Keys Of Insanity - Chapter 8
Was it real? It was...sort of blinding, but warm. It might have been another twisted form of her reality. It shouldn't have surprised her this much, but for the first time in the longest, light had finally cut it's way through the darkness that taunted her existence. Migraines, one after another fought her the whole through while fighting the luminance in an attempt to see what was real with her two eyes.
She'd never admit it to herself, but Maka always found it interesting the shady places she found herself waking up in after letting go of her sanity for a night or two. Her head pounded as she cringed at just how bright it was. Did she fall asleep outside again? It never pained her as much as it did at this moment to open her eyes. What was so different about today? As was her life, she should have been used to it by now.
"Professor, come quick! I think...I think she's waking up!" Liz alerted.
L...Liz? Was that...no...it couldn't.
"Maka!? Maka! My baby girl! Wake up! Maka! Please wake up!" Spirit was always quick on his feet, even faster when his daughter was involved.
Papa? What's Papa doing here? There's no way they found me. Impossible! I hid my soul perfectly. I went under the radar! How did they find me? Where the hell am I anyways?
"Move over Spirit. Give her some room to breathe." Stein cleared the area around the bed. Not a sound could be heard as the moments passed in waiting while Marie checked Maka' pulse.
Professor too! Dammit Maka! Where the hell did you go this time? What the hell! This wasn't supposed to happen! We were separated by an Ocean! How did they track me down?
"Come on Maka. Please wake up." Soul squeezed her hand tighter, hoping his plea was getting through to her.
Soul!? Is...no...it's impossible... Maka told herself. She saw it with her own two eyes. This had to be the worst nightmare ever. This sort of situation was impossible. She knew that for certain. She would just have to wait it out until she woke up. That's the only realistic thing she could do.
"Maka!? Maka are you awake? Maka please answer your Papa!" Spirit screamed as she heard his loud footsteps pound against the floor until a shiver ran up her spine. The light tingling feeling on her right side lingered about for a moment before fading away. These demons were trying hard this time.
"P...pa...?" Maka knew well by now that she shouldn't interact with other beings in her dreams. More often than not she awoke to at least one bloody pool beneath her feet. Seeing as how this one was mimicking her Papa she would take no risks. She tightly sealed her lips and told herself that she had to ride this one out no matter how tempting it might become.
"Maka? Yes Maka it's me! It's your Papa! I'm right here! Just open your eyes please. Please Maka! All your friends are here waiting for you." Pleaded the Spirit doppelganger.
She felt cold, colder than usual. Not physically, though that was something she should solve. More so she could feel her heart begin to shatter while listening to her Papa begging for a response. It hurt more than she could describe not being able to respond. Dream, Nightmare, reality, whichever it might be, that was still her Papa out there.
There was little sensation her nerves chose to feel. Neither her legs nor her arms were responding. Sight. She was still torn. But the small bit of warmth over towards her right hand was comforting.
This one is stranger than usual. Most of the time it's lucid and I can freely control everything I do. But why can't I even feel my lower half? I can scarcely feel my fingers. But I can still feel them. I can't even curl my toes. It's like they're not even there.
Maka made one more attempt at moving her lower digits, but it was no use. It's like they were non-existent, like she was just an upper body.
I feel so weak. What's wrong with me in this one? I can barely feel anything at all. Why? I don't remember doing or seeing anything that would trigger this strange circumstance. So why? The last thing I remember was being in The Black Room with Soul. That was probably daydreaming though. That couldn't have been real.
Maka convinced herself of these things to be the truths of her reality. It was the only way she could keep herself kicking to hopefully one day to take a hold of her last dream.
Everything's starting to hurt again. I don't think I could open my eyes even if I wanted to at this point. It feels like my body's on fire. It's like I'm holding candles on my hands. But the one on my left is a bit hotter. It's like...Agh!
Once again the firestorm of migraines pillaged her thoughts from becoming whole. This nightmare was a different kind of frightening from the usual. This one was in a different category of sadistic. Most of the time Maka was the one delivering Death's Wish upon the innocents, not the other way around.
Maybe this was finally it. This was a sign of change. The life she'd known was about to change, whether it be good or bad, Maka knew it wouldn't be long before reality showed it's ugly face to her once more. She'd bet the clothes on her back, if there were any at the moment, that she wasn't going to like this change.
She knew that because whenever he conscious began to fade like it was now, good things never happened.
"Maka! Maka wake up! Wake up Maka! Please! Don't go..."
I'm sorry Soul. I'm so sorry. I'm really sorry.
"Hehehehe! Hahahahaha! EHAHAHAHAHA! This is just wonderful! Amazing! Spectacular! I never could have imagined this outcome! This is too perfect! Bravo! Bravo you two!" Cackled the demon while holding his arm steady. It reveled at the sight of spilt blood. This situation was like heaven to it.
No longer had it escaped from its cage was it having the time of its life making a mess of the one's who'd held it captive.
It was ready to turn the show into a full on circus as it put more pressure into its attack. The Black*Star look-a-like had begun to lose its solid form. The blade that struck past Soul's own and pierced his Meister's skin was beginning to lose its edge.
"S..so..." It hurt to open her mouth, let alone speak. This was a new kind of pain. Maka's eye shot down to her lower abdomen where the pain was at its peak.
Damn this hurts! How the hell did it even get through our defenses? I swear I lined Soul up where he was striking. How did it do that? Shit. It's still in. If I take it out I'll bleed out. But if I leave it in...
That was when Maka began to notice her body's inability to respond.
Shit! Just what the hell is going on here? I...I can't move my arms. My legs feel like jello and it...it fucking hurts!
"Maka! Shit! Shit shit shit! Maka! We have to get that thing out of you now!" Soul pleaded from his weapon form.
"Kukukuku. Oh this is just splendid! Whatever will you do now? Save the girl?"
Soul never thought he would see a grin like that again. The way he twisted and turned his head around and flashed his fangs could rival that of Medusa's.
And no longer was it holding onto their friend's bodies. If Soul had to say, it looked closer to one of those freak ass clowns born from the madness of Asura from way back when.
"Or are you going to die right here with her?!" Its voice became more hoarse as it made the transition to its purest form, Madness. It's back arched out while it's arms became elongated with sharp digits.
With the black blade still stuck in Maka, Soul had to act quickly. Without a second thought her transformed back into his human form and cut the handle from the demon and left the blade stuck in his meister. He knew if he took it out he'd lose her right there.
"Fuck you! I'll kill you right here and save her! You think you're going to stop us here? Right now? You don't have any fucking clue who you're messing with, do you?" Soul stared the monster down with arms spread out in front of Maka.
All the while Maka couldn't move a muscle while she watched her weapon go up against the beast on it's own. She couldn't even connect her wavelength with his as she was.
Shit. What the hell is wrong with me. I can't move even a muscle. This is ridiculous. What about my wavelength? This is black blood! I'm sure of it! So why isn't my Anti-Demon Wavelength doing anything about it? Shit!
"So..uh.." Was all she could get out before coughing up a mess of blood.
"Maka!" Soul turned his head around and was faced with one of his worst nightmares. But before he could do much about it he had to get away from the enemy. He barely dodged that last attack to his face and he wasn't faring much better with the body strikes. Soul was barely able to get a transformed limb in the way before the enemy thrust in another direction.
Shit. I have to end this quickly. Maka isn't looking too hot. I gotta get her out of here quickly. But I can't just let this thing run around like it is now. Shi-it. But...FUCK!
With one last powerful slash, Soul forced the demon away, taking off an arm in the process. Wasting no time, Sou sprinted to Maka's side and shook her furiously.
"Come on Maka! We have to go! We have to get you of here now!" But then he caught a glimpse of her eyes.
Soul? Is that you Soul? I can't hear you very well anymore. Are you not screaming like I see you are? Are my eyes playing tricks on me? Or are my eyes the ones that aren't working?
"Maka! Can you hear me in there? Hello! Earth to Maka!" Soul screamed once more.
Shit. This isn't good. It's like she's not even here anymore. I gotta get her outta of here before he decides to attack again. But how the hell am I gonna stop him from following us? There's no way I can stop him on my own. I can't use Demon Hunter without Maka.
"Fuck! I'm so useless right now! Damnit I hope you can forgive me for this Maka, but there's no other choice but to try this." He knew the chances of forcing a resonance from his end wasn't going to be easy, but he had to do something before he got them killed.
"Alright, Maka. You're going to have to trust me on this one. I know I've never tried this before. But if I don't do it now, we're going to die." Soul reached for her arm that hung low to the ground without any tension at all. It felt cold, barring it was cold outside either way, whenever they held hands there was usually a warm, a sort of fiery sort of feeling that surged through his body.
The fact that he wasn't feeling that told him that something was more than just wrong with her physically.
"Shit. Maka? Hey! Hey Maka?" He took a hold of her body again and shook. She didn't resist, she didn't move, she didn't so much as bat an eye.
"Maka? Maka! Wake up Maka! Wake up!" His screams quickly turned to pleads as he didn't want to think of what was happening to his meister.
Through his peripherals Soul caught a glimpse of the monster rushing back towards them. Soul quickly through himself back in front of his meister with his blades crossing his chest and his legs planted firmly in the ground.
"Don't you dare come close to her unless you've got a death wish" Soul's eyes narrowed as he readied himself for a full out frontal attack.
Much to his surprise as the thing sped towards him it's body became thinner and thinner. He attempted a sweeping slash at it but it was no use. There was little no resistance. It simply liquidated as soon as contact was made and flew behind him.
"Kukuku. Poor Soul Eater. Poor poor Soul Eater. You had one job! You couldn't do the one thing you've ever wanted to do. How pathetic! You're useless! What a good-for-nothing! Weak! You are weak Soul Eater! And that is all you will ever be as long as I exist! For as long as there is weakness in your hearts, you will never beat me. And as long as you think you're unbeatable, well, let's just say that this will be the best game of tug-o-war ever played! I hope you're up for it Soul Eater! Because her life is on the line! I would start running if I was you!"
Soon as the demon's voice died down Soul heard a loud thud from behind. It was his worst nightmare coming true. It was like nothing else in the world existed anymore. The wind was silent as the dead of night. Crickets weren't chirping nor were the broken street lights flickering anymore.
Nothing else mattered besides the fact that Maka was lying on the cold hard ground with her eyes shut in a pool of black and red blood. Soul didn't have time to figure what was wrong, the only way he knew how to react was to try performing CPR on her.
"No Maka! No! You can't do this to me now! No dammit! You're not allowed to kick the bucket before I do! You're not fucking allowed to do this shit to me Maka!" Soul reached 30 pumps on her chest and reached for lips. He blew in two large breaths of air before coughing up what she was spitting back up at him.
It was worse than he thought. That kishin did something to her. Her body wasn't repelling the black blood as well as it should be. There was too much of it still in her. He had to get it out before he lost her for good.
"Wake up Maka! God dammit you gotta wake up! Dammit wake the fuck up already!" He gave her two more breaths of air, but still nothing. She barely had a heartbeat and was quickly losing ground.
"God dammit where is everyone? Someone? Why isn't there anyone out here? Come on! Someone! Anyone! Hello! Someone! We need help! Please! HELP!"
No one responded. There wasn't another soul for miles. Soul waited for no more than thirty seconds before he gave up on someone rescuing them. He had to take things into his own hands.
He stripped himself of his jacket and wrapped it around Maka's seemingly lifeless body and picked her up bridal style. He had to get her to the school as quickly as possible.
"Shit you're heavy Maka. But don't worry. I'll get you to the doctor soon. Don't you dare even think that I'm going to let you die on me. You're not allowed to die before me Maka. I'm your weapon! I'm supposed to protect you, that means I'm willing to put my life on the line for you! You got that?!"
With all the strength he had left in his body, Soul pushed himself further and further up Death Lane. If he kept his steps light enough he could make out her breathing, if ever so lightly. His heart pounded harder and harder, fighting to burst from his chest while hers was trying to collapse inward. He couldn't believe this was happening. How did a romantic date night turn to this?
"God dammit! FUCK! IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE!? I NEED YOUR HELP!" Soul screamed at the top of his lungs. There wasn't much left he could do. He had to hope that someone heard him. There was no way in hell he was climbing up the staircase to the school on his own while holding her up. But he wasn't going to give up just yet! She would never give up on him. He wasn't about to do the same now.
Soul pushed on and just a short minute later did he reach the stairs. With every step he took it felt like the weight of the world was shoving more and more responsibilities on top of him.
It was turning out quite like he imagined. Running up the steps in leaps of 3's and making his way quickly up the staircase from hell at Mach reality of it all was more or less frightening. He was losing steam faster than he imagined and Maka was looking worse and worse as the seconds passed.
"Shit! This isn't cool! Not fucking cool dude! This can't be happening right now! I swear on my life I will not let you fucking die right here! You here that Maka?! Do you hear me?! Don't you dare die on me alright? So wake up Maka! Wake up!"
The migraines were back. And oh were they holding no punches. It felt like a small army of ants were making their home in her head.
"God damn my head hurts." Maka announced to no one in particular. Little did she know. Not a moment later did she hear a room of gasps and squeals of joy.
"Maka? Maka! My baby girl you're awake! My baby girl! You've finally come back to me!" Now, Spirit Albarn was never one to be shy about his feelings towards his family, given the situation, he wasn't going to stop now.
He lunged from his chair and wrapped his arms around her neck and cried into her pillow.
"My...my baby girl! I thought I lost you for good. I'm so happy."
What was she supposed to say to that? Hey I'm sorry I ran away, but I couldn't control myself?
She didn't think that was going to quite cut it. Whether this be another nightmare or not, she couldn't keep ignoring her Papa. He had this weird aura about him that drew others to him. She couldn't resist what she said next.
Maka opened her eyes and much to her surprise, the number of people surrounding her was more than she could count on her hands. How?! Just...how?
Was this that same nightmare from before? This was exactly what she feared the last time. Seeing everyone she everyone she ever cared about and loved. There wasn't a piece of Spartoi missing from this picture. Along with them was Angela, Marie, Sid and Nygus, and of course the doctor and her Papa.
It only pained her more the fact that they were smiling at her while all she could do was sit there and mope like the world had just ended. She didn't consider her life worth much of anything with the most important piece of her missing. What was a meister without a weapon anyways? She was just an average Joe without him. There was no denying that. They grew strong over the years, but only together was any of it possible.
"Papa." Maka mumbled. All the enthusiasm that was brimming to come out, had gone and faded away.
After wiping his tears with his sleeves, Spirit picked himself up to face his daughter eye-to-eye.
"Yes Maka?" Right away he noticed something was wrong. That distant look in her eye said more than enough.
"What's wrong sweetie? Papa's right here. Everything's going to be alright. I promise. Papa won't let anymore kishin hurt you." Spirit assured, but that apparently wasn't what was bothering her.
And even if this was just another nightmare, she had to let it out. Because they were just going to get worse if she wasn't more open about it. And although she accepted it long ago, the topic was still taboo.
"No...no it won't Papa. It won't be alright. It won't ever be alright. It's my fault Papa." Maka swallowed a lump in her throat before sniffling as tears threatened to break out. But Maka promised herself when she started this personal mission. No tears.
"Maka. What's your fault? The condition you're in? If anything it's that Octopus head's fault over there. Dumbass shoulda prote-"
"Octopus head?! Over where? Papa. Where's Soul?"
Death forgive me. I hope this isn't some sort of sick joke. Please don't let it be. Please don't let this be real.
Not a moment had her thoughts wandered did he make his presence known. If only she'd been able to turn her head Maka would have seen him sitting by her side the entire time. He cupped her hands around his own and took a deep breathe.
"Maka..." Their eyes met and it was like someone flicked the sands of time back a few years.
He looked exactly how she last remembered him, besides the ugly looking facial hair he really needed to get rid of. And those bags under his eyes. That wasn't new, but it looked worse than she remembered. At least his hair was the same. Yeah, she could deal with this. This was enough.
"Soul!" Thankfully he lunged her way because she couldn't wait to share in his warmth once again. It seemed like forever had passed since she began her journey and now she could finally breathe easy, for her journey had come to end.
"I'm here Maka. I'm right here." Soul sat himself at the side of her bed and caught her gaze back at him. They were never the best couple when it came to words. Silence was their niche. They nodded and smiled to each other in unison.
"I...I'm sorry Soul. I just missed you too much."
"What are you sorry for? I'm the one who should be apologizing. You wouldn't be in this mess if I was stronger."
"You're damn right it's your fault you little shit. If you hadn't-"
"Papa!...Please." Maka shouted in a commanding voice.
"And don't worry Soul. It doesn't matter anymore. We're together again, that's all I ever wanted. I'm just sorry I wasted so much time. I just tried to get to know you better before we met again. That's all."
"And I know you guys are just a part of my imagination. This is probably what Heaven looks like for me. Heh. I guess I didn't really deserve better than being bedridden." It was nearly impossible for the group to read her innocent smile. For the most part it was her go to face when mixed with sarcasm. But this topic was really no joking matter.
Everyone turned to look at their neighbor in utter confusion. Nothing Maka was saying was making any sense.
The room was filled with silence until Black*Star felt the need to speak up. He approached the edge of her bed and laid his hands on her stiff legs.
"Hey, Maka. Where do you think you are right now?"
Maka cocked her head and gave her old friend a funny look. Oh how she missed him. He really got on her nerves most of the time, but she appreciated their friendship more than she'd ever admit.
"Ha. What are you talking about Black*Star. I'm in Heaven. I'm dead obviously.
Black*Star wasn't quite sure how to respond to that. He looked back at his partner and pointed to himself.
"Hey Tsubaki. Did I?" She shook her head. "Oh good. Scared me there for a minute. Alright Maka. Well I know I'm not dead. So that means you're not dead either. Now that that's settled w-"
"What? Haha. Jokes as usual. Just like I remembered. It's okay Black*Star. I'm ready for this. I've been ready. You don't have to lie for my sake."
"Yes Professor? What is it?"
"Wait. I should tell her. It's my fault anyways." Soul intruded. He narrowed his eyes and mentally prepared himself for a chop to the head.
"What I'm about to tell you, Maka, it might surprise you. The truth is...well...what happened was...um...you see..."
"Dangit it Soul, spit it out. What's the big deal?" God damn he couldn't take that smile of hers. How could she do something like that to him. He was the guilty one.
"Umm..well, you see...you're...you're actually..."
"I'm actually what Soul? Jeez. You're acting like someone died. Haha. I'm sorry." Maka joked. Maybe it was too soon to be joking about it like that? She couldn't tell from their reactions. Everyone seemed on edge after her last comment.
"Not funny Maka. You almost did die. If it wasn't for that psycho with the screw in his head, you would be." Soul pointed out. He placed his hand over her stomach where her stitches were and cringed.
This must feel like what Maka felt when Crona almost killed me. Shit. You fucked up real bad Soul.
"I'm sorry? Soul. You still haven't told me what's going on." Maka inquired, snapping him out of his daze.
"Oh...right. Sorry. You see...the thing is..." Before Soul could say the words the Professor pushed him away and brought his paper clip up to his face and flipped through a few papers.
"Maka, due to the sudden influx of black blood into your system, if you hadn't woken up, tomorrow would mark two weeks that you'd have been comatose.
A/N: So sorry about this abnormally long wait. School, stress. 'Nuff Said. Hope this at least clears some confusion up. I tried. :)
GoddessOfNight08 - Unconfused now? ^_^ I hope. :)
Sailor Saiyan007 - I only do these things because you love it :)
Son Goshen - I'm so glad you liked it so far up to this point, and I really hope you liked this chapter too. I'm sorry for all the confusion XD, glad you know what was going on though :P If you did, congrats Shen :D
Moonlight M3lody - Well Moonlight I'm glad you decided to start following, and I'm also sorry for not updating in so long. I really am. I'm glad you enjoyed the Black*Star bits. He's my favourite character, but he's so hard for me to write! He's just so hard to understand sometimes :( But I'm happy you liked it. About the time frame. No one really asked before, that I can remember (I'm too lazy to see if anyone did). But I always thought of the group just breaking into their 20's. Years after Asura :) And it's ok you can't tell how much you like the plot...I kind of didn't know what it was for a while. But I figured it out ;) Stick around for the ride and see it unfold.
Again sorry for the long wait between updates XD Don't shoot me please. Life is tough at the moment.