Disclaimer: I do not own Soul Eater, and I never will. Nor do I own Gackt or his music.
"Hey, sis, Soul's supposed to get back today!"
"That's right. I'd forgotten."
Liz and Patti were currently lounging on one of Shibusen's many balconies. The sisters sat in a thoughtful silence each one focusing all of their attention to their self-assigned tasks: twenty-one year old Liz was flipping through a fashion magazine and Patti, now eighteen, was going through some of the old photos they'd taken over the years but never gotten around to giving out. Her hand paused on a picture taken a little more than two years ago.
It was a photo of the seven of them all together on an assignment to a tropical island off the coast of Mexico. They had taken the first day to investigate the area and find any leads as to the whereabouts of the kishin. Then, someone dropped the suggestion of some "party time." Even though Maka had been against it initially, they had decided to relax a bit by the seaside before sundown. Everyone was dressed in their vacation attire, Black Star and Soul both wearing brightly colored swim trunks while Kidd kept to a nice and respectable white pair of shorts and grey wife-beater. The girls were also dressed in beachwear. The twin pistols wore string bikinis that would complement the other's at Kidd's insistence. Tsubaki had chosen a tasteful but flattering blue one-piece for the day, and Maka was wearing a sportier bikini underneath her very see-through, mesh cover-up.
An air of friendly camaraderie graced the image with maybe a hint of something more... hmm, intimate close by depending on where you're eye strayed. Like the way Black Star's hand was pressed over Tsubaki's as they sat in the sand at the forefront of the picture while his other hand gave a thumbs up. Or it could hide in the way Liz and Patti had pressed themselves just a tad too close to Kidd as he sat in a beach chair for their pose – Patti sitting beside Black Star in the Sand but leaning back into Kidd's legs, one arm wrapped around his calf, while Liz draped herself over his shoulders having run over after setting up the camera.
Your heart might flutter or lips might sigh if your eyes strayed further to where Soul and Maka stood behind Tsubaki and Black Star. Soul's right arm was slung over Maka's shoulders to catch her right hand in his while she intertwined the fingers on both of their left hands. His head pressed against her's in a gentle nudge.
It was a beautiful scene, and the last picture the seven teenagers would take all together. If not for a series of unfortunate events, they could have stayed as they were. A close-knit group bound by friendship and love. Patti started ever so slightly when she heard her sister sigh from directly over her shoulder as Liz looked down at the picture in Patti's hands. A manicured hand reaches out to take the small photo from her sister's smaller hand.
Patti breathes deep as she leans her head against the elder Thompson's stomach. Liz's hand finds a resting place atop the younger girl's head.
"I know, Patti. I miss her, too."
They sat in silence for several moments before the younger stood up.
"Come on, sis. Let's go find Kidd."
Twenty year old, Soul Eater Evans revved the bike's engine once more as he pulled up to Shibusen.
"Back in Death City…" he drawled out as he removed his helmet giving a lazy look to his surroundings. It seemed nothing had changed during his four month long assignment away from Death City. The death scythe took a deep breath of the warm spring air thankful to be back from his position in Russia over the winter months.
Fixing his grey leather jacket, he dismounted the bike to start up the familiar steps and make his way to the Death Room where Shinigami-sama and Death the Kidd would be waiting for his report.
It always bothered him the first time nostalgia hit after returning from a long mission. Walking through the academy's halls, the shadows of the past whispered and brushed against him. He learned the first time it happened that it was best to just grit his teeth and ignore the wave of emotions that tended to splash all over him. It was all he could do to keep his sanity until he made it to Lord Death's chambers.
"Ah, Soul-kun, welcome back!"
Walking beneath the row of guillotines, Soul could see Shinigami-sama waving at him from his usual place standing before his mirror. Kidd stood just a little off to the side and looked happy to see him. To Kidd, Soul looked the same as ever wearing a grey leather jacket, blue jeans, and a red shirt. His hair was a little mused, probably from the drive home, but the white headband was working to keep it from going completely haywire.
"So, how was the mission?"
"Six kishin eggs recovered and the witch who had been facilitating their creation has been eliminated."
"Excellent, and how is Tsar doing?"
"Death Scythe Tsar Pushka and his meister Feodor are doing well (1). They send their regards."
"Very good! Glad to hear it."
"Well, Soul," Kidd finally spoke up. "You've more than earned yourself a break, why don't you take a week or so to relax?"
"Hn, thanks, Kidd. I'll see about it."
"Alright, Soul. You're dismissed. Take care of yourself and do come visit."
"Of course, Shinigami-sama."
With that Soul turned around and left the Death Room leaving Kidd alone with his father. Lord Death actually sighed once the death scythe was out of the room.
"It's been two years and still he refuses to move on."
"He blames himself." Kidd sighed. "What happened was an accident – a horrible accident. He needs to accept that and move forward with his life. Stop blaming himself for a crime he didn't commit. She wouldn't want him to keep doing this to himself."
"I believe you're right, Kidd. Someone needs to snap him out of this."
"The question is how. She was more than just his meister."
"That I don't know."
"It's a sad truth but meisters die every day." A new voice joined the conversation from behind the mirror. "It's a hazard of the occupation. Hell more than half of us death scythes have lost our original meisters to death."
"Ah, Spirit, good to see you. How's it going?"
"Doing alright, Lord Death. And yourself?"
"Good as always."
Kidd observed the older man.
In the last two years, Spirit had cleaned up his act considerably. He swore off alcohol, avoided the gentlemen's clubs like the plague, and became a true role model for the DWMA's students. It looked like Spirit Albarn, Death City's number one playboy, had finally grown up. And then the unbelievable happened. He went away on a mission one month by himself, no Stein or any other scythe meister to accompany him, or so it appeared; no one could understand it. Spirit could hold his own in a fight, they all knew that, but he wasn't autonomous by any means.
But he went off on another then another and then another, and as the months passed, rumors began to spread that he was working with his ex-wife. No one believed it. Anyone who knew of that pair's grievances against each other knew that throwing those two back together was more dangerous than introducing fire to an H-bomb. But then, Kami showed up in Death City for the first time since her daughter's death. It was like bearing witness to an eclipse watching the way she spoke and interacted with Spirit. A true miracle, as Marie described it. Her green eyes had sparkled with pride at the change in her ex-husband, willing to overlook the heart-wrenching reason for the change.
They weren't officially back together by any means, that much was obvious. Especially in the way Kami still refused to change her mailing address back to the Death City Post Office and was more comfortable outside the city walls than in. But there was something in the way the carried themselves whenever she so happened to be visiting… They'd found comfort in each other. Was it the start of a reconciliation? Maybe. Bottom line was they were both alright. They'd lived through the worse nightmare a parent could suffer and found a way to survive. Somehow, both had managed to move on with their lives.
That's when Kidd had an idea.
"What's up, Kidd?"
"Do you think you could talk to Soul?"
The weapon's blue eyes seemed to widen ever so slightly at the request.
"I know that the two of you have never been on speaking terms, but a few words from you might be just what he needs to hear."
"I highly doubt there's anything I could say that that little punk would listen to…" he growled under his breath. Spirit continued to study the grown Shinigami junior out of the corner of his eye for several seconds before papa Death decided to chime in.
"I think that's a great idea, Kidd. Why don't you give it a try, Spirit?"
Feeling more than a little double teamed on this issue, the weapon shifted his gaze icily between the two gods of death, his lips pursed together in his usual expression of distaste or discomfort. Finally, he let out a long sigh as though surrendering.
"Fine, I'll do it, but I'm not making any promises."
Said weapon froze in his tracks, dread flooding through the basin of his gut. He had almost made it back to his bike without interference. Go figure that a certain loud-mouthed assassin would be the one to cut him off just as he set foot in the courtyard at the front of the academy.
He turned around slowly (wouldn't want to provoke a wild animal by moving too quickly).
"Hey, Black Star, Tsubaki."
The ever faithful chain scythe stood just a few feet behind her meister, an apologetic smile on her face, while Black Star slung an arm around his best friend's shoulders and pulled the tired death scythe into a rough, boyish half-embrace.
"Glad to see you're back, man. You were gone, what, four months?"
"Yeah, just got back."
"Dang, no wonder you look so out of it. You death scythes got it rough."
Soul cracked a half smile at that.
"No kidding… It's not all that bad."
Tsubaki stepped forward as Black Star released Soul.
"How long will you be in town for, Soul-kun?"
"A few days at least."
"Oh… Well in that case we need to celebrate while you're here. How bout we throw a party at our place, Black Star?"
Soul's eyes widened.
"Uh, no! Tsubaki, you don't need to do that!" he shouted, flailing his arms around.
Black Star slapped him on the back. Damn, that kid needed to realize his own strength sometimes...
"Dumbass, it's my duty as a god. None of us have seen or heard from you in months. You're always off on missions, and when you are here, you're never actually with us, you're always training."
Soul narrowed blood red eyes at his blue haired friend for the last comment.
"As if you don't disappear to train by yourself every other day," he snapped back. Black Star just laughed with his hands on his hips before jumping over and pulling Soul into a head lock. "Oof, get off, you punk."
"Nah, just once a day for a few hours," he half yelled, half growled to answer Soul's statement. "Shows how long you've been away… Besides, you need to relax, man. Let yourself go a little. Right, Tsubaki?"
"Yeah, you've been gone so long, you deserve a break."
Managing to somehow push Black Star off of him, Soul opened his mouth to argue again.
"That's besides the-"
"You know their right, Soul," interrupted the approaching Death the Kidd.
"Yeah, you're acting like you have a stick up your butt, and only Kidd's allowed to act like that," laughed the younger pistol as the Thompson sisters walked up following behind Kidd. The trio stopped nearby, Liz and Kidd staring expectantly at Soul.
"Yeah," added Liz. "People will forget how 'cool' you are if they never get to see you."
He huffed at her.
"Like I care what 'people' think, anyway…" he grumbled shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Awww, look! He's pouting now!"
Patti's playful laughter along with the various snickers and giggles of everyone else was able to make the stubborn scythe cave. He slouched over himself and hung his head in defeat for a split second. A hand brushed through his hair sheepishly and he looked down away from everyone around.
"I guess it has been a long time. Just give me a while alright. I need to unpack."
Tsubaki nodded giving a gentle smile
"Of course. Take a few hours. Get settled and relax for a bit. Come over around eight o'clock."
"Yeah, yeah. I'll see you then," muttered Soul and he walked away down the stairs of Shibusen and to his bike.
"Bye, Soul! We're glad you're back!" yelled Patti waving at Soul's retreating back.
"Later," he called as he threw a wave over his shoulder ignoring their stares and continued conversation. Revving the engine and kicking up the kickstand, Soul took off to take refuge in the safety of his apartment.
She'd never felt anything more perfect in her life. His lips on her skin, his hands on her hips, his body moving in and around her, it was all so perfect. Her fingertips dug into his back on a particularly hard thrust, one hand snaking its way into his frost colored hair. She pulled him up for a heated kiss, wrapping her legs around his waist.
She was calling out a name, but for some reason she couldn't hear herself.
Suddenly his mouth was on her neck sucking and nipping with those sharp teeth. She arches into him pulling him deeper into her body. Then his lips are at her ear, murmuring and whispering to her, but still she cannot hear his voice.
She pushes at his chest, flipping them over. Her lips meet his again in a soul searing kiss. As she pulls back to continue moving over this amazing stranger, her eyes meet the darkest of crimson. And they move just like that until she screams her pleasure to the smirking moon.
Thousands of miles away from Death City, Nevada, Maristela Velasquez wakes from her slumber with a gasp.
"Oh my God," she murmurs. Her hand reaches up to wipe the sweat from her brow. Her skin is hot to the touch, and her heart is racing at what must be a thousand miles per hour. He body is hot and achy, her muscles tense as though they just finished pushing her to the finish line of a long marathon, and her breathing is erratic, completely uneven. She looks up at the bleeding moon as a heavy sigh passes her lips.
She closes her eyes again trying to catch her breath.
The vision of the man from her dream is burned into her retina. She can still feel his hands on her as though they are imprinted on the surface of her skin. She aches for him, yearns for this stranger who she doesn't remember ever meeting. Yet she thinks she knows this man far better than she thinks. This midnight visitor that's haunted her dreams and fantasies. A phantom from an unknown past trying to wiggle its way into her bed at night, invading her dreams and turning her into a pile of want and lust.
She shakes her head harshly as though warding off anymore demons.
"It's just a dream," she whispers to herself. "Just a dream, Mari."
She lies back down, snuggling deep under the covers. The effects of the dream have worn off, and she feels considerably better, but one thought hovers on the border of her consciousness.
"Just a dream… but why did it feel so real?"
Please let me know what you think.
(1.) Manga Spoiler