Disclaimer: I do not own Soul Eater.
by. Poisoned Scarlett
The room which Soul claims to have been his once upon a time is easily about the size of their flat. She knows he is not lying because the curtains look heavy, a rich velvet burgundy, and they shade away the bright sunlight outside. She recognizes several items, such as the antique phonograph sitting on the chiseled, cherry wood, furniture and the grand piano, which appear in the Black Room as if replicas.
There are a number of differences, however, such as the tile floor. Here it is opal white while in the Black Room it is checkered red and black. There are portraits of men she's never heard of hung on the walls; in the Black Room, only images of her and Soul and their friends appear. Here, the room is cold and gives off a feeling of abandonment; the Black Room is always cozily warm, sometimes suffocating.
"I told you this was a bad idea." Soul darkly mutters. "But you just had to guilt trip me into coming. We could've been watching a movie at home right now but, no, instead I'm reliving being kicked outta' my house and mom is out to get you."
"That's not true, Soul! You told me you left on your own!" Maka accuses.
"Might as well been kicked out, with all the looks I was getting..."
Maka presses her lips together but doesn't comment on it. "And about your mother…she was just a little disappointed when she discovered I…I can't play an instrument." Maka winces, remembering how that conversation had gone down in flames. Marcella Evans' face had screwed up in horror. Romero Evans looked as if he had known this would happen all along; what with his stuck up nose and a smirk eerily similar to Soul's when he was up to no good.
"Disappointed? She looked like she wanted to rip your throat out when you said a treble clef looked like cursive." Soul snorts in laughter, busting into another fit when he remembered his mothers horror. The highlight of his day, definitely.
"How was I supposed to know she was quizzing me?" Maka defends, rather gloomy. "Who does that, anyway? Even my mama doesn't do that. She'd rather judge your character than your intelligence. She loves discussing the controversy of multiple intelligences, after all…" Maka leaves off at a dark mutter.
"Either way, we both fucked up." Soul presses several keys on the piano to emphasize his point. "Me in my music, you in your lack-of-music."
Maka frowns. "You've never messed up, Soul." She looks down at the mouth of the piano, the shiny black and white keys. "You're not bad at what you do. Compared to the others I've heard, you're the best." She says, speaking of the music club Soul had casually invited her to one day. Coincidentally, they had been holding a mock piano recital. Many had played, goofing up but laughing it off, yet when Soul had sat down to play Symphony 9, he'd done it without missing a single note.
"Try telling that to my dad." Soul sneers. "That'll make 'em laugh."
"Soul…" Maka takes his hand in hers, squeezing it. After a few seconds, he squeezes back. "If it means anything to you," she raises his hand up to her lips, smiling sadly because she knows how much he suffers from their rejection, "I will always think you're the best at what you do. Always."
His fingers twine with her own, bringing both their hands back down. She steps closer when he pulls her toward him, leading her not to his warm embrace but to the piano bench. He sits her down, sliding in beside her, and she watches as he gives the keys a good, long, look before turning back to her.
He doesn't look as sad anymore and that makes her smile widen the slightest bit.
"So, what'll you have?" He asks with a crooked grin.
"The usual." She replies, rather coy. His grin threatens to twitch into a smirk at the double-meaning. "The one you played the first time I met you."
"…Can't say if that's a good choice or not." Soul comments, cracking his fingers. "We'll see in a bit." And he plays and she listens, able to feel the vibrations of each note penetrate the air and pass through her as if she had fallen asleep upon Soul's chest to his low laughter. And when it stops, an idea comes to her mind.
"What, um…? I mean…" Maka purses her lips and ponders how to phrase her question. Her music vocabulary was severely lacking, she thinks sourly. That would need to be fixed.
"You mean…?" Soul prompts, somewhat nervous.
"I've heard this type of music before." Maka finally says. "But I don't know what it's called. Serial something…? I can't really remember what they called it."
"It's called the twelve tone technique." Soul answers quietly, running a finger across the rim of his old piano. He grimly muses just how long it has been since his family had the household maid clean up his study room since he left. "It's a method of musical composition that ensures all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are used just as much as any other."
"Serialism!" Maka shouts, memory jogged. "It's called Serialism, right?"
Soul smiles and nods and before he can reply, another voice cuts in:
"It's a terrible method of musical composition, akin to two cats clawing each other to death. Serialism should have never seen light in the first place. A disgrace to classical music, some say." Wes Evans shuts the door behind him, starting his way to them. "Or so my father often told him when he was younger. I, on the other hand, believe it's a creative way to manipulate different musical elements. And I had absolutely no problem with Soul trying his hand at it. After all, an organized chaos had always been his favorite type of disorder." He smiles easily and Maka's tense shoulders relax.
"It's a mess of notes, Wes." Soul drawls. "Inverted notes. It's like rearranging the letters in a sentence in every possible way except the one that makes sense." He flatly tells him, tapping two keys idly while his brother chuckles at his cynicism.
"I don't think so. You're treating each note as equally as the other, not one more important than its partner." Wes smiles, slyly. "You're quite indiscriminate, little brother."
"Shut up, Wes." Soul automatically says, out of habit. "Regardless of what you think about the twelve-tone technique, dad hates it. He thinks it's a waste of time and I should focus on more 'aesthetic' techniques." Soul scratches away grime on a key of his piano thoughtfully. "Whatever the hell that means."
"You know father is just looking after your well-being." Wes admonishes gently. Maka watches the brothers argue with wide, curious, eyes; wisely staying out of their conversation. It's not like she knows what the heck they're talking about, anyway. She got lost after Soul said 'chromatic scale'. "You could be touring with me right now if you just gave up on serialism."
"I don't want to." Soul sharply says. "I like it. I like the dysfunctional organization of it. It's contradictory, like everyone in this world is. It's…realistic." Soul falters when he catches Maka's smile. He quickly looks away, never having been the one to speak so passionately about something, and sighs in aggravation. He was being uncool right now. "Anyway, what the hell are you doing in here, Wes? I thought only I had a key to this room."
"The maids have a key." Wes holds out a key smugly. "And it isn't hard to get it if you work your charm right."
"Slut." Soul mumbles.
"Soul!" Maka hisses.
Wes merely laughs. "I'd tell you to get out more, but it seems to me you have all you need right beside you." He smiles kindly at Maka, who jumps at being addressed. Her cheeks darken at his loaded comment and she drops her eyes to her lap, fidgeting cutely.
"That's right – I'm not a slut like you." Soul sniggers when Wes scowls. "I'm a straight, honest, man."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"That you're about as straight as a circle—!" Soul howls in laughter when Wes flushes and Maka's mouth falls open in surprise. Wes rushes over to his brother, knocking his fist on his head furiously. Soul scrambles to escape his brothers wrath, still laughing.
"You said you'd never tell anyone, you little liar!"
"I haven't told anyone!" Soul shouts from across the room, smirking widely. "It was a stupid insult – not my fault you actually got offended by it! I wonder why…" Soul muses with a wicked grin as Wes glares.
Wes looks at Maka hesitantly, who is pressing her lips tightly together to refrain from giggling too much.
"What're you looking at her for? She doesn't count." Soul lazily waves off, strolling back to them with that glint in his eyes. "She's practically apart of me!" He winks at her and she rolls her eyes, flattered nonetheless. "So I kept my promise, see?"
"It was a mistake, just so you know." Wes tells Maka in a embarrassed mumble. "Took too many shots at a friends party."
"Don't worry," Maka mutters right back. "That probably would've happened to Soul if I hadn't been there."
"What? Not true!"
"Holding out on me, Soul?" Wes grins, eager for revenge.
"You know it's true – you and Black Star had this whole bromance this going on since you were thirteen!" Maka huffs, crossing her arms.
"Hey! Don't start that, too! Liz gives me enough hell with that." Soul groans, rubbing his temples. "We're friends – you don't see me calling you a dike just because you and Tsubaki practically shower together!"
"We do not shower together!" Maka defends herself fiercely. Wes and Soul both raise a brow when she looks away, pouting: "Not in the way you think we do."
"So…you do…right?" Soul asks, slowly. There's a mischievous glint in his eyes as he says this, a grin that curls a little too much and a hidden motive in his tone. She doesn't want to know just what thoughts ran amok in that head of his. They'd probably get him more Maka Chops than he can handle.
"Well, when we go to saunas or when we shower in the girls locker room at Shibusen..." Maka shifts uncomfortably, shaking off her partners heated look. "But that's because the showers are in a single line, so we have no privacy. We have to bathe in front of one another…"
"That's pretty convenient." Wes drawls, reading his little brothers thoughts exactly.
Maka glares warningly at Wes, who flashes one of his plastic smiles at her. The smile has little effect because Maka's eyes only narrow.
"No one asked for your opinion…" Soul mutters out of the corner of his mouth. Then adds, smugly: "…Slut."
"Oh, for crying out loud, stop calling me a slut—!"
There is a soft knock on the door and they turn, Soul calling out to enter after a few seconds. A maid peeks her head inside nervously, relaying: "Mrs. Evans would like you all downstairs for dinner!"
"Dinner already?" Wes cuts through the tension easily, ambling over to the maid. "My, how time flies." He smiles charmingly, the maid swallowing and nodding quickly; a steady blush spreading across her face. "Why don't you lead the way, Anna?"
"See? Told you he was a slut." Soul mutters to Maka, his lips brushing the rim of her ear. She startles away with a sharp intake of air, trying to play off her flush by stalking forward. Soul merely snickers to himself and follows close behind.
"Flirting doesn't make him a slut, Soul."
"You swear he hasn't hit that." Soul snorts, derisively.
Maka shoots him a look over her shoulder. "Another word out of you and I'll make sure you don't wake up again." She gives him a glimpse of a small pocketbook in warning.
Soul crosses his arms behind his head defiantly, catching up with his meister. He mocks zipping his lips up and throwing away the key, to which Maka replies by looking away with a sigh. That only gives her sight to Wes sweet talking the maid. She glares holes into her shoes instead. Honestly, both brothers were alike in the way they were perverts! If Soul hadn't proven his loyalty to her so many times before, she'd be wary of his faithfulness right about now…
"Ready to learn that the way you were eating was completely wrong this entire time?" Soul pipes, grinning when her face pales several shades. "Or do you wanna' ditch the lesson and go eat at this cool restaurant a couple of blocks from here?"
"But, Soul, your mother requested for us…" Maka trails off.
"She sent the maid, Maka, we can just pay her off." Soul smirks. "Done it before. That's how I got to go to all those concerts at night."
"Wouldn't your parents have let you go anyway?" Maka says, exasperated and more than a little desperate to convince him to eat with his parents. "They like concerts, right?"
"Oh, yeah, sure." Soul drawls. "But they hate Slipknot. You can guess why." He nods toward the holy cross that hangs on the wall. "So," he stops, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "Dinner with the 'rents or dinner with me. Which one will it be?"
"Well…" Maka hesitates. Wes notices and pauses, the maid following in suit. "I really think we should dine with your parents. I already ruined my first impression, I don't need them thinking I'm irresponsible, too."
Soul rolls his eyes. "Maka, you're not irresponsible. We all know that, and that's all that matters. Who cares if they don't think so? Not like you're gonna' be seeing them again, anyway." He grabs her hand, tugging her away from the dining room. "C'mon, I'll pay…"
"No, Soul, we're going." Maka decides, firmly.
Soul groans, knowing she'd already made up her mind. "Maka!" He whines, falling into her. She squeaks as he wraps his arms around her shoulders and mumbles into her ear: "Don't make me go in there – can't we just go for some burgers? I'm not in the mood for dead fish eggs…."
"Too bad. We're going and you're going to enjoy it."
There was a one percent chance this would work but he was running out of options: "I'll give you sex if we don't go." And Soul grins mockingly at the flush that goes from her hairline to the base of her neck. Wes chokes a laugh behind his hand, looking away when Maka fixes him with a deadly look.
"NO!" Maka growls, crushing his hand in her own.
"…Th-that's all I got." Soul winces when his knuckles crack in her hand. She has a very good grip, and that's just what he needs to remember the one thing Maka loves the most. "No, wait, I'll buy you books!" He grins weakly when he sees her decision waver. "Any book you want! I'll buy it!" He tries to tug his hand out but she is merciless.
"Just one?" Maka asks, loosening her grip on his hand.
"Well, how many do you want?" He asks, surreptitiously slipping his hand out of hers.
He snaps his head up, cradling his injured hand. "Six? No way! That's way too much!"
"Six or no deal."
Wes, by now, is watching with poorly concealed interest. The maid stands beside him, wide-eyed to see the young master of the household so animated. Wes watches as his little brother struggles to accept her terms before he shakes his head and says:
"What the hell—? You added another one!" He accuses, cringing when he moves his injured hand too much.
"We're running out of time, Soul." Maka impatiently says, tapping her foot.
"Six." Soul seethes, finally regaining function in his crushed hand. "I'll buy you six goddamn books if we don't go."
"Hmm…" Maka pretends to think, adding to Soul's irritation. "Okay!" She beams, far too smug for her own good. "We'll do it your way, then."
"There goes my guitar..." He mutters bitterly, raising a brow at his brothers amusement. "What're you lookin' at?"
"Nothing." Wes clears his throat. "So I take it you won't be dining with us?"
"No." Soul dully says. "We're eating out. Tell mom and dad that I took Maka out to tour the city and I left my cell in my room. We'll be back before nine."
"Will do." Wes pivots on his heel, walking down the hall without so much as missing a beat. "Try not to cause too much trouble, Soul, mother and father would be very displeased if they found out you two were out causing mischief."
"Don't worry, Wes, I'll be sure to keep him in line!" Maka promises cheerfully.
"What're we gonna' do? Burn the city down? I'm a scythe, not a flamethrower." Soul snorts but waves back, guiding Maka out of the house through the back entrance.
"We're buying the books first!"
"No, we're eating first." Soul silences her protests with a sharp look. "Do you wanna' not have enough money to pay the bill or not enough to buy you your books?"
Maka pouts but understands his logic. "Fine…But I'll be holding you up on this!" She warns.
"Of course you will." Soul sighs, draping an arm around her shoulders. "If you didn't, it wouldn't be as much fun." And he eases her ire by kissing her cheek, a technique he learned worked wonders when Maka was angry at him.
A/N: I think at one point, this story edges toward crack but I manage to fix it up a little so it's not completely OOC. But I just can't delete the 'I'll give you sex' line – it's a line I had to use somewhere so I could get it out of my system. And where better than here? XD