I've never been good with most girls. I disguise my unease behind a thick facade of scruff demeanor and false self-assurance. I don't normally know how to behave around people in general, and the female animal is particularly troublesome. But then, you know that already, don't you? That's part of the reason you chose me. And the other reason, I guess, is because instinctively, you knew we'd meld so well. Whether by soul detection or some other means, you were drawn to me for reasons neither of us can logically fathom.

It doesn't really compute. A goody-two-shoes bookworm paired with a rebel biker pissant who couldn't care less about the significance of weapon-meister mechanics? Sometimes I think even Black Star and Tsubaki are a more suitable match.

But not you. You see something in me. An invisible value that still eludes this weapon even though we've been together for what seems like a lifetime. How long has it been? Four, five years? I honestly can't remember.

Your pigtails and short skirt are still as cute as they ever were. Perhaps even more so now, since you've filled out so nicely. Time has been good to you.

But maybe that's not the case, when it comes to other things. You're definitely chief when it comes to the maturity and responsibility departments. How can such a small frame hold so much life and vitality? Then again, you were always stronger than me. Physically and mentally, you take the cake. But I still see that little girl occasionally, in those instances when you let down your guard, and melt into me with all the troubles and worries you carry on those fragile little shoulders.

Like the night your father died. You were so distraught. At the hands of Asura, he was like a paper tiger in a hurricane. A powerful Death Scythe brought down while protecting his daughter. I certainly never saw the blast coming, and probably couldn't block it if I'd tried. Using his body to shield both of us from harm was a move I never would have expected from my predecessor. Stein even stood there, mouth agape, when his most able partner was obliterated in an instant by the monster.

I couldn't hear anything over your screams. I don't recall the words "Daddy" ever escaping your lips before, let alone in the chain of redundant and desperate cries you bellowed as Stein and I struggled to pull you out of harm's way. I didn't know I had heart strings to pull. But that night you played every one of my emotions like a fine-tuned instrument. Who's the real musician here?

Stein ordered me to take you home. It wouldn't be the last battle against the demon, but you were in no state to continue fighting. He promised to get your father's body back to Shibusen at any cost. I couldn't argue with him.

I had to use strength I didn't know was in me to drag you away from the site. When you realized I wasn't backing down, you pulled a one-eighty and clung to me as if I were a lifeline. I don't think you'd ever gripped me so tightly before. Back at the apartment, my shirt and jacket were soaked through with your tears. But I couldn't change, because you wouldn't let go.

I didn't know how to comfort you. What words could I say, what actions could I take, that would bring you solace? Your soul was silently screaming at me in despair, and it was louder than anything I've ever experienced audibly. So I did the only thing that made sense. I simply held you. I couldn't say anything. I couldn't do anything. But your tiny arms and legs engulfing my entire body, and your tears soaking my scarred chest through a raggedy T-shirt, seemed the best alternative at the time. The salt of your tears burned once forgotten wounds, but I dealt with it because my meister needed me. I felt you would forsake your next breath if only I would hold you a moment longer there on our couch.

The big question racing through my mind as you cried: Where the fucking hell was your mother? Why wasn't she here with you, supporting you, offering words of consolation to ease the hurt? Instead, you were left alone in the world to deal with a great loss all by yourself, with a worthless weapon who couldn't even tell you what you needed to hear. You really did care about your father, didn't you? Probably more than she ever did.

Eventually, repetitious sobs of Spirit's name muffled by my shirt morphed into steady chants of mine. I admit, it startled me.


"I'm here, Maka."

"Don't-don't leave me! H-hold me! Please..."

"I am holding you, Maka."

Apparently not tightly enough, because our mitochondria nearly merged with how urgently you crushed yourself to me. Breathing became a secondary function, but I settled for inhaling your hair, because I wasn't going anywhere. Not until you were ready.

"Do...do you want to find her?" I asked the top of your head. "We...I could go and-"

"No!" Your entire form shook with the exclamation. "I don't care! I don't care! She wasn't here for Papa when...or for me! I...I don't need her! I don't..."


"It's true, isn't it!" You pulled away to give me the most pained look I'd ever seen. "She's never here! Papa knew it! But he...he always tried...to take care of me. Why didn't I...? Soul, I'll never get to tell him-!"


I didn't know what else to do. In your pain, I didn't know any other course to take. I couldn't make it go away. I'm not that strong, and I can't rewind the world. But I could be there for you. Give you that closeness you craved to help you deal with circumstances as they happen. I didn't mean to kiss you. But my mouth covering yours gave pause, silently confirming that yes, I was there. I wouldn't budge. And I couldn't stop myself, because I love you. You knew that, right?

Warm tears fell upon my cheeks, but they were not my own. Their salt gathered at the place where our lips were joined, but I ignored the taste and drew you closer. My arms engulfed your tiny form in a cage of what I hoped was warmth and strength to chase away the darkness. You don't deserve any bad things. You never did. Did you feel my intense feelings? The ones that always want to protect you? I hope so, because nothing's changed.

The words I said next still hold true.

"I'll stay as long as you want to cry. But don't you dare say one bad thing about yourself, because none of it's true. You have nothing to be ashamed of, Maka. Your father knew how you felt. Give the old man more credit than that. He was a Death Scythe. Make his sacrifice mean something. I will never leave you. I'll stay by your side as long as you need me. Then when you've had enough, you can-"


You initiated our next encounter. This kiss was warmer than the one before, and it shook me from my toes to the tips of my unruly hair. I kept my promise, and never let go. But you really are stronger than me. I never stood a chance.

You are my meister, my partner, and shortly following this encounter, you were my lover. I am your weapon against the demons, both physical and emotional. I want to provide you with all the strength you need to face life's challenges, whether by my blade in your hand or my shoulder for your head. As long as I'm breathing, you will never be alone. You'll kick kishin butt like you always have, and I'll be your means to victory.

You are Maka Albarn. Now a three-star meister. Wielder of an awesome Death Scythe of your making. And you are still the only girl who gets me.