"Your month's almost up. Are you seriously thinking you're going to go back to Soul-senpai?"
Maka stopped. "Do you seriously think you're going to be his partner?"
"Why not? I'm smart. I'm pretty. I'm strong."
Maka turned around, glaring. It wasn't really like her to look so disdainfully on her fellow students. Even Black*Star, who had a knack for pushing her buttons, didn't earn her hatred. "You're barely even a one-star meister. What makes you think you can handle a Death Scythe?"
"I'm stronger than you."
The girl continued down the stairs, past Maka, and turned on the landing. "Even if Soul-senpai won't work with me, he has plenty of others to work with, Kid included. How many offers have you had?"
Maka stuck her chin up, looking down on her. "You're too scared to talk to Soul. You stalk us around school. If you really wanted to take Soul away from me, you would have been trying harder. Everyone else goes straight to him. Why are you approaching me about it?"
"Soul is labouring under some delusion of loyalty to you." Maka smirked at her. "Don't you dare give me that 'I know something that you don't' grin! You don't know anything!"
Maka laughed, walking down the steps. One at a time, she'll never know how scared you really are.
"You have no chance."
"Really? If that's how you feel, then why don't you fight me?"
"You know that's against school rules when no teachers are around. It would be unethical of me to fight a child. I'm not Black*Star."
"No. I just don't have the need to prove anything to you."
"Probably because you have nothing to prove."
Maka just kept walking, pretending like she couldn't hear the girl. The girl was not going to take that.
"We'll just see about that" she grumbled. She took one hand, placed it right behind Maka's back, and shot a burst of Soul Wavelength through her, sending Maka straight to the ground. Not exactly the desired effect, she thought, but I'll take it.
"What are you, nuts?"
"No. But I did study the way Black*Star fights. The only problem with him and Soul being partners is their incompatible Soul Wavelengths."
"And what makes you think that you're any better of a fit?"
The girl attempted to throw another Soul Wavelength at Maka, but it didn't work.
"You don't really have the talent for that kind of thing." Maka dusted herself off, turning back to the girl. "You might as well leave now. I'm not going to fight you."
"That's really too bad, because I'm going to fight you!"
Maka was mostly able to side-step the girl's attacks, unsure of what she was so nervous about before. A crowd started gathering around them, chanting for a fight. Maka looked around for a teacher to help her break up the fight, but in her moment of distraction, Maka received a kick to the face from the girl, landing on her knees. She wouldn't have felt so embarrassed – it wouldn't have been the first time she'd fallen down, nor would it be the last – if the girl hadn't come up, lifted her skirt, and commented, "oh, white undies? How unimpressive. And you have a porn star living under your roof, how are you so boring?" Maka attempted to kick her back, but the girl scooted back just in time. Maka fell flat on her chest, rattling her entire frame. "What the Hell could Soul-senpai seriously see in you? You're clumsy. You can't fight on your own. You're completely unattractive. You don't even have boobs!"
With a downward swipe, the girl's Soul Wavelength tore through Maka's jacket and shirt. The crowd became completely silent. Maka fell down again, hunched over, holding her chest and trying not to cry. The girl simply blinked, staying silent for a few moments before cackling wildly. "You bind your chest? Oh, this is too good! You enjoy this, don't you? You little masochistic freak!" She reached out to yank Maka's head upward, but was punched out of the way by a deafening blast.
Black Star stood, Tsubaki in hand, staring the girl down dangerously. "You will pay for this." Black Star dropped Tsubaki, who immediately ran to Maka's side. Black Star ran after the girl. Soul followed suite, bringing Sid and Stein along. "No, man" Black Star yelled. "Maka! I got the bitch, just go get Maka!"
Soul transformed his arm to his scythe blade and turned to face the crowd. "Get the fuck outta here, there's nothing to see." The people around them started stammering. Kim ran up, muttering some sort of spell to herself. Ox ran to Sid, explaining the situation. Sid ordered Ox and Kid to go get Spirit and Lord Death.
Maka couldn't pay attention to anything. She was just shaking and crying. Soul walked up to her, wrapping her up in his jacket and lifting her gingerly into his arms. "Go get Black*Star. We don't want him being arrested for murder." Tsubaki nodded. Kim ran up to Soul.
"I've erased that out of everyone's memories. I don't think it'll work on Maka, though," She bit her lip. Soul just nodded, walking in the direction of Maka's apartment.
X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X – X
Soul helped Maka apply the cream Nygus had sent over to Maka's wounds. Maka was blushing, refusing to look at him. He could read the devastated look on her face. He wanted to cry and scream for her. He wanted to destroy everything. He wanted to murder the girl who did this to her. But mostly, he wanted to hug Maka, to kiss her, and to tell her everything was going to be okay. But he knew that he couldn't. He had a feeling that any form of intimacy would just make things worse. She had, after all, just been beaten up and humiliated in close range, in front of everyone in school.
"You must be surprised. You must be wondering why."
"You must be curious…as to why I bound myself."
Soul shrugged, smiling. "Not really. I'd been living with you for a few years before I had to go work with Kid. It's not like I didn't know you…had those."
She looked at him, a combination of shocked and angry. "So why did you keep making fun of me?"
"Because I knew you'd be mad if you thought I was treating you differently because of your size. It's like I said…It's not the size or the shape that matters." Maka blushed, remembering their first encounter with Blair. She felt bad. I still don't trust him as much as I should.
"Besides, it's not like I want anyone else knowing. You're my meister…I'll go along with whatever you want."
Soul stood with his hands on Maka's shoulders. He looked at her intensely, hoping he could telepathically tell her how concerned he was, how upset he was, and everything else that he felt that he couldn't put into words. She sat up straighter, leaned in closer, staring at his lips. Soul felt strangely calm, leaning down toward her.
But, of course, Blair had to walk in right then. "Maka, you really shouldn't bind your chest, you could seriously hurt yours-" she paused, looking at the two. "Oh, uh, I'm –"
"No, it's okay Blair. I'm just. Uh." Soul kissed Maka's forehead awkwardly, blushing terribly on his way out.
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