that was easy to deal with. She knew how to handle herself when that happened.
Now, she was clueless. What could be done in a predicament like hers? Could anything be done? Or was it something she was supposed to leave alone and accept? She didn't want to accept it. She didn't even want to believe it.
Maka followed Black*Star up the steps to the top of the metal spiral slide. For now, she'd dwell in her childhood memories and forget her current issues. She wouldn't think about it anymore.
But there are things you can't run from forever. They'd come back to haunt you eventually. They'd come back at night when her guard was let down. They'd manifest from the shadows, whispering taunts and hurtful words meant to break her spirit. They'd pull at her heartstrings until her heart finally unraveled and lay in unstitched pieces.
"Well I am. Now move over so that I have more room."
"No! Go away!"
"Oh stop being a baby Mr. 'I'm-going-to-surpass-God'!"
"How dare you call your God a baby!"
"Just move over!"
"Maka! You're such a slow poke!" shouted Black*Star. "Hurry up or I'm sliding down without you!"
Maka snapped out of her thoughts harshly and looked up to see Black*Star, poised and ready to go down the slide. His tan scarf fell behind him, occasionally picked up by the wind. His large eyes looked up at her with childish mirth, waiting for her to join him.
"Um, you go ahead. I'll catch you next time around," she said, shuffling her feet. The wind picked up a bit and whipped her pigtails around her. Dark gray clouds covered what was left of the tired sun, promising harsh rains to match Maka's hidden mood. Because life just couldn't get better than it already was.
Black*Star frowned, unhappy with his fellow teammate's response. He stood up and walked over to her, trying not to laugh at her confused expression. He settled for a silent grin that probably looked harsher than he wanted. Deciding that Maka couldn't get any more suspicious that she currently was, nothing he did at the moment would be much of a surprise. In one swift motion, Black*Star darted around behind her, startling her with the jerk movement. He knocked her legs from underneath her and caught her bridal style. At the sudden loss of ground, Maka panicked and flailed her arms for balance and screamed. Realizing that she had already been caught, Maka blushed furiously and straightened herself out. She needed to gather the wits that had been scrambled thanks to Black*Star's stunt.
"You're coming with me down the slide whether you want to or not." Black*Star chuckled and looked down at her. "Not that you wouldn't want to slide in the Great Me's arms," he added cockily.
Maka rolled her eyes and scoffed. "You wish I did."
"Admit it. You love me."
"In your dreams, Mr. 'Almighty-God'!"
"Don't get sarcastic with your superiors."
"Congrats! You used a word with four syllables! I'm so proud!"
"Shut it, Maka."
"I told you! You can't come up here!"
"I can, I will, and I am! Now move over!"
"Black*Star please! I'm starting to fall!"
Maka shrugged. "You're the one asking for so much praise all of the time. Just doing as you wish."
Black*Star stopped suddenly and grinned. "Well if you really wish to please me, then hang on tight!"
Maka's eyes widened. "Wait! What? What am I holding on for? Black*Star!"
"Who's the baby now, Maka?"
"I'm serious, Black*Star!"
"Only babies cry."
"Black*Star! I'm slipping!"
"No you're not. And I'm not moving over."
A hardbound book spine fell forcefully on Black*Star's head, creating a rectangular dent in his hair. Black*Star cried out in pain and dropped Maka on the ground where she proceeded to fall on her behind. She cursed aloud and tucked her book away, glaring heatedly at Black*Star.
"What was that for?" he shouted, clutching his head as unmanly tears formed at the corners of his eyes.
"Slides are meant for sliding! Not jumping off of! I thought you'd be able to figure that out from the name!"
Black*Star waved his hand passively and looked the other way. He narrowed his eyes in boredom and pursed his lips uninterestedly. "Jumping off's way more fun."
"But it's stupid!"
"You're a nerd, Maka. What would you know about fun?"
Maka's cheeks flushed an unattractive red and she crossed her arms angrily. "Plenty! I do a lot of things that are fun!"
"Reading doesn't count."
"I'm not talking about that."
Black*Star gave a curt laugh. "Well, you hardly play any games with us anymore. So you can't say that."
Maka paused. "I know."
"And I honestly doubt that you have any secret lovers to screw you senseless."
Maka's breath caught in her throat. His words struck a nerve, a very sensitive nerve. Her already raw heart was being rubbed with a sheet of sandpaper as undesired memories swerved back to the front of her mind. Images she'd seen just hours ago burned in her eyes again along with the tears that seemed to come with them.
That red dress that was thrown on the coffee table in their haste to undress laughed at her and mocked her. It's wrinkled fabric grinned in triumph as the first moan – feminine and unfamiliar – erupted from his room. Maka could only stare at the dress as her heart withered into nothing, her mind stuck on the fact that it wasn't hers.
Another moan sounded through the silent apartment, followed by a chorus of bed springs and a high-pitched shriek of pleasure that stabbed Maka in her gut sharply. She gasped and stopped herself from breaking down right then and there, as much as her lungs cried for her to. It finally dawned on Maka that Soul was going to come for her. He already had someone. She'd been waiting for nothing.
Another shriek of pleasure resounded throughout their small apartment.
He didn't want her.
A moan this time.
She wasn't good-looking enough, wasn't that right?
Wood crashed against plaster, the result of the headboard being jerked into the wall.
All those years obviously meant nothing.
Squeaks of bedsprings creaked and whined underneath the weight of two bodies.
He lied to her.
A gasp of self-restraint breaking followed by a scream.
He betrayed her.
He left her for dead.
He mocked her cruelly by bring what's-her-face here and rubbing it in her face.
He led her on.
He didn't love her.
"Maka! You're crying again!"
"Lying, deceiving son of a bitch!"
Two large hands gripped her shoulders as hot, angry tears freely fell down her cheeks. Maka clenched her gloved fists tightly in her lap, wishing to lash out at someone or something and releasing all of her anger and frustration and sadness in one punch.
"He lied to me!"
"I don't like liars!"
"What's going on?"
"He's just like my dad!"
"Maka, what happened? Why are you crying?"
Maka's tear-stained face jerked up to face Black*Star who had a genuine look of concern etched onto his face. A wave of calm immediately crashed down on her from his expression, washing all of her anger away and leaving her empty and dizzy. Her shoulders slumped forward and she sobbed.
"I thought he loved me," she whispered. "And I loved him too. But. . .but then he throws that back in my face by bringing home some. . .some whore!"
Black*Star leaned forward, hands still on Maka's shoulders. "Are you talking about Soul?"
Muscular arms encased Maka in a strong embrace. Maka leaned into Black*Star's chest without a second thought and she closed her eyes. At least Black*Star was here.
"I can't hold on anymore!"
"Help! I'm falling! I can't-"
And she could always count on Black*Star to save her. To help her when she needed it most.
"Are you. . .are you okay?"
"Of course I am! I am going to surpass God after all!"
"Really though. How's your arm?"
"Pfft! You worry too much! It's nothing."
"It's not nothing! You're in the hospital with a broken arm!"
"And it's my fault."
"Stop looking so sad. It's not your fault."
"Yes it was."
"The ground was jealous of my greatness and decided to cripple me."
"I'm being serious here."
"Maka, I'm okay."
"But if I had never tried to climb up there-"
"Look. I broke my arm to make sure you didn't get hurt."
"Exactly! So it's-"
"My decision. I chose to save you from falling."
"You're safe, right?"
". . .Black*Star. . ."
The arms around her tightened and Maka took comfort in their shared body heat. She was in safe, protective arms now. Arms she could trust to always catch her. Arms that would always catch her.
Maybe, just this last time, she could trust a man when they told her. . .
"I'll always be there to catch you and protect you, Maka. No matter what. Count on it."
Okay. My first B*SxMaka fic. And it probably won't be read much due to the fact that no one seems to appreciate this couple. But I like them. Sure, I like the whole "brother/sister" relationship a lot better, but I could definitely see them as a romantic couple. And this fanfic doesn't even have to be romantic. Thus the reason I didn't have a kiss scene or an "I love you" exchange. That way, those who don't like these two to be romantically involved can say "Oh. It's a friendship thing."
And honestly, I kind of see this fanfic that way too. Because he's awfully protective than her. Hell, he's kind of more protective than Soul sometimes. Does no one remember his second fight with Mifune and all of that?
This fic was heavily based off of the song Heavy in Your Arms by Florence and the Machine. A couple of other songs came into the play and inspired this fic, but this song fit best. I was going to make this a songfic, but decided not to. I'm not good at song fics. I focus on the lyrics more than the plot. But I suggest listening to the song. It's beautiful.
I'm pretty sure this fic is pretty self-explanatory. I hope so anyway. If you were confused, don't hesitate to tell me. I'll be happy to explain it.
Ugh. I smell like sick. ._. I don't like being sick. My throat is sore. And I've been drinking nothing but orange juice for the past 48 hours. SLKJFHSADLHGLSADJFGAS;;LLKHJ''
Okay. That's out of my system now.
My writing is shit. It just is. SO WHY DO I KEEP WRITING? DX
Until next time~!