A/N: Hello everyone. Thank you for your continued support! And thank you for the kind reviews. Sorry I've left this for so long. Going to have quite a bit of flashback so be prepared!

Also please check out my other story Patty Cake c:

So without further ado….

Chapter Twelve

It was the morning after the group had made plans to leave for DC in three days' time. So far the morning had been fairly warm, being that it was the middle month of summer. Tsubaki had finished preparing breakfast and was now onto the task of packing Black Star's clothes.

Lucky for her she had next to nothing to pack. Maka and Liz had lent her a few articles of clothing that she currently wore. She was thankful at their generosity as she had no money herself to purchase items. And she did not want to impose on Black Star…

'Speaking of…' Tsubaki smiled to herself as she tugged on the jacket she also wore that he had lent her. He still had not asked for its return, she was secretly hoping he wouldn't. Black Star's masculine scent still lingered on the jacket; it made her feel at ease. She snapped out of her musings when Black Star walked into the room. He gave her a friendly nod as he sat on the bed not too far from her.

"Just a few days until we leave. Yahoo! Are you ready to go back to Death City?" Black Star grinned as he grabbed the bag Tsubaki was packing and stuffed a few more articles of clothing in it before he zipped it up. She nodded towards him.

"As ready as I'll ever be I guess. I just hope we get to find some of our friends." She said with a small smile as she too sat down on the bed, her hands folded neatly in her lap.

"The godly me will find them, don't you worry about that." He assured as he leaned down on the mattress, his legs hung over the edge as he relaxed.

"So Tsubaki, random question but who was your meister before me?" Black Star asked. His cobalt green eyes sparked in curiosity as they met Tsubaki's indigo orbs. Black Star was intrigued on who he had to measure up to.

"A samurai named Mifune. He was a very strong and dutiful person. One of, if not the best swordsman that Death City had to offer."

"Sounds like a good guy." Black Star stated, though he tried to hide the feeling of jealously that reared its ugly head. He glanced away from her so she didn't see his expression. Had they been in a romantic relationship? He quickly tried to rid himself of that thought.

"Yes, many weapons wanted him to be their meister." "Especially my brother…" Tsubaki trailed off then became silent. He looked back towards her and was shocked to see her normally gentle caring features take on such a heartbroken form. She looked to be on the verge of tears. He sat up straight and put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"What happened?" He asked gently.

"Well…" She began.


Tsubaki watched Mifune's retreating figure as he left the Nakatsukasa household with shock and awe. She was pleasantly surprised that Mifune had chosen her to be his new weapon out of all the candidates that wanted his partnership. Becoming Mifune's weapon was a huge honour and she silently vowed she would do her best to live up to the renowned status. Her father and mother were extremely thrilled and had left the main room to prepare a celebratory dinner. The moment they left the room however, her brother, Masamune, stood in front of her with a venomous gaze. Her brief moment of happiness destroyed.

"How could he possibly choose you over me? You are weak and pathetic! But you always seem to get everything handed to you, don't you? You inherited the family lineage to change into multiple weapons that was rightfully endowed to me! All I got was the uncanny sword form!" He seethed.

Tsubaki remained silent, her eyes downturned to the floor. She knew how upset and angry he was and knew trying to reason with him would only anger him further. He brought up their weapon lineage often throughout the years, his jealously knew no bounds. Since he was the eldest he rightfully should have obtained their lineage but for an unknown reason she acquired it instead. Her indigo eyes flickered up to his again; a sad expression marred her features. His glare worsened.

"Don't you dare look down on me!" Masamune hissed as he clenched his fists. He hated when she looked at him like that, like he was inferior and she needed to pity him. He resisted the urge to hit her.

"I-I'm not." She cried. He gripped her forearms tightly as he began to shake her. Tears welled up in her eyes as she tried to struggle out of his firm grasp.

"Enough with your lies. I am sick of you, this family and Death City. You are all worthless. I am leaving this place." Masamune snarled as he threw her to the ground.

"No! Wait Masamune!" Tsubaki cried out in alarm as she saw him dash out of the front entrance, disappearing into the street before she alerted their parents.

After Masamune left there were many search parties that went to look for him. Tsubaki also tried to look for him in DC but it was clear he had left the city without a trace. Many people speculated that he met an unfortunate end and was never to return.

That was until the night when the witches attacked.

Mifune and Tsubaki had been fighting for quite some time against the witches and kishin. They had been separated from the others and have had to fend for themselves as there were no more reinforcements. She was grateful that Mifune was her partner, he was extremely strong. If she had been with someone else the technician would not be able to withstand such an onslaught. Though from what she has witnessed today a lot of people have not been able to.

They had just finished killing a kishin when a voice cut through the air.

"Well if it isn't my little sister." A familiar voice cooed with malice. Mifune looked up to a nearby roof where the voice came from. Tsubaki's bewildered face reflected through the katana towards the sound. The male looked nothing like him except for the eyes, the rest of his body was covered in black markings. The person was possessed by none other than…

"Brother!?" Tsubaki gasped out the same time Mifune spoke.

"Masamune!? You traitor! You're with the witches!?"Mifune accused.

"It is fairly obvious that I am." Masamune stated as he crossed his arms.

Tsubaki stared at Masamune in horror, possessing a human was forbidden in their clan, as weapons that do so end up consuming the technician. She felt like throwing up at the thought of what he had done.

"You're walking a dangerous path Masamune." Mifune warned as he took up a defensive battle stance.

"Oh? You look down on me too Mifune? No matter. I have chosen my own path…" Masamune laughed darkly as he pointed his sword at Mifune. "...and it shall be covered in your blood!" He cackled again as he jumped off the roof towards them. Masamune lunged forward repeatedly as Mifune parried each blow.

"Brother stop this! Please come back to us!" Tsubaki pleaded. Her cries fell on deaf ears as Masamune kept attacking. Mifune grunted as he blocked another attack as he responded to Tsubaki.

"He won't listen to you Tsubaki. Look at what he's done, he possessed then consumed that person. You know the punishment for such an act." Mifune stated gravely.

"B-but…He's my brother..." Tsubaki tried to reason with him. She knew deep down there was no possible way she would harm her brother intentionally, even though he despised her she still loved him. "Can't we change him back!?" She pleaded, the desperation in her tone making her voice crack.

Mifune glanced down to her reflection; she looked distraught, tears streaking down her face. He couldn't bring himself to tell her the truth. His attention snapped back to Masamune with a glare as he placed Tsubaki on the ground then drew out a normal samurai sword from the weapon cache he also carried. Tsubaki transformed back to a human and looked at Mifune in question. He stood in front of her protectively and called out over his shoulder.

"You must flee to the laboratory. I'll use my other swords to defend. Do not look back, just keep running. Go!" Mifune ordered as he gave her a firm shove as Masamune tried to attack again. Tsubaki hesitated for only a second before she fled. Masamune gave a sideways look towards her retreating figure with a crazed grin.

"Ah little sister, where are you going?" Masamune cooed in a sickly sweet voice. He made to take a step in the direction she went but Mifune blocked his path.

"Don't take your eyes off me Masamune!" Mifune shouted as he swung his sword. The sound of metal against metal resounded loudly as it rang throughout the night, as well as screams.

Tsubaki kept running.

End Flashback

"T-that was the last time I saw Mifune or my brother." Tsubaki finished, her voice was raspy and he could tell she was fighting back tears. Black Star gave her a rough pat on the back before he sprung up and faced her with a determined grin.

"Don't worry Tsubaki. We'll find them! And when I find that brother of yours I'm going to knock some sense into him for worrying my godly weapon." Black Star promised. He curled one of his hands and punched it into the other for emphasis. Tsubaki gave him a small smile, touched he tried to cheer her up.

"Thanks Black Star."

"Liz, you cannot bring all that makeup, it's not essential for battle!" Kidd exclaimed as he noticed her bag crammed full of hair and skin products. Curious, he picked up a green bottle for further inspection before Liz snatched the bottle from him.

"It's essential for me!" Liz huffed at him but she did return most of the cosmetics back into her drawer. She levelled him with a frown before continuing. "And besides…" She pointed to his bag, not surprised at all to find he had packed it symmetrically. "Why do you need to pack so many ties? Hm?" Liz asked as she placed her hands on her hips.

"It's essential for me." Kidd mocked back, an amused glint in his golden eyes as he turned to inspect Patty's luggage. Though he quickly glanced back at Liz to make sure she did not try anything funny with his bag. He saw her hand was hovering dangerously over it like he predicted; she noticed his stare and stuck her tongue out at him as she returned to packing her bag.

"Eh? Mr Pickles can't fit!" Patty whined as she tried to fit her oversized giraffe plush into the bag. Liz watched as Kidd tried to reason with Patty as she threatened the toy by breaking its neck if it did not comply before bursting into childish laughter.

Liz found herself smiling at the display. It had been just over a year that the Thompson sisters lived with Kidd, she was happy to see her sister so carefree now. Patty might have looked jolly on the streets of Brooklyn but there was always a hint of crazed madness. Liz hoped she never saw that expression on her sister again.

'And to think that was all thanks to Kidd…'


"Curse that asymmetrical DWMA store." Kidd muttered to himself as he returned to Gallow's Mansion with the twin pistols. How dare the shopkeeper ban him from ever returning! If anything Kidd was doing him a favour trying to organize his store. It seemed no one appreciated symmetry as much as he did. Such a cruel world.

When he entered his home, Kidd surveyed his luxurious and symmetrical decor with awe as he felt calm again. His footsteps echoed against the tiled floor as he walked towards his study. The house was empty aside from him; his father was always at work and barely came home. Which was fine with him, his father had the tendency to not heed his symmetry obsession which irked Kidd greatly. It also did not help when his father pointed out the three white stripes that adorned his ink hair. His father might think it's 'cute' but that was Kidd's biggest insecurity.

After he arrived in his study he withdrew the guns from the shopping bag to inspect them thoroughly. He was surprised that they were so lightweight in his hands; he inspected the empty magazines and wondered what type of ammo they would have used. The surface of the pistols were silver and polished, not a spec of dirt marred them, so perfect. The only thing wrong was the gaudy scrolls plastered around the handles. He glared daggers at them.

"What is this asymmetrical garbage? Away with you, ugly scrolls." Kidd hissed as he started to remove the scrolls on one of the guns. He just removed the last scroll for the first gun when he felt a strange vibe emanating from it; he dropped both guns and took a cautious step back.

A pink glow lit up the gun and began to rattle against the ground before the light shot up. Kidd's whole body remained frozen in awe at the display as the light was forming into a human shape. It was kneeling down to pick up the other weapon before the pink light faded to reveal a tall, dirty blond haired woman. Before he had time to register any further details about her appearance she had tackled him against a wall with the other gun pressed firmly against his neck. His golden orbs stared up into her dark blue eyes in surprise.

"Well look who we have here, a prissy rich kid." The young woman stated with a sneer as she gave him a once over and noticed his expensive tailored suit. Now over his surprise, Kidd observed her calmly. The clothes were dirty and tattered. She wore low riding black jeans with a grey tank top, the jacket had faux fur lining at the top but she wore it halfway so it gathered near her elbows.

'What strange attire for a young lady.' Kidd thought to himself. 'But more importantly…'

"What on earth is going on?" Kidd asked aloud.

"Are you one of Medusa's lackeys?" She hissed, ignoring his question. While she still had him pinned to the wall with her body, her free hand started to remove the scrolls from the gun she held in her hand, all the while she still glared down at him in scrutiny. Kidd sighed as he tried to raise his arms in an apologetic manner before speaking.

"You must have me mistaken with someone else. I have no knowledge of someone named Medusa. And I am no one's lackey. I purchased you in a weapon specialty store. Now could you please move back? This isn't very comfortable." Kidd asked politely. Her grip loosened as she regarded him warily.

"You better not be lying." She warned before she stepped back completely, much to Kidd's relief as he brushed imaginary dirt off his suit.

She ripped off the last scroll from the gun in her hand before throwing it behind her. The gun began to glow pink before it too revealed a girl. She was shorter than the previous girl, her light blond hair barely reached her shoulders. She wore a similar outfit to the other girl sans the jacket. They both took a defensive stance in front of him. From the similar looks of them, he assumed that they were siblings.

"Ehehehe! Try anything funny and we're gonna beat ya up! Right Liz!?" The shorter girl giggled however her laugh held an edge to it. He noticed she had a drawl to her accent. Her eyes seemed wild as they darted around the room; she reminded him of a wild cat, one he had no intention of riling up.

As Kidd observed both of them side by side, it became glaringly obvious that something was wrong; Kidd frowned before he began to speak, a pointed a finger at them in accusation.

"You're not symmetrical anymore!? Go back to being weapons!" Kidd ordered. If they were twin guns they should have been twin and identical! Liz crossed her arms and glared at him.

"Are you freaking serious? We've been in our weapon modes for so long, like hell I want to go back to that so soon!" Liz remarked as she stretched. The short girl beside her nodded in agreement. Kidd was about to tell them just how serious he was until he thought about their situation, he raised his hands again in a non-threatening manner.

"Ah yes, my apologies. How about an introduction then? I am Death the Kidd but please, just call me Kidd." Kid supplied with a slight bow. He could tell by their expressions they found his name odd, but he was accustomed to that reaction. Liz gave him a wary glance before she finally decided to comply.

"I'm Liz and this is my little sister Patty." Liz stated as she jerked her thumb to herself then her sister.

"Hi!" Patty chirped with a wave. Kidd noticed she did not look as tense as she was moments ago much to his relief as he returned his attention back to Liz.

"Nice to meet you, now I'm quite curious about this whole situation, would you mind explaining this to me?" Kidd asked politely, he went to sit at his desk and motioned the sisters to sit down as well. They followed his prompt and sat down. Liz stared at him for a brief moment before she nodded at him, and made herself comfortable against the leather chair before she began to speak.

"Alright, as you've noticed Patty and I are humans but also weapons…"

After Liz's explanation Kidd was undeniably intrigued about not only the sisters, but DC and everything related to the topic. He absorbed all the information Liz had provided with great gusto but could not help wanting to know more. Such a place existed yet how was it kept secret for so long? Was it destroyed? He asked her for further details however she admitted that she and her sister were not the most knowledgeable people to explain everything so he planned to do thorough research about it later. That is, if he could find such documents.

Being the gentleman that he was, Kidd offered Liz and Patty a shared guest bedroom to stay in and promised them he would help supply whatever they needed. Liz asked for clothes while Patty asked for more food as she had quite the healthy appetite. He went over the house rules to make sure they did not mess with his symmetry and nearly freaked out when Patty kept poking an expensive vase. It seemed she found everything amusing.

The day after he took them shopping for new attire, as he could not stand to see such dishevelled clothes any longer. The sisters had bought matching outfits like he asked, though they were not exact replicas of each other to his disdain. Liz told him this was the best they could do and he would just have to accept it for now.

It was well into the fourth day since Liz and Patty had stayed in his home and Kidd began to grow fond of the sisters' company. Liz had still been wary of him until he bought her the makeup that she requested; it surprised him that past the tough bravado act she had at the beginning, Liz was quite girly. Kidd also offered Patty a tube of lipstick and watched in amusement when she twisted it as far as it could go, and then proceeded to use it as a crayon. Red lipstick smeared against the page of her new coloring book while she hummed happily.

Kidd was in the process of serving tea when Liz bolted off her chair with a panicked yet angry expression. Patty stopped her drawing as she stared intently at her sister. He was about to ask what was wrong before Liz spoke her concern.

"A kishin is coming! Patty transform!" She hissed as she gestured towards her sister. Patty chirped an 'okay' as pink light engulfed her, transforming her into a weapon once more. Liz held onto the pistol tightly, surveying their surroundings, trying to trace any sound of movement. Kidd followed suit.

There was no denying that Kidd could hear something scurrying outside. It sounded like metal scraping against the manor's walls, and it was approaching them quite rapidly. Moments later he saw what he thought was a whip crack towards the window, shattering the glass into pieces as a black creature jumped inside. In Kidd's opinion it looked like an oversized lizard, but with demonic features and red eyes.

"So that's a kishin." Kidd wondered aloud as he narrowed his eyes towards the creature. He was surprised with himself that yes, there was a monster in his home that will attack them, but he did not fear it in the way a normal person would react. In fact he was more than ready to help fight as he took up a fighting stance. Liz held up a hand in front of him, her expression deadly serious.

"Get back Kidd." Liz warned as she quickly dodged away from its claws and proceeded to shoot at it. Patty called out from the pistol in warning of the next attack which Liz heeded and shot it in the arm.

"Don't worry about me Liz, I know how to fight." Kidd replied as he tried to avoid the kishin's quick attacks. Just like a normal lizard it kept moving, its lithe form making it difficult for Kidd to land a hit on it. That did not deter him however.

"Patty! Your turn!" Liz called as she jumped in the air and within moments had reverted back into a pistol, Patty caught her with ease, now in her human form. She spun the pistol briefly in her hand before she aimed.

"Die damn you!" Patty yelled, her eyes bore hints of madness while she shot at the kishin with a feral grin. Unlike her sister Kidd noticed her aim and shooting were more wild and sporadic. Several moments later Liz ordered them to switch roles again.

Liz and Patty had an interesting way of fighting, as they tried to manoeuvre around the kishin it appeared like they were playing a game of extreme hot potato, but with guns, as they dodged, transformed and fired at the kishin. It was a well-rehearsed technique. Kidd watched them in his peripheral vision while he aimed kicks and punches to the kishin's head, much to its annoyance. Although Kidd had been trained in various martial arts it seemed his attacks were futile. The kishin snarled.

"Patty look out!" Liz yelled from the pistol.

"Eh?!-" Patty said as she turned to see the kishin coming right towards her, its arm reared up ready to strike. She closed her eyes and braced for the attack, not looking forward to the pain. Before she could register anything further she was knocked onto the ground from her left. She quickly opened her eyes and was shocked to see Kidd was crouching over her. The kishin managed to whip its tail against Kidd's arm with a crack, tearing through his suit to slice his pale flesh, his golden eyes narrowed from the pain but he refused to show any other signs of discomfort.

"Kidd!?"Both Patty and Liz chorused in alarm. Kidd gave them a small smile and then a grunt when he pulled Patty up hastily on her feet. Liz didn't miss a beat as she transformed back to a human, she held out her hand towards her sister. They needed to kill this thing now before matters get worse.

"Patty transform!" Liz ordered, Patty transforming once more.

Liz caught Patty with ease as she jumped over the kishin's tail. Within another jump she made it to the kishin's face, with no time to waste she pressed the gun straight into its torso. She narrowed her eyes in disgust towards the snarling kishin.

"Go to hell." Liz hissed as she pulled the trigger. The pink bullet seemed to explode as soon as it entered the kishin then ripped it to shreds. The body vanished moments later, only to reveal a floating red ball, its soul. Kidd stared in wonder as Liz motioned for Patty to take the kishin egg; she complied and absorbed it into her body. Kidd was fascinated with the process. Patty gave a victory fist pump while her older sister approached Kidd with a look of concern.

"Hey Kidd are you okay?" Liz asked as she lifted his injured arm to examine the damage. It was still bleeding; staining his outfit, the skin around the wound was red and raw.

"It's merely a scrape." Kidd assured. Honestly he was more concerned that the kishin ruined his suit and was bordering on another OCD episode. Liz ignored this however as she dragged him towards the nearest bathroom to tend to the wound. Patty followed closely behind them shaking a fist at Kidd.

"Ya better not die Kiddo!" Patty threatened.

Kidd scoffed at her as Liz gestured for him to sit on the closed toilet as she opened the medicine cabinet and pulled out the supplies she needed then began to tend to his wound. He let out a low hiss of pain as he felt the antiseptic touched his wound, Liz glanced up at him briefly in concern before resuming her work.

"I must say," He waited for the pain to dull before speaking again, recalling the events that had transpired not so long ago, "You two make quite the formidable pair." Kidd finished. Liz smirked and flipped her hair back over her shoulder before she grabbed a bandage.

"Damn right we do. We're the Devils of Brooklyn! Although we're pretty awesome now, we would be way more powerful with a meister." Liz said casually as she finished securing the bandage. He nodded politely towards her in gratitude, it was nice having someone care for him. Sure they seemed tough and intimidating at their first meeting but he could tell that the Thompson sisters were more than what they first appear.

Kidd regarded them thoughtfully, recalling what Liz had explained to him about weapon-meister partnerships, before he spoke.

"Then may I be your meister?"

Both Liz and Patty's eyes brightened as they peered at Kidd curiously, as if trying to gauge if he was serious or not. He was very serious, this was like a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"Are you sure you want to? It will be dangerous. The kishin will probably keep trying to find us." Liz warned.

"I'm willing to accept the challenge." Kidd smiled.

"I guess we can give it a shot. What do you think Patty?" Liz asked.

"Kiddo's gonna be our buddy!" Patty squealed as she flung her hands up in the air in celebration.

"Then it is settled." Kidd stated.

"Yay!" Patty cheered. Kidd gave them a brief smile before his features turned serious. Liz raised an eyebrow at his sudden mood change as he began to speak.

"But there is still an issue….this room's symmetry, and my suit is ruined! I'm a failure!" Kidd wailed as he crouched down onto the floor in a defeated lump as he hit the tiles repeatedly with his uninjured hand. Just like a child throwing a tantrum. Liz rolled her eyes at the display as she crouched beside him.

"This better not be a habit of yours. C'mon, cheer up already!" Liz sighed exasperatedly as she half-heartedly rubbed his back to try and soothe him. Patty on the other hand kept laughing while pointing at him, she thought it was hysterical.

"Ehehe! Kiddo is so funny!"

End Flashback

"Found anything yet Soul?" Maka asked as she walked beside him in the clothing store. They had been at the mall for an hour, perusing different clothing stores. She discovered after the third store that Soul was quite meticulous with his choice of clothing; she assumed he wanted to find clothes that could match up to his 'coolness.'

Soul shook his head with a sigh in response as he placed another shirt he didn't want back on the rack. "Not yet, let's try the next store." He suggested.

The next store they entered seemed to mainly focus on street wear; upbeat techno fusion music was played over the speakers as they went on their clothes search. She nodded her head to the beat; she admitted to Soul she loved techno fusion as they browsed. Soul gave her a look of disbelief and amusement at her music tastes and joked she was musically challenged as he finally picked up a few pieces of clothing with interest.

"You're going to try on those?" She asked.

"Might as well go into battle looking cool. Wait here." Soul said with a smirk as he proceeded into the changing booth, she waited outside of it.

Maka snorted as she tried to hide a grin, such a typical response from Soul wanting to be cool. It was not long until he re-emerged from the booth donning the new attire. She eyed the new outfit appreciatively. She had to hand it to him, he had good taste.

"So how do I look? Pretty awesome right?" Soul said with utmost smugness as he leaned against the wall. He now wore dark brown pants with an orange t-shirt with a black leather jacket.

There was no denying that Soul had a rough, boyish charm about him. The outfit suited him perfectly as he gave her a slow turn for further inspection. She must have observed him for too long as she noticed his grin grew wide, he gave her an exaggerated wink. Maka mentally berated herself as she fought down her blush to no avail, she could tell by the mirror behind Soul showed her cheeks burning beet red. She mentally cursed when he noticed.

"Red is a nice color on you Maka." He stated with a shark-tooth smirk. Busted.

Maka glared at him with unspoken promises of Maka-chops, though sadly she had no books. Instead she crossed her arms and looked away, suddenly finding a nearby shelf of socks to be the most fascinating piece of clothing in existence before she spoke again, trying to change the subject.

"It's a nice outfit. All you need now is a motorbike and you'd be set for cruising." Maka stated, though she still averted her gaze as he returned to the booth to change.

"Heh. Well I used to own one. My poor baby is probably rusting in DC somewhere. If we manage to find it you can go for a ride with me." Soul offered over the sound of rustling fabric.

Maka glared at the booth in disdain, obviously against the idea. "No way am I getting on a motorbike, they're a death trap."

"Considering we're about to head into a place that will probably have kishin and witches lurking about, riding a motorcycle is safe in comparison." He said as he returned out of the booth, the clothes they were going to purchase for him tucked neatly in one of his arms.

"Smartass." Maka huffed.

Soul merely chuckled at her in response as he stuffed his free hand in his pants pocket. He was well accustomed to their name calling, it was amusing. Though calling her flat chested was off limits, he quickly learnt that the hard way as he received numerous Maka-chops.

"So what about you? Are you going to buy anything?" He asked, noticing her hands were empty of any articles of clothing. She shrugged.

"I doubt I would need anything." Maka stated simply. Soul paused mid-step to give a critical stare of what she was wearing. As his eyes quickly swept over her body, she fought the urge to shy away. It felt like he was checking her out.

"You're going to fight in a tank top and shorts? This isn't a RPG game where the less you wear the more protection you have!" He stated matter-of-factly.

Maka crossed her arms. "Won't it be hot there though?"

"It can be during the day but the nights can get quite cold. Hmm…C'mere." Soul stated as he grasped her hand and led her towards the female jacket section. Maka noticed his hand was huge compared to hers; his skin rough from years of training and hard work. He didn't seem fazed holding her hand while he led her, she however was torn between being embarrassed and ecstatic but she didn't want him to let go. Her mind was buzzing. What do I do? Is he doing it absentmindedly? What was he thinking? Curse his aloofness!

His eyes quickly darted over the various jackets before his hand finally retrieved a black leather trench coat, he gestured for her to try it on. The style of jacket was not something she would normally wear but she decided to humour Soul and wear it. The leather was cool and smooth against her skin, it felt extremely comfortable. She made a small pivot on the spot and was amused when the bottom of the jacket flared out and spun with her.

Soul nodded in approval. "That looks pretty cool on you Maka." He grinned as they made their way to the cashier to pay.

On their walk home Soul commented that since they both have leather jackets, that instantly made them a cool and badass team. And as a token of gratitude for buying him clothes he offered to cook them dinner that night, since Maka had been the one to cook since he had shown up. Her expression was very skeptical to say the least, he rolled his eyes at her response. In the end she agreed, though she made him promise not to burn the house down.

"I am honestly surprised you know how to cook. I pegged you for a takeout guy." Maka commented as she was halfway through the chicken carbonara that Soul had prepared. They were eating dinner on the couch, both tired from walking around all day.

He scoffed at her comment. "You have such little faith in me." Soul huffed as he faked offense but his smirk was quick to return. She rolled her eyes and lightly nudged him in the ribs with her elbow; he ruffled up her hair in retaliation much to her disdain.

"Hey! I meant it as a compliment." She retorted as she took another bite.

"You can do better." He teased.

Maka inhaled calmly, voiding herself from any facial expression as she turned to face him. "Soul you are the greatest chef that ever existed." She deadpanned.

He laughed at her monotone bluntness. "That's more like it." They fell into companionable silence as they finished their meal and were now watching a show about myths.

"So did you tell your creepy dad where you're going?" Soul asked casually. Maka made a disgusted face at the mention of her father and shook her head.

"Nope, he'd lose it. Probably thinks I'd wind up dead or something." Maka finished with a chuckle. She glanced up at Soul and judging by his scowl, he did not appreciate the joke. Maka shrunk back further into the couch wanting to hide from his serious expression. To her dismay he moved closer, he reached over to lift her chin up, her emerald eyes were caught up in his ruby orbs. She willed herself not to blush at their close proximity but he was making it very hard. Soul took a breath, as if to try and calm himself before he spoke to her again.

"Don't joke about that. Maka, I know I've already warned you of the possible danger we're going to get into and I know you're still going to go but I want you to know… I will do my best to protect you. As your weapon, I will protect you with my life." He promised.

It was so strange for her to hear such serious words from Soul, not to mention the intense stare he had levelled her with.

"Okay, okay. I wasn't being serious." Maka soothed, trying to dissuade his serious expression, he noticed her change of tone and relaxed back into the couch though he still regarded her with concern.

"I am though. I failed not being able to protect my brother, but I'm sure as hell not gonna fail you Maka." He vowed, but there was an edge to his voice. Maka understood now why he took it so seriously. She wondered if he blamed himself over Wes.

Maka gently placed a hand on his shoulder with a soft smile. "I know you won't fail me Soul, I trust you." She said honestly. Soul looked surprised to hear that admission from her but he smiled warmly at her before he resumed watching TV. Unbeknownst to Soul, Maka also silently vowed to him with fierce determination.

'I will protect you too Soul.'

-x- TBC –x-

A/N: And that's the end of chapter 12! Hope you liked some back story (though I guess they were very long)! Thought you might like my version of their beginnings! And I wanted to make this chapter longer to make up for my absence. Feel free to review and leave your feedback/suggestions as it would be greatly appreciated! I really need to redo the previous chapters! I've gotten rusty!

See you in the next chapter!