One thing about Soul that Maka had learned early on that she was positive no one else knew about, as he never showed any evidence of it even among their closest friends, was that despite all his fronts, he was a very cuddly person. She had pretty much known it from day one, as she’d gone grocery shopping the day they’d partnered up, and while he hadn’t gone with her in favor of unpacking and getting settled into the spare room of her, now their, apartment, he had followed her around like a lost puppy when she’d gotten back, offering to help put things away, or get to things she couldn’t reach, even though he was only an inch taller than she was.
It had been a little awkward for her at first, and she was grateful that he knew that. While he still stayed close to her, he wasn’t smothering her too much. He definitely hovered, still does, but she’s more or less used to it by now.
Once they’d been living together for a while, and she’d more or less gotten used to being followed around by a white haired puppy 24/7, she found herself giving him allowances that she’d never thought she would even consider. Whenever she was out in the front room reading a book on the couch, he would find an excuse to be there with her, leaning on her shoulder as he watched TV or occasionally flipping through his own book or magazine, eventually falling asleep on her and she’d have to shove him off to get up. If she was ever studying something she felt he needed to know as well (especially after he’d tried cheating on Stein’s written test), he’d lean on the back of her chair and rest his chin on her shoulder as he read with her. Various little things that he did every day that she wouldn’t even consider allowing any guy to even think about before she’d met him.
But then again, he had one thing going for him that no other guy did, or likely ever would. She trusted him. He trusted her, too, when she thought about it. Since he never showed any evidence of his usual behavior outside of their apartment, or even inside it if they had visitors, she felt privy to this huge secret of his, and she’s not sure what to make of the giddy feeling she gets when she knows that she’s the only one he’s ever trusted with this side of himself.
After he black blood infects him, the nightmares make him cling to her even more, either refusing to let her go when she goes to him after he wakes up screaming, or simply crawling into her bed in the middle of the night when he can’t get back to sleep for fear of what he’ll see once he does. Eventually he gets a handle on it, but still occasionally crawls into bed with her in the middle of the night. Either because of nightmares, or if one of them was just feeling lonely (she’s not sure how he knows when she does, but she’s not complaining), or that one winter when the heater went out for a month, and they both ended up sharing his bed because his room was warmer.
In any case, as she lies awake on a couch reading under a small lamp while the rest of their slumber party has already died out (Black Star asleep in an awkward position under the coffee table), she doesn’t register the mildly surprised look on Kid’s face as he shuffles by her to the kitchen for something until she follows his gaze to Soul, who has once again fallen asleep on her, his head resting on her chest with an arm draped over her stomach and dangling to the floor, and one leg tucked between hers. He’s snoring lightly and is probably going to start drooling soon, and she hopes she’ll be able to change her shirt in the morning before anyone else notices.
“How,” Kid starts, his voice scratchy from sleep, before clearing his throat and trying again. “How long has this been going on?” He’s not accusing or teasing at all in his tone, just mildly interested and curious, and Maka shrugs slightly before answering.
“Honestly? Since day one. He just doesn’t show it much.”
Kid blinked. “Really?”
Maka nods, absently brushing some hair out of Soul’s face before it tickles his nose and wakes him up. “He likes being close to me, I guess. It was a little odd for me at first, but I’ve more or less gotten used to it by now.”
Kid made a small noise of acknowledgement and looked at Soul for a while before glancing back up at Maka. “I’m impressed, to be honest. It’s very rare to see so much trust between weapon and meister partners this early on.”
Maka blinked. “We’ve been partners for three years, Kid.”
Kid nodded. “That’s still considered early in the partnership. Some partners remain so for life, even if they aren’t together constantly.”
Maka nodded. She knew that. She also knew that some partnerships ended, and badly, from her own personal experience.
Kid seemed to notice her train of thought. “Personally I highly doubt that you and Soul will ever end up like your parents. If I may be frank, Soul is nothing like your imbecile of a father.”
Maka laughed a little, careful not to wake Soul, before replying. “I know.”
Kid glanced from her so Soul once more before getting up from the chair he’d sat in when they’d started talking. “I’m going back to bed. Try not to stay up all night.”
Maka nodded once. “’Night, Kid.”
“Good night,” Kid yawned back before shuffling over to the air mattress he’d set up for himself in the center of the room and plopping down exactly in the middle of it. Maka shook her head slightly before marking her book and deciding to get some rest herself.
As she reached up and turned off the light, Soul shifted and buried his face in her neck and she tried not to laugh when she heard him grumble against her ear.
“How’s a guy supposed to sleep when you nerds won’t shut up?”