Dust and more dust. When he finally gathered up the courage to break into their room, that was how he was greeted. He shunned the room for the weeks following her burial and basically anything that reminded him of her. They both knew the day would come when one would die while the other lived alone, but that was the risk they took to be together day in and day out.
He began with brushing off the desk where a collage of family photos stood. He skimmed by them before darting his eyes elsewhere, afraid that at any moment, her smiling face would send him back into the abyss.
It was still hard to believe that not but a month ago were they sharing a bed, and now he was avoiding it. He didn't want to prolong this any more than he had to. Soul found the vacuum buried deep in their shared closet and swept up whatever dust jumped out at him. He wasn't going to go into any sort of deep cleaning. Not just yet.
He surprised himself in how immersed he became in cleaning. He lasted maybe a whole ten minutes before he killed the power on the vacuum. He had to get out of there, he just couldn't do it anymore.
Soul fled to kitchen gripping his shirt. He pounded his fists on the counter top and clenched his eyes shut. He told himself he wouldn't cry anymore, that she wouldn't want him to be like this. But sometimes it was just too hard.
"Fuck! Why? Why did you have to die Maka!? Why couldn't it have been me instead?! I'm the weapon! I was supposed to die protecting you! YOU IDIOT!"
Soul stared at his bloody knuckles and scoffed. No one was going to tell him to clean himself up anymore, so why should he? He could do what he wanted, it was his body.
Hours passed and little progress of cleaning happened in between sulking at the dinner table and watching tv on their couch. From then on, Soul was set on cruise control, unsure if anything had really happened over the past month.
Some unfunny movie series, after what seemed like days of playtime, had finally finished. Soul subconsciously poked his arm around the couch arm, looking for the remote to change the channel. But he instead found something bulky and leathery.
Was that there the whole time?
He picked up the book and to his surprise, found a bookmark in it. He knew it wasn't his. With a name like Paramount, it had to be Maka's. She was always into those weird supernatural kind of books.
Curious, he opened up to the page the bookmark had set. Not very far, she must have gotten this one late at night and forgotten about it because she only read up to page 42. He slammed the book shut and threw it to the other side of the couch.
Soul ignored the leather-bound epic while he entertained himself with whatever shitty movie happened to be at 2 in the morning. Another marathon ended and he was ready to get some sleep. He picked his head up off the arm of the couch and looked towards their bedroom door and then back at the television. He wasn't ready yet. Maybe a couple more movies before bed.
Or so he thought. He must have left a window open or something because he suddenly felt a chilly wind breeze by his toes left uncovered by the wool blanket.
When his gaze caught his curling toes, it also found the opened pages of the book he threw away earlier. That was when he became suspicious. He remembered throwing it clearly face down and away. It was probably Blair's doing.
Soul woke to the most curious of sights he'd ever witnessed and now he was sure that Blair was teasing him. Somehow Paramount found it's way onto his lap and opened up to the page Maka stopped on.
"What are you trying to do to me you stupid cat woman!?" He shouted out. He didn't expect any sort of response, he assumed the house to be empty.
"I'm telling you to read the book, silly." Blair responded from behind the couch. She perched her head at the brim of the headboard and looked down towards her white haired roommate.
"And why should I do that? I hate reading."
"Yeah. That's for sure. But you loved her, didn't you? So I thought that maybe you should try doing something she liked." Blair refuted.
"Shut up! You don't know anything." Soul rolled over and threw the blanket over his head. With a twirl of her finger and short incantation the blanket was off, he was up and the book was once again in his face.
"I know enough. And I've heard that when someone loses a person they love very much, they usually try to avoid doing anything that reminds them of that person. Those people eventually die sad alone. And then there are the other type of people who attempt to move on and embrace the memories they shared with their loved ones. They go on to live celebrating the lives of the one's they loved, instead of mourning them at every passing."
It was unexpected to hear something of the sort from such a perverted beast like Blair, but he listened intently. He knew Maka. And he knew that she wouldn't want him to live depressed for the rest of his life just because she wasn't around anymore. He reached for the book and gripped it tightly in his hands.
"If it's boring I'm coming after you." He threatened. Blair was already gone from sight.
How long had it been? Five days? Seven? He honestly lost track after the second day, but he kept on pushing himself because he had to finish.
The walk through the hallways was a lonely one. He could have done without the stares, but what was he supposed to do? No one had seem in more than a month. Soul let himself into the Death Room and gave a quick nod to the man behind the mirror.
"Hello hello Soul! It's great to see you again." Lord Death greeted with his usual cheery smile.
Soul waved him off and walked into the field of graves where the souls of past weapons and meisters laid. He didn't find it hard to find her's, people were laying freshly bloomed flowers by her grave by the dozen on a daily basis. Everyone truly loved her.
"Hey." Soul mumbled with his head down. This was the first time he's been anywhere near her since she was put her to rest. He reached his hand inside his jacket and paused.
Dammit! Get it together Soul.
He gasped for air and pulled out the parchment hidden beneath his jacket. It was the book she left unfinished. He threw on the ground towards her grave.
"It wasn't too bad. I dunno if you remember their names, but Viso eventually gets with that one girl with powers." Soul began. He took a quick second to see if there was anyone spying on him as he spoke. There wasn't.
"I know you're into those sort of hard to believe relationships. You were probably pulling for them before even knowing the plot"
Soul went on to talk about what he liked and what he found boring about the book. He shortly talked about the battle at the end while leaving a few key parts out. He couldn't bring himself to spoil her too much. He found speaking hard enough with the picture of her smiling face sitting atop her grave cross.
For the majority of the three hours he sat in front her grave, Soul kept his knees hugged to his chest while tears streamed down his face.
"I can't believe you read shit like this. The battle at the end…Why would she do that? Throughout the entire book she wanted to get revenge on him. Why did she sacrifice herself for him?" He buried his face in his knees and continued to cry. He felt a firm hand on his shoulder.
"Humans are indeed a confusing race. Though unpredictable as they may seem at times, if you look deep enough, into the depths of their souls, they can be read as easily as the pages of a book. Sometimes humans will act out, and do something incredibly out of character and it will surprise the majority as to why they did so. But later, you'll find out that if you were put into the same circumstances, you find yourself becoming that person."
Soul looked back at the over sized pair of of hands on his shoulders and wiped the tears from his eyes.
"Does…does it get easier?" Soul asked with a sniff.
"Death. It is inevitable in the end. But only the physical part. Of course, it's always hard not seeing the people you were so used to seeing everyday. And that is the unfortunate reality."
"But…does one really die when they are without a physical body? I don't think so. I look out into this field of graves and sometimes I mourn. And then there are times when I am able to see their souls still shining brightly as ever, and I remember not to mourn, but to instead celebrate the lives they lived. They wouldn't want the one's they cared about to be sad for them, they would want us to remember the good times they shared with everyone."
The God of Death went silent as he let his words sink into the boy. He watches him slink into his knees once more.
"Does it get easier? It can. Yes. But only if you allow it to. If you ever want to resume living, then you must first come to terms with what has happened. There are countless people who's lives she has touched and not a day goes by that they don't think about her like you do. Just remember, that you're not alone. We are a family here at Shibusen. We never forget our lost comrades."
Soul loosens up and after a minute of silence, pushes himself up off the ground to face the God of Death. He gives him a weak smile and shoves his hands into the pockets of his jacket. He turns back to her picture and struggles to move his lips. The lump in his throat threatens to leave him breathless. He then feels a smaller, softer set of hands around his shoulders and he swears he can feel her reaching out to him.
He swallows hard and remembers to breathe. She would want him to. He walks up Paramount and leans it against her cross. He opens the book up to page 42, where she left off. He wiped his eyes and took a step back.
"Ya know. I was kind of surprised at the ending. I wasn't really expecting that. 'Mnot gonna spoil you, I know how you hate that. But I think you're gonna like it."
Soul felt the angel arms wrap themselves around his chest. He turned his head back but only saw his friends waiting for him in the distance with Spirit Albarn. They hadn't seem him in weeks and were probably worried sick about him.
If he stayed there any longer he knew it would be impossible to leave. He gathered whatever strength he could and walked with his head high over to his friends who immediately embraced him with warm smiles.
"It's good to have you back bro."
"Soul! It's great to see you again!"
"You need to shave that unsymmetrical beard you're growing there, Soul."
It wasn't the greatest of welcomings, but it would suffice. These were his friends and they would help him get through this stage in life. No matter how hard it got.
He took one last look back and cracked the same toothy grin she loved him for.
Don't worry Maka. Our story's not over yet. I'll never forget you.
A/N: Inspired by a Sad Eater head-canon courtesy of Soul Eater Alchemist on Tumblr. I'm sorry peoples, I could not resist. The angst is in me. Hope you enjoyed :)