Disclaimer: Happy Birthday, Redemption! Hope it was a good one and to top it all off, this story is for you!


When it Rains, it Pours

by. Lacrow


He looked down at the bottle in front of him and cringed, because he knew that there would be no getting out of it.

On that table, perched innocently like apple juice or some other similarly colored drink, was a bottle of whiskey. To his right stood the only man who could get him to do such a thing, the only fool conniving and convincing enough to make him do all the stupid things he'd sworn since adolescence to never do again; Black Star. And with that perfect storm of stupidity and liquid courage staring him right in the face, it was no wonder things had turned out quite like they had. Him, Black Star, by themselves in his apartment with Maka and the others gone off to god-knows-where. Although, he supposed he shouldn't complain of all things.

"Come on, Soul! Don't be a pansy, just chug the dam thing and be happy!"

It was raining outside after all, and the last thing he wanted was to be stuck outside in a downpour on his birthday. But as Soul looked out the window for a brief second only to return his glazed stare back at the whiskey, the fair scythe couldn't help but sigh at the thought of making his escape. Not to say that he didn't enjoy his friend's company, of course. It's just that he knew how things were going to turn out from here; Maka would return with the others, completely pissed off at being drenched on her way back. Then she'd see the two of them piss drunk on the door with a bottle between them and...that was pretty much it.

"I'm not going to drink it, Star..." he told the assassin dully, trying to sound as uninterested as possible."...Where the hell'd you get this, anyway?"

Black Star merely puffed his chest out and sneered. "Details aren't important, Soul! All that matters is Maka isn't here, so you and I are gonna down his right now!"

For what fricken purpose? Get so plastered that they couldn't think straight? He didn't find the amusement in it, but then again that had more to do with the fact that Maka would be livid. In his gut, Soul kinda of wanted to take the plunge; it's not like he objected to the idea of drinking, and the fact that this tempting bottle was the only birthday present he'd gotten so far egged him on even more.

The others were throwing him a surprise birthday somewhere else, he knew that much. For the past week, his partner had been planning the whole thing with their friends in the open, somehow oblivious to the fact that he had ears and could hear everything she was saying. That's kind of why he made such a big deal about her going out earlier to set-up; was he the only one who even checked the weather? It was supposed to be raining all day, but of course all the plans had been made. So while she not-so-nonchalantly forced him to stay home for the time being with his best friend, Soul tried his hardest not to admit his knowing of everything and ruin the surprise. If he did, he'd have saved everyone from getting rained on. At the same time though, Maka would have been all depressed, which was far from cool.

And when it rains, it pours; she never counted on Black Star throwing his own party and bringing enough alcohol to put the entire Shibusen faculty out like a light. This one bottle on the table was just the start; the maniac brought an entire case with him as well. Not the light stuff either, as Black Star put it, they were a little something like the stuff Maka's dad drinks to get his courage up. Whatever the hell that was, neither could say. It's not like they drank before, but Soul knew at least to start off slow. He'd had maybe a sip or two before...jumping to shots of whiskey wasn't a good idea in any scenario.

"If you think you can drink it in one go, be my guest." There was no way he'd be stupid enough to try, Soul knew it.

And he was right. "Bullshit, I'm not the one with his balls on the line here! I brought the stuff, it's your day, so don't be a bitch!"

"That's right, it's my day." he sneered without missing a beat. "I'm calling the shots here, so nut up or shut up. Or is the big star a dud?"

Black Star leered down at him for a second, obviously having conflicting feelings. Soul in turn raised a brow, interested in how this was going to turn out. His buddy could be an idiot sometimes and wouldn't do anything to intentionally hurt himself, but his ego always won out in the end. If it was a challenge to his reputation as the biggest man on campus, then Black Star wouldn't hesitate in doing something. And Soul could only give a crooked grin when things turned out as he imagined, with the azure assassin giving an over-confident grunt as he reached over the table for the hard stuff and immediately popped the top off.

"You think a little bottle like this is too much for me? You're stupider than you look." Black Star huffed, tossing his head back as the whiskey poured down his throat.

Soul raised a brow again, only this time it was out of amazement. Interest turned dumbstruck when right before his eyes, his best friend did the unthinkable; he was actually killing an entire bottle of booze by himself. Black Star's eye remained wide open, almost like the burn was keeping him from closing them. But that aside, he had this in the bag. One second there was a full bottle, then another second later there was a third. In less than one minute, all the musky-looking liquid in the glass had disappeared into Black Star's stomach, and with it went all of the color in Soul's face...Star was going to be fine, right?

His friend's entire body shuddered at the strange feeling swept through him, a relieved gasp echoing through Soul's apartment as the bottle dropped unapologetically back on the table. The white scythe wondered if he should run and get someone, but didn't even get the chance to get up before Black Star wiped the alcohol from his face and turned to fetch another bottle. The table clanged as glass hit it once more, a full bottle of whiskey right there just waiting to be downed in one gulp. Or at least that's what Star wanted him to do; Soul'd seen what that looked like and wasn't thrilled, but had a feeling he'd be doing it anyway.

"Your turn, birthday boy." Black Star sneered, an obvious drunken haze sweeping across his eyes.

Well...it couldn't be that bad, right? Star seemed alright, since he was at least he was still functioning and able to talk. Maybe his weapon blood would do the same thing that Black Star's ego did for him, though Soul had this aching feeling that it still wouldn't be that pleasant. Either way, he didn't have much time to think about it. Now his pride was on the line and it being his birthday no less, Soul wasn't going to back down. Taking up a chair right next to him, Black Star cackled as his buddy took up the bottle in his hands and, giving it one last look before tossing his head back, let the course alcohol slide down his throat.

Dam, the stuff burned! More than he thought it would! Soul's eyes lit up the same way Star's did, physically unable to close them no matter how hard he tried. It didn't taste good, and soon his lungs started to ache the longer he downed the stuff. Black Star of course couldn't stop laughing, and vaguely Soul wondered just why in the hell anyone would want to do this for fun in the first place. But to his own surprise he was doing it, albeit it not in one gulp like the assassin did. He took controlled breaths and slowly but surely emptied the bottle like a champ. It took him three times as long, but finally he did it.

Soul slammed the bottle against the table and gave the most unsightly burp of his life, one that Maka would have probably chopped him for since he'd never been that disgusting before. He slunk back and immediately felt the effects, slowly at first, then quickly it started to fully sink in. A haze set into his vision, and his face felt just a little bit warmer than before. Soul grabbed his forehead and let his hand slide through white locks as his head fell to the side, letting him catch a glimpse of his best friend practically giddy with excitement. He knew right away the fool's laughter wasn't intentional; he was plastered.

Black Star sucked in air and giggled a bit. "See? That...wasn't so bad. Heh."

"Maka's gonna beat the shit outta me..." Soul groaned, sliding back down his chair in defeat.

"Aw, whatever!" the assassin chirped back. "If you get her drunk enough, maybe she'll give you a special birthday present!"

Sliding off his chair for good, Soul gave a hardened scowl as he hit the floor. "Fuck off, Star. As if I need to get Maka drunk to get anything from her-"

Immediately, Black Star broke into more laughter. The boy grabbed his sides as he too slid off his chair and onto the floor, tears starting to pool in his eyes from howling so hard. At the same time, Soul's eyes slowly widened at what he'd just said but still found himself smirking nonetheless. Both lay there for a minute or two, simply unable to control themselves from acting silly. It was bad enough Black Star was an ass to start with, now with booze coursing through his veins it'd be a different story entirely. Especially when Soul found himself to be the carefree kind of drunk, and not caring what his buddy did or not.

"I knew it! I fucking knew it!" Black Star wiped away the tears, fumbling over himself as he flipped over on his stomach.

Soul threw an arm over his face. "I swear, we haven't done anything! You'd be the first to know, otherwise we just sleep together-"

"-You two fricken sleep together!" Slowly but surely, the assassin started to crawl towards the six-pack he'd brought. "Oh, Soul! I'm so proud!"

"It was just once on the couch. We were tired, it was late..." Soul mumbled, which stared out in dismay before ending in a cocky sort of grin that snaked across his face.

Again more laughter, this time from the both of them. It wasn't so bad really, how things had turned out with the whiskey and all. As children they'd done far more stupid shit sober, so naturally Soul was less than excited at the prospect of getting drunk together. But they turned out to be more tame than anything else, which is why he had no objections when Black Star, after stumbling with the case of beer in his hand, tossed him a cold one underneath the table. Without hesitation he popped it open this time and let the hiss fill his ears, as he waited patiently for his friend to return which he did a moment later.

Black Star slid underneath the table, froth already escaping his opened can. "I love you, man."

"Shut the hell up." he grinned, as the two clanged their drinks together and let the alcohol flow again.

Outside the apartment, thunder boomed and rain fell against the window as both boys took their time working on their first beers. Underneath the table, drunk on their asses already, it wasn't a surprise that the following conversations that came out of their mouths were ridiculous. They discussed how Stein got the screw in his head that far, who Kim was really trying to get with at school. How in the hell Sid got a statue of liberty figurine stuck inside his forehead, and least importantly why on earth a magical cat would ever need a cabin in the woods in the first place. And the hell was with those pumpkins?

It was stupid, but Soul didn't really care. It was his birthday after all, and the last thing he wanted to do was give a shit. True, the rest of his friends weren't there to celebrate with him, but he had a feeling that pretty much everyone would be averted to the thought of getting shit-faced illegally. And no matter how much he wanted to just chill with his partner like it was an average day, Soul didn't think he minded hanging out with Black Star anymore. It was a weird sort of birthday, but one that he wouldn't trade for any other at the moment; just two buddies, living it up like two best friends should.

"Wonder how much we can drink before falling on our faces?" the scythe inquired, shaking his can upside down once it was all gone.

Black Star shrugged before crushing the one he had in his hands. Quickly he leaned over and grabbed two more. "I dunno...wanna drink and find out?"


"I can't believe it rained the entire day...Poor Soul, I feel so bad. He must have thought we forgot all about him..."

As the group trudged up the slippery, wet stairs up to Maka's apartment, the blonde in question couldn't help but let her head hang low in depression. It was now seven o'clock, and everything she'd had planned up until now had been completely destroyed by a freak desert storm. All of it blown away by the wind and rain; the tables and decorations hung up in the park scattered all over town, and the cake she'd picked out herself completely covered in twigs and leaves. Everything had been so perfect too...no OCD freak outs or magical cats throwing their cleavage everywhere at all.

And they had to scramble for cover too, held up in Shibusen on a Sunday no less. That was the final nail in the coffin; being forced into school on a day off, and having to wait there for the sky to clear up for over six hours. The entire time, everyone praying that the storm would pass soon in time to surprise Soul on his special day thought that opportunity never came. And now here they were returning in defeat, hoping that he wouldn't be too bitter when they walked through that door. Especially Maka who took everything upon herself to give her partner at least one day where he was the center of attention.

"It'll be alright, Maka. I'm sure Soul isn't the one to care about these sorts of things." Tsubaki smiled wearily from behind her.

However, she could only hang her head lower. "But I wanted him to care about his birthday for once. He deserves one like everybody else."

"Well, that doesn't mean we can't still celebrate it, right? Maybe we can make it up to him by taking him out to eat, or see a movie or something?"

Maka nodded bitterly, still feeling lower than dirt as she and the rest of her group made it up the stairs and to her door. Sure they could give him some kind of last-ditch attempt at a birthday, and they probably still would. But that didn't make it fair to Soul, who never wanted any attention to himself and always followed her no matter what. Sure he was grouchy and wouldn't want people fussing over him anyway, but at least he'd know that she'd go out of her way to do something for him. Now, she wasn't so sure Soul would ever know. And it continued to plague her up until she fished out the keys from her pocket.

She unlocked the door and slowly let it creak open. "If it's all the same to you guys, he probably doesn't want any sort of pity gift. Maybe I'll just-"

That last part of her sentence trailed off at the sight of her apartment, which quickly made it apparent to her that leaving Black Star to keep her partner company was a bad idea from the start. Maka's jaw fell to the floor, as did the others behind her, at the current state of their home; pillows everywhere, a few chairs flipped over with sheets draped over them like a fort. On the ground around them, beer cans littered the wood floors and two small glass bottles stood innocently atop her kitchen table. All Maka had to do was trace the trail of broken things to two sad-looking bodies in the living room. It was ridiculous.

For one, Black Star had no pants on. What underwear he did have on was drooped dangerously too low, so far in fact that every girl besides Maka immediately covered their eyes at the sight in fear of glimpsing a part of him that no one wanted to see. The fool hung over one of the couches, face first towards the floor as his legs supported him from the cushions. The lamp shade, her only good one, unceremoniously covered him. As if he tried to put the thing on, but just couldn't seeing as how drunk he must be. It was immediately apparent that he'd lost consciousness and frankly, Maka preferred him that way.

Really, her attention was on the white-haired lump of flesh on the opposite end of the living room. Thankfully, his clothes were completely on. What got her going however was the sight of two beer cans atop his chest as he lay there on the couch, his arm and head hanging over the side in the most unattractive way possible. Maka stared at him only a second before growing livid, her creamy skin turned several shades redder than normal as she immediately stomped towards with. Purposefully making her steps as heavy as possible, it was no surprise when the idiot opened his eyes the second she came.

"Soul! What the hell is going on here!" she ground out, everything about her screaming pure intimidation and terror.

But the scythe only blinked tiredly at the sight, before giving an honest smile. "Hi, Maka. I was wondering when you'd get back-"

"-Don't hi me, Soul!" his meister cut him off, already pulling out a book from somewhere. "I can't believe you'd bring alcohol into our apartment!"

"Oh, yeah. Black Star brought over some, uh, whiskey I think it was. I didn't think it tasted good, but the beer was alright. I wanted to save you some, but..."

The white scythe gave a loud hiccup, all that fermented drink in his stomach getting him all gassy now that he was moving and talking. The action made him laugh at himself a bit, and immediately he fell back to the couch in a slightly more comfortable position than before. Maka continued to hang over him, threatening to pummel him with a textbook. She wanted to, really thought about doing it too. But it didn't seem like it'd register with him even if she did, and there was no use in senseless beating. So with a heavy sigh, Maka gave him a better look and merely smacked him lightly over the head to make herself feel better.

"You're a complete and total idiot." she hissed, as her victim chuckled from the blow to his head. "And after all I tried to do for you, this happens?"

It kind of hurt a little, just how insensitive he was. Tsubaki must have felt the same way she did, as the others filed in and she scolded her stupid partner as well. Meanwhile the others started to pick up the mess, which Maka would admit later wasn't really that bad. For the time being, her only thought was how best to get back at Soul later for what he'd done, but even that couldn't hold her attention for long; she was tired, and it'd been a long day. So all the young woman could do was find a spot on the couch not occupied by Soul's feet and sit there bitterly, stewing in her own selfish thoughts as Soul tossed next to her.

Without her knowing, he suddenly sat up in his spot. It wasn't till he tugged on her arm did she turn around. "Hey, Maka?"

"What do you want?" Maka immediately tore into his, her tone obviously poisonous. Soul however was too drunk to put two and two together.

If he did, he didn't show it; the scythe smiled in his stupor. "Thanks for inviting Black Star over, and for an awesome party...you really are the best partner ever."

Soul gave his toothy grin, though haze-filled eyes made his face seem that much softer. She stared in surprise, not knowing what to say but certainly not feeling angry anymore. They kept it up for another moment, before suddenly the booze got the better of him. His grin faded to a smirk, and his energy left him all at once. The young man fell on the couch, the back of his head slamming against the armrest with a resounding thud. Maka finally smiled back, but hopped to her feet quickly in fear of him hurting himself. She checked for a bump or bruise but found nothing, and gently slid a pillow underneath right after.

Again she sighed, but at least this time it was out of endearment. A small part of her still felt ticked off at him, but she knew it couldn't be helped. Sure he shouldn't have gotten drunk, then again it was partly her fault for leaving that idiot with him from the start. And true there was a mess, though their friends had already cleaned up most of it. Tsubaki had taken Black Star home already, it seemed; she couldn't spot either of them anywhere. Soul and Black Star would regret what they'd done in the morning at least, so there was always that. Besides, it wouldn't have been appropriate to beat someone on their birthday at all.

So when Kidd, Liz, and Patty finally finished helping, Maka sent them home early. She thanked them for coming out and told them to pass the appreciation onto Tsubaki, and from there the four of them parted ways. Eight o'clock at night, it was only her and Soul left in their apartment, and he most certainly wasn't in a position to do anything. All alone with a drunkard for a partner, she decided to call it a night early and maybe start over tomorrow. At the very least she'd let him sleep in to get rid of his hangover and on the way to her bedroom, Maka made sure he had a blanket to keep warm.

"I guess he'll just have to wait for his present tomorrow." she mused on her way to bed.


A.N.

I haven't written a full story this quickly in quite a while, so ya'll should be impressed! I didn't know where I was going with this at the time, but I think it worked out quite well!

Again, this story is a birthday present for one of my best friends and I hope he had a good one. Congratulate Redemption13 if you get the chance!

-I do not own Soul Eater-