Disclaimer: I do not own Soul Eater.

Like a Boss
Poisoned Scarlet

"Aw – shit! Hey! C'mon, man, get me outta' here! I was just kidding – !"

"Kidding?" Soul hisses, raising the tip of his scythe to his friends neck. He is sweating bullets and Soul derives sadistic satisfaction from it. "You call bribing some guy to ask her out kidding?"

"Hey! I didn't bribe 'em!" Black Star defends himself hotly. "He wanted to, there's a differences – Eep!"

"Don't play with me, Black Star, where the hell did they go?" Soul demands, and Black Star swallows when he feels the scythe dig into his neck. "You told Maka I was going on ahead, so she didn't wait for me." He scowls. "So? Out with it!"

Black Star doesn't get it – how in the world could Soul have figured out his master plan? How in the world could he have broken it all down into little pieces and solved the puzzle before he noticed? It just doesn't make any rational sense to the ninja: he had actually been quiet about it and he had masterfully crafted every situation just as he plotted out his assassination missions.

Only without the grand entrance because this type of mission was delicate and quite dangerous if you factored in Maka's hardbound novels and his friends scythe.

It's a good thing he had a plan B in case something like this happened.

"Okay! Okay! I give! I'll tell you where they went!" Black Star grumbles, deciding there was no way he would be able to cut himself loose from the trap he'd gotten himself – literally – roped into. He hangs upside down, his scarf obstructing his view from his friends enraged glare.

"Humph." Soul slices through the rope and watches with disinterest as his friend falls headfirst into the ground. He rolls on his side, sitting up and rubbing the cheek that'd collided with the floor furiously.

"You could've given me a warning, you bastard! What's your deal, jeez?"

"Where is she?" Soul deflects, coolly.

Black Star scowls, standing and dusting himself off. In all honesty, he wouldn't bother with something as trivial and below-him as hooking up his close friends. He had better things to do, like work out at the gym or relax under a grand oak tree in the forest and gaze up at the cobalt sky. But they'd challenged him – well, Liz did, kinda' – and he would first commit the ultimate rite of taking ones life before allowing himself to be shamed!

Especially by a bunch of scandalous girls like them...

"Black Star, don't you have someone ELSE to bug with your god-talk?" Liz growled, setting a hand on her hip. Tsubaki looked mildly put out, her lips pursed in a just-recognizable pout, from whatever it was they had failed in. "Stay out of this, it's not like YOU can do any better!"

"Stay outta' what? I bet I can!" Black Star argued.

"As if someone as dense as you could understand the mechanics behind relationships." Liz frankly told him, conceitedly, and Patty giggled at the rage that swelled his chest at her words.

"What is it? I'll prove you wrong! C'mon, tell me!" Black Star demanded. "I'll show ALL of you that someone as BIG as me can do it!"

"Oh, yeah?" Liz rose an unimpressed brow. "Well, YOU try hooking up Soul and Maka before Sunday, then come talk to us." And she hooked her arm with Tsubaki and Patty and walked away from him with her chin held high, dismissing him in a way that certainly did not settle well with him.

"FINE! CHALLENGE ACCEPED! I'LL HAVE THEM MAKING OUT IN NO TIME, JUST YOU WAIT!" Black Star screamed fiercely, storming away from them with the proverbial steam coming out of his ears and nostrils.

He'd show them that not even something as trivial as this could stop him from getting his way!

"Black Star..." Soul has picked him up by the collar of his shirt now. Black Star rolls his eyes and looks irksomely back into Soul's fiery eyes. "Where. Is she?"

"If you really wanna' know where she is," Black Star begins, and his eyes light with mischief at his back-up plan. "You gotta' make me a promise first."

Soul clenches his jaw in frustration. "A promise? What kind of promise?"

"Ah ah ah!" Black Star taunts, raising a single finger and not minding that his friend has picked him off the floor now and appears ready to draw out his scythe once more for interrogation purposes. "We go by my rules if you wanna' know where that guy took Maka for a date."

"Fine." Soul grits out. "One promise. What do you want?"

"You, my friend," Black Star smirks wickedly, "have to steal a kiss from her – WHAH!"

"Don't fuck with me, Black Star, where the hell is she?" Soul snarls, slamming him against a tree; his patience drained. Black Star's smirk tightens around the edges and he grips his friends fisted hand in his own, digging his blunt nails into his flesh.

"I'm not fucking with you, Soul." He coldly states. Soul narrows his eyes at his tone. "I'm not about to fail this mission just because you're too much of an uncool wuss to ask her out on a date! If it bothers you that much, why don't you just take her off the market and make her yours already, huh? As long as you two aren't together, everyone's got a chance with her and you can't do shit about it. You can't have her all to yourself when you two aren't even together! It's stupid! Even I know that."

Soul presses his lips together and lets him go, watching as his friend dusts himself off grouchily.

"So what do you want me to do? Go up to her and kiss her?" Soul snidely says and Black Star smirks.

"Why not? That'd be cool. No one else would ever have the balls to do it and Maka'll be jello in your hand by the end of the day." Black Star grins. "And, you'll never walk off blue balls again! Ain't that great?"

"For fucks sake, that happened once!" Soul groans, running a hand down his face while his friend burst into hysterical laughter. "You're never gonna' let me live that down, huh?"

"Well, you looked pretty miserable, man." Black Star snickers. "Who knew someone as plain as Maka could get a reaction like that outta' you."

"Maka isn't plain." Soul corrected coolly, turning away from him so he did not see his steadily darkening cheeks. "Trust me, I've walked in on her while she's changing more times than you'd think."

"How many of those times did you know she was changing?" Black Star asks with a sleazy grin.

"...More than three times." Soul smirks wickedly and Black Star roars in laughter, clapping his back proudly.

"Now that's what I like to hear!" He praises, and gallops ahead with his hands locked behind his head. "C'mon, since you have earned my favour for the day, I shall escort you to where Maka and that scrawny nerd are at!"

"Cool." Soul simply replies, following him without a second thought. However, he does not let his guard down, and Black Star knows this. He can hear the taut tension with every step they take, could almost see the coils in his muscles from holding back. But Black Star keeps it casual, resisting a large smirk of victory that his plan had succeeded after all, and it's the hardest thing he's ever done in his life.

When has he not gloated? Shouted his triumphs to the world, the universe? But he can't screw this up now. He simply can't.

Soul is smart despite his outward, lazy, appearance: he knows bullshit when he sees it. That's why he always gets the highest marks in their strategy class, their combat class, and anything else that deals with observation and prediction. Black Star has no doubt in his mind that Soul is currently working out the mechanics behind his sudden compliance to walk him toward the meeting place – why he had not let his temper get the better of him after basically showing him up?

"They're over there." Black Star gestures ahead with his chin. Soul looks blankly at Black Star. "What? They're both nerds: where did you think they'd be going for a date? The movies? Keh!" He snorts and Soul shrugs, guilty as charged.

"I guess it isn't that surprising." Soul stares at him critically for a second before turning away, heading into Shibusen library. "Thanks!"

"Sure, no prob." Black Star whistles as he walks away but once he is out of sight he leaps into a branch and proceeds to race up it until he is in midair, a rush of exhilaration lighting up his turquoise eyes brightly. He bounces off a wall and another one until he reaches the rooftop, landing on his feet with the grace and silence of a feline.

He silently treads to the roof door, grabbing the knob and twisting it until it breaks in his hand. Then he enters, shutting the broken door behind him. It isn't as if any one was going to enter through the rooftop any time soon. He'd just slip it to Sid one of these days, when he remembers.

Once he is safely inside and down to the second floor of the library, he weaves through many bookcases until he feels their wavelengths. He can feel that boys wavelength, too, and he smirks at the thought of his pale face and shaking hands when Soul grins that vicious grin at him. That particular grin his is enough to even make someone as mighty and strong as Black Star shiver.

Soul can be frightening when he wants to.

He peeks around a bookcase: dead ahead, sitting in one of the empty study tables, is Maka, Soul and that boy he had contracted earlier that week. It had taken him a lot of effort to coax the timid boy into asking Maka for a studying session - "think about it, you can get an A in the class AND spend some time with her!" – but it would all be worth it in the end if Soul decides this puny, insignificant, boy had been enough of a threat.

Because puny, insignificant, boys had a way of charming a girl.

Or at least making her treat him like their little brother or something...but Soul wouldn't know the difference. He didn't like it when any boy came up to speak to Maka, for simple reasons or otherwise. It was why Black Star knew his plan would work: especially since this timid boy actually did have a thing for Maka.

"Oh, this one is B not A – you see, the only difference here are the last two digits of the dates! You have to make sure not to confuse them!" Maka smiles brightly at the boy, leaning over the table to guide him, and Black Star holds back a snicker when the boy gulps and his eyes drop down to her Spartoí shirt, which reveals minor cleavage because Maka has loosened her tie due to the heat.

Black Star's mildly surprised Maka even has enough cleavage to show.

Soul instantly grabs the back of her shirt and yanks her back, ignoring her squeak of indignation. He fixes the boy with a terrifyingly cold stare that has him squirming in his seat and inching toward his backpack to make a hasty leave.

The tension is thick enough to cut with a knife.

Black Star wishes he'd bought a bucket of popcorn.

"...trying to help him!" Maka finishes with a huff, pushing her chair back. She storms over to the boy and stands right beside him, leaning down to continue the lecture she'd been rudely interrupted from. "Now, where did I leave off on? Oh, yeah, trick questions! If you look at question thirty, nearly all of the answer choices sound alike, but there are minor differences that you have to identify."

Black Star leans against the bookcase, watching with open amusement as Maka causes that timid boy to have a heart failure from their proximity and Soul holds back from throwing him out the window because, although the boy is timid and pathetic and scrawny, he's a pervert who keeps staring and catching flashes of his meister's womanly parts and it pisses him off.

"And that's it!" Maka brightly exclaims, moving away from him. Black Star watches idly as the boys eyes are drawn to her firm behind, seemingly hypnotized by the sashay of her hips. "If you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask!"

"Y'know, I hear Ox is giving out free tutoring sessions after school." Soul adds, coolly. He leans off the table and walks toward the boy with deliberate slowness, that predatory glint in his eye only growing sharper with each word: "You should go. Ox is pretty good at teaching, and Maka can't always be here to teach you what you didn't learn in class: she's busy, with missions and stuff." He reaches him and he looks down on him with unconcealed hostility. "You understand, right?"

"Y...y...yes, Soul!" The boy gasps; shrunk into his seat with wide, terrified, eyes.

Soul's mask of hostility breaks into an unnerving, fake, grin that reveals his serrated teeth. It's worse than his blank mask. "Great!" He claps a hand on his shoulder, knowing that by the way the boy cringes he has hurt him. When Maka smiles, believing them to have become friends, and looks away to pack her books, Soul leans down and hisses: "Get near her again and I'll tear your fucking guts out, you hear me? Tell that to your little friends, too: she's taken."

The boy looks nauseous and on the verge of fainting but manages a weak nod.

"Soul! You ready?"

"Yep, just telling him if he needed any help he's welcomed to ask us." Soul sends him a disturbing grin and the boy swallows down his heart. "Right?"

"Y-YES!" He wails, cowering.

Soul rolls his eyes.

Maka cocks her head at the boys eccentric behavior but smiles. "Okay? See you later, Anthony! C'mon, Soul, we have to drop by the supermarket. We don't have any pasta and I feel like eating spaghetti tonight, you?"

"Fine by me." Soul strolls out the door with his meister, a victorious smirk marring his handsome face.

And Black Star casually walks out from his hiding spot, nearing the boy who has slumped in his chair and feels as if he has just dodged a bullet.

"Man, I feel sorry for you." Black Star laughs loudly, startling the boy. He clutches his pounding heart, breathing hard and fast and staring wide-eyed at Black Star. "Anyone who's anyone knows Soul's had dibs on Maka since forever. You should get out more, but thanks for allowing me to use you. Here, a warrior never breaks his promise." He hands the boy a photo of Maka's brightly smiling face. "Uh, don't let Soul see you with that or else he really will break your face seven different ways."

The boy nods furiously, staring at Maka's school photo with a faint smile; as if it was all worth it in the end.

After he scampers away, Black Star snorts and turns heel with a sense of victory burning smugly in his chest.

"Freaky kid."

"That's – that's not possible..." Liz breaths, faint, staring at what should have been her matchmaking conquest. They sit at their usual spot: by the benches near the forest, where the trees are lush with leaves despite the sweltering summer heat. And Maka has her book covering her rosy cheeks as Soul wraps her in his arms and whispers things she can only imagine into her ear.

"Are they dating now?" Tsubaki questions, curiously. She smiles warmly when Maka lowers the book slightly and she catches her timid smile and flushed cheeks. "I could have sworn they were avoiding each other just yesterday..."

"They have been avoiding each other! For a whole week – no way would they make up and somehow end up dating!" Liz explodes, furious. She bares her teeth, hissing: "Someone interfered..."

"See? Told ya' I could do it."

Liz's jaw slacks in disbelief.

Tsubaki has a similar reaction.

It's only Patty who is unimpressed and unsurprised; perhaps she doesn't even care, because she's crooning her approval at Soul and Maka from afar and making mushy faces at them. Maka, at least, catches sight of her and turns away instantly, deciding to ignore her suggestive faces. Soul is only too amused by his meister's reaction and distracted by her in general to put in any more attention toward them.

"Hyahaha! And you guys thought I wouldn't be able to do it!" Black Star sniffs, arrogantly. "Nothing is past the great Black – OW!"

"You imbecile!" Liz roars, attempting to punch him again but missing because he dodged at the last moment. "That was OUR job! Not yours!"

"What're you talking about, woman?" Black Star barks, holding his aching head. He glares at her. "They're together now! That's what you wanted, right?"

"Well, yes, but – !"

"Then what's the big deal? They're together now so who cares?"

"You don't get it!" Liz clenches her fists by her sides, looking both enraged and resigned. "We wanted to be the ones to hook them up! The fact that someone as dense and idiotic as you managed to do it is – it's insulting!"

Black Star sputters before regaining his wits and smirking out: "Ha! You're just jealous that I managed to get them together before you did! Well, don't worry, Liz, you can aspire to become as great as me, no one will blame you. Do you want my autograph so you could wake up to it every day and find the motivation you need to keep going?"

"You and your autograph can go screw each other!" Liz scoffs, storming away with the concerned muttering of: "...am I losing my touch...?" following her the entire way. Patty follows after waving joyously at Black Star, sending Maka and Soul one last mushy face before bouncing after her older sister.

"Well, I, for one, believe you, Black Star." Tsubaki smiles, kindly. "You managed to get them together all by yourself! You don't know how proud of you I am!"

Black Star beams, ego swelling. "Well, y'know, it wasn't easy, but I got Soul to realize he was being an idiot all along! Heh, and to think all it took was telling some nerd that I'd give him a picture of Maka! Man, how desperate was he, huh, Tsubaki?"

"Um... did – did you give him the photograph?" Tsubaki squeaks, staring wide-eyed at her meister.

"Well, yeah, but that's beside the point – !"

"You WHAT?"

Black Star freezes mid-rant, slowly turning to meet Soul's livid glare and Maka's horror, which quickly melts into a deadly look that Black Star has seen only one too many times.

He's convinced he will not see the end of this glorious day if he does not get the hell out of there this instant, because Soul has his scythe out and Maka looks like she has no problem aiding him in mutilating his best friend.

That day – and the few after that – are spent hiding under Tsubaki's dresser and eating ramen noodles.

A.N: I consider this mild-crack...

This is about as crackish as I can get, people. It can't get any more crackish than this although I have proven myself wrong before. At least Excalibur didn't make a cameo appearance, right? That would've been simply awful - or would it...?