A/N: This is just a simple angst/romance oneshot. I've never really done anything like this, so I apologize if it's no good. A big thank you to my dear friend, Kenichi and Miu 4ever! She read it when it was in its beginning stages and suggested the ending. Love you, girl!
Second A/N: This is my second upload of this. My profile has the explanation.
Disclaimer: I do not own Soul Eater.
What You Don't Know
Maka crept into their apartment as quietly as possible. It was past one in the morning, and she didn't want to wake up Soul. He could be cranky when disturbed from his sleep, and her night had been too wonderful to be ruined by a petty fight.
For one thing, she had actually gone out! Normally, it was Soul who always had plans while she stayed home alone in the apartment. It felt good to switch out for a change, and she was very grateful to Liz who had suggested the "girls' night" in the first place. Maka, Tsubaki, Liz, and Patty had all gone shopping and then out to eat. Though Maka was unsure at first, she had enjoyed herself immensely.
A small grin danced on Maka's lips as she hung up her coat, but that smile quickly died. During the night she had eaten without care, not even thinking of the calories in that piece of chocolate cake. As much fun as that had been, she would have to pay for it now.
Maka sighed and went to the kitchen.
"What do you think you're doing?"
Maka jumped, and several pills spilled across the kitchen counter from the capsule she'd been holding. Maka desperately scrambled to pick them up and stuffed them in the bottle before turning to face who had startled her.
"Oh! Sorry, Soul, I didn't mean to wake you," Maka apologized.
"I wasn't asleep." Upon closer inspection, Maka observed this to be true. Soul was still dressed in his orange T-shirt and pants from earlier, and his hair wasn't any messier than usual.
"You didn't have to wait up on me," Maka said.
Soul ignored this and reached for the pill bottle in Maka's hand. Maka started to pull away, but Soul took the bottle before she had the chance.
"They're just vitamins," Maka protested defensively.
"These are the vitamins that made you throw up every time you took them. You said you got rid of them, so why are they still here?"
Maka opened her mouth to say she forgot, but the words wouldn't come out. Something was…off about Soul. He was always pretty monotone and straight-forward, but he seemed colder tonight. It was almost like he was…interrogating her.
Suddenly unnerved, Maka grabbed the bottle of pills from his hand and slipped past him. "I'm really tired, Soul. I'll talk to you in the morning," she called back, already halfway down the hall to her bedroom.
Without warning, a body entered her path as Soul casually leaned against the wall in front of her. Maka started to move around him, but Soul blocked her. When Maka tried to slip past him again, Soul grabbed each of her arms and held them against the wall.
"Soul, what are you-?"
"We need to talk."
A sliver of ice went down Maka's spine. His voice was so cold…so angry. She had never once been afraid of her partner, but standing trapped in his arms, she suddenly realized how much stronger he was. Her back was pressed against the wall, and she felt suddenly…vulnerable. She didn't like it at all.
"Get off me, Soul. Let me go," Maka growled.
"No." It was a single word, but it was far more dangerous than Maka could ever dream of being. "You know, you're really pretty clever. We've been living together for almost two years, and I never suspected a thing. Sure, there were a few signs. How you went straight to the bathroom whenever we got home from somewhere, how you always had to eat a bunch of carbs for energy before we went on a mission, how you were always so tired when we weren't doing anything. It all makes sense now."
Maka's eyes widened in horror, and her fear increased with each word he spoke. No… No, it couldn't be…
"You're anorexic, Maka."
"Soul, you're being ridiculous. I'm not –"
"Don't you dare try to deny it," Soul growled angrily. "I didn't want to believe it at first, but I know it's true. It's weird enough that you're so underweight. I can feel your ribs, Maka…"
Soul's hands traveled from her arms to her thin waist and up to her rib cage. He grasped it almost painfully, fingering each individual rib and causing her to gasp. Maka started to pull away, but Soul held her firmly to the wall.
"But you have no energy except during a battle because you binge on all those carbs. Then I bet you throw it all up afterwards, huh? I've seen all the mint gum and mouthwash in your bathroom. It's to hide the smell, right?
"You only eat when you have to. You don't want anyone finding out, do you? You're too independent to ask for help. But when you do eat, you go straight to the bathroom afterwards. You're sneaky, Maka. I'll give you that. My one question is…why?"
Maka couldn't bear to look Soul in the eyes. Her emotions were all over the place: shame, guilt, horror, anger, and humiliation. How could this have happened? How had her perfectly balance world fallen apart all at once?
Soul's fingers slipped under her chin and tilted it up, so she had no choice but to face those piercing blood-red eyes. They seemed to stare into her very soul.
"I'm sorry," she whimpered. "I'm just so, so sorry…"
"I don't know… It started with the divorce," she said. "I was so stressed and upset that I wasn't eating, and I started to lose weight without even realizing it. Somehow though… this made me feel a little better. Even when my world was spiraling out of control, the one thing I could maintain was my weight. With that knowledge, I started losing weight on purpose, feeling stronger with the power that I could. It got to where I panicked every time I gained even half a pound, and I'd throw up everything I'd eaten. It happened without me even realizing it…"
"You didn't tell me," Soul whispered, and suddenly, Maka realized how heartbroken he was.
"Soul, I…" Maka lifted her hand to touch his face, but Soul caught it before she could.
"I am your partner, and you hid this from me for two years."
Tears welled up in Maka's eyes. "It was my problem, not yours. I didn't want you to have to deal with it, too…"
"Didn't you think I could help? Did it ever occur to you that I might want to make sure you didn't let your own stupidity kill you?" Soul's eyes flared with anger.
A sob escaped Maka's throat. Images of cruel therapists, leering plates of fatty food, and wicked laughing faces flashed through her mind. Then an even worse thought occurred to her. Soul had countless offers from other meisters. What if he decided to choose another now that he knew how twisted and broken she was…? If that happened, Maka wasn't even sure she could recover.
Soul noticed how Maka's fragile frame rocked with violent sobs, and his eyes softened. He suddenly felt a little guilty for the angry way he had dealt with her. He wrapped his arms around her body protectively, allowing her to bury her face in his chest. They stood that way for a very long time.
"When are you going to move out?" Maka suddenly whimpered. Her voice cracked on the last word.
Soul's eyes widened in shock. "'Move out'?" he repeated. "Why would I move out?"
Maka sniffled and looked up into his face with shining, red-rimmed eyes. "Now that you know, you'll find a better partner…a partner who's not broken…and leave me. I don't blame you…I understand…" Despite her brave words, Maka started crying harder and hid her face in his shirt once again.
Soul looked down at his partner with sadness he had never felt before, but there was something else in his eyes, too.
He slipped his finger under her chin and gently made her look him in the eyes. "Maka…I'm not leaving you. You're my partner, no matter what you're going through. We'll be all right, Maka. We'll make it through this…together."
Soul leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. "I love you, and nothing will ever change that."