This is dedicated to GlitterGoat and Poisoned Scarlett. Happy Birthday you two! It's also for any of the August people who give a damn, but mainly them. Hope everyone (reviews) enjoys!
Oh, and I own nothing, yada yada yada.
Trust; n. 1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, strength, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. 2. Confident expectation of something; hope.
Trust. A small word, with a large meaning. It seemed like such a simple thing, yet no relationship could ever really be complete without it. Delicate yet strong it had to be earned before given, and, once bestowed, it could become unshakeable. But, when broken, it was nearly impossible to regain...a fact that Maka Albarn knew far too well, having watched her parent's marriage shatter like icicles on a sidewalk due to her father's infidelity.
She was a sensitive girl and seeing the pain her mother had gone through, made her purpose in her heart to never let herself be put in that position. Carefully, methodically, she had raised carefully constructed walls around her heart, guarding it like a miser would his fortune. So when she chose, much to her own surprise, a male weapon, she didn't expect there to be any problem. Maka had her goal of creating a better Deathscythe than her father, and she was focused on that. Then, little by little, as she got to know him, friendship blossomed. In spite of their opposite personalities, there was a mutual respect that grew into genuine affection. Three battles played a key role in this; the fight with Blair, where Soul showed her that maybe, just maybe not all men were cheaters. Second, the fight with Crona, and how he had almost died for her. And last, during the sloth chapter in the book of Eibon. She had almost let her doubts consume her, but Soul had stayed with her, wouldn't let her give up.
It was all these things: his commitment, his belief in her even when he knew all of her shortcomings, that slowly, like the root of a plant in a buildings foundation, cracked the walls she had so painstakingly erected. It was so gradual in fact, that it slammed into her one day with the force of one of Kilik's punches, that the emotion that she had been thinking was a deep, solid friendship...wasn't. It had been one of those times when she had been forced out of the apartment to go to the basketball court, though this time she had been able to stay on the sidelines with a book, curled up in a pair of soft pink jogging shorts and matching oversized T-shirt. She had glanced up at the sound of loud laughter from the court, and her eyes had landed on Soul. He was standing in a shaft of sunlight, his head thrown back as he laughed at Kid, the blue T-shirt he wore clinging to muscles she hadn't noticed before but was now painfully aware of. The sun glinted off of his white hair, giving it the illusion of shimmering with a multitude of colors. Maka had blushed, feeling foolish because this was Soul, the guy who ate raw fish and left his dirty socks on the coffee table and was his ass always that illegally delicious?
She tried to brush these thoughts away as just a surge of random hormones, when he looked over and caught her stare, and something in the expression of his glowing red eyes softened. He had strolled over to slump down on the bench next to her, an arm thrown casually behind Maka's shoulders as he talked about something she couldn't quite focus on because her heart had suddenly swollen three sizes and crawled up into her throat. She was about to shift away, unusually nervous about his close proximity, when he had smiled at her, sharp teeth flashing, and she felt her lips turn up in return. Her discomfort melted, and she knew, for the first time, that she loved this odd mix of dedicated slacker that was Soul Eater Evans.
She loved him, but she wasn't willing to risk their friendship. Besides, she wasn't even his type, and no matter how gently he let her down, (for she knew that even though he teased her he would never hurt her on purpose) rejection was rejection, and she didn't want to see the pity in his eyes when he turned her away. So she took these feelings and shoved them in the back of the closet of her mind, like a thirteen year old with his first porn mag. Something to be hidden and never spoken of, only taken out to be looked at under the cover of darkness. And that's how she thought it would always be, with her smothering her unrequited love for him forever. That intention was tossed into the blender and set on pulverize when, out of the blue, he had asked her to be his girlfriend.
There had been no romantic dinner with candles, no roses or boxes of chocolates. No indications that his mind was headed in that direction at all. Which was just as well, since she probably would have fled like Black*Star from a science fair. It had been a regular Tuesday night, supper and homework (even Soul's) finished, sprawled on the couch with popcorn watching NCIS. Soul was leaning into the corner of the saggy blue couch, dressed for bed in a pair of black and red plaid boxers and black muscle tank. Maka was up against his chest, legs curled up on her other side so she could balance the bowl between their thighs. Soul munched a handful of popcorn as he watched one of the characters on the screen walk up behind another and smack him on the back of the head.
"Hey look, it's your role model." he drawled lazily.
She jammed a sharp elbow between his ribs, causing him to huff out a strained breath.
"So I'm the responsible kickass leader? That's fine with me, although that makes you Tony."
He repositioned her arm, rubbing his side slightly.
"Nothin' wrong with Tony. He gets the cool lines, and the ladies go for him."
"Yeah, Soul. And look at the way all his relationships have turned out. Is that really what you want out of life?"
"Ha! Gibbs has been married like, four times! That what you're aimin' for?"
She threw a few pieces of popcorn at him, glaring at his smirk as he caught them in his mouth.
"Fine," she grumbled. "They both suck in the relationship area."
"I think we could do better. If, you know, you'd like to give it a shot."
Maka nearly shot out a wad of half masticated popcorn.
"What? Are you joking?" she sat up, drawing her knees under her, facing him.
He didn't answer right a way, but set the bowl on the coffee table before replying.
"Not kiddin'. I'm...in love with you, ya know? And you don't seem to hate me too much, so I thought we could give the whole dating thing a shot. If you wanted to, I mean. I've been thinkin' about it for a while, and well, I...yeah. So are you interested, or did I just make a complete idiot out of myself?"
Maka wished she hadn't eaten that popcorn, because now she felt like all the moisture had been sucked out of her body. Wait, no. That was a lie. It had all gone to her palms, which she wiped discretely on the hem of the blue cotton sleep shorts that were riding high on her thighs. Her body was pretty much frozen, but her mind was galloping along at a furious pace in search of an answer. In all of the scenarios she had ever come up with, he had never, ever reciprocated her feelings. She tried to process this rationally, but all she could think about was that here was her chance, she could finally relax and let go, releasing all of her pent up feelings for Soul. No more hiding how happy she was whenever they were together. No more pretending that it didn't affect her when he would walk around shirtless, or, dear death, in nothing but a damp towel that molded to his body in ways that made her wish she was a strip of terry cloth.
She couldn't figure out why, out of all the girls he had falling all over themselves to get him, that he would choose her, but she knew that if she didn't grab this opportunity, then he would eventually go out with someone else. Leaving her to grit her teeth in a fake smile, while she had to pretend to be happy as she watched him be with some other girl the way she wanted him to be with her...an icy hand squeezed her heart at that thought. She wanted this so damn much! But...what if it didn't work out? Would they still be able to be partners? Friends? So many things could go wrong. He could get tired of her nerdy, bookish ways; want someone more cool and exciting. If that happened, he might even-
She looked up at his tone of voice. It wasn't as harsh as usual; in fact it was almost gentle. He was actually looking at her now, the light from the T.V. reflecting in his eyes, making them glow like the taillights of a car in the dark room.
"I really wanna try to make this work, Maka. And I know it might not be easy, and that you've got some relationship issues. But I just want you to know, I won't be like your dad. I know I can be a dumbass, but I'm not a bastard. So if I promise not to cheat, would you at least think about it?"
The world froze for Maka for a second, his words hitting her hard. Soul was offering her what she had been longing for several years now. Was she going to let her father ruin this for her? No. No, she was not! She was going to throw her caution to the wind, because she knew that the reward was going to be worth the risk.
"You know, Black*Star's going to give you a hard time for going out with such a nerd." she joked. "Are you sure I'm worth the trouble?"
As she watched the tension leave his muscles, his jaw relaxing as his mouth stretched into a grin, she knew she had made the right decision.
"Heh. You've always been trouble. But you've always been worth it; don't see why that'd change now. 'Sides, 'Star's been naggin me to ask you out forever."
Maka snuggled back into her previous position at his side.
"Huh. For once, you should've listened to him. Maybe I'll give him a free pass the next time he needs a Maka-Chop."
Soul raised an eyebrow as he put his arm around his new girlfriend, settling in to finish the episode they were watching.
Maka thought a minute, smirking.
Much to Maka's relief, things between them didn't really change. Soul was a little more publicly affectionate, holding hands when they walked instead of shoving his fists in his pockets. He hadn't tried to get very physical; an occasional kiss on the cheek, and that was about it, except for two short kisses on the lips. Actual dates were difficult. What could they possibly do, since they were always together anyway? Going to the park? Done it. Go out for dinner? On a weekly basis, at least. A romantic getaway for two? If your idea of said getaway consists of traveling to exotic countries, hunting disgusting kishin, and ending up with blood and other bodily matter covering your bodies, then sure.
Maka honestly hadn't thought that much about it, but one day about a month after they had begun dating, Soul brought it up. They had just finished dinner, and Maka was standing at the sink washing the dishes, while Soul stood next to her drying them and putting them away. His brows were furrowed in thought, his fingers restlessly tapping the counter while he waited for the next plate. He darted a look out of the corner of his eye to Maka, deciding to break the companionable silence with something that had been on his mind.
"Hey, Maka? Does it bother you that we've never gone out on a real date? Something that we don't usually do anyway? And before you say anything, that travesty of a double date with Black*Star and Tsubaki doesn't count."
They both silently contemplated that evening, which consisted of a horny Black*Star, a willing to please Tsubaki, and a popcorn box with a hole cut in the bottom. Toss in the group of nuns sitting behind them...
"At least we weren't banned from that theater along with them. I thought the manager was really very understanding when we explained that we had no idea who the two perverts were."
"Hn. Surreptitious Ninja Handjob my ass. Points to Tsubaki for trying to pass the mess off as butter though."
Maka snorted in agreement, thoughtfully wiping out a bowl.
"I guess you're right that that wouldn't really count as a date. But I can't say that it bothers me. I mean, we're together most of the time, and I'm happy with that. We have fun without labeling it as a date, you know? Just being with you makes me happy; you don't need to go out of your way to do anything different." she blushed, realizing how corny that sounded. "I'm not saying that I never want you to anything special, I just don't want you to feel like it's something you have to do to keep me happy."
"You sure? You're going awfully easy on me. Shouldn't you take advantage? Normally you say I'm a slacker, but I'm willing to make the effort here." he said playfully.
"I'm fine with how things are going. I've never been big on showy gestures, and it's not really your thing either. Like I said, I'm happy whatever we do, as long as we do it together."
He watched as she scrubbed furiously at the skillet, her cheeks flushed a rosy pink with embarrassment. She really was too easy on him, but he wanted to do something to show that their relationship had moved to romantic levels. He pushed those thoughts away to mull over later, sneakily twisting up the damp dish towel.
Maka squealed, leaping about a foot into the air and dropping the pan into the soapy water. She spun to face Soul, who was grinning mischievously after having popped her backside using the towel as a wet whip.
"I take that back! I want to go out to dinner at that ritzy restaurant that just opened! I want a dozen roses every day! But most of all I want a fucking medal for putting up with with your devious ass!" she yelled, trying not to laugh.
He tossed the towel at her.
"Devious? I think you meant to say, delicious."
"Idiot. Go take a shower; I want to have a bath when I'm done here, and I don't want want to be rushed."
Soul pushed himself away from the counter, leaving the room.
"Fine. And just to prove what a wonderful boyfriend I am, I'll even try to leave you some hot water."
"Good. And just to prove what a wonderful girlfriend I am, I won't threaten you with a Maka-Chop if you don't."
And she thought that would be the end of it, but three days later, Soul surprised her. Wandering into the kitchen for a late breakfast, she was shocked to find Soul up and dressed, packing what looked to be lunch in a small cooler. She glanced at the clock. 10:30. The world must be ending, because Soul never, EVER got up before noon on a Saturday. She stared hard at the boy at the counter, who was wearing black cargo shorts and a yellow T-shirt promoting a band she vaguely recognized. It looked like Soul. She snuck up behind him, reaching out a finger to poke him in the ribs. It felt like him.
"Ow! What the fuck, Maka?"
It sounded like him.
"Just checking to make sure that was really you. What are you doing up so early?"
"Don't know how you can tell it's me by poking holes in my sides, but whatever works for you. Go get changed; we're goin' out today. Wear something comfortable."
"What? Where are we going? No one said we were doing anything today." she said, confused.
Soul rolled his eyes.
"That's because no one else is comin', it's just the two of us. You. Me. On a date."
"Yes. A date. It's where two people, usually in a relationship, go out and do something fun together. I'm sure you've heard of them."
"I know what a date is, Soul! I was just surprised. Where are we going?"
He shut the lid of the cooler with a snap.
"It's a surprise. Hurry up; I'm walkin' out the door in about ten minutes."
"Ten...Arrgh! Damn it Soul, give a girl a little more warning!"
He watched her dash from the room, still muttering under her breath. He took the cooler and set it by the door, beginning to feel nervous. He had wracked his brains to find something they could do that he thought Maka would be comfortable with, and this was all he could come up with. Soul wasn't used to doing things like this; he could only hope that his first effort at a solo date didn't totally bomb. Six minutes later, Maka came out of her room, dressed in a pair of faded denim cutoffs and a bright green halter top that fully covered her breasts but showed a tantalizing strip of skin at her waist whenever she moved.
"I'm ready, and with four minutes to spare! Now, where are we going?"
He picked up the cooler, motioning with his head for her to get the door.
"Told you, it's a surprise. You'll see when we get there."
Maka bit her tongue. When Soul decided to be stubborn, there was no point in trying to pry anything out of him. She followed him out to the bike, waiting for him to secure the ice chest, before getting on behind him. She was surprised when they headed out of town, going east in the direction of the river. There was nothing out this way, at least, not that she knew of. She held her questions for the twenty minute drive, deciding to enjoy the ride. It was a nice day, warm without being too hot, the sun heating her skin pleasantly. As they neared their destination, she could smell the water, the trees that grew in the area swaying in the breeze. Soul parked in the shade, waiting for her to dismount before him. Once she was off, he set about unloading, first the chest, and then a blanket from the storage bag. He tossed her the blanket and pulled out a small paper bag. Tucking it under one arm, he hefted the cooler and set off.
"It's over this way. I know this is probably corny as hell, but bear with me a few more minutes."
Maka was starting to get frustrated.
"How am I supposed to know if it's corny? I don't even know what we're doing! You could've brought me out here to hack up my body to bits, for all I know!"
"Glad to see you have such faith in me, honey." he said sarcastically, repressing a grin when she stumbled at the endearment. "Besides, if I'd brought you out here for that, we'd have a tarp instead of a blanket."
"Thanks darling," she matched his tone, taking satisfaction when it was his feet that got tangled. "I'll remember to check for that next time we go out."
He turned right at a small outcropping of rocks, bringing their banter to a halt. The landscape was unusual for this part of Nevada, but Maka chalked it up to being so close to the river. Instead of dirt or sand, there was a large expanse of grass, and about six trees were clustered together, forming a shady area.
"This is it. I know it's not much, but at least it's out of the way enough that we don't have to worry about anyone screwin' things up."
He set the chest down and took the blanket from her, surreptitiously gauging her reaction.
"It's nice out here! How did you find it?"
He relaxed a bit, thinking that maybe this wasn't a stupid choice after all.
"I found it during one of your girls' day out deals. Got bored and decided to drive around, and here it was."
Soul had spread the orange and black striped blanket out under the largest tree, then sat down on it to begin unloading the food. He pulled out a couple of roast beef sandwiches, followed by a container of hummus and a baggie of mixed vegetables. For dessert, he had brought a few of the chocolate cupcakes Maka had made the night before. He offered her a drink as she peeled the cling wrap from her sandwich.
"Orange or root beer?"
She took the bottle he passed her, the glass slick and wet from the ice.
"This is good, although it's a little early for lunch, isn't it?" she asked.
He paused before biting down on a hummus covered carrot stick.
"You didn't get a chance at breakfast, and I'm always up for a meal. Sorry it isn't anything fancier, but I decided to go with stuff that even I couldn't ruin."
"What? Didn't want a repeat of the infamous mashed potato incident?"
"Shaddup. You promised never to bring that up again."
They continued to bicker halfheartedly throughout the rest of the meal, when Maka thought of something as Soul was polishing off the last cupcake.
"So are we headed back now, or can we stay here a little longer?" she asked, not quite ready to go home yet.
"I'd planned on stayin' our at least another two hours", he answered, stretching out on his back at her side, "I'm gonna go ahead and take a nap now. Woke up way too early today."
Maka gazed at him in disbelief.
"You brought me all the way out here just so you could go to sleep? What am I supposed to do?"
He handed her the bag he had been carrying before, slyly repositioning himself to lie with his head in her lap.
"I could stay awake, but I figured you'd be too busy with this to pay any attention to me."
She took the offered bag, feeling a hard rectangular shape within. She unrolled the top, peering at the contents. It looked like a...book? She pulled it out, and when she saw the cover, she squealed with delight. It was the next book in the series she had been reading. She had been meaning to buy it, but hadn't gotten around to it yet.
"Soul! This is so awesome! I've been dying to get my hands on this since the last one ended in a cliffhanger."
"Heh. Thought you'd enjoy it. Just try to keep your fangirly shrieks to a dull roar while I get some sleep."
Soul had barely gotten the words out before she had broken the spine and was engrossed in the first lines of the story. He smiled fondly up at her, watching the way her eyes shone as they darted from side to side as she read. She was so cute when she was concentrating. He didn't really need a nap; he was content to just watch her like this for the rest of the afternoon. But the sun was warm and his stomach was full, and slowly, his eyes began to droop with drowsiness. Just before he drifted of completely, he felt her hand slide across his chest to tangle with his.
He woke what felt like moments later, but judging by the position of the sun, must have been a couple of hours. Blinking the sleep from his eyes, he glanced up at Maka. She had her head leaned back against the trunk of the tree, her eyes closed and chest rising and falling gently. Her left hand was still joined with his, and her right had discarded the book to twine through his hair. Gently extricating himself, he sat up, trying not to wake her. But as he shifted around to adjust himself in a sitting position beside her, her eyes slid open and she smiled at him sleepily.
"Did you sleep well?" she asked, giving a small yawn.
"I should be asking you that. Was the book that boring?"
"The book was great! It was so good, I was able to finish it in a little over an hour."
He blinked at her.
"Then why didn't you wake me up? I didn't mean for you to sit here with nothin' to do while I slept."
"I thought about it," she admitted sheepishly. "But you looked so cute, and before I could make up my mind, I fell asleep too."
"Sorry it was such a lousy date. God, I take you out and we both end up asleep! Guess I fail big time."
"Hey, it was not a lousy date! I had a really good time, and I wouldn't mind coming back again. And you do not fail. I've never known you to fail at anything."
He looked up hopefully.
Her voice took on a teasing tone.
"Well, except for that time with the mashed potatoes. And when we redid the living room and you managed to get that strip of wallpaper on everything but the wall. Oh, and remember whe-"
"I get it, I get it! You never know when to keep your mouth shut, do you?" he groused.
The tip of her tongue slid across her lips, Soul's eyes following the gesture.
"Sure I do. I keep it shut so I can do this."
Maka leaned forward, her lips pressing against his. He was momentarily frozen by her unusual daring, but his shock melted as he joined in with enthusiasm. Her arms came up to wrap around his neck, and Soul took the chance to step up the kiss, darting his tongue between her lips to run over her teeth. Her tongue joined his, skimming along it teasingly before pulling a way. He became more aggressive, one hand resting on her waist for balance, his thumb rubbing the exposed skin. Lost in the moment, he was enjoying himself thoroughly when she let out a small moan in the back of her throat. It was like the sound traveled on an invisible wire straight to his cock; quickly, he broke the liplock.
Maka sat back, slightly dazed and confused as Soul crawled across the blanket away from her. Had she done something wrong?
"Soul? Is something wrong?" she asked nervously, her fingers twisting a loose thread in the blanket while he dug in the cooler, contemplating ways to shove his junk in the ice without her noticing. Soul kept his back to her until he felt his raging boner settle down. He turned, holding up a bottle of pop.
"Was gettin' a little hot. Needed somethin' to cool down. You want some?"
Maka stared at him, trying to figure out if he was hiding anything, but his eyes gave nothing away. She shrugged it off, pushing her uneasiness to the back of her mind.
"I'm good. We should probably be heading back soon anyways."
"You're right. I still got half of that assignment I need to finish tonight. I'll grab the cooler if you can get the blanket."
Soul loaded the remains of their meal while she folded up the blanket. Finished, they headed back to the bike, each lost in their own thoughts.
The sound of slamming lockers echoed up and down the halls as students stored their books to head for lunch. Maka was thinking about that first date, which had also been their last. That had been two months ago, and she had noticed a change in Soul that began that day. His attitude was the same, but he was more physically...distant? Detached? She wasn't really sure how to describe it. They were still together, he still called her his girlfriend and held her hand. But he never seemed to want to kiss her anymore.
She had waited for him to try, then, when it seemed as if he wasn't going to, she summoned up the courage to initiate it herself. Both times, he had found ways to avoid her. Doubts began to creep into the cracks of her mind; had she done something wrong that day? Was she that bad of a kisser? She knew she wasn't experienced like other girls, or as attractive... Could that be it? Was Soul tired of her already, waiting to find the right time to break it off? She shook her head, blinking back the tears that were forming behind her eyes. These thoughts weren't getting her anywhere; she would ignore them until he gave her a good reason not to. She straitened her spine, and headed to the cafeteria to join her friends.
Soul was blissfully unaware of his girlfriend's inner turmoil. He stretched lazily, waking up from his class-long nap to rub his eyes. It looked like he had overslept today, since the room was empty. That was weird. Maka always woke him up when she was ready to leave. He stretched his arms over his head, dislodging a scrap of paper that had been tucked under his elbow. Catching it before it could flutter to the floor; he flipped it over to read. It was a letter from Maka, asking him to meet her in...the girls shower room?! A wicked smile stretched across his face. He had been holding back after that day he had taken her out. Afraid of going too fast and scaring her off, Soul had slowed things down, even though it was damn hard. As was he, most of the time. Maybe it was ok to relax a bit; Maka must have thought so too if she was asking him to meet her in private like this. If she was up for a little fooling around, he wasn't going to stop her this time. Standing, he shoved the note into his pocket, and eagerly headed for the door, never noticing that in his haste, the scrap of paper sliding out to float to the ground.
Soul made his way down the mostly deserted halls, attempting to keep the, I'm-going-to-have-an-illicit-makeout-session-with-my-girlfriend look off his face. Casually, he looked in both directions before darting into the room, hoping that no one besides Maka was there. He slunk further in, looking for his meister. The floors were still damp from the showers that had been taken after morning gym class, and his shoes squeaked loudly on the pale blue tile. He stopped. Something was off. Shouldn't she have been here by now? As he turned to leave, some of the lights went out, making the room go dim. Startled, he bumped into someone. His foot hit a slick patch, and he fell backwards, a blond he vaguely recognized from one of his classes hanging on to him. Her lips were on his as they crashed to the ground, her hands on his shoulders as she pressed into him. Soul's hands shot up to push her away as the lights flicked on. Looking up, he found himself staring into the wide green eyes of his partner. He watched in what felt like slow motion as large tears welled up, threatening to spill over her lids. Quickly, he shoved the girl off of him.
"Maka! This isn't wh-" he didn't get to finish, as with a strangled sob, Maka turned to dash from the room. He scrambled to his feet to chase after her, but was stopped by a hand gripping his leg. He stared down into hazel eyes.
"You don't have to go after her, you know. She doesn't really suit you. Didn't you see the way she totally overreacted to that little kiss? It's not like I had planned on falling on you! Wouldn't you rather have someone who's more your type?"
He shook her off, glaring.
"My type of girl doesn't set up a guy she knows is going out with someone else!" he growled, running out the door, in time to see the end of a pigtail fly around the corner at the far end of the hall. To his left stood Soul's friends, staring in slack jawed silence at the scene before them.
"You guys saw that? It wasn't what it looked like, I swear!"
Tsubaki snapped out of it first.
"We know that, Soul-kun. We just followed Maka-chan when she came to look for you, and someone said they thought they saw you go in here. And then we came in and...Soul, you'd better hurry and go after her!"
She didn't have to tell him twice, he was already halfway down the hall, their footsteps signaling he was being followed. He didn't care. He was too busy remembering the look of pain and betrayal on her face. This could ruin everything. That girl better be going into the witness protection program, because if he lost Maka over this, there would be hell to pay.
Maka stood behind the school building, body quivering with pent up emotion. Her heart beat loudly in her chest as her lunch threatened to make an encore appearance. She tried to take deep, cleansing breaths to steady her nerves, but it wasn't working. All she could think about was the scene in the girls shower room; Soul lying on the floor, with some floozy fan-girl on top of him, pressing her lips to his. Soul and another girl. Another girl and Soul. Soul, who was supposed to be her boyfriend. Soul, who had promised her he would never cheat, never break her heart like her father had her mother's. She had seen it, but she still couldn't believe it. How could he do this to her?
She looked over her shoulder to find Soul pounding across the lawn towards her, their friends following close on his heels. She looked at his face closely. Could she read the signs of betrayal on his face? No. He looked panicked and fearful, his usual mask of cool indifference cracking right down the middle, showing the vulnerability that lurked beneath. He stopped a few feet away from her, studying her reaction. Their friends stayed farther away, hovering indecisively, concerned expressions on their faces.
"Maka, I can explain, that wasn't what it looked like!"
"Then what was it?"
"I slipped on something and fell, and the next thing I knew, she was on top of me. You came in when I was pushing her off!"
"Really, Soul? What were you even doing in the girls shower room? Don't even think about saying you wandered in there by mistake; how stupid do you think I am?" she bit out.
"I admit I went in there on purpose, but that's because I got a note that I thought was from you, saying you wanted to meet me in there. I swear; you have to believe me!"
"That's convenient. A nice, smooth explanation. You wouldn't happen to have this note, by any chance, would you?"
Soul patted his pockets frantically, coming up empty. He looked into her hardened eyes, searching to find any trace that she believed him, and finding none.
"Maka, I wouldn't do that to you. Don't you know that by now? Don't you know you can trust me?"
Papa loves you and Mama the most.
He was struck by an idea.
"Look, resonate with me! I can't lie to you that way, you'd know it for sure!" he reached out a hand, the hope in his eyes dying as she took a step back.
"Maka? Why won't you...please, I need you to believe me!"
Soul looked so broken, so at a loss. His heart was in his eyes, and he was willing to bare his soul to prove his loyalty to her. She inhaled deeply, and made her decision.
He looked like she had just taken a knife and sliced open his scar. His hand dropped slowly, and his eyes developed a suspiciously wet sheen. Maka heard her friends gasp, and Black*Star looked like he was going to come over there and rip her a new one if it hadn't been for Tsubaki holding him back. She winced, realizing she must sound like a heartless bitch. She stepped closer to Soul, bringing her hand up to press over his scar, fingers curling into the material of his shirt. Not being able to meet his eyes, she kept her gaze firmly on her hand.
"I'm not going to resonate with you, because it would be wrong. When you first asked me out, you told me I could trust you, and I said that I knew that. But now, something comes along to test that, and I react like this. I act like you're my father, when you've never given me any reason to doubt you. Yeah, it would be easy to confirm it with resonance, but that would be like saying that I didn't believe you, that I'll only trust you as long as I can prove it. That's not how I want our relationship to be. So..."
She looked him straight in the eye, so he could see how serious she was.
"I'm going to choose to fully believe in you. Because you don't deserve anything less." The hand she had on his chest moved up to caress his cheek, and he leaned into it, his expression one of utmost relief.
"I trust you, Soul." she said softly, but with conviction.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Black*Star beam at her and shoot her a thumbs up, while Kid gave her a small nod. The girls smiled their approval, and they all turned to head back into the building, discreetly leaving the couple alone.
She took his hand, threading their fingers together, smiling up at him.
"Let's go home."
Soul drove home with mixed emotions. On one hand, he was elated that things had worked out. For a few heart-stopping moments, he had thought everything had come crashing down, that she'd dump him for sure. Now, not only had she believed him, but it was her idea to cut classes for the rest of the day. Everything should be kittens and rainbows, except for one thing. When his eyes had met hers while Soul was in that compromising position, there had been hurt and betrayal. There hadn't been shock. It was if she had expected something like it, and that hurt him. He'd never given her reason to doubt him, had he? They needed to talk about this. He had a feeling that he was missing something...
Maka felt Soul's eyes on the back of her head the whole way from the parking lot into the apartment. He hadn't said anything, but she could feel the tenseness radiating from him. She waited as he clicked the door shut, kicking off his shoes to leave them in a heap instead of neatly lining them by the wall as she had hers. Instead of nagging as she usually would, she decided to find out what the matter was.
She placed a hand on his arm, stilling him from removing his jacket and loosening his tie.
"Is something wrong? I thought you'd be happy to be able to skip out without having to watch your back for the next incoming chop." she tried to be lighthearted, but he didn't even crack a smile.
"Maka, we need to talk about today." he noticed her tense up, but pushed forward with what he had to say. "I noticed today when you found me like that...you didn't seem surprised. Why is that? I thought we were doin' ok, you know? But you've got me wonderin'; is that how you see me? Some guy that'll cheat on you with whoever is available? I thought you knew me better than that!"
As he talked, he began to pace, voice raising with frustration, and a bit of hurt. He flung his jacket and tie onto the back of the couch, waiting for her to say something, anything.
"I thought it was me!" she burst out, hands fisting the hem of her skirt.
"...Huh? What do you mean?" Soul was lost.
"I thought there was something wrong with me! When we first started dating, I thought it would be alright, but then you changed all of a sudden. I mean, you were never really big with the whole 'affection' thing, not that I could blame you; I mean, I know I'm not really all that attractive, and as for sexy, someone else obviously got my share, along with my boobs."
Souls mouth flopped open in disbelief, words struggling to make their way out to refute her claims, but she bulldozed ahead.
"In fact, if I didn't know you better, I would have thought you were using me as practice before you started dating someone for real. You're not the easiest person to read, and sometimes you give the impression that you really don't care..."
"Maka, I would never-"
"Oh! I know you wouldn't! It's just that after you took me on that one date, you started to pull back even more, and it was like," she took a deep, shuddering breath…
Soul gave up trying to interrupt, too morbidly curious to see where this train wreck of his ineptitude as a boyfriend was going to wind up.
…"It was like I wasn't even good enough for you to use." she finished in a tiny voice. "If you don't want me that way, I understand. I just wish you would've made it clear before I made a fool out of mys-"
It was her turn to be cut off, this time by Soul's bitter, slightly hysterical laughter.
"What's so funny?" she asked, hurt that he was taking her fears so lightly.
He settled down, coming to stand directly in front of her.
"Funny is you thinking that you're not attractive or sexy." he brought his face mere inches from hers to growl, "Fucking hilarious is thinking I don't want you."
Maka gasped at his words, heat building in her cheeks from his closeness.
"But...you..." she trailed off uselessly.
"Think about it. Unless I've caught Kid's crazy, why do you think I sometimes take three showers a day? And only use the conditioner?" he waited while her mind processed this, her eyes widening as the implication of his words sank in.
"You mean...you were...over me?!" she squeaked.
Soul rested his forehead on hers, blushing faintly at his revelation.
"Of course over you. You always get me worked up like that. I thought you knew."
Maka brought her hands to his shoulders.
"Then why did you stop kissing me that day? I thought it was because I sucked."
He pulled away, eyes flashing before he turned his head away, his blush darkening.
"I stopped because I didn't think you would want our first time to be outside on a blanket. And that's how it was gonna happen, if I hadn't stopped. You were so damn hot; all I could think about was how good it would feel to have you then and there. But I didn't wanna move too fast for you; I wanted our first time to be special...so I tried holdin' back, and I guess I took it too far. I really must be the world's suckiest boyfriend ever if you can't see how crazy I am about you."
Maka pulled him close, burying her face in his neck.
"No! It was just me being stupid. I never thought you could think of me that way, and add that to the whole thing with my dad, and I just sort of made this big deal out of nothing. I'm sorry, Soul. It's not you I've doubted this whole time; it's me."
Soul kissed her temple, bringing one hand up to her jaw to angle her face where he could see her.
"No. If you could even think for one minute that I'm not into you, or that I could ever get tired of you, then I'm doing something wrong. If you'll let me...I wanna...Maka, will you let me show you what you mean to me? Is it okay?"
He kissed her cheek and moved to nibble her bottom lip.
"Please?" he whispered.
"Yes, I-I think I'd like that. But, Soul? I wouldn't have stopped you, you know. That day. You didn't need to hold back."
"I didn't want the first time to be like that, like I'd just lured you out there to get in your pants or somethin'." he mumbled, leaving her lips to trail kisses down her neck, one arm around her waist while his other hand tangled in her hair to tilt her head.
"I told you, you don't have to make things 'special'; as long as I'm with you, the how and the where don't matter."
Soul stepped back to cup her face in his hands, searching her eyes. Her expression held such love, and all for him. He could tell she meant what she was saying, and that made him all the more determined to make up for ever making her think that he was indifferent to her. He had never been good with words, but he felt like he could begin to show her how much he loved her by his actions. His goal now was to make her feel loved and desired. He had already proven that Maka was the only meister for him; now, he needed to prove that she was the only woman as well.
Dropping his hands down to take hers, he asked, "Are you sure about this? I don't want you to do somethin' you're not ready for."
"I just told you I would've done it that day without a problem," she stated dryly. "I think that makes it pretty clear that I've been ready for a while now."
Soul merely squeezed her hand.
"Fine. I'll remember next time I take you out there that you have no problem gettin' it on in the great outdoors." he teased, taking pleasure in the cute pout she gave. Keeping ahold of one of her hands, he led her down the hall and into his room. Mentally, he reviewed a check list:
Willing Maka? Check.
Birth control? Maka was on the pill. Check.
Experience? Absolutely none, aside from...educational, yeah, that's it, educational, magazines and movies. That would be changing soon, hopefully with follow up sessions.
Tamping down the voice in his head that was screaming, 'Finally!', he saw that she had already removed her tie, and was now standing there unsure of what to do next. Soul may not have any experience, but he knew that her clothes definitely had to come off. Now. Before he did something stupid and transformed his hand to rend them into Spartoi themed confetti. His long, skillful fingers came to her collar and began to undo her buttons as he watched her reaction closely.
Her skin was flushed a becoming pink that extended down to at least her collarbones. He leaned down to get a taste of them, scraping his teeth along the sensitive skin, shuddering when she let out a moan at his action. His attention was so focused on the increasing amount of visible flesh for his eyes and mouth to feast on that he didn't even register that Maka, not content to stand there and be undressed like a doll, had begun working on his shirt as well. Popping open the last button as his mouth continued to travel her neck and shoulders, he had to gulp as she stepped back to shrug out of her shirt, leaving her in her skirt and pale pink lacy bra. Reaching for her again, he noticed that his shirt was flapping open. He raised an eyebrow, to which she shrugged.
"I like to keep the playing field even."
Who was he to argue with that logic? He quickly tossed his shirt to the side, watching her eyes focus on his scar. Opening his mouth to tell her, once again, not to worry about it, he was caught off guard when Maka suddenly leaned forward and placed kisses along the top of his scar, her mouth mimicking what his had been doing to her moments ago. He moaned at the feel of her wet tongue on the sensitive tissue, hands going to clutch at her waist when she bit down with her tiny, blunt teeth. As she continued to lave attention on his wound, he cupped one hand around her breast, fondling it through the thin material, thumb stroking over her rapidly stiffening nipple. Maka arched back, pressing herself further into his hand. Part of him mourned the loss, while the other part took full advantage of her movements. One hand snaked around her to fiddle with the bra's clasp while the other lowered a strap, fingers lightly running over her now bare mound.
Impatiently, she reached back to help him, and with a flick of her fingers and a tug on the cloth, Maka was topless. Soul took a moment to savor the sight, one hand still rolling and pinching her dusky pink nipple between his fingers. Her eyes were half lidded with desire and her breath was coming in soft, panting moans that where doing very little for his self-control. That control slipped further as her hands, which had been braced on his chest, trailed down his abs to run along the waist of his pants, fingertips dipping inside. He bucked his hips against her when she skipped over his belt buckle to drag her fingers along the zipper, cupping the aching bulge in his pants. He thrust harder when she gave an experimental squeeze, retaliating by twisting her nipple sharply.
"Feel how hard I am for you. Do you still think I don't find you sexy?" he demanded, futilely willing his hips to stop moving as she continued to stroke him through the material, while using her other hand to remove his belt and snap open the button.
"Show me." she demanded huskily, in a tone of voice he had never heard her use before but that had him throbbing with want. He obeyed, pushing his pants down to his knees, kicking them off the rest of the way. This wasn't enough for Maka, who yanked his boxers down out of her way, her eyes devouring him hungrily. When she reached out to grip him fully without the impediment of clothes his mind fuzzed out, Soul's hands anchoring themselves at her waist. Dizzy with the feel of her small hand pumping his shaft, he sought to return the favor. One hand slipped from her hip to grope her ass, pulling her closer, the other hand darting under her skirt to caress her core, the wet heat almost burning his skin. She was so unbelievably warm and wet, so responsive to his touch as she ground against his fingers as they fought to see who could work the other into frenzy the fastest. He roughly thumbed her clit through the soaked cloth, her movements becoming jerkier as she rode his hand. Her hold on him tightened, and he grit his teeth to keep from coming right there in her hand.
The way she sobbed out his name, begging him, was almost his undoing. He pushed the crotch of her panties aside, his fingers parting her folds to tease her entrance.
"Please what, Maka? Tell me what to do." he rumbled. It may have sounded like he was playing with her, but he really wasn't sure what she wanted; he knew what he wanted to do, but he needed her to say it.
"I don't know!" she wailed, hands leaving his dick in favor of sinking her nails into his shoulders. "Anything, just more!"
Soul's eyes darkened at her words, every fantasy he'd ever had about her looping through his mind. He pushed them aside. Right now, he wanted to bring her as much pleasure as possible; he could indulge himself some other time. Removing his hand, he tried not to look smug at her whimper of loss as he guided her onto the bed, giving Maka a moment to calm herself. He brought his palm to rest on her cheek, smiling as she nuzzled into it. He lowered his head to capture her lips in a kiss, starting out soft and sweet but quickly heating to a fever pitch as her tongue struggled for dominance with his. He broke the kiss reluctantly, propping himself over her with one arm as the other hand caressed her side, the skin under his palm satiny smooth.
"Maka, I want you to pay attention." he said, waiting as her hazy green eyes focused on him.
"Why? What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to do my best to make you feel good," he answered, bringing his mouth to hover over her breasts, licking his lips. "And with every touch, with every move I make, I want you to feel how much I love you, how much you mean to me. Alright?"
At her shaky nod, his lips parted to take her tightening bud into his mouth, her hisses of pleasure spurring him on to suck harder. His hands roamed her body, mapping out the spots that got the most reaction. Saving her ticklish spots for future reference, Soul kept up his oral assault on her tits, which consisted of licking and nipping, sucking hard enough to leave little red marks on the pale flesh.
His hand wandered along the expanse of her thigh, ghosting the crease where her leg joined her torso to dip down to its previous location to rub her in gentle circles. As her body started to gyrate wildly, he took the opportunity to sit up and slide her skirt and the lacy pink panties down her legs with one hand, made possible by the fact that her hips kept rising off of the mattress. He used his free hand to hold her thigh as his fingers once again found her entrance, this time not hesitating before pushing one long digit into her. Watching her carefully, he moved his finger in and out a few times before adding another. Her fists dug into the sheets as his movements became bolder, his wrist twisting and turning to find the angles that suited her best. Seeing that Maka was close to coming, he bent down to add his mouth to the mix, sucking lightly at her clit as his to tongue stroked it from side to side. The dual sensation was finally too much, and she came, his name a broken yell on her lips.
As her body spasmed and shook with the force of her release, he removed his fingers from her, licking his fingers. He had hoped to have more time to work on her with his mouth, but he figured there would be plenty of time for that later. She opened her eyes to gaze blearily up at him.
"That...was wonderful." she panted out, slowly regaining her breath. "But don't you need to...do you want me to do that for you?"
His breath hitched at the thought, but he knew he wasn't going to last long as it was.
"No, I'd rather go ahead, if you're ready now, and still sure this is what you want."
In response, Maka stretched her legs out to wrap around his waist, pulling him close. He nearly whimpered at the feel of her wet slit rubbing against him. Taking himself in one hand, he got into position, praying he would be able to do this without too much fumbling. Stroking her with his head, he found the correct spot and began to sink in. Docking, success! Soul pushed until he was seated within her firmly, giving her time to adjust to having him inside her.
She felt so good wrapped around him, so warm and tight, so Maka. MakaMakaMaka. All he wanted to do was lose himself in the feeling, but he didn't want to hurt her. He would hold still forever in this fantastic heat, never moving even if it was slowly killing him but it was worth it if it ensured she was alright and—
"Soul, if you don't start moving, I swear I'm going to flip us over and do it myself." she warned.
Not wanting to give up control just yet he pressed forward, the friction causing tingling sparks to shoot up their spines. Hesitantly at first, Soul picked up speed as the movements became more natural, setting a pace that soon had them both moaning, the heady feeling of release drawing nearer. Her hands gripped his hair tightly, dragging him down into a passionate kiss. Feeling himself slipping, he slowed his movements, raising his face from hers so he could look at Maka.
"You feel fucking amazing," he groaned out. "I love you so damn much, Maka. Can you feel it? Can you?"
His eyes blazed with his love for her, she could feel it washing over her in warm waves. Her arms tightened around his neck as she smiled up at him warmly.
"Yes...I can feel it...I...ah! Love you too...S-Soul!" she managed to pant out.
"Then don't close your eyes." he demanded.
Speeding back up, it took only a few thrusts before she was sent screaming over the edge, the force of her orgasm pulling him along with her. With a final, desperate thrust of his hips he shot himself into her, howling her name, his eyes never leaving hers.
He pulled himself out of her still twitching body to flop bonelessly next to her, barely having the energy to lazily brush her sweat soaked bangs from her forehead. She sighed in contentment, turning onto her side to face him as she affectionately traced his cheek and jaw with her fingertips. Watching a sly smirk form, she covered his lips before he could say anything to ruin the mood.
"Whatever you were thinking, don't say it, unless you want to be sleeping alone anytime soon." she threatened.
"Does that mean you're sleepin' with me from now on?" he asked, eyes brightening.
"Hm. We'll see." she said, nestling down for a much needed nap. His voice stopped her, the serious tone holding her sleepiness at bay.
"I love you, Maka. No matter what happens, I never want you to doubt that, okay?"
She could see how much her answer meant to him, and, remembering the earlier fear in his eyes at the thought of losing her, combined with his tender lovemaking, made her smile softly. She kissed the corner of his mouth.
"No more doubts, Soul. Not when it comes to us."
Soul returned the kiss, hearing the surety of her words. He slid his arm around her to cuddle her close, rubbing slow circles on her back as Maka drifted off to sleep. His earlier smirk returned. He wondered if he would be able to convince her to skip school more easily in the future...