~A/N:

And so, here you have it: my first Soul Eater story! It took about a week to completely finish (writing & editing), and I'm happy with it. No, that ain't a good word... I love it! I had fun working on this one, even when I felt somewhat discouraged because the words wouldn't always come; but that's what being a writer is, having ups and downs and hard writing times. This story is centered around Soul and Maka almost two years after the anime series began, so I made Soul sixteen and Maka fifteen (I imagine the anime beginning in February or March and the ending in late summer, like July or August, so this story would probably take place at the end of the next year or the beginning of the one after that: say the anime began in 2003, the year the first manga chapter came out. That would mean my story would either take place at the end of 2004 or the start of 2005. This is just an analogy though, there's really no year frame to me). My version of Soul isn't quite as harsh (I guess that's the word to use) and sarcastic and narcissistic as some others Souls I've read in stories, but I still tried to put that edginess and brashness into his personality, and I hope I succeeded. As this is my first Soul Eater story, I went into it very nervously, because for the longest time (over a year now), I'd been unsure of how to write one. But since I started rewatching the anime, I found I wanted to try and write and see how it turned out. I don't own anything, which includes characters and places; Atsushi Okubo is the creator and owner of this amazing series, and BONES and Media Factory produced it. As always, reviews are welcome, so PLEASE let me know how I did on my Soul Eater story!

StarKatt427


"I said I was sorry. Get over it already."

Maka ignored him, eyes brooding and mouth pulled into a frown as she continued to walk away from Death Weapon Meister Academy and toward the little street that would lead to their apartment.

Soul sighed, rolling his eyes and shoving his hands harshly in his pockets as he walked several paces behind her, making sure to keep himself out of her line of aim for fear that she deemed him worthy of another Maka Chop.

It had been a joke; a joke, not something to be taken seriously. Geez, she should know by now that he never meant half of the crap he said. But Maka was an emotional person by nature and took things way too seriously, even when she tried not to.

He watched her back as she walked, posture rigid and severe, and as he did, he did actually feel a little guilt. Okay, so she wasn't so flat chested anymore, and he knew it; hell, he knew it better than anyone else, being her partner and all and seeing her everyday. He hadn't brought up her lack of bust in months and hadn't even been planning to just minutes ago when Black Star had begun talking animatedly about the new girl in their class with a very developed chest, but something had caused him to agree with the idiot, which resulted in getting on Maka's bad side, and then he'd been grinning crookedly, his mouth opening of its own violation.

"She's gorgeous and has huge boobs. And look at you, all flat chest and nothing else." He had glanced down at her small chest, cocking an eyebrow as he'd flashed that sharp toothed grin that clearly said 'devil'.

It had slipped away the moment when he had seen Maka's face, her expression shocked, eyes wide and hurt. She had looked so…betrayed, almost, and he had realized that maybe he had finally crossed a line.

It had only lasted a moment though, because before he could even realize he was contemplating apologizing, she had already gotten one of the large books she pulled out of thin air and was slamming it into his head in a Maka Chop, the fiercest he'd ever experienced.

She'd screamed at him, left him flat on the ground, and departed without so much as a goodbye to their friends, turning away from the front doors of the DWMA.

As he had lain there, trying to regain all senses of consciousness and clumsily make it to his feet, Tsubaki gently chastising him for going overboard on the insults, all he'd been able to do was see her horribly wounded face branded into his mind, the way her eyes had revealed to him all of her feelings for just a single second.

He'd gone too far, way too far, and, for the first time since he'd met her, he felt horrible for doing it. For just that moment, Soul had realized that he had seriously injured her, and that wasn't good for Weapon/Meister partners.

Or friends.

And here he was now, having apologized already and meaning it, though he hadn't really sounded like it because of the natural lazy drawl of his voice. Even if Maka accepted the apology, which he knew she didn't, it would take a few good hours to get her talking civilly to him once again. He also knew that when that happened, they would go back to the way things were, like always.

Soul was wrong.


The water was hot as it ran down his bare skin, over his shoulders and chest, muscles and scars, his shock of pure white hair completely soaked and plastered to his cheeks as he stood under the shower head, eyes closed. In actuality, the water was a little too hot, burning his tanned skin, but he didn't adjust the knob.

His thoughts were caught up in Maka, once again. They'd been home since a little after three and it was almost eight now, and while she still hadn't actually spoken to him, he could tell she was no longer truly angry, just lost in her own thoughts. She seemed somewhat distant, especially since she wasn't talking, and, to his surprise, he didn't like it at all. It made him…edgy. A strange word, he realized, but it was true, and he squeezed his closed eyes tighter.

He wanted to know if it was still what he'd said that was bothering her, or if it was something more. It couldn't be him, he decided, resting his forehead against the shower wall, allowing the water to wash him away and down the drain.

It couldn't be him.

Could it?


Soul stood beside Black Star, his back against a pillar and arms crossed over his chest, frowning. "This is stupid, dude."

The group of seven stood at the bottom of the step way that led to the DWMA, waiting.

"He's right," Tsubaki said, looking at the blue haired assassin that was her meister. "You can't expect her to know who you are. It's her first day."

"Exactly, so she's had plenty of time to learn of my greatness," Black Star replied, smirking. "We're in the same class, after all."

"You aren't going to do anything dumb, are you?" Maka asked, mouth pulled into a slight frown, eyes quizzical. "Black Star, you really need to get over yourself."

"Hell no! She needs to learn who the boss is around here."

"Good grief," Kid sighed, just as Patty laughed that pure innocent, rather psychotic laugh. "Seriously, you aren't going to beat her up, are you?"

"Of course not," Black Star said, hands going to his hips. "Hitting a girl's lame."

Kid rolled his eyes and turned to Liz, the two beginning a conversation, while Patty babbled on about Black Star kicking a girl's butt. Tsubaki placed her hands on her partner's shoulders, smiling nervously as she tried to calm him down.

So, for the moment, Soul found he was safe and took the moment to look out of the corner of his eye at Maka.

She looked tense, like she really was scared Black Star would hit a girl; he had hit her after all, but at her own insisting. Soul frowned slightly at the memory of the day that seemed long ago, but was, in actuality only a little over year-and-a-half ago, when they had finally all learned how to resonate souls together, remembering how much it had bothered him, his best guy friend hitting his partner. Hitting a girl was definitely uncool.

He continued to look at her, realizing the way she looked now was actually really cute, all worried as she twiddled her hands and bit her lip.

Soul bit his own lip in response, looking from her face to her long pigtails. She really should start wearing her hair differently, he decided, staring at her ash blonde locks and finding himself wondering what they would feel like between his fingers. Maka's hair always looked soft, but he never touched it unless it was to pull on one of her pigtails, so what did he know? Still, he found himself curious.

Whoa! Soul's thoughts snapped back into place like a rubber band and he scowled at his ludicrous thoughts, wondering just what had taken over his mind for a minute. Why would he even consider doing something so uncool as that? Maka was his partner, after all.

Still, even as he forced himself to not look back at her, he could still see her face, her green eyes and nervous little frown, and found himself wising he actually could run his fingers through her hair.

"Showtime," Black Star said suddenly, a grin spread wide across his face.

Soul looked up toward the top of the steps, noticing the new girl, whose name had escaped him (he actually hadn't been paying attention), begin her descent downward.

Tsubaki made a distressed sound in her throat, hands clasped anxiously in front of her as she backed away from Black Star slightly, looking up as the girl continued on. Kid and the Thompson sisters stood farther away, Kid and Liz waiting, Patty's attention caught by the brightly colored butterfly that had just flown in front of her face.

Maka moved closer to Soul, almost touching her shoulder to his. She leaned in, speaking quietly so that Black Star could hopefully not hear. "This is so stupid. What if her hurts her?"

"Don't worry. He might be an arrogant ass, but he won't hurt a girl."

"And how do you know that?"

Soul looked over at her, smiling slightly. "He wasn't going to hit you until you told him to. And when he flipped you that day after you first tried to hit him, he wasn't even using half of his strength."

Maka's shoulders relaxed slightly at his words, the crease between her eyebrows lessening. "Yeah, that makes sense."

Soul simply nodded.

"But if he does do something dumb," she said, "I really don't want to be around when he does. Can't we just leave?"

"Nah, let's just see what happens."

Maka sighed, unconvinced. "I guess."

That little sound she made caught his attention, and he looked over at her, surprised to see just how worried she really was. Black Star was unpredictable, everyone knew that, but Soul knew he wouldn't do anything too drastic, as did Tsubaki. Maka, though, didn't understand Black Star the way he or the ninja's Dark Arm partner did.

Her expression, slightly pouty and unsure, made Soul laugh, and when she looked over at him, he was smiling in a way that didn't show his pointed teeth, but made him look very harmless.

"It's going to be fine. Besides, we'll stop him if he gets too carried away."

Maka looked at him for a moment, lips parted slightly, before she grinned, her eyes closing for a moment. "Right!"

While Soul had been reassuring Maka, they both had missed the steadfastly approach of the girl, but they didn't miss the way Black Star's jaw dropped to his chin, or Tsubaki's large eyes, or Kid's slightly appraising look, or the Thompson sister's simultaneous grins.

"Well, well," Liz said, laughter in her voice. "How are you gonna handle this one now, Black Star?"

Confused, Soul looked toward the steps.

And nearly got a nosebleed.

The classrooms were all well air conditioned, and a jacket wasn't uncommon since people often got chilly. The girl had been wearing one all day, so it came as a complete shock to see her now, brown jacket tied around her waist, a shirt similar to what Liz and Patty wore covering her overdeveloped chest. The shirt appeared to be too tight, as it enhanced the size of her bust and made her appear older than fourteen.

"Holy crap," Black Star mumbled, staring brazenly at the girl's chest, eyes wide. "She…she's freakin' hot!"

"Yeah, Trina's pretty," Tsubaki said, laughing nervously as she tried to draw attention away from the girl's chest.

Black Star wasn't just being overdramatic; he was being honest. Besides the size of her breasts, the girl - Trina - had chocolate brown hair pulled back in a short ponytail, and large violet eyes. Her features were very soft, but not in the way of weakness, and Soul was able to understand why her weapon form was a whip; her eyes had an almost cutting edge to them, even when she was smiling.

She was hot, Soul admitted, but something about thinking it made his stomach clench for reasons he didn't quite understand yet.

The girl reached the bottom of the steps and, seeing them, gave a small smile, then began the trip home.

Trina was a few feet past the group when Black Star yelled, after finally regaining his senses, "Hey!"

She turned around, looking to see if he was addressing someone else. "Me?" she asked, voice extremely appealing and soft, almost like bells. Still, something felt off about it to Soul.

"Yeah, you." Black Star walked toward her, expression extremely serious.

At that moment, Soul felt slightly nervous. Black Star wouldn't do anything, right?

He wasn't so sure.

"You're new, so I'll give you leniency for not knowing who I am," Black Star said.

"Um, what?" Trina asked, clearly confused.

Soul heard Maka holding her breath, then looked over at Tsubaki, who was crossing her fingers. His own hands balled into fists as he waited to see what would happen.

Black Star threw a thumb up and directed it at himself, grinning almost cheekily. "I'm Black Star, the world's greatest assassin, and I'm going to surpass the gods!"

Trina watched him with wide eyes for a moment, clearly wondering what this idiot was going on about, and Soul sighed, hoping the worst was over and that would be all that was said.

To his surprise, and everyone else's, including Black Star, Trina smiled brightly at him, hand outstretched. "Nice to meet you, Black Star. I'm Trina Sjambok, Demon Whip."

Black Star looked from her face to her hand, then back, in amazement, before he finally grinned and gripped her hand, shaking it with enthusiasm. "Sweet!"

"So, I'll see you around," she said, then looked over his shoulder at the rest of the group. She waved, still smiling, and Soul lifted his hand in a greeting, as did the others. Maka, he noted, was the most excited, probably because Trina was a possible future friend. He felt himself smile.

Once Trina was gone and Black Star made it back to the others, he threw his arms up behind his head and smiled. "Well, I think she gets it."

"That went well," Kid said, voice carrying a slightly amazed tone. "It's like she didn't even here all that other garbage about surpassing gods and being a great assassin."

Black Sat snorted, cackling. "She just realized how much of a star I am by looking at me, that's all."

"Right," Liz said, sarcastically, causing Patty to burst into giggles.

Maka smiled at Black Star. "It was amazing though, wasn't it? She seems really nice."

"Yeah, I guess so. And she's got really big boobs."

"Black Star!"

He laughed once again, not in the least embarrassed. "Aw c'mon, they're as big as Patty's, and she's older than Trina."

Patty looked confused for a moment, then glanced up to his older sister. "Was that supposed to be an insult, sis?"

"Um, no, I don't think so," Liz replied, patting Patty's head, smiling crookedly. "He's complimenting you, in a way."

"Oh, okay! Great!"

"Black Star does have a point," Kid said, thoughtfully touching his chin. "Her breasts really are as large as Patty's."

"I cannot believe you guys are actually having this conversation," Maka grumbled, rolling her eyes, and Tsubaki sighed, apparently agreeing with her.

Soul decided not to contribute to the discussion, instead simply listening. Normally, he would have been talking right along with them, but something held him back this time, and it wasn't because he was in the presence of girls. No, it was something else, but he sensed it did have something to do with a certain girl being there.

"Really, can't you do this some other time?" Tsubaki asked hopefully.

"Why?" Black Star asked her. "You shouldn't be nervous. You've got huge boobs too."

Too shocked to even reply or reprimand him, Tsubaki stood there, her cheeks red as she looked down embarrassedly. Soul wasn't surprised he'd said that though; he was always gawking at her anyway.

Maka shook her head slightly, disapprovingly, as she crossed her arms, but didn't say anything.

Black Star suddenly turned to Soul and threw an arm over his shoulder, grinning broadly. "So, what did you think?"

Oh great. He really didn't want to say anything and just keep his mouth shut, but then he remembered just how much of a chest the girl had had, and he found himself saying, "Yeah, she's got nice boobs," in a somewhat indifferent, partly praising voice.

"Soul!"

Maka was looking at him, shocked, expression annoyed and somewhat disgusted. The look she gave him was one that usually egged him on, made him be ruder to her, but something made him pause just before he began to laugh, and that was the way her eyes seemed to bore into his own, almost like she was seeing his very thoughts and inner desires. It made him uncomfortable, yet at the same time, very pleased.

So, instead of laughing, he simply asked, "What?"

"I can't believe you just said that," she growled, frown turning into a full out scowl.

"Why's that so hard to believe?"

Maka seemed at a loss for words, her jaw dropping, before she composed herself and simply stood there, glaring at him in a meaningful way that was almost completely lost to him.

Except for the fact that he knew she was trying to tell him something, something that she couldn't say with words, but he didn't understand what she meant.

Instead of continuing her earlier thoughts, she mumbled, "Never mind. Forgot it," and looked down at her feet as she kicked the ground.

"What?" he asked, voice rising slightly as he felt his temper flare. "What are you going on about?"

"Nothing, don't worry about it."

"Fine, I won't. Besides," he said, smile evil as sin, "you should be the one to worry."

That caught her attention; she looked up, clearly confused. "Why?"

"She is the same age as you, after all, and look at her. She's gorgeous and has huge boobs. And look at you, all flat chest and nothing else." He glanced down at her small bust, cocking an eyebrow, grinning in that way that normally frightened people because of his sharp teeth. "There's no comparison."

Still smiling, he expected her to pitch a fit, to immediately slam her fist into his face, and then it would be over with, just like it always was when he joked with her.

The hit didn't come.

Soul's mouth slowly fell from its grin and his lips parted slightly, eyes growing wide and baffled as he stared at Maka, who was, instead of screaming at him, simply standing there, her own lips parted as she looked at him in pure shock. Her eyes, usually so bright and cheery that it sometimes made him sick, now were horribly hurt and appeared almost moist, an emotion he hated seeing on his partner's face.

Especially since he was the cause of it.

At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to take what he'd said back, to do anything to make her happy, to get that sad, offended expression off her face and to make her laugh and smile, like she usually did. But there was no way to take it back, even if he apologized.

An ache, one that he had only felt a few times, burrowed its way into his chest and caused his throat to grow painfully thick.

Maka simply looked at him for a second, so wounded and betrayed that it killed him and made the adrenaline rush in his chest flare up in nervousness and torment.

The others were silent as well, waiting to see what would happen.

The wait wasn't long. The exchange of emotion only took six seconds, and then Maka was screaming, pulling a large book out of no where and slamming in spine down on top of Soul's head.

He hit the ground with a loud thud, head first, stars and bright flashes of light taking over the blackness that had just become his vision. It felt like his skull had been cracked open, the force she had used was so intense, stronger than any she'd ever used before, and his head ached.

"YOU JACKASS!" she screamed, making the pain in his head to intensify, and then he heard the sound of her feet slamming down on cobblestone as she began walking.

Soul opened his eyes moments later to see Maka's retreating figure, her shoulders and back stiff, the way she was walking enough to tell anyone she was seriously pissed off. Shakily, he pushed himself to his knees, then to his feet, only almost falling over once. He placed a hand to the top of his head, rubbing over the sensitive bump that was swelling as he continued to watch her.

"Soul?" Tsubaki timidly began, placing a hand on his shoulder, partly to get his attention and partly to help him keep his balance. "Maybe you went a little too far. You know how sensitive Maka is."

"Seriously," Black Star said, for once not joking, but extremely serious. "I've never seen her that mad before."

"Same here," Liz began. "I mean, she's usually so upbeat. It's weird seeing her like that."

"Yeah, she almost killed Soul," said Patty, she, like Black Star, unusually serious.

Kid was nodding as he watched Maka's back. "That was pretty intense physical strength.

You wouldn't expect her to be able to take someone down with only one hit, but this was unreal."

Soul barely even heard a word they said, because al he could do was stare miserably at her retreating figure, hand still on his head. No matter how many time he closed his eyes or tried to pay attention to what his friends were saying, all he could see was Maka's horribly wounded face and watery emerald eyes and hear her scream at him.

And he hated himself.


Soul twisted the knobs to where no more water flowed down onto him, now surrounded by steam and heat as he stood in the shower, head still to the wall. He opened his eyes, mouth pulled into a contrite frown as he looked down at the bottom of the tiled floor, not actually seeing anything.

Even though he knew Maka was mostly over it, he still felt that sick, acidic weight in his stomach and chest when he pictured her heartbreakingly miserable face and glistening eyes. He placed a hand to his bare chest, then slid it to his stomach, and he sighed, water dripping off his body and down to his feet.

His other hand reached up and stuck to the shower wall and he closed his eyes once again, sighing harshly. "Dammit."

He had to fix this. Now.


Soul walked out from the bathroom, clad only in a pair of long pajama bottoms as he'd forgotten to grab a shirt in his haze. He toweled his hair until it stuck up in an even messier manner than usual, and, once finished, tossed the towel on the back of a chair to grab later and headed over toward the fridge to get a drink.

Yes, he was putting the confrontation off. He really didn't want to make things worse, but they wouldn't get any better either until he acted. Grabbing a bottle of water, he shut the fridge door and walked over to the counter, leaning on it with his elbows as he opened the bottle and took a long gulp of the cold liquid.

To tell the truth, he was actually afraid of what would happen. Had he pushed their relationship too far this time? Would they be able to get through this? He really hoped so.

Just as he had taken the second swallow of drink, Maka's bedroom door opened and she emerged, wearing an oversized shirt and a pair of shorts, her hair, instead of it's usual pigtails, down loose around her face and falling lightly over her shoulders. She looked at him, giving him a small smile, and then headed toward the living room to where Soul knew she had left one of her books.

He couldn't think of anything to say. At all. He sat the bottle down, a hand going to his hair and brushing his fingers through it in an aggravated manner, wishing he had the balls to actually start a conversation. God, this was so not cool.

Maka came back a moment later, book in hand, and she walked by where Soul stood. She looked at him, giving another tiny smile that didn't completely reach her eyes. "I'm going to read for a while, then go on to bed. So, goodnight."

She had just reached her door when Soul finally found his voice and said, voice harsher than what he actually felt, "Wait."

Maka's hand froze on the doorknob and she looked over her shoulder at him as he stood near the bar, heavy lidded eyes very intense and dark crimson red. He stood feet from her, waiting to see what she would do.

Apparently, Maka wasn't going to say anything; she seemed to be waiting for him to elaborate, to explain what he wanted.

He felt a growl rise up his throat but instead said, "Come here."

She watched him for a moment, then turned back around and slowly made her way toward Soul, laying the book down on the bar once she was in front of him, keeping several inches between them. "What is it?"

Once she'd gotten near him, Soul had pretty much lost the ability to even complete a thought in his head. Her scent. It was amazing, all vanilla and sugar, sweet enough to eat, and he suddenly found himself wishing to devour her, not in the way the Black Blood did, but in a much more personal, intimate way that somewhat frightened him.

"Soul?"

Her voice pulled him away from his wanting and, remembering what this was all about, he felt himself sigh, a hand going to the back of his head. "Look, you know I said I was sorry, and I am. You have the right to be mad, but just…forgive me already."

She looked at him, puzzled. "l already did."

"Not really."

Maka sighed, looking down.

Sometimes, she could infuriate him to no end, and right now was one of them as she refused to look at him. "God, you're weird. Are you bipolar or something?"

Her head jerked up and she glared at him, eyebrows cocked. "Excuse me?" she asked, voice incredulous and holding a biting edge.

"I mean, you were about ready to castrate me earlier, and now you act like it's no big deal at all. What's with that?"

"You know I'm not good at holding a grudge," she argued.

"That's not the point and you know it," Soul barked, moving forward until he was barely two inches from her, a hand resting on the counter as he frowned, looking down at her, and said, "I know you. I know when you're upset or angry or sad or happy. I'm your partner." He leaned down further until his face was just above hers, enough so that his breath wafted over her face. "So don't lie to me."

Maka was watching him with wide eyes, amazed at how close he was, but mostly amazed at how true his words were and the affect they had on her. She sighed somewhat brokenly, bowing her head. "I'm not lying, Soul. I just…"

"What?"

Instead of answering him, she looked up straight into his blood red eyes, eyes that had never terrified her, something Soul was more thankful for than she knew.

Warmth suddenly flowed into his hand and he looked down to see Maka's hand on his, hers so much smaller and paler. Her fingers gently stroked over his for a moment, and then he realized what she wanted and complied, lifting his hand and twining his fingers with her small ones. Maka's hand was rougher than his from always carrying him in his scythe form, even though she did wear gloves; they were slightly calloused but amazingly warm and oh so gentle as they twirled around his hand, just as if she was holding his weapon form's handle. Soul found himself entranced by the action.

Maka was also staring at their hands, admiring Soul's pianist hands, so elegant and graceful, completed by long fingers and evenly cut nails. She gripped his hand tighter and looked back up at him, wondering when he'd gotten so tall, as her fingers landed gently on the inside of his wrist.

Soul inhaled sharply, not used to this much contact with Maka, at least in his human form. He didn't pull away though, instead allowing her fingers to remain where they were, and he sighed, watching her.

Maka looked at him, expression extremely open and somewhat vulnerable, as she admitted, "I can't stay mad at you."

The words hit him like a wrecking ball, causing him to jerk away from her as he felt his heart try to burst through his chest. He felt nervous and unsure, but not afraid, not yet anyway. He actually felt rather incredible as her words sunk in, and he finally realized why they had such an effect on him.

Oh, okay, he thought, trying to slow his heart. That makes sense.

He looked up to see Maka, her hand outstretched to him, expression startled and slightly hurt, and he immediately hated himself for pulling away, even if her words had caught him off guard and had made him finally understand some thing he'd been pondering for a while.

"I'm sorry," Soul said sincerely, hands in fists at his sides as he looked at her, praying she'd understand. "I didn't mean to."

She did understand, not only because she was his partner, but because he was Soul and she was Maka, and no one knew them better than the other. Soul knew this; he new she understood his fear of emotionally getting close to someone, of physical contact, but she never said anything about it.

Since they had first become partners, an invisible barrier had formed between them, one that prevented them from ever going in too deep; not in the way of merging souls, but another, more physical way, one that was never to be breeched. They both understood this barrier and accepted it respected it even.

Still, that didn't mean they didn't want to cross it.

Soul had never had the strength or bravery to even attempt to make the jump, to actually touch her in a way that could possibly ruin everything they had. And so he had kept things the same; even as their souls grew closer together, he would never allow himself to grow with her in the flesh.

Maka was, surprisingly, more willing to take the risk. Soul knew of the pain her idiot father had caused her by cheating; she wasn't good with trusting men, except for him, and he would have thought her even more unyielding and unlikely to break the wall, and that was even if she wanted to. Normally, this would be the case, except for the fact that is was because Maka did trust Soul so much that she found she wasn't afraid to take the lead.

Some part of Soul wanted her to stay away, to just leave things the way they were and to not mess everything up, but another part, one that was more greedy and wanting and tender, wished for nothing more than for her to move forward.

Instead, of keeping her distance, instead of keeping up the barrier between them intact, Maka crossed over the line and walked to where she was right in front of him, placing her hand right below his collar bone, palm over the scar that marred his chest.

As her fingers began to dance over his skin, Soul felt his chest involuntarily constrict. It was like her fingertips were electric, currents of hot static flowing from her and into him, intense and ever flowing. Maka's hand traveled from the top of the scar to the middle, over his abs, until she continued downward till her fingers kissed the stitch placed several inches above his hip bone.

By the time that she had begun to retrace her progress, Soul was going insane, his thoughts all jumbled and muddled together. What the hell is she doing? Why…why is she touching the scar now?

Maka gazed curiously at her hand on his chest, expression unusually relaxed and soft, a hint of guilt present, and of pain; it still bothered her that he had been wounded so badly, he knew that, even though it had happened almost two years ago. And while she no longer carried the tremendous remorse she'd suffered for the first months after the attack, she still held herself partly responsible.

Soul, who already knew all of this, understood every emotion that danced across her face: affection towards him, no matter what his faults were; shame at not having been strong enough to protect him; acceptance, due to the fact that she now knew she had the bravery to keep him safe.

One emotion, however, remained a mystery to him, just like it had since the very first time he'd seen it long ago, and it was that very soft, almost timid look she sometimes got; when her smile, instead of vividly bright and radiant, was a small little quirk of her lips, her cheeks turning rosy, emerald eyes shining with…something.

Soul found himself hoping, praying, that the secret emotion he couldn't decipher might just be the same one he felt for her.

With her pointer finger, Maka traced over the scar, causing Soul to shiver at the contact of her soft skin against the rough tissue. It wasn't unpleasant, he realized, surprised, because physical contact usually caused him to cringe back, to lock himself away. Instead, though, it felt rather enjoyable, amazing even. Her short nail gently caught on one of the stitches for a moment, igniting a strange heat in the pit of his stomach, one that made the blood rush to his face and his breathing to catch.

Maka smiled slightly, having noticed, and repeated the action to the next stitch, one that rested right above his heart, and this time, Soul was barely able to hold back a shaky sigh that was working its way up his throat.

And so she continued, just as she had before, her fingers catching here and there, stroking over the scar tissue on his chest and the whole time causing Soul to bite harshly at the inside of his jaw with his sharp, pointed teeth to keep from groaning, eventually to the point where he drew blood.

"Maka," he growled out, not his usual growl by any means, but definitely not the one he used with her when he was actually being nice. It was extremely hoarse and deep and desperate, but not because he wanted her to stop.

It was the exact opposite: he didn't want her to stop. Ever.

"Soul," Maka began, voice soft and so freaking beautiful that it nearly killed him, the way she said his name. Her fingers stopped moving, hand resting over his heart, palm flat on his warm skin. "I don't get you. You're always saying mean things to me, then you say really sweet things. You always pick on me and then you're nice, and I'm…confused."

Soul felt himself smile, crimson eyes growing extraordinarily gentle as he found himself pushing himself up against her slightly, his chest touching the material of her shirt. Even though he had pretty much just figured out what exactly she meant to him not five minutes ago, he completely accepted it as a part of who he was; he accepted Maka as part of him.

At that moment, as he looked at her and the unknown emotion that ran threw her eyes and across her face and into her words, it suddenly hit him that it was, in fact, the same sentiment he knew must be evident on his own face: the one of pure adoration, fierce loyalty, utter protectiveness, hidden desire, pure fulfillment, and complete-

"You really are clueless," he said fondly, smiling crookedly at her, reaching out a hand. Her rested the tips of his fingers on her cheek, and suddenly they were alive and on fire, the nerve endings screaming in ecstasy at the smooth softness of her fair skin. "Honestly, Maka. What does it mean when a boy picks on a girl?" He moved his hand from her face to her hair, gently grabbing one of the locks and gently pulling at it, enjoying the fact that is was even softer than it looked, all fine and sweet smelling. "When he pulls your hair."

Maka looked up at him with wide, trembling eyes, eyes that danced with hope and that passion, the same one Soul felt toward her. He pulled the piece of hair toward his face as he played with the thin strands, his smile slipping into an expectant expression.

"So, what do you think?"

"I…I think," she began, voice brilliantly soft and joyful, if a bit nervous, "that it means he likes her."

Soul smiled, a smile that no one but Maka was allowed to see, one that showed the exact emotions he felt at the moment, one that revealed his entire heart and soul to her. "Duh."

Maka was blushing, eyes vivid and mouth beginning to pull up in a small smile; a real smile. Soul reached out and placed his thumb to one of her cheeks, against the pink blush, and he stroked over it with the pad of his finger, causing her to catch her breath, in a good way. Her hands came up and caught onto his as it rested against her face, pulling it back and admiring it between her own, splaying his fingers and stroking over tendons and muscles and bones.

Gazing at his hand, Maka said, "So, then, what do you think it means when a girl hit's a boy all the time? When she gets mad when he makes fun of her?" Her fingers traveled up his wrist until they rested on the inside of his lower arm. "When he talks about other girls?"

For the longest time, Soul had just thought Maka was an overly violent woman, always getting mad and hitting him every chance she got. He admitted that he often deserved to be smacked, but sometimes, she just did it for random things, things he didn't know bothered her or hurt her feelings. Now, though, he knew why she was always hitting him, always glaring when he talked about other girls were, always getting upset when he made fun of her lacking chest.

"She likes him, obviously," Soul said confidently, smiling down at her hand on his arm.

In response, Maka herself smiled, then released his hand and rested her head against his shoulder, a soft breath escaping her. "Exactly."

Hands at his sides, Soul, for a moment, simply enjoyed the fact that she had pretty much admitted to him, and him to her. And it felt wonderfully and entirely amazing.

"So, this girl we're talking about," he said after a moment, almost coyly, but in reality, not in the least. "She really likes this guy, doesn't she?"

"Yes."

He made an approving sound in his throat. "Good."

"And this guy? He likes her a lot too, right?" she asked, timid.

Soul smiled, resting his head against hers. "More than anyone else."

He felt Maka smile into his chest. "Alright then."

Soul wasn't completely being truthful. He didn't like her; it was so much more than that. It was, plain and simple, love. He was, and probably had been, in love with Maka for a while, and he knew that she was, just like him, far too gone to have anything done about it. She was in love with him too.

Neither actually said the word, instead simply using like because it was more comfortable, more fitting for what they were. Still, they knew the other loved them, not just as a friend or a battle partner, but as an actual partner, the kind you could end up spending the rest of your life with.

Soul buried his nose in her hair, inhaling that amazingly luscious scent and basking in it. His arms rose up and encircled her small back, pulling her forward until she was pressed right up against his chest. Maka sighed, wrapping her arms around his waist, turning her face into his neck, her nose against his throat.

Soul growled softly, arms tightening around her body and pulling her even farther against him, one of his hands going to the back of her head. Maka's body stiffened for just a moment, and then she was relaxing, sinking deeper into his chest, her breath hot as it fanned over his skin. In response, he felt his fingers lock around her hair, pulling it softly, and he heard Maka laugh shakily.

It was then that he felt her trembling.

"Maka?" Soul pulled back, looking down at her as she kept her gaze on his neck, her hands grasped around his lower back. Her shoulders were quivering ever so slightly, her cheeks stained a ruddy pink with nervousness as she slowly released her hold on him.

An annoyed sound of dissatisfaction rose up in his throat and nearly left his mouth, but he wrangled it in when he felt her small hands slide up his own shoulders, up his neck, until they were placed against his face, on his cheeks. Her fingers danced over his skin, exploring the harsh line of his jaw, his straight nose, moving over long black lashes that framed his blood colored eyes and tracing the somewhat severe line of his lips.

Soul couldn't move, couldn't think. She was touching him, touching him in a way no one as allowed to, but he found it was amazing, her hands on his face, fingers on his lips. His breath, shaky with nerves and want, came unevenly as he exhaled, and Maka closed her eyes, sighing.

He found he was, since this all began, afraid. He didn't want her touching him, making him feel like he wasn't the monster he was, making him feel whole for the first time in his life. This wasn't right; being with her, wanting her the way he did. It wasn't allowed.

And yet it was all he wanted and ever had, to have someone love him for himself, all the madness and apathy and the truly arrogant and twisted soul he was. It shouldn't be right, but it was; it made him feel complete in a way not even Soul Resonance could. It shouldn't be allowed; but then again, Soul wasn't one to follow rules.

Without him even realizing it, Soul's hands had gone up to her face, one gently cupping her soft cheek, the other gliding over her thin neck, and he began to explore her face just as she continued to discover his. His fingers were trembling slightly, the only outward sign of nervousness besides his quickening heart rate and the warm glow that stained his cheeks, the way he held his mouth slightly open, loosely, not even aware that he was looking at the girl he had fallen for with wide, tender eyes, the softest they had ever been.

Maka looked at him, eyes beginning to show her actual worry and uncertainty, the idea of trusting a man this thoroughly and with so much faith finally beginning to cause her fear and doubts to resurface. Her hands stilled on his face as she simply gazed at him, trying to calm her breathing and make herself remember that this was Soul; her partner, her best friend, the boy she was…

In love with.

"S-soul, I-"

Before she could continue, Soul had his forehead placed against hers, and he was smiling softly, gently, but also with conviction. "It's okay," he said, voice deep and husky and amazingly affectionate and protective. "I know. And I won't ever hurt you. Not ever."

Soul watched Maka's eyes, swimming with feeling, suddenly fill with tears, and then she was giving him a beaming smile, laughing softly as all hers fears were put at peace. "I know."

He felt his smile turn crooked as his thumbs went to her eyes, wiping away the few tears with the pads of his thumbs, then gently brushing over her cheekbones.

Soul's hands remained on her face, just as Maka's were on his, and once again, that same fluttery hot heat expanded in his stomach. His smile vanished and was replaced by a very intense expression, and he found himself staring at her soft, full pink lips, wanting desperately to find out what they tasted like, how they would fit against his. He was moving forward, toward her, just as he realized she was moving toward him, their faces angling instinctively at what they knew was about to come. Maka's eyes delicately closed, and then Soul found his own closing just as he felt their noses touch. He moves his head slightly, brushing his nose against hers, hands still cradling her face, and then he was pulling closer, now able to feel the heat of her mouth just an inch from his.

Her lips, feathery gentle, brushed over his once, twice, against his bottom lip and over his top, and then his mouth was pressed to hers in a very warm, incredibly sweet first kiss.

The feel of her lips, the way she tasted, caused a violent spasm to run down Soul's spine, making his shake and causing his thoughts to blur. God, he was kissing Maka, something he would never have seen himself doing; and yet, now that he was, he couldn't imagine ever doing anything else.

He had, strangely enough, never kissed a girl, even with his claims of being so cool, and it was better than he'd ever imagined, all heat and feel, vibrations that ate at his consciousness and caused his heart to beat painfully fast against his rib cage. This was Maka's first kiss as well, he somehow knew, and he found himself extremely proud that he was giving it to her, just as she was to him.

Soul moved his lips against hers, catching her bottom between his for just a moment, causing Maka to exit a shaky, thrilled sigh as her fingers traveled up his face until they caught in his hair, twining around his thick tresses. He sighed, pleased, into her mouth, his own hands moving to cup the back of her neck.

And so they continued, both content to simply learn the other's mouth, the shape and taste, Maka's hands in his hair and Soul's moving from her face to her neck.

Between Soul brushing over her lips, Maka gasped softly, pulling back just enough to speak past his mouth. "S-soul."

He froze, his lips hovering just over hers, waiting for her command. If she wanted him to stop, he would, even if was all he could do not to just go back in and bite her mouth; if Maka wanted him to continue, he would gladly and willingly do so. "What?"

She sighed shakily, giving him a small, craving smile, as she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. "Don't stop."

Soul grinned.

Somehow, Soul found himself encircling her, his body pressed hotly against hers, hands moving to her small hips and mouth pressed to hers with a desperation that could only be caused by the aching want and love he felt for her consume his being, his soul. She moaned into his mouth, lips quickly, if inexperienced, moving in time with his, her hands pulling harshly at his hair, an action that, instead of causing pain, made him groan because it felt so damn good.

He wasn't even aware when he'd done it, but somehow, Soul had moved forward, pushing Maka back until he had her pinned against the wall, hands moving up her shirt to where they somehow were pressed against the smooth skin of his back. Maka's hands were flat on his chest, not in the way that meant she wanted to stop, but so that her fingers curled in on his skin, grasping for him. Careful of how much pressure he used, he capture her bottom lip in his teeth, gently grazing over it, and smiled against her mouth when she choked out a gasp. One of his hands moved to the back of her head and he held it, pulling her closer to him as her hands traveled down to rest on his stomach.

It was pure and wonderfully mind blowing, an action that caused every five sense to go into over drive. Soul was highly aware of the feel of her mouth on his, of his hands on her skin and hers on his, the heat and flush and deliciousness; he could taste her, all cinnamon and vanilla, almost the same exact smell that flooded his nostrils, and he found himself unable to stop devouring her; the sound of her, the sighs and gasps and moans she made, nearly driving him insane and causing him to grip her with too much force more than once, but she never complained; the sight, different, as he couldn't actually see her with his eyes closed. Instead of seeing her face, all he could see was her beautiful, pale orange soul, the warmth and truth, faith, desire, and love it gave off, she gave off.

Kissing Maka was better than he ever could have imagined (which he had more often than he thought was healthy); better than swallowing a soul, better than being the coolest of cool, better than playing his soul out in a song on the piano. Better than anything

God, he loved her.

In the next instant, Soul's lips found their way to her neck and Maka's arms were wrapped around his shoulders, hands holding his hair as she kissed over his cheeks and forehead. Her body against the wall, she used this to her advantage and lifted herself slightly so that she could hold him better, angling herself to where she was able to move her own mouth to his throat, where she planted a soft, lingering kiss that caused Soul to growl, a profound, shaky sound deep in his chest. He moved back to her face, kissing the corner of her mouth before once again biting at her lips, then forcing her mouth open so that he could slide his tongue inside; he did this slowly and with care, somehow able to restrain himself in case Maka wasn't ready.

Instead, he felt her tongue flick and push against his, her hand once again on his chest, and he inhaled sharply, surprised and awfully pleased by the action. He explored her mouth, licking over her lips and brushing her teeth, spit that was his and also her own on his lips.

After a minute, Maka pulled away, leaning her head down to where she was kissing over his neck and upper chest, causing that heat in him to ignite into a blazing, full out fire as her lips touched his skin, and Soul placed his hands shakily around her back, pulling her closer to him.

He felt her lips move, brushing over the first stitch of the scar, and he gasped, a needy, breathless sound as his eyes shot open wide. "M-maka," he said, hands going up to grab her shoulders, trying more than anything to steady his shaking as he held her tightly, squeezing his eyes shut once again and burying his face in her hair.

This was too much, way too much for someone who was barely even sixteen, and Soul found that if this didn't end soon, he wasn't sure if he would be able to keep himself under control, whether from Maka or the madness she caused to awaken within him, he wasn't sure.

Maka, feeling the way Soul was suddenly trembling, realized that she herself was also shaking, kissing the scar on his chest one last time before she pulled back, breath coming in pants.

Soul was breathing deeply as well as he watched her, saw when those emerald eyes of hers opened, saw her swollen lips, the small drop of red on them. Damn, he'd bit her too hard. His hand was on her face again as he tried to calm his racing heart and ragged breathing, wishing more than anything he could just kiss her again until she disappeared.

Instead of kissing her with the force he wanted to, he leaned down and gently planted a small kiss to her mouth, taking just a second to lick the blood away. Eyes slipping shut as she let him, she sighed, smiling, and then she was watching him again with that luminous intensity, face flushed and eyes bright.

He found himself looking away, glancing off to the side as he asked, trying to sound at least somewhat nonchalant and failing due to the hoarseness of his voice, "Are you alright?"

In answer, Maka gently placed a peck to his cheek, smiling against his face, and he felt himself smile in response because that was all the answer he needed.

"You?" she asked.

"You have to ask?"

Maka grinned, almost embarrassed, her face glowing with a blush as her hand moved upward, palm outstretched. Soul lifted his own hand, sliding it up hers until the bottom of their palms were touching, his longer fingers against hers, and then he was wrapping his through hers until they were holding hands.

"I'm always going to be stubborn," she said suddenly after a moment, breaking the quiet, her expression slightly nervous and unsure. "You'll always have to put up with me."

"I already do, stupid," Soul said, grinning at her in a way that was clearly taunting, but also very gentle assuring.

She puffed her cheeks out in a slight pout, but her eyes had lightened, losing their previous edge. "I'll whine."

"I know."

"I'll always be hitting you."

"Trust me, I know." Soul put a hand on her head, ruffling her hair lightly. "And I usually deserve every chop."

"Don't be ridiculous; you deserve them all."

He growled, his other hand landing on her back, pulling at her to come closer. She did, until it was where she was almost touching him again. "Okay, so that may be true. Still, couldn't you lighten up a little bit?"

She gave him a mock glare, and he found himself grinning again, fixing his arms so that they rested on her shoulders, hands locked behind her head.

"I'm…"

"What?" he asked, cocking an eyebrow.

"You know…"

"No, I don't. Maka, what?"

"Um…flat…and all."

Oh. So that's what was worrying her. Maka was looking at the ground, bottom lip under her top, embarrassed. It was extremely cute, an Soul felt himself smile, not a grin, but a soft smile.

"Not really anymore." He moved his arms away, causing Maka to watch him curiously, and, unabashed in the slightest, he placed his hands to her breasts.

The Maka Chop never came, to his surprise, but her eyes grew wide and she turned red, with anger or embarrassment or both, he didn't know, but he figured the latter. She held her hands slightly over them, unable to force his hands away but trying to. "S-soul!" she stuttered out, squeaking.

"You're not really flat anymore. Actually," he said, staring forthrightly at her chest as he applied a gentle pressure to it, then smiling fondly as he looked up at her and gave a reassuring look, "You're pretty hot."

Maka's mouth was open in shock, yet it wasn't like earlier that day when he had said those horrible things to her. Now, this was an amazed surprise, one that held the traces of a smile and the brightness of green eyes. Closing her mouth, she gave a small giggle as she smiled, placing her hands over his, pushing on them slightly, and thankful for the fact she still had her bra on.

"Really?"

"Cool dudes don't lie, Maka. Most of the time, at least."

"Thank you."

"Why 'thank you'? You don't have to tell me that, you know. I know who you are, and I won't have anyone else as my partner, so don't sweat it."

This could be taken two ways: one being that Maka was the only person who could match his soul enough to be his Meister, thus being his partner; the other being in the way that made heat to pool in his stomach and caused his breath to be taken away and his heart to ache, a good kind of pain, the way of wanting and love and pureness. He meant both of these, because he wouldn't have anyone else as his Meister, wouldn't have anyone else by his side; he would only have the girl who had given him a second chance at life, who had saved his soul, and had made him fall in love with her.

Maka leaned into him, resting her forehead on his shoulder and sighing contently, her arms once again wrapping around his waist, fingers pressed against his back. Soul smiled.

"I'm always going to be harsh, you know that, right?" he asked.

"Of course I know."

"I won't tell you stuff, even if you annoy the crap out of me."

She grumbled slightly, knowing this was true and wishing he would tell her more, but knowing he couldn't because he didn't want to burden or worry her. "It's okay," she said, knowing she could get by this and try to understand it.

"I'll argue with you."

"That's good though, right?" Maka asked, looking up at him. "If we always got along, we wouldn't be like…this, would we?"

Soul looked at her, considering her words. Of course they would fight; there wasn't a friendship/relationship that didn't have its ups and downs and hard times. But then there were the good times, and they were so sweet and awesome that they ruled out the hardships so that Soul wouldn't trade what they had for anything.

And, he knew, neither would Maka.

So, wrapping his arms back around her and pulling her into a fierce hug, he smiled and said, "Yeah, that's good. Wouldn't have it any other way."


¡Bonus Note!

*Trina Sjambok is a person I created purely for this story, who came to me quite suddenly. Since her weapon form is a whip, I looked up names and got her last name from a South African whip, although it'd not the kind I envisioned her as; I saw her as this kick butt awesome electric whip!