"Please, Soul!" She begged and put on her best pouty face.
"Romance is for idiots," he dismissed. "I don't wanna see a bunch of people kissing and crap."
"You're such a jerk!" She yelled, punching his shoulder. Hard.
"Oww!" He clenched his sore shoulder and shot her a look. "Why do you wanna see this movie so badly anyways? A romantic movie? It's not like you at all, Maka."
"Why not? We haven't gone to see a movie in a while."
"You're avoiding the question."
"You said you wanted to see this romantic movie, but last time I checked, since when are you big on love?" Maka tried to hide her blush.
"Why? Do you have a problem with me trying something new?"
Liz and BlackStar watched them bicker from afar. "Here they go again," Liz sighed.
"Maybe if Soul started to act like me, then he won't be such a loser!" BlackStar laughed. They waited for the next person to move up on the line to the ice cream. The group decided that it would be fun to hang out today in honor of finishing their exams and were getting ice cream to celebrate.
Maka and Soul had taken their little argument outside, so their conversation was muted to everyone except Liz and BlackStar, who were waiting towards the back of the line. Maka looked quite comical waving her arms and pointing at Soul, who was slouching with his hands tucked behind is head, as if her words refused to penetrate his mind.
"Aw, they're like a married couple, fighting over everything," she exclaimed.
"What are they arguing about this time?" Asked BlackStar.
"Maka wants to see a romantic movie, but Soul doesn't want to. Isn't that sad?!"
"Why? What do you think about them?"
"I think they'd make a cute couple!" I hope one of them confesses or something."
"Haha. I doubt it. Soul and Maka aren't into that romantic stuff," chuckled BlackStar.
Liz sighed. "I guess you're right...unless..."
"Hey, move up a little." Liz didn't notice that the line was moving quickly.
"Unless someone actually helps them get together..." she finished. The door swung open and nearly knocked the bell hanging above it to the floor. Maka stomped in, cheeks ablaze, with Soul following behind her nonchalantly.
"If you're actually thinking of doin' something like that, don't forget to ask the great love god himself!" BlackStar grinned. "I'll have 'em drooling over each other in two seconds!"
"Don't underestimate my match-making skills," Liz smiled mischievously. "Hey Soul!" Liz snatched his sleeve. "Hold the line for us, Maka." She yanked him into the corner.
"What the hell, Liz! This is kidnapping," he hissed angrily at the smirking girl. "What's this about?"
"You like Maka, don't you!" She whispered and glanced back at Maka, who was still waiting in their spots and constantly glancing back at them with her arms crossed.
"I have no idea what you're talking about!" Soul gaped at the weapon, being that it was so sudden and random to bring up something like this.
"Stop lying; Don't deny it." Liz crooned slyly. "It's so obvious!"
"What's this really about?" He demanded again.
"It's about that movie that Maka wanted to see! I mean, you do realize that this is the perfect time to... I don't know...finally make your move on her!"
Soul almost burst out laughing and making a fool out of himself in front of the whole store. "Make my move?" She raised an eyebrow and shot him a glare. "Why in the hell would I do that? We're just going to some stupid-ass movie."
"And why wouldn't you? C'mon, Soul. Now is your chance to show her you wuv her," she chimed in, mockingly puckering her lips at him. "What movie was it?"
"The Notebook," he said, lips curling with disgust as the words rolled off his tongue.
He watched as Liz's face lit up with joy as she rambled on about the wonderfully wonderful romance that entailed. And the kissing scene; can't forget the kissing scene.
"Whatever. Sounds like a load of crap to me."
"Romance is not crap," she fumed. "It is a normal emotion that every normal teenager needs to experience at least once in their lives!"
"A cool guy like me doesn't need romance," he shrugged.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, she though reluctantly. "Is that really true? Or are you just scared?" She tested the water to see how far she could push him.
"Cool guys are not scared of some stupid romance movie," he growled and shoved his hands into his pockets.
"Then go to that movie with her and do some romantic stuff with her."
Liz's impish grin became wider. "I dunno, try to hold her hand, cuddle, put your arm around her-"
"But that's so cliche! She'd never fall for that crap," he said.
"Well, ya never know until you try." She glanced at Maka, who still looked upset and pouty with her arms crossed over her chest.
Soul bit his lip and glanced down at the floor before answering. "Fine. I'll go with her to see a movie. It's gonna be so stupid..."
"So how'd you do it?" BlackStar asked and watched as the scythe boy agreed with his meister to see that movie with her.
"Reverse psychology." Liz said triumphantly, also observing her handiwork in progress. "I'd like to consider it a date...and you're gonna help me with it."
He never though of Maka in a romantic way. At least, not initially. When it came down to the thought of Maka, she was his meister and he her weapon and nothing more. Even when he had told her that he would go with her to see the movie, she refused to believe him, raising a skeptical eyebrow at him and asking, "Okay, what did Liz say to make you change your mind?"
"Nothing!" Soul insisted. "If you really want to see a dumb lovey-dovey cuddly show, then we'll go," he grumbled, wincing at his own words.
Watching her face go from doubt to happiness, he knew he was safe for the time being. "Just don't do anything uncool," she said.
"Wouldn't think of it," he replies, shooting her a devious smirk.
"Put this in your ear!" BlackStar said, reaching into his pocket and taking out a small ear device. Soul squeezed the little earplug in and heard a faint static noise.
"What the hell is this?" He asked.
"Can you hear this?" Liz's voice rang out clear in his ears even though she was ten feet away. "This is the little device that's gonna help us help you on your date!" She said excitedly.
"HAHAHA! CAN YOU HEAR THIS, SOUL?! THIS IS THE VOICE OF YOUR GOD, THE GREAT BLACKSTAR!" Soul let out a loud yelp as a sharp screech blasted in his brain and nearly blew out his eardrum.
"SHUDDUP YOU ASSHOLE! WHAT ARE YOU TRYNA' DO? MAKE ME DEAF OR SOMETHIN'?!" He furiously screamed at the laughing blue-haired assassin.
"Stop it both of you!" Liz scolded them, smacking BlackStar on the back of the head. "We're on a mission right now!"
"No," Soul interjected. "You're on a mission right now. I'm just here to see a movie with Maka." He motioned grimly with his hand to the entrance of the theatre, where his partner was getting the tickets.
'"Shh! She might hear us!" She hissed quietly.
"Haha! I'm just here for the free popcorn and to see Soul get rejected!" BlackStar said, showing off that stupid grin of his.
"Shut up! You're here to help me get Soul and Maka together, alright? Do you even have that list we made?"
The ninja dug into his pockets again and took out a crumpled up piece of paper that supposedly was their list. "What's that for?" Soul asked suspiciously.
"It's some list of romantic things to do while you're watching with her," Liz said happily, shoving the list in from of his face too close for him to read.
Soul moved his head back, trying to decipher the chicken scratch that was her writing, and could only make out some of the words. "'Put...your hand in popcorn at same time...hold...arms around her shoulder...' This is so stupid. You expect me to do these things without her noticing it?" He scoffed, worrying more about the bodily damage he might recieve after tonight.
She shot him another disappointed glare. "I worked all night on that!"
"Hey Soul, I have the tickets!" He heard Maka calling in the distance.
Grabbing BlackStar and diving head-first into the nearest bushes, Liz whispered one last thing into his microphone. "You better listen closely! BlackStar and I are gonna sneak into the movie theater and sit behind you guys. Listen to my instructions. And have fun, you lovebirds!" Before Soul even opened his mouth in protest, Maka gripped his arm and tugged him through the door.
"I have a feeling this is gonna be good," she smiled at his bored expression in an attempt to bring him out of his gloominess.
He hunched his shoulders closer to his face and stuffed his hands into the jacket. "Whatever, Maka." Truthfully, he was more worried about the things that ensued during the movie than the movie itself.
"Testing, testing..." He heard Liz's voice through the microphone. "Soul, if you can hear my voice, then -"
"HEY SOUL! DID YOU MAKE OUT WITH HER YET?"
"SHUT IT BLACKSTAR!"
Listening to them bicker for a few more moments, Soul excused himself to the bathroom.
"WILL YOU TWO SHUT THE HELL UP?!" He screamed into the bathroom stall.
"I will if you stop smacking me!" He heard BlackStar yell.
"Can't you even concentrate on this mission?!" Liz shouted back.
"Are you gonna help me or not?" Soul sneered.
"We're working on it," Liz sighed. "Anyways, what I was saying before was that you need certain signs to give us to let us know where you are at times. Like, cough if you're in the theater, or sneeze when you're -"
"I'll cough when I'm in the theater with her, okay? Then you can come in after us."
"See, Soul? Isn't this nice?" Maka whispered during the opening credits. Soul mumbled a response and glanced back at Liz and BlackStar, who munching on some popcorn. Liz smirked and gave him a thumbs-up, while BlackStar devoured his popcorn and gulped down his drink. Don't worry, she mouthed.
Facing back towards the screen, he leaned back into his seat uneasily and sucked in his breath. The screen went black for a second, then cut to a scene bright and colorful. Soul turned his head slightly to get a small peek at his meister, whose eyes were trained on the show.
The fluttering of a million butterflies in his stomach intensified and forced him to lurch back over. Instead of concentrating on the plot, he waited nervously. About thirty minutes into the movie when the plot started getting serious, he heard Liz's voice penetrate his head and whisper her commands carefully. "Are you ready? It's time to make your first move." He nodded. "'Romantic things to do at the movies 101, step one,'" she began. "'The ol' put your hand in the popcorn at the same time' move. It never fails, but make sure Maka's hand is there, or else it won't work."
"You've gotta be kidding me..."He muttered and eyed the popcorn and waited for her. But Maka seemed to consumed by the story to notice.
"Be patient..." Liz warned, as if sensing his impatience.
Slowly but surely, Maka's hand wandered from her lap to the small box of popcorn in the cup holder in between them. Holding in his breath once more, he reached inside the box at the same time and collided with hers with a nudge. He felt her hand draw back gently from feeling his sudden warmth, and Maka turned away from the movie to look at him. For a moment he held her gaze, feeling the hotness creep up his face. "Oh, Soul. I got popcorn just for you," she smiled and reached below her seat to pull out another full box of popcorn. "I know you don't like to share your food, so I bought two just in case." Maka went back to sipping her soda and watching like nothing happened.
"Dammit," Liz uttered a curse loud enough for him to hear. "Well, that didn't work too well. Let's try again -"
"FAIL!" BlackStar laughed loudly, causing everyone around him to shush him with annoyance. Tackling him below the seat, Liz ducks out of sight before Maka spotted them.
"Idiot!" She hissed angrily. "Are you trying to get caught!?" Another shush rang out from the audience and they went back to their seats.
She heard Soul clear his throat and continued. "As I was saying...let's try again, but with something different. 'Romantic things to do at the movies 101 step two...'" A piece of crumpled paper unfolded in the background. "'Pretend to yawn...then put your arm around her shoulder and pull her closer.' How's that sound?"
"Simple enough," murmured Soul. He decided that it would be better if he waited a little more before trying it. Besides, from what he could tell with the storyline it was gonna be a long time until it would end. As the acting got more emotional, he could hear some of the audience members begin to cry. But his meister seemed to enjoy it normally, which he was glad to see because she wasn't an emotional wreck like most other girls. However, on the other line, there was someone already sobbing in his ear plug. "Are you crying already, Liz?" He smirked.
"Um...that ain't me!" She retorted. "Stop crying, BlackStar."
He heard the ninja boy snivel in the background, and slapped his forehead embarrassedly, regretting the fact that he just called his best friend an emotional wreck. Finally easing back into the seat Maka sighs dreamily at the screen, a thing that he never thought she would ever do. "Go! Go now!" Liz urged. "Hurry! The kiss scene is right after this!"
Once again, he glanced nervously at her before letting out a painfully long fake-yawn. Soul raised his left arm slowly over his head and used his other hand to cover his mouth. Still mesmerized by the movie, he quickly set his hand down right above her head, not quite touching her. This better work...
As soon as his hands touched the edge of her shoulders, her body tensed up, then relaxed. Soul finished his yawn and kept his eye on Maka, but she still didn't move. Liz squealed in the mic with excitement, thinking that Soul had finally done it. "P-pull her cl-closer now!" She stuttered out a response.
He did as he was told. He wrapped his fingers around her shoulder and slowly tugged her towards him. The feeling of apprehension filled his gut as their shoulders touched awkwardly, and the blush that had been creeping up his face covered his cheeks. He wondered why Maka had not done anything; it was like she didn't even notice that his arm was around her. "Go for the kiss!" The sudden screech of Liz's voice almost made him jump out of his seat.
"Maka..." he murmured carefully into her ear.
Soul felt her hand reach up to caress his. "Soul...I know you're tired, but can't you at least stay awake until the end of the movie?" She asked and took his arm and tucked it back at his side. After that she went right back to sipping her drink and staring attentively. With the feeling of defeat in the pit of his stomach, Soul excused himself to the bathroom again and stomped out of the theatre with Liz and BlackStar trailing right behind him
"What? What's wrong?!" Liz asked.
"That's it!" he almost shouted. "I give up. Maka's obviously not interested in me, so -"
"C'mon Soul, no friend of mine is gonna give up that easily!" BlackStar reassured him. "Popcorn?"
"Yeah! He's right! Just barge in there and tell her how you truly feel!" Liz said cheerfully.
"No, she'll reject me. Like she was doing during the movie."
"Well, this is one more thing we can try..." Liz pulled out the crumpled piece of paper again and read it closely. "Just give it one more go, then you can give up. Okay? We still have some time before another kiss scene."
"Fine," he grumbled and shoved his hands into the pocket of his jacket.
"This is gonna be the most important event of the night, so you better be listening."
Soul squeezed his was back down the aisle to where his partner was sitting and plopped down next to her. From what he could observe, the story was about to reach its emotional climax. Some girls looked like they had used up too many of their napkins for their tears instead of the popcorn. "Ready for this one?" Liz took a deep breath. "'Romantic things to do at the movies 101, step three the final step - the kiss phase,'" she said. "This is gonna be the most important - zzzzz - of the night - zzzzz -"
"What's happening?" He glanced behind him at Liz.
"Zzzzz - I think - zzzzzz - breaking up - zzzzz - static..."
"Crap," he muttered. "Now how am I gonna to this?"
"It's - zzzz - on you now," was the last thing he could make out from the static. But he had no idea how. How would you kiss your meister at the movies and make it as less awkward as possible?
Soul knew he wasn't much of a romantic as he had wanted to be, but he did know something: when it came down to love, you must be very patient and very tender. Two things that he was not. He reeled his head and tried to remember details on how boys would manage to sneak a kiss from their girlfriends smoothly, but ended up blank. He only had the information and things that Liz had taught him, and started to regret about ignoring the details in the movie.
No, he thought. I don't have to copy all those other people; this will be my own way of getting to her. Taking her hand, Maka looked away from the movie in surprise and held his gaze. "What are you doing?" She asked.
"Maka..." He put his other arm gently on the nape of her neck and brought her face closer to his. "Kiss me?" The words out of his mouth sounded so casual and plain. Like saying "Help me with this," or "Hello, could you direct me to the bathroom?" but more straightforward. "Kiss me," he repeated, still holding her steady but shocked emerald eyes.
He pulled her face closer and closer and let his eyelid slide almost shut. Through the little field of vision, he could see Maka doing the same. All of the people and the music and the movie faded into the background. Feeling her hot breath on the tip of his lips, he went in for the final tug...
"AHH!" He cried, almost falling backwards into the person in the next seat. Ripping the earplug out, he held it in the palm of his hand, sizzling and sparking.
"Soul! What happened?" Maka exclaimed. But then her eyes fell on the broken device in his hand. "What...what is that?!" Soul looked around and saw everyone staring at them, including Liz and BlackStar. "Is that..."
"Maka, I can explain - "
"I can't believe you did this!"
"Wait, I can explain!" But it was too late; she had already ran out of the theater. He ran after her with the both of them and spotted her outside. "Maka! Wait up!" He yelled after her.
"What happened in there?!" Liz demanded from behind him.
Soul skid to a stop and clenched his bleach-white hair angrily. "Look, guys, I can't do this anymore. And now I'm gonna try and fix this! Don't follow me." He ran on ahead of them to Maka, who was waiting outside. Pushing through the entrance door, he stopped right behind Maka. "Maka, I can explain," he pleaded.
"I don't need an explanation," she said angrily with her back turned away from him. "I...I just...what were you thinking?!"
"I was trying...trying to - well, Liz told me to -"
"You were doing those things because Liz told you to do it?! Am I some kind of game to you?!" That only made her madder.
"No! I was trying to make my move!"
"'Make you move?' What the hell is that supposed to mean? So, when you put your arm around me it wasn't because you liked me; it was because you were trying to show some person that you could 'make your move?'"
"I...I'm sorry. That was not cool at all," he said sadly. "But it is true; all of those things I tried to do in that theatre was an idea that was coming from someone else, not me." Maka's fists unclenched themselves, and she turned her face slightly towards him. "But..." he continued, stepping closer to her. "When we almost kissed...that was not coming from anyone but me. And when I wanted you to kiss me? That was real."
Turning around fully, her no longer angry eyes met his, and she finally understood. Slowly, he put his hand on her shoulders and grinned at her as an apology. "Is that really true?" She asked gently.
"Actually, it is," Liz interrupted, standing right outside the door. "The earplug kinda broke right before."
"And I just came for the popcorn!" BlackStar smirked.
Her eyes turned back to smirking Soul and she took his hands into hers. "You know, I was kinda serious about that kiss."
"I thought romance is for idiots," she smiled at him.
"Then I must be a complete dumbass," he smirked. "Now shut up and kiss me."
"Aww! So cute!" Liz chimed in. Soul and Maka shot her an awkward glance. "Oh, I'm sorry...I'll just...go now..." Dragging BlackStar behind her, the two left them behind and walked away.
"Told ya I could do it," he bragged.
"You didn't do nothin'," an annoyed Liz said.
"Well, if it weren't for me, then you wouldn't have even had that list of yours."