Another Day
by Poisoned Scarlett

It isn't often she does it.

She usually glides through her evening without the need. But then there are days like these, when she's exhausted, frustrated, and irritated with the world, and he's nowhere to be found because he's on a mission with another meister; presumably Stein, from what he managed to relay to her this time through grumbles and sighs.

He won't be here until tomorrow, late morning.

She enters their apartment at night, nearly slamming the door behind her in her negligence. Her keys drop limply to the floor, along with her warm coat, her shoes one by one, and then finally her bookbag somewhere in the middle of the hall.

She's left a mess behind, something she'd mercilessly scold Soul for if he did, but she's too tired to go back and pick everything up.

She deserves a break every once in a while, right? Especially since she feels on the verge of a burn out from all the extra work she has done.

She pauses by her bedroom, her eyes flashing to his bedroom door. After a seconds thought, she decides he wouldn't mind if he doesn't know, and she drags herself into his room.

It's dark, hastily picked up as usual, giving the appearance of neatness although Maka would beg a differ. She has the tiny urge to fix his big, blue chest that's overflowing with junk before the glint of his headphones distracts her from further tiring herself out.

Maka grabs the giant headphones off his desk, taking the half-charged MP3 player along with her. She closes the door behind her before shuffling to her room and allowing herself to fall face-first into her bed. She's still changed, still in her itchy and stiff clothes, and she lazily touches a thigh-high sock before stripping it off her leg. She has accidentally slept with her socks on and she can personally say that it's not worth waking up a few hours later to forcibly take them off because they're bothering her.

After stripping the second one off, Maka grabs the big, black, headphones and slips them on with a content sigh. She's nearly lost herself to sleep when she manages to select shuffle on the MP3 and calm, soothing music begins to ease her frustrations. Maka only stole his MP3 during these hard days because listening to Trance when she was fed up with the world wasn't a good idea - especially if she felt like today, so exhausted and tired of everything.

Her classes, Kid's OCD spurts, Black Star's sly albeit quiet smart-ass comments, her rigorous Soul Perception training alongside the ever-bossy Asuza...

She falls asleep listening to a long, tranquil, piano piece. His MP3 is safely in her hand, her thumb positioned to skip to another track should a particularly loud song come on while she's still on the border of sleep. Her body has completely sunk into her bed, her feet hanging off the edge.

No more unwanted noise, no more irritation, no more long lectures, no more scolds, no more OCD spurts, no more jabbing comments or hateful and jealous stares, no more scratchy eyes, wide yawns, tired mumbles, long sighs because she just wants this day to end.

No more of anything.

At least for the night...

The door creaks and someone calls her name but she cannot hear him over the noise from the headphones.

It's until he carefully prods them from her ears that reality sets back in, and she hates it because she'd rather be lost in her own fictional world of distorted sounds and colorful imagery than the grim and often tiring world she trudges through daily - often times without her partner.

She's drowsily surprised, however, when it's Soul and that's when she realises that she slept through the entire night and it only felt like five hours.

"Idiot..." She hears him mutter before she feels fingers gently tug off her pigtails. She groans, because now she feels the discomfort from the skull design that's dug into her head, and he shushes her before taking off the next one.

Maka groans helplessly one last time, cracking one hazy green eye open. She bonelessly forces her head up to gaze into his startling red eyes, the eyes that smolderingly fix on her own. If she had been anywhere near wakefulness, she would have probably looked away with warm cheeks. But she's too drowsy to react and merely blinks her eyes lazily before letting her head loll back to the side.

She mumbles belatedly, "Welcome...b'ck, Soul.." and receives a silent laugh in reply. She vaguely wonders if she's drooling when she feels his fingers pry hers open to retrieve his MP3 player.

She's panicked for a split-second, allowing him to take back what's rightfully his, before he speaks and relieves all doubt: "Tori Amos? Not bad...wait, this is on shuffle." He snorts. "Guess your taste still sucks...This song's too fast-paced for you, too." He scrolls through his library and picks out a very calming song that makes her smile slightly. "Better?"

She hums back, already drifting off again.

"I'll wake you at 12 for lunch," he says, no doubt for the sake of being able to say he warned her before she brings out her textbooks of doom and thwacks him over the head with it for waking her so late.

"Mhm.." Maka shifts to her side and curls into a ball, the soft sounds lulling her from this world. "Lunch.."

She feels fingers caress her check softly but she convinces herself she's dreaming of his touch again.

It doesn't stop the smile from lifting her lips, though, as the bedroom door clicks to a close and she's immersed in the sounds of Soul's music again.