Her squeal echoed in the room and the blond lady on the screen smiled in response.
"Hello, Maka. Happy Birthday!"
Maka bounced around excitedly, unable to contain her joy. She had wanted to see her mother for years and after the disappointment of being told that she wasn't going to make it for her birthday, Maka had nearly given up hope.
"I'm so glad to see you! But what are you...how did you...how did this happen?!"
The older woman smiled, her green eyes twinkling.
"He didn't tell you? Well, he did say he wanted it to be a surprise. Your partner did all of this for you, after I told you I couldn't make it."
"Soul did this? Why?"
"When he saw how upset you were, he went to your father and demanded him to contact me right away. They fought for a bit, but Spirit eventually gave in. They managed to get ahold of me and that weapon of yours proceeded to rip me a new one."
This was said with much amusement, but Maka immediately became upset.
"How dare him! He had no right to talk to you like that!"
Kami instantly sobered.
"Maka, he was right. I've been a pretty lousy parent, and he called me out on it. I haven't been there when you've needed me and that was wrong. Soul made me promise that if I couldn't come to you, then I needed to stay in better contact. I agreed and I'm making sure that this becomes a weekly thing. Don't be mad at him, honey. He did all of this because he couldn't stand to see you hurting."
Maka bent her head at her words, tears spilling down her cheeks. Kami's eyes narrowed; her motherly intuition might be rusty, but it was still there and it told her that there was something very wrong.
"Maka? Is there something you need to talk about? Spirit and Shinigami-sama told me about what's happened with your memories. Does it have anything to do with that?"
"I don't understand! Why would he do that for me? I'm such a lousy meister; there are plenty of others that he would be better off with! And I've been pretty awful to him lately."
Her mother was silent for a moment and then gently said, "Maka. That boy...he's in love with you. Don't you know that? He would do anything for you. Fight for you, die for you, hell, he willingly faced your father for you! It's written all over him and I can't imagine you could miss it while resonating!"
Maka spoke meekly, looking up through her bangs.
"Mama, I think I may have messed things up..."
Kami listened intently as her daughter narrated the events of the last two weeks, admirably restraining herself from face-palming over Maka's behavior. That boy had been right; she and Spirit had done a fantabulous job of screwing over their child. Her blaring insecurity and fear of betrayal were like punches to Kami's gut, but right now wasn't the time to wallow in guilt. She needed to put on her mommy panties and help her daughter sort out the clusterfuck she was in.
"Maka, the first thing you need to do is apologize. From what you've told me, it sounds as if he has shown no interest in these girls whatsoever, much less encouraged them. Honey, he's not your father and it's not fair to make Soul suffer for Spirit's faults. Then, if he's still willing, you need to try resonating. I know it's risky, but I have the feeling that whatever is blocking the curse will protect Soul too."
"You're right. I'm going to go talk to him now, if that's alright?"
"No, you go ahead. This is very important and you should take care of it as soon as possible. Like I said earlier, I'll be keeping in touch with you much better from now on, so we'll have plenty of time to talk then. I love you, hon. Have a happy birthday!"
"I love you too, Mama! I'll talk to you next week!"
She went to the living room, following the sound of music coming from the radio. It was familiar, and was tugging at her, drawing her in closer. Maka stopped just outside the doorway, hesitant to go in. She had a good view of Soul, who was half stretched out on the couch, his face partially blocked by the hand that was propping his head on the armrest. She opened her mouth, which was suddenly very dry and tried to quiet the buzzing in her head. Before she could form words, Soul began to sing along quietly to the radio. Maka strained her ears to catch it, the hairs on the back of her neck rising at the words.
"...Keep me stuck inside your head, like your
And know my heart is a stereo that only plays
I only pray you'll never leave me behind
Because good music can be so hard to find
I'll take your hand and hold it closer to mine..."
Maka watched in morbid fascination as his voice trailed off brokenly and a single, glistening tear rolled down his cheek. Her head began to pound, and she backed out of the doorway to dizzily stagger to her room. She managed to get the door closed, before leaning into it as she slid to the floor, body jerking and convulsing. This was the worst attack yet; the world was spinning madly, her vision going from blurry to black, lungs feeling like they were about to explode. Panting heavily, she was dimly aware of the way that her necklace burned against her chest, almost hissing as it seared the tender skin. Consciousness fled her body, and for a brief time, the pain mercifully receded.
Once more, Maka found herself floating in darkness, her mirror image standing in front of her, a look of rage upon her face. She glared at Maka, angry tears rolling down her face.
"Hurry up! You have to remember!"
The image's voice was harsh, but much clearer than it was the last time.
"What? I've been trying! I just can't do it!" Maka wailed desperately.
Her pleas fell on deaf ears; if anything, it only made the other her more furious.
"You're hurting him! You have to remember right NOW!"
Maka had never wondered what it was like to be on the other end of one of her chops, but now she knew. She had no time to retaliate, as image after image burst forth before her eyes, a kaleidoscope of Soul themed fireworks.
Soul, playing an eerily beautiful piece on a piano, stating defiantly, "This is the kind of guy I am." Shaking hands with her afterwards, sealing their partnership.
A mission gone wrong, both of them leaning on one another as they staggered into the apartment, heading to the bathroom to patch each other up. She tried to shrug off his fussing, feeling embarrassed at being so exposed while he doctored her ribs. Her cheeks flush a bright pink when he mutters, "Sit still and let me fix this! You have such nice skin; it'd be a shame if you didn't take care of it." She had stilled at that, a rare compliment on her appearance from the boy who usually hassled her about her tits. Or lack of.
Maka walked out of the school one day after staying late to do research for some homework in the library. It was supposed to be a two person assignment but Soul had bailed on her, saying he would do his part later. She stomped outside, muttering angrily about lazy partners, her irritation growing when Maka realized she was going to have to walk home in the rain. She started for the street, nearly shrieking when something was thrown over her head. She clawed it off; searching for her attacker, when she realized it was a leather jacket.
"Put that on. It'll keep you from gettin' soaked any more than you already are." he said gruffly from her side.
"Soul! What are you doing here! I thought you left hours ago!"
"Like I'd actually leave you to walk home in the rain alone? That would be uncool. Come on, the bike's this way."
Maka followed him, a small smile on her face as she watched the rain plaster his clothes to his body, his jeans molding to his butt to showcase it nicely.
Soul grinning at her from the blade of his weapon form, ready for a fight.
Soul, sprawled out on the couch asleep, mouth slightly open and boxers riding low on his hips, the contours of his muscles evident in the moonlight.
Soul, laughing over something stupid Black*Star had done.
Soul, holding her close and rubbing her back after a nightmare.
Soul, under her on the couch, tongues tangling together as hands roamed over heated flesh, grinding in to each other, the mingled feelings of love and lust almost overwhelming.
Faster and faster, images began to flit by, all of them with Soul as the central figure, each memory a tiny treasure. He was everywhere, grinning at her with those lazy red eyes and shark teeth exposed in a perpetual smirk.
Maka woke up; finding herself lying on her back in the middle of her room, tears streaking down her face. Sitting up, she took a moment to let the dizziness fade and slowly stood, her body feeling like a giant over-cooked noodle. Glancing under the neck of her shirt, she was relieved to find that there was no mark from the strange burning sensation she had had. Shrugging it off, she decided to think about it later. Maka opened her mouth to call for Soul, but quickly snapped it shut. He had been wonderful these last few weeks and she had treated him horribly. Shouldn't she do something special for him, something to show how much she cared and how sorry she was?
Her eyes wondered to her closet, where they came to rest on the silver garment bag that contained her party dress. The gears in her brain began to turn, remembering what Tsubaki had forced her to buy to wear under it. A plan quickly forming, she grinned wickedly. She just needed to have a little chat with her friends and everything would work out nicely. Luckily, that was where she had been heading this morning, to go over a few details for her party. She bounced to her feet, feeling lighter than she had in days. Now, all she had to do was manage Soul...
Soul jerked out of the doze he had fallen into at the sound of his name being called.
"Huh? Wha? Oh, Maka...You have a nice time with your mom?" he asked, fighting back a yawn. He nearly swallowed his teeth when she hurled herself onto his lap, arms around his neck.
"Thank you so much, Soul! That was the most awesome thing ever!"
He kept himself very still, wondering if he could discreetly pinch himself to see if he was awake.
"Glad you liked it so much...Are you still…pissed at me?" he asked, not daring to believe his luck.
Leaning back, she looked at him guiltily.
"Oh, Soul...I'm so sorry. I've been such a bitch to you this whole week, and you haven't even done anything wrong...comparing you to my father was a low blow. I guess losing my memories was more stressful than I thought and I just took that out on you. I'm so sorry! Can you forgive me?"
Soul gingerly placed his arms around her waist, expecting his newfound sprout of hope to be yanked out by the roots.
"S'alright. You have been under a lotta stress, and I said some things I shouldn't have, too, so-"
Maka's fingers on his lips stopped his flow of words.
"No. You've been bending over backwards for me this whole time and I've fought you every step of the way. But if you'll give me one more chance, I promise I won't screw it up this time. So, will you?"
Not able to speak with her fingers still over his mouth, Soul gave a small nod, and she brought her arms back around his neck for another hug.
He clutched her to him, not wanting to let go. He didn't know what had caused this sudden change, and frankly, Soul didn't care. All he knew was that he had another chance and he was so happy, he could almost cry. Maka felt so good in his lap, almost too good, and just as he was beginning to worry about a certain problem that was about to...arise, she shifted off of his lap.
"So, are you still coming to my party tomorrow?" she asked, smiling at him.
"I have to get dressed up, don't I?" he groaned.
"Oh, come on, it's not that bad! You don't have to wear the suit jacket or a tie."
"Meh. Fine. I guess since it's your birthday, it can't be helped. But I'm not spending one more second in those clothes than I absolutely have to." he warned.
Maka cackled internally. Oh, if he only knew...
"Good! I just need to run over to Kid's real quick. I promise I'll be back in time for supper, okay?"
He arched an eyebrow.
"Thought you said you were gonna be late to tonight?"
She laughed nervously, rubbing the back of her head.
"Heh. That was when.., well, never mind. Forget it. I'll pick up some tacos on my way home."
"I could go with you, if you want."
"Nope. You have homework to finish, since you won't be able to work on it tomorrow night."
"Alright. I'll get that outta the way while you're gone. Sure you don't need a lift?"
Maka sprang from the couch, eager to be gone.
"I'm good. Thanks, though. See you later!"
Karma truly is a bitch, Maka thought later. She had gotten nasty with Soul about the girls that fawned over him with their huge breasts, refusing to believe that he didn't enjoy it. Now, being smothered by three pairs, she was more sympathetic to his plight. Upon receiving the news that her memories were intact, Maka was instantly glomped by her female friends, Kid and Black*Star wisely staying out of the fray.
"Guys! Can't...breathe!" she gasped.
"Oh! Sorry, Maka-chan! I guess we got a little carried away."
They backed off of her and she gratefully sucked in lungfuls of sweet, sweet air.
"I'm sure Soul is pleased as well. In fact, I'm surprised he isn't here now." commented Kid.
"I actually haven't told Soul yet. I was waiting till tomorrow after the party."
At their stunned silence, she hurried to explain her thoughts.
"I wanted to do something special! He's been so wonderful through all of this, he deserves SOMETHING."
Five heads cocked to the right, their voices in perfect unison.
Maka face-palmed, answering through gritted teeth.
"Yes, that too. But I obviously don't need your help for that, so just listen to my plan and be ready to play dumb tomorrow."
It only took a few minutes to outline what Maka wanted and everyone was eager to help. So eager, in fact, that none of them noticed the wicked grin that kept slipping across Black*Star's face...
"Come on, Maka! You're gonna be late for your own party if you don't hurry up!" yelled Soul, pacing the length of the living room. He didn't understand what was taking her so long. He had waited till the last possible moment to change into his outfit, which consisted of black dress pants and a dark blue button down shirt, with the top few buttons undone and the sleeves pushed up on his forearms. Add to that a black leather belt and matching dress shoes and he was done. Soul glanced at his watch, preparing to yell again, when he heard the clicking of shoes coming down the hall.
The moment he saw her, all thoughts of yelling and time constraints left his head, and all that came out of his mouth was a small, 'hurk' of surprise. The green dress Maka wore suited her body perfectly, accentuating her delicate curves. It was stunning, but what had him fighting to keep all the blood in his body from gushing out his nose was the shoes. Thin straps encased her feet with long, gold ribbons crisscrossing up to just under her knees, bringing to mind every dirty fantasy Soul had had about those legs and how she could bend them around his body. Rapidly, he began to calculate how many bathrooms breaks he could get away with at the party, realizing quickly that it wouldn't be as many as Soul needed
"Soul? Do I look okay?"
Maka's words drew his attention to her face, forcing him to admit that she was quite attractive north of the neck, too. Her hair was down, styled in soft, loose waves, and she had been sparse with the makeup. There was just a touch of mascara and some shiny, rose-tinted gloss that made her lips look even more kissable and soft than usual.
"You look so good, that I wouldn't mind if the two of us just stayed right here." he said lowly, the words out of Soul's mouth before he had any time to think them through. He braced himself for the chop, idly wondering if she had a special book for the occasion. He was surprised when Maka just laughed and headed for the door.
"Somehow, I know that if we don't go to the party, then the party would come to us. We'd better go; it's going to take me while to walk there in these shoes."
No hitting? He was cool with that...Wait. Soul had basically just implied that he wanted to stay home and celebrate her birthday in a decidedly carnal nature and she didn't act phased by it in the least! Were things really going that well between them? If they were, maybe they were closer to a breakthrough in her memories than they knew.
Maka passed him and he turned to follow, but stopped like he'd been slammed into an invisible brick wall. If the front of the dress had been sexy, then the back grabbed his brain and hurled it into the gutter, making his eyes bug out and his tongue flop like a deranged cartoon character. Her hair danced teasingly over the bare expanse of smooth, creamy skin, plainly advertising the fact that she wasn't wearing a bra. The only thing covered was Maka's ass and that was also just barely covered; the material sliding over it in a manner that made Soul want to reach out and squeeze. She might as well have stamped the words 'grope me' across the cheeks and he knew he would have to watch out for anyone trying to cop a feel at the party. Although, that wouldn't help much, since Soul suspected the worst offender might be himself...he searched for something to distract himself, finally recalling what he had planned to ask her earlier.
"Hey, have you thought any more about tryin' to resonate? I know you didn't wanna risk it, but..."
Soul held the door open for Maka as they stepped out into the hall.
"I've thought about it and I think we should try. We can do it when we get home tonight, if it isn't too late."
"That's fine with me. Didn't think you'd wanna stay out too late anyway, since we have school tomorrow."
Soul was busy locking the door, so he didn't see the perverted smile on Maka's face that would have rivaled Tsubaki's. Inside, she was rubbing her hands together and cackling with glee. Oh, they would be resonating...just not the way he was thinking.
The theme of the party seemed to be 'Loud', judging from the music; turned up high enough to make your ears bleed, the bass strong enough that the house seemed to throb. Soul stood on the sidelines, watching the gyrating mass of humanity in the middle of the room. Large crowds weren't his scene but since it was Maka's birthday, he had made the attempt to be social, suppressing the urge to slide out onto the nearest balcony. Instead, Soul had watched Maka open her gifts, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the contents, carefully packing them up to carry home. He even ate a piece of the cake that Patty had made, gamely choking down the chunks of what looked suspiciously like glitter. Soul had even, much to the surprise of those who knew him, allowed himself to be dragged out the dance floor. That was a mistake.
Gone were the days when his meister would shuffle awkwardly in his arms, content to follow his lead. Somewhere along the way, Maka had picked up some mad skills, and had bumped and grinded against him in ways that no one with a purely innocent mind could ever pull off. He had tried to keep a tight rein on himself, but that last dance had been nothing more than humping to music and Soul escaped to use up one of his precious bathroom visits. To make matters worse, his friends kept shooting him these weird, smug, knowing looks and Soul was beginning to feel paranoid. He scanned the room, looking for Black*Star, but the loud mouthed assassin was conspicuously absent, filling Soul with dread. He recalled the conversation they had had before Maka had lured him away to pleasantly molest him on the dance floor.
He had been leaning against a wall, wondering if they were going to be able to carry all of Maka's loot home, when Black*Star had sidled up to him.
"So. You and Maka seem pretty cozy tonight. And by cozy, I mean she doesn't look like she's about to rip your cajones off to hang from her rear view mirror like a pair of fuzzy dice. What's the story?"
Soul winced at the mental image.
"I dunno. Yesterday, she switched from Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jeckyl and I'm not complaining. She's even open to resonating, said we could give it a try when we got home."
Soul furrowed his brow in confusion at his friend's snicker.
"Resonate, huh? That's a new word for it, I guess. Gonna finally move in on her, huh? Want me to run home and grab my book?"
"Wha? No! Gah, what is it with you people and sex? Not hatin' me is a far cry from wanting to drag me into bed!"
"You sure about that? 'Cause with the way she's been eyein' your ass, you wouldn't even make it to the bed."
"Indeed," agreed Kid, causing Soul to start. He hadn't heard the Shinigami glide up on his other side.
"The looks Maka have been giving you are quite smoldering."
Black*Star snorted. "You can say that again. I swear, if she stared any harder, we'd have to dump a bucket of water over the scorch marks on your ass."
"Whatever. Maka was barely interested in that before the memory wipe, there's no way she's even thinking about anything like that now."
"You're sayin' that you'd refuse her if she put the moves on you tonight?" asked Black*Star with an odd persistency.
"She's not going to, so it's pointless to even think about. Besides, I said I wouldn't take advantage of her while this whole curse shit was goin' down. That hasn't changed."
"So, you're tellin' me that if she flat out said she wanted you to do her, memory loss or not, you wouldn't do it?" his voice dripped with skepticism.
"I...maybe...if I thought that she really knew what she was doing..." Soul muttered, ashamed to admit that he was that weak.
"You worry too much," Kid spoke up, "memories aside, Maka is Maka and is in full control of her faculties. She wouldn't do something like that unless she truly wanted to."
"Yeah, I guess you're right about that," said Soul reluctantly.
"Dude! You can totally tap that with my blessing! Whoop, just remembered somethin' I needed to do! See 'ya later!"
And as Black*Star zipped off, Soul and Kid exchanged suspicious and uneasy glances.
About two hours later, Maka pulled him aside, asking if he was ready to go. She giggled at his emphatic 'yes', and they quickly made their way to the circle of their friends to say goodbye. They passed by Tsubaki several times, the worried weapon searching for her partner, whom she hadn't seen most off the night. Liz and Patty handed Maka a large tote bag filled with her presents, chuckling diabolically whenever they looked at Soul. He took the bag, shrugging off the Thompsons' weird behavior. They left with the party still going strong, stepping out of the mansion into the cool night air.
They walked down the street in silence, Soul glancing at her out of the corner of his eye when Maka took his hand, giving it a small squeeze. He smiled down at her.
"You have a good time?"
"I had a great time! A bunch of people showed up, and the food was..."
"Creative?" he supplied.
"Very! And I managed to get you to dance, which is about as likely as getting Kid to wear a shirt with seven buttons. That alone would have been worth it, even if it wasn't really your thing."
"I didn't mind too much."
"Good. We should do it together more often."
He stumbled a bit at her word choice, squashing down the double meaning.
"You've gotten better. Maybe we can try it slow next time."
"Sounds nice. Sometimes, I like it nice and slow; other times, I like it hard and fast. Just depends on the mood."
….Really? Did she really just say that? Where was a brick wall when you needed something to smash your head against...?
"Hey, let's cut through the park! It'll be shorter that way."
Maka tugged on his hand and Soul allowed himself to be pulled along. The park was deserted at this time of night and it was relaxing to watch the fireflies flicker through the air. They were passing a large cluster of smooth, tiered rocks that they and their friends had sat on many times while hanging out during their free time, when Maka stopped.
"Soul, do you mind if we sit down? I wanted to talk to you for a minute."
He paused. It didn't sound like she had bad news, but he couldn't be sure. Seeing no way to put it off, he gave in.
"Sure. What's up?" he asked, situating himself on a rock that was shaped almost like a partially laid back recliner. Maka sat beside him on one that was slightly lower, making it where her head could rest easily on his shoulder. She rummaged around in the side pocket of the tote, pulling out two small, rectangular objects. She fiddled around with them until she was satisfied, placing them carefully a little away from them. Maka then cuddled into his side, and waited.
Soul was confused. She had set up what looked like an iPod and mini speaker, and was now all snuggled up under his arm. If he didn't know better, he'd think she was trying to create a mood.
"Hush. Just listen."
He did as she asked. The speaker wasn't the best quality, so it took some time to make out what song was playing; but when he did, Soul's heart nearly thumped out of his chest. He told himself not to get his hopes up, that it was just a coincidence, but Maka shattered that thought like a brick through a pane of glass.
She had leaned up, wrapping her arms around his neck as she sang softly into his ear.
"I only pray you'll never leave me behind
Because good music can be so hard to find
I'll take your hand and hold it closer to mine
Thought love was dead, but now you're
Changing my mind..."
He gripped her by her upper arms, frantically searching her eyes for answers.
"You remembered something, didn't you? What is it?"
"Everything." she answered simply.
Soul couldn't believe it. Forty-eight hours ago, they had been on the verge of being permanently torn apart and now she was saying everything was all fine and dandy, singing flowers and rainbow shitting unicorns.
"Everything? Are you sure?"
She crawled onto his lap, one arm around his shoulders while Maka stroked his cheek with the opposite hand.
"I remember the first ride we ever took on the motorcycle. I remember that you like Barq's root beer, not Mug. I remember you used to sneak into the living room to watch early Saturday morning cartoons, thinking I didn't know,"
She continued on, as the grin on Soul's face stretched wider with every word.
"I remember finding out where my lotion kept disappearing to," he blushed furiously at this, but couldn't protest as her face came closer and closer to his, her voice dropping to a husky whisper, "I remember the night before our last battle; the things we said...the things we did. I remember how much I love you. I remember you, Soul."
He didn't know who closed that final gap between them but all Soul knew was that his lips were finally on hers again with his hands running up and down her exposed back, greedy for any contact with her skin. He kissed her gently, faintly tasting the fruity flavor of her lip gloss. It was strawberry, his favorite. Soul nibbled her lower lip, her hands tangling in his hair, deepening the kiss. He brought one hand up to stroke her cheek, her jaw.
"Almost thought I'd never get a chance to hold you like this again," he said tenderly.
Maka smiled at his words.
"But you didn't give up on me. You never do."
She kissed the corner of his mouth in thanks and he chuckled.
"Cool guys never give up. Didn't you know that?"
Soul became serious with his next thoughts.
"You really do remember everything? About that night? I keep thinking...if that phone hadn't rung, you and I, we might've...you know. I could've showed you just how much you mean to me..."
His flustered stuttering was adorable. Knowing what he was getting at and more than willing to pick up from where they had left off, Maka kissed him again. This time, thought, she brushed her tongue over his lips until he parted them, his tongue coming out to run sensuously against hers. She placed a leg on either side of his hips, rocking against him.
"I think it went something like this?"
"Yeah, ah! It was just like that...we didn't get any farther than this though."
He groaned as she sped up, moving in short, jerky motions over his dick. She grinned cheekily.
"I think we can do better this time, don't you?"
He nibbled up the column of her neck.
"Definitely. But not here. We need to get home. NOW."
"Mmm, yes...we should...leave." she panted, tilting her head to the side so Soul could have better access. His hands moved to her hips, guiding her movement.
"We should go. Right. Now." he growled into Maka's skin, punctuating his words with hard, upward thrusts. Her head lolled back as he licked the hollow of her throat; where he could feel the whimper she let out vibrate. Using his last shred of control, Soul gently removed her from his lap, standing to join her. They were breathless and flushed, eager to continue. Wordlessly, Maka shoved the iPod and speaker back into the bag and they set off at a brisk walk in the direction for home.
Soul unlocked the door to their apartment, fingers slightly shaky with anticipation. He could feel Maka gently pressed against him, her breasts brushing his arm. He finally managed to get the key to work, and they stepped inside, both anticipating what was to come. Suddenly, Maka gripped his wrist.
"Soul, did you leave the lights on?" she hissed.
"No, I thought you did."
"I hear something from further inside! Do you think someone broke in?"
"Maybe. Can you sense anyone?"
Maka closed her eyes in concentration, searching for any trace of another presence. Finding none, she opened her eyes.
"No one's here. But I still hear something."
They made their way cautiously down the hall, Soul taking the lead even if it was ridiculous; Maka had said there was no one there, and even if there had been, she was more than capable of making them rue the day they chose to mess with Maka Albarn. The noise seemed to be coming from his room, so Soul slowly, carefully opened the door. The two of them stared in queasy disbelief at the scene.
"I'm. Going. To MURDER him!" Soul growled.
Tropical Storm Black*Star had struck. Flowers of all shapes and sizes were everywhere, clods of dirt hanging from exposed roots. A tiger skin rug covered most of the floor, and Soul's soft, comfy T-shirt sheets had been replaced with black silk, along with matching cushions. Rose petals had been scattered on top, but the effect was ruined by the disco ball rotating on the ceiling. That, and the stripper pole. Yes, somehow that lunkhead had managed to install one right in the center of the room, creating an overall juxtaposition of romantic and sleazy tastelessness. And, like gravy on mashed potatoes, he had set up 'Birthday Sex' to play on endless loop on the iPod dock.
Soul turned at the muffled sounds behind him. Maka was leaning on the door jamb, hands covering her mouth, futilely trying to hold in her laughter. Her body was shaking and tears of mirth ran down her cheeks. Seeing his expression, composed of one part pissed off homicidal rage and two parts of pathetic, whimpering cockblockedness, sobered her. Slightly.
"This is what he must have meant when he said he had something to set up! Oh lord, Soul! Have you ever seen anything so...so...?"
Soul stomped over to slump on his bed, plans for the night going up in smoke. There was no way Maka was going to do anything with him now, not in this sorry excuse for a porn set. He sat there dejectedly, not noticing that she had followed him till she sat down beside him, laying her hand on his.
"Soul? What's wrong?"
Soul waved his free hand at the room, answering in an exasperated voice.
"What's wrong? Look at this place! It's a freakin' wreck! He knew tonight was special, and he pulls this epic cockblock!"
"You know, it's only a cockblock if you let it become one. Sure, some of the elements are...a bit off putting, and I don't even want to know where he got those flowers, much less the other stuff, but I know in his own, twisted way he was just trying to do something nice. And..."
Maka blushed heavily as she trailed off, causing Soul to look at her.
"…..I'm not totally averse to trying out the sheets."
He nudged her arm, spirits lifting.
"How about the pole?"
She smacked his shoulder.
"No way! At least…..not until I have Blair give me a few pointers."
Soul gazed at her in awe.
She fidgeted around, embarrassed.
"I've heard it can be fun! And it's not like I'd be doing it in front of a bunch of people or anything, right?"
"Damn straight. Okay, so. The sheets and the pole can stay, but the flowers and that creepy ass rug have to go. Wait for a minute."
He stood and began to dump all of the flowers onto the rug, clumps of dirt falling to the floor. When Soul had finished, he rolled it up, staggered over to his window and shoved the mass outside to the sidewalk below. He then went into the bathroom to wash his hands and returning, he found that Maka had managed to figure out how to turn off the disco ball, replacing its light with his desk lamp, leaving the room in a soft glow. Soul went to turn off the music, but was stopped by her hand on his arm.
"Wait! You can go ahead and leave it on. After all, it is rather appropriate."
"About the only thing that is. Are you sure you still wanna do this? I mean, I wouldn't blame you-"
She cut him off with a kiss, silencing any protests he might make, her arms snaking around his neck as she rubbed herself against him. As their tongues danced together, the earlier mood from the park was restored, the state of the room being pushed to the back of their minds. Soul was the one to break the kiss, looking down at her devilishly.
"I think it's about time I got you out of those shoes, don't you?"
Maka's mouth went dry as she watched him lick his lips as he knelt before her, fingers tracing over the ribbons on one leg, slowly loosening the knot. She barely heard him whisper under his breath.
"I'm gonna enjoy this."
He leaned forward, turning his head to nip the back of her knee, fingers slowly peeling back the ribbons. As he uncrossed them from her leg, Soul followed their path, zigging and zagging with his lips, scattering kisses and small licks down Maka's calf. He had braced her foot on his thigh to give him better access and he could have looked up her skirt if he had so wished. Choosing instead to keep his focus on her luscious legs, he refrained, letting the suspense build. Soul removed the sandal from her foot, tossing it over his shoulder. He took his time to run his hands from her ankles up to her thighs, her warm skin under his fingers even softer than he had imagined. He followed the same pattern with her right leg, moving a tiny bit faster, roaming further up on her thigh, skimming under the hem of the skirt. He felt Maka's muscles tense and quiver, her breathing above him growing uneven.
Placing a last open mouthed kiss to the side of her knee, he stood. Soul brought his lips down on hers in another searing kiss, Maka's hands running over his chest and toying with the buttons. Breaking the kiss for air, she smirked at him.
"You know, I've got your number, now. All these years of acting like breasts were such a big deal, when really you're a closet leg man!"
"Busted. Yeah, your legs have been on my mind for a loooong time. But don't worry, I'm gonna pay equal attention to the sisters." he winked.
"Are you sure? I'd think that after the last few days, you would be burnt out on breasts."
"Don't remind me! It's given me nightmares where I'm being smothered by flesh-colored jello molds."
"You won't have that problem with mine. I guess that's the benefit of having a substandard chest." she joked, but Soul could hear the buried insecurity in her words and it brought to mind the tiny tits episode of last week.
Maka, not wanting to get caught up in comparing her breasts with the other girls, prepared to change the subject by kissing Soul, but his hand taking hold of her chin stopped her.
"Maka, I don't give a damn what size you are," he began seriously. "You haven't been tiny for a long time, but even if you hadn't grown at all, I wouldn't care."
He leaned his forehead against hers, making sure Maka's eyes were on his.
"Size and shape don't matter, as long as they're yours. They're the only ones that move me, the only ones that drive me crazy every time I see them. And it's not just your tits; it's all of you. Your soul…"
He whispered against her lips.
Teeth scraped along her jaw.
"… And your body."
His mouth worked its way down to the juncture between her neck and shoulders, where Maka was sure she would have a mark later. Soul's words washed away years of insecurity, leaving her feeling loved and desired.
She herself hadn't been idle, nimble fingers working loose the buttons of his shirt, until it was hanging open. Tracing over the muscles of his chest and shoulders, Maka memorized the feel of him, committing his body to memory.
His mouth was doing funny things to her head, giving her a floaty, swimmy sensation. She didn't even register the fact that Soul had slowly turned her body, brushing her hair over her shoulder as he paid her shoulders the same attention he had to her legs. It wasn't until he had bent her forward so her body arched towards him, his teeth pricking along the line of her spine, that Maka was able to form coherent words.
"S-Soul! What are you doing?"
He bit down a little harder, soothing over the mark with his tongue.
"What am I doing? I'm tasting you. Because every inch of you is so. Fucking. Delicious." he purred in Maka's ear.
Soul's words made the heat that had been pooling in her stomach spread throughout her body, rubbing her thighs together for relief. Reaching the base of her spine, Soul lowered his hands to fondle and grope the firm mounds of her butt, eliciting a small squeak from his meister. He turned Maka around to face him again, his fingers flicking open the catch at the neck of her dress, leaving it where the smallest of movements would cause it to fall from her upper body. Shrugging off his shirt as he backed off the bed, Soul sat down, undoing the buckle of his belt and sliding it from the loops, kicking off his shoes. He focused on Maka, whose hands had automatically clutched the dress to her chest, her eyes cloudy and confused at the sudden loss of contact.
"Take it off for me."
She blushed, the color reaching to the top of the dress. Any embarrassment Maka may have had felt fled when she saw how hungrily Soul was looking at her and the large bulge evident through his pants. Feeling powerful and in charge, she stood up and let the material she was holding drop, exposing Maka all the way to her hip bones. His reaction was gratifying, the groan he made while his hands gripped the edge of the bed, knuckles whitening. Bolder now, she undid the small zipper that was the only thing keeping the dress on, the dress finally falling to the floor where she kicked it to the side, leaving Maka standing in nothing but the scrap of underwear that Tsubaki had picked out for her. She was curious as to what Soul thought of it, and didn't have long to wait to find out.
"Holy shit," he said in awe, voice thick with emotion. It had been difficult to remove his gaze from her breasts, but he followed the movement of the dress lower and lower on her body, across the flat plane of her stomach to the slight swell of her hips. Soul hadn't been prepared for sexy lingerie, and the pair Maka was wearing made his mouth go dry. It was a wispy piece of gold, thin strings tying it ace high at the sides, the front dipping in a dangerously low keyhole. Suspended against the tantalizing circle of flesh was a tiny gold charm in the shape of a musical note, winking from the dim light reflected by the lamp. Panting hard, his chest rising and falling in rapid breaths, he reached out to grip Maka's waist, pulling her to stand between his legs. Soul was already painfully hard, and her next words, spoken in a voice that promised wicked delights only made it worse.
"You said I was delicious, Soul," she bent to lick the curve of his ear, "But there are still places you haven't tasted yet."
The position brought her chest right in front of his face, the swollen nipples that begged for attention scant inches from his mouth.
"You shouldn't play with me like that," he warned, his warm breath rushing over Maka's breasts.
"I'm not. I'm trying to get you to play with-Oh! ~"
The temptation had been too much and Soul had latched on to one of her breasts, sucking the nipple hard between his teeth, tongue running circles around the tip. His hand reached up to cup the other one, testing the weight of it, rolling and pinching the bud between his fingers. Maka braced her hands on his shoulders as he switched back and forth, the pleasurable sensations nearly consuming her mind, leaving her to wonder if it was possible to come just from having her breasts played with. Maka was willing to find out but Soul seemed to have other ideas.
Lips ghosting over the toned flesh of her stomach, he brought one of her legs up and set the foot on the edge of the bed, Soul's mouth hovering over her. He watched her with half lidded eyes as, with gazes locked, he deliberately ran his tongue over the pale skin not covered in the keyhole, the feel of the hard charm and his soft tongue being worked against Maka. He looked so sexy doing that and dear Death, did she just have a minigasm?
Deftly, he undid one side tie while using his teeth to undo the other, letting the cloth flutter to the floor. Her hips thrust forward in a silent plea for his touch, but he saw that Maka was having a hard time keeping her balance and Soul wanted to be able to work her over thoroughly without worrying about her falling. He lowered her leg to the floor as he stood, maneuvering her to lie down. Quickly, he shucked off his pants, boxers and socks, her eyes following his movements appreciatively. Soul crawled into bed to stretch out alongside her, nuzzling his face into her neck.
Feeling him hot and heavy on her thigh, Maka reached down to grip him with her small hand pumping him in smooth strokes. He jerked into her palm, groaning her name as he grabbed her by the wrist, pulling her away before she could finish Soul off.
"Maka! Hungh...Don't...don't do that..."
"Why not? She asked curiously. "I had planned on doing that. I...I wanted to make you feel good tonight, Soul. It's not fair if I get to have all the attention."
Bringing the hand he was still holding up to his mouth, Soul nipped at her fingers, kissing over the fluttering pulse point in her wrist.
"But you're the birthday girl." he crooned, rolling Maka from her side onto her back, sliding down the bed to rest between her thighs, spreading her legs to reveal her folds, wet and glistening with her juices. He settled himself comfortably, mouth drawn to her thighs. He couldn't get enough of those legs, and Soul ran his tongue over the quivering muscles, laughing to himself as he sang along to the song under his breath.
The dirty lyrics hadn't bothered her much before, but hearing them in Soul's deep, rumbling voice, Maka became even wetter as her arousal spiked. He was so close to where she needed him the most...was he really going to...
"Soul? What are you doing?"
He leered up at her, the expression making her weak with want.
"I'm done tasting you," Soul growled, "Now it's time to eat."
Not waiting for a response, he dragged his tongue over her dripping slit, exploring her moist folds. He used his hands to keep Maka spread open, exerting enough pressure to hold down her wildly bucking hips. Her head slammed back into the pillow as he used that magical pink appendage to alternately dip into her channel and tease her clit. Sparks of electricity flowed through Maka's body, and when he added his fingers to the mix, she nearly came. Carefully stretching her, he thrust his fingers deep, mimicking what he would later do with his cock.
The feel of her tight, wet heat clenching around Soul's fingers was too much, his dick was ready to wish her a very happy birthday, and he pulled away, causing Maka to sob his name in frustration. She had been so close! What was he thinking? She opened her mouth to ask him that very question, when he pulled his body over hers, leaning his weight on his hands which were placed on either side of her. Maka's irritation melted at the expression of love and longing on his face, and she raised a hand to run her fingers through the thick chunks of his bangs, pushing them out of Soul's face.
"Maka, I need you. Now. Are you sure you're ready for this? For me?"
Soul's shaky admission coupled with his tender concern did strange, wonderful things to her body. The smile she gave him was the sweetest he had ever seen, as her hand reached between them to guide his tip to her entrance. Soul pressed forward experimentally, both of them moaning at the sensation, her arms snaking around his neck to bring him into a kiss. He kept their mouths joined as he pushed himself in deeper, careful not to hurt Maka.
The pain wasn't as bad as she had expected, more of a dull ache as he filled her completely and as Maka became used to it, she began to grind against him, urging him on. Once he was sure she was comfortable, Soul picked up the pace, bringing one of her legs up to rest on his shoulder as his thrusts became more forceful. Her head tossed from side to side as Maka begged for more, harder, and he complied, his hips snapping into hers with abandon. He must have hit a sensitive spot, for she suddenly arched forward, screaming his name as she came. Her sheath clenched down on Soul, hard, and his orgasm slammed through his body with the force of a freight train.
Catching his breath, Soul propped himself up on his arm, watching as she came down from her high, feeling himself stir again at the sight of Maka's body relaxed in release, the necklace he had given her resting against her the skin that shimmered lightly from sweat.
Her eyes came back into focus and Maka turned her head to look at Soul.
"What are you thinking about?" she asked with a slightly husky voice.
"Just thinking how amazing it is to be here like this with you, after coming so close to losing you." he answered honestly.
"For a while there, I thought you were going to leave me and I wouldn't even be your weapon anymore." he stroked her cheek with his thumb, continuing, "Then, you suddenly get your memories back, and here I am, happier than I've ever been before. We still don't even have a clue how your memories returned, but I guess it doesn't really matter."
Maka laughed, one of her hands covering his.
"Actually, I do know. I had a talk with Blair yesterday to make sure she was working tonight, and when she found out my memories were back, she told me what she thought must have happened."
"So, what was it? Another side effect of having a Grigori soul?"
"Nope. It was all you."
Soul cocked his head in confusion.
Maka lifted the necklace to dangle the charms in front of his face.
"Blair said that sometimes, items take on the emotions of their owners, and things given as a gift with a special meaning are even more powerful. This necklace represented your feelings for me and the curse threatened that, causing it to act as a ward. It couldn't totally stop the effects, but it could limit them enough to give me a chance to reverse it."
Soul was stunned, and a little scared. If he had waited to give the necklace to her on her birthday like he had been planning... He crushed her to him, needing to feel her to erase the sick feeling in his stomach.
"I love you Maka. I never want you to forget that again."
She hugged him back tightly.
"Never." she agreed, kissing him on the jaw, then yawning widely. Seeing how tired she was, Soul turned them on their sides, spooning behind her like the night he had played the keyboard for her. She sighed in contentment, and he couldn't resist asking Maka.
"So, can I keep you warm this time without you threatening to run to Black*Star with malicious lies about me?"
She snorted, feeling his lips spread in a smile against the back of her neck.
"There is nothing malicious about pink kitty blankies."
"They're totally uncool! Blue puppies, maybe, but pink cats are definitely out of the question."
"Funny, you didn't have a problem with my pink pussy earlier..."
"…..Damn it! Don't say stuff like that unless you wanna go for another round!" he whined.
Muttering darkly about still contrary meister/girlfriends, Soul obeyed Maka, curling his body protectively around her as she slept.
EIGHT MONTHS LATER
Another party, this one his, and once again, Soul was on the sidelines with Black*Star with Kid off dealing with an out-of-hand Goat that someone had brought to the party. It was loud again and Patty had made another cake, this one with bits of confetti replacing the glitter. Black*Star had redeemed himself, finally proving he had at least a glimmer of romance when he had seen Soul and Maka head for the dance floor. He had scrambled to the DJ booth and somehow managed to get the guy to put on Stereo Hearts for them to dance to. Afterwards, Maka had been pulled off by the other girls, leaving him to watch from across the room.
"You know, 'Star, we're pretty damn lucky. We got us some amazing women."
Black*Star's eyes followed his gaze, where Tsubaki stood in a dark blue sheath that had silver threads glistening in the light. She was laughing with Maka, who was wearing a high necked, sleeveless silk dress that was ankle length. It was a shimmery cream colored little number that would have been conservative except for the two scoops in the sides that left her waist and hip bones bare. Her hair was up in a half bun, with loose strands hanging down to frame her face.
"Yep. I like my women like I like my tea; sweet, hot and strong, and Tsubaki's all of that and more. Hey, we got us a new book that we're tryin' out tonight. Sure you don't wanna give our old one a shot?" he asked, laughingly nudging Soul in the ribs.
Soul shifted uncomfortably, blushing.
"I keep telling you, we don't need any damn book." he muttered.
And they didn't. One of the many benefits of dating a nerd. Hell, thanks to Maka, they had a whole mini library on the subject. Soul's eyes had glazed over at the thought, and he hadn't noticed that the subject of his less-than-pure thoughts was standing right in front of him, snapping her fingers in his face.
"Ah! Oh, hey Maka. I was kinda lost in thought for a minute." he explained.
She raised an eyebrow, staring at him suspiciously.
"Suuuure. Come with me, I need to show you something."
Taking Soul by the hand, Maka had led him away from the throng of partygoers, pulling him into a small alcove hidden by a pillar. Leaning forward to kiss the nape of her neck, he chuckled.
"You know, if you had wanted to get me alone, you just had to ask. I would've preferred a party for two anyway."
Maka turned to face him, pushing Soul back a step. She shifted from foot to foot, fidgeting nervously with the small clutch she was carrying. This caused Soul's brow to furrow in confusion. Maka was never this uneasy when it was just the two of them and he hadn't thought she even owned a purse, much less carried one. She seemed to gather her thoughts and after taking a deep breath, Maka finally spoke.
"I was going to wait, but I wanted to give you your present now."
His hands slid along her waist as he leered down at her.
"Right here? Kinky. I'm all for it!"
She shoved his hands away, pouting lightly.
"Not that present! Be serious for just a minute, Soul!"
He slouched back against the wall, his hands stuffed in the pocket of his dress pants. Watching Maka dig through her clutch, he realized that she was both nervous and excited, eyes sparkling as color heightened her cheeks. The snarky comment died on his tongue and his gaze softened. Whatever it was, she had obviously put forth a lot of thought and effort and for that reason alone, Soul already loved it.
"Ah ha!" she triumphantly pulled out a flat, square box. With an endearing look of shy eagerness, she handed it to him.
He took the box, curiously lifting the lid. There was just enough light from the chandelier to cast a soft glow of the contents. Soul's breath caught in his throat, rendering him speechless. There, on a familiar looking cushion of black silk, was a necklace. Somehow, Maka must have tracked down the same jeweler who had crafted hers, for the work was similar.
On a short, black leather cord with a silver hook and eye style clasp, were two charms. One was in the shape of a book, made from a matte black metal inlaid with a silver skull. Instead of the filigreed spacer beads like Maka's, his were in the shape of tiny skulls, giving the piece a cool, badass vibe. It appeared to have a hinge and opening it, Soul could just make out enough of the delicate inscription to recognize the quote about sound souls. The other charm was a brilliant blue sapphire polished into a smooth sphere, with two wings protruding from the sides, marking it as a Grigori soul.
Soul swallowed thickly. He was so elated; he felt as if he were floating in a puddle of ooey, gooey sappiness and Soul fought for words to express himself in a way that wouldn't make him sound like an escapee from one of the cheesier shoujo manga's. Maka seemed to take his silence the wrong way, and began babbling.
"I, uh, wanted to get you something special, and I couldn't think of anything for a long time, but then I was like, hey, this necklace you gave me is really special to me, so I decided to get you one that sort of matched, and I know it's not original and you don't have to wear it if you don't wa-"
She was silenced by the fingers of Soul's left hand on her jaw tilting her head so he could bring his lips down on hers. Her body relaxed as she melted into the kiss, feeling the emotions that he couldn't convey in words in that heartfelt gesture. Soul stroked her cheek gently as the kiss ended and Maka was happy to note that he was wearing one of his rare open smiles, his eyes shining tenderly in a way that they only did when he looked at her. He rested his forehead on hers.
"Have I told you lately that you're the coolest girlfriend ever?"
Maka felt a wide, silly grin stretching across her face.
"No, but I'll remember that later when you're complaining about what a nerd I am. So, you really like it?"
Soul carefully handed her the necklace and turned away. He looked over his shoulder and fluttered his eyelashes at her in an exaggerated manner, speaking in a breathy falsetto.
"Put it on for me?"
She smacked his arm with a glare, but did as he asked anyway.
"I sounded nothing like that." she mumbled, adjusting the necklace to hang straight. He turned to face her, letting her see how it looked on him.
"So, does it add to my devastating charm and utter coolness?"
"I wouldn't say that. More like it looks so good it detracts from what an ass you are." she said playfully.
He placed his hands on the exposed circles of her hips, grinning goofily as he rubbed noses with her.
"Don't be hatin', you love my ass and you know it."
"Whatever your ego needs to believe. Now let's go, we should get back to the others."
He kissed her, sucking on her lower lip.
"Aw, come on. Can't we leave early? I'm ready for the after party to start. You are wearing my favorite pair of panties since it's my birthday, right?" he asked hopefully.
"Nope. Not tonight."
"A new pair?"
Soul loved taking her new underwear for a test run.
"Sorry, couldn't do that either."
Maka grinned, watching his face fall. He didn't understand it; she wasn't on the rag, so she didn't need to wear granny panties. Why wasn't his present properly wrapped? Giggling, Maka gave Soul an explanation.
"Silly Soul, you've been drooling over the cutouts on this dress all night. You should know by now that there's no way I could wear panties with this at all!"
It had been a wonderful party, Maka recalled later. The only downfall was the resulting deluge of blood from Soul's nose had absolutely ruined her pretty dress.
Here we are, the final chapter! Thanks to everyone who's reviewed so far, I hope you enjoy (review) the end! I should have a new, complete story up in two to three weeks, so keep an eye out for that.
As always, I own nothing, except for the plot. And the smut. Editing done by GlitterGoat.