A/N: I'm just trying to get past a block so bear with me...
Maka Albarn wrestled with the bags in her arms as she fumbled with the keys to her and her partner's apartment. She was struggling, and it didn't help that she was already frustrated with life.
The keys slipped from her hand to the floor and she cursed under her breath. Trying to keep the grocery bags balanced, Maka knelt down slowly and reached a tentative hand towards the keys. She grinned when she got a grip of them and started to stand back up, only for one of the bags she'd been carrying to tumble to the ground, spilling half of its contents over the dull red carpet of the hallway.
"Damn it all!" Maka yelled, pulling the other bags closer to her and stuffing the key into the lock in one thrust of her hand, turning the key roughly and shoving the door open with her hip. She stormed in and dropped the bags on the counter in the kitchen as quickly as she could. When she turned to go back out and grab the items that had fallen, she saw a purple-haired woman strolling in with various grocery items floating about her.
Maka smiled at Blair and started to pick the items out of the air. "Thanks, Blair. I guess I over-loaded."
Blair smiled kindly at Maka and waved her hand dismissively. "I'm happy to help! Besides, you look like you had a hard day."
Maka shrugged and started sorting through her purchases. "No different from any other day as of late."
Blair gave her a look of sympathy. "Oh, I'm sorry, Maka. Would it help if Blair kept Mr. Death Scythe busy for you? So he won't bother you?"
Maka's brow twitched with irritation at the thought of the red-haired pervert and she sighed, knowing Blair's suggestion was out of good intention. "It's alright Blair. I'd like to think I've taken care of him for today, but then again, that's not very likely."
Blair jumped onto the counter, shifting into her cat form and sniffing the food Maka had bought. "Blair's just trying to lighten your load. You're always so tense, so busy."
"That's because I'm the one who does everything around here," Maka said bitterly. She sighed and brought a hand to her forehead. "That's not true... I'm sorry Blair."
Blair rubbed her head against Maka's left arm, which was supporting the young girl's body on the counter. "What are you sorry for, Maka?"
"I'm playing the martyr." Maka turned to Blair with a smile. "Are you hungry? I bought some fish at the market."
Blair shook her head and padded away from Maka, jumping off of the counter and walking towards the bathroom. "Make something you like. You seem to need it. Besides, Blair's got work tonight!"
Maka frowned. "Why don't you ever take a night off?"
Blair shifted into her human form, naked as a newborn baby, and grinned lewdly at Maka. "Because Blair likes work!"
Maka blinked and Blair was gone, hopefully getting dressed in Maka's room.
Maka shook her head and started to work on dinner, pasta for Soul, even as she felt the weariness in her veins.
She'd woken up in the morning, late, due to a malfunctioning alarm clock, and had learned that there was no food in the kitchen, as the Death Scythe occupying the other room in the apartment had finished off the last of the milk and cereal when he'd woken up before her. Since Soul was a Death Scythe, he had responsibilities that warranted him rising earlier than she needed to. Maka usually woke with him, so he wouldn't have to eat and ride to the academy alone, but she had the sneaking suspicion that her malfunctioning alarm was thanks to Soul, who'd probably noticed the lack of food and left her to fend for herself.
Then, after opting to not eat, she'd gone to take a shower, only to find that their water bill had gone unpaid. Maka groaned and cursed, but decided nothing could be done until she returned, so she went back to her room to get dressed.
Soul had forgotten to do the laundry this week.
She had had to settle for a pair of jeans a size too small, and a sweater too thick for a summer in Nevada.
Maka had made a mental note scold Soul when she saw him next, and started on her journey. Walking to the academy.
She'd been just on time to her class, as she'd become a teacher after graduating. Lord Death had offered her the job, claiming that the kids would see her as an idol, as she'd been one of the youngest meisters to create a Death Scythe, and the one to finally defeat the kishin Asura. She'd agreed to take the job, eager to teach students about their roles as heroes in the world and to help raise the next generation of meisters and weapons.
She could continue to help the world with missions, whenever Lord Death called for it, but the kids were a large priority, as they'd take over in the future.
For some reason, though, the kids were rowdier than usual on this day of all days, and she found her temper flaring more than usual. This led to many detentions being handed out, which did not fair well with the students. When she'd been walking down the corridors, she'd often heard an insult or two being thrown at her from the crowds, but she couldn't find it in herself to lecture them. Maka felt that she had been rough on the kids, and in turn, deserved the words spouted at her, if only a bit.
She'd had to referee eight duels between the kids, and carry a few students to the infirmary.
After two-thirds of the day had passed, her head had reckoned it was a mighty fine time to explode into a migraine, and the temperature decided to raise to a hundred and four. Fahrenheit.
So she'd finished her classes, finally, by four in the afternoon. However, she'd been ambushed by her father on her way out of the academy and bombarded with his endless confessions and declarations of love.
She'd quickly gotten tired of him, and decided to do him a favor and knock him out with a textbook. This way he'd wake up with a headache without the unnecessary and unhealthy consumption of alcohol he liked to have beforehand.
Then, Maka, who was already behind on energy since she'd stayed up the night before grading papers, went around to different stores, buying a large amount of food. Probably too much, she realized, because she had forgotten lunch and everything looked appealing.
Maka let out a long breath as her mind came back to the present. She tossed the vegetables she'd finished cutting up into a pot of water and set it on the stove, then went to put some pasta into another pot of water and set it next to the pot of vegetables.
She closed her eyes as she waited for the vegetable to heat to her liking, or rather to the liking of Soul, and then poured them into the blender to make sauce.
As Maka was scooping the finished sauce onto the finished pasta, she heard the front door open and a mumbled greeting. She turned and saw Soul dragging his feet towards the living room and collapse onto the old couch with a loud groan. She distinctly remembered having the will to Maka-Chop him earlier in the day, but she couldn't summon up the energy to, nor could she bear harming him when he looked so... finished with everything.
Maka finished scooping the sauce unto the pasta and carried the bowl to the living room, along with two plates and forks. She set the things down, serving them as she did so and turned on the TV.
"Thanks, Maka..." She turned and smiled at Soul, who was picking up his plate.
"No problem. I brought the sauce spoon, in case you wanted to lick it," she said, holding the spoon out to him.
Soul mumbled something about not being a kid anymore and it not being cool, but took the spoon anyway, causing Maka to giggle. "Today was really, impossibly long..."
Maka nodded in agreement. Her stomach suddenly decided to grumble loudly, as if to prove her point, which embarrassed Maka greatly. Soul rose a brow at her and she shrugged, taking a mouthful of the food she'd cooked.
"When was the last time you ate?"
Maka shot him a glare. "Well, someone finished off the rest of the food we had this morning, and I woke up too late to do anything about it."
Soul scratched the back of his head guiltily. "Sorry, I didn't think you'd end up skipping breakfast... Didn't you eat lunch, though?"
Maka shook her head. "Too busy."
Soul sighed and nudged her with his shoulder apologetically. "Sorry."
Maka mimicked his sigh and nudged him back. "It's fine. Today sucked though. And it's hot."
Soul tugged on her sweater since his mouth was full.
She decided that an argument could be avoided, and Soul probably had just as crazy a day as she. "I forgot to do laundry."
Soul nodded and they ate in silence for a while before he groaned and looked at her out of the corner of his eye, frown playing on his lips. "Liar."
Maka blinked at him innocently and started to reserve herself more pasta. "What do you mean?"
"It was my turn this week, and you know it." He frowned and his brows furrowed. "Why aren't you fuming?"
Maka took a deep breath and leaned back into the couch. "Too tired. Besides, you've had a long day."
Soul grunted, too tired to try to understand her. They ate in silence until they were both laying on the couch, Soul's head on the right arm rest and Maka's on the left one. Their legs were intertwined, but neither seemed to notice or care as they lay silently, trying to summon up enough energy to get up and go to their rooms. But they were already comfortable where they were, so that was a practically impossible task.
"It's Friday." Maka commented. Soul grunted in acknowledgement. She squinted her eyes, trying to think of the significance of that fact. "No school tomorrow."
Soul shrugged. "I still have to head in."
Maka studied the ceiling as she spoke. "Take a sick day. You've been working too hard."
Soul chuckled. "Remember when you used to yell at me for being lazy?"
"You still are. Sometimes. You deserve a break though."
"Paperwork. The uncool part of being the coolest Death Scythe under Lord Death's command."
"I'll do it," Maka offered. If she was more than half-awake, she would have mocked his ever-lasting attachment to the idea of being 'cool'. "Just take a day. Lord Death is understanding, he'll let you off the hook."
Soul let out a long breath. "Okay, whatever. What'll we do?"
Maka sat up and pulled her legs away from his, kneeling on the couch. She smiled at him. "It'll be your day. For being so cool."
"What about you?"
She paused. What about her? "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well, you do a lot too..." He sat up and looked at her with an apologetic smile. "And I know I pretty much fucked up your day today."
And all of Maka's pent-up frustration came out in the form of tears.
It wasn't just today, it was it was the whole week, whole month, even. It was her father's growing clinginess, the sleep deprivation, she was buried in work, she barely saw Soul any more, she felt fat because of these stupid jeans, it was too freaking hot today and dear Death, she was crying into Soul's collar.
"Shh... It's okay, Maka... Shit, I'm sorry..." Soul was holding her to him, rubbing her back in a hopefully soothing manner and his eyes darting around in a panic. He really hadn't meant to make her cry, but here she was, clinging to him desperately and tears pouring out of her eyes as she shook with quiet sobs.
She pushed herself back and took a few ragged breaths to calm herself, Soul's firm grip on her waist helping her pull herself together again. Maka wiped her eyes and looked up at him, feeling like shit. "It's not your fault Soul. I just... It's been a really long day..."
He knew better than to ask if she wanted to talk about it, as she was known for keeping what she deemed weaknesses pent up. Much like a certain scythe, who would deny that fact as soon as it was accused.
No, instead he pulled her to him again, embracing her. Her eyes widened in surprise, as it was rare for him to initiate any sort of physical gesture, especially one bearing an emotion. It'd taken Soul a long time to get used to Maka's hand-holding compulsion, he'd only ever hugged her twice, both times when she was injured to near unconsciousness. This blunt, unwarranted act of affection was baffling and brought her to tears again. No sobbing, no gasping or ragged breaths. Just silent tears that poured down her cheeks from wide green eyes.
Slowly, her hands came up to hug Soul back, and her face buried itself into his neck. He squeezed her and whispered into her ear, "I'm here for you, Maka."
Maka nodded into him, more tears cascading down her face as she whispered, "I know, I know..."
So they sat, in each other's arms, and very, very slowly, her tears came to a stop. She pulled away for the second time and met Soul's concerned, bordering on terrified, expression. She sniffed and wiped her face, smiling slightly. "Women, huh? We're all crazy."
Soul didn't laugh, didn't chuckle, didn't even smirk. "Are you okay?"
Maka nodded, expressing her sincerity with her eyes. "Today was just a bit much for me."
Soul hugged her again, briefly, before letting her go gently and standing up. He grabbed the dishes and took them away, as she came to realize how dark it was through the windows in the kitchen, and how sore her legs had become from sitting on them. She pushed herself off of the couch and followed Soul who was on his way back from putting the leftovers in the fridge and the dishes in the sink.
"Thank you, Soul."
He nodded, still looking at her oddly. "Are you sure you're okay?"
She sighed. "I'm fine, Soul. I just reached my limit today. This shouldn't happen again, so don't worry about me staining your shirts with my tears... I actually don't think tears can stain, can they?"
Soul chuckled. "You're an idiot, Maka."
She puffed out her cheeks in irritation and indignation, but was glad he was no longer giving her that look.
"I'm worried cause I love you, pigtails." Her jaw went slack and he chuckled again, reached forward to tug on one of her pigtails, which she still had yet to outgrow. This action made her jaw shut and her eyes to narrow into a glare. He leaned forward to place a chaste kiss on her forehead. "G'night, Maka."
And with that, he left her, standing in the kitchen with closed eyes and a small smile on her face. She opened them and turned her head towards Soul's door, her voice barely above a whisper, "I love you, too."
A/N: Okay, wrote this all in four hours... Serious fucking block. So, please review, criticism welcome, I hope you liked it...