Welcome to my first shot at a Soul Eater fanfic! As I've yet to finish watching/reading the whole of the series (I've been a proud member of the SE and Soul/Maka fandom since October of 2012), what I've written may be full of weirdness, OOCness and other fun stuff...you have been warned! What I'm shooting for is fluff and WAFF - as I'm a total sucker for stories that contain it - but whether or not I get there is rather up in the air right now.

I don't own Soul Eater. However, I'll have you know that I am #564, 424 in line to claim a bit of ownership in this wonderful series, and- ooo! They just called a number!

...#16. Crap. Seems like I've got quite a ways to go.

Enough of this strange AN rambling - on with the show!

((12-9-12: For those of you who've read my first posting of this story, and have favorited it or are following it, I hope you enjoy this version even more; after re-reading it a few times, I felt it needed some semi-major editing to follow the flow of the story in my head. Please, don't kill me! I can't make a concrete promise, but I plan to post the next chapter by the end of next week. Thank you VERY much for your patience, and your support! And that goes for any new readers, also!))

"I'm home."

"So…how was it?"

"Okay, I guess." Actually, it wasn't okay. It was odd, weird, wrong even – Maka didn't realize that doing something as simple as going out on a casual date with a group of friends without Soul would make her feel disloyal to him somehow. There was no censure in his voice, no stiffness in his posture as he sprawled on the couch watching TV, yet she had a nameless fear that a rift was beginning to open between them regardless.

She had to admit to herself that she'd done the group date thing primarily to prove to herself that she didn't have to have Soul with her all of the time, that her life didn't revolve around him being with her 24/7.

The empty feeling in her heart told her differently.

"Well, as long as you had a good time."

Maka opened her mouth to reply, then closed it. A dull ember of resentment flared to life momentarily – he didn't even sound as if he'd missed her! Did she honestly sound like she'd had fun? Apparently her being gone all day wasn't affecting him like it was affecting her, and she felt simultaneously foolish and weary. Telling him that she'd missed his sarcastic, anti-social, slouchy self seemed like it would do nothing more than encourage him to begin an endless bout of teasing – or worse, maybe all he'd do is give her an indifferent shrug and grunt. She really didn't have the mental energy to deal with either possible response.

"Yeah," she replied tiredly, toeing off her boots. "I had a good time."

Soul glanced over his shoulder at the tone of her voice. "You okay, Maka?"

The concern in his voice made her eyes unexpectedly sting with tears. She blinked them away furiously, hoping he wouldn't notice the action in the dim light of the front hall. "Yep." She made her lips stretch into a semblance of a smile. "I'm just kinda beat, that's all. Think I'll head to bed. See you in the morning."

Soul shifted in his position, peering closely at his meister's face. He seemed to be on the verge of saying something, but Maka couldn't bear to hear what it might be. Giving him an awkward wave, she shuffled down the hall to her room.


Huddled under her covers, Maka stared unseeingly at the wall underneath her room's one window. Cool starlight bathed her room with a dim silver glow, creating soft shadows in the corners. Usually that sight comforted her as she went to bed, as it reminded her of Soul, but this night she ignored it. She didn't want to think about her weapon partner tonight; she just wanted to fall into a dreamless sleep that would let her escape from her whirling emotions. She'd get up in the morning, act like everything was normal, and she would not burden him with her clingy feelings.

In the hour she'd been in bed, Maka still hadn't managed to convince herself.

She did manage to take some pride in the fact that her heart didn't leap too far into mouth when Soul sat on the edge of her bed. She'd been so lost in her chaotic thoughts that she'd never heard him quietly open her door and walk softly across the room.

"Maka." His smooth, low voice washed across her, at once comforting her and setting her nerves on edge. "I know you're awake." She kept silent; the only indication that she'd heard him was to duck her head under the covers.

"Hey." An involuntary shudder raced through her spine as he placed a warm hand on her back. "What's wrong? You know that you can talk to me."

Yes, she knew. She also knew that if she opened her mouth to answer him, all of her jumbled emotions and feelings would pour out in an unrelenting flood, drowning them both in her fear and longing. She'd always taken pride in the fact that she felt she could handle whatever life threw at her, but that strength seemed to have deserted her this time around. She couldn't even figure out exactly what she was feeling, or why she was feeling like this now; how in the world would she begin to tell him?

Soul shifted, bringing one leg up on the bed and moving the hand that had been gently rubbing her back up to the loose hair that had escaped from her cave of covers. He played with the loose strands, admiring the way the starlight turned the color of her honey blonde tresses into a slightly darker version of his own stark white hair.

"I'm not leaving til you tell me what's bothering you,' he said quietly. "Did something happen today to upset you?"

The gentle timbre of his voice, combined with the relaxing action of his fingers playing with her hair, loosened the ball of tension in her enough to free her frozen vocal cords. "No," she whispered.

"Then what's the matter? I don't like seeing you like this. Like a shadow of yourself."

"It's just…" She trailed off, unsure how to put her thoughts into coherent sentences. While his presence and the fact that he cared enough about her to try and find out what was wrong had painlessly knocked down the insulating walls she'd built around herself, she couldn't seem to find a starting point in her turbulent musings.

The silence was becoming deafening, at least to her. She had to say something! Uncovering her head (yet keeping her back turned to him; she wasn't ready to face him, not yet), she blurted out, "Did you – did you miss me today?"

"Eh?" Startled by her question, Soul paused in the finger-combing of her hair. "Well, no, not really."

"I see." Maka sighed, silently cursing the tears that pricked her closed eyes. At least he had answered honestly. It would have been worse if he had lied just to make her feel better.

Sensing her distress at his answer, he hastily clarified. "I mean, it was nice having the apartment to myself all day."

Despite herself, Maka smiled slightly. "So you could drink milk straight out of the carton without getting yelled at?"

"Yeah. Wait!" Soul scowled at the back of her head. "There's no proof that I actually did. And I'll deny it in court!"

Maka snorted a laugh into her pillow before she could help herself.

In spite of his chagrin, Soul grinned at the sound of her amusement. "That's more like it. Why d'you wanna know if I missed you or not, anyways?"

"It was – weird, going out with everybody and you not being there." Maka flipped onto her back, looking at her partner out of the corner of her eyes. Their banter, so much a part of their normal daily conversations, helped her answer him honestly and without hesitation. "So I just wondered if it was strange for you, too. Y'know, that I wasn't hanging out with you today. Because we're together almost all of the time." She knew she'd started to ramble, but her relief in being able to talk to him without hiding away temporarily short-circuited her inner censor. "Or was it a relief to you that I wasn't here today? Bugging you, I mean. 'Cause I know I must bug you, being with you all the time. Well, almost all the time. That is-" Mortified that she was pointlessly blathering now, Maka abruptly shut her mouth. Even if he'd never thought of her as a needy fool before, he certainly would now!

Soul didn't answer her, but the slight shaking of her bed alerted her to the fact that he was silently laughing – no, make that chortling out loud. A dull heat crept up her neck into her face, and closing her eyes she moaned quietly and turned away from him again, thoroughly embarrassed. "Never mind. Just – forget I said anything."

"Maka, Maka, Maka." Still chuckling, Soul put a hand on her shoulder, tugging at the collar of her sleep shirt to make her turn towards again. Reluctantly she did so, keeping her eyes closed and fervently hoping her face wasn't glowing in the dark like a radioactive tomato. Gah, what had possessed her to blather on like that?! Soul would never take her seriously again.

...aaaand that's all I've got for now. There IS more to come, as soon as I get my own chaotic thoughts in order. (If this keeps popping up as a new story or whatever, I apologize! I keep catching my mistakes after the fact, and HAVE to go back and edit 'em. I may need a beta...)