Author's Note:

Hello my lovely readers you are all looking extremely beautiful today! Are you ready for the end of Matching Scars? I sure am. It's time for me to part ways with this story. It's actually kind of funny that the last update happened to land on today, my friend's first anniversary of leaving this world. It still doesn't seem real though. I'm still expecting him to show up one day and laugh and say "Hey, guys, did you miss me? I was here all along."But that's not going to happen no matter how hard anybody wishes... I just miss him so much. I guess in a way this chapter is my last goodbye to him, so I hope this one's the best because he deserves it. Also, I've decided to put this final note at the beginning of the chapter so that when you guys finish it will really, truly be the end. And to those of you who asked I'm very flattered but there will not be a sequel for this story. Everything has been wrapped up and there's nothing left to be said. Thank you so much for everything guys. The reviews, the favorites, the follows. You've made me happier than words can say. I'm so incredibly honored to have such an amazing group of people like you reading this. I hope that I created something important to you all. Now then, I'll let you all read.

Matching Scars

Chapter 23


Sometimes when she thought it all over Maka Albarn couldn't help but smile. Memories tugging at her lips, curling them slightly upward as nostalgia swallowed her whole. She could clearly picture herself walking the hallways and sitting down with Marie and talking as if it had all happened yesterday. And she would laugh to herself; reflecting on all the things that had been said and done and then thinking of the present and about how much had changed since she had left the hospital.

Southern Death City was no longer her home. About a month after being released into her mother's care the two of them packed their bags and left the house to Spirit, deciding that the beginning of their new life could start with a change in scenery. The search for what Kami called "a suitable home for the recently divorced" lasted for a few days before they found everything that they were looking for in a two bedroom apartment in the East district. It was absolutely perfect, fitting both her and her mother's tastes. The kitchen was updated and the living area was bright and spacious but best of all her new home was only a ten minute walk away from where her best friend lived.

Transferring to Tsubaki's school was chaotic. There was paper work to be done and records to be switched over but when everything settled it was worth it. Maka was now the top student at East High, she had been warmly welcomed into Tsubaki's friend group and she and her friend were now able to see each other whenever they wanted ensuring countless inside jokes and legendary sleepovers.

But even though she was in the outside world now Maka didn't forget where she had came from.

Every other weekend, from breakfast to dinner, the pigtailed teen ventured back to the Death City Mental Institution for Troubled Teens and spent her hours goofing around with the people she had left behind. In her absence many things had changed. The renovation Nygus said the building would be undergoing when she first arrived finally happened and the people were transforming too. Stein and Marie were now in a steady relationship and the gang was maturing greatly.

Liz was at a healthy weight again and was continuing to promote a positive body image by eating properly and Patti was getting the hang of bottling up her excessive amount of energy. They were the next ones to leave a couple months later. Kid's discharge followed shortly after theirs and you'd never believe what happened. After the Thompsons got out they were put into the foster care system like the hospital planned and then Kid, after a few days of begging, convinced his father to adopt them into his family.

The adoption wasn't the kind where the girls would have become Kid's sisters though. Kid's father basically arranged everything so that Liz and Patti would just live in their house and go to school at Central High (which Kid would now be attending since his OCD had become controllable). So it wasn't like Kid and the Thompsons were siblings, it was more of a roommate type thing. Either way the girls were ecstatic. They were a part of a family; something they had only dreamed of having after living for years on the streets. They would have willing gone to live with anybody who would have them but staying with the mayor of Death City in his luxurious mansion at the center of town was definitely a bonus. And Liz was especially lucky being only a few doors down from the boy she had a thing for.

BlackStar eventually returned home too after calming down his ego and getting over that weird obsession he had with transcending god. Nobody really knew when that problem was solved but it might have been when a new teen came to the institution and said that he was an atheist, therefore giving the blue haired boy nothing to surpass. However it happened though everyone was thankful and Tsubaki was extremely thrilled when the two of them finally got to go on their first date.

Crona had become an entirely different person and was scheduled to be released later that year. He had slowly crawled out of his shell and became that outgoing kid Maka always knew he could be. He had began to talk to everyone, making his way into the hearts of staff and teens alike, and he had went on with exploring his writing talents, focusing on motivational poems though instead of depressing ones.

And Soul, well, he got out too a year after Maka had left. The demon had been obliterated with time; the haunting voice that mimicked his brother gradually disappearing from his mind. When she talked to him about it though he was just as confused as she was. He didn't understand why it had suddenly chosen to go away, but it did and he was finally at peace.

The Evans were overjoyed to have their son back again, his mother crying with happiness when Soul told her that it was over for good this time. They then had one of those important family talks and Soul finally made it known to them that he loved the piano and wanted to keep playing but he didn't want to be compared to Wes. From there everything just spilled out. Everything Soul had seen and felt during the long road to recovery. And as this went on his parents sat and listened, supporting him with comforting words when it was too painful for him to speak. The three of them got to know each other all over again that day and made a promise to become a stronger family for one another. And then Soul revealed to them that the most helpful meds of all had been a certain green eyed girl who had a knack for books and knowledge.

Maka had been extremely nervous when she first met Soul's parents. They were both so elegant and carried themselves in a way that just made you admire them. When they all sat down together for dinner Soul grabbed her hand under the table and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "They'll like you," he whispered. "Don't worry." But he was wrong. Mr. and Mrs. Evans loved her. They found her a most charming and accomplished young lady and as soon as the meal was over they found themselves inviting her over for week next.

As their relationship progressed the admiration his parents had for his girlfriend had yet to cease. "When are you two getting married?" or "I think you should invite Maka over today, we haven't seen her in a while," were just some of the comments that were made. And though these remarks embarrassed Soul deeply he was secretly pleased that they saw everything that Maka was worth and Maka was flattered by how easily they had accepted her into their family despite meeting their son in a psyche ward.

Yeah, a lot had happened in the two years after the teen had been discharged.

She was now walking down the bustling sidewalk of Northern Death City, a crisp autumn breeze rustling her skirt as she traveled. Halloween was right around the corner and you could just feel the excitement stirring in the air. Civilians were hanging festive decorations about the buildings and fat pumpkins were being placed on every doorstep. The teen let a smile play at her lips as she took everything in. The smells and the colors of the changing season as she passed them by; she knew now what they were worth.

Maka was headed to DeathBucks, the infamous coffeehouse where she and Soul (even though he denied it being one) had gone on their first date. Once the gang (excluding Crona) had all been released they followed through on their plans to meet up at the café. This wasn't the first time they had all gotten together like this though; it had actually become a regular thing. On Fridays after school when everyone was available they'd all get bused in to the North district and hang out.

As Maka turned the corner she felt her cell phone buzz in her pocket.

"Hello?" she answered as she continued down the walkway.

"Maka, we all agreed to meet at 5:00 and it is now 5:15," an impatient voice scolded her.

"Relax, Kid," she laughed into the phone as she strolled through the doors of the restaurant. "I'm right here."

Clicking off the device Maka cruised through the crowded café to where her friends were seated. They had gotten their usual table right at the rear of the restaurant; they had all decided on sitting in the back because some things just never change.

"Maka!" exclaimed Kid, relieved that she had showed.

"Hiya, Maka!" Patti chirped.

"Sup," BlackStar greeted her with a nod.

Maka returned the gesture and smiled when she noticed that the blue haired boy's arm was currently draped over her best friend's shoulder in an affectionate manor. It was an adorable display of their romance in Maka's opinion.

"Hey, Maka," Tsubaki smiled sweetly at her.

"It's about time you got here," Liz finished off the greeting. "Kid was about to have an episode."

"I was not," Kid declared. "Punctuality is just important to me."

Maka laughed and took a seat in an empty chair next to Tsubaki. "I'm deeply sorry for my late arrival," she apologized to Kid in a mock British accent.

"It's alright," Kid forgave her. "I was just wondering why you didn't come in with Tsubaki like normal."

"I got held up at school tutoring this kid so Tsubaki just took the earlier bus in," Maka explained.

"You're excused then," Kid told her. "If I'm going to penalize anyone for coming late its Soul."

Just then, right on cue the roar of the albino's motorcycle sounded from outside the café and all heads turned to the front window to watch as his yellow and orange bike pulled up against the curb.

"Soul sure knows how to make an entrance," Tsubaki mused as groups of teenage girls hanging out in the restaurant began to swoon at the sight of their friend.

Soul then entered the café, the collar of his leather jacket popped and his steel toed boots clicking upon the tile floor. Excited whispers rippled through the crowd of ogling girls as he stood before them then fell rapidly when he walked right past their tables and planted a kiss on his girlfriend's cheek.

"Sorry, I got held up in traffic," he told them, running a hand through his spiky white hair as he sat down next to Maka.

"It's alright," the pigtailed teen assured him. "I just got here too."

A waitress came to take their orders.

"So how's football going?" Patti asked BlackStar.

The blue haired boy had taken up a sport once he got back to school. His competitiveness and natural athletic ability gave him a great advantage on the field. It was also a good way to keep his energy in check. "I'm up for a scholarship actually," he grinned.

"Dude, no way," Soul's jaw dropped open.

"There are scouts coming to the next game," he told them. "If I make a good impression then college seems to be in my future."

"When's the game I want to go," Tsubaki said.

"We'll all go," Liz told him. "We'll be those obnoxious kids in the stands that cheer so loud other people won't want to sit near us."

BlackStar gladly told them the date and then the conversation moved on to how Patti's bubblegum giraffe sculpture was going to be featured in her school's art show.

This was how these things usually went. They'd all get together for a bite and talk about their lives. Discussing what was currently happening and what was to happen in the future. But they never forgot the past and the place that had all brought them all together.

As things were wrapping up, the bill being paid and the plates being cleared, Soul asked Maka to come back to his house to hang out.

"Can we play video games?" she asked hopefully. He had recently gotten her into Black Ops and she was itching to get her fingers back on a controller.

"Sure," he laughed. "But I'm going to kick your ass."

"I don't know," she said. "I've gotten pretty good since last time."

"You've also improved on Clair de Lune," he pointed out.

Clair de Lune was a piece Soul was teaching her how to play the piano. He was a great instructor; always patient with Maka and her clumsy fingers, guiding her through the sheet music and helping her with the timing of the notes.

The group then left the coffeehouse and stepped outside into the chilly night. After a few more words and laughs were said goodbyes were called and buses were caught. Everyone parting ways until the next time. And Maka fearlessly hopped on the back of Soul's bike, completely trusting and at ease, completely different from the girl who had first sat on it so many months ago.

"Ready?" he asked her.

She fastened her helmet and grabbed onto his waist. "Ready."

The motorcycle came to life and they sped down the street, chasing after the same moon she saw when she first realized that she liked him. And as they rode Maka threw her head back and laughed because this right here was her life and she was happy she wasn't missing it.