Listening to the couple in the living room, Soul really wanted to just rest his head on the counter and pour the tea into his one ear so that it came out the other and seared away all of their conversation. They had been lingering in the living room all day, despite how the other meister and weapons had left for some goofing off and good old-fashioned fun.

Maka had insisted on staying behind -she had never really liked Black Star, and didn't want to spend the day being dragged along behind him- to read her library book and study a little, and Soul was cozy curled up with his records and headphones. He had let Tsubaki and Liz take care of the rowdier teens, carrying them out of his and Maka's small apartment; he'd assumed that Kid was going with them to manage Black Star, but he had returned from the doorway to find the young shinigami keeping up a conversation with the very-distracted scythe-meister. He was leaning on the arm of the couch, his golden eyes locked on Maka's face as she read her library book and tried to respond to him.

"Ain't you goin' with 'em, Kid?" Soul asked loudly, drawing both meisters' attention. Maka looked up at him, then at Kid, and then around in obvious confusion at the lack of other people.

"No, I think Liz can handle them..." Kid replied, shrugging and placing both hands in his jacket pockets. "Don't you, Maka?"

"Well, where did they go?" Maka asked, closing her book with the page marked for later. "Not to talk bad about your partners, Kid, but Black Star is way more than one person can handle!" She stood up, stretching her legs and arms after sitting for so long, and Soul didn't miss the gleam in Kid's eyes as she did so. She looked back at the boys, tucking her book under one arm, and smiled at them: "You all music-ed out, Soul? I'd have thought you'd be in there all day."

"Someone had to clear the crazies outta here. You were off in Literature land... wanna drink?"

Maka nodded and looked a little hurt as Soul trailed off. she smoothing her green skirt and huffing quietly. Soul shrugged, moving on to the kitchen for a drink, and he was unsurprised to hear Maka begin to bustle about the apartment, cleaning up Black Star's trail and trying to take her mind off her book.

"Are you alright, Maka?" Kid's smooth voice caught Soul's attention and he frowned a little a he listened to the shinigami meister begin to speak. "Does he always talk to you like that?"

"Yeah, it's just the way we are. I read, he snaps me back to life; he jams, I unplug his record-player- we balance each other out." Soul nodded at Maka's sensible reply, continuing about until Soul heard the most outrageous reply.

"Why should he?" Kid objected, "Reading is a perfectly amiable pastime- you're enhancing your knowledge and stretching out your imagination! You don't need to take things like that to heart, just because he's your partner." Soul nearly dropped the kettle he was putting on the stove and dove out the kitchen to wring the black-haired teen's neck. What the hell was he saying? Was he a jerk or what! "I wouldn't treat my partner like that, no matter what."

"It's not..." Maka's defence dwindled under what was probably Kid's intense golden stare, "He's right. I don't pay attention when I read. Even my Dad told me that; when I was little I already had my nose buried in books before I could talk."

"No," Kid chuckled, "certainly not." The couch springs squeaked as usual -Maka had sat down- an Soul growled at the teapot on the counter.

"Yeah," Another noise told Soul that is meister had pulled her photo album out. "see? He's got tons of these around!" She obviously pointed out the funny family photos where she had read through the flash, or the photo-bombs her father had pulled that all included a book. "Al I did as a kid was read, and I still read a lot."

"Impressive," Kid murmured, the pages flipping languidly as he sifted through her life calmly. "I've never seen an album like this. It's nice."

"You haven't?" Maka repeated, puzzled, "Why not? Does your Dad keep them all out of reach? Or did your mum do it?"

Kid sighed: "My childhood was a lot different from this... I never had pictures taken expect by the doctors and the press."

'Oh, smooth.' Soul thought, 'Play the brooding rich guy to win her over...' he knew that Kid had been paying Maka special attention recently, but he hadn't expected the shinigami to be so bold.

"But you..." Kid continued and Soul heard the book close. "you were such a cute little girl. I'm jealous."

Before Maka could speak, Soul erupted from the kitchen with the tea and set ti loudly on the coffee table, snapping Maka out of her red-faced daze. Kid had removed his jacket and draped it over the couch, his arms around the back with one inching to try and circle Maka's shoulders. When he saw Soul staring, he removed the wandering limb and smiled lightly.

"Oh, thanks Soul!" She exclaimed, delighted by the elaborate drinks. "You're the best!"

"I was outta line," Soul told her coolly, smirking at Kid when the meister got his meaning. "Imma be jammin' if you need me, Maka," Soul calmly passed Kid and Maka, jabbing Kid in the shoulder when he was out of Maka's sight, and headed down the hall. "don't let him do anything dirty while I'm gone!"

"Shut up, Soul!" Maka yelped, obviously embarrassed, and suddenly Soul had a bad feeling that Kid would be hanging around more and more from now on.