Author's Note: (IMPORTANT MUST READ)
Hi, guys. It's been a month already since I've updated anything huh? Well to fix that, I'm uploading this. I'm not telling you where I'm going with it, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I am NOT sitting on my ass doing nothing. I am working on things and this is one of them. I'm not sure how this is going to turn out, so I'm giving you guys a little taste of what's going on.
Now, about what you're about to read: I have NO clue whether to develop this into a full plot-line or to just leave it open-ended somewhere. What do you guys want? I'm pretty flexible on this idea and I'll do whatever you guys are hungry for. So. . .New plot or oneshot? Include your vote in your review. I'll give you guys 3 weeks max to answer. Whichever has the most votes by then is what I'm going with.
So I hope you enjoy! (Btw, if this does happen to turn into a plot, this isn't the full chapter. This about a half or maybe even a third of what the 1st chap will look like).
Street lamps illuminated automatically one by one, giving a new light to the darkening streets of Death City. Evening was approaching and given that it was the weekend there were groups of people and couples walking along the streets. The smiles that were plastered on all of their faces made them look like movie extras posing for the camera. And while they weren't fake, they were as annoying as the fake grins.
Soul's hands dug deeper into his pockets. His feet took longer strides down the sidewalk, carrying him away from the crowd of party-goers and other nocturnal celebrators. Being trapped within the nauseatingly excited clusters of people wasn't how he wanted to start his weekend off. And even if he wanted to have fun, he was missing a vital part in a friendly outing: friends.
Sure, he had friends. In fact, they were closer to him than his own family. He couldn't ask for better companions. It was just that tonight, they were all busy doing their own thing. And Soul couldn't be bothered to butt into their plans to resolve his own boredom. He'd figure something out. There was some sort of marathon on TV in about an hour, right? Watching TV on a Friday night wasn't cool, but neither was sitting on your couch doing positively nothing.
Soul shouldered his way past clusters of people among the sidewalk, talking and laughing at inside jokes. They sent each other smiles, contagiously spreading them to the rest of the group and another fit of laughter would break out between the friends, even if no words had been spoken.
It made Soul feel as if the world wasn't real. As if it was just one big piece of synthetic bullshit created by society to determine what "normal" and "fun" were. Well fuck society and its followers. Soul Eater Evans was a loner and a proud one at that. He didn't need society's fun and normalcy. He was content with being different. It gave him the comfort that he wasn't brainwashed like over half of the population. He was his own self that didn't need anyone to tell him what to do.
The large crowds of people on the sidewalks dwindled down in size as he kept walking. Groups of seven; groups of six; groups of five and four; a trio of girls wearing shorts that deserved to be compared to a pair of underwear; couples walking hand in hand down the street, smiling and muttering sweet nothings that Soul happened to overhear as he passed them. It was all just one big act to him. Life wasn't this dull, he was sure of it.
Finally, Soul came to a part of town where most people strayed from. It wasn't a bad neighborhood, not at all. The only reason people avoided this place was because it wasn't a hot spot for nightclubs and liquor stores. Which in Soul's book, was considered a good thing considering children lived in this neighborhood. No child should have to grow up with Jack Daniels or the usual hooker on the corner. A new generation to get them all out of the rut society dug out for the world to fall into was needed desperately. For them, it wasn't too late.
Soul lifted his face up to the sky, watching the dark gray clouds rolling leisurely against the slits of navy blue that could be seen through the gaps. The dark clouds loomed over Death City, providing a bad omen. The albino scoffed. As if their bleeding moon wasn't enough. Now they need tell-tale clouds too?
Sighing heavily and wishing his apartment wasn't another three blocks away, Soul faced forward again, trudging along the concrete sidewalk with a disgruntled aura.
When he looked up again, he saw a small figure in the distance, rapidly closing the space between them. Soul blinked and rubbed at his eyes before he turned back to watch for the figure again. And there it was, still coming towards him at a rapid speed. If he squinted hard enough, he could tell it was a small girl, about his age but maybe a bit shorter. She looked awfully pale and the wind was blowing her wheat-colored hair furiously around, waltzing with it on top of her head. Soul decided that she looked pretty plain and continued to walk forth to his apartment, planning to ignore her when they would cross paths. Since she was coming towards him, she was probably heading towards the center of town, hoping to catch up with her friends on time. Just another brainwashed human in dire need of converting.
Oddly enough, she didn't keep running towards him to catch up with an unknown group of friends at Death City's Plaza. Instead she turned a sharp left - her left - into an alleyway, showing off her speed and dynamics. Soul paused in his tracks until he saw three more figures come after the girl, running quickly with white lab coats fluttering in their trail. These guys were definitely older and taller and one of them looked even a bit intimidating with his rectangular glasses. They turned the same corner the girl did, their shoe padded footsteps leaving with them. All was quiet for a little while until a piercing scream shook the air around him.
Soul had enough common sense and reasoning to know it was the girl he saw earlier.
In the sudden and random urge to save her, Soul took off down the sidewalk, heading for the source of the scream. It was behind a closed-up ice scream shoppe that went out of business a year before Soul moved in. The city had never bothered to tear it down so it stood off to the side and watched as the rest of the city progressed while it could do nothing but rot away itself.
Soul skidded to a halt at the alley's mouth where they could easily see him if they dared to look at him. But their attention wasn't on him. They only had eyes for the girl. The three men circled around her, blocking her way to the entrance and backed her up into a wall. The girl must've realized she was hopelessly trapped for shining tears ran down her face.
"Get away from me!" she shouted. Her voice cracked at the end as a sob wracked her entire body. "No! Go away!"
One of the men – the one in the middle with navy blue hair – held up his hands. "Calm down. We won't hurt you if you don't provoke us. If you come calmly and without a fight, we'll think about letting you sit out on a test."
The girl gritted her teeth together and shook her head furiously. "No! I refuse to go back to that hellhole! I hated it there!"
"6-2-5-2. . .please just listen and be rational about this."
"I said go away! I hate that place! I hate what you do to me! And I hate you! Now leave me alone!"
The navy blue haired man sighed and dropped his hand unceremoniously to his sides. "Why must you be so difficult? We only want what's best for you." He slid his right hand into his right pocket and revealed a syringe needle. The girl's eyes widened and she pushed herself farther against the wall upon the sight of the needle.
"Now if you don't struggle, this won't hurt a bit," he said stepping towards her, the other two men flanking him from behind.
More tears slipped down the girl's cheeks as she started shrieking incoherent pleads and shrunk down the wall in hopes to get away. "No! Stay away from me!"
Soul watched all of this in cloudy confusion and disbelief. A million questions zoomed through his mind, some coming back to the front to be asked again, but only one question summed them all up: Just what the heck was going on here?
Now he didn't know why those guys wanted her so bad, or why one of them seemed to carry a spare syringe in his pocket, or why the girl was so afraid of them, or even why she wasn't wearing anything except one of those cheap shower curtains that you wear at hospitals (you probably know them better as "hospital gowns"), but he knew that if he stood here as a bystander for any longer, shit was going to hit the fan.
Panicked screeches rang in his ears as one of the men picked her up and held her still against the wall while Syringe Guy was poised to stick the needle in her neck. He pressed his hand against her forehead, stilling it against the wall and angling it to give him complete access to her neck. The girl continued screaming at the top of her lungs and kicking wildly until the third lab coat bent down and held her ankles, pinning her to the ground. She was hopelessly helpless now and he could see the defeat weigh down her limbs as silent tears slipped out of her eyes.
"That's it. Just settle down and we'll return you safely. You're in safe and protective custody with us and you know that well, don't you?" The needle punctured her neck and the girl yelped softly from the pinch before subduing to whatever liquid just entered her body. Judging by the way her eyes shut heavily and the way her body dropped, it had to be some sort of tranquilizer.
Soul ground his teeth together and clenched his fists. What kind of sickos used tranquilizer on a small girl? This was beyond cruel. This exceeded unusual. This wasn't just wrong; it was dead wrong. Drop dead wrong.
A renewed anger fueled the muscles in Soul's legs and without a thought as to what he was doing or what could happen to him, he charged at the men. A feral snarl tore through his throat, grinding uncomfortably against his vocal cords. The men, now aware of his presence, all whipped their heads to face the trespasser.
"Hey! Stop right there! This doesn't concern you and if you turn back now, you won't suffer any legal consequences!" one of them – the one who held her ankles – shouted. His words were wasted however. Soul didn't even falter in his steps and didn't hesitate in the slightest to punch him right in the gut. The man doubled over and gave a shout of surprise and dropped to his knees. Taking the opportunity while the man was down, Soul swiftly kicked him in the back with his ankle, knocking him on his stomach. One of the others – the navy blue haired one – rose up a hand in a stopping gesture as if it would cast Soul out of his anger spell and apologize insistently before merrily continuing to his apartment. Soul almost laughed at the thought before bringing his leg up in a high kick, landing Syringe Guy right in the kisser. Blood dripped from Syringe Guy's newly split lip as he staggered back, dropping the now empty needle.
"Take her! Now! We'll handle the miscreant! Just make sure she returns to the facility safe and sound! Any damage on her will be unleashed tenfold on you!" Another kick – this time straight in the windpipe – silenced him and made him slam against a wall. He slid down it, winded.
The last guy, who looked a little terrified to say the least, threw the unconscious girl over his shoulder and made for a dash down the alley in an attempt of escape. But Soul was faster and better trained and easily overpowered him without so much as breaking a sweat. The last one fell, dazed and on the brink of unconsciousness. The girl had fallen next to him, still knocked out cold. Her wheat blonde hair fell across her face ungracefully and her plastic gown hiked up her thigh dangerously and suggestively. Moist tear tracks were painted on her face, giving her the look of pathetic innocence. But from what Soul had seen just minutes ago, this girl was far from innocent. She was mixed up in whatever this was and it was best not to get involved any further.
Set on his resolve to just return to his apartment and forget everything, Soul dug his hands into his denim jeans pockets and began to walk away from the alley. The girl would wake up eventually and she'd get away on her own. He did his part, now it was time to leave. He and she would never cross paths again.
He made the mistake of looking back.
There she was, still lying there on the cold alley ground, sprawled out from the fall. Her small gown clung to her petite frame. Her hair was limp and stringy and dull, like all of the life and volume had been vacuumed out of it. She was sickly pale, almost as if she had hardly seen the sun. Had she ever seen the sun? Had she ever been outside?
Soul found himself standing over her body again. She shifted onto her side, curling into a ball instinctively trying to find warmth within herself. Soul lifted his head up and noticed for the first time that night how cold it was. Winter was approaching Death City, but he hardly noticed. Soul Eater didn't get cold. He didn't subject to things such as chilled weather. But this girl, so frail and thin with no proper clothing, had to be freezing. And he was about to leave her here, by herself in strange surroundings with no place to go.
He stripped off his leather jacket and lifted the girl's torso from the ground and draped the jacket over her shoulders. He took care as he slid her thin arms – wincing at how cold her skin felt against his warm palms – through the arm holes and took even greater care as he lifted her up in his arms and walked out of the alley. The clouds above creeped across the dark sky and a glimpse of the moon's gory smile could be seen briefly before the clouds concealed it once more.
The excited chatter and laughter faded behind him as the both of them – him and the sleeping girl in his arms – headed to his apartment, away from the dangers of those three men in lab coats. Soul glanced back down at the girl in his arms. Her head was nestled in the crook of his elbow with her cheek pressed against his upper arm. Her right arm was laid across her stomach and her hand gripped onto her left arm which was sandwiched between their two bodies. Soul took a closer look at her and was frightened and appalled by what he saw. The girl was clearly underfed; she was light and thin and her cheekbones were distinctive from her sullen cheeks. She was pale, but her skin had a creamy tint to it under the orange light from the streetlight. Her hair was stringy and damp with sweat and looked as if it hadn't been brushed in what could've been months.
Soul sighed and looked back at the sky which now just consisted of the dark gray clouds. A rain droplet fell onto his forehead followed by another on his cheek. He cursed and picked up a jog keeping in mind that his apartment was now only a block away. Despite the sudden jolt from the change of pace, the girl remained in her slumbering state as Soul climbed the stairs to the top floor.