Disclaimer: Soul Eater ain't mine. Nor are the lyrics to System of a Down's Peephole.
When your stars are baked
And your rivers fly
Do you ever believe you were stuck in the Sky?
Maka Albarn's new roommate was a big hit. Among the general population, female and male strangers alike, he seemed to have received a perfect score in terms of appearance, always winning many stares of admiration or curiosity due to his aloof nature and striking physical features. Even her friends and colleagues congratulated her for having such good luck at the draw, like being handed a rare royal flush in the gamble that was called 'rooms/shared' on deathlists. com.
It all started when her previous roommate suddenly packed her bags, informing Maka with a sly wink that she found a 'new master', and ran off in the dead of night like a stray cat hitting the road for a new adventure. The poor student was therefore left in a precarious situation, since there was no way she could afford the whole apartment's rent with her meager part-time wage that she was already compromising with her studies. Left without much choice, she took a chance and posted a listing on the aforementioned website, utterly wary of the potential creepers lurking around, but completely desperate to find someone to fill her vacant room.
In the end, only one person had responded to her ad, and by Death was she lucky to find this Soul Evans. Her friends loved him.
Liz and Kilik would never shut up about how they wanted to hang out with him more often, to discuss music because apparently he was some genius that knew everything about it. Tsubaki would also throw in comments about her roommate, subtly implying how nice and patient he sounded, and how he was certainly a good addition to Maka's household. Kidd disapproved of his looks but he greatly appreciated his wit: although he could be sarcastic and crude at times, Soul was no doubt refined with a good sense of judgement. Kim, upon hearing the surname of her roommate, had seconded the thought by mentioning that he came from an affluent family and Maka should really 'get on it', whatever it was supposed to mean. Even her obnoxious childhood friend BlackStar seemed to have become very chummy with Soul, apparently getting along with his adventurous 'fuck-all' attitude.
While she did agree with some of those attributes, she liked him for other reasons. It was the little things, like how he would always make sure that the kettle was boiled a few minutes before she got home because she never enjoyed blistering hot tea. She also loved how he could sense her stress even when she didn't realise it herself, and he would calm her down by merely whistling a tune that sounded like a symphony to her ears. The list of little things could go on, but what she loved most about Soul was his loyalty. Maka was a very demanding person and sometimes even unreasonable, but he never left her side no matter how frustrating she could be.
That was however only one side of the spectrum, and there were certainly things that she did not appreciate about her roommate. As she pushed open the door of her apartment, she realised that she could push aside his character flaws like his extreme laziness and lack of ambition. She could even forgive his minor bad habits like drinking straight out of a carton or forgetting to take off his shoes at the entrance.
She would embrace all those faults because they could not compare to the magnitude of her distaste towards the one thing that she could not tolerate, something that he was currently doing, and as she stormed to his bedroom door, not bothering to take her shoes off, the blood in her veins reached such dangerous temperatures that it could melt the metal of a scythe.
"SOUL!" she yelled, pummelling her fists repeatedly on the door. "IT FUCKIN' REEKS!"
She heard his music turn down, footsteps lazily making their way towards her. He creaked it open to face that boiling kettle of anger, thus realising that he didn't prepare her tea.
"'Sup Maka. You're home early," he drawled in a sleepy tone, eyes droopy and bloodshot red.
She narrowed her sight to a deathly glare, shoved him aside and headed straight to his window, snapping open the latches and pulling up the pane, to finally air out the room that had become a hotbox. She then locked on to the source of her rage, putting out the light against the ashtray that contained the remnants of his consumption, and proceeded to rummage through the drawers where she suspected he stored everything.
Soul simply sat there on his bed, rather clueless of the situation, completely letting her raid his bedroom without a care in the world. Her agitation actually appeared hilarious to him, so he indulged in some mirthful laughter which only caused her anger to rise, her pace quickening as she grabbed every last speck of that blasted drug.
"This is the last time Soul," she said in a choked voice, eyes brimming with tears from this upsetting ordeal. "It's just not right. It's not fuckin' legal and it's not good for your health."
Maka wasn't bothered when others smoked up, but it particularly griped her when Soul engaged in this activity. She had once thought that she was only looking after the apartment's cleanliness, but she couldn't lie that she was actually worried about his welfare, and she hated the sight of his stoned behaviour.
"What's wrong, Maka? You're crying," he managed to notice despite being baked beyond belief. He went over to pull her into a comforting hug, but she deflected him with a shoulder shove.
"Go to sleep. I'll talk to you when you're actually aware of your surroundings." She scurried away with his stash, stifling a sob that she could barely control.
He stood there confused, but eventually went back to his bed and did as he was told.
He woke up the next morning still confused. He forgot just how much he had smoked last night, but he certainly remembered that the quality was shit since he could never afford anything better, and he was now paying back with the after-effects. He operated his body on auto-pilot, somehow managing to drag himself to the bathroom and miraculously getting the shower to run. The water washed away the grime on his skin, but it also cleansed the mind, refreshing his memory with snippets of the previous night's events. His surroundings started to make more sense.
He walked out of the bathroom feeling a lot more normal, and was immediately confronted with a pair of worried green eyes.
"How are you feeling?" she asked apprehensively.
"Not the best, I gotta admit." He headed to the fridge to grab something to drink, while she stood in the same place like a statue.
"Are you conscious?"
"Somewhat." He pulled out the orange juice, ready to drink it straight from the carton but then realised that Maka was in the vicinity, so he reached into the cupboard for a glass. "I'm a bit drowsy, but my brain's working just fine."
"We have to talk," she curtly announced, walking towards the couch and taking a seat.
He followed suit, sitting on the couch across from her and placing his cup on the coffee table that separated them. It felt like an interrogation session, and he waited for her to continue, but she simply sighed.
"Maka, what's wrong?" He couldn't understand why she looked so grieved, like she was about to announce the death of a close one, or break the news that she was terminally ill.
A pause of silence built up the suspense of her words.
"If you ever smoke up in this household again, I will kick you out," she finally revealed.
He could tell that she was serious, and her eyes freaked him out. She was staring at him with a mixture of emotions that he could not quite pinpoint, but he knew that extreme disappointment was definitely in the jumble.
"I promise." He really did mean it because he never wanted to be on the receiving end of that look ever again.
"Good." She hoisted herself up, and headed straight for her backpack that was lying by the coat-rack. "Well, I'm headed to the library, so see ya tonight."
Before he could utter a goodbye, she had already clicked the door shut.
The incident had been long forgotten as time had passed with the cycle of seasons, rotating a variety of emotions in their lives, and pausing occasionally with meaningful moments. They laughed together over trivial matters, she cried when school was too much to bear, he moped when his compositions didn't flow, she comforted him with her radiant smile, he calmed her with a beloved whistle, they shared each others pains and pleasures.
Despite being at great ease with her roommate, there were times that were tough. It was the little things. Like right now, they were on the bus, returning home after a trip to the big market where they had done a hefty amount of grocery shopping. Maka managed to find a seat, but the bus was rather packed, so Soul had to stand.
It was rare to see him without his signature hoodie or jacket, but in this Nevada heat, he would be crazy to wear either. A light t-shirt therefore hung loosely over his frame, exposing his arms that were normally hidden beneath thick folds of jersey or leather. One hand lazily held the handles of multiple grocery bags that rested on the floor, while the other was firmly gripped onto the bar, helping him keep his balance on this rocky ride. His forearm flexed at each bumpy turn of the vehicle, and Maka's mind raced with imagery of other likely situations where such a flexion was required.
She wondered how it would feel to be grabbed by that clenching fist. Her wrists were nearly as thin as that metal pole and she wondered how it felt to have those long fingers wrapped so tightly around them. But she could also settle for just touching. To graze those slightly embossed veins like tracing the roots that lead to his heart. Or to brush with the tip of her fingers those fine hairs coloured like dry barley growing on his masculine skin. She wondered how that field felt in comparison to her silk smoothness.
But that flexed forearm.
Grooves and veins accentuated by the glistening subtle sheen of sweat, it really was the epitome of her arousal. She could almost see it, hovered and gripping onto the frame of her headboard, tensing as each rhythmic thrust of his—
"Maka, it's our stop."
It wasn't easy for Soul either. She could be very impressive, and it scared him to think of how unique she was. What kind of girl would be able to haul such a heavy load of groceries, stubbornly insisting that she should carry the litres of milk and the watermelon, while he was left with the eggs and bread? He let her have her way, like always.
Yet he really wondered how such a petite frame could contain so much strength. He watched her collarbone lightly jut out from the tension of her arm muscles, her slender neck also appearing as firm and defined. Some men liked their women frail, but Soul preferred them lithe and toned. His mind wandered to the endless possibilities of positions that this small yet robust body could perform. That neck was probably strong enough to hold a headstand, and he could almost hear her voice, breathless from the intense physical endurance of this unconventional pose, pleading his name as he pounded another powerful strike against her slick—
"Ah, finally! Some cool air," she announced with relief.
They had arrived at their air-conditioned abode. Since when was the walk from the bus stop to their apartment that short?
Maka immediately ran to the kitchen, her skirt bouncing lightly against her hips, unaware of her roommate's discrete leer. She quickly unloaded their bags, fussing that the frozen goods must be put away first, in fear of them getting thawed and spoiled.
It really was the little things. Like how her cheeks would puff up into frustration when he was about to place the peanut butter jar where the pasta apparently resided. He knew that the bananas didn't go in the fridge, but he attempted to store them there on purpose, just to push the teasing further. Others may have found her strict rules unbearable, but he was always amused by her flustered look when he tried to break them. He wondered how her flushed face in another situation would make him feel.
"Soul, you're so useless!" She quickly grabbed the pack of yogurt that he was about to place in the pantry. "Just get out of my way, and let me do the rest."
He really loved it when it was her turn to cook. Not so much because he was lazy—he was actually quite the decent cook himself—but more because it gave him the excuse to take whiffs of her delicious scent. She would be minding her own business, in deep concentration on whether her recipe needed more salt, when he would peer over her shoulder to presumably intake the wafts of her bubbling concoction. His nose would push forward some of the strands of her ash blonde hair, nearly tickling her ear from the proximity, while she held her breath at the thought of him so close.
"Smells good." His deep voice rumbled, sending her a shiver of anticipation. She had no idea that he was actually referring to her shampoo.
After they were fed, their tension would die down, and the evening brought immeasurable peace. He didn't bother to question why she was reading in the living room when it was quieter in her bedroom where the television's noise would be muffled. Nor did he ask why she took the seat next to him, crowding this already narrow couch that was clearly not designed for two people to sit with their legs up, therefore causing their limbs to join at various angles. Neither felt awkward by the intimate distance, and they simply enjoyed each other's company.
It was moments like these that they would never trade for the fulfillment of their sexual desires. Crossing that boundary could collapse the whole, and Soul didn't want to take the risk, more for her sake than for his, since Maka was at a crucial time in her education and he didn't want to burden her with further complications. He was content with their arrangement, so he locked away the little red demon that tried to persuade him otherwise.
And apparently, he was so good at hiding his emotions because Maka never suspected him of looking at her in ways other than platonic friendship. To her, the tension was all in her head, and she could not fathom the thought of him actually reciprocating her feelings. She knew that one day he would find a girl that he would fall for, and he would pack his bags just like her former roommate had done, but for the time being, she revelled in the feeling of his rough toes brushing against her smooth calf.
It really was difficult keeping a red demon in its jail cell. It usually managed to escape when Soul was stressed or frustrated, particularly when his inspiration hit an all-time low and his music composition halted in consequence. He craved for an escape, a moment to numb his mind, since the last thing he wanted to do was take it out on Maka.
She had noticed this change in his behaviour for the past few weeks, and she began to feel a little insecure. Indeed he was aloof by nature, but he had never been this distant to her.
It was only when she saw him head for the door with his leather jacket, at this very late hour of the evening, that she finally decided to speak up.
"Where are you going?" she asked, trying her best not to sound too nosy.
"Oh," he hesitated. "I have a date with…Mary Jane."
Her haunting premonition had come true, and feelings that she never thought she would experience had imploded within her soul. She wanted to press him with questions, maybe even kick him hard in the balls so that he would be incapacitated, but she compromised her own desires for the sake of his health. Perhaps this date was what he really needed.
"Right, have fun," she managed to say without a hint of emotion.
He left with a guilty look, seemingly not too proud of what he was going to do.
She hated this Mary Jane.
Mary Jane had a body that could turn any homosexual man straight, and a sex appeal so intense that it would even turn every woman queer. She was not only beautiful, but she was kind and righteous. She was the sole heir of a multi-billionaire estate, but she never flaunted her affluence, instead devoting all her efforts to every charity fund that she could think of, and of course she thought of a lot because she was so smart that she could remember every of detail of every strangers that crossed her path. Her eyes reflected the brilliance of the whole colour spectrum. Her hair swished even when there was no wind. She was humble, patient, a saint, a goddess…
Or rather, that's how Maka pictured her to be.
She actually never met this Mary Jane, and she was glad because she wouldn't be able to insure her dignity if the encounter ever took place. Soul never spoke about his dates, and Maka never prodded him about it, so she hardly knew anything about this vile woman. There was however one fact: Mary Jane was probably some slut that was so good in bed because Soul would always act more refreshed the following morning.
After the initial shock, she grew accustomed to the idea of him dating because it was a very natural thing for a guy his age to do, and he was certainly not planning on moving out any time soon. But a year had now passed, and Maka realised that it could no longer be considered dating; it had to be a relationship and that thought did not sit well with her. Soul had lived with Maka for four years, yet he was dating Mary Jane for one. Who would he choose in the end?
But she also wondered how Mary Jane felt. He didn't seem like a loving boyfriend since she never saw him calling her or ever talking about her, so maybe their relationship was strictly physical. She actually hated that thought as well. It didn't seem like they got together very often, maybe once or twice a week, usually when he was very stressed, generally when a deadline for his music was fast approaching.
"Well, I'm off."
"Hey, why don't you ever bring Mary Jane to our apartment?" she 'casually' slipped in.
"I have," he surprisingly responded, causing her eyes to widen. "And you were flaming pissed, so I don't anymore."
That's weird, she would have remembered if she met that cursed bitch. She racked her brain and couldn't find the memory, but then again, she couldn't remember all the times she had unleashed her anger on Soul. It really could have been possible, especially when she was groggy from those long hours of studying.
Despite Soul's so-called girlfriend and supposed physical relationship, his sexual urges were far from being fulfilled, and Maka was currently bulldozing a hole in the red demon's jail cell.
"Maka, can you please put on some pants?" Heck, even her indecent skirt would be welcomed because even though her underwear was boring ol' white cotton, her firm ass looked great no matter what she wore.
"Not yet. I haven't moisturized." She opened the fridge door and peered inside. "I'm just really thirsty, so I'm getting something to drink before putting on my lotion."
She had taken a habit of acting more liberal, ever since Soul became a 'taken' man. Her ex-roommate had definitely influenced her, and while she had first been reluctant to the idea of walking around the apartment half-naked, she quickly warmed up to the act because it did feel very comfortable and natural. When Soul came along, she however reverted back to her former conservative attitude, but now that he had a girlfriend, there was no way that he would be fazed by her 'unappealing' body, so she took the liberty of getting comfortable again. And there she was, clad only in her panties and tanktop with a towel draped over her shoulders, apparently just coming out of the shower.
He was getting frustrated. Was she really that dense? Did she just consider him as one-of-the-girls? He kept his cool, but another area was certainly feeling heat.
She sat on the couch, propping her leg onto the coffee table, in a manner that he would often do and always get scolded. She was holding a bottle of lotion in one hand, her drink in the other. Putting down the cup to free her hand, she unscrewed the cap and poured the thick liquid into her palm. She then began massaging her leg with the enticing creamy substance.
"What are you doing?" he managed to ask bluntly, forcing down a gulp of saliva that would have turned into a drool.
"I'm moisturizing," she answered as if he was an idiot.
This was ridiculous. She was ridiculous. Something had to be done because clearly, she was clueless to his male presence, and clearly, the red demon had successfully escaped thanks to those fine legs. His 'fuck-all' attitude was always kept at bay when it came to Maka, but he no longer gave a shit about the consequences because it would all be worth it in the end.
He approached the couch and boldly sat next to her, yanking the bottle of lotion and pouring a generous amount into his own palm. With his free hand, he grabbed her other leg into an upright position—he knew that she would be this flexible—and he began massaging it like she had demonstrated previously, making small circular motions, slowly gliding across her thigh and exploring every inch of her skin.
"Soul, what are you doing?" She tried to keep her composure, but he was currently still clutching onto her ankle with his long fingers securely wrapped around like a cuff that imprisoned her freedom.
"I'm moisturizing," he replied mockingly. "I'm just one of the girls, aren't I?"
He looked at her with a mischievous glint, and she knew that something was off. She would usually retort with something clever, or maybe even get angry and send a chop to his head, but she could do neither. She was at a loss to this man's literal grasp—oh gosh, that flexed forearm looked damn sexy!
"Do you need help with a pedicure too?" he asked sarcastically.
"Soul, what the hell are you trying to pull?" she managed to reply, despite all of the distractions, namely his hand rubbing her inner thigh.
"Maybe your leg?" He chuckled at his lame pun, tugging at her ankle which caused her to faintly squeak. "Naw, I'm just trying to be helpful, since I'm clearly just one of the girls."
His sarcasm was almost palpable, and she finally understood that he was provoking her, for reasons totally unknown and unjustified in her opinion. He was the idiot with the girlfriend, while she had done nothing wrong. She had no idea why he was beating around the bush, avoiding direct confrontation with whatever was bothering him.
"Soul, you're a man, but you're sure acting like a pussy right now," she sneered, trying to provoke him.
"A pussy? Well, all girls certainly have one by default." He chuckled to himself again, with those deep rumbles that drove Maka to her limit.
"Fuckin' hell, Soul! You don't make any sense. Just what exactly are you trying to say?" she shouted, attempting to kick herself out of his grasp, but he only held on tighter with his contracting arm muscles that distracted her yet again. Her other leg wormed around to smack his torso, but it only worsened her situation as he caught her limb just in time, and could now manoeuvre her however he pleased.
In one fluid motion, he pulled her forward and she was forced onto his lap, dangerously straddling his waist with a dumbfounded expression on her flushed face. His hands were no longer binding her, but she felt paralyzed and still in his grasp, despite being in the 'top' position and theoretically having all control. He leaned into her shoulder, and whispered into her ear.
"What I'm trying to say…" Warm lips tickled her lobe, sending her mind into a frenzied state. "Is that you think I'm one of the girls."
"I-I never s-s-said that!" she stammered. Maka never stammered. But he was so close and she panicked as the heat travelled down south, hitting her equatorial region. The monsoon would soon hit, and she saw no possibility of hiding her wet spell when she was only wearing thin white panties that were pressed against his lap.
"Actions speak louder than words, Maka." He was still teasingly grazing her ear.
It was then that she noticed it: a strange hard object inside Soul's pants was poking the crease of her buttocks. That was a sure odd place to put his cellphone, or maybe it was the ipod he always carried around. His pockets must be really deep if they could shuffle their way to his center area, right where his crotch…Wait, hang on. Oh. OH.
Actions indeed spoke louder than words. But reactions said more. They were currently screaming in her ears at a deafening volume, and no matter how dense or slow she was, there was no way that she could ignore what it was currently telling her.
She tilted her head so that his lips made direct contact with her earlobe. When he didn't move, she repeated the gesture, lowering her shoulder to further elongate her seductive neck, this time urging him to read in between the lines. Soul may not be the bookworm that she was, but he was certainly literate, and he quickly understood what she was trying to say.
His teeth sunk into a playful nibble on her lobe, then his tongue slowly travelled along her jaw line, up her chin, and paused at her lips. He looked at her imploringly, in need of more confirmation despite the red demon hollering at him to 'not give a shit' and to 'go for it'. When the lids of her eyes slowly closed, they both leaned in simultaneously, riding the same wavelength and knowing that their feelings were mutual.
Their sweet kiss did not last long, as it soon became heated, urgent, and sloppy. It was as if four years of teasing foreplay had come to an end, and they were finally moving onto the real action. Hands connected with every part of flesh that had once been prohibited, as they fondled and caressed one another with the built-up passion of all that lost time. She had always wanted this, he felt so right, but there was one thing that was terribly wrong.
"No Soul, we have to stop."
"Why?" he asked innocently. She looked at him for a second, to see if he really didn't understand, and when his eyes told her that he genuinely didn't know, indignation took over her spirit.
"You have a girlfriend!" she yelled out, jumping out of his lap. The mood was officially spoiled.
"What? Since when?" he yelled back, thoroughly puzzled by her statement.
"Ughh... since at least a year?" she reminded him, but he still looked like a deer in headlights. "Aren't you dating Mary Jane?"
It took a moment for him to process her words, but when it did, his confusion completely eased and he bursts into hysterical laughter. Now she was the one thrown into confusion, but she waited for him to explain himself.
"You're right," he finally said. "I'm gonna have to quit that, if I want to stay with you."
"Quit that? Girls aren't objects, you jerk!" She swung a punch but he caught her wrist, and pulled her back onto the couch, pinning her down so that she would hear him out.
"Maka, Mary Jane is code for Marijuana. Every time I had a date, I was just smoking a joint," he explained while she stared at him blankly, slightly relieved yet also appalled from the year's worth of jealousy she had endured for nothing. "But seriously, I'll quit weed for you. I know how much you hate it, and frankly, I'd rather be addicted to that firm ass of yours..."
A/N: So how many people caught on to the punchline before it was delivered? ^_^ Although some may disagree, Soul can strike me as a stoner—I mean, with his droopy red eyes, mellow-lazy attitude, lack of ambition, a musician, especially into jazz…
But alas, drugs are bad! And NOT cool. So do like Soul and get dependant on Maka's ass. :D
Btw, deathlists. com is of course a crack on craigslist. com. I'm not sure how common it is in your area, but it's a fairly popular site to advertise available rooms.
And for those expecting a lemon…if the impulse bites, I may write an omake/sequel, but for now, it's just a completed one-shot.