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“Are we there yet?” Black Star whined as he followed behind the weapon. His steps were sluggish and his feet were practically dragging on the ground. The weapon, and recently turned boyfriend, Soul Evans, sighed and rolled his eyes at his complaining.

“For the last time Black Star, no! We’ll get there soon so stop crying and pick up the pace. We’ll get there a lot quicker if you walk faster,” Soul answered. It was times like these that he wondered why he was together with Black Star in the first place. But, no matter how much he annoyed him, he couldn’t deny that Black Star was an amazing lover.

The only reason why he joined Black Star on this mission was because Maka had fallen sick two days ago with a severe case of the flu. The poor girl was ordered to stay in bed for the next couple of days until she was feeling better. Tsubaki, being the amazing girlfriend she was, offered to stay behind and look after his meister while he took her place by going with Black Star.

The mission itself wasn’t something they hadn’t done before. The only thing they had to do was find a man residing in the village they were heading to and take him down. Rumors spread that he had a unique ability to stop the transformation of a weapon so Soul needed to be careful since he didn’t want to be caught off guard by this mystery opponent.

What was hard though was the journey to get to the village. From DWMA, it took about one hour to even get near the village and they’ve been walking for 45 minutes. Soul would admit that he too was a little tired, but he wouldn’t complain since this at least allowed for some exercise. Black Star offered to carry him and jump from tree to tree so that they could get there faster, but Soul had refused instantly with a blush on his cheeks.

He wasn’t sure he could handle being that close to Black Star in his strong arms. They certainly wouldn’t help his wandering mind, since the only thing he would be able to think about would be how those muscular arms held him last night while they were having mind-blowing sex…

“We’re here!” Black Star shouted in glee, effectively bringing Soul out of his trance. The white-haired boy blushed once he realized what he was thinking about and quickly followed his partner, who had started to run once he saw the small houses in the distance.

Once he caught up with the bluenette, they started to walk at a reasonable pace through the village. Though small, it looked comfy and had an earthy smell surrounding everything. The houses were evenly spread out and there were small gardens near some of them. The flowers sprouting from them were very vibrant and beautiful, making Soul’s eyes sparkle as he looked at every single one.

Was it him or was he starting to act a little like Maka with her books?

Ignoring that assumption, Soul continued to look at the scenery of the village while Black Star walked beside him with a bored expression, his hands behind his head. Every once in a while, they saw a group of children running around and adults doing their daily chores. Some smiled and greeted them, but others completely ignored them.

One man, who looked to be in his early twenties, walked up to them and introduced himself. He was a kind man and questioned them about why they arrived, and once Soul explained the situation, the man offered to help. Though he couldn’t exactly do anything, the leader of the village could certainly help. He knew everything about the people in his village and if he had suspicions about someone, then that would surely help them narrow down the suspects.

Soul graciously thanked the man for his offer and followed behind him as he led the way to his leader, Black Star not trailing far behind. As they got closer, more people started to pay attention to them, whispering and occasionally pointing in their general direction.

Soul wasn’t affected by this, but he could tell that Black Star was letting it get to him. It confused him because usually Black Star loved attention, be it good or bad. So what was different about this time?

Soul glanced questioningly behind him, but the only thing Black Star did was give him a blank stare. Thinking that his boyfriend’s behavior was because of the long journey, Soul shook away his slight uneasiness and continued to follow the villager.

A few steps later, the man stopped outside of a hut, which was a bit bigger than the other houses. It was near the edge of the village, a bit secluded from the other houses.

The man stepped forward, kneeling on one knee with his head bowed. His eyes were closed, and when he spoke, his voice was loud enough for the other villagers to hear. “Great leader! These two outsiders need your assistance. Please lend them your knowledge!” he announced.

Silence followed a few seconds after, and Soul was beginning to think that maybe this was a waste of time. He was about to lean forward and tell the man that they’d be on their way, but a booming voice stopped him in his tracks.

“Where are these outsiders?! I shall decide if they are worthy of my intellect!” the man responded. Soul frowned at the man’s attitude, and he looked behind him to see Black Star frowning as well. Looks like this wouldn’t be as easy as they’d hoped.

“They are here with me, sir,” the man shakily replied. It was obvious that he was intimidated, as were the rest of the villagers around them. Soul would be the first to admit that he too was a little intimidated.

There was the sound of shuffling from inside the hut and a few minutes later, a large man who Soul guessed was in his late thirties appeared. There was a dangerous aura surrounding the man, and Soul instinctively took a small step back. He felt Black Star stepping towards him, providing back-up, but he didn’t look back. The only thing he could focus on was the large man.

The man wasn’t exactly ugly in appearance, but the tattoos covering most of his body gave him an unnerving look. His skin was tan, a little darker than Black Star’s, and he was well-built. He had shoulder-length black hair and he was dressed in a cream-colored shirt with brown pants that looked worn. He didn’t have any type of footwear either.

His dark eyes were cold and calculating, showing the power that he possessed over others. After all, he needed to have power since he was the leader of the village. As his eyes landed on Soul, the boy felt a sense of dread fill his entire being.

“I assume it is you that needs my assistance,” the man stated. Soul, unable to speak, merely nodded. A bit of sweat dripped down his face, showing how nervous he was.

Since when was he this nervous when it came to anybody? The only person that could make him this nervous was Black Star, but for completely different reasons.

“That’s right. We need your help locating someone who is rumored to have strong abilities against people like us. We believe he or she resides in your village,” Black Star answered for him. Soul noticed that his voice was sharp, a rare occurrence. In response, the man narrowed his eyes as he gazed at Black Star.

“I can assure you that if there was someone dangerous living here, I would know about it. And what do you mean when you say ‘people like us?’” the man questioned with interest. His body had become tense when Black Star mentioned their target, but Soul didn’t question it.

“He means weapons and meisters, sir. That’s who we are and that’s why we’re here. We’re equipped to handle situations like this,” Soul calmly explained. The last thing that needed to happen was either Black Star or the leader letting their tempers get the best of them.

“State your names and occupation,” the man ordered. Soul heard Black Star growl at the order, but he silenced him with a quick glare over his shoulder, warning him to keep quiet. The bluenette did as he was told, but still glared at the older man.

“My name is Soul Evans and I’m a weapon. My partner is Black Star, a meister,” Soul answered. As soon as he said Black Star’s name, the man tensed even more and his dark eyes narrowed. His teeth were pulled back into a snarl that reminded Soul of a wild animal, and his body began to shake.

Soul, in response, tensed as well at the sight of the man’s reaction. What had he done this time? He had done what the man asked and now he was treating them like they had done some sinful act against him.

Before he could ponder it further, his hand was grabbed and he was pushed behind Black Star, who looked ready to tear the man’s throat out. His muscled back was coiled, ready for a fight, and the hand that wasn’t clutching his own pulled out the small sword that he always carried. His eyes, usually bored and carefree, were focused on the man opposite of him.

If this were any other situation, Soul would have pushed away from Black Star and stood his ground. However, something about this man made him uneasy and he found himself shaking in Black Star’s grip. The only thing that somewhat helped him stay calm was Black Star’s warm hand squeezing his own in reassurance. The other villagers circled them, scared but curious about what was happening.

“Black Star is your name, boy? Does that mean you’re a part of the Star clan? The one wiped out years ago?” the man seethed. The composed man from earlier was nowhere to be seen. Instead, he was replaced by a ferocious beast, hungry for its prey. Soul gulped at the man’s voice, but Black Star stood his ground. There wasn’t a trace of fear in his eyes.

“Yeah. What about it?” he asked back. Other people may not have noticed it, but because Soul was such a keen individual, he saw a little bit of pain shining in his boyfriend’s eyes and he flinched. Though he didn’t outright say it, Black Star had trouble accepting what his clan had done in the past. He knew about what selfish acts they committed, so it was easier for him to accept the fate of his parents and other members of his clan.

However, that didn’t mean that Black Star didn’t have his own troubles. Though he knew he wasn’t like the other members of his clan, he still struggled with his desire to kill and avenge his family. Black Star confessed to him one night that he felt sick whenever he so much as thought about committing such an act, but no matter how much he tried, the feeling wouldn’t go away.

Black Star told him that he didn’t want to be like his clan, that he didn’t want to be a murderer for the sake of riches and achievements. The only time he allowed himself to kill was if it had to be done or if someone he cared about was in danger. And even then it was difficult to digest the thought of taking a life.

Soul had agreed with him and over time, he had been able to convince Black Star that he wasn’t like the rest of his clan. That he could be better than them and dig a new path for the future members of his clan. Black Star was the last remaining member, and he promised Soul that he wouldn’t die as the last one. He promised that he would die of old age by his side. He promised Soul that the Star clan would live on in their future children, something that made Soul blush when he remembered that he could in fact give Black Star children of their own.

So, it was no surprise that Black Star would get a little riled up at the mention of his clan. The man, who looked even more upset at Black Star’s confirmation of origins, growled loud enough for the entire village to hear it. Maybe people out in the forest could’ve heard it as well.

“After what your clan has done to my family, I’m surprised there’s still one left,” the man stated. Soul frowned in confusion at the man’s words, but wisely stayed quiet. No need to piss off the man even more.

All of a sudden, a black spiral sprinted out of the man’s outstretched hands towards the two teens. Black Star wisely pushed Soul away from him and the two jumped in opposite directions. The spiral, having missed its target, vanished once it passed the two.

Soul, shocked with Black Star’s sudden action, lost his balance and fell to the ground, his brown pants instantly getting dirty. The bluenette, however, stood his ground and expertly landed back on his feet. His sword was drawn up in an attack position, but he didn’t make a move towards the enemy.

The man seemed impressed by Black Star’s skills, but he still possessed the sneer on his face. He shot another spiral towards Black Star, but the teen deflected it with a swing of his sword. Soul could only watch in fascination at Black Star’s movements. Even though this wasn’t the first time he had seen his lover in battle, it always enthralled him.

“You don’t have to look for your target anymore. He’s right here,” the man said. Soul had a suspicion that the man was hiding something, and now he instantly regretted revealing their identities. Now that the man knew he was a weapon, there was no telling what would happen.

As the man shot spirals towards Black Star, the villagers backed away in fear. Some even ran away, yelling in terror. It occurred to Soul that there was no way that the villagers knew about their leader’s true identity. And now that they had discovered it, it made sense as to why they would look for safety.

As Black Star continued to either dodge or deflect the shadowy attacks, they became more frequent and powerful. It was obvious that the man was trying to weaken Black Star’s resolve by tiring him out. It was a cheap move, but Soul didn’t think that the man would play fair in the first place.

Black Star didn’t seem tired at all by the onslaught of attacks, but when a shadow managed to slip past his sword and cut his shoulder, Soul saw his resolve weaken. The cut sprouted blood and Black Star clutched at the wound, eyes squeezed shut in pain.

Soul made a move to stand up and help his partner, but before he could even transform his arm into his death scythe, some of the shadow spirals flew towards him at a frightening speed. Soul didn’t have enough time to dodge them, and in the end, his body was wrapped in the appendages.

He was pulled down further into the ground, his arms pulled behind his back while his legs were free from the restraint. However, he couldn’t stand up since the shadows pierced the ground, acting like chains to keep him still. Soul struggled to free himself, but couldn’t muster the strength to do so.

He tried to turn any part of his body into his weapon, but for some reason, his ability wasn’t able to manifest. It was like his soul was squeezed in the shadow’s grip, making it difficult to even think about transforming.

“Don’t even try, boy. Those shadows encasing you are filled with a special type of poison, rendering you unable to turn into your weapon,” the man said as he watched him struggle. It looked like the rumors were true after all. This man made him a sitting duck, prone to any and all types of attacks. He wouldn’t be able to defend himself.

He was more worried about Black Star, though. Since he couldn’t transform, he wouldn’t be able to help Black Star. Now that he was wounded, he was easier to attack. His movements were sluggish and his eyes were half-lidded, worrying Soul since it looked like he would pass out any minute.

The man showed no mercy towards Black Star. His attacks kept coming stronger and faster, effectively slicing through Black Star’s flesh, making more blood spew out from his wounds. He had cuts on his face, arms, and through his attire, sometimes ripping off a piece of clothing.

Soul, from his captured position, felt fear for his lover’s well being. He knew how stubborn Black Star could get, and he knew that Black Star wouldn’t give up as long as he could still stand. It was one of those things that Soul hated about him, but he also loved that trait since it made Black Star who he was.

And, judging by Black Star’s bloody appearance, this was going to be one of those situations. He looked so worn out from the man’s attacks, but he didn’t allow himself to fall. Blood was dripping down the cut on his forehead, making him look a bit scary to Soul. He had never seen Black Star this beat up before.

The man didn’t utter a word, but he did laugh in a crazed sort of way that sent shivers down Soul’s spine. But, for some reason, he wasn’t aiming any of his attacks towards him. All he focused on was Black Star, even though he was open for an attack.

Could it be that this man held some type of grudge against Black Star? From the way the man reacted when he heard the teen’s name, it didn’t look like he was too happy with him.

A loud yell snapped Soul out of his trance and, once he focused his attention to the fight, he gasped in fear when he witnessed Black Star falling, his stomach bleeding.

The man must have dealt the finishing blow to wear Black Star out. The bluenette feel to his knees, his elbows barely able to hold himself up from getting a face full of dirt. His eyes were screwed shut and his jaw was clenched, for once showing how much pain he was actually in.

“Black Star!” Soul yelled in fear. His eyes were wide with terror, unable to comprehend the state his lover was in. By now, all of the villagers had disappeared, but Soul could still hear some of their screams from far in the distance.

The man, pleased by his actions, laughed and slowly stepped forward, his steps making the ground shake. His dark eyes were glued on Black Star’s form, taking pleasure from having his opponent weakened through his attacks. He followed Black Star much like a lion would stalk its prey. Soul tried to break free, but his attempts were useless since the shadows seemed to get stronger the more he struggled. He couldn’t protect Black Star from the man if he couldn’t escape.

Once the man was directly in front of the bluenette, he sneered and struck him with another shadow spiral, effectively making Black Star fall even deeper to the ground. The man seemed to be having the time of his life and a shadow shot out of his hand, pointing towards Black Star’s vulnerable body. He had Black Star at his mercy and there was nothing Soul could do about it.

“How ironic that a member of the Star clan is on the receiving end of an attack, don’t you think?’ the man questioned. “For years, the Star clan has ruled with an iron first, taking the lives of innocents for the sake of fun and riches. It’s what made them so dangerous and, ultimately, what caused their downfall.”

As the man continued to speak, his voice became cold and ruthless, like the mere thought of Black Star’s clan made him want to kill. “Of course, everyone knows how dangerous they can be, but I know how they truly are. They are worse than monsters, they are the spawns of the devil himself.”

“How do you know about this? No one has been able to see the Star clan so close before,” Soul asked in confusion. Even he didn’t know much about Black Star’s clan. The only things he knew were what Black Star told him, which wasn’t much. On one of those nights, Soul wanted to know more about his partner’s ancestry but Black Star refused to tell him. He said that there were some things that only he could know.

The man turned to him for the first time since the altercation and his glare intensified. Soul almost wanted to take back the question, but he couldn’t say anything else. He just prayed that the man wouldn’t kill him because of his curiosity.

“I know this boy because my family was one of their victims. Those tyrants came and viciously slaughtered my family, just because they had nothing better to do! I saw my mother and father be killed, I saw my siblings, some younger than me, be torn apart! What kind of people do that?! I was the last survivor, and the only reason why I was left alive was because my mother hid me in a cabinet,” the man explained.

Soul’s eyes widened at the man’s story, unable to comprehend that this man in front of him was a victim from Black Star’s clan. No wonder he had such a negative reaction when he found out where Black Star came from. He was sure that he’d have the same reaction as well.

But, another thing Soul noticed was the fact that Black Star had stopped shaking. He was still crouched on the ground, but he didn’t look as pained as before. His blue hair was shielding his eyes so he couldn’t tell what was happening to his lover. The only thing he could see from Black Star was the blood running down his face.

The pain that was noticeable on his face was gone, replaced by something else that Soul couldn’t describe. Something about the man’s story had an effect on Black Star, at least, that’s what Soul thought.

“All of them are alike. You’re all just monsters, waiting to sink your teeth into your next victim. The Star clan is the reason why I have my abilities. I’ve waited so long to have my revenge against the people that took everything from me. Granted, you aren’t the one I was waiting for, but you all are the same so it doesn’t matter. I’ll kill you just like your clan killed my family. You’re a monster just like them,” the man vowed.

Soul, violently shaking by the end of the man’s declaration, pulled at his restraints. His eyes were filled with unshed tears that threatened to fall. He couldn’t let this man kill Black Star! He was everything Soul wanted in life. He was his future, his entire world!

“NO! Black Star is nothing like his clan! You don’t know how he is, you don’t know a thing about him! He has a good heart, and he saves the lives of innocents! Don’t kill him for the sake of revenge! That won’t bring your family back so don’t take away mine!” Soul begged.

The thought of living in a world without Black Star by his side made him shake. He was so accustomed to having the bluenette that he found it hard to be alone. Even Maka couldn’t bring him out of his moods whenever Black Star left. So, if he couldn’t even stand ten minutes, how in the world could he spend a lifetime away from his lover?

“Sorry, kid. I don’t know how well you know him, but you should know that no matter who it is, everyone from the Star clan is a monster. Every single one,” the man said with conviction.

“THAT’S NOT TRUE! Black Star, you promised me you wouldn’t die! You promised me that you’d be with me for as long as we lived! So don’t you dare break your promise now! I need you, Black Star! Please...DON’T LEAVE ME!!!” Soul screamed in earnest.

The tears fell freely from his eyes, but he didn’t care if he looked like a mess. If Black Star managed to survive, then it would all be worth it in the end. No, not if, but when.

The man just laughed at him, feeling no pity whatsoever of what he was about to do. His hand released another shadow spiral, only this one was a giant compared to the others. It was almost the man’s height and dark electricity sounded every once in a while, showcasing how much power the man had put in.

Without warning, the arrow shot down, aimed at Black Star’s back for the finishing blow. The bluenette seemed to have given up because he made no move to get away. Soul felt his heart shatter at what was about to happen, and his eyes filled with more tears. He was going to lose his lover, the person that he cherished the most.

“NOOOO!!!!!” he screamed one final time, feeling helpless as he saw Black Star’s impending doom.

However, before the spiral could come into contact with its target, a hand shot up and actually gripped the appendage. It happened so fast that Soul was at a loss over what had transpired. The impact was so great that the ground shook and Soul sunk deeper into the ground, his knees the only support he had.

When the impact died down, Soul saw with a leap in his heart that Black Star had managed to deflect the blow that would have killed him. His form wasn’t shaking, instead he was composed and in complete control of his body.

Soul saw a bright light surrounding Black Star’s body and he had to squint his eyes a little to see. While his lover was focused, the man looked shaken up and furious, his body visibly trembling. Whether it was from fear or anger, Soul didn’t know.

“How can you even stand?! I injured you to the point where you couldn’t even move!” the man demanded. It was obvious that he was losing his composure, a great contrast to the man from earlier. In response, Black Star slowly looked up and there was a small smirk on his face, his eyes showing the clan symbol.

“There’s something you don’t quite understand. You see, I made a promise to the boy I love that we’d be together until the day we were ready to move on. I don’t know about you, but I actually have a future waiting for me, and I’m not about to lose it,” he said calmly.

As he finished, Black Star’s fist lit up in blue flames and his fingers clenched. He slowly brought it up towards his face and, with one final smirk towards his opponent, pushed his hand through the taller man’s abdomen, making him freeze.

Black Star’s aura died down, but his fist was still lodged in the other. The man, whose eyes widened almost comically, coughed up blood and his knees buckled. The shadows slowly disappeared and this allowed for Soul to free himself from his restraint. Though he could now move, he found himself still stuck in his position on the ground, watching his lover end the life of the man that had tried to do the same.

The man’s massive weight caused him to fall on his knees and once Black Star removed his hand, his opponent fell to the ground with a loud thud. He didn’t move a single inch.

The village was dead silent for a few minutes, with Black Star trying to calm down from his sudden burst of energy and Soul trying to wrap his mind around what just happened. When a few more minutes passed, Black Star slowly turned around and faced him, his eyes back to their usual color.

Soul watched with teary eyes as Black Star walked towards him, his steps slow and steady. Once in front of him, he crouched down and looked into Soul’s eyes, green meeting red. They just sat there for a few moments, basking in the relief that they were both safe and alive.

Then, without warning, Soul launched himself into Black Star’s arms, wrapping his own around the meister’s neck. He didn’t care that he would get blood all over him, only wanting to know if this was really Black Star and not a figment of his imagination.

Black Star didn’t seem to mind his sudden burst of energy as his own muscled arms wrapped around Soul’s waist. His grip was tight, but it didn’t make Soul uncomfortable. In fact, he felt safe and secure, a feeling that only Black Star could make him feel.

Letting go enough so that he could look properly at Black Star, he gazed at his lover’s bloody face and tired smile. He felt a small smile break out on his own face, and he used one of his hands to wipe away some of the blood on his partner. It didn’t help, but neither seemed to care.

“Don’t scare me like that,” Soul whispered as he kept staring at the bluenette. In turn, the other teen tightened his arms around his waist and Soul felt himself being pulled closer to his partner’s strong chest.

“I’m sorry,” Black Star apologized. Their foreheads touched and they closed their eyes, allowing themselves a moment of peace from what they just endured. They could’ve lost each other, but they managed to pull through.

Black Star stepped away and placed his fingers on Soul’s chin, lifting the weapon’s face to meet his own. The weapon stared at his partner in confusion, but once he felt a pair of lips connecting with his own, he allowed his eyes to flutter shut in bliss.

His arms tightened around Black Star’s neck and he deepened the kiss, both teens losing themselves in the sweet sensations of their love for each other. What harm could a little make-out session do? After all, both felt like they deserved it.