Soul woke up to a loud crash and Liz screaming shrilly at Blair. "You Goddamn cat, give it back!"
"Nya! Blair does not like your attitude!"
Soul heard Maka's infamous battle cry ("Maka CHOP!") and the sound of a very heavy book (judging from the amount of noise it made upon impact and the depth of the noise, he was guessing that it was a copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare) hitting a hard, solid surface. He turned to lie on his stomach, clamping a pillow down over his head. He took in the scent of…was that strawberries? For a moment, Soul forgot that he actually now lived with Kid, and that he was lying in Maka's bed. He scrambled to get out, shaking slightly and scratching at his nose. He rubbed his hands together anxiously and tried to straighten out his jeans. He all but ran out of Maka's room and sprinted out the door of her apartment.
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Soul found it ridiculously easy to tune Kid out. Kid didn't notice the difference (according to Kid himself, "you have that stupid, lop-sided look on your face all the time! I can't even tell if you're paying attention right now, and it's so unsymmetrical!"). Soul didn't remember when Kid finally stopped lecturing him, and that was probably because Soul fell asleep while Kid was lecturing him.
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Soul awoke the next morning when Kid kicked his feet – which were somehow dangling above him – to the ground. Kid made a distinct tsking noise at him, and Soul glared in response. "Symmetry again?"
"I should be so lucky."
Whenever Soul and Maka argued about something, they actually argued about it. Kid, on the other hand, like to give the silent treatment, acting as though Soul weren't even there. Soul didn't really care. He had a massive headache and despite the copious amounts of sleep, was somehow still exhausted and…a bit depressed, though he didn't know why.
When they reached Shibusen, Kid embraced Liz warmly, exclaiming "Ah Liz…how I've missed you." Liz blushed.
"Wow. Okay. I uh, I miss you too, bud" she gave Kid an awkward punch on the arm.
Soul saw Maka running up to him, some object held up in her right hand. Despite the very firm statement in his mind of Oh, I must have dropped something at her place the other day, when Maka reached Soul, he reached out and grabbed her, pulling her into a warm and…affectionate hug.
Oh my God Soul, what are you doing? You have to let her go, she's going to get suspicious. Why are you hugging her? Let go of her!
Soul slowly let Maka wiggle out of his grasp, giggling all the while. "Here –" she put the hairband on his head, pushing back a few strands of hair in his eyes. Soul blushed at the touch, and then blushed even more out of the embarrassment of his blushing, and his whole face went red when Maka commented on it ("Gee Soul, why are you blushing? You've never had a problem with headbands before" – although he was sure that she knew that wasn't the problem). Still giggling, Maka grabbed a hold of Soul's arm and drug him – ignoring Kid's calls – to class.
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Medusa hummed discontentedly. "Amortentia" she called. The witch appeared by her side, still beautiful, still ornately dressed, still with a dour expression on her face.
Medusa glared up at her. "Your spell – it's not working quickly enough. Why isn't it working quickly? We need to destroy these two. If we get to him, we can get to her. That's all we need: him rendered useless. She won't know what to do without him."
Amortentia placed a hand on her hip. "I don't know what you expect me to do. I hit the kid with the spell. It is working on him, it's just slow."
"Yes" Medusa hissed. "I know that, what I want to know is why? Why is it working so slowly? It works quickly on normal humans, yes?"
"Maybe it has something to do with that Black Blood you infected him with."
"How do you know about that?"
"You have your secrets…I have mine."
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It had been a week since Soul had started living and working with Kid, but Soul could have sworn it had been several months already. He didn't know how he was supposed to stand this every day of his working life. To make things worse, his daily breaks from Kid were with Maka, of all people. There was nothing wrong with hanging out with Maka. They had always gotten on amicably when they were partners. It was no secret that the two were close, and despite the somewhat frequent spats, Soul would still give his life for her, no matter what.
But something had changed about the way that he felt when he was with Maka. At first, he attributed it to the fact that he no longer lived with her, so he no longer saw her as a workmate or suitemate, but just as a friend. Next, he thought that maybe he'd caught some kind of virus from a classmate, since his stomach always bottomed out and he felt sweaty and cold all at once, but nobody remembered having anything. He finally attempted to attribute it to the little demon in his soul, who he could constantly hear screaming "Fucking shit, goddamn sonovabitch! Doing this to me….dammit. It's blasphemy! I'll kill you for this, Soul. Damn! It burns!"
Then, the following Monday, he found himself talking to Maka outside of their lockers. He couldn't remember what they were talking about; he'd spent too much time panicking: she's so cute when she laughs. She looks so carefree and happy…I keep forgetting we have that stupid Kishin around. I don't remember her being this happy when we were partners. Why not? Oh, yeah, that's right. I'm kind of a jerk. Ugh, I miss living with her. She was quiet and not annoying and at least I knew she was there if I needed her and she wasn't going to freak out over every little thing…well, okay, she would, but not for the same reasons as Kid…and she smells like strawberries…wait…how do I know that she smells like strawberries? Oh, yeah, I slept…in her bed…shit…that sounds so bad…this all sounds so bad…did I really just say that I thought Maka is cute? Oh God –
"I have to go now" she chirped, launching herself onto Soul for a hug. Instead of feeling his stomach bottom out, he felt his heart blast through to his throat. He blushed and smiled involuntarily. The moment only lasted for about three seconds, but Soul felt like it was...some horrible cliche; a brand new day, maybe, or like he was seeing things differently. "I'll catch you later, Soul."
Soul's smile faded, and he touched the locker for support. Why am I feeling this way? Dammit, it's so annoying, and it's so not cool! I can't keep acting like this.
"Why not, Soul?" the little demon purred. "I suffer from this little disease, why shouldn't you?" the demon sounded bitter.
I don't know what you're talking about.
"Oh, like Hell. That witch put a spell on you."
Which witch? "Amortentia, the one you and that rich brat were following."
"So, she made you realize your true love."
Soul's thoughts stopped. She did what?
"You didn't hear the little spell resonating in your soul? I didn't pay attention to the whole thing and it's quieted down by now, but nonetheless…you will run into your true love, and your feelings will speed up. You'll be completely incapable of holding them in. Of course, it's a type of insanity."
"True love, it's a form of insanity. Foile a deux."
I'm not in love!
"Oh, like Hell you aren't. That's why you can't stand to be away from her, have horrible nightmares about what's happening to her when you're not around, the best part of your day is when you're with her –"
So I don't like being partnered with Kid, that hardly means I'm in love with Maka -
"Oh, you know it's more than that, Soul. You've felt the Black Blood acting up, as I have. That's why –the Black Blood, it doesn't mesh well with this stuff, and it throws your aura off -"
"Your aura…it used to be black like your blood –"
My blood isn't completely black.
"Would you quit interrupting me?"
It's my head, I'll do what I like.
"Technically, it's your soul."
Would you just get on with it?
"Your aura used to be black. Now it's outlined by red. The true love, it's an insanity, just a different kind of insanity, sparked by something different."
How the Hell do I get rid of it?
"Don't you want to know what sets it off?"
No, not really, because then I'll just keep thinking about it. How the Hell do I get rid of it?
"First," the demon purred again, practically blowing air into Soul's ear, "You have to admit it, at least to yourself." Soul bit his lip. "Oh, go on, Soul. There's no one around, there's nothing to be afraid of."
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Maka had almost left Shibusen when she realized that she had completely forgotten to ask Soul if he wanted to hang out sometime over the weekend. She knew he would need to get away from Kid, and to be honest, she needed a break from the Thompson sisters. Black*Star and Tsubaki had already taken a mission, so they were out, and Kim had a date with Ox, made double by the inclusion of Jackie and Harvar (the latter seemed more excited than the former). She practically skipped back to their lockers, feeling light at heart. Soul and I are getting along better than usual, I wonder if our souls still resonate as well?
She stopped just short of their row of lockers, seeing Soul holding onto his own locker, head down, looking defeated and tired.
She started to call Soul's name, but was interrupted by Soul's own voice, talking to himself (or, she suspected, the demon within his Soul):
"Okay, I admit it. I'm…in love…with Maka."
Maka felt her face turn bright white. Legs felt too heavy to move, but she managed to move back a bit. She was blushing a bit, and didn't know what to think. Wait a minute, thinking? This isn't a moment for logic. A smile overcame her face. She felt…happy.
"But," Soul began again, "I can't ever tell her." Maka's expression fell. "She would never believe me…she'd think I was mocking her or something…or that it was part of the curse." She raised her brows. "The curse…shit…I have to let people know about that, before I do something really crazy." He sighed. "Great…now she really won't ever believe me…good thing I wasn't going to tell her anyway."
Maka managed to back off far enough so that she was no longer within hearing distance. She felt a rush of emotions…happy, upset, confused, concerned, ecstatic, worried, and determined all at once. She peeked around the corner, watching Soul readjust his headband. She smiled to herself, allowing her cheeks to go red. "He can tell me when he's ready."<< pt 3 pt 5 >>