AU and characters may be slightly OOC because of it. This isn't just a story on love. In fact, I feel like it's more about growing up. There will only be 6 chapters to this fic.
I do not own Soul Eater.
Moving On and Letting Go
The next day Maka didn't have work because it was Valentine's Day. However, she knew while she had never gotten behind on work, she certainly wasn't as far ahead as she should be. Therefore, she did what any good business woman did, and headed into the office for a hard day of work by herself.
The day after, when Liz was back in the office with her, if she noticed anything off about Maka's behavior, she certainly didn't say anything to her. Maka knew she wasn't herself, but she figured as long as she did her work well and made other people happy, she would be happy as well.
She choose to walk through the park that day on her way home and smiled as she saw couples and families all walking and playing about all over the place. She was happy. She didn't need Soul to be happy, and it was ridiculous what he said about her. She had her happy ending. She had friends, her own business, and made others' happily ever afters come true on a daily basis. How could she not be happy? Yet Maka couldn't ignore the slight clench of her heart as she passed another blissful couple staring deeply into each other's eyes, completely lost in the moment.
Days passed by, and Maka found herself falling into routine once again. She could see the way that Liz was desperate to talk to her about it, but she always shook her head knowing that there was nothing to talk about. Her and Soul were done, and that was that. It was that simple and people just needed to understand that and back off. What was the big deal anyway? They hadn't even dated, they were just friends. Even Tsubaki stopped by the office one day to try and confront her on the whole matter. Maka had simply reassured her that she was fine and everyone was worrying about nothing.
"Black Star says that Soul has the picture of you two dancing at the Gala on his work desk," was the first thing that Tsubaki said that made Maka's smile slip from her face.
But within seconds, her disguise was right back up and she was smiling as if it didn't affect her in the least. "Look, whatever Soul wants to do isn't my business okay?" she merely stated before quickly changing the topic.
Truth be told, Maka simply didn't think about Soul if she could help it. She didn't let herself linger on Tsubaki's words, because then she might just delude herself into thinking that something more could work out with Soul. But she knew better. She didn't date for a reason, and this was just like any other time someone had asked her out.
Except it wasn't. As much as she tried to exclude Soul from her thoughts, she couldn't help but think about him from time to time. He had practically become her best friend over the last few months, especially with how busy Tsubaki had become with Black Star. Soul was involved in all of her thoughts. She thought about how Soul would react to stories from work. She'd hear classical song on the radio and want to ask him if he could play it. She'd see some flowers and wonder how they would look as a centerpiece on Soul's table. Everything she did, she couldn't help but think of him, and every time she'd think of him, it would break her heart just a little bit more when she had to remember that they were over.
It hadn't even been a week and Maka found herself struggling not to cry at the mere thought of him. It hurt, and the only thing she could do was shove her thoughts into the deep recesses of her mind. She couldn't handle this for a reason. She was just thankful that things had ended before they could have broken her even more.
It was a Thursday night, when she received a phone call. Maka was startled at her home phone ringing. No one ever called that phone. Everyone just called her cell. She had actually been debating about taking out the line as it seemed to be a waste of money. Hesitantly, Maka picked up the phone.
Maka went wide-eyed at the voice. She would recognize it anywhere. "Mama?"
"Oh good! I finally got the right number, I've been trying to call you all night," she exclaimed, sounding happier than Maka had ever remembered.
"You have?" Maka asked more than surprised. Over the years she had gotten short letters or postcards from her Mama, never a phone call, so it was a bit jarring in all honesty.
"Of course sweetie, I just needed to talk to you as soon as possible."
"Why is something wrong?" Maka quickly came to the conclusion.
Her mother chuckled lightly on the other end of the line, "No no, in fact everything is much better than ever before. I'm actually feeling much better."
"Were you sick?" Maka asked confused. She hadn't realized her Mama had been feeling bad.
"Oh no sweetie," her Mama cooed and she could practically hear the smile on her face. "I just am seeing everything much clearer than I have in a long time and a few things have become rather apparent to me, and I couldn't wait to talk to you for another second."
Maka bit her lip in confusion, "I don't understand."
"You will… I've been seeing a therapist for the last year," she admitted slowly. Maka simply stayed silent, unsure of what to answer to that. Thankfully, her mother continued, "I've realized that some of my actions have been rather terrible, and I owe you an apology before anyone else."
Maka tried to keep herself from tearing up, but after so many years of feeling completely abandoned by her mother, she couldn't help but hope that the woman had realized her mistake of leaving her all alone with her Papa.
"I know that I don't deserve your forgiveness, but I want you to know Maka that I never should have left you all on your own with your Papa. That was irresponsible of me, and I'm so sorry for abandoning you."
Tears were streaming down Maka's face as she heard her mom say the words she had wished for so long. "Thank you," was the only reply she could manage to say in response.
"Oh honey, I didn't want to upset you, I just wanted to apologize for my actions," her mother said hearing Maka's choked sobs through the line.
Maka let out a small laugh, "Don't worry, these are just tears of happiness. Does this mean you are coming home?"
"Yes," she replied, "I'm going to come back to Death City and stay there as long as I can. I've missed too much of your life as it is Maka, and I'd like to be a part of it, if you will let me."
She nodded ferociously before realize that her mama couldn't see her, and quickly Maka answered, "Yes yes yes, please come home I'd love to get to know you better. Please!" she added hoping she didn't sound too desperate, but then again, this was her Mama. She was allowed to be emotional about this.
Maka wasn't sure how long her and her Mama talked, but she knew it was for a long time and she was immensely thankful that she had never managed to take out her landline.
"Maka, can I tell you why I left Death City and didn't come back for so long?" her mama asked at one point startling Maka.
"I thought you left to find yourself," she responded questioningly.
"I convinced myself that was the reason why," she admitted slowly, "but it wasn't Maka."
She heard her mom take a deep breath, "At first I was just trying to run away from the whole situation with your father. I tried to run away from my problems rather than dealing with them and moving on." Her Mama laughed lightly, but didn't sound amused, if anything she sounded disgusted with herself. "I thought that if I got away from the situation that I could move on, but I never actually did." Maka smiled sadly.
"I'm not going to lie Maka, I've dated other men since your father, but I never could really let them in. I was too afraid to get hurt. Though to anyone who asked, I simply didn't have time to have real relationships or I didn't want to get tied down to one guy because then I couldn't travel."
Maka tried not to compare her mother's words to the ones she had used less than a week ago with Soul, but it bothered her all the same.
"I actually managed to forget my old life in my head without ever forgetting it in my heart honestly," her mother said sadly. "That's why I have to come home and deal with what I should have done before. I even need to apologize to your father if you can believe it or not," she chuckled causing Maka to join in giggling. After a week of sorrow, she needed to laugh, and doing so with her mother of all people felt better than she could have imagined.
Unfortunately, the two of them couldn't talk forever. As the hour became late, Maka's mom insisted on her going to bed rather to stay up and talk, giving her promises of seeing her that weekend when she flew into Death City.
As Maka tried to sleep that night she found a part of her heart feeling more peaceful than she could ever remember it being. However, there was a part of her that also felt like crying once again, as she thought of her mother's excuse for leaving. Just how similar had it been to her own that she had given Soul merely a week ago?
She squeezed her eyes shut in despair. Maybe she could have tried with Soul at least. But now, it was much too late. There was no way that he could possibly want her after what had happened between them. Hell, he hadn't sent a single text or call since, how bad could he possibly be missing her. No, Soul was good at moving on, and after a week without contact, he was long gone from her life. She tried to ignore just how much it still hurt as she fell asleep.
The following day Maka proceeded about her business as if nothing had happened the night before. However, while Soul had tended to penetrate her thoughts randomly throughout the day, now he wouldn't leave them alone. It was no longer what would Soul think of this and that, but had he moved on and found someone new. It had only been a week, but she couldn't help but think that of course he had found someone else and she was wasting her thoughts on the guy. But then she was reminded of how her mother had done the same and simply pushed her hurt aside rather than actually deal with it. But then she thought about how her thinking right now wasn't pushing it aside, and that was about the time that Maka got a massive headache. Thank goodness she didn't have any appointments until after lunch.
With a small wave to Liz at lunch, Maka headed out to the park in a futile attempt to clear her thoughts. Everything she thought about led her back to Soul, and everything thought about him only hurt and worried her. It didn't make sense. Why would she worry about him? He wasn't a part of her life anymore, so why be concerned over who he dated. Unless… Maka's heart sank at the thought. She had denied it for so long, but now she knew better. She had fallen for him. Perhaps not to the point of being in love, but based on the way her stomach still reacted to mere thoughts of him, she suspected that she had been falling in love with him.
There was a part of Maka's mind that felt as if a clump of jumbled wires had all just been sorted through and straightened out. And then there was the part that hurt because she was never going to see him again. For once in her life, she had actually started to fall for a guy, despite her extreme efforts not to, and now she was never going to see him again. She supposed, that if nothing else, she had gotten good experience out of it for her job, but that didn't mean it didn't hurt. He had probably moved on anyway.
Hoping that she would be okay to work the rest of the day, Maka had begrudgingly trudged back to work, only to have her second run for the week.
The old homeless man startled at his name. She supposed after years of people not noticing him, it was probably rather strange for him to hear his name out of nowhere. Finally, his eye landed on her and he responded cordially, "Oh, sorry. Yes yes, I'm sorry but I don't seem to know your name little Miss."
Maka smiled, he was rather adorable calling her little Miss when he himself was smaller than her. "I'm Maka, I worked at the Homeless Shelter on Christmas Eve."
"Oh yes," the man repeated smiling. Although, she couldn't help but notice how it didn't meet his eyes. "You were with Soul right?"
She didn't let her smile falter despite how the memory stung. "Yes, I'm sorry to pry, but Soul told me about your case and I was wondering if there were any recent leads on it."
"Nothing new to report," he said as he continued to smile as if he didn't have a care in the world.
"Oh," Maka replied biting her lip unsure of what to say, "I'm sorry."
"No worries," he replied waving her off as he walked by. "Thank you for caring."
For a moment, Maka just stared off in the distance as he walked by her obviously unfazed by her questioning. "Wait," she called out whipping around. "Don't you have anyone to go to for help so that you don't have to…" she trailed off unsure if she was crossing her boundaries by asking such a personal question.
He grinned at her over his shoulder, "I don't have anyone, but that's okay," and then he turned away and started to walk once again.
Unable to leave the conversation at that, Maka jogged to catch up with him, "No it's not. You should try to move on and be happy, I'm sure that's what your daughter would have wanted." The words spilled out of her mouth without thought, and it wasn't until she had finished that she even comprehended what she had just said.
Thankfully, he appeared unfazed at the request. "Ehh, perhaps you're right," he said as he continued to shuffle forward.
Maka froze completely taken aback. He hadn't so much as even reacted to her harsh words. She watched as he moved forward without notice that he had left her behind. How could a person live like that? Thinking back, she realized every time he had spoken, not an ounce of emotion was left. Ironic, since emotions over his daughter had clearly led him to that stage. He was obviously not going to do anything that could make him happier. She couldn't help but hope that someday he would get the closure he needed.
Suddenly she realized that she was wrong about everything. Well not everything, she had obviously been falling for Soul. But about everything else. She didn't want to be like Mr. Gulfston or her mama. She wanted to love and so much more, and even more importantly, be able to move on from the hurt.
She needed to talk to Soul.
Even if she couldn't repair things, she needed to know that she had done everything possible in her power to do so. She didn't even realize that she had already started running back to her office as if her entire life depended on it. Smiling, she realized that it kinda did.
"Liz!" Maka yelled as she barged into the building startling her friend into actually jumping up from her desk in alarm. "Cancel all my appointments for the rest of the day, give them a discount or something, I don't care! I've got something to do!" And with that, Maka was already running back out, only pausing when Liz called after her.
"Yeah Liz?" she asked still standing in the door.
Liz had a gleam in her eye as she smirked at her friend, "Good luck with him," she said casually.
Maka couldn't help but smile at that. Liz knew her well. "Thanks!" And she was off once again.
In all the time she had known Soul, Maka hadn't realized just how close the station was to her place of work, especially when she was running at a full sprint. Within minutes, she was already barging into the station. Unfortunately, her father was right in her pathway.
"MAKA!" he immediately squealed, obviously thinking she was there for him.
She merely put a hand in his face and shoved him out of her way. "Not here for you, I'm here to see Soul, deal with it," and once again she was off down the hallway back to where Soul's desk was located. She didn't notice the attention she was gaining from the entire department. She was much too lost in her own thoughts and feelings. She didn't have a clue what she was going to say or do. She just needed to talk to Soul and explain and maybe, just maybe, accept his proposal of becoming more than friends.
Turning the last corner, Maka froze in the door to the room Soul's desk was in. He was looking down, but within seconds he had looked up at the ruckus that had followed Maka. The way his eyes went wide at seeing her in the door made Maka suddenly feel very self-conscious. She didn't even realize that half the precinct had followed behind her, obviously attracted to the way she had shoved their captain aside so easily and then ran to Soul of all people.
The only person that Maka could see was Soul, and he was looking not only confused but rather expectantly at her as if wanting some sort of explanation. She tried to grasp words, simply hoping that they would make sense.
"I- I- I don't want to be like my Mama and run away from the pain Soul. I don't want to forget in my head but remember in my heart anymore," Maka started quietly clutching her heart. Seeing Soul looking directly at her gave her a new confidence and she spoke louder. "I don't want to be like Mr. Gulfston who can't move on and be happy. It's just not right!" Maka cried, ignoring the looks the other officers as well as her Papa were giving her.
"I want to be able to move on and be happy with someone because damn it I deserve to actually be happy for once," she said solely focused on Soul.
He smiled at that, and she couldn't help but smile as well, despite the silent tears streaming down her face. "I don't want to be stuck in a rut punishing myself by watching couple after couple fall deeper and deeper in love."
He stood up grinning and she laughed slightly giddy, "I want to be in love and feel like my heart is about to explode from joy! And I think I might be," she added quieter, "At least, I was starting to."
Soul started to walk towards her and the moment he was in front of her he lifted his hand to wipe away a tear from her cheek with his thumb. Everything was happening so fast. She placed her own hand on top of his allowing him to continue to cup her face as she nuzzled it slightly.
"What are you saying Maka?" he asked, and she shivered at his voice. It seemed deeper and huskier to her ears than before, even though it had only been about a week since they had talked.
"I'm asking if the offer to be yours is still open," Maka paused suddenly unsure of herself, "That is if you'll have me."
"Always," he said, and with that he had taken her face in both of his hands and kissed her.
Maka had never been in a real relationship. After avoiding them for her entire life, she wasn't exactly sure what to expect personally. Rather ironic for a matchmaker she supposed. She did know that she couldn't stop smiling though.
Everyone said that it would wear off over time, but as she gently squeezed Soul's hand under the table she couldn't help but highly doubt it. After all, it had been a year since they had met officially and she still got butterflies in her stomach when he would look at her 'that way.'
Here they were at the Gala once again, but this time when they had danced together it wasn't just to get away from her Papa, but because they were a couple.
Liz plopped down unceremoniously in the chair next to Maka's. "Holy Fucking Shit," she said as she crossed her arms in front of her and laid her head on them.
Used to Liz's abundant overreactions, Maka simply smiled gently and rubbed her friend's back with her free hand. "What's wrong?" she asked politely knowing that Liz just needed to vent to her. Plus, it sounded like she needed to talk to a girl and with Soul preoccupied in conversation with the gentleman next to him, she didn't have anything better to do.
Sighing loudly Liz lifted her head, "Kid just asked if I could move out because he's gonna propose to Patty."
Maka simply scrunched her eyebrows in response, "Isn't that a good thing?"
"Yeah yeah," Liz said waving her hand, "It's great for them and I'm really happy and all, but damn it everyone's getting engaged!"
She understood what Liz meant, after all, hardly a week ago Tsubaki had announced her engagement to Black Star as well. "Well I guess it just means we're all growing up right?"
"Yeah, just promise me you're not gonna get engaged yet," Liz moaned rather dramatically.
Maka smiled, "No worries, we're not that far into our relationship." Yes, her and Soul had talked about marriage at this point, and knew that was where they were heading, but at the moment they were taking their time and enjoying just getting to know each other better and better. Maka had to fight to keep the blush off her cheeks thinking about just how well she had gotten to know Soul the previous night. Thinking back, she couldn't remember the last time they had spent a night apart.
"Speaking of relationships," Liz smiled almost sinisterly. "You owe me one." Maka rolled her eyes, knowing exactly what Liz was talking about. "In fact, you were supposed to set me up on a date once Tsubaki and Black Star turned out well, and seeing as they are now engaged I'd say that you need to own up."
"I've actually had someone in mind for you for a while now," Maka admitted smirking. "And now that you have to move out and stop playing babysitter to your sister and her boyfriend, I think you might just be ready."
"I'm not sure if I should be offended or pleased," Liz commented dryly. "But for now I'll just go with it and demand to know exactly who you're setting me up with."
Maka smiled knowingly, "See that guy over there?" she asked pointing out Kilik, who was currently sitting at the bar looking rather bored as he sipped his drink. "He's one of the officers Soul works with and he's a really cool guy."
"And?" Liz prompted.
Rolling her eyes, Maka simply continued knowing that Liz would want to know everything. "He's smart, but less inclined to books and more in street smarts ya know?"
Liz hummed and nodded accordingly as she motioned for Maka to continue.
"He's very sweet and really dedicated to his job too."
"As dedicated as Soul?" Liz asked raising an eyebrow at her friend. Maka blushed knowing her boyfriend's dedication to work was well known, and while she didn't mind in the least, she knew that Liz thought it was awfully strange.
"Not as dedicated as Soul," she admitted.
"Sounds too good to be true," Liz commented unabashedly staring at Kilik. She suddenly whipped her head to look Maka directly in the eyes, "So what's the catch."
Maka sighed, "He's recently divorced and has two kids."
"That's not a catch, that's just a part of who he is Maka, come on, give me the problem with him as to why he's not dating anyone," Liz said obviously wary of a guy whom she saw no problem with.
"Liz, most people think that divorced means problems," Maka reminded her slowly.
"Yeah, but I know that you wouldn't be setting me up with him if you thought he would be too much for me to handle," Liz quickly shot back.
Smiling, Maka knew that she had picked the right match for Liz. "That's exactly why I'm setting him up with you of all people," she took a small sip of the wine in front of her. "Because you trust me and don't make judgments without meeting someone first. Plus, normally two kids is a major turn off to the dating scene and I knew it wouldn't faze you."
Liz rolled her eyes, "Are you kidding me, after taking care of Patty and Kid for years, two kids are easy to deal with."
"Exactly," Maka agreed with a quick nod. "As for the reason that he's not currently taken, I kinda agreed to set him up with someone and he knows my reputation for successful couples." Maka couldn't help but smile, "If I had to guess, he wants to do it right this time, for his own sake as well as his kids."
Liz was practically beaming at her, "Well you've sold me on the guy, wish me luck," and with that the girl was up and walking over to where Kilik was sitting looking rather bored. Maka couldn't help but smile knowing that wouldn't last for very long with Liz in the picture.
"You think they're a good match, she seems a little strong for Kilik," Soul suddenly whispered in her ear making her jump slightly.
She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, "Yeah she's a bit energetic for him, but he needs someone to draw him out of his house. You said he basically only leaves for work now right?" With a small smile she looked back over and watched as Liz flirted with Kilik and sat down at the bar next to him. "Plus, he's strong enough to rein her in a bit."
"What about his kids? Liz gonna be okay with that?" Soul asked as he rested his chin on her shoulder and wrapped his arms around her as they continued to sit.
Maka giggled at the thought, "Trust me, after she's taken care of Patty and Kid, dealing with two kids will be easy, and honestly it will be good for her." She leaned back comfortably into Soul's embrace. "Liz doesn't seem like it, but she likes to be needed, and with Kid wanting her to move out she's gonna need someone else to need her, and she's better with kids then she seems like she'd be."
"You're really good at this aren't you," Soul muttered chuckling lightly under his breath.
She tried to ignore the small Goosebumps on her neck that formed because of his laughter. "Well it is my job you know?" she answered smiling shifting slightly to give Soul a small peck on the lips. However, a small peck quickly turned into something more as Soul refused to let her go.
When he finally did release her, both were out of breath and Maka could feel her cheeks heating up in a blush. "I love you," she said smiling at him as they gently rested their foreheads together.
He grinned right back at her, "I love you too. Aren't you glad you said yes?"
She giggled thinking back to that day that she had busted in on Soul's office. It seemed so long ago. She felt like she was a completely different person living an entirely different life now. "Yeah, you could say that," she admitted unable to stop smiling.
"Good, cause I know that I'm very happy," he admitted before giving her a quick squeeze.
Leaning back into Soul once again, Maka closed her eyes letting herself bask in her happiness. Sometimes she still woke up afraid that Soul would leave her, but he had showed her time and time again that he wasn't going anywhere. Furthermore, she was learning to trust herself with her feelings. Telling Soul she loved him had been as much a test to herself as a desire of his, especially as he was the first to say it. Now she didn't hesitate to tell him that she loved him as often as she could. She was learning to trust herself with her own emotions.
Thinking back to when Soul and her had finally gotten together, she couldn't help but smile at the memory. She remembered learning that Soul had indeed kept their picture from the previous Gala on his desk since that terrible day in the park. She had admitted that she thought he would have moved on, and he had only laughed at that showing her the picture and stating 'You really thought I could get over someone like you that fast?!'
She knew that her confidence in herself had grown exponentially with those few words. As the time had passed, she realized just how deep her fears had ran of being left alone. Thankfully, her mother being back in her life had helped even more. She had slowly realized just how much she had blamed her parents' unhappiness on herself.
Maka smiled thinking of the picture that she had replaced of her parent's happily married. Now the frame held one of their entire family smiling and clearly happy. She had been right about taking the good with you, she had just taken more of the bad than the good. Now she knew better.
Relaxing back in Soul's arms, Maka felt happier than she had thought possible.
Yes, things were pretty amazing and she knew it was because she had simply let go of the pain from her parents' divorce and moved on to bigger and better things. Yes, Soul was an entirely different chapter in her life story, and based on everything they had gone through together, she knew that this chapter was going to be long and very very happy.
So super cheesy at the end but hope you enjoyed all the same!