Elsa sighed. Today was yet another day that they had to share with the first through third years, and to make it worse, today was an evaluation day. She changed into her gym clothes and stepped out into the yard with the rest of the females in the class.

Murmurs ran through the crowd as she did. She was well aware that her bodily proportions were above average- but that wasn't what they were talking about. She could hear the whispers even from where she stood with Sylvia, Ren, Melody and Artemis. Each pointed finger, each hushed whisper infuriated the girl and she stood still trembling.

"Elsa?" Melody's lilting French accent called her name and the silver haired girl turned to look at her. Melody smile lit up her face. "Ignore the swine. They are simply jealous they are not as beautiful as toi, even with your scars, you surpass all of them."

"My scars are mine." Elsa said harshly. "They don't need to be mentioning them."

"Elsa-san, someone always will." Sylvia reasoned.

"Don't be so sensitive, you're just giving them what they want." Artemis chimed in, Ren shying back a bit from the angry meister.

Unfortunately, the girls' words of advice fell on deaf ears as a first year student boldly approached the tall fourth year. She looked up nervously into Elsa's face and, faltering, spit out what she had come to say.

"How'd you get those atrocious scars on your legs? What about the ones on your arms?" While hesitant, the girl's voice was prissy, haughty.

Elsa reacted violently. The girl (a weapon) was flung backwards by the severity of the hit, Elsa's wavelength crackling gently around her clenched fist. In a voice just loud enough for the girl to hear Elsa called out lowly, "I got them fighting a witch. Care to test me?"

The other girl's eyes went wide and she backed away quickly. Soon there was a wide berth given to the small group. Sid just shook his head, but as no fight had actually erupted he let it go.

"Alright, class. Hakase Stein and Marie-sensei won't be in attendance today. We will be doing dead runs, high jumps, that sort of thing. You'll be timed and scored. Any questions?" Sid said, looking around.

A first year spoke up, "How is it fair that we're competing against people like her?" She asked, pointing directly at Elsa. "Or any of the other fourth years?"

"This isn't a competition. You're being scored for your own betterment, not to see who is the best. I'm not pitting you against each other, that's not the type of man I was." Elsa giggled slightly and Sid looked over at her briefly. "Alright, let's go then."

The rest of the afternoon was spent in grueling athletic displays underneath the overly zealous sun. All of the students were drenched in sweat when Sid finally announced a break. A few minutes later the scores were tallied and posted.

Elsa was on top, which wasn't a surprise. Melody and Artemis took second and third, while Ren and Sylvia shared a tied score for fifth. The boys section went as smoothly as the girls had. James and Val tied for the top spot, Avalon took third and Trevor took fourth. Kiru and Nicole were both absent from school, and as such would have to do personal make up sessions with Sid.

After showering the class met up again and loitered around talking.

"Kiru and Nicole went on a mission without you, Syl?" James asked, leaning against the wall.

"Nicole-san is three souls behind me, and Kiru-san is hoping to even the count. I believe he intends to make us both death scythes at around the same time." Sylvia answered.

"That's awesome; you all are close, aren't you?"

"I have 67 souls, Nicole-san has 64. It's not as close as you and Elsa, but we're getting there." Sylvia said with a slight smirk.

"We'll still beat you, Syl-chan." Elsa grinned from beside James. "Nothing is going to stop us from making James a death scythe before graduation." James chuckled as he slipped his arm around Elsa's waist.

"We'll see, Elsa-san."

James and Elsa darted through the darkened streets, the residents of this small town having been ordered to evacuate days earlier. Elsa still caught glimpses of souls around her, though, accounting for why the prekishin in this area hadn't left.

"James!" Elsa shouted suddenly, skidding on the cobbled road.

A monster strode into the middle of the road in front of her as James jumped towards her, transforming as she caught him cleanly. The beast was tall and lanky, its long arms hanging almost to its feet. What had to be cutlery was strapped to each finger and Elsa smirked as she saw that at least two of the fingers had spoons attached to them.

"Matthew Bishop? Long time no see. I'm going to take your soul now. And I'm going to enjoy it." Elsa grinned like a maniac as she darted at the thing.

"Weakling." He growled at her as she slashed him with James' blade before back flipping away and unleashing a volley of shots that staggered the creature.

"You're still the same." Elsa hissed out. "I should've had my father cut you into little pieces all those years ago. Would have saved us the hassle now." She caught a glimpse of a soul to her left and attempted to draw the thing away, but the reckless soul came running right at it.

What was left of Matthew Bishop turned and looked at the much easier prey. A hoarse laugh escaped him even as Elsa switched direction and slammed into him.

"Not better than me!" He hissed as he slammed the side of his hand into Elsa. It was then that she saw that while there was cutlery strapped to the outsides of his fingers, there was what looked like a grenade strapped to the inside of each one. "Smarty pants die now! I eat!"

"James, protect that soul!" She screamed as the hand descended on her with a blinding flash as she threw James.

The boy ignored her, transforming in midair and catching her hand, tugging her away from the prekishin as the explosion hit, shielding her body was his own. The last thing she heard was a child's scream of pain and fear before it cut off abruptly.

Elsa opened her eyes to the infirmary of the DWMA. Her father was looking down at her, and she was quite sore. James stood at her other side, near the window. She dutifully held her eyes open as Stein checked her over, shining lights in her eyes, pressing on her sides. He glared at James as he left, but Elsa could sense that the glare wasn't as angry as it could have been.

"I have bad news, Elsa…" James said as she sat up. "Lord Death… he took half of our collected souls because of what happened."

She stopped and turned to look at him. "What?" The girl's tone was icy.

"We were penalized for the civilian that died." James said quietly. Elsa stood unsteadily to her feet and walked over to him.

James' face snapped to the side as Elsa slapped him as hard as she could, barely concealed anger radiating from her. "I told you, James! I told you to protect the soul that had stumbled onto us! If you had done what I told you, we wouldn't be stuck collecting enough souls to make TWO death scythes!"

With a slight stumble the girl turned her back on him, anger running through her being. "I'm done, James."

She left the infirmary then, leaving a very confused weapon with her hand print on his face behind her.

A/N: Our next chapter will be a fun one. Partying, fluff, etc. I'll try not to let so much time pass between this one and that.

I don't own Soul Eater or any OC except Elsa and James.