Training Days

by. Lacrow


Chapter Six

Revelations and Recoveries


He didn't know where he was, only that it was dark. And cold. And silent. That powerful combination of sensations kept his body still, the energy seemingly bleeding from his body as he floated there in the vacuum of his own subconscious. No color at all, only the black inkiness of the space to keep him company. The Black Room was nowhere to be found, nor were any of the objects that he had grown accustomed to. No piano, no record player. Not even a chair.

"...you wouldn't be face down in the dirt right now with a sword sticking through your heart..."

Those words started to come to mind. The conversation between the little ogre was fuzzy, most of the words being unmemorable, but then again all of his thoughts were. The shadowy place he found himself in just seemed to mess with his body. He could move around freely, but had no sense of what movement was. Up was down. Right was left. Forwards and backwards were just words that had no meaning in the confusing place. He began to feel queasy.

"...you have metal sticking out of your heart, Evans..."

His body felt strange, but the cause was difficult to pinpoint. He could sense the cuts and gashes underneath his formal wear and feel exactly where they were on his skin, but the pain associated with them was strangely absent. Even the giant gaping holes on either side of his body were eerily numb. Soul reached for his hand and pinched the skin; pain shot up his wrist. For some reason, old wounds were ignored in the darkness. What the hell was this place?

"...use the Black Blood to heal your wounds..."

Soul looked down at his body. His black suit had suddenly disappeared, leaving behind his jeans, shirt, and jacket. They were all tattered. All ragged. But worst of all, they were drenched with blood. Not only his, but of others around him as well. The red liquid seemed to call to him all the horrific things he had done. Names swirled in his head as the blood echoed in an unspoken language, all of them being those who he had hurt in one form or another. Stein. Marie. Spirit. Leon. Maka...

"...what's the catch..."

Slowly his hand started to crawl towards the gaping hole on the left side of his body. He inched ever nearer, gently feeling for the starting point of the wound. Across his sternum. Past the ribs. Towards the heart and...past it. Soul stopped completely. His eyes were stunned as the realization of what this meant slowly sunk in, but he had to confirm it. With sweat starting to drip from his pores, he continued the trek across his chest. An inch apart from where he thought it originally was, Soul found the hole in his body. It was above his left breast, near his shoulder. Just like the other one on his right side.

"No catch"

Soul lifted his head back and stared into the abyss the surrounded him from all sides. A look of pain streaked across his face. "There is always a catch with you!"

His thoughts reeled and his stomach flipped over itself in sickness. All of a sudden, things became very clear to him. It all made sense now. There wasn't really a hole through his heart. He wasn't really dying. He had succumbed to the darkness for no goddamn reason other than to play puppet to the demon. That little bastard was playing him like an instrument now, getting his jollies by watching Soul give into his branded insanity and hurt all those he cared for. It was all a lie. That ogre. That little, fucking ogre.

Running both of his hands through his hair, Soul Eater lost it for a moment. In his rage he pulled his arms in and screamed at the top of his lungs. The call was intended for everyone and no one, but even then, Soul was denied control. The subconscious space seemed to muffle all words and, in this case, screams. Like a musical studio, the volume was absorbed, leaving nothing but a panting white haired boy to float there as the remaining sounds were absorbed. Nothing but silence was left.

He gave a scornful heave as he ran his fingers through his hair. "The fuck am I going to do!"

"Maybe calm down a bit?"

Soul's eyes widened at the sound of another voice in the room with him. At first, he thought it was the ogre. Instantly the rage filled back into him and he had a mind to spin around and tear the little bastard limb from limb. But he never got the chance to. Before he could make a motion, Soul could feel someone else's arms lace underneath his own and gently grasp his chest and stomach. His body stiffened from the contact, especially when he felt their head dig into his back softly. The person held on tightly.

"I've never heard you scream so much before."

Out of his momentary confusion, Soul quickly knew who's voice it was. His muscles loosened about a degree and let his breathing become steady again. The other person sensed this and relaxed her hold on him as well. The two of them just stood there for a few moments and basked in the presence of the other, neither quite sure what to say further. Then, finally, Soul asked the question.

"How do I know you're really Maka?"

He looked out in front of him and waited patiently for a reply. The voice behind him hesitated for a moment, and he could sense it. The longer he waited, the more he started to doubt it was really his meister. After a certain point, he was very near to turning around and beating the person off of him, but finally a response came.

"Why wouldn't you think it was me?" she said, slightly hurt and annoyed.

Soul relaxed a bit, but continued with the questioning. "The ogre tricked me before. How do I know he won't try it again?"

The voice replied quickly this time. "If he already has what he wanted, why would he try tricking you again?"

He cringed for a second. That was a very 'Maka' response. Still though, he had already learned the hard way that the demon was very tricky to deal with and could probably lie his way out of anything. Not entirely convinced, he straightened his back and tensed up again. The other person didn't move an inch.

"I don't believe you."

This time, there was no response. Soul took a deep breath and decided that enough was enough and to end this twisted game once and for all. He grabbed the other person's hands and wrenched them from his body. He closed his eyes and spun around, grating his teeth in anticipation as to what he'd find when he opened them. Facing her/him/it, he peeked through one of his eyes and looked on warily.

His heart sank. Standing there in front of him was an ashy blonde girl with deep green eyes. Her white shirt stood out against the black backdrop of the room, the coattails hanging loosely against her black stockings. Her reddish pink tie hung awkwardly to one side as if she had been running and it had jostled around. The look on her face was plain, but he knew that she was upset at him.

"Fine. I'll make you believe me." she told him evenly.

Soul twitched ever so slightly, fully expecting a deep searing Maka-Chop to come racing towards his head at any moment. But as he closed his eyes and waited for the punishment to commence, he became bewildered when nothing of the sort happened. He couldn't help but to peek again through one of his eyes and find out what she was up to, only to see the image of his meister's face come dangerously close to his. She rested her forehead against his and he could feel her arms as they slid underneath his again and grasped each other behind him in a tight embrace.

"Your name is Soul Eater. You hate it when people call you Evans, so I never do. I like Trance Fusion, but anything you play on your piano is my favorite music. And no matter what happens I know that you'll always be there for me like I am for you. Why else would you take a sword in the heart for me?"

That last part of her sentence was when she brought her mouth closer to his. Soul knew that everything she had just said was true, but he couldn't focus on any of it. He was frozen in place as Maka held him tighter and peered into his eyes with her own emerald ones. His heart kept stopping after every hot breath of his meister's escaped her lips and brushed past his own. She never made him feel this way before, and a certain part of him just didn't know how to respond. The weapon hated this feeling he had, like he was putty in her hands.

"It wasn't in the heart." he replied meekly, trying his very best not to stutter and sound uncool.

For a brief moment they stood there intertwined, and in that amount of time Soul started to grow used to the feeling of being so close to her. Maka pushed up on his forehead a bit and brought his face up with her own, the tips of their noses barely touching. He could now see every emotion possible displayed in her eyes, and they looked at him analytically, as if gauging his reaction to everything. Briefly they stared at each other as they held their collective breaths, waiting for something to happen.

Then without warning she brought her face away from his and dug her head into the base of his neck. Her hold on him loosened a bit as she shifted her arms to grab the back of his shoulders, but still she held on rather tightly. Soul could do nothing more than to go along with her motions and put his arms around her as well, throwing his head back slightly as he tried to ease himself.

"Your heart's beating pretty fast." she told him quietly, face half buried in his neck.

Soul breathed in, a wary grin on his face. "I forgot. We're in resonance, you can sense all that stuff."

He could feel her smile form along his skin. "No, I can feel your pulse right now."

His back shuddered a bit at her words, causing Maka to smile even more. How the hell was she getting to him like that? She was his meister! His friend! Not some random fan girl who was looking for cheap love, or some cabaret witch like her father was so into. So why then all of a sudden was his stomach doing aerials every time she breathed into his neck? Or when she grasped the back of his jacket and fingered along the ridges of his shoulder? Why was he thinking about things as she brushed against him? He was hoping she wasn't doing it on purpose.

"Maka how'd you get here?" he stammered quickly. Never had he sounded so uncool before.

"It's a long story." she replied quietly, still occupying herself with tracing her fingers along his back.

Soul swallowed air. "Go ahead, we've got time."

Maka stopped tracing her fingers. "I'd rather not say."

"Seriously Maka, just go ahead and-"

"-I said no!"

Her response was loud and quick, and it hushed Soul up immediately. His skin quickly became wet as she pushed her face into his shoulder, the water that quickly gathered to her eyes seeping through the cuts in his shirt. Soul stood there silently as he felt his meister heave ever so slightly, the latter trying her best to control her emotions. Even though he didn't know exactly why she burst out, Soul had a pretty good idea.

The boy payed a quick glance to his bloodied clothes. He remembered earlier the guilt he felt by looking at it, and now that he was gazing upon it again, the blood reminded him of everything he'd done to Maka. The anger he caused her to have when he didn't listen to what she said. The worry she'd been put through for his sake. The stress of having to keep herself composed, even when deep down she wanted to let it all out. All of it weighed on her up until that point, and now that they were together in a place where no one else could see, she finally could vent.

"Maka, I-"

"-Don't say you're sorry." she cut him off in a quiet heave. "Just please be quiet."

Soul tightened his grip on her and brought his head down to her level. "But I am sorry. All of this is my fault. If I had just walked away instead of letting him get to me, none of this would've happened."

Maka shook her head against his shoulder. "I'm not mad at you! Now please, just be quiet!"

It took him a second to realize what she meant, but eventually he understood. Soul obeyed, standing there silently as the two of them held onto each other in the stifling black room. He knew now that she just wanted take a moment to herself. Wholeheartedly, he would've given her all the time in the world. She'd been through a lot for his sake, and even then she hadn't complained. And now that they were together, all Maka wanted was a little time doing what she wanted; to be with her weapon alone, away from the stresses of outside.

The blonde's tears slowly receded over time and her sniffles were almost non existent after a minute or two, but even after she had calmed and there was no other reason for the two to continue embracing, they still did. Maka finally took her face from his shoulder and brought it towards his again. Soul wrapped his arms around her neck. The air of sadness that was there not even a few moments ago seemed to fade away altogether, leaving behind a comfort that the two took full advantage of.

"I'm still sorry."

She smiled. "You're such a dumbass."

Maka burst into laughter at the sight of his eyes narrowing at her. The latter was quickly annoyed and tried to break away from her, but she wouldn't have it. Soul was constrained by her tightening grip on him and, although making faces at her somewhat lacking inhibition, deep down he admitted to liking it. So pretending to keep fighting her, he wriggled and squirmed in her arms as she tried to restrain him further, growing smiles making their ways across their lips as they did.

It went on until, in their fun, Soul accidentally did break free. Still, their smiles long since turned to laughter, neither of them really cared. Soul got it out of his system pretty quickly, but even as her laughter died down, Maka still giggled to herself under her breath. Finally it was just them two, not even half a foot from the other, smiling at each other for reasons that still weren't completely known. It could've stayed like that too, had one of them not ruined the moment.

"Why did Leon piss you off so much?" Maka asked through her radiating smile.

Soul froze dead in his tracks. His smiled vanished, his eyes widened, and the room quickly became hot. That was a very good question. Why was he so pissed off? Leon just offered to be her weapon, Maka had already said no. So why then did this whole mess start in the first place? It was because he got ticked off, threatened even. But threatened of what...

"Soul?"

...It was just a partner request, right? He got those all the time, and Maka never freaked out one bit. Why was it then that after all these years, one person finally asks her to become their meister, and suddenly it's the end of the world for him? Not that it was or anything!...

"Soul!"

...and what was all that stuff that happened just then? Hugging? Giggling? Breathing on each other's lips? What the hell was going on! How did he go from the coolest guy in shibusen to some love struck puppy that wasn't even coherent! Wait a minute, did he just say love struck puppy...?

"SOUL!"

He blinked as Maka snapped him back into reality. His eyes were still wide and there was a slight twinge of red in his face, and he prayed that his meister couldn't see the few beads of sweat hanging from his brows. He caught a glimpse of her and immediately he noticed that look in her eyes, like she knew something was up. That smile she had on was still there only it looked softer, more blissful. Soul had no idea how to respond, so he thrust his hands into the pockets of his tattered jeans as he always did and looked back at her, head slightly bowed in embarrassment.

"What?"

"You know," she started coyly, grasping her wrist behind her back. "I wasn't really looking for an answer. I just wanted to see how you'd respond."

Soul's jaw went slack a little. The look on Maka's face was the only thing that kept him from completely losing what was left of his cool. That smile of hers, they way her eyes lit up. Whatever she had found out from his reaction, it caused her such great joy that there was no way Soul could ruin it for her. So, swallowing any shred of pride left, he just smiled back at her and let the girl bask in her own victory.

"So what'd you find out?"

Maka took a deep breath and exhaled. "I think I'll tell you later, after I make you some spaghetti and meatballs for dinner."

Soul Eater scoffed. "Spaghetti? When you said Italian, I thought you meant lasagna or something like that. Something classy!"

"Well excuse me! I don't know how to make anything else!" she huffed, pursing her lips in annoyance.

"Figures."

Soul broke his eyes away from her and looked around him. The solid shadows that cloaked the area earlier seemed to have faded since the last time he saw them. He wondered again exactly where he was. Probably the Black Room after it became twisted by his submission into insanity, but it had never been that bad before. He couldn't make out anything besides the bright figure of Maka in front of him, and he had no idea where the exit was.

"You found a way in here Maka, how the hell do we get out?" he asked, still gazing around him.

She shifted in place. "I'm actually not quite sure. I just knew that you needed me so I resonated with you outside. I wound up here when you started to screaming."

Soul cringed a bit. That wasn't a pleasant thought, him screaming like a lunatic being the first thing she saw of him. He looked around the space a few more times and, after not finding a single clue to an escape, threw in the towel. He gave a defeated sigh and stood there with his hands in his pockets, looking at the floor near Maka's feet. The latter saw his submission and gave a weak smile.

"We'll get out of here, don't worry."

"Yeah, I know."

The death-scythe picked his eyes up from the floor and followed Maka's figure all the way up till he came to her face again. He saw that comforting smile of her's and his mood picked up for the better. Sure, the situation seemed grim, but they'd been through worse together. Soul figured that as long as one of them didn't give up, they could always help the other and get out of Black Room. It always seemed to work out like that anyway.

So standing there, his meister not even a foot away from him, Soul let his mind start to wander. He thought of their day before they decided to listen to their professor who, in his infinite wisdom, decided that today would be a great day for random training. He thought of the battle with Leon, how he had done things on his own that he never thought he could. A shiver went down his spine as he came to the part where the Pata blade sunk into his shoulder, sealing his descent into madness. That thought couldn't disappear fast enough but, interestingly, another one quickly filled it's space. It was slightly random, and he couldn't believe he remembered it. But now that he had, Soul couldn't get it out of his mind.

The young scythe brought his attention to Maka. She watched him in confusion as he stared back at her, wondering why her weapon was suddenly so interested in her. Soul pondered briefly, as if trying to come up with a conclusion to the thought in his head. However, when he seemingly couldn't come up with one, he finally gave in. Conceding to himself, Soul reached for the back of his head and scratched his scalp, an awkward smile plastered to his face.

"Uhm, Maka?"

She blinked, bewildered. "What is it?"

"Well, remember when Leon stabbed me the second time?"

The girl thought for a moment and shuddered as she recalled the sound of his wales. "Yes."

"Well," he started up again, clearing his throat as he looked away from her. "Before I passed out, I remember you saying some things..."

"...What kind of things?" Maka's eyes half closed in contemplation. After everything that had happened, so many words were said. She couldn't keep track of them all.

"Actually, it's more like four words."

He could feel the red start to appear on his face and it took all his strength to keep from abandoning the conversation altogether. Soul took a quick peak Maka's way, but instantly snapped his eyes back for fear of her seeing his bashfulness. That would not be cool if she did. At all.

"Four words?" she repeated, thinking hard about the significance of the number.

"Yeah...it kind of sounded something like-" he paused for a minute as he mustered up the courage to say it. Finally he just let the words sputter from his mouth. "-Like, 'he'll always be mine'?"

It became very quiet in that big, empty room of theirs. Soul waited for a response, but when none came, he looked to Maka for answers. The expression that he caught as he slowly arrived at her face was a mix between an ecstatic smile and gaping horror. He'd never seen her quite like that before. The ashy blonde's face was pure red, and he was sure that his own face looked quite similar to that. Not knowing what else to do, Soul just stood there, waiting for an answer.

A minute later, he got his response. "You heard that?"

"You said that?" he replied with a wary grin. Soul didn't know why, but her answer made his heart skip.

Maka stammered. "Well, yeah! It's just, I- well, I meant that you would always be my weapon is all..."

"...Oh."

As quickly as that sensation came to him, it let him even faster. He ducked his head in embarrassment at the meager two letters he could muster in response. Why was he acting so weird? Of course that's all she meant by that! What else could it have meant? That she actually wanted him? Soul Eater shook his head, more to himself than to Maka. If something was going to happen between them, it would've already happened, and he knew that. But even as he kept telling himself that, the thought still ate away at him.

Maka stared at her scythe with a bright red face that matched the shade of his eyes. He was looking down, shaking his head, and it made Maka's heart sink. She knew that even though she really did scream about Soul being her one and only weapon, that's not what she really meant. So why then did she flat out lie to him? In his own mind no less? Maka shook her own head and snapped herself out of it. She knew dam well the reason why she ran all the way over to him during his fight, and now that she was there, she was too much of a chicken to say anything? That was in excusable.

"Actually, Soul..."

The albino boy warily gave his attention back to the girl one more time, eyes half closed in indifference. It didn't register with him quickly enough when his meister coiled her arms around his neck. Or when she practically threw herself at him, making him wobble as he tried to keep them both from falling by reflex alone. None of it truly sunk in until she brought her face right back up to his again, their lips as close as they were when she fist embraced him.

"...I didn't mean it like that."

Soul tried his best to remain calm. His stomach lurched, but he gave a collected breath. "So what did you mean?"

He looked down on her and saw the blush in her cheeks. It wasn't the red of embarrassment like he had seen in them earlier, more like a hue of content. Her emerald eyes stared into his red ones like she could see right through him, making him take another deep breath at the strange sway she had over him. It was all so different from how he knew her, but he liked it. All of it. He wanted more, so he didn't resist in the slightest when Maka's grip tightened and brought their lips not even half an inch from each other.

He felt her tremulous breath across his face. "I want you all to myself."

Soul lost it. That last, tiny, stubborn piece of cool that he so desperately hung onto, he lost it. It went flying through the window as he tossed it aside and threw his arms around Maka's waist, pulling her in as he thrust his lips onto hers. Soul Eater Evans, the coolest guy in shibusen and possibly Death City, had just lost his title to a flat-chested, underdeveloped bookworm who liked to throw literature at his head in her spare time, all in less than a second. But he didn't care, his growing smile proved that. Maka could feel his grin start to form as they continued to kiss and the corners of her own mouth followed suit, the two of them smiling as they continued their embrace.

Neither let up, only occasionally to breathe or for one of them to mutter something under their breath. No matter what though, they always came back to each other. It was a long time coming, and neither one of them wanted it to end. So for what seemed like hours, they did whatever they could to make up for lost opportunities. Maka pulled at the back of his hair as she kissed him harder. The latter reached for her rear end and grabbed it forcefully, prompting a squeak from her that caused a chuckle from deep within his chest. She licked his bottom lip. He bit hers. Muffled moans and groans filled the stifling room, which seemed to grow strangely louder over time. It wasn't an increase in their enthusiasm, but something else that seemed to mess with the volume.

They didn't notice the darkness start to wane, nor the faint outlines of curtains appear around them. The void beneath their feet gave way to checkerboard floors, but all went unnoticed by the two. Their eyes closed and attention elsewhere, Soul and Maka preferred to continue their activities than to continue looking at the drab place around them. Had they opened their eyes however, they would've noticed that they were back in the Black Room. If they had stopped their moans and heated breathes, they would've also heard as the little ogre stood atop the grand piano in the corner and cursed under his breath, both in anger at his plan being foiled and at the obvious confusion of watching Soul and his meister make out right in front of him.

Luckily for them, they didn't notice. And they didn't stop. Because they finally had each other, and nothing was going to tear them apart.

Especially not Leon.


A.N.

I apologize if the chapter is sub-par. It was by far the hardest one yet. I've discovered I'm not so great with the fluff, and that I'd take action over it any day. I believe this is the...fourth draft? Oh well. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Especially you, Scarlet! I brought the fluff early at your request :P

Kudos to Illusionary Path, he actually got my 'Killers' reference! Yay! Also to Aquatwin for (yet again) figuring out my plot! Am I really this obvious? Really?

Chapter 7, on it's way...can't believe I'm graduating in a week. It won't put a damper on my writing, so no worries. I might even have it earlier this time, so keep a look out!