Hanging Offense
by Shu of the Wind

The room was shuddering with the force of the silence.

That wasn't quite true; he could hear himself panting, and he gritted his teeth as his broken ribs crackled back into place. If it hadn't been for his status as a shinigami, he would have probably been killed a long time ago. Gopher never pulled a punch. He dealt his blows where Noah would not see them, chose his pressure points well, drove home the soul wavelength that constricted Kid's lungs and snapped his ribs, and he'd never said a word about it. Kid had always kept his mouth shut.

If there was one thing he was good at, it was keeping his mouth shut, keeping his observations to himself. Like how Gopher's soul wavelength had wings. And how Noah's soul was like a never-ending scream, so calm and so full of terror at exactly the same time.

Gopher's soul had wings, just like Maka's.

He bit his tongue so hard blood filled his mouth, and swore under his breath.

I should have kept my stupid mouth shut.

They wanted Maka. They wanted to kill Maka, because Maka could destroy them. Did anyone know that, other than him? Spirit, maybe? His father? Soul?

But Maka and Soul and Liz and Patty and everyone else, they all had to be back at Shibusen. Had to be. He'd kill them if they weren't. Somebody would break him out eventually – he was a shinigami, after all, the next Lord of Death, they had to break him out – but if that somebody ended up being his friends, he'd probably end up killing them for putting themselves in danger to come rescue someone who'd get out of here eventually.

Though, he supposed, if it had been one of them dangling from the wall and him back at Shibusen, he'd kill anyone who stood in the way of him coming to collect them.

So, wasn't that hypocritical of him.

Surely you get lonely here all on your own? Perhaps the stiffened corpses of your friends would help stimulate your neurotic little mind?

Gopher had it wrong. There was no need to stimulate his neurotic little mind. It was stimulated enough already.

Wings. Gopher's soul had wings, just like Maka's. But it was different. They were different. Maka and Gopher were different...of course they were. There were never two people more radically different.

Somebody had to know that Maka was in danger. They would figure it out. They had to figure it out. They weren't stupid, back at Shibusen. If Gopher tried to kill Maka, then they would understand. But if he succeeds –

Maka would win. He had to remember that. Maka always won.

Don't you remember? The voice at the back of his mind hissed. Nobody always wins.

He blacked out.

He was waiting. And as he hung there waiting, faces flickered in the back of his mind.

Black Star. Black Star would kill him, or, at least, laugh in his face and say there was no way the Great Black Star could ever be caught by something as stupid as a living book, and this simply proved that he was the better meister, that he was the one closer to surpassing God. Either that, or Kid would get punched in the face and it would never be mentioned again. He thought the former might be more likely than the latter. Black Star had never known when to keep his mouth shut.

...don't know when to keep my death-damned mouth shut.

Liz and Patty. He would have to apologize to Liz and Patty for putting them through this. He'd felt the panic and agony in his weapons before he'd been swallowed. He'd felt it. He'd heard Liz scream. They would kill him for doing this, they really would. They'd had so little for so long that anything they claimed was irrevocably theirs. The mansion was their house. The food labeled so painstakingly in the fridge was theirs. And Death the Kid was their meister, to do with as they wanted, and he'd gone off and been kidnapped (haha, Kidnapped) and betrayed them without intending to because they were the weapons and he was the meister and they weren't supposed to part. So they were going to murder him. They'd kill him once he was fully healed, bring him back to life somehow, and then kill him again.

Soul. Soul would be angry, but he wouldn't be furious. He wasn't the kind to get furious. Not unless it was Maka at stake. And then he went straight past furious, and right to stone cold rage. Kid wondered how Maka could be so perceptive and so blind, all at the same time.

Maka. Gopher, Maka. Souls with wings, wings with souls. Gopher and Maka. Maka and Gopher. Maka. He honestly didn't know what Maka would do. Would she be angry with him? Would she tear into him? Or would she just smile, just say, "Welcome home, Kid-kun," and pretend none of it had ever bothered her even though he would be able to see every wrinkle in her forehead that hadn't been there before.

Or would Maka be there at all?

Shinigami didn't really need to breathe, but he felt his lungs stop working at the thought.

That was what they wanted, he knew. He knew they knew they'd found a weakness. They'd found a weakness and they were using it. He'd exposed a weakness and they were using it, leaving him hanging from the wall to imagine her being slaughtered. He knew Soul would be dead before that happened, but somehow that thought wasn't the same. The pure unadulterated panic wasn't the same.

Just you try laying a finger on Maka! You'll regret it, I promise you!

I should have kept my stupid mouth shut. Because now he'd made her a target and he'd never forgive himself for that.

"Ah, you're still here." Noah paused. "Return to the book, Shinigami. We'll let you know how it goes."

And then the Book of Eibon opened and he felt himself melting into its pages. He kept his eyes fixed on Noah's back.

You'll regret it, I promise you. You'll regret ever going after her. I'll make you regret ever hearing her name from my mouth.

Just like I do.


So, kind of a drabbly one-sided KidMaka oneshot that struck me one day...;) Hope you enjoyed.