A/N: A SoulxMaka one-shot, friendship, romantic, take it however you please. They are my OTP for Soul Eater, but this can still be just a simple nakamaship story.

Disclaimer: Soul Eater and its characters are not mine.

SyncxArietta

Nightmare

The room was dark, as always. But that didn't matter. She knew he was here. She could feel it. And she knew it was a dream. But that didn't matter either. Everything still felt real. And when she woke, she would have to find him to prove to herself, to her mind, that it really was only a dream.

A dream that she'd been having every other night for the past two weeks.

A dream that left her in tears throughout and after.

A dream that wasn't a dream.

A nightmare.


"Soul,"

He almost wanted to ignore it.

"Soul,"

But the voice was so persistent, and broken.

"Soul,"

And a bit whiny, to tell the truth. He opened his eyes to see her standing near his bed; her hand was stretched out as if she wanted to touch him but had lost her courage. "Again?" he murmured, seeing her wet cheeks through the glow of the hallway behind her and narrowing his eyes.

She looked away but nodded.

"This is so annoying," he mumbled, even as he turned his back to her while shuffling his body to the far end of his bed. He felt the bed dip as she crawled onto it, felt a gush of cold air that made him shiver as she lifted the covers and slid under.

"I'm sorry," she said, her voice subdued.

"You should at least tell me what it was about," he complained, keeping his gaze on the wall.

She said nothing.

"I mean, you come in here every other night, wake me up with tears and snot all over your face, force me to share my bed with you and give me nothing to go on?" he continued, despite her silence. "It's seriously driving me nuts. How can I even try to help you if I don't know what the nightmare's about? What's so scary that you come to me? The great meister Maka, afraid of a nightmare?"

"Sorry," she said again.

He wanted to scream. It was so out of character for her to be so meek and afraid. The first time she'd come to him, he nearly cracked up in front of her, even though he should have known by her tears that she'd been serious. The first night had been the worst by far, as she'd burst into his room with a heaving chest and wild, panic-filled eyes.

"Soul!" she had nearly screamed, throwing herself onto the bed and hovering above her startled/scared-shitless partner.

"W-what the hell, Maka?" he had snapped before getting a good look at her face. "What?" he asked again, warily. He looked around her, expecting to see an enemy in his room. But no, Maka would be more composed. She didn't lose her cool easily. She'd have come into his room, maybe whacked him to wake him before telling him to transform in a calm and determined voice. This was definitely different. Maka was crying. Maka was staring at him with an expression of relief, as her cooling tears dropped onto his face.

"O-Oh God," Maka had murmured, still staring down at him. "A dream, a dream," she'd continued, eyes squeezing shut as she let herself fall down on top of him, her face buried in his chest. Soul knew better than to push her off, even though the feeling of her body on his was doing wonders to his own stupid body. He'd managed to keep his cool, raised a hand to her back and rubbed. She had alternated between his name and 'a dream' through sobs until she finally fell asleep. He'd gently moved her off of him, setting her on his bed and giving her his pillow. He'd then moved to the end of his bed himself and went back to sleep, her tear-stained face occupying his thoughts.

They never spoke of it in the morning, and then a few nights later, she had returned – albeit a little calmer than the first night.

"Soul?" she'd spoken, standing next to his bed with wet cheeks and her lip between her teeth.

He'd grunted in response, turning to look at her with a raised brow.

"Um…" she was trembling and clearly not wanting to continue. He had a feeling he knew where she was going and he sighed, moving over again.

"Don't tell me it was the same dream," he'd said as he faced away from her, feeling her crawl onto the bed beside him.

She didn't answer but he heard her sniffle. "Thanks," she'd murmured and he'd grunted again.

This had been going on for two weeks now and Soul was seriously at his limits. "Isn't it against your moral code to sleep in a boy's bed?" he grumbled, knowing she was still awake.

"Mm," she murmured. "Soul's an exception. This is an exception."

That shouldn't have made him as happy as it did. He grunted. "Even still," he said. "It isn't right. Your old man would kill me."

"But if I stay in my room, I can't convince myself it was just a dream," she whispered after a moment of silence between them. Soul turned his head to see her; her eyes were closed. "In my room, where I can't see Soul, where I can't feel Soul, I'll just see it again and again,"

"See what?" he pressed, eager to hear about the nightmare that sent her to his room every other night.

She was silent. He sighed and turned to the wall again, closing his eyes and deciding to sleep since she had obviously ended the conversation. He was ashamed of the gasp that escaped him a couple of moments later when her arm suddenly wrapped around him and her chest pressed to his back.

"Maka?" he snapped. "What are you doing?"

"It's you," she whispered, ignoring his question. She was trembling again. "I see you. Always. At first, I always think you're just hurt, that the blood all around you isn't that serious. That you'll be okay in the end, just like always. That the fact that you're not breathing means nothing," her chest was heaving behind him, her hand cold against his bare skin. "I know, somehow, that it's only a dream. That Soul in real life isn't really dead. But it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because when I see you – when I see Soul like that, I can't… I can't even think. Everything just – "

He lifted her arm from around him and turned his body gently so he was facing her. He stared at the fresh tears on her face, at her quivering lip as she stopped talking. She was trying to hold in her sobs. He sighed and wrapped her in his arms, allowing her to press her wet face to his chest and muffle the sobs she was trying so hard to hide.

Closing his eyes and setting his head on hers, he ran his hand up and down her back. "That's stupid," he muttered. "You're seriously that worked up over something like that? Don't be a fool, Maka," he whispered, lowering his mouth to her ear. "I'm not going anywhere and I'll definitely never die. That just wouldn't suit my style, now would it?"

"I-I know," her hands pressed against his back, nails digging in slightly. He squeezed his eyes shut and hugged her just a little bit harder.

"Idiot," he said, blowing into her ear lightly. She sobbed. But he put himself in her shoes. He knew he'd be the exact same way – minus the uncool tears – if he'd dreamed the same of her. He cringed, picturing an image of a bloody and dead Maka in his mind. He pushed her against him tighter and shoved the troublesome image away. And she'd been dreaming that of him for at least two weeks. He grimaced, running one hand through her loose hair. No wonder she was such a mess.

"If something like that ever does happen," he began, still speaking into her ear. "It'll be because I was protecting you," he said confidently. "But I'll do it in a way that won't kill me," he smirked, "because you really can't live without me and me dying would defeat the purpose of protecting you."

She sniffled, "Promise?"

He chuckled, "You bet." And then he kissed her forehead, loosened his arms around her so they were both comfortable, closed his eyes and prepared to sleep.

Maka tilted her head a bit to look at his face. "Thank you, Soul," she murmured, settling into his embrace and closing her own eyes. She fell asleep soon after, knowing that no nightmares would bother her when she was so secure in her partner's arms.

Even after Maka's nightmares came to an end, she still found herself in Soul's room every night, for she'd grown so used to sleeping in his presence that her own bed was too empty and uncomfortable to fall asleep in. Soul grumbled and complained each time but he never turned her away, and eventually even he found himself unable to fall asleep until his partner had crawled into bed beside him.