Friendship is a funny thing.
Making friends had never really been a strong suit for Soul. He never went looking for them. Maka had come to him when he was off, purposely sulking away in the music room. Black*Star (and by extension Tsubaki) had practically screamed in his face the first day of class when Maka had introduced them, and even his friendship with Kid was a by-product of Black*Star's desires. It wasn't something he thought about often because it wasn't really important. Cool guys would attract cool people and so far he had done just that. This attitude also carried over to relationships. It seemed like something he would eventually just fall into. Yeah he had gotten some girls asking him out when he became a Deathscythe, but that wasn't actually sincere and he had a pretty good idea that a relationship shouldn't start with something so petty.
No, he was pretty sure eventually the right girl would just kind of bump into him. That was how all the guys did it in the movies and stuff. Love would come whenever.
Until then he was still one of the coolest kids at the academy, with a tight group of friends and without a doubt the best meister a scythe could ask for.
Really, he was content with where things were in his life. Which is probably why he never really thought about one simple thing.
What if Maka wasn't?
"Black*Star wants to play basketball after class." Soul said, eyes dreary as he stared at the blackboard where Stein seemed to be discussing the best way to dissect something or another that he probably shouldn't be dissecting. Beside him Maka diligently took notes, her neat handwriting filling up page after page of carefully written notes, complete with uncharacteristically sloppy attempts at drawn diagrams. She never had been very good with art. Eyeing her work he waited for a lull in the lesson to receive an answer.
"I don't want to play."
Typical. "You won't get better if you don't practice."
"I don't have to get better if I don't play."
Soul couldn't think of a good reply to that so he simply waited a few minutes before asking, "So you want to wait up for me and I'll give you a ride home, or do you want me to drive you home first?"
Again he was forced to wait before Maka turned her head towards him, flashing a slight smile. "I'll just wait. I'm almost done with my new book. I can probably finish before you lose to Black*Star."
Soul scowled. "We're playing best of seven now. He hasn't won yet."
Maka didn't reply, only letting out a near silent giggle as Soul sulked slightly until the end of class. As the bell dinged and Stein finally stopped droning the pair stood up. Following his meister down the stairs and into the hall Soul almost managed to lose her in the crowd before her small hand slipped into his and pulled him free of the mass. Resting against the wall they waited for Black*Star to arrive, a few minutes late as usual, flanked by Tsubaki.
"Ready to lose?" The Blue haired meister challenged, eyes already alight with excitement.
"Bring it." Soul shot back, baring his shark teeth at his friend. Behind the pathetic banter the girls shot each other pained looks as the two boys brought their heads closer together, the trash talking continued to grow more and more cliché.
"You coming Maka?" Tsubaki asked as Soul and Black*Star began to move down the hallway.
She shook her head, pigtails wiggling back and forth as she pulled a rather thick book from her bag. "I'm going to go upstairs and read."
"Oh, why don't you just come to the court then?" Tsubaki asked, but before Maka could answer they were interrupted.
"Hey! Are you two coming or what?" Black*Star yelled back, turning away from Soul for a moment. "I've got mortals to squash already!"
"Ah." Tsubaki said, putting a hand against her forehead. "Never mind, I think I understand."
Maka smiled feebly. "Yeah, just a little bit too loud for me."
Nodding Tsubaki let out a small sigh before putting on her usual smile and followed after the two boys. Maka watched them go for a moment before heading towards the stairs. The academy was emptying out quickly and with each flight she ascended she found fewer and fewer students until finally she was all but alone.
Most people found the academy to be a bit unnerving when it was empty but Maka found it rather relaxing. She was a Death Child, born and raised in death city and she had spent nearly as much time in the school as she had at work. Sometimes spending time with her mother, other times sitting in on her dad's class, but most of the time she spent simply traveling around the campus. Over the years she had found all the great spots to hide away from the world and curl up with a nice book, but while all the spots were good, only one was great. Luckily, as far as she knew, no one else really knew about it.
It was a small little balcony that Maka had found on accident one day years ago while walking through the maze of hallways and doors that made up the upper levels of the school. It wasn't overly fancy, just a single potted plant of hanging death ivy that had seemingly been planted then forgotten. It was a perfect little spot to stare out over the city, situated perfectly to get enough sun to stay comfortable but never hot, and underneath enough of the roof to protect against rain. She had once considered dragging a chair up there, but had decided against it after climbing up on the thick mason railing and falling in love with the precarious position.
Mind already slipping into a relaxed state as she reached her destination Maka pushed open the door and nearly slammed it back shut again. Resisting the urge she simply stood and stared at the figure that was currently intruding in her personal space and even worse sitting in her spot. She stood in the doorway for a few minutes longer before realizing theintruder had yet to take notice of her, still staring intently down at the book they carried, one leg dangling lazily over the ledge and the other stretched out along the balcony. Maka felt a sudden rush of awkward embarrassment as she continued to go unnoticed. It felt like too much time had passed to even make a noise now. She briefly considered turning back and going to one of the other decent spots but… this was her spot damn it! Her favorite spot. She wasn't going to let it go without a fight.
The slight clearing of her throat was finally enough to draw the mysterious reader's attention with a flinch. Teetering back and forth in the dangerous position he had been lying in, the boy dropped his book onto the balcony where it landed haphazardly before he was finally able to regain his composure. He quickly rolled off the ledge and landed awkwardly on his feet.
"Oh, hello." He said lamely as he dropped down to one knee to retrieve his book, carefully bending back the newly creased pages. Finishing his task he looked up at Maka, steely eyes giving her a curious look. Realizing she was glaring at him Maka took a mental step back and forced her face to remain neutral, though she was still slightly annoyed at theintruder, as she had come to think of him in her mind.
"Hi." Maka started as the intruder finally stood up to his full height. He stood a few good inches taller than her. There was a moment of silence before she waved out her arm towards the ledge. "Sorry about that."
He shook his head, running a hand nervously through his dark hair. "It's uh, it's okay. I just didn't expect anyone else to be up here. No one ever seems to come up here." His eyes flicked down to her book. "I guess you had the same idea, it's all yours." He nodded his head and gingerly slipped passed her.
Maka hadn't expected this. Suddenly she felt like she was the intruder, not this polite young man. Turning around she called out to him. "Wait, you were here first."
He paused, looking over his shoulder. "Don't worry about it, I was going to leave soon anyways, so…" he shrugged his shoulders before tipping his head in goodbye and continuing down the hallway and towards the stairs. As the door swung shut behind him, Maka finally looked away and took her place on the balcony, dangling one leg off the edge just like he had been. Letting out a sigh she looked out over Death City, taking in the fresh air and gentle city sounds. She felt a slight twinge of regret for interrupting another book lover's reading time, knowing full well how much she loathed that same feeling. Truth be told there was probably enough room for the both of them up there, but he was already gone and she had no idea who he was. Taking in a deep breath she let the thoughts flow out of her before she leaned her back against the stone wall and brought her large book up to rest on her lap.
"Lost again?" Maka asked teasingly as Soul stormed towards his motorcycle, straddling the seat and revving the engine loudly to vent his frustration. Getting on behind him Maka wrapped her arms loosely around his waist. "If it makes you feel better, you guys played longer than usual. I was actually able to finish my book and start another one."
"Ah shuddup." Soul grumped as he pulled the motorcycle on the road a bit faster than necessary, enjoying the satisfying feeling of Maka's arms tightening around his waist in response. "I'll get him next time."
"Mmmm, I'm sure." Maka said over the roar of the bike. "Also, it's your turn to make dinner tonight."
Soul let out a groan before falling into a sullen silence that lasted until they made it back to the apartment. Hopping off the bike Maka waited patiently for her lethargic weapon to follow after her. Reaching the door Soul pushed inside and slouched towards the bathroom for a much desired shower. "How about pizza?"
Maka worked her way to the kitchen, grabbing a glass and filling it with juice from the fridge, "We had pizza two days ago." She heard the water turn on as Soul returned to the kitchen, shirt gone and a towel hanging loosely over one shoulder as he undid his belt.
"How about Chinese?"
"You ordered that four times last week." Maka made a face. "And you don't even order from the good place."
"Then what do you want princess?" Soul asked, finally removing the belt and tossing it towards his room as he entered the now steaming bathroom, unfastening his pants as he went
"I want you to cook!" Maka called back.
"Ah fine!" Soul yelled back as he shut the door and entered the shower. Few almost ten minutes there was silence in the house until the shower was shut off and the door opened again and a towel clad Soul exited the bathroom, still dripping small amounts of water onto the floor. He jabbed a damp finger towards Maka, "But you gotta clean."
Maka rolled her eyes at her best friend. "Whatever, just go put some clothes on and stop stalling."
Soul bared his shark teeth at her before heading off to his room to change, kicking his belt as he went. Maka shook her head, smiling at her weapon's pouty attitude.
Some things never changed.