It had seemed, when Spirit blinked slowly awake to a delightful view of Blair's toned ass as she lay curled at the foot of their bed, that it would be a good day, regardless of the fact that it was Monday and he'd slept through his alarm. When he'd skidded into the class he was supposed to have started teaching half an hour ago, most the students were actually still there, and the day got even better. When he saw his sweet lovely Maka-cakes, in the front row as always, flash him a smile- a slightly irritated, resigned smile that could be construed as a grimace, true, but he'd take what he could get- he'd felt as if the day had reached an absolute pinnacle.
But then he'd gotten distracted by Marie's cleavage when she popped in to deliver some paperwork, tripped, and from his position on the floor, he'd seen that idiotic white-haired boy who liked to pretend he was Maka's weapon slide his nasty little hand under the desks onto her knee and right up her skirt.
Looking back, Spirit could perhaps admit he hadn't handled the sight well. The shrieking had been entirely justified, of course, as had the colorful language, though maybe he was glad Marie had still been in the classroom to hold him back with her weird super-strength.
Maka, however, hadn't agreed that his reaction was perfectly normal when presented with such blasphemous desecration of his only child's innocence. At the moment, his head was still hurting from how violently she'd disagreed, actually.
"It was terrible," he whispered, rubbing his aching temples and taking a gulp of his whiskey.
"So you've said. Several times," Stein, sitting beside him, said dryly. "Lord Death was right, though. Nothing you can do, really, and you certainly can't throw the boy in jail, as amusing as that might be. She's legal. Four more months and your widdle baby will be all graduated and-"
Spirit's instinctive chokehold cut off the rest of Stein's words, but the awful truth had been spoken, and after a moment of tussling, Spirit found himself giving up and dissolving into tears.
"People are staring," Stein informed him, straightening his lab coat with a scowl. Indeed, most of the bar was eyeballing them suspiciously; when Stein started to crank away at his skull bolt, a few people edged out the door. The bartender, well accustomed to Spirit's theatrics, merely looked resigned.
"I don't care," Spirit blubbered, whimpering as his lower lip trembled. This was a crisis of monumental proportions and it was absolutely appropriate- manly, even- to cry at such a time. Death, but Stein really did have no soul if he could so casually talk about such a horrendous thing as Maka having se- Spirit couldn't even think the word. He took a swallow of his whiskey so big that it hurt going down and said, through his tears, "You have a daughter! How would you feel if some cotton-haired lunkhead was pawing at her adorable pumpkin panties right in front of you?" He ignored the fact that Maka hadn't worn pumpkin panties for years.
"Oh, I'd dissect the lunkhead," Stein said promptly, grinning with every single tooth he had and yet somehow managing to keep his cigarette in his mouth. Ash shed from the tip and drifted down to the floor; he didn't seem to notice, but Spirit edged prudently away on his barstool. Those damned cancer sticks had burned holes in far too many of Spirit's suits over the years. "However, Shelley's only three. It'll be years before she starts thinking romantic thoughts." That evil smile broadened and Spirit despaired. "Which means I, being above all this nonsense, can simply enjoy your irrational tears."
"You're a cruel man," Spirit moaned, finishing his whiskey and waving to the drooping bartender for another.
"I see Maka put you in your place," was all Stein said, taking a drag on his cigarette and motioning to Spirit's reddened forehead. This time, the ash fell perilously close to Spirit's leg. Stein squinted over his glasses and then added, with raised brows, "Witch's tits, I think I can actually see letters! She hit you with an encyclopedia, didn't she? 'Lo-Ly' if I'm not mistaken."
Spirit slumped over the bar and put his twanging head into his folded arms. "She's my baby," he mumbled. "This can't be happening. It just can't. There's no-" Then he shot bolt upright, so quickly that he toppled backwards off the barstool.
Stein peered down at him. "Do I even want to know?"
Spirit smiled brightly up at his friend. He was so damn joyful that he might have started singing if he hadn't been mildly drunk. Hope bloomed fresh and passionate in his chest. "Maybe they're not having- stuff!"
"Carnal relations? Biblical knowledge? Dirty, dirty sex?" Stein suggested, still with that sinister grin.
Stein waved his arms wildly from the floor, looking like an overturned turtle. "Don't say those things!" he yelped. "But maybe they're not! Maybe they're just thinking about it! Maybe I can still stop it!" His eyes grew misty. "My darling Maka-pie can still stay pristine and untouched! I can keep that moronic butter knife she calls a weapon from laying a single dirty finger on her!"
Stein frowned and blew out a puff of smoke shaped like a question mark. "Didn't the sight of him laying all five fingers on her precipitate this particular breakdown?"
"Details!" Spirit shouted, flapping a hand. "Hand me my whiskey, will you? Thanks. That's irrelevant. What matters is that Maka respects her old man and his wisdom dearly and if I just go have a little talk with her about the birds and the bees and the terrible, terrible things childbirth does to the female figure, I can get her to stay away from that awful boy!" He sat upright, drink sloshing, and chugged it before stumbling to his feet and smacking the empty glass down onto the top of the bar.
"I'm going to express my severe disapproval of that ludicrious idea right now," Stein said, face simultaneously disapproving and diabolical in the way only Stein could manage.
Spirit ignored him. He actually steepled his fingers and proceeded to leer at Stein like a deranged hyena. "There's still hope," he cackled, one eye twitching slightly. "And you're going to help me."
"The only help I'm giving you is to the bathroom so you can vomit somewhere other than on your shoes," Stein said. "I'd bet good money you didn't have breakfast and that's your fifth drink."
Spirit considered that carefully, then said loftily, as his stomach began to churn, "That's probably a good idea." A while later, outside in the parking lot and vomiting done, Spirit threw his arm around Stein's neck and said tearily, "You're such a good friend, my deranged little scalpel jockey, you know I would have made you Maka's godfather if it hadn't been for all the wild animals you had running around your lab at the time?"
Stein shoved Spirit into a taxi and said with a fond sigh, "Ah, Experiments One through Seven. I do miss those lizard-brained little things. You know Number Three actually learned to sharpen my bone saw? Damned useful, they were, until all those laws got passed..."
Spirit hiccuped and leaned out the taxi door to clutch the sleeve of Stein's lab coat. "You're going to help me," he croaked again.
Stein plucked Spirit's fingers off his sleeve fastidiously and furrowed his brow. "Help you what, exactly?"
"Help me cock block my daughter, of course," Spirit slurred before collapsing back into the car. The cab driver looked deeply skeptical until Stein handed him a twenty and told him Spirit's address. Watching the cab drive off, Stein could only shake his head. There was just no way this could end up any way but disastrous.
"So, uh, I accepted a long time ago that your dad's a bit weird..." Soul trailed off to silence, but his vaguely nauseous face made it clear he had more to say.
Maka sighed, prepared herself internally, and said, "But?"
"But he's been staring at me all day and just now I found this in my locker." Soul pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to Maka. She stared at it, then went white with rage.
"I'm going to kill him," she hissed, fists clenching until the paper was a wrinkled ball.
Soul scrubbed a hand through his hair, grimacing. "He's joking, right?" he said tentatively, jabbing a finger at the paper.
Maka thought about that, then said, "Well, no, knowing him he's probably not." Now it was Soul's turn to go white. She added hastily, "But I'm not letting him anywhere near your nether bits! Don't worry! I'll take care of this."
"What exactly are you two talking about, because it sounds interesting," Black Star drawled, popping up behind Soul, who jumped to an impressive height with a strangled shout. "And why's Soul so jumpy?"
Maka slit her eyes at him, dropping the balled-up paper on the floor and grabbing Soul, who was clutching his chest with one shaking hand and covering his crotch with the other, by the arm and hauling him away. "None of your business," she shouted back over her shoulder to Black Star. "Revenge is afoot! It's time for that nosy red-headed embarassment to pay! I swear to Death I'm going to drive him insane-"
She and her terrified-looking weapon disappeared around a corner, and Black Star snatched up the paper Maka had dropped. He pressed it up against the lockers and scraped it flat, then blinked. "Oh, shit!"
"Why are you looking at a severed penis?" Tsubaki said, wandering up.
"You've got wonderful timing. Look at this!" Black Star waved the paper wildly. "Look who signed it! Soul found it in his locker. It's hysterical!"
He collapsed into bellowing laughter as Tsubaki took the drawing. Her jaw fell open. "Spirit drew this? Oh, my god, it's all bloody! He even drew sound-effect screams! Goodness!" She took a second look, then said speculatively, "I wonder who this is based this on. It's very good anatomy, really, and good drawing, it's shaded and everything. Big, too."
Black Star was on his feet in an instant and tearing it up. "You've got unlimited access to the only good anatomy you need," he informed her, looking sulky.
She giggled and took his arm. "There's a broom closet around the corner," she said slyly. Black Star's sulk turned instantly into a lecherous grin.
Stein jerked awake with a grunt as Marie shook his arm. "The doorbell," she whispered.
"Hrnngle," he said intelligently, rubbing his eyes. "What?"
"Someone's at the door," she yawned, already rolling over to go back to sleep. "Don't wake the baby."
"Toddler," he corrected sourly before dragging himself out of bed and downstairs to the front door. Why in the nine hells was it his job to wake up from wonderful sleep and disembowel whatever idiot was foolish enough to ring the doorbell at ten-o-clock at night? He should have stayed mad.
He flung open the door with a crash, entirely ready to send someone to an early grave, but then he grunted. "Oh. You. What the hell do you want?"
"Nice to see you too," Spirit said, breezing past him and heading straight for the library.
Stein sighed and followed with dragging steps, debating whether listening to Spirit's inevitable ranting or a judicious application of chloroform would get the man out of the house faster. "Why are you here?" he tried again.
Spirit looked possessed, tie askew and the top buttons of his shirt undone. "For the plan!" he roared.
"Keep your voice down," Stein snapped.
"Sorry. I went to Maka's apartment today-"
"I'm guessing that didn't end well."
"-And it didn't end well. She refused to tell me whether or not she'd made the grave mistake of allowing that rusty pigsticker into her panties and then she-"
"Knowing her bent for debate, she probably told you you'd have to prove it before she'd listen to a word you had to say?"
"-She said I'd have to have cold, hard proof before she'd listen to such scandalous allegations and then she hit me a few times and tossed me off the balcony! Can you believe that? She told me I was overreacting. Overreacting!" Spirit made a decidedly ugly face.
"None of this explains why you've decided it's appropriate to show up at my house at this ungodly hour."
"You're going to help me get proof so I can stop her from making a terrible mistake," Spirit said, as if it were obvious.
Stein pinched the bridge of his nose, counted to ten, then said carefully, "You want proof of- what? Proof that she's about to give it up? And then you think that will somehow make her listen to you when you tell her not to do so?"
"Exactly! If I've got proof, she can't blow me off and tell me I'm imagining things, and then she'll have to listen to me!" Spirit said triumphantly, snapping his fingers. Then his smile broadened, and he started rummaging into his shoulder-bag.
When he pulled out a t-shirt and brandished it triumphantly, Stein could only stare dazedly. "Virginity Police?" he read at last, wondering if perhaps his eyesight had suddenly taken a turn for the worst. The letters were bright pink and glittery.
"Yes!" Spirit said happily, tossing it at Stein and pulling out another one.
"Tell me you didn't have these made," Stein said fervently, holding the atrocious thing far away from him with two fingers.
Spirit just chortled, wriggling out of his suit jacket and pulling his own t-shirt over his head. "Nah, I had them laying around."
"Ah." Stein decided, for his own rather unstable sanity, that it would be better not to pursue that particular subject.
"Anyway- no, go on, put it on! We'll match! Anyway, so she mentioned that she and her ugly little horndog weapon had a plane to catch for a mission in Canada. Tonight." Spirit peered at his watch. "They left about ten minutes ago, actually. So we're going on a little panty raid."
"Every single syllable you just said both terrifies and disturbs me. No. No, no, no."
Spirit looked tearful. "I need you! This is difficult for me! I need moral support! I thought we were friends!"
"I hate you," Stein said passionately.
Spirit just waved a hand absently, hunched over the lock to his daughter's apartment. "Mmhmm," he said. Stein groaned and leaned against the wall of the hallway, scratching under the black ski mask Spirit had bodily forced him into and praying that the lock would hold.
It didn't. This whole building was old, and thirty seconds later Spirit hissed in satisfaction as the lock gave a tell-tale click. "Got it. Come on, hurry!" He did a ridiculous barrel roll as he dived inside the door. Stein stepped in more sedately, rolling his eyes, and closed the door behind them before flicking on the lights.
"What now?" he asked.
"You take the bastard's room, I'll take my darling marshmallow flufflet's room," Spirit said, eyes darting everywhere as he tiptoed past the kitchen and into the hallway.
"Right. What exactly am I looking for? A calendar with one day marked 'Fuck Albarn's daughter into the mattress'? An economy-sized box of Magnum condoms? Gallons of K-Y?" Stein said idly, following.
Spirit gave a ear-shattering squeal and tripped headfirst into the wall. "What the hell's wrong with you! We're looking for clues! Clues!" he shouted, clutching his much-abused skull.
Stein snorted gleefully. "I thought we were supposed to be sneaking?"
"Oh, shit, right. Right. Shh!" Spirit stumbled back upright, red hair sticking out crazily from his own ski mask, and pointed Stein towards Soul's room before creeping stealthily into Maka's.
To be honest, Stein thought Soul's room appeared quite normal for a teenage boy. There was a dusty guitar hanging on the wall, the bed was unmade and wrinkled, clothes were strewn everywhere, and the desk was cluttered with schoolbooks and wadded-up attempts at homework. He wandered around for a while, kicking at clothes and shaking his head dolefully after reading the really pathetic essay sitting abandoned on the desk. It was a C minus, at best; obviously Spirit's spawn hadn't proofread it yet. She'd never tolerate such mediocrity.
A strangled yelp echoed through the wall. Stein yawned and wandered over into Maka's room, where Spirit was prone on the floor, gasping.
"Look," he groaned, extending a shaking finger towards the bed.
Stein followed the direction of Spirit's point and chuckled; an oversize black shirt with a cartoonish skull emblazoned on the front was lying crumpled on the floor. It was about three times too large to be Maka's. "Look at that. You might be too late, old boy."
"Nooooo," Spirit whined, writhing and drumming his heels in a full-blown tantrum. Eventually he got a hold of himself and sat up, saying resolutely, "This means nothing! Maybe she just stole it to wear. Blair does that with my shirts all the time."
"You and Blair are fucking so enthusiastically I think the Pope has occasional heart palpitations out of sheer principle," Stein pointed out.
Spirit glared viciously. "She stole them before we were fucking! So did Kami! It's a weird female thing. They like dude shirts."
Stein pondered that, scratching under his ski mask yet again; the damn thing was itchy as hell. "Actually, Marie does that too sometimes. Evidence is circumstantial, but it would appear our joint experiences tentatively corroborate your hypothesis."
"Whatever. Did you find anything in Scrap-metal's room?"
Stein shrugged and waggled his eyebrows. "Few things. It appears he and your daughter are amateur film stars, if you know what I mean."
"Oh god," Spirit groaned, and for a moment, it looked as if he might actually puke all over his daughter's freshly vacuumed floor. She really was quite a bit neater than her weapon. Eventually Spirit mastered his stomach, and he pulled a black trash bag and a pair of tongs from his backpack. "Evidence, right?" he said weakly, grabbing up the shirt with the tongs and stuffing it into the bag.
"Indubitably, my dear Albarn," Stein said mirthfully. "You know there's a lot more where that came from in the scythe's room. It's a cross between Vegas at New Year's and Hugh Hefner's bachelor party in there. Really I'm rather impressed. You should see the sex swing, it's amazing the ceiling of an apartment this old can support it-"
Once Spirit was done emptying his stomach over the edge of his daughter's balcony, they made it into Soul's room. Spirit was deeply unamused with Stein's exaggerations. "You keep this up I'll take back your Virginity Police shirt," he threatened, stomping through the scythe's scattered clothes.
"I can only hope," Stein said drolly, plucking at the awful pink letters adorning his chest.
"Oh, Death, look at this," Spirit exclaimed after a moment. He looked rather green, but he wasn't as green as the lacy thong he was holding up with the tongs.
"Scandalous," Stein said, lips twitching as he tried not to smile.
Spirit looked astonishingly sick, but he tucked the panties into the trash bag nonetheless, and Stein was almost impressed by the way the man kept hunting for evidence, regardless of the clear effect each discovery had on him. When he found the condoms stashed into the side table next to the bed, he went pale; when he discovered the long blonde hair on one of the pillows, he physically gagged. The stained black silk sheets on the bed provoked a ten-minute bout of crying. The fuzzy red handcuffs under the bed and the pink baby-doll nightie tangled in a pair of Soul's jeans had him nearly catatonic. The bottle of strawberry-flavored lube was the last straw, though, and Spirit ended up twitching and sweating on the floor once again.
Eventually Stein took pity on the man and lied, "None of it's concrete proof, you know."
Spirit held up a suspiciously stiff sock with a wild look in his eye and said, "You've got a lab! You can test things! We've got panties, you know! And sheets!"
"Jesus Christ," Stein said, blanching as the full extent of the other man's lunacy hit him. "You are not suggesting what I think you are."
"You've got a lab," Spirit repeated, crawling over to attach himelf pleadingly to Stein's leg.
"There is no way I am DNA testing a sock," Stein spat, backing away and dragging Spirit with him. He bumped into the tall wardrobe pushed up against one wall, and something fell off the top of it to land with a thump on Spirit, who gave a shrill scream before fainting dead away.
Stein squinted at the gigantic purple dildo resting atop Spirit's chest and burst out laughing.
"So do you think it worked?" Soul asked, listening to the distant thrum of the plane's engines.
Maka gave him the cruellest smile he'd ever seen, closing her Skymall catalogue to lean over and peck him on the cheek. "He'll leave us alone and your dick will remain attached. Trust me. Even if he doesn't pay attention to all that porn in the living room, your bedroom alone will traumatize him for the rest of his miserable life."
"You're terrifying," he said appreciatively, grabbing her chin so he could kiss her on the lips.
She guffawed. "I know. When you grow up with a Sherlock Holmes of dick activity for a dad you sort of have to get terrifying. Playing dirty is the only way to win with him. Hopefully he's so horrified he'll leave us alone for a while."
Soul smirked. "You are awfully good at dirty."
Maka just grinned.
A/N: So, this is, uh, a thing. Dick Detective Spirit Albarn! The spawn of a ridiculous conversation I had with some people on Tumblr. :)