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Something New From Something Old

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Something New from Something Old

She leaned against the wall, knees pulled to her chest, a small hand pressed to her burning cheek. Maka flinched, holding her breath as Soul took a step towards her. Soul glared down at his meister, seeing the fear and pain in her eyes, before turning and leaving their small apartment, the door slamming behind him. Maka continued to hold her breath for a long moment, eyes glued to the door her partner had just exited, half expecting him to come back, hoping to Shinigami he wouldn’t. Finally she started breathing again, and the trembling started, tears rolling down her cheeks, quickly turning into body wracking sobs that didn’t stop until she passed out from exhaustion and nerves.

It hadn’t always been like this. There was a time when Maka had been strong and confident and brave. She never would have let somebody hurt her the way Soul had. If she had known three (3) years ago that it would have ended up like this maybe things could have been different, but she had always had strong feelings for her weapon partner and her feelings had blinded her to his quick temper and violent tendencies. After she made Soul a death scythe their relationship started to change in ways Maka never would have expected.

It was light outside when Maka woke up. She was stiff and sore from sleeping on the cold floor. Moving slowly the girl made her way across the floor to where her phone rested under the edge of the couch. Picking it up and flipping it open she stared at it a minute before she started to dial.

3 Years Earlier

“We finally did it Soul!” she shouted excitedly. “We got 99 kishin souls and a witch’s soul. You’re a death scythe now!” Maka smiled at her partner as he lifted her in his strong arms and spun her around.

Soul looked down into his meister’s flushed face as he set her back on her feet holding onto her until she was steady. He smiled at her, a full on shark toothed grin, just before he swooped down and captured her lips with his kissing her passionately. Maka let out a tiny gasp allowing Soul’s tongue entrance to her mouth where it tangled with hers. She was warm and oh so very sweet. Soul didn’t want the moment to end. He wanted to lose himself in her completely, to become one with her. It wasn’t long before Maka pushed hard against Soul’s chest moving him back only enough for them to catch their breaths while staring into each other’s eyes.

“S-Soul?” Maka managed to stutter after several deep breaths.

“I love you, Maka.” Soul said before pulling her closer and leaning down to recapture her swollen lips.

Maka pulled back just enough to whisper against his lips. “I love you too, Soul.”

Chapter Text

3 Months Later

He was glad that his best friend and his childhood friend were happy. Soul was a little more social and the number of Maka Chops he and Soul usually suffered had decreased dramatically. So why, Black*Star asked himself, do I feel so angry whenever I see the two of them together?

Black*Star heard a familiar giggle and looked up to see Soul and Maka, or SoMa as their friends called them, coming towards him. His fists clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed, and his lips tightened as he watched Soul tug on one of Maka’s signature ponytails. She swatted his hand way with another giggle and glance up the street. Maka saw Black*Star sitting at a café and Black*Star saw Soul checking out a couple of busty college girls crossing the street.

What the hell is he doing? Black*Star thought to himself, trying to control the sudden urge to put Soul through a wall.

Maka smiled and waved, calling out, "Hi Black*Star." She grabbed Soul’s hand and started dragging him towards the café.

"Hey Maka," I said with a smile as she got to my table, "Soul" I add with a glare at the death scythe.

Maka turned to Soul, "order me a cherry coke; I’ll be back in a minute." She kissed his cheek then headed inside the café

"What the hell man?" I asked as soon as Maka was out of earshot.

Soul just looked at me blankly. "I saw you check out those girls. You’re with Maka so why the FUCK are you even thinking about looking at other girls?" I was getting angrier the more I thought about it.

"Oh that," Soul chuckles, "they had great tits. You may not get it since you have Tsubaki’s tits to stare at but Maka has tiny tits, so I look where and when I can."

I almost hit him then. At that moment I wanted nothing more than to smash my fist into his face and feel the satisfying crunch of something breaking. Luckily for him the waitress showed up at that moment distracting us.

"What can I get for you, sweetie?" she asked with a wink looking at Soul.

Soul smiled at the attractive woman, "I’ll take a Root Beer, thanks."

When the waitress turned to leave and Soul made no move to order Maka’s drink I piped up, "we also need a Cherry Coke, lite on the ice with extra cherries." The waitress simply nodded and walked off.

"Oops, guess I forgot," Soul said, "nice catch buddy."

I just gave him a disgusted look. I had the feeling he hadn’t forgotten but had purposefully not ordered the Cherry Coke. I doubt he would have ordered it the way Maka likes anyway. How can he even claim to love her?

Black*Star wondered to himself as he watched Maka approaching the table were the two boys sat in a tense silence. At this rate Soul is just going to hurt Maka, but how do I get her to see that before it is too late.

Chapter Text

9 Months Later

Black*Star, Tsubaki, Kidd, Liz, and Patti all sat in Kidd’s living room relaxing after a long day and talking. The main topic being discussed was Maka.

"Tsubaki, does it look like Maka has lost weight to you?" Liz asked the shadow weapon.

Before Tsubaki could reply Kidd cut in, "I want to know what happened to her perfectly symmetrical pigtails. The left one has been a whole 2 centimeters lower than the right for the last several days." Patti starts laughing while Kidd continues to mumble about symmetry.

"I did notice. I don’t think she’s sleeping much either. She always looks so tired. I’m sure it doesn’t help that Soul has been pushing her lately to train harder," Tsubaki finally replied. "I’ve also noticed that her grades are slipping. She came in second on the midterms, and Ox, who came in first, only scored a 99."

Liz looked concerned as she mused, "I wonder what could be wrong."

Black*Star just sat listening to them talk, deep in his own thoughts.

Early the next morning at Soul and Maka’s

"Maka did you get the laundry done?" Soul asked while she made breakfast.

She glanced over to where he sat at the table before replying. "I got one load washed but it hasn’t been dried yet. Did you need something from the laundry?"

Suddenly she was pulled backward away from the stove by her hair. "Of course I do, I wouldn’t have asked otherwise!" Soul practically yelled in her face. "Go put the fucking clothes in the dryer!" he let go of her hair with a push and Maka stumbled towards the washer and dryer in the corner. She had almost finished loading the dryer when she heard Soul yell. "What the fuck Maka, can’t you do anything? You burnt breakfast." He tossed the pan of burnt eggs into the sink, "I can’t eat this shit."

Maka pressed start on the dryer and hurried back to soul. "I’m sorry Soul, I’ll make something…" Soul cut her off with a slap to the face. "Damn straight you will. Now hurry up or we’ll be late." With that Soul settled himself back at the kitchen table.

Chapter Text

6 Months Later

Black*Star raised his hand to knock when he heard yelling that made him pause and lean closer to listen

"Stupid, clumsy, bitch! Do you realize what you’ve done?" unknown to the listening Black*Star, each insult was punctuated with either a blow to her head or a kick to her stomach as Maka lay on the floor in a ball trying to protect herself.

"I’m sorry," Maka stuttered, "it was an accident."

"You’re sorry?" Soul screamed, aiming his foot at her unprotected side. "I can’t replace the sheet music you just destroyed," Soul continued over Maka’s yelp of pain. Soul grabbed a handful of her hair and was pulling the crying girl up off the floor when there was a loud knock at the door. Maka dropped back onto the floor as Soul went to answer the door. She used the time his back was turned to escape to her room and lock the door. Maka huddled on her bed and as the blackness started to overtake her she heard Soul say, "oh, hey Black*Star. What’s up?" Maka’s last thought before she gave in to the heavy darkness pulling at her was, Thank you Black*Star.

"Were you just yelling at Maka?’ Black*Star asked ignoring Soul’s greeting.

Soul’s response came with a stupid little smirk as he led Black*Star into the living room. "Why would I be yelling at Maka? You must have heard the T.V." Soul glanced at the T.V which was indeed on but muted at the moment.

Black*Star didn’t look convinced, and glancing around what he could see of the apartment asked, "Where is Maka? Feels like I haven’t seen her in forever."

Again Soul smirked as he answered, "She’s in her room. You know how Maka is when she’s studying. All serious, demanding peace and quiet so she can go over the same stuff again and again."

But Black*Star wasn’t listening to Soul. His eyes, which had been scanning the living room, had caught on a small dark spot on the otherwise light colored rug. He didn’t need to get closer to recognize what it was, but as he scanned the area more closely he noticed more little dark spots leading towards the hallway. The hallway where Maka’s closed bedroom door was. Quickly scanning his friend he noticed dark spots on his gray sweatpants, but what really caught Black*Star’s notice was the lack of a source for those spots. Soul didn’t have a single scratch on him. So where, Black*Star wondered, did the drops of blood on the rug and Soul’s pants come from?

Black*Star glanced up and noticed Soul staring at him expectantly. He realized Soul must have asked him something. He chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck, "sorry man, what did you say?"

Soul shook his head, "I asked if you wanted something to drink?"

"Yeah, that’d be great," Black*Star said as he moved around the back of the couch, putting himself just a couple steps from Maka’s closed door. He watched Soul move into the kitchen then looked at Maka’s bedroom door and the floor in front of it. There on the floor leading up to and under the door where more drops of blood. Black*Star felt his rage flair up and all he could think was, Soul you are DEAD. I am going to KILL you for hurting her! Needing to think, and knowing that would be impossible if he saw Soul now, he left while Soul was still in the kitchen. The urge to kill Soul was too strong, besides, he wanted, no he NEEDED to talk to Maka and Black*Star knew he would need Tsubaki’s help for that.

When Black*star got back to the apartment he shared with Tsubaki he asked her to call Maka. Tsubaki agreed without asking why simply because of the look of shear panic in his eyes. She tried calling Maka several times that night and over the rest of the weekend but the meister never picked up her phone.

Chapter Text

1 Week Later

"I can’t believe Maka missed an entire week of school," Tsubaki said to Liz as they left school. "I mean, school means the world to her. I think we should go over there again today." Tsubaki was really worried about her best friend. The blonde scythe meister hated being late to school never mind missing an entire week, something must be really wrong.

Liz sighed, she was worried too. No one had been able to reach Maka this past week and whenever somebody suggested visiting her Soul always seemed to have a reason why they couldn’t. "It is kind of shady," the older of the two sister guns muttered, "the way Soul has been acting, I mean," she added in a louder voice. "What is Soul up to right now anyway? Usually he rushes straight home."

It was Kidd who answered his weapons question, "my father wanted to see him in the Death room. Death scythe business I imagine, so if we want to go see Maka now would be the best time to do it."

"So let’s go already. A BIG STAR LIKE ME CAN’T WAIT AROUND FOREVER!" Black*Star declared after dropping out of nowhere from one of the DWMA’s man balconies.

The group all agreed and set out for the apartment shared by Maka and Soul.

Meanwhile with Maka

Stepping out of the shower Maka swiped at the steamed up mirror. My bruises are mostly healed now, she thought to herself, and I don’t hurt anymore. Thank Shinigami, cause if I had to miss even one more day of school I would probably lose it. Wrapping a towel around herself she opened the bathroom door and walked down the short hallway to her bedroom. She was picking out what to wear and deciding what to make for dinner when there was a knock on the front door. Maka quickly threw on pants and a shirt over her matching pink lace panties and bra, which despite what Soul says is actually a respectable bust size at a full B cup. She had just reached the door when the knock came again. She pulled open the door and was surprised to see all of her friends standing on her doorstep. "What are you all doing here?" she asked, not really sure what to say.

"We’re here to see our bookworm of a friend who has uncharacteristically missed a week of school, silly," Tsubaki stated as she pulled the smaller girl into a tight hug.

As soon as Tsubaki released her she was nearly strangled as Patti jumped on her. "Me and Mr. Giraffe missed you too!" Patti squealed in her little girl voice.

"Patti, you’re going to kill her," Kidd complained as he helped Liz pull Patti off. "How are you Maka? Are you sick?" Kidd inquired as soon as Patti was out of the way.

Maka blushed and looked away as she stammered, "no, I’m fine. I was just really tired and Soul thought…" She stopped talking as Black*Star pushed past her. It didn’t matter, she was lying and she hated it, but how could she tell her friends the truth? Could she tell them that their friend, her boyfriend and partner, had beaten her? That she had been too ashamed to let them see the bruises Soul had given her? She couldn’t tell them the truth, so she lied.

Inside Soul and Maka’s living room Black*Star’s gaze was focused on the rug. The bloodstains were still there, although slightly smudged. He sighed to himself. He had hallway hoped that he had imagined the blood trail that had led to Maka’s bedroom door. Black*Star could hear Liz, still in the doorway; ask Maka what had happened to her face. Something’s wrong with her face? Black*Star walked back to the front door and turned Maka toward him. Only then did he notice the mostly healed bruise and barely there cut in the corner of her mouth.

The minute Maka started talking he knew she was lying. "I fell in the shower and hit the edge of the tub," she said with a shaky laugh, as though she were embarrassed by her clumsiness.

Liz was quick to volunteer some makeup tips that would help conceal the healing bruises and any new ones should she fall again. Black*Star, however, wasn’t fooled by Maka’s lies. The blood, the bruises, and the fact that Soul hadn’t wanted any of them to visit Maka made it obvious to him, but still, he didn’t want to believe it. He didn’t want to believe that his best friend could hit any girl, let alone his meister. Maka, the girl Soul claimed he loved; Maka, Black*Star’s childhood friend. As Black*Star watched his friends huddle around Maka he came to a realization. Maka wasn’t just some childhood friend she was an important part of his "adult" life. In fact, he thought watching Maka laugh with Patti, I think I might actually love her.

Maka glanced at the clock. Noticing the late time she wondered where Soul was and worried about not having dinner ready when he got home.

Kidd also noticed the time and was quick to point out how late it was. "Hey, why don’t you and Soul come over tomorrow night and the 7 of us can have dinner and hang out, it’ll be a little party," Kidd suggested when Liz, Patti, and Tsubaki groaned about having to leave.

Maka smiled at Kidd, "that sound great. I’ll talk to Soul when he gets home and call to let you know." Maka was excited over the prospect of a whole night with her friends. She had missed them this past week. It was with great reluctance that they said their goodbyes and left until only Black*Star remained. Maka was startled when she noticed the blue haired boy sitting on her couch. "I thought you’d left already Black*Star."

"Actually, Maka, there was something I wanted to talk to you about," the boy replied.

Maka wandered over and sat next to him on the couch before asking, "what is it Black*Star?"

He thought for a minute before deciding to just be blunt, "Soul hit you didn’t he Maka? That’s really how you got those bruises, and that cut by your mouth." He made the second part a statement, not a question, and Maka found she couldn’t deny it. "Yes, he did and it wasn’t the first time." Once she started she found she couldn’t stop, "it started not long after we started dating. At first he would just yell at me, call me names, but then one day he slapped me. It’s been getting worse lately. He’s always sorry after and I love him, so please Black*Star, don’t tell anyone about this." Just then the door opened revealing Soul. He took in the scene at a glance, Maka sitting close to Black*Star, Black*Star holding Maka’s hands. "What the fuck is going on here?" Soul asked stomping over to the couch and pulling Maka up by her arm. "Why isn’t dinner ready? What have you been doing all day?" Soul was pissed. Shinigami had basically blamed Soul for Maka being absent, never mind that it was his fault, and was being forced to train with Dr. Stein as well as with Maka. Soul brought his hand up to slap Maka only to have Black*Star grab onto his arm.

"You hit her again and I’ll kill you. I’m giving you one chance to straighten up, for Maka’s sake. She loves and you say you love her, now’s the time to start proving it." Black*Star pulled Maka into a hug, "if you need anything Maka, anything at all, do not hesitate to call me. I’ll see you tomorrow night at Kidd’s." With that he left.

As soon as Black*Star left Soul started in on her. "What was he doing here?"

Maka instinctively took a step away from him before answering, "He came over with Tsubaki, Kidd, Liz, and Patti. They were worried because I missed school." Knowing that he wanted to know what she had told them Maka continued, "I told them that I was just tired, and we all decided to hang out at Kidd’s tomorrow night." After she finished Maka thought for a moment then asked uncertainly, "We will go, won’t we?"

Soul didn’t look happy when he said, "you told Black*Star you’d see him then, so we have no choice." He took a step towards her grabbing her arm. "Now what exactly did you tell Black*Star, you bitch?"

"I didn’t tell him anything," She lied, "somehow he just knew."

Soul looked like he wanted to hit her; instead he shoved her towards the kitchen telling her, "We will talk more about this later, for now get dinner made. I’m hungry." With those words he headed off to the shower.

Chapter Text

The Next Day

The day started out good despite Soul’s anger the night before. Soul and Maka were both looking forward to hanging out with the gang tonight. Maka was pleasantly surprised when she woke up and found Soul cooking breakfast. He smiled and told her to sit as he slid a plate onto the table. Maka stared down in shock; Soul had made her favorite, waffle with butter and syrup, bacon, and a side of fresh strawberries. A glass of apple juice and a glass of milk quickly joined her plate on the table, delivered by a humming Soul, who retreated to his side of the table after placing a quick kiss on Maka’s lips.

"Dig in," he said, taking a bite of eggs from his own plate. "Then how about we go shopping? I know it’s just Kidd’s house with the gang but we could get you a new dress." He paused, crunching on some bacon, waiting for her reply.

Maka was a little uncertain, but eager to spend time with this Soul. "That sounds great Soul," she said happily. This is the Soul I fell in love with, she thought to herself. Maybe things will get better now. Smiling, Maka dug into her breakfast.

Later That Day

They had been shopping for two (2) hours and Maka had yet to find what she was looking for. Of course she wasn’t entirely sure what she was looking for, but she would know it when she found it. Soul had picked out and had her try on several different cute outfits but none of them were right. The only upside was Soul’s good mood. He was acting like a real boyfriend, holding her hand, giving her compliments, and paying attention to only her.

As they walked into the fifth (5th) store of the day Soul spoke up, "I know this had been fun but we need to get home soon to get ready Maka." 

There was an edge to Soul’s voice that Maka recognized so she quickly reassured him, "it’s in here Soul, I just know it. I promise this is the last store." Soul smiled and gave her hand a squeeze before walking off to the far side of the building. Maka went to the opposite wall and started looking through the racks.

It was hanging on the end of the third (3rd) rack. It was a short pink spaghetti strap cotton dress. It had a think black belt of fabric that ran right under the bust and ties in the back. The skirt flared out when she turned and it fit perfectly. The thing that made it perfect though was the little black and silver stars that glittered in the light.

As Maka stared at herself in the mirror she couldn’t help smiling. She caught sight of Soul walking toward her and sighed happily. The she saw a flash of a familiar head of blue hair walking past the front of the store and a thought struck her. Looking back down at the dress she wondered just who she had picked this dress out for.

That Night

Maka paired the dress with some black low heeled strappy shoes and her charm necklace. Tsubaki, Liz, and Patti had gotten her the necklace for her birthday but she rarely got a chance to wear it. It had a charm for each of them; a camellia blossom for Tsubaki, a giraffe for Patti, a nail polish bottle for Liz, a star for Black*Star, a piano for Soul, twin pistols for Kidd, and a pair of wings for me. As she walked out into the living room she straightened her necklace and smoothed her hair, looking up in time to catch Soul’s frown. What was that about, she wondered as she looked down to straighten the skirt of her dress?

She didn’t have time to dwell, however, as Soul said, "Let’s go."

Kidd’s House

Standing on Kidd’s porch Maka straightened her skirt once again, hoping she looked alright. Soul hadn’t said anything about her new dress, not when he’d paid for it and not when he’d seen the final product when she walked into the living room. Her uncertainty was squashed the minute Liz opened the door. "OH MY GOD! Maka you look fabulous, "Liz gushed. "Where did you get that dress?’ Liz reached around Soul and grabbed Maka’s hand, pulling her into the house. "Tsubaki, Patti come check out Maka’s dress!" she called as she walked into the massive living room Maka in tow. "The guys are in the kitchen Soul," she added over her shoulder. "Oh and the charm necklace goes perfect with it."

Tsubaki rushed over and pulled her friend into a tight hug. "You look so beautiful Maka," she breathed, squeezing until Maka could barely breathe. Maka squeezed Tsubaki back while Pattie jumped around them squealing, "Maka looks so pretty!" in her high pitched little girl voice.

Tsubaki finally released Maka as the boys walked into the room. Kidd was complaining about how something was unsymmetrical, probably the number of people at our little party, seven (7). Black*Star was laughing at Kidd’s anxiety and Soul was quietly following behind them. Kidd and Black*Star suddenly stopped as they laid eyes on Maka.

Kidd was, as always, stunned by how symmetrical the petite blonde haired, green eyed girl was. He could tell with a quick glance that the stars on her dress her symmetrical in shape, size, and number. "So symmetrical," was all he could manage to get out.

Black*Star also noticed her dress. He noticed how the pink color made her eyes shine, her hair look even more blonde, and her skin look delicate and rosy. Mostly though, Black*Star noticed the stars. Maka never wore stars. Not since the day Black*Star had told her that stars were his thing when they were six (6). When Black*Star spoke he surprised everyone with his serious tone, "wow Maka, you look beautiful." It was stated so simply and directly that it caused Maka’s cheeks to heat as she mumbled, "thank you Black*Star. Oh, and you too Kidd, thanks," she added turning to look at the junior Shinigami who was now looking at Black*Star in stunned silence.

Soul finally broke the awkward silence with his question, "when are we going to eat?"

Dinner was delicious; Kidd was an excellent cook and knew exactly what his friends liked. As they ate they talked about everything; old missions, boys Liz thought were cute, possible future missions, giraffes, music, symmetry, and how god like Black*Star was, or at least thought he was.

Black*Star secretly watched Maka and Soul all through dinner. He noticed how Maka kept sending Soul little glances and how Soul completely ignored her. He tried to tell himself that he was only doing it to make sure both his friends were happy, but a little part of himself insisted he be honest, at least with himself. Black*Star was watching Soul and Maka so closely because he was looking for anything that would let his kick Soul’s ass and steal Maka from him. He loved Maka and now he was waiting for his chance to save her.

Black*Star wasn’t the only one watching his friends, Tsubaki had noticed a change in Black*Star and it didn’t take long for the weapon to figure out that changes source. It was Maka. The shadow weapons loud and obnoxious meister had finally realized that he was in love with the quiet scythe meister. Tsubaki could tell her best friend wasn’t happy, no matter how hard she tried to hide it. So Tsubaki decided to do whatever she could to make sure Maka would always be happy, even if that meant getting rid of Soul.

After dinner Kidd, Liz, and Patti left to do the dishes. Well Kidd and Liz did the dishes while Patti played in the kitchen under the watchful eye of her older sister. Soul wandered off and, based on the occasional strains of music that could be heard, found one of the many pianos in Kidd’s large house. That left Maka, Black*Star, and Tsubaki searching for a way to entertain themselves. Black*Star wandered over to Kidd’s stereo system and turned on some music before continuing to wander around the room. Tsubaki pulled Maka up off the couch to dance with her in the middle of the floor. Black*Star soon found himself sitting on the vacant couch watching the two (2) girls dance. He admired how easily his weapon partner moved, but his gaze was drawn, time and again, to Maka’s petite body moving to the music’s beat.

It wasn’t long before Kidd, Liz, and Patti joined them in the living room and Liz suggested they play a game. She sent Kidd to get Soul, turned down the music, and declared that they would play truth or dare. When Kidd and Soul rejoined the group they were told the plan and they both just groaned.

Chapter Text

Truth or Dare

As everyone settled in chairs, the couch, and on the floor Liz exclaimed eagerly, "I’ll go first," and without waiting for a reply continued, "Tsubaki, truth or dare?"

Tsubaki was startled at first, being put on the spot, "truth," she said hesitantly. Then she realized this meant she could pick Black*Star and, knowing him, he would pick dare and she could put her plan into action.

Tsubaki was thinking about her plan and nearly missed what Liz was saying. "Do you secretly LOVE Black*Star?" Liz drew out the word love, giving it extra emphasis.

"Of course I do," Tsubaki replied instantly. She continued on without allowing anyone to comment, "It’s not like I want to have sexy time with him though. He’s like a brother to me." Liz looked disappointed. Tsubaki immediately moved on, "Black*Star, truth or dare?"

Black*Star gave a brief laugh, "DARE OF COURSE. A BIG STAR LIKE ME WOULD NEVER CHOOSE TRUTH!"

Perfect, she thought, just as I expected. "I dare you to kiss someone in this room." The next part was a gamble, but she couldn’t just come out and say ‘kiss Maka then steal her away from Soul forever!’ so she improvised and hoped for the best. "However, there is a catch. We all have to vote for who you kiss. Everyone writes down the person you think Black*Star should kiss and put it in this bowl." She said this while getting paper and pens and placing an empty chip bowl in the middle of the coffee table. As she wrote down Maka’s name Tsubaki could only hope this would work.

Once everyone had put their slips of paper in the bowl Tsubaki started pulling them out one at a time and reading them aloud. "Let’s see, Tsubaki," the first slip read followed quickly by, "Liz… Maka… Kidd…" Everyone stared at Kidd for a moment.

"It wasn’t me!" Kidd exclaimed holding out his hands, eyes wide.

Tsubaki continued, "Liz… Maka… and," she slowly opened and read the final name, "Maka." Yes! "So that’s one (1) vote Tsubaki, one (1) vote Kidd, two (2) votes Liz, and three (3) Maka. So Black*Star I dare you to kiss Maka."

"Aww, I wanted to see him kiss Kiddo," a disappointed Patti declared.

Maka and Black*Star looked at each other, then at Soul, then back at each other. Finally Black*Star pushed himself up from his spot on the floor and crossed to Maka sitting between Tsubaki and Liz on the couch. He leaned down, put one (1) hand on the back of her neck, the other under her chin tilting her face up, and kissed her.

Maka was shocked. She had expected a quick kiss, maybe even a peck on the cheek, but this was more; way more.

Black*Star’s mouth moved on hers and she felt herself respond. His tongue brushed her bottom lip and Maka gasped, parting her lips and allowing Black*Star to slip his tongue inside. Maka’s arms came up around Black*Star’s shoulders as her tongue met his.

Maka couldn’t breathe. She didn’t want to, because that would mean that this kiss ended. Suddenly Black*Star was pulled backward and Maka mewled at the loss of his heat.

An angry Soul held onto the back of Black*Star’s shirt as he stated through clenched teeth, "I think that fulfills the terms of the dare." Soul let go with a push, but Black*Star remained on his feet watching Maka.

Maka’s face was flushed, her eyes glazed, and her lips were swollen. Tsubaki was trying not to let her inner celebration show on her face. She hadn’t expected THAT kiss any more than anyone else had, but she was glad that it had happened.

"Kidd, truth or dare?" Black*Star asked as he sat down. He winced and adjusted himself hoping no one noticed. That kiss had gotten him pretty worked up and now he was paying for it. He hadn’t intended for the kiss to go that far, but as soon as he’d touched Maka’s lips with his he’d all but lost control. It had been all he could do not to scoop Maka up in his arms and carry her off somewhere private.

Kidd finally decided on truth and Black*Star asked, "Is there anything about you, other than your sanzu lines, which is asymmetrical?"

Kidd looked devastated, "yes." He hung his head before continuing on in a quiet voice, "I have a freckle on my left cheek, but not on my right."

"No you don’t Kiddo," Patti piped up, "you don’t have any freckles on your face."

Liz suppressed a chuckle as she told Patti, "Those aren’t the cheeks he was talking about."

Patti’s mouth dropped into a round ‘O’ before she cracked up laughing, saying "butt cheeks" at different intervals.

Kidd turned to Soul, cheeks bright red, "truth or dare?"

"Dare," Soul replied

"Let me cut your hair, it’s so unsymmetrical," Kidd pleaded.
Soul blinked and shook his head, "not a chance. I’ll take the penalty."

"Patti, go get your markers," Liz told her sister.

Soul pulled off his shirt as Patti returned and sat down behind him to start coloring. "Maka, truth or dare?"

The way Soul’s voice sounded made Maka wary. She didn’t really want to be asked about the kiss but a dare could be worse. Maka took a risk and chose, "truth."

"How was your kiss with Black*Star?" Soul sounded calm as he asked, but inside he was fuming.

Maka answered honestly, "it was amazing," then paused before adding, "and let’s be honest; you’ve never kissed me like that." Everyone looked shocked, but Maka ignored them and turned to Liz. "Liz, truth or dare?"

Liz was having fun. Who knew the game would get so scandalous. "Dare," she replied, a challenge in her eyes.

Maka knew that Liz liked Tsubaki; she also knew that Tsubaki liked Liz, but neither Liz nor Tsubaki knew of the others feelings. Maka decided to help them along. "I dare you to kiss the person you like." Then in a voice meant only for Liz, Maka said, "and I’ll know if you’re lying."

Liz looked at Maka and huffed, "fine." She stood, walked around Maka, and stopped in front of Tsubaki. Before she could react Liz locked her lips on Tsubaki’s

The kiss was long and deep and reminded Maka of her kiss with Black*Star. Maka looked away from the two (2) girls and caught Black*Star watching her. She blushed and ducked her head.

I want to kiss her again, Black*Star thought. He was quickly becoming uncomfortable again. He tried not to think about it but every time he thought he was safe he would remember how soft her lips had been under his, and how she had opened up for him. He felt himself grow again and looked around for a distraction. His eyes landed on Tsubaki and Liz making out; that only reminded him of the way Maka had wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and the way she had tasted as their tongues had tangled. Damn, this wasn’t helping. Then his gaze landed on Soul and that did it. When he looked at Soul all he could see was Soul hitting Maka. Soul leaving bruises on her body and making her lie to her friends. Black*Star’s adrenaline surged and he felt the need to hit something or, more specifically, someone.

Patti started chanting, "Sissy likes Tsubaki. Sissy likes Tsubaki," and laughing.

Finally Liz and Tsubaki pulled apart and smiled at each other. Maka looked around at the others; Kidd was bright red after watching the two (2) girls, Soul looked disappointed that it was over, Patti was still laughing and chanting, and Black*Star looked ready to kill. Maka wondered what had caused him to look like that but didn’t get a chance to ask.

Liz plopped down between Tsubaki and Maka then turned to her sister, who was still busy coloring on Soul’s back. "That just leaves you Patti, so truth or dare?"

"Truth," Patti said without looking up.

Liz nodded, "who do you like?"

"Kiddo of course," Patti said while she continued to color.

Kidd let out a soft, "what?" then promptly fell over.

Patti was at his side in an instant, kissing his cheek and telling him it was okay.

Liz shared a Look with Tsubaki and thought; this game will never be more interesting than it was tonight.

After the game was over people started wandering off. Kidd and Patti went to have a talk, while Liz and Tsubaki went seeking alone time for a different reason. Soul headed back to the piano leaving Maka and Black*Star alone on opposite sides of the living room.

"I don’t want to talk about it," Maka said breaking the silence.

"Okay," Black*Star replied as he sat down next to her. Maka yawned and Black*Star pulled her down until she was lying on his chest. It didn’t take long before she was lulled to sleep by the steady beating of his heart.

Chapter Text

The Next Morning

It was late morning when Maka woke up. She was lying full out on top Black*Star, his arms wrapped tightly around her. Maka lifted her head, careful not to disturb Black*Star, and discovered Soul watching them.

Soul’s eyes narrowed as Black*Star’s arms tightened around Maka, pulling her back down on his broad chest. Soul couldn’t take it anymore. What did Black*Star think he was doing? Maka is his girl. Soul marched across the room, reached out, and roughly pulled Maka up by her arm.

That woke Black*Star up. Sitting up he looked around groggily before spotting Maka. "Morning Maka," he said with a grin. His grin faded as he saw her wince in pain then Soul’s fingers biting into her arm. Black*Star jumped up threatening Soul; "let her go before I do something that will end our friendship."

"Our friendship is already over," Soul informed Black*Star, pushing Maka away from him.

Maka lay sprawled on the ground looking up at the two boys. Black*Star had stars in his eyes as Soul transformed his arm into a scythe. The two boys rushed at each other and Maka gasped as Kidd stepped between them.

"What the hell is going on here?" Kidd demanded. He stared at each boy in turn until they retreated.

Tsubaki helped Maka up asking, "are you okay?"

Maka nodded as Kidd asked again, "what the hell is going on?!"

"Ask him," Black*Star said thrusting his chin at Soul. "I was sleeping when I was rudely awakened."

Soul shook his head with a sneer, "Never mind. We’ve got to go," he grabbed Maka’s wrist and started pulling her toward the door. He dragged her past Liz and Patti then out the front door.

No one moved or spoke as the door slammed shut. "SHIT!" Black*Star exclaimed angrily, right before he slammed his fist into the coffee table. Then, as if his outburst had used up all his energy, he slumped down onto the couch.

Maka and Soul

 

The ride home was quiet. Maka could feel Soul's rage, but he kept his mouth shut until their apartment door closed behind them.

She knew it was coming but Maka was still surprised when Soul's hand connected with her face. He had slapped her so hard she spun around halfway before falling to her knees. Soul's sneakered foot slamming into her ass sent her sprawling on the ground. A kick to her ribs had Maka attempting to curl into a ball to protect herself.

Soul climbed on top of her, forcing her onto her back. He pinned her hand together over her head with one his hands and held onto her chin with the other.

"You claim I don't kiss you like HE does," Soul hissed, all but spitting out the word 'he'. His words dripping with rage Soul started again, "you belong to me. You don't kiss any other, I don't care if it is for some stupid game, and you sure as hell don't sleep with any other guy!" then, as though to prove his point, Soul slammed his mouth onto Maka's; her lips mashing against her teeth brutally. Soul squeezed her chin harder, causing her to gasp in pain and giving Soul a chance to slip his tongue in her mouth.

Maka wanted it all to end. She felt sickened by the feeling of Soul's tongue running along her teeth and touching her tongue. Maka soon found it hard to breathe and struggled weakly under Soul's grip. His hold on her wrists tightened painfully but he pulled away from her mouth. Maka pulled in huge gulps of air while trying to push down the sick feeling rising in her throat.

Soul looked triumphant, "now try telling me I never kiss you like HE did." Once again the 'he' was spat out as though it left a bad taste in his mouth. "Now go take a shower," he said as he released her and stood up, "you smell like him."

There is no way, Maka thought as she slowly stood and made her way down the hall, that I would ever tell him that the way he raped my mouth could never compare to Black*Star's sweet embrace.

After her shower Maka quickly and quietly made lunch. She was desperately trying to avoid Soul's bad mood, and so far she had been successful. Lunch progressed without incident. Afterwards Soul took a shower while Maka did the dishes. Eventually both Maka and Soul retreated to their individual rooms for a much needed nap.

Maka was passing the hallway mirror on her way to the kitchen when it started to shimmer. She stopped, waiting for Lord Death to appear.

"Hey there meister Maka," Lord Death greeted in his rather cartoonish voice.

"Hello Lord Death. How are you doing?" the meister replied with a smile.

"Good, good, but on to a more serious matter." Never mind that it was sometimes hard to take him serious with that voice and mask. "I am sending you and Soul on a mission. So meet Spirit at the airport please. And Maka, be careful and good luck." Without further ado Lord Death was gone, the mirror showing nothing but Maka's own reflection.

Maka went and knocked on Soul's door, calling out softly, "Soul, are you awake?"

Soul's door opened suddenly, showing a bleary eyed Soul in just his boxers. "What?" he snapped groggily.

Maka kept her eyes on the ground, not even glancing at her partner's well-formed body, "we've got a mission. We have to meet papa at the airport."

"Fine," was all he said as his door swung closed.

Five (5) minutes later Maka was on the back of Soul's bike worrying about seeing her father. Yes he was an unfaithful and annoying man, but he was also a trained fighter with a keen eye. When it came to his 'precious daughter Maka' he noticed every bruise, scrape, and cut. Maka had been avoiding him like he was contagious so he wouldn't make a scene, or find out about Soul, and now she was being forced into his presence.

As soon as Soul and Maka stepped foot on the plain Spirit started in. "My Maka. My precious little Maka," he cried; tears and snot dripping down his face as he tried to hold onto said girl.

"MAKA…CHOP!"

Spirit fell to the ground in a heap. At least the will give me a little more time, she thought as she sat and buckled herself in.

Chapter Text

Black*Star

Black*Star slammed his fist into the tree repeatedly as he went over what just happened. Soul was pissing him off. Why was he treating Maka like that? And why was Maka letting him treat her that way?

"Damn it! I have got to do something. I have to get her out of there. Even if it's not what she wants." He hit the tree once more before looking around at where he was.

It was a secluded little wood where Black*Star liked to train by himself. It had always seemed wrong to bring Tsubaki with him. He could still remember when he and Maka found it.

Flashback

Black*Star was six. Maka was five. He had only been in Death City for a year and had only just started playing with Maka, but he felt like he had always known her –a strange feeling for a six year old boy. That day Maka came over to Black*Star's house, her Papa was being annoying so Maka "Maka Chopped" him and ran to Black*Star. Hearing cries of "Maka! Papa loves his little Maka!" Black*Star grabbed Maka's tiny hand and started running. They came across a little wooded area quite by accident while looking for a place to was perfect; tall trees with limbs low enough to grab onto, soft grass, pretty flowers, and most importantly secluded. It was the perfect kids' hideaway. From that day on the wooded hideaway became Black*Star and Maka's secret place. They spent all their time there together.

End Flashback

Black*Star couldn't remember the last time he and Maka had been to this place together. He didn't even think Maka came here anymore. Black*Star realized it was getting late and started to head home. He needed to figure out his next move but he wasn't any good with the whole emotions thing. 'Maybe I can talk to Tsubaki about this,' he thought while walking.

"Tsubaki, I'm home! What's for dinner?" Black*Star shouted walking through the front door. He was shocked to see Liz come walking out of the kitchen carrying a casserole dish.

"Good," she stated, setting the dish on the dining room table. "We need to figure out how you are going to win Maka."

"Liz wants to help. Isn't that great Black*Star?" Tsubaki joined him and Liz in the front room and placed fresh bread on the table. "Besides, I think we will need it. Maka is stubborn and she's been in love with Soul for a long time now. I wasn't sure how we were going to do it, but Liz has a plan." Looking up at her meister, Tsubaki motions for Black*Star to sit down. "We'll eat while she talks."

For once Black*Star sat quietly while eating, carefully listening while the older girl talked. "Kidd is helping too, it's the only way this plan will work," Liz started. "Kidd talked Lord Death into setting up a kind of meisters' workshop for him, you, and Maka. Dr. Stein's going to be running it, but it's our only chance to separate Maka and Soul," she explained. "Now once you've got her more or less alone you'll be on your own. I can't tell you what to do to steal her from Soul. What I can say is; be honest about your feelings."

Liz stopped to take a bite of food and Black*Star asked, "When is this going to happen?"

Liz chewed a moment, then "well, Soul and Maka just left on a mission, so as soon as they get back; provided neither of them is injured."

Everyone got quiet at that. Liz and Tsubaki shared a worried glance, it was unusual for Black*Star to be so quiet and reserved.

Black*Star was lost in thought. He was at once worried about Maka and sure that she could handle any threat. 'She has a quiet strength that keeps her from being defeated by the darkness,' Black*Star acknowledged, 'but that just brings back the question of why she allows Soul to treat her so badly.'

Soul and Maka

"What are we going to do Soul?" Maka asked in a low voice, her gaze constantly scanning her surroundings. She and Soul were currently hiding in an old church. Their simple mission had gone from great to bad to worse.

Flashback

"I think they taste even better now that I'm a Death Scythe," Soul commented after eating the kishin soul they had collected.

Maka smiled. 'It's fun working with Soul when he's like this,' she thought. "We should call Lord Death. Do you see a mirror anywhere?" Maka asked glancing around.

"Kekeke," the laughter came echoing out of the darkness surrounding them putting both Maka and Soul on edge.

"I think finding a mirror is the least of your problems, little girl!" a new voice called out to them from the shadows on their left.

The two turned to face the new threat when they were suddenly attacked from behind. Soul was standing slightly ahead of Maka causing her to take the hit square in the back. The magical blast sent her sprawling onto her stomach on the hard ground. She groaned and pushed herself up as Soul turned to face both the voice and the magic. Gaining her feet Maka glanced up from under her bangs and noticed shadows moving in front of and to the right of her. 'Shit,' she thought, 'we're surrounded. We need an escape route.' Maka used Soul Perception to discover how many threats there were and plot a path out of the trap. 'Found it. It will be a tight squeeze but we should be able to make it into that alley between those two weaker witches ahead of us,' she plotted. She turned her attention to Soul and realized he'd been calling her name. "I'm okay Soul. Let's go."

"You sure about this?" was his response, but he transformed none the less.

As soon as she had Soul in her grasp she broke into a sudden sprint. 'I just hope the alley isn't a dead end,' she thought as she aimed at one of the witches standing to the side off the alley. However, at the last minute she headed right into the deeper shadows of the alley. They got lucky, there was only a low fence at the end and Maka cleared it easily. She slowed, releasing Soul and glanced up and down this new street, before taking off again with Soul following close behind. Finally they lost the witches and were able to find a place to hide.

End Flashback

Her weapon remained quiet. Maka was getting a little anxious, 'what is Soul thinking?' "There were more than just what you could see Soul. I counted 15 with Soul Perception." 'Surely he doesn't actually think we can do this on our own.' "We can't take them all on our own."

Soul finally responded to her, "15 witches all acting together? That's unusual. What could you tell about them from Soul Perception?"

"There were 7 novice witches, we could easily take them; 4 skilled witches, we could probably handle them but we might take some damage; 2 master witches, we could eventually take them out but it will be long and we will definitely take damage; and the Boss witch. I have never seen a witch as powerful as her Soul. I don't think we could take her, she'd kill us before we could even try." Maka shivered just thinking about it.

Soul shot her a quelling glance. "I'm a Death Scythe now Maka. We can take on anything."

"But Soul," Maka argued, "we have never faced a being this powerful. She was controlling those other witches. And Soul, she wasn't even anywhere near us. She was on the other side of town. The strongest opponent we've faced was kishin Asura, and even his power pales in comparison." Maka was getting scared now. Soul's eyes were gleaming with just a touch of madness. "Soul," Maka started hesitantly, "we need to call Lord Death. We need back up. We need Kidd and Black*Star." In an even quieter voice Maka adds, "maybe then we could defeat her; the 7 of us all together."

Soul backhanded her and angrily declared, "we don't need Kidd and we sure as shit don't need Black*Star. We can and we will take these bitches out and I don't want to hear any whining from you." Soul pinned her with a stare, "just do what the fuck I tell you to do. Got it?" he waited for her to nod then continued. "First we need to lure out the novice witches one by one. Get them out of the way."

Maka stood there, hand to cheek, watching as Soul mumbled to himself about how to lure the witches out. What am I going to do? 'This isn't going to work. Yeah, maybe we can take out some of the novice witches, but we won't be able to handle the Boss and the more damage we take the less effective we will be against the stronger witches. Shit! I have to find a way to contact Lord Death without Soul finding out.' Maka shot a glance at Soul, who was still mumbling to himself. 'Maybe I can sneak away once he falls asleep.' Maka yawned, 'god she was tired. Oh, the motel!' She noticed it was getting light out and decided to give it a try. "Hey Soul?" Maka said hesitantly. "It's getting light out. Maybe we should go back to the motel and try to get some sleep."

Soul seemed to have forgotten Maka was there and jerked a little when she spoke. "Good idea. You want to check and make sure it's all clear?"

Maka used Soul Perception to make sure no witches were nearby then lead the way back to the motel.

Black*Star

Black*Star couldn't sleep. He kept thinking about what Liz said about being honest with his feelings. He knew he loved Maka as more than just a childhood friend. And it was definitely not the kind of love a brother has for his little sister. But was it a forever love? Did he want to spend the rest of his life with Maka? Did he want to get married? Have kids? Did he want to do those things with Maka? He wasn't sure, but the thought of her coming home from her current mission injured made his chest ache; and when he thought of Maka and Soul getting married and having kids it made Black*Star wan to rip Soul's throat out. "I think it is," he said to his empty room. "I think I do. She just needs to come home so I can figure out if it's what we both want." Finally Black*Star's eyes got heavy and sleep pulled him into its dark embrace.

Soul and Maka

They had been back at the motel for 20 minutes or so. Soul had gone to bed almost immediately after walking through the door. Maka puttered around the room, read a chapter from her book, and then finally went to take a shower. After redressing and making sure Soul was still asleep, Maka went to call Lord Death.

"Lord Death? It's meister Maka reporting in," Maka said quietly, hoping the Shinigami would take the hint and keep his own voice down.

"Maka, how are you? How's the mission going?" Lord Death inquired, mimicking her low tone.

Maka sighed in relief before filling him in. "We collected the kishin soul with no trouble." Seeing his spirits rising Maka quickly continued. "However, we've run across several witches."

"Hmm, several you say?" he asked with a curious tilt to his masked head.

"By several I mean at least 15." Maka paused to let him take in this information. "We could take on some of them, but if take too much damage we won't be able to stand against the others. We need help sir."

"I understand Maka. I'll send Kidd and Black*Star right away," Lord Death reassured the troubled blonde.

The need for sleep was finally catching up to her as she said goodbye with a yawn. "Thank you sir. Goodbye."

"Get some sleep Maka, help should get there tonight." And suddenly the mirror was just a mirror again.

Maka turned out the light and walked out into the darkened bedroom. Some part of her recognized that Soul was still sound asleep as she curled up in the bed. All of the tension left her body as her head hit the pillow and she fell into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

Black*Star

Black*Star’s sleep was plagued by dreams. They started out innocent enough but quickly turned dark.

Dream

Little Black*Star and Maka were playing in their secret place when suddenly Maka fell out of the tree she had been climbing. She landed hard and didn’t move. Black*Star quickly jumped down next to her and knelt by her side.

"Maka?" he called quietly, gently touching her shoulder.

Maka moaned and opened her eyes, blinking up at Black*Star.

"Are you okay? Let me help you sit up." Black*Star gently slipped his strong arm under her shoulders and helped her into an upright position.

Maka winced cupping her left elbow in her right hand. "I think so, except my elbow hurts."

He carefully removed her hand so he could see her elbow. It was scraped and bleeding a little. He quickly went to her bag and got an alcohol swab and a bandage from the first aid kit there. "This is going to sting a little, okay" he said opening the alcohol swab. He gently cleaned away the dirt and blood, watching as Maka bit her lip to hold back any sounds of pain. Black*Star blew on her elbow to dry it then carefully placed the bandage. "All done," he declared with a smile.

Maka returned his smile; then she blushed and ducked her head. Keeping her head down, the blush still blazing on her delicate features, Maka mumbled something too low for Black*Star to hear.

Looking confused Black*Star asked, "What?"

Maka glanced up from under her bangs, then finally lifted her head and spoke clearly. "I want to marry Black*Star when we get older." Then she kissed him on his cheek.

End Dream

Black*Star smiled and shifted in his sleep before falling into another dream; this time it wouldn’t be so pleasant.

Dream

Maka and Soul were engaged in battle. Everything was going smoothly until Maka stumbled. Soul’s blade sank into the ground leaving Maka unguarded. She took a hit that lifted her off her feet and flying into a wall, dragging Soul with her. The impact caused Maka to gasp out in pain as Soul fell from her slack grip.

Soul transformed; going over to Maka as if to make sure she was okay. However one look in Soul’s eyes told the truth, the black blood had a hold of Soul. Suddenly Soul attacks Maka, hitting her, kicking her, and calling her terrible names.

"Black*Star, Save Me!" Maka cries out.

This enflames an already unstable Soul; he slams his mouth down on hers, biting at her lips. His mouth trails down her body, biting and sucking. His hands are busy ripping off her clothes until finally his nails dig into flesh. His mouth and hands continue their brutal punishment as Maka begins to loose strength.

Finally, when Maka’s breaths are merely gasps, her voice is hoarse and her throat sore from screaming, Soul begins a new torture. Before Maka can process what is happening Soul rams his hard member into her virgin body, tearing her open. Maka’s screams of pain make Soul enjoy it a little more, and every time she calls out for Black*Star he thrusts harder and deeper trying to cause as much pain as possible.

It doesn’t take long before Soul is on the edge of completion. He looks into Maka’s terrified eyes as he thrusts hard one last time, eliciting a tired, broken scream from her, and cums deep inside her.

As Soul’s body relaxes he looks up as if someone is standing over them. His arm transforms as he speaks. "You will NEVER have her." Then with one swift movement Soul slits Maka’s throat. Maka’s eyes go wide, her mouth moves without sound, and her blood quickly pools under her until finally her chest stops rising and her heart stops beating and the flow of her blood slows to a trickle.

Out of the dark and quiet rises a scream to wake the dead; a wail full of anguish and grief and murderous rage.

End Dream

Black*Star bolted upright in bed unsure if he had actually screamed. Sitting quietly he turned his full attention to the sounds of the apartment. He was listening for one sound in particular; the slight whistle of breath that indicated Tsubaki was asleep. Once he was sure she was sleeping peacefully Black*Star silently got out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. Not bothering with the overheard light Black*Star turned on the cold water. He splashed his face several times hoping it would help him forget what he had seen in his dream. It didn’t help. When he looked in the mirror the face staring back at him was that of a scared little boy so Black*Star buried his face in a fluffy hand towel so he wouldn’t have to look. ‘You can’t be a scared little boy,’ he thought. ‘You have to be strong. Maka needs the strong man you have become to take care of her, even if she doesn’t fully know it yet.’

One minute Black*Star is contemplating how big a man he is and the next he’s staring at Lord Death in his mirror.

"Ah good, Black*Star, I need you and Tsubaki to go assist Maka and Soul. It seems they’ve…" Lord Death’s voice trailed off. There was no point in him talking if no one was there to listen.

"TSUBAKI, GET PACKED! WE LEAVE IN FIVE MINTUES. SOUL FUCKED UP AND MAKA NEEDS OUR HELP!"

Chapter Text

20 minutes later Black*Star, Tsubaki, Liz, Kidd, Patti, Stein, and Spirit were in the air.

"So what’s going on? Why do Soul and Maka suddenly need our help?" Liz asked, glancing around at the others. Patti was coloring under the watchful eye of Kidd while Stein contemplated an unconscious Spirit –who had been knocked out by Black*Star, who could not deal with the man’s constant whining and complaining. Black*Star now sat in his seat clenching his hand and jaw. Liz reached out to take Tsubaki’s hand, who was worriedly watching her partner.

Stein sighed turning away from Spirit. "Apparently," he said, "they came across a coven; 15 or so witches of varying strength." Stein removed, cleaned, and replaced his glasses before continuing. "Maka did not give many details besides the fact that the two of them could not take them all without help. Lord Death got the feeling that Maka was hiding something."

"Soul has been getting cocky lately." Spirit groaned, pulling himself up off the floor and into a chair. "Taking unnecessary risks…"

"Wait, you think that Soul would purposely put Maka and himself in a life threatening position?" a shocked Kidd exclaimed, cutting Spirit off.

"If you knew what he did at home you would not need to ask that question," Black*Star mumbled to no one in particular before sinking further into his chair.

"What do you mean? "Spirit yelled at the blue haired boy. "What is Soul doing?"

Stein cut him off and turned to reply to Kidd’s exclamation, "maybe not purposely, but still, not admitting that he needs help until it is too late is just as bad."

"Maka must have called Lord Death to request help behind Soul’s back," Tsubaki calmly concluded.

The rest of the flight was quiet as each person thought about what they would soon face. While most worried about the strength of the witches they would soon face, there was one person who was worrying about Maka and how Soul would react when the rest of them -help he did not think they needed- arrived. Meanwhile another was wondering what Black*Star had meant by what he had said.

***

Maka woke first; stretching her arms up above her head and her toes down to the bottom of the bed before rolling over to check the time. 9:05 am. With a groan she carefully rolled out of bed. Maka never really slept late, but she had been hoping for more than 4 hours of sleep. Glancing over at Soul, still sleeping peacefully, she made her plans for the morning. ‘I’ll get breakfast first, after that I’ll call Lord Death and read a little before bringing Soul some lunch.’ Maka quickly and quietly went about her morning routine -shower, brush teeth, wash face, brush hair, get dressed- then grabbed a room key and slipped out the door.

Down in the dining room Maka pondered her choices. ‘Hmm, maybe a waffle… No maybe... Yum, Meat Lovers Omelet –bacon, sausage, and ham with cheddar cheese- with hash browns, a short stack -2 pancakes- and fresh strawberries with cream.’ She placed her order than settled back with a book to wait.

***

Black*Star wasn’t paying much attention when the group walked into the hotel. He was preoccupied with figuring out how to help Maka avoid Soul’s anger. It made no sense, however, for him to not notice the small blonde haired girl walking across the lobby until he literally ran into her. He may not have seen her but as soon as they collided his body recognized hers and instinctively moved to protect her from injury. This resulted in Maka landing on top of Black*Star, legs entwined her hands holding his sides with one of his arms wrapped tightly about her waist while his other hand cradled her head to his chest.

"Are you okay Maka?" Black*Star asked as he slowly sat up and settled her in his lap still cradling her in his arms.

She blushed a fiery shade of red as she realized their position. "I’m fine, but next time watch where you are going."

She tried to push herself up but Black*Star was loath to let her go. He held on a moment longer before Spirit was pulling her up into his arms screaming something about his precious Maka being hurt. Of course Maka would have preferred to stay where she had been instead of in her Papa’s arms but she let him hug her for a minute, considering he did come to help. After a brief hug she managed to wiggle out of his arms and face the whole group.

"Did Lord Death explain what was going on?" she asked.

It was Kidd who answered. "We understand that there are a number of witches that have attempted to engage you and Soul. Aside from that is there anything we need to know?"

Maka glanced around the lobby before walking up to the front desk. "Is there some kind of meeting room that is available for me and my companions to use?" she asked the older lady she knew to be the manager.

The woman looked up at Maka before smiling, "of course. Just go down this hallway and it will be the third door on your left." She pointed to the hallway on her left before returning to her work.

Once everyone was settled Maka began talking again. "The fact of the matter is Soul does not know I called Lord Death. He did not think we needed help." Everyone had some variation of shock on their face. Maka continued, "We had to run from the initial attack. Soul was not happy. He wanted to stay and fight, but I was tried and we were both sporting injuries from our fight with the kishin. It just wasn’t a viable option and I had to make the decision to get us out of there. He will not be happy that you all are here."

"You made the right choice." It was Stein that spoke.

They spent a little longer discussing what Maka knew about the witches before she noticed the time. "I’m going to order some lunch and see if Soul is awake." She walked to the door as she spoke. "You guys should check in and all that. Should we meet in the dining room in 15 minutes?" after receiving nods of agreement Maka took off. First she stopped in the dining room and ordered Soul a Bacon Cheeseburger with the works. Then she ran upstairs to the room she shared Soul. Just as Maka opened the door Soul stepped out of the bathroom.

"Hey, you’re awake. Are you hungry?" He nodded. "I ordered you a BCB with everything down in the dining room."

"Okay," and he was out the door.

Maka followed at a slight distance, wanting to be out of range when he reached their destination.

***

Soul stopped dead in his tracks just inside the hotel dining room’s door. ‘What the hell are they doing here?’ Stein, sitting backwards in his chair facing the door, motioned Soul over. ‘Why would they be here?’ Soul started walking towards the group. ‘Unless… She wouldn’t have, would she?’ Stopping again Soul turned to look at Maka. He took in her pale complexion and shaking hands. ‘That Bitch! She did do it. She called Lord Death and asked for help like the spineless little goody-two-shoes she is. I can’t believe that fucking bitch!’

Catching her eye Soul smiled at her. The smile wasn’t comforting, it wasn’t an understanding smile –it wasn’t meant to be- it was a promise of retribution; all sharp pointed teeth and evil intent.

Maka shivered as Soul turned away and started walking again. It looked like she was in for some hard times ahead of her. She was starting to realize that Soul was a lot different up close than he was when they still had the wall between them. That wall had been torn down when Maka confessed her feeling to Soul. ‘I’m starting to wish I hadn’t been so hasty.’ Maka took her time joining the others. ‘Maybe if I had waited a little while after making Soul a Death Scythe I would have noticed this side of his personality. Maybe I would have realized that the love I thought I felt was just extreme affection and gratitude from years of working together and being saved by him. Never mind the feeling of elation when we finally reached our goal. Maybe, if I had waited, I wouldn’t feel this combination of fear and hatred toward the person who was once my best friend.’

Maka sat quietly contemplating her life, completely oblivious to the stares of a certain assassin.

***

Black*Star took one look at Soul as he sat down and decided he would do everything he could to make sure Maka wasn’t left alone with Soul. Soul was pissed, it was written all over his face. His usual slightly amused expression was marred by the scowl pulling his mouth down and the slight glow of madness in his red eyes. Maka on the other hand was scared. Black*Star, who noticed everything about her whether he realized it or not, could read her easily. Her fingers worried the hem of her skirt, she had her eyes downcast and they were unfocused; she was also completely ignoring her father –no matter what the man said or did. Black*Star was determined nothing would happen to her, even if that meant telling everyone what he knew. ‘Maka won’t like it if I do that, but I can’t let her get hurt.’

"Soul, maybe you can tell us what you remember about the witches." Stein’s inquiry derailed Black*Stars’ train of thought.

Soul just stared at Stein.

"Well then I think we should break into groups and see if we can’t learn something about these witches before they attack again." Stein’s suggestion made sense. "Kidd, Liz, and Patti you guys will be one group. Maka, Soul, Black*Star, and Tsubaki, you four will make up another group. And I and Spirit will make up the final group. This way each group will have someone with Soul Perception." Stein and Spirit stood to leave. "We will go check the area surrounding the city; see if we can’t find anything. Kidd, I suggest your group head north. Maka your group should head south. You two should try to find a high point and search the city with your Soul Perception. Maybe try talking to the townspeople or going to the library and City Hall to find incidents in old newspapers and town documents. We’ll meet back here before the sun sets." With that Stein walked out, Spirit on his heels.

 

Chapter Text

Kidd, Liz, and Patti left next; leaving Maka, Black*Star, and Tsubaki waiting on Soul. While Soul finished eating and Maka and Tsubaki talked, Black*Star was looking Maka over. He was looking for any sign that Soul had laid hands on her again.

Her outfit covered surprisingly little. Black*Star couldn’t help but consider how long her legs are, remember how soft her skin felt, or wonder what it would be like to have her strong legs wrapped around his waist. He must have made some noise, because Soul’s head suddenly whipped in his direction. Soul snarled, gaining the girls attention, Black*Star just smirked.

Jumping out of his chair Black*Star proclaimed, "A BIG STAR LIKE ME SHOULDN’T HAVE TO WAIT ON SOMEONE AS SMALL AS YOU! HAHAHA!"

Soul continued scowling at him but Maka and Tsubaki moved to stand.

"Soul," Maka hesitated, "we do need to hurry. Are you almost done?"

Soul looked at his plate. He was done, but he hated being told to hurry, especially by her. He pushed away from the table. ‘That little bitch thinks she’s safe just because all her friends are here, but they won’t be able to be with her always. Eventually I will get her alone and then she will pay.’

As Soul strolled down the streets, the other three falling behind, he thought about what he should do to her. His little demon was quick to offer some suggestions. ‘First we should tie her up. Then we’d cut all her clothes off. Next we could torture her; whip her till her skin splits and bleeds, stick red hot needles in her nipples and clit, drip hot wax on her puckered little asshole, maybe even electrocute her some. Finally we’d rape her.’ The demon giggled. ‘Maybe we could even kill her? If we made that little Star boy watch we could torture him too.’ Soul smiled sadistically as he thought about shoving his big meaty cock into Maka’s tight, unprepared, virgin pussy. ‘That little cunt has been withholding sex from the beginning. She’s always telling me she’s not ready. Bitch won’t even take me in her fucking mouth; when she’s awake anyway.’ He laughed remembering the time he forced Maka to choke on his dick.

~Flashback~

We had just gotten back from a particularly hard mission. Maka, Crona, and I were supposed to take out a clutch of kishin terrorizing some god-forsaken mountain village. It was tough from the start. The kishin worked together, attacking all at once. We had killed a little over half of them when one snuck past Crona’s defenses. The poor kid was dead before we even knew what was happening. Maka went on a rampage after that; taking out the last of the kishin.

When we got home Maka had nightmares. She stopped sleeping so Stein gave her some sleeping pills that knocked her out. Nothing could wake her until she’d had a full 8 hours of sleep.

One night I was feeling extremely horney; Maka had been making excuses all week to avoid fooling around. I was sick of it. After she took her pill and went to bed I watched her for a little while. I had already figured out that she’d sleep through some rough fondling, but it wasn’t as much fun for me without her squeals and screams, or her begging me to stop.

I had my dick in hand when she rolled over onto her back, her face towards me. Her lips were slightly parted. That’s when I got the idea. I walked over to the bed and kneeled on the mattress by her face. Gripping her jaw in one hand and my throbbing cock in the other I forced her mouth open. She tried to turn her head but I had a tight hold on her jaw. Once she was open wide enough I pushed my head past her lips and teeth. I just sat there for a moment, enjoying the snug warmth, but then I grew impatient. I started thrusting into the warm moist cavern, forcing her jaw wider to accept my girth. I hit the back of her throat and she gagged. It was great. I kept pushing for a minute before I pulled out. ‘I’m not going to get much further down her throat in this position.’

I removed her shirt so I could squeeze her tits, and then pulled her so her head hung over the side of the bed. I pried her jaw open again and pushed my cock in. I made it to the back of her throat and she gagged but I kept pushing. I could feel her swallowing, trying to clear her throat. That’s when she began to struggle. Her hands came up and started pushing against my legs, trying to move me back. I laughed, this was perfect. I pulled back and started a steady thrusting into her throat. I felt myself swell so I pressed as deep as I could go and held there. My balls were on her nose, my cock buried deep down her throat –I could see the bulge in her neck- my hands were twisting and pulling on her nipples as I waited to cum. Her face was quickly turning red. When she started turning purple her hands fell weakly to her sides. That was it for me. I shot my load down into her stomach.

As my dick began to soften her face turned blue and I finally pulled out. She sucked in a great big gulp of air that gurgled slightly as I tucked myself back into my shorts. Her face was turning a more natural color as I put her shirt back on her. I righted her on the bed before crawling in myself and falling asleep.

~end~

Not long after that night she stopped taking the sleeping pills. Soul frowned, ‘I wonder if she figured it out somehow.’

‘Soul is acting strangely.’ Was the thought on his companion’s minds as Soul, Tsubaki, and Black*Star all stood on the balcony of a building that had the best view of the city. They were waiting on Maka to find something.

‘I wish this place had roof access,’ Black*Star thought. ‘I hate having her out of my sight. At least I can keep an eye on Soul. I’m not sure he can be trusted.’ When they had been asking people on the street about odd occurrences Black*Star had caught Soul sending Maka the strangest looks. ‘He looked almost giddy. What was going on inside that head of his?’

"Oi, bookworm, you find anything yet?" Soul called out after about half an hour of standing on the balcony. "The sun’s starting to go down. We need to head back to the hotel soon." He sighed. "Plus this is boring."

"I’ll be down in a minute."

After hearing that Soul turned and headed down the hall to the stairwell at the end.

Black*Star allowed his eyes to follow Soul, a disgusted look on his face as he watched the weapon leave his partner behind. He turned back just in time to catch Maka as she came over the edge of the roof.

As he set her on her feet Maka blushed. "Th-thank you," she managed to stammer.

Black*Star just smiled as he took her hand led the way down the stairs.

"We found a hideout but it’s hard to tell if it’s witches, local teenagers, or if it belonged to the kishin Soul and Maka took out." Stein was filling the group in on what he and Spirit had found after both Maka and Kidd had told everyone they had found diddly squat. "I think our only option now is to spread out and patrol as much of the town as possible. Hopefully if the witches decide to attack they will split up in order to engage all of us." He checked the time then pulled out a cigarette. "Let’s take an hour, get some food, take a nap, whatever, then we will head out."

‘It’s strange,’ Maka thought, ‘that Soul and I would end up back here.’ Maka turned a slow circle as she looked for changes to the side street where they had first encountered the witches. Suddenly she stopped as she noticed a suspicious change. The alley they had used to escape was blocked off. A large blue dumpster sat smack dab in the center of the alley’s mouth. Usually this wouldn’t cause a problem but the lid was open. ‘If I can get the lib closed that will be a viable exit strategy.’ Leaving Soul sulking against a wall, Maka made her way to the open dumpster. It fit snugly between two buildings with the lid hanging down the backside.

Maka was contemplating how to get the lid up when she heard Soul curse. Maka spun to face him, thinking nothing of putting her back to the dumpster. There were three witches. (A/N: All witches will now be referred to by letter, with no repeating –even in the occurrence of death.) A was coming up behind Soul while B and C came from opposite ends of the street. If Soul and Maka didn’t hurry they would be cut off from each other.

Soul was already headed her way when he came to a sudden stop then began to run. Maka felt her body jerk, there was a brief pressure, and then she was falling. As she hit the ground a figure stepped into her line of sight. D was holding a dagger that was dripping a thick red liquid. Maka’s mind was getting fuzzy. ‘What is that on the blade?’ Her body was getting hot, like there was a fire in her chest that was rapidly spreading to her arms and legs.

A attacked Soul, engaging him in a fight in order to prevent him from reaching his meister. A was quite weak and Soul quickly dispatched her. B was there to take her place before Soul could make any move towards Maka. B was more skilled than A and while Soul was engaged with her C joined the fray.

D watched Maka. The heat in her body was becoming unbearable, causing Maka to writhe in pain. This only increased her suffering however as her movements pulled at the stab wound she didn’t realize she had.

After taking out B and C Soul stumbled towards Maka and D, bleeding from several puncture wounds. Before he could reach them D vanished. Soul collapsed next to his meister, who was now filling the air with high shrill screams. Anybody else would have been hurrying to make them stop; not Soul. Maka’s screams were making him grow hard. The pounding of running footfalls had him adjusting his pants to hide his slight erection as he leaned over Maka, as though trying to help her.

Black*Star burst out onto the side street as he raced to Maka’s side. He frowned as Soul shifted over Maka, his eyes rising to meet Black*Star’s. It was only a split second but Black*Star was able to read the arousal in the smaller man’s eyes. ‘Bastard! Maka is injured, screaming her throat raw, and he’s fucking getting off on it. There is something seriously wrong with that sick fuck.’ He kept his mouth shut, not trusting himself not to go off on Soul. ‘I can’t deal with him right now. Maka needs care.’

"What happened?" Tsubaki asked in the sudden silence. Maka had finally passed out.

"I don’t know. We were attacked, separated," Soul choked out.

Black*Star lifted Maka’s slight weight in his arms, ignoring the bed soaking into his clothes, and started walking to the hotel. "We need to get her out of her. She needs to be looked at, cared for, that will be easier to do at the hotel."

Spirit fell in behind Black*Star, crying and being generally annoying, but when they reached the hotel he held the door for Black*Star. He didn’t even argue when Black*Star led the way to his room, which he had to himself since Tsubaki was rooming with Liz and Kidd was rooming with Patti. Spirit went so far as to dig the room key out of Black*Star’s pocket to open the door.

Soul was pissed as he made his way to his own room. He wanted Maka in their room but didn’t dare make a fuss in case anyone, Black*Star, questioned his motives. ‘That fucking asshole needs to be brought down a peg or two. If he thinks he can take Maka from me I’ll just have to kick his ass, then show them both who that stupid bitch belongs to.’

 

Chapter Text

It was dark. She tried to move forward, but the darkness weighted her down. Her feet were pressed firmly to the ground, as though glued. Her knees trembled, threatening to buckle. Her shoulders sagged and her back bent, as if she were carrying a heavy burden. Even her head bowed under the oppressive dark surrounding her.

"Maka!"

She was hot. She could feel the sweat covering her body; beads rolling over her spine, trickling between her breasts, and sliding down her thighs. It soaked her clothes but did not cool her. She peered into the darkness, but could see nothing. Even with the heat there was no light. No source.

"Maka!"

Her knees could take no more, she collapsed into a heap. Her breathing became labored. Her throat was dry. In the dark and heat she was reaching her breaking point. Her mind was slipping and she was letting it go.

"Maka!"

Her eyes opened. ‘Had there been a voice? Or did I finally fall into madness?’

Something passed over her forehead. ‘What?’ It moved down her neck, over her arms, even soothing over her legs. Everywhere it touched the fire cooled, if only briefly.

"Maka!"

‘Who’s there? Please, I don’t want to be alone anymore!’ Only silence met her desperate plea.

:)

Black*Star couldn’t believe Stein.

~Flashback~

"It would appear that Maka has been poisoned." Stein declared, pushing his glasses up on his nose. "Her system should be able to burn it off in a couple of hours. She will be weak when she does wake so she will need your help. If she hasn’t woken by day break come get me." Then he turned and left dragging a resisting Spirit with him.

~End~

That was two hours ago. Black*Star had been trying to keep her cool with a cold cloth but she was still burning up. ‘That psycho. I swear if he’s doing this as some little experiment I’ll kick his ass. Who cares if he is twice my age?’ He looked down at the girl in his bed. "Please Maka; you have got to wake up." He climbed onto the bed and gathered her in his arms. "I need you Maka. Please don’t leave me." He kissed her hair, down from its usual pigtails, and held her tight. "I love you."

:)

"I love you."

‘Black*Star?’ Maka could hardly believe her eyes, or ears. ‘He looks so sad.’ As she watched a tear rolled down his face. ‘No. Please, don’t cry.’ The thought of Black*Star, her strong arrogant Black*Star, crying caused her chest to ache. "Don’t… cry… please…" Maka managed to whisper.

At her words Black*Star’s head jerked up, his eyes connecting with hers. "Thank Death, you’re awake." He sighed in relief, laying her back on the bed. "How are you feeling? Do you need anything?"

Maka shook her head. She could feel blackness reaching for her. "No," she said weakly, just as sleep claimed her.

:)

Black*Star was relieved; her fever had broken, her color was returning, and she had woken up. He was also kind of freaking out. ‘Did she hear me? Shit! That’s not how I wanted to tell her.’ Black*Star sat in a chair beside the bed, his hands hanging limp between spread legs, head tilted back. ‘Damn, I mean she’s still with Soul. I may hate him but still. Maybe she won’t remember.’ His head comes down to watch the sleeping girl. ‘Either way I need to get her away from Soul. Fuck! I never thought I’d be plotting to steal my best friend’s, well EX-best friend’s, girlfriend.’ He shakes his head with a wry grin. ‘I need help with this.’ With one last glance at Maka, Black*Star rose and exited the room. He crossed the hall and knocked sharply on the door.

"Coming!" Tsubaki’s distant voice called out. The door opened and she smiled tiredly as she was Black*Star. "Hi Black*Star." Then she frowned worriedly. "How’s Maka?"

He smiles, "Maka’s fine; she woke up for a moment. She’s asleep again but it’s different this time, no fever." He hesitates, nervously scuffing his toe on the carpet. "Tsubaki… I need your help."

Tsubaki was squealing internally as she grabbed her meister’s arm and dragged him into her room. "Liz! Hurry up and get out here. We’ve got some planning to do."

:)

"I still don’t see why he can’t just tell Maka he loves her and let her choose who she wants to be with," an exasperated Liz states. "It’s not like Black*Star couldn’t take Soul if he decides to be a sore loser."

Tsubaki sighs at her girlfriend, "Because that wouldn’t be fair to Maka. She’s with Soul because she loved him at some point, and she probably still does. You are assuming that she will choose Black*Star. I’m sure Black*Star doesn’t want her to feel like she has to choose him, right?"

Black*Star flushes and ducks his head, trying to avoid his weapon’s prying stare.

"Whoa," Liz breathes. "I’ve never seen him turn that color before."

"Black*Star?" Tsubaki’s tone demands an answer.

"I kind of already did," Black*Star whispers. "Tell her, I mean."

"What?!" Both girls squeal.

"When?!"

"What did you say, exactly?!"

"How did she react?!"

"What did she say?!"

They were both talking too fast and at the same time. Black*Star had no choice but to wait for them to be done.

"Well?!"

"If you’re done, I’ll tell you about it." Both girls motioned for him to continue. Black*Star sighed. "I was talking to her, trying to get her to wake up and it just kind of slipped out. I told her I loved her. She woke up for a minute and then went back to sleep." He hesitated, "she didn’t say anything." No way was he telling them that he was crying.

"Wow," Liz broke the silence. "Maybe she didn’t hear you, and that’s why she didn’t say anything."

"Or maybe she thinks she imagined you saying it and that’s why she didn’t say anything," Tsubaki suggests.

They were trying to ease a hurt Black*Star didn’t feel. He sensed that Maka was getting sick of Soul’s behavior. He just had to bide his time. And come up with a way to let her known he cared. That’s why he was over here talking to Liz and Tsubaki, he wanted to make sure he got this right. He had no idea if Maka had heard him, or if she would even remember what he’d said if she had heard him. He glanced at the clock. ‘Shit, I should get back. I don’t want her to wake up alone.’

Chapter Text

Maka laid still, muscles aching and tense. It was quiet; the only sound that of her own breathing. She cracked her eyes open, only to slam them shut to block out the brightly burning lights. As she lay there, debating whether to try opening her eyes again, she heard the sound of the door unlocking. As the door opened and footsteps approached she couldn’t help but hope it wasn’t Soul. Things with Soul had been getting worse, she was actually afraid of him. She was so ashamed that she had allowed things to get to this point.

A chair was pulled up beside the bed and someone took her hand. Just as she was going to open her eyes a voice broke the silence.

"Maka?" Black*Star asked quietly. "Are you awake?"

Maka kept her eyes shut and kept still, wondering where this would go.

His grip tightened on her hand. "I hate this. This never should have happened to you." His voice trembled but Maka couldn’t decipher the emotion. "your weapon should have protected you." Anger burned in his words. "Soul, your boyfriend, the one who says he loves you, should have been there for you." Black*Star suddenly dropped her hand and pushed out of the chair. "FUCK Soul! Why are you with him? He treats you like shit. I mean he fucking hits you. HE HITS YOU! How can you just take that?" he fell back into the chair as though exhausted, "Why him Maka? Why did you choose Soul?" his voice fell to a whisper. "Why didn’t I realize sooner how I felt? Why couldn’t I have told you I loved you before you got hurt?" Black*Star fell silent and picked up her hand again.

Maka couldn’t take it anymore. She had thought she’d just dreamed Black*Star confessing to her, but here he was saying it again. Telling her he loved her. It was breaking her heart. A sob escaped from between tightly closed lips and tears slid down her face into her hair.

"Maka, are you ok? Are you in pain?" Black*Star’s voice was full of concern. "Please, open your eyes."

Maka forced herself to open her eyes and look up at Black*Star. "I’m…"

"Where does it hurt? I’ll go get you something from Stein," Black*Star stood and started for the door. "Surely he has something for pain."

Maka’s hand shot out and grabbed his arm. "I’m not in pain Black*Star, not physical pain anyway, I’m just a little tired. I hate seeing you like this. I never knew… I was so stupid." Maka struggled to stop crying while she searched for the right words. "I never meant to hurt you Black*Star."

Black*Star dropped back into the chair and Maka managed to continue. "I loved you so much when we were kids. I wanted to marry you and be the family you never really had. And I honestly thought it could happen, but then we started at DWMA and you met Tsubaki and started spending all your time with her. I was so jealous. I seriously wanted to hate her, but I couldn’t, she’s just too good of a person. Then I met Soul and he distracted me from my pain, became my best friend. We spent all our time together, and when he suggested we live together I convinced myself that I loved him." Maka chuckled then winced. "Actually, dealing with his cool guy ‘I don’t like people’ attitude was a lot like dealing with your massive ego. So I lied to myself. I lied so well that I got into a situation where I allowed myself to be abused and belittled." Maka’s tears started again and she had to work around the painful sobs. "I don’t want to lie anymore Black*Star. The truth is, I don’t love Soul. Hell, I’m not even sure I like him anymore. It has always been you. I have only ever loved you, Black*Star. I only want to be with you." The sobs became too much for her to continue but it didn’t matter. Maka had said what she needed to say. She had finally spoken the truth. Now she waited for Black*Star to stop staring at her and say something.

Black*Star’s mouth opened and shut comically a couple of times, unable to form words. Just as he had gathered his wits enough to speak there was a knock on the door.