Disclaimer: Randomcat23 does not own Soul Eater.

A bitter wind blew outside and rattled the windows. It was a rare winter front coming from the north and it was steadily dropping the temperatures below normal. Thankfully, Soul and Maka had made it home before the weather arrived.

Even so, Soul could not get warm. Sure, the hot shower soothed his numb toes and caressed all his sore muscles, but as soon as he exited the steamy bathroom, the coldness came back. It crept up his spine and flooded his veins. He frowned as he padded into the living room; he better not be coming down with something.

The wind howled outside again and Soul shuddered. The couch was the coziest place for nights like this, which is exactly where his meister was camped out. Maybe there he would find warmth.

"Here, Soul, let me see your neck." Maka unraveled a roll of bandages with expert ease as Soul flopped onto the couch. She had her hair pulled back in a low, loose ponytail to keep it out of her work. There were already plenty of first aid supplies on the coffee table, which Maka had sorted into very organized piles. After each battle, the partners would bandage each other's minor injuries; tonight was no different.

Except for the cold.

Maka had already patched her arm and there were Band Aids hugging at least four of her fingers. Soul usually assessed her injuries, but there weren't many cuts to count. Consequentially, he ended up focusing on other things.

From his seat, Soul studied Maka. Soul could not ignore her collarbone for some reason. He slyly followed the pronounced graceful curve across her chest as Maka leaned forward with supplies in hand. Maka was always perceptive, however, and raised an eyebrow at her weapon. Thankfully, Soul managed to turn his grin into a well acted grimace and pulled his gaze to the ceiling.

Well, he could not ignore it because he was undeniably attracted to his partner.

"It's not bad," Soul insisted after Maka furrowed her brow, but pulled down the collar of his t-shirt. The red scratch on his left shoulder slowly pulsed fresh blood, making Maka set her jaw. With a few quick snips of the scissors and two pieces of medical tape, Maka patched her injured friend, surely remembering the hit that caused this. The kishin egg was unusually fast and she had gotten a little too cocky, a little too lax in her defensive maneuvering.

She sat back and looked at her handy work, eyes blazing. "I promise to move faster next time."

Soul rolled his eyes as he readjusted his shirt just in time before the goose bumps appeared; was it chilly in this room? "It's just a scratch." He flicked her forehead, saying, "Besides, I'm supposed to protect you, remember?"

A small smile tugged at her lips and Soul found himself grinning back. She was way too hard on herself sometimes. They had been partners long enough for her to know better, but Maka always insisted on apologizing for her mistakes. It was something he admired about her; she was straightforward, attentive, always looking to improve and . . .

"Soul, you look really hot."

The comment shocked him out of his thoughts. "What?"

"I said you look hot," she repeated earnestly, her fists clenched tightly in her lap.

That came out of nowhere! But, cool guys didn't ignore compliments, especially when said compliments came from a crush. Soul closed his gapping mouth and recovered smoothly, "Maka..."

Suddenly he was thrown back against the couch with a hand on his forehead. "Look how flushed you are! Yeah, you definitely have a temperature!" Maka was so close, he could feel her breath for a split second and then it was gone. "I'll be back! I'm going to get the thermometer!"

"Shit, wow, so not cool. Your temperature, you dumbass, not your looks." Soul scolded himself silently. He really needed to stop ogling his partner and daring to think such thoughts. Maybe this fever was frying his brain.

Maka came back a second later and popped a thermometer in her partner's mouth. "Hmm, hmm," Maka nodded in rhythm, tapping her foot while she waited for the reading. "Ah, huh! You have a fever, Soul!"

She shoved a pair of pills past his lips and then handed him a glass of water. "You have to fight it quickly!"

Recovering from his blunder, Soul swallowed the medicine. "Thanks, Maka." Her concern was cute...No! He had to stop thinking about it like that. "Man, that one stupid comment has my head all fuzzy with wishful thinking."

"You're welcome." She leaned over him to prop up some pillows. "I can't let you get sick!"

There was a small blanket on the edge of the couch that he reached for and wrapped around his now shivering shoulders. Maka apparently was not done with him yet, however. As he had settled deeper into the couch, Maka had run away and returned with more blankets and extra medicine.

Soul couldn't help but watch her scurry across their apartment, those long legs carrying her to each destination quickly. And shit, she looked good in that black tank top. He shook his head furiously.

It really wasn't fair that Maka had put him in such a tizzy, even it was unintentional. You just don't run around telling people they're hot! Not that he was egotistical enough to think that, but damn, when the person you like tells you that, well...what was a guy to do?

As his vision began to swirl from the medicine, Soul found himself lazily watching his partner. Wild white strands of hair hung over his eyes, but he could still make out Maka's frantic form darting to and fro. She was planning for the weather tomorrow; wool socks and hand warmers were neatly stacked on the kitchen counter. In addition, she had placed extra water and pills on the coffee table; he really could not afford to take a day off. And every once in awhile, Soul would catch her glance at him with apprehension.

Her concern was adorable, he decided. At this point, he really didn't care that she had frazzled his brain and heart with that innocent comment. Maybe one day he would be able to confront her about it, teasingly remind her of tonight as he holds her close.

A good shiver went up his spine at that thought. Smirking, Soul leaned his head back on the couch and closed his eyes. Just before the medicine took its hold, a brilliant idea came to mind.

Why couldn't he tease her tonight?

"Maka. Come here."

Her feet skidded to a halt at his voice. "What do you need?"

Soul patted the empty space next to him, "Sit down."

Instantly, Maka placed her hand on his forehead, pushing aside those strands of hair, and green eyes met red. He smirked at her concerned gesture and gingerly grabbed her hand with his, pulling it away from his toasty head.

"Soul, you need to sleep."

"There she goes, trying to protect me again."

The medicine sure was fast acting, quickly taking down his eyelids. But Soul managed to place his calloused hand on his partner's forehead and say, "You look hot, Maka."

"What?" Maka tested herself, and feeling no fever, glared down at her partner. "Soul, I am not feverish!"

Soul dropped his hand with a toothy grin and whispered, "I didn't say feverish, did I?" Before Maka could process his words, Soul dipped into a satisfied sleep.

Hello! This is my first hoorah into the Soul Eater section. I'm planning a multi-chapter story and wanted to use this as character practice.

In case it matters: I've watched the entire anime, but I'm only up to volume 12 in the manga. I looked up the term "kishin egg" and it's strictly a term from the anime.

Thanks for reading! Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.-randomcat23