A/N: Allo! So this is Jessie here, and we've come with the very last chapter! *bursts into tears* This is such a bittersweet moment for Taylor and me. We've loved writing this story so much, and we owe all you readers a big thank you for bothering to read our roleplay-turned-story! This last chapter was especially emotional... Taylor was legitimately rolling on the floor from feels at one point... I'm not exaggerating. Anyway! I just wanted to thank all of you for reading, reviewing, following, or favoriting, and I really hope this last chapter lives up to your expectations. Now I'll turn the spotlight on Taylah!
*takes mic and taps it* True story. *cue Barney Stinson meme* I tend to get extreme in my fangirl spasms... FEELS. ANYWAY, BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE! *Billy Mays voice* Jess and I have some good news for y'all! We're turning this fanfic into a trilogy! That's right - even though this is the end of Soul and Maka's story, Jessie and I are preparing to write two fanfics that follow this one. Wanna take a guess at what they're about? Too bad, I'm gonna tell you anyway. Our next fanfic is about TsuStar, and the last but certainly not least fanfic will be KidLiz! If any of y'all are interested, stay tuned! We'll be getting started on them soon! As a sidenote, I also would like to express my gratitude for all the thoughtfulness you guys have shown toward us! We really appreciate everything you all have done for us! Hope y'all enjoy the conclusion of this story that was so extremely fun to write with one of my bestest friends. We've had so many fangirl rants and deep discussions about this story, it's truly been a pleasure. *drops mic and moonwalks out*
You know, I usually consider myself a pretty smart person. Anyone who's met me knows I study nonstop, and Soul has certainly mentioned my peculiar academic habits on several occasions. It's always been very important to me that my grades be perfect and my education well-rounded. What did I care if the others called me "nerd" and "bookworm"?
So considering all this, you would think I'd be smart enough to realize that I was running through Death City in a bikini!
I was just so angry. Everything had been going so well at the lake, and Soul and I were just about to... And then my good-for-nothing Papa had to show up! And as if that wasn't enough, the rest of DWMA (maybe a slight exaggeration on my part, but can you blame me?) decided to jump in and join the fun. Was it so much to ask for one good moment between Soul and me?!
I've never exactly been known for being even-tempered, so I don't think anyone was that surprised when I decided to storm off in a hissy fit. I just wish I would have realized I was still only wearing a bikini as I sped all the way to Death City. It wasn't until I heard the snickers and guffaws of passersby that I had the presence of mind to look down and notice my unclothed state.
And that was the last straw. I could feel the heat rush to my face, and my heartbeat spiked to an alarming rate. I honestly think I would have exploded if it weren't for the familiar sound of a motorcycle pulling up behind me.
I turned around just in time to see Soul skidding his bike to a suave stop, and he immediately hopped off, his eyes trained on me. Maybe it was something about Soul's consistent levelheaded calmness rubbing off on me, because whenever he's around, I always feel calmer. Now was no exception. As opposed to two seconds prior when I'd been on the verge of an all-out breakdown (which would have been mortifying since I'm, you know, in public and all), Soul's presence sent a wave of relief coursing through me.
"What're you doing, you idiot? You're going to catch a cold like that," Soul chided, shedding his jacket and draping it over me. I hadn't noticed until he pointed it out, but the air was getting nippy, even more so while I was running. I instantly drew the jacket tighter around me, the romantic in me (which I have romance novels to thank for) completely enamored with the gesture. It was warm and smelled like him, and it was comforting.
I hadn't even conjured up a response or even a mere thank-you when Soul apparently noticed the traces of my previous distress, because a frown flickered across his features, concern reflecting in his crimson eyes. "Maka? Everything okay? You look like you're about to lose it and cry or something." He sighed, not waiting for an answer as his fingers gently locked around my wrist, leading me to his bike. "C'mon, hop on. Let's head home."
I was a little irritated at how Soul hadn't even waited for an answer from me, but I knew he hadn't done it out of rudeness. Soul's the type that doesn't like to talk about his problems, so he keeps everything in. As opposed to me; I like to discuss problems at hand and have deep talks. But I knew Soul had just been trying to be thoughtful of me – since he doesn't like to talk about what's eating him, he'd probably assumed the same for me and tried not to pry.
But I was annoyed at pretty much everything at the moment. So. That annoyed me.
Still, I was in a bikini and a jacket, and all I really wanted was to go home. So despite the fact that I wasn't exactly happy with Soul (or anything really), I climbed on the back of the motorcycle. He started it up and drove us home.
It was pretty amazing if you thought about it. Just this morning, I was straight-A, perfect attendance Maka Albarn who had a vague crush on her partner, but little more. And now? Well, I was wearing a string bikini, and I think that sums it up. I risked a glimpse at Soul's face, only catching the side of his cheekbones from this angle, and a warm feeling spread through me. This boy had somehow managed to change me, and as crazy as it seems, I think it was for the better.
Soul parked in front of our apartment rather than the usual spot, and I knew he was concerned that I escape the chilly night air as quickly as possible. He dismounted first and held out his hand to help me down. It was hardly necessary – I battle demons after all; I think I can get off a bike without help – but the gesture was sweet anyway. When I was safely on the ground, he didn't let go of my hand, and so we walked into the house with our fingers intertwined.
I closed the door behind us, and Soul flicked on the lights, and it was a strange feeling. The last time we were in the apartment, we had been partners, nothing less and nothing more. Then Soul did the impossible, talking me into skipping school, and took us on a crazy adventure that twisted and twirled our feelings into…this.
It was silent as we both took a moment to process the series of events that had transpired over the day. Soul finally broke the silence with a meager remark, "…Today was pretty crazy."
I shot him a dry look. "Understatement," I deadpanned.
"Definitely an understatement," he agreed. And don't you know Soul was just full of surprises today, because then he turned to fully face me and take my other hand into his free one. Now, Soul usually always looks serious, but now was different. He was a different kind of serious… like a "I need to tell you something important" serious. I had grown accustomed to this expression, not only from him, but from everyone I knew, really. Mostly my mom; to be specific the day that she told me she was divorcing Papa. I was still proud of her for that, always had been and always would be.
"Maka, listen." Soul was donning a pensive demeanor as he apparently was trying to collect his thoughts and thinking over how he would put them into words. "…I took you out today for a number of reasons. First and foremost, a little rebellion is healthy. Second, you need a break from school stress and just being a geek in general. But the main reason is…" Here he hesitated, and I realized I was bating my breath, searching his face. I could just tell by the way he was building this up, and the way he was going about this so delicately, that something big was coming. "..I wanted to show you how I feel about you."
"H..how you feel?" I stammered, completely at a loss for words, my heart pounding in my chest.
Soul nodded, his undivided attention wholly fixated onto me. "I just want you to know…that you are the best partner I could have ever had. I trust you, Maka, more than anyone else in my whole life. You've made me a stronger person, and I don't just mean as a weapon. You make me more than I am on my own." He released a hand to rub the back of his neck, clearly unaccustomed to talking so openly about how he felt. But even the mere thought that he was willing to make the effort for me meant the world to me. "…Somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking of you as my meister. I started thinking of you as my best friend. Then.. I stopped thinking of you as my best friend, too. That's when I came to realize that.." Here he chuckled low under his breath as he admitted, "…I've completely fallen for you. And even if we weren't partners, I'd still want to spend the rest of my life with you. It isn't about being a Death Scythe anymore…it's about being with you."
I didn't know how to react. I was so happy – no, happy wasn't strong enough for the emotion I was feeling, no word was – and I wanted to simultaneously cry, laugh, and shout for joy. Tears welled up in the corners of my eyes as I stared at Soul, my Soul. I think I was smiling like an idiot because he was gazing at me with fond amusement. "Soul…" He had just bared his heart to me, but I couldn't seem to find the right words in return.
I wanted to tell him how I felt the same. I wanted to say how he wasn't just my partner, but my other half. When he was gone, I was only half myself. I wanted to explain how he made me a better person, someone willing to take risks, ride rollercoasters, relax, enjoy life. Not only was he my partner, my best friend, my soul mate; he was the love of my life, and I never wanted to spend a day of my life without him by my side.
I wanted to say all that, but somehow, the words wouldn't be enough because I wanted to show him, prove to him that I felt this love from the core of my soul. So instead of laying out my feelings and rambling like the old Maka would have done, I smiled. "Just kiss me already."
Soul grinned, showing off his sharp teeth. "It's about time," he said. He placed one hand on the small of my back, drawing me closer. I could feel the warmth of his breath on my lips as he leaned down for the moment we've been waiting for…it was finally happening…this was it…
"MAKA! You look so adorable in that bikini! Oooh, and you're wearing Soul's jacket! You know, you may not have much of a figure, but you make up for it in your cuteness! Oh…was I interrupting something?" Blair blinked innocently as she took in the way Soul and I were intertwined.
Apparently Papa's habit of cursing excessively when pissed off was either rubbing off on me or had been inherited to me.
Soul and I were both staring at her, so angry at the yet-again intruding of our almost kiss that neither of us could speak. This had been what, the fifth time now?
Then I felt a hand on my face, and before I could really even comprehend it, Soul had turned me back to face him. His adoring smirk and soft eyes made me forget that I was even mad, and what he did next made my heart both stop and melt at the same time. (However that works.)
"Oh, screw it." And then he pulled me in for the long-awaited first kiss.
And may I just say that the kiss was very much worth waiting so long for.
Patty stopped playing and splashing in the water for a moment to take in her surroundings with big blue eyes. With an observance that was surprising for the blonde, she surveyed her four friends. She took note of the way Tsubaki was fussing over Black Star and trying to wipe mud off his face with forever-patient tolerance. She closely watched how Liz was trying to console Kid in the midst of his panic attack.
Then, in a loud voice that drowned out the others' conversations and diverted everyone's attention to her, Patty proclaimed with an epic fingerpoint directed at the foursome, "ALL YOU GUYS ARE NEXT!"
She then proceeded to laugh her head off.
"Nothing important was ever achieved without someone taking a chance."
H. Jackson Brown Jr.