A/N: This story is for Reverb 2015, and it's a collaboration with the wonderful and amazingly talented makas-soul, whose art you should definitely check out. Just in case you haven't noticed, this is a slight AU. Also, I will not be able to guarantee that this piece of work is good, so just in case it burns your eyeballs, I apologise in advance. XD

Without further ado, enjoy!

Disclaimer : I do not own Soul Eater or any of its characters.

Contract of The Soul

By: StuckBetweenShades and Makas-Soul

"Mama, mama! Tell me that story again!" A little blonde girl in a yellow night gown requested excitedly as she bounced on her bed. The other blonde woman smiled warmly at the request and ruffled her little girl's blond hair, "Alright, Maka. But after that, you'll go to sleep, okay?"

"I promise, I promise!" Maka exclaimed happily and quickly plopped down unceremoniously beside her mother, who took a deep breath and sighed fondly at the ball of energy that was her daughter.

"Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was a brave girl. She wasn't afraid of the big baddies that hid under children's beds. In fact, she sought them out and beat them! She had her weapon and her faithful companion, a magical cat that could talk and use magic!" She paused and ruffled her daughter's hair, eliciting a giggle from said toddler.

"By day, she was a normal girl who went to school; by night, she was the heroine of the city who defeated the monsters hiding in the shadows. She called them kishin, the lost ones that had devoured a pure soul. A soul just like yours, Maka," she poked her daughter in the chest and chuckled, while Maka pouted and whined for her to continue with the story.

"But one day, something changed…"

The now grown up Maka trailed off. She scratched the back of her head, trying in vain to remember the rest of the story her beloved mother had read to her on most nights. She frowned and closed her eyes. "Why can't I remember?"

She shifted her attention to her companion, who looked worried as he watched her struggle to recall her favourite bedtime story. They had just freshened up and had their dinner after a gruelling mission, and both of them had felt much too restless to actually be able to fall asleep. They had come a little too close for comfort this time. Thank Death for Soul and his quick thinking. And if Maka had been a little slower, she might have lost one if her legs to their latest target's jaws.

At the moment, both had a cup of warm milk each while Maka rested her head on Soul's shoulder as they chatted. They had been talking about the recent increase in pre-kishin and missions, but the topic had somehow drifted to the topic on their favourite bedtime stories, and while Soul didn't have one, Maka still somehow remembered about hers and had been busy storytelling until she trailed off.

"Maybe it's because you're tired? It's pretty late, and you haven't been sleeping well, too. We've been doing lots of missions lately," her partner mumbled worriedly, putting an arm over her shoulders and pulling her close. "You all right?"

She nodded and slipped out of his one-armed embrace. "…yeah. I'm just going to go out for a while, okay? Get some fresh air," When she stood to place her mug on the coffee table and went to pocket the house keys, Soul immediately stood up to follow - only to be stopped by his meister. "Don't. I just… I just want to be alone, please?"

Soul wanted to protest, but once he saw the plea in his meister's olive green eyes, he relented. His meister was capable of protecting herself against thugs and the like, but even she would be hard pressed to kill a pre-kishin on her own, without a weapon. "Take your cell phone with you. Call me when you need me, 'kay?"

"Okay," and with that said, the blonde strode out, her signature pigtails fluttering behind her. Watching his meister leave, Soul sighed and hoped that Maka won't do something stupid. He ran his free hand through his white hair, stared at the door for a little longer, and proceeded to chug down his now-cold milk. He contemplated on whether to just leave Maka's milk alone, throw it away or just finish it. After a few moments of pondering, he decided on finishing it on her behalf - Maka didn't like her milk cold and throwing it away would be a waste, since it was still half full, and Maka would scold him for that. Besides, it wasn't as though they've never shared food or drinks before, only Death knows how many times Maka had stolen sips of his strawberry milkshakes.

When the cold desert night breeze hit her face, Maka sighed. She could usually recall every single memory with her mother - so why would her favourite bedtime story slip her mind? She remembered how awed she felt whenever her mother told her the story when she was younger - how she had wanted to be a magical girl just like the one in the story. She had been crushed when her mother told her that she couldn't become one, until her mother told her about the DWMA and weapon-meister pairs. She had thought that it was pretty close to being a magical girl, and ended up training as hard as she could just so she could enter the DWMA's EAT courses.

Other than that, Maka also vaguely remembered feeling sad whenever she thought of that story. Why? She didn't know, but it seemed that no matter how vividly she remembered about how she felt, she couldn't recall the actual story and its ending.

Frustrated, she started kicking the little pebbles on the sidewalk as she wandered aimlessly. As she walked, she glanced up at the sky. It was a beautiful night. The sky was cloudless, and the purplish black canvas was decorated by the stars that twinkled brighter than before, now that the moon has lost its light. She grimaced as she thought about the big, black blob of black blood that was the moon and was reminded of Crona again. Her lips pressed together in a line and her brows furrowed. She had spent most of her free time researching for a way to release Crona, yet still keep the Kishin captive. So far, there weren't any breakthroughs, and both she and Soul had started to become frustrated.

Kidd and the others had helped a lot,too, busy as they were. Even the witches helped - Head Witch Maaba had allowed a few of her witches to research about the black blood, as thanks for sealing the Kishin away.

As she pondered on the matter, her feet continued to take her further and further away from home, and before she knew it, she was in one of the alleys where both she and Soul once fought a pre-kishin. Oh yeah, that one was nasty, all right. Stupid pre-kishin gave her a gash right in the middle of her torso. She couldn't bend over or sleep properly for weeks.

"Why, hello there. What's a little kitten like you doing out here?" Suddenly, a woman's voice reverberated throughout the alley. Maka, instantly alert, looked around warily, her body tensing as she slid into a battle stance.

"Who's there?" She asked, asking the vacant alleyway - not that she was hoping for an answer. She turned her ashy blonde head from side to side, surveying her surroundings. Nope. Nothing but brick walls and trash as she was about to let out a relieved sigh, she jumped and yelped loudly when she felt something furry brush against her legs. "Down here, kitten~"

When she looked down, she saw something that definitely should not be able to talk. She jumped backwards, away from the purple purring creature (who strangely, seemed to really enjoy this)."Aw, is the little kitten afraid?"

"What the- you... you're a cat," Maka replied lamely, still slowly backing away from it. Was she so tired that she was hallucinating already? Maka rubbed her eyes and her pigtails slapped against her face as she shook her head vigorously. Nope, it was still there, grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Or worse, was this a rogue witch who could shapeshift, wanted revenge, and was brave enough to come sauntering into Death City even when she knew of the dangers? Which, come to think of it, seemed very possible, seeing that the cat had a witch's hat on top of its head. Maka hoped that it wasn't the latter, because if it was, she'd be in big trouble.

Why, oh why, did she refuse Soul when he wanted to come with her?

"Why, of course Blair's a cat. What else would Blair be?" The cat replied, clearly amused, as she continued to back Maka towards the wall.

'… and her faithful companion, a magical cat that could talk and use magic…'

Maka's eyes widened. Surely, it was just a bedtime story that mothers told their children - an old fairytale that naive little girls like her wanted to believe in.

She looked into the purple feline's amber eyes while her own narrowed in suspicion, "Who are you?"

"Blair's name is Blair! Nice to meet you, kitten," the cat answered as it stretched lazily, running its claws on the cement floor - creating a noise that made her wince slightly.

When her hands touched the brick wall, the grooves digging into her palms, Maka stifled a gasp and focused on the newcomer. She couldn't feel any evil intentions coming from it, and it was telling the truth - its soul was a cat's, not a witch's. Maka frowned, thoroughly puzzled. If it's a normal cat, it definitely shouldn't be able to talk.

Oblivious to the girl's inner dilemma, the cat eyed Maka's attire critically before scrutinizing her face. After staring at each other for a while, just as Maka was about to excuse herself, recognition flashed through Blair's eyes and they widened. "You're... you're the meister of the 'Last Death Scythe', right?"

Maka flinched. Meeting Blair's hopeful gaze, Maka started to sweat. What could this cat want with her? When she nodded, she definitely did not expect the cat to pounce at her with an excited meow.

As Maka's bottom hit the cement floor (not too softly, either), the cat perched on her bended knees and exclaimed, "You're perfect!"

"… what?" was her genius reply. And she pushed the cat off, standing up and dusting off her backside before giving the cat a puzzled look. Blair, sporting a satisfied expression, merely sat there and watched her as her tail swayed lazily.

"Maka, do you have a wish?" Blair asked in a sultry tone, cocking her head sideways.

"… a wish?" And suddenly, she thought of the last part of the bedtime story that, for the life of her, she couldn't remember.

"That's right. Blair can grant you any wish you desire - but you'll have to do something for Blair in return," the cat bargained, a cunning and calculating glint in her eyes as it moved to curl itself around Maka's bare legs.

"… What do I have to do? It isn't anything illegal, is it?" Maka cautiously extracted herself from the purple ball of fur.

"No, no, of course not, silly! Blair just needs you to collect some pre-kishin souls for Blair, that's all! If you'll scratch Blair's back, Blair will scratch yours," Blair replied nonchalantly.

Maka tensed. This one could be dangerous - what would a cat need so many pre-kishin souls for? "Um, actually, I can't do that. It's forbidden for students of the DWMA to collect pre-kishin souls for outsiders - so, no. I'm sorry, I can't help you. Good night," Maka answered abruptly, and maneuvered herself to leave the alley.

Blair, seeing her chance slipping right through her paws like fine sand, quickly ran to catch up to the blonde, blocking the blonde's way as she tried to persuade her to comply to her request. "Aw, come on, Maka. If Blair doesn't say anything, it's not like anyone else will know… is it?"

"Um…" She tried to leave again, but all of her attempts were for naught as the cat wouldn't let her leave. Of course, if she had really wanted to, she could, but she was also more than a little interested in Blair's offer.

"Pretty please? Blair promises that she won't do anything illegal with the souls! Really!" Blair pleaded when she saw the apprehension in the meister's green eyes.

The thought of being able to have her memories back was very tempting, and Blair had a point - if both of them told no one, who was to know? And even if Blair did use those souls for evil,Maka was confident that she could finish her off - she wasn't a two-star meister for nothing. Besides, she still had to ask Soul for his consent.

Maka reached into the pockets of her shorts and freezed. She couldn't feel the cold, hard chunk of metal that was supposed to be in said pockets. She reached in deeper and fished everything out, but she could only find a few dollars and her set of keys - oh no. She forgot to take her phone with her. Again. Soul was definitely going to lecture her about the importance of bringing her phone with her - again. Last time, she had stayed behind at the school library to study before going home - imagine her surprise when she bumped into a hysterical Soul who had been searching for her for most of the day. She had to throw out the trash for a whole week as punishment (not that she was complaining, but that was Soul's job!).

"You only have this one chance, kitten. Choose wisely," Blair started to urge her on, seeing as the weapon technician was hesitating.

"But…" Maka trailed off, unsure. Soul would be really pissed off if she decided on something like this all on her own, without asking for his opinion on the matter.

No longer having the patience to wait for the indecisive meister, the cat waved her paw and stated, "Here's the contract - just sign right here!"

Magically, a yellowing piece of parchment appeared out of thin air, complete with an ancient-looking fountain pen floating right beside it. There were a few lines of words on the scroll, which Maka quickly skimmed through. It stated that once both Maka and Soul had agreed to the contract, they were to collect fifty pre-kishin souls within the time limit (a month) or else they'd have to 'suffer the consequences', as it clearly says - said consequences were conveniently left out though, Maka noted dully. Other than that, it stated that Maka was to receive a 'gift' from Blair once the contract was signed. It also stated that Blair cannot use the pre-kishin souls collected for anything that moght cause harm to others.

Just as the fountain pen floated to place itself on Maka's palm,she hesitated again. What she was about to do was forbidden - heck, she could be risking her whole career by signing. Soul's too.

Her hold on the pen tightened, and she took a few deep breaths before making her decision. If Blair turned out to be someone who had malicious intentions, she'd exterminate it. If not, well, what did she have to lose? With that in mind, she signed her name at the bottom of the parchment. When she was done, the parchment glowed brightly and Maka shielded her eyes from the radiant light, dropping the pen.

Suddenly,the light disappeared and all was dim again. Maka's eyes struggled to adapt to the change, but she could still see Blair's glowing eyes and heard, "It's done."

The walk back home was uneventful, and Maka was starting to second guess her decision. Soul was definitely going to be unhappy. Maka glanced nervously at the content cat prancing beside her, its hat bobbing slightly with its movements. Dread started to well up in her as her apartment building came into view - how was she going to explain this to Soul?

When she opened the door, she could hear the sounds of running water and the clanking of plates - damn, she forgot to wash the dishes before storming out. It was her turn today.

Hearing the familiar "click" of the door closing, Soul called out good naturedly - a good sign, as she needed him to be at least amicable when she dropped the bomb on him. Normally, he'd be really snarky and irritable (sometimes mad, even) if he had to do the chores when it was her turn.

"Hey, Soul? Can I ask you something?" She walked to the wet kitchen, hoping to at least help to dry the dishes.

"Sure. Shoot." He handed her some mugs and resumed his washing. Both of them stayed silent as she dried the mugs and he washed the plates. Eventually, both of them had put the last plate on the rack and had retired to the living room.

"I was wondering if you'd help me kill fifty pre-kishin…" she trailed off when they Soul turmed to look at her, twiddling her fingers nervously. She knew; Soul wasn't going to like this, but she really had to do it.

"Well that's no biggie -"

"… in a month."

Soul suddenly paused and slowly turned to look at his meister, his eyes as wide as the plates he had been

washing, "A month? You serious?"

"Yeah. It'll be a piece of cake!" Oh, who was she kidding?

"Are you crazy! It took us a year to collect ninety-nine of them! How are we going to collect fifty in a month! And what do you need fifty of them for, anyway? Did Kidd ask you to get them?" Setting the clean plates aside, he strode to the living room, his eyes narrowed and focused on her face. Suspicion built up in his mind. If Kidd had wanted fifty pre-kishin souls in such a short amount of time, he would've told the both of them, together. That, and they were forbidden to collect kishin souls for outsiders - it wasn't safe. You never knew what those people would do with those souls. Although pre-kishin souls were not as powerful as pure souls, but they still had an exceptional amount of power, nonetheless - especially when you collect a large number of them.

"Uh… well…" Maka stammered. What was she supposed to say? Should she tell him everything?

As Maka was stumbling over her words , Soul's sharp eyes spotted something purple and swaying behind Maka's legs. Instinctively, he zeroed in on it, and was that-? Wait, why was there a cat - a purple one with a witch's hat on its head, for that matter - in their house? "Hey, you know this cat?" He reached behind her and grabbed the cat by its scruff, lifting it up and looking straight into its amber eyes as his brows furrowed. He almost dropped her in surprise when the cat suddenly greeted him with a cheery "Hello!".

"What the- the cat can talk!" He exclaimed, letting go of it and pointing an accusing finger at the infernal creature as he backed away.

"Hello, scythe-boy! Blair's name is Blair!" The cat, having ignored the rudeness displayed by her contractor's weapon, flashed Soul a bright smile as she introduced herself.

"Maka, why do you have a freaking talking cat with you?" Soul asked, his tone dripping with apprehension and suspicion, his eyes darting from Maka to the cat.

"Um… I kind of made a deal with it,"

"What kind of deal?"

She laughed nervously. Oh well, might as well confess now. So, she did - she told him everything, from the very beginning to the end.

"How can we even trust that thing? It's a talking cat! It might be a witch, you know!" The normally calm and collected Soul burst out, appalled that his meister would be this naive as to trust a random stranger. He had let that one time with Crona slide but this… this was ridiculous!

"But-"

"You can't trust it, Maka! Have you ever seen a talking cat before? No, of course not! You don't even know if it's really a cat or not! It can be a rogue witch in disguise, you know!"

"But... but… she promised to return my memories! Please, Soul, those menories are one of the only things I have left of my mom! And I already checked, you idiot! It's a cat!" She reasoned, clenching her fists as desperation clawed at her mind.

"Tch. What if she was lying to you, huh? Maka, she's going to use you! You don't even know whether she's telling the truth or not!" Soul retorted, angry that she would be stupid enough to actually consider the idea.

"What do we have to lose? All we have to do is kill pre-kishin, right? We've been doing this for years! It'll just be like making you into a deathscythe again!"

"Yeah, but what's the catch? What if you don't get fifty pre-kishin souls in time? And newsflash! Collecting pre-kishin souls for outsiders is forbidden!"

"She didn't say… but how bad can it be, right? And if you don't tell anyone about this, who's to know?" She gave a nervous glance to said magical cat, who was still perched on the windowsill, ignoring their quarrel with its back facing them.

"'How bad can it be'? Are you kidding? What if you have to give up your life or some shit like that, huh?"

"But… I already signed the contract! I can't back out now! The contract said that if I backed out half way, Idrhabe to face the 'consequences', which were conveniently unmentioned!"

"Why would you sign the contract without asking me first?" Soul groaned - if she had consulted him before agreeing, they could've avoided this mess!

Seeing her partner groan, she huffed indignantly and pouted at the wall. "She said that I only had one chance; and I had to sign it then and there or forfeit my chance! And I forgot to bring my cell phone, okay!"

Soul groaned and slapped his forehead - of course, trust his airhead of a partner to leave her cell phone behind even when he already reminded her to before she went out. Since she was already stuck in this mess, well, it kind of was his duty to help her out now, wasn't it?

"So… you'll help me?"

Soul took one look at her green, green eyes filled with expectation, and all the fight within him drained away. "I don't really have a choice, do I? And how are you going to collect fifty pre-kishin souls in a month, anyway?"

"Well, there has been more pre-kishin around nowadays…"

Soul shot her a look , his scarlet eyes wide and unbelieving. "Maka, we just got back from a mission! Are you serious?" He stared into her determined eyes and sighed exasperatingly - when his partner was this determined, not even Lord Death could stop her.

"Maka, duck!" Soul yelled as soon as he saw their opponent's bloodstained claws reach for his meister's neck from behind. Maka did as told, and barely escaped being decapitated. The pre-kishin went off balance when its attack went through air instead of flesh, giving Maka the chance to slice it in half - leaving its corrupted soul behind as its body disintegrated.

Maka plopped down on her rear, panting like a dog as exhaustion caught up to her. Soul transformed back into flesh and bone as soon as Maka's gloved hands left his shaft. He grabbed at the still-pulsing soul, and licked his lips before he swallowed it whole, eyeing his meister's new getup with discreet appreciation. Blair padded up to them with a bright cat-smile adorning her furry face, congratulating them on their thirtieth soul.

"Only twenty more to go!" Blair cheered, bouncing up and down excitedly.

Maka, still too exhausted to stand up, quietly inspected her new attire with unmasked admiration. She felt faster and stonger in these clothes - although they were slightly more revealing than her previous one. Blair had said that they had a little magic infused in them, and Soul had been slightly reluctant on letting her wear it - fearing that the cat might have messed with it or something.

They only had two weeks left, and they were already burnt out. They had been going on missions non-stop - once they got back from one, after turning it in and taking a shower or grabbing something to eat, they'd take another. They had been living on only meager hours of sleep, and it exhausted them. But no matter what, they had to get those fifty pre-kishin souls before the time limit was up. Blair never informed them of what would happen if they didn't make it in time, but both Maka and Soul didn't want to risk it.

"Hey Kidd? We haven't seen Soul and Maka for a while now, have we?" Liz asked as she filed her nails, glancing briefly at the Death God.

Kidd nodded, his face grim, but Liz could see the worry for his friends shining brightly in his golden eyes. "They've been going out on a lot of missions lately. I've tried to ask them why they were in such a rush, but they simply ran off. It's not like them to be this… secretive."

"Does Black Star or Tsubaki know why? They are pretty close, you know."

"No, not yet. Both of them had just gotten back from the long term mission I've sent them on a few weeks ago. But I'm sure that Black Star find out eventually, he's just perceptive like that," A ghost of a smile sneaked up the Death God's face when he mentioned his rival.

Both shared a moment of silence as they. Patti looked up from her drawings and cocked her head to a side, looking at the newly minted Death God and asked. "What do you think they're hiding?"

"I have no idea. But I'm sure that they will tell us when they're ready. Besides, I'm sure that Maka won't do anything too reckless when Soul's with her."

"What if… what if they're in danger or something like that?" Liz's face paled at the thought of Soul and Maka being in trouble.

Kidd shook his head and chuckled softly, "Elizabeth, as I have told you many times, those movies you always watch cannot be healthy for your mind."

"It's not a joke! What if something bad happens to them? Like that NOT weapon-meister pair that lost their memories just a few months ago? They were in a rush to go on missions, too! Look at what happened to them!"

Kidd frowned. Now that Liz brought it up, there were a few similarities between Soul and Maka and that NOT weapon-meister pair. "We still haven't found the culprit that took away their memories yet, so yes, there could be a high possibility that Soul and Maka are dealing with the same person. But," Kidd insisted just as Liz was about to interrupt, "I have confidence that Soul and Maka can deal with this. They're one of the strongest of our generation, after all."

This silenced Liz for a while, and eventually, Liz had to agree. Soul and Maka definitely knew how to take care of themselves, but Liz still felt a little uneasy. She frowned and resumed to pamper her nails, but she silently decided that if Soul or Maka didn't come clean some time soon, she'll go looking for them.

With one look at his utterly exhausted meister picking at her breakfast, Soul decided that they weren't going on a mission today. She was practically a zombie now - she looked the part, too. Her usually symmetrical pigtails were lopsided and loosely tied, there were black pockets under her tired green eyes, not to mention that she was slouching. No, slouching was his thing - not Maka's.

She tried to fight him when he forced her to stay in bed - he practically had to manhandle her into obeying. Not that it was hard - Maka was really light, and she was too sleepy to actually put up a real fight, and her feeble and lame insults were easy to ignore. The moment her head touched her pillow, she was dead to the world. Really, what was she thinking? Trying to go fight pre-kishin in this state? The mission last night must have been really tiring for her - the pre-kishin had been amazingly agile for its size. It kept dodging her attacks and always managed to sneak up behind her - that last attack had been a lucky shot, and Soul was immensely grateful for it. Any longer and he knew that Maka would have lost - too worn out to pose a threat to it; because no matter how much stamina his partner had, no one could have chased after that particular kishin for long.

Seeing his partner's serene and calm face, he smiled. His hand reached out to gently brush her fringe to the side, and did his best to undo her pigtails without waking her up. After that, he merely sat on her bed and stared at her, a fond smile tugging at his lips, his own exhaustion long forgotten.

He was broken out of his reverie when he heard the door creak open. Oh, it was just Blair. As Blair padded over to Maka's bed, Soul stole one last glance at Maka before he left the room. Being around Blair for two weeks had slightly - very, very slightly - endeared the feline to him. Well, at least he trusted her to some extent now - enough for him to leave her alone in the same room as Maka.

Soul's eyes flickered over to his alarm clock as he entered his room and landed on his bed with a flop - it was still pretty early in the morning, so he didn't have to worry about lunch yet. He sighed and put an arm over his eyes to block out the sunlight. He was just about to doze off when he suddenly thought about their friends, and how they haven't kept in touch nowadays.

Well, since he's free for today, might as well pay them a visit. Black Star and Tsubaki have most probably returned from their mission and haven't been sent on another one yet, while Kidd, Liz and Patti have been taking it easy nowadays, with Kidd slowly adapting to his new * and the many responsibilities that came with it. They're probably really worried, and Soul winced when he thought about how he was going to explain his situation to the others. Maybe he shouldn't tell them first - he'll wait until this whole farce was dealt with.

Deciding to act before he lost his nerve, Soul reached blindly for his cell phone, which he remembered putting on the nightstand last night. When he accidentally sent his alarm clock flying, causing it to crash against the wall with a loud "clang", he cursed and quickly sat up. He groaned and glared at his cell phone, before picking it up and flipping it open with much unneeded force. He scrolled through his list of contacts impatiently until he found the one labelled "OCD" and pressed the green "call" button. As the call was forwarding, Soul sighed in an exaggerated manner before sticking his ear to the warm piece of technology.

"Hey, Kidd."

"Soul? Is that you?" A familiar, high pitched female voice answered instead of an anticipated low baritone, which rendered Soul speechless for a few seconds before the voice was identified as another one of his friends'.

"Liz?" Perplexed, Soul checked his phone and… yeah, he definitely called the right person. He lifted the phone to his ear once more and asked, "Isn't this Kidd's number?"

"Oh, it's Kidd's all right. He's just out for a moment for some errands and forgot to bring his phone with him."

Huh, just like Maka. What was it with meisters and their aversion to cell phones?

"Are you guys free later? Like, in an hour?" Soul confirmed the time with his alarm clock again (damn, the glass cracked) and continued, "At eleven?"

"Yeah, sure. Why?"

"I was thinking about meeting at Deathbucks later. You think you guys can come?" Honestly, Soul kind of crossed his fingers a little, hoping that they suddenly had something to do and were too busy to meet him and pester him with the questions they were sure to have.

"Of course! Kidd'll be back by then, and I'm pretty sure that Black Star is free." When Soul heard Liz's enthusiastic reply, he deflated. Well, so much for avoiding them for a little longer.

"Great. See you guys there then," and he hung up. He went to grab his black leather jacket and left early - he wanted to reach there before they did and he didn't feel like driving today.

Blair watched over the girl as she slept. This girl was very important to her - after all, she could very well be the one who could help her achieve her goals.

Blair held up her paw and scowled in disgust at the purple appendage - she used to be such a beauty, able to seduce any man in the world, until a hateful witch had cursed her, trapped her in this form. Now, only the power of pre-kishin souls (well, innocent souls would have been more effective and quicker, but if she was going to end up an ugly pre-kishin in the end, then what's the point?) could help her break this curse.

Blair suddenly thought of the witch who had caused this problem in the first place. She may be dead already, seeing that she was an old hag when Blair last saw her, which was around decades ago. Thankfully, the curse didn't allow Blair to age. So, once she inevitably turns back in two weeks, she'll be as young and beautiful as the day she was turned. Watching their progress, Blair knew that it had been the right decision to choose Maka and Soul. The pair definitely knew how to do their job right. Blair licked her lips and her mouth widened into a Cheshire Cat grin - she couldn't wait.

But, for now, sleep sounds really appealing.

Soul was more than a little nervous by the time he neared the café they had agreed to meet at.

When he opened the door, the cold, soothing air paired up with the delicious smell of well brewed coffee instantly comforted him. He was greeted by a young waitress and led to a booth at the corner of the shop. His friends haven't arrived yet, and Soul was immensely grateful for that. He ordered a milkshake and checked the time. The clock in the café showed that it was almost the promised time and knowing how punctual Kidd was, despite the fact that the promised time was unsatisfactory ("Why is it not eight in the morning!"), they'd be here in ten minutes. Good. It was enough time for Soul to gather his wits and cook up some reasonable excuses, and the peaceful and cozy atmosphere helped sooth his nerves.

In ten minutes, the quiet atmosphere was disturbed by the tinkling of a bell, and the loud, booming voice of a certain ninja.

"Soul, bro! Long time no see!" Black Star hollered and gave Soul a friendly punch to the arm. He grimaced a little and tried to discreetly rub the sore area. Boy, can Black Star pack a punch.

Soul waved at the others and smiled when they greeted him warmly, as though they hadn't not seen each other for half of the month and then some. At first, non of them said anything as they settled down and ordered their drinks. When their drinks arrived, it was Patti who popped the question.

"What's with the sudden rush to go on missions?"

"Uh, it's only for this month. And as for why, we'll tell you at the end of the month," All of them were dissatisfied with his vague answer, but they nodded, nonetheless. They knew that even if they asked, if Soul really didn't want to tell them yet, Soul's mouth was sealed shut.

"Soul, I take it that you know of the incident where a NOT weapon-meister pair lost their memories right?" Kidd asked in a serious tone,

Soul nodded solemnly, having met those two before, "Yeah. Poor kids. They still can't resonate yet, huh."

"Yes, and we haven't found the culprit yet, so you must be extra careful," Kidd advised as he sipped at his latte.

"Got it."

"Is there anything we can help with?" Ah, sweet Tsubaki, always willing to try and help her friends.

"Nah, we're good. We got it for the offer, though."

"Oi, you haven't payed your respects to your god yet, peasant!"

They chatted for a little while longer until Kidd excused himself, and said that he had a meeting with the DWMA staff in a moment. They took it as their cue to leave, and they paid for their drinks before they left. Soul glanced at the time just before he went out into the sun. It was already noon, and it was his turn to cook today.

The Chinese restaurant that had the best fried rice in town (according to Maka) was pretty far away on foot, but, Soul thought, Maka kind of deserved the treat, seeing that she's been working so hard - regardless of the fact that she had brought this upon herself.

Oh well, he had time, and Maka probably won't be waking up anytime soon either, so why not?

Maka had a dreamless sleep, but when she woke up, she was still more than a little tired; although, she did feel exceptionally less like one of the walking dead. When she tried to get up, she felt a weight on her chest and hesitated. She looked down, and when she saw a large witch's hat sitting on top of her blanket, she breathed a sigh of relief. It was Blair.

Blair, who she now saw as a weird older sister. Blair, who she now saw as part of their (hers and Soul's) sightly dysfunctional 'family'. Blair, who she had came to trust.

Suddenly feeling the urge to pee, Maka gently scooped the snoozing feline into her arms before setting her down at the foot of her bed, and stumbled unsteadily into the bathroom. After relieving herself, she splashed cold water onto her face, jolting her out of her sleepy haze as the ice cold liquid cleansed her face.

Wiping her face dry with a hand towel, Maka suddenly noticed something she hadn't noticed moments ago - Soul wasn't home. Where was he? Maka checked the time - 1 o'clock in the afternoon - and settled down on the couch. Maybe he went out to get lunch? It was his turn to cook today, after all (although most of the time he just got either take-out, pizza, or some other kind of fast food).

Just as Maka was about to doze off again, her eyelids weighing heavier and heavier with each passing minute, her stomach growled. Suddenly realizing she hadn't eaten anything for the day (she only picked at her breakfast, not having the appetite at the time), she groaned before getting up to find something edible. She checked the cupboards first - she vaguely remembered seeing Soul placing an unopened box of cereals in there - and… there it was! She cheered and reached to grab it - only for it to be pushed deeper into the compartment.

She grumbled along with her empty stomach. For all the times for this to happen, it had to happen now? Maka went on her tip toes, reaching as far as she could, but alas! She could not reach the infernal box that contained her relief. Just as she was about to give up and grab a packet of instant noodles, another leather covered arm reached up and closed the cupboard doors. She whirled around and was met with a very familiar black leather jacket, plus the smell of fried chicken and fried rice.

She looked up and saw Soul's infamous smirk, with all of his razor sharp teeth in full view, and his scarlet eyes were filled with mirth. "Not tall enough, Maka?"

"Shut up! You're only a little taller than me anyways! And give me that fried rice - I'm hungry!" Maka jumped to grab at the plastic bag. She could've got it, if Soul hadn't been the ass he was and held it a little higher. "Soul!"

He taunted her still with that infuriating smirk of his, holding the bag over her like a driver holding a carrot over a donkey. "Soul…" Maka drawled out in a warning tone, yet the corners of her lips twitched upwards into an amused smile. Her fingers itched to grab at the book she left at the kitchen counter a few days ago.

Fortunately, the man valued his brain more than he did entertainment. As soon as Soul had sensed her killer intent and spotted the thick novel just a few feet away, he sighed loudly and handed her the bags (albeit a little reluctantly) as he walked past her to get to the living room. Maka, receiving the bags, immediately plopped down on the dining table to dig in.

Soul fell facedown onto the couch, paying no mind to its complaining creaks and groans. "Went to see Kidd and the others today."

His voice was muffled and soft, but Maka's sharp ears still caught it. Swallowing the spoonful of rice she had been savoring, she hummed and set her box down, turning to look at the tired form of her partner. "What happened? "

"Nothing, really. They told me that they were really worried about us because they haven't seen us lately, and because we've been going on missions non-stop. Black Star was just being annoying and 'demanded' us to pay attention to him."

"Oh," Guilt started to cloud Maka's mind - how long has it been since she'd last talked to Tsubaki? Oh lord, she must be really worried. Black Star, too, no matter how annoying he was. And Liz and Patty and Kidd and…

"Maka, it's cool. They understand," Soul's muffled voice interrupted her guilty train of thought, snapping her out of her reverie.

"But-"

"Your food's getting cold."

"…" Maka looked down at her rice, and suddenly, her appetite disappeared.

Soul sighed. Maybe he shouldn't have told her before she finished her meal. Now he had to convince his stubborn donkey of a meister to finish her lunch (he went out of his way to get it for her, too!) before she gets into one of her gastric pain episodes.

Soul was really tempted to just sleep and forget about all of this for a while, but he knew that if he left it at that, it won't end pretty. He groaned slightly along with the couch as he sluggishly got up and walked to the table, taking the seat right beside Maka.

Looking at Maka's glum expression, Soul muttered a soft "uncool" and ruffled her hair, eliciting an indignant "Hey!" from his partner. She narrowed her eyes at Soul, who looked at her woth an exasperated expression on his face. Really, what was his problem?

"They said that they're fine, okay? And I told them that we'll tell them about your contract after this month. So don't sweat it," He looked at Maka right in the eye as he told her, his tone serious and his eyes truthful.

"… okay," They stayed like this for a while before Maka relented, and continued to eat her fried rice. Soul sighed in relief, which made Maka punch his shoulder lightly as a silent "thank you".

They had arrived at their destination a few hours before and Maka had suggested that they stay in the hotel room before they went out to hunt for their target. Soul had agreed heartily - he hasn't had a good night's sleep for a while, and he was looking forward to catching up on his sleep. Besides, they didn't expect to reach their quota with three days to spare - all thanks to the more advanced missions reserved only for two-star or three-star meisters. Might as well be well rested before the mission.

They decided to go hunting at sundown. That way, there would be less passersby and they wouldn't have to worry about any other casualties or hostages, just in case this pre-kishin was smart enough.

It had only taken them a few moments to find the pre-kishin. They were hinted by the scream that came from an alley a little ways off even before Maka used her soul perception to single it out. They rushed to the alley where they heard the scream as quickly as they could with the guidance of Maka's soul perception, and had reached their destination in a few moments, with Blair hanging back and following from the rooftops.

"Soul!" Maka reached out her hand, and a bright flash later, Soul's scythe form was in her hands. She twirled him around a little, eyes focused on her prey. The pre-kishin they were hunting this time looked like a clown, only much bloodier and a thousand times more dangerous. The pre-kishin, alerted by the flash of light, turned and made some sort of screech before dashing at her, his big hands aiming to crush her skull. The traumatized child was left alone and once Maka's shout of "Run!" registered in his mind, he scrambled to stand and ran off, tears flowing down his cheeks as he called repeatedly for his mother.

Maka easily dodged the sloppy attack with a leap, and landed on a roof, just beside her magical cat companion. "Blair!"

"Pum, Pum, Pumpkin!" Blair chanted, and instantly, Maka was enveloped in a radiant light, blinding the kishin and effectively stopping its upcoming attack. It growled as it shielded its eyes with its rotting limbs, eerie orange eyes flashing through its eyelids.

A few moments later, the light faded, leaving only Maka and her new 'uniform'. Taking advantage of the now blinded pre-kishin, she charged forward and brought her scythe down, intent on slicing the pre-kishin in half. Unfortunately, the pre-kishin had jumped away at the last second, which ended up with Soul's blade halfway embedded into the cement.

Maka cursed loudly and tried to pull Soul out. As she pulled with all her might, she failed to sense the pre-kishin's presence beside her. Soul tried to warn her of the upcoming swipe, but it was already too late.

Maka flew and crashed into a brick wall a few feet away. She coughed a few times and shook her head vigorously, trying to ignore the pain exploding everywhere in her body - damn, she was going to have to lay off the missions for weeks after this.

She released herself from her imprint on the wall and charged at her opponent with her improved speed, courtesy of the new outfit, as she tried to push her pain to the back of her mind. Her white heels clacked loudly against the pavement, alerting the pre-kishin of her attack. The pre-kishin grunted and readied his huge fists again, it mimicked her - charging towards her with inhuman speed.

Maka feinted, and the pre-kishin was tripped up by a leg sweep. As soon as she confirmed that the pre-kishin was now felled and rolling on his round belly, she sprinted towards her scythe, which was shouting profanities like a sailor as it sort of wriggled to try to free itself.

Maka took hold of Soul's shaft and pulled like her life depended on it. As soon as she felt the scythe move, she let out a battle cry and, with Soul sensing her intention, both yelled without a care in the world.

"Soul resonance!"

A sudden surge of power welled up inside Maka, and she was certain that this time, she would be able to release Soul's blade from the concrete pavement. Too bad the pre-kishin was done rolling around and was already rushing in with an attack. Soul's incessant shouting at her to hurry up was starting to irritate her, too.

She yelled once more as her hold on Soul tightened, and she pulled as she summoned Witch Hunter. Soul's blade morphed into a rainbow-coloured cresent moon, the sounds of shattering glass accompanying the change.

Finally, the concrete gave way. With a battle cry, she dashed at the pre-kishin, the Witch Hunter held high. Once she was near enough, Maka leapt towards the horror film reject, holding her scythe above her as she slashed downwards, hitting her mark as the Witch Hunter cut through the pre-kishin's body like how a butterknife cuts through butter.

The pre-kishin roared one last time and disintegrated, leaving its red, pulsing, corrupted soul behind. Both of them ended the soul resonance, and Soul's blade morphed back into his unique, beautiful, black and red zigzag patterned one. A flash of blue light later, and Soul was already popping their latest prize down the hatch, a bit of saliva dripping from the corner of his mouth.

After swallowing the red orb, he hurriedly went to support his meister -who looked as though she was going to fall over- and proceeded to sling her arm over his shoulders as he secured his hand at her waist, careful not to press into her bruised flesh while not making sudden movements so as to prevent her wounds from opening. As both of them slowly limped to Soul's Harvey, they didn't notice the smug and victorious grin their cat sported.

Limping to the orange monstrosity, Maka fingered her ridiculously short, red pleated "skirt" (it was more like a decoration, really). Listening to the inconsistent clacking of her now bloodstained heels, she glanced at Soul, who seemed as though he was deliberately not looking at her - he looked at the motorcycle with an intensity that puzzled Maka. She then focused on the Harvey too, wondering what was so interesting.

The task of getting Maka on the motorcycle hadn't been an easy one. She had cuts and bruises on most of her body, and there was a chance of her having some bruised ribs as well. It was tricky, but they ended up with Maka braving the pain with gritted teeth as she held onto Soul on the way home, with Soul driving as fast as he could without exceeding the speed limit.

As they stumbled into the apartment, they paused. How could the lights in the bathroom be on? Maka always clocked him in the head if he left the lights on when they went out, and she herself always makes sure that everything was turned off before thet head out. There were electricity bills to pay, she always said.

Instantly, both were tense and on guard. Could someone have been stupid enough to break into a weapon-meister pair's apartment? Highly impossible, considering that most of the people in Death City know how dangerous confronting a weapon-meister pair was. Letting go of Soul's shoulder, she flashed Soul a look, and both nodded silently. Creeping to the light switch, Maka quickly flicked it and as the lamp flickered to life, Soul was already in front of the bathroom door, hand poised to turn the door knob to reveal the intruder.

With another shared glance, Soul nodded and his hold on the door knob tightened. He got ready to force his way into the bathroom and shouted, "Who are you? Show yourself!"

Nothing happened.

Soul was just about to turn the door knob and open the door when a woman burst out of their bathroom, as naked as the day she was born. "Nyaa, welcome home, kittens!"

Soul, despite the 'cool' guy facade he tried to put up, was blown back by a massive nosebleed and fell to the ground, blood dripping down his face and onto the clean carpet.

Maka's eyebrow twitched. How can a person like Soul be knocked out once exposed to a pair of boobs? Sure, he had always complained and teased her about her abysmal chest, but she had never took him to be such a… such a pervert! She huffed, miffed that her partner would be simple enough to be beaten by a woman's body.

She turned her head to get a better look of the intruder, and the purple hair and golden eyes certainly looked very familiar. Both were of the same shade as their cat's, which was coincidentally missing at the moment. Curious, Maka closed her eyes and breathed deeply, using her soul perception.

When she felt the familiar, feral soul wavelength, her eyes snapped open and she stared at the woman, with her olive green eyes as wide as saucers and her mouth hanging slightly open.

"W-Who are you?" She stuttered slightly, shocked by what she had seen.

"Aww, kitten, you've forgotten me already?" A puff of smoke appeared out of nowhere, and a purple feline gracefully emerged, minus its usual witch's hat and collar.

Maka was stupefied. Her cat… was actually a human? That wasn't possible - Blair's soul was still a cat's, not a human's. And yet, why was there a human with purple hair, amber eyes and a to-die-for body standing stark naked in her living room a few moments ago?

"Thank you so much, Maka. Thanks to you, Blair has now broken this curse placed on Blair."

"What are you… talking about? Curse?"

"That's right, kitten. Blair was once a human, decades ago. But when a witch's lover fell in love with Blair, she put a curse on Blair, turning Blair into a cat for eternity," she paused for a moment before continuing, "Blair asked around for years, and Blair found out that only souls have enough power to break the witch's curse. Blair couldn't hunt for pre-kishin souls alone, even with Blair's magic spells, so Blair had to look for people who could. So far, you two are the only ones who could help Blair."

After Blair's explanation, both fell silent. Blair didn't know what else to say while Maka was still proccessing all the information in her mind.

"… so, will I ever get my memories back?" Maka had a feeling that she already knew the answer, but she chose to ask anyway.

"No. Blair does not know any magic spells strong enough to return someone's memories," The woman looked downwards and fidgeted in a nervous manner. Her amber eyes darted from the floor to Maka, and when she saw the other woman's blank face, Blair's eyebrows furrowed and she licked her plump lips. She opened her mouth, wanting to explain herself. "Maka-"

"So you lied to me? You used us, didn't you?"

Blair paused for a second before answering hesitantly, "Yes, but-"

"Get out," Maka interrupted coldly and pointed at the door, not once looking up to see Blair's heartbroken face.

Startled by the coldness of her tone, Blair froze. When she saw the slight tremble in Maka's frame, she left without another word, tail tucked between her legs.

Once Blair was gone, Maka slumped over and looked tiredly at the door, which was left slightly open due to Blair's rushed departure.

"Whu-?"

Maka's anger flared once more as she watched Soul get up groggily and wipe the drying flakes of blood off of his face. Thinking of how perverted Soul was, a memory of her father flirting with numerous faceless, well endowed women flashed through her mind. Her blood boiled and she clenched her fists hard enough for her blunt nails to draw blood. Her eyes narrowed menacingly and she reached for her copy of "Pride and Prejudice" -that was conveniently on the coffee table- and slammed it down onto Soul's snowy white head. "Maka Chop!"

"Ow! Hey! Not cool!" Soul's hands flew up to sooth his aching head, rubbing the sore spot as he whined, "What did'ja do that for!"

"Stupid pervert! Die!" And she chopped him again, harder than before, making Soul see stars.

"Ow, Fuck! Would you quit it!" He snarled angrily and covered his head with his hands protectively, as he glared at Maka. Whem he saw Maka's hold on her book relax, he stopped his glaring and relaxed his tensed shoulders a little.

Soul got off the floor and went to sit at the couch, taking his place right beside Maka. He stayed silent for a while before asking, "So… did you get your memory back?"

Maka shook her head sadly, and sighed. Maybe she shouldn't have put so much faith in a stranger. "Oh, and the woman just now was Blair."

"Blair? But didn't you say that she had the soul of a cat?"

"I did, but apparently she was a human once, and was turned into a cat by a witch in her time. So she didn't have any spells that could return a person's memories." Her answers were short and clipped, and she refused eye contact with Soul, much prefering the cover of her book, which now sat on her lap.

"So it lied to us?" She nodded, and Soul's fists clenched as anger boiled his blood. "It used us, didn't it," She nodded once more, her expression unreadable.

"I knew that dumb cat was hiding something! When I get my hands on it, I'll-!"

Soul's angry voice was drowned out by the feeling of numbness that took hold of her mind. To think, she had actually came to trust Blair, to genuinely like her. And although Soul won't admit it, Maka knew that Soul had come to like the talking feline, too. Maka closed her eyes and took to leaning on her weapon's shoulder. She sighed loudly.

"Hey Soul? I'm tired."

He yawned loudly and nodded before replying, "Yeah, I'm tired, too. You want to shower first or should I?"

Today, both had returned to the DWMA to turn in their latest mission, since they had been too worn out to turn it in two days earlier.

It was a weekend, and there were only a few people at the DWMA. They didn't know whether it was pure coincidence or fate, but when they reached the mission counter, they bumped right into Black Star and Tsubaki.

"Yo! Soul, my man! And Maka! You haven't payed your respects to the great me for a long time!" Black Star's booming voice grated on Maka's nerves, nevertheless, she was glad to see them again.

"Good afternoon, Soul, Maka," Tsubaki greeted politely with a gentle and kind smile on her face.

"Hey guys, I'm really sorry for making you guys worry. I'll tell you guys everything later, okay?" Maka bowed in apology and turned to leave, with Soul following close.

They went to the Death Room. Before entering, they knocked and waited until they heard Kidd's permission to enter.

"Hey, Kidd."

"Ah, Soul, Maka. How is everything?"

"We're fine, and we're really sorry for making you guys worry."

Kidd shook his head, "No, it's fine. Soul had told us that you two will be quite busy for the month, but he has not elaborated on why."

Maka looked at Soul for reassurance, and her eyea hardened. If she the guts to break the rules, then she would have the guts to admit it. And admit it, she did.

Once Maka was done with her confession, both of them waited for their judgement uneasily. They knew that they probably won't be able to get out of this easy, and judging from Kidd's sudden change in mood, they were right.

"You two know what you did was forbidden, right?" Kidd asked in a solemn tone, his hands crossed at his chest as his critical golden eyes bore holes through them.

Maka nodded, not trusting her voice at the moment. As Kidd continued to reprimand them about their irresponsible behaviour, she sneaked a peek at Soul - he had already put on his eternally bored face, but she could feel that he was just as nervous as she was. She looked down sullenly at the floor, guilty . She was the one that got them into this mess - Soul was innocent. He only helped her when she asked him to. Just as she was about to open her mouth to protest for Soul, his hand nudged her lightly, and her eyes were met with his understanding one's. He shook his head lightly and his lips quirked up into a tiny, reassuring smile.

"I'm afraid that I'll have to suspend you two for a month, maybe even longer. And you two will have to take part in extra classes for that period of time."

When Soul and Maka heard this, instead of feeling dread, both of them felt relief. They had not expected to be let off with such light punishment, but they weren't going to be ungrateful. They had been hoping for some time off after the whole fiasco and get some actual rest, so this was as close to a holiday as it can be.

When Kidd dismissed them with a flick of his wrist, both of them bowed silently and left without a word. They were ambushed by Black Star and the others when they exited the Death Room.

"So? What did you do?" Black Star demanded her to answer haughtily, crossing his arms over his chest.

Maka relayed what she said to the group, and got disapproving looks from most, while Black Star just patted her on the back, saying something about her finally 'growing up'.

The whole incident with Blair was already a thing of the past - to Maka, at least. Soul was still miffed that they had been conned and used by a cat (of all things!). Everything had went back to normal: their suspension was lifted - although they did get lots of scolding from the older deathscythes and meisters (mostly from Spirit and Sid) - and they were going on missions again.

It had been their day off, and both of them were relaxing as usual. Maka was lounging on the couch, rereading one of her all time favourites. Leaning against her, Soul had his headphones jamming some jazz as he napped. Everything was right in the world.

Until the knocking - more like slamming - started.

Maka nudged at Soul and elbowed him harshly, almost pushing him off the couch. When he didn't respond, she yanked his headphones off and ordered, "Soul, go get the door."

With his eyes still closed, he retorted rudely and reached blindly to snatch his headphones back, "Why don't you go get it?"

"I'm at a good part, you idiot. Come on, please?"

It took a while, but eventually, grumbling and groaning, Soul finally pushed himself off the couch and stumbled carelessly to open the door, if only to cease the stupidly loud knocking that interrupted his precious nap time. He was just about to yell at their visitor to leave when he spotted a mop of painfully familiar red hair.

It was Spirit, and with him, one of the few people Soul had never wanted to see ever again.

"What the hell, old man? And you," he looked pointedly at the scantily clad woman that stood beside him and sneered, "why are you here?"

"Stupid octopus head, let us in to see my precious baby angel!" He yelled as soon as he saw the mop of white hair that belonged to his daughter's weapon.

"Why should I? Maka sure as hell doesn't want to see you." He narrowed his blood red eyes, and prepared to slam the door at their faces when he felt anpther presence behind him.

"Papa? Blair? What are you two doing here?"

"Sweetheart! This heathen won't let papa in!"

Maka sighed and put a hand on Soul's shoulder, "Come on in, it's really hot outside."

"Wh- but Maka!" Spirit, hearing her darling daughter's invitation, immediately pushed past Soul, totally ignoring the glare shot at him.

"Sweetheart, you see, Papa found this poor little thing just now, and-"

"You mean you tried to pick her up," She snarked bitterly, sarcasm coating her words. She knew her father too well to actually fall for that trick.

Silence.

Maka watched both her father and Blair start to grow more and more uncomfortable as the silence dragged on, strangely amused by the sight. But a question nagged at her mind, and she turned to Blair to get some answers. "I have a question. What would have happened if we didn't get those fifty pre-kishin souls in time?"

Blair looked at her for a moment, hesitated, and admitted meekly, "Blair couldn't have done anything but erase your memories," Seeing Maka frown in disapproval, she hurriedly confessed sheepishly, "Blair only did it once before with another weapon-meister pair!"

"Wait, so you're the one who was responsible for that? Oh boy, Kidd won't like this..." Soul scoffed and commented.

The whole exchange was awkward and tensed, and even the house's original tenants were starting to"So, what exactly are you two here for?"

"Well, sweetheart, you know papa lives in a really small apartment, right?"

"Uh huh, so?"

Spirit started to fidget nervously and sweat profusely, drenching his dress shirt and causing a few strands of his vibrant red hair to stick to his damp forehead. "Um, papa doesn't have space for another person to room in but sweetheart, you and octopus head have an extra room, right?"

Mka quirked her eyebrow, still not quite getting it yet. "Why would that - oh!" Her eyes widened in understanding and her mouth opened into an 'o' shape. Soul, on the other hand, narrowed his eyes into slits.

Blair, seeing that her chances of getting into their good graces were close to zero, started apologising profusely, "Blair is really sorry, kittens. Blair really didn't mean to hurt you…"

"Please, sweetheart, at least hear her out?" Hearing Blair sniffle pathetically, Spirit pitched in to help her.

Maka was reluctant, but since they asked so nicely and they looked so desperate, what reason did she have to refuse?

She took in a deep breath to stop her sniffling before she started to speak, "Blair's parents left Blair ever since she was but a child - threw Blair into the streets, actually, because Blair had hair with the colour of Belladonna and eyes of molten gold. They said that Blair was a witch, and said that Blair was a disgrace to the family," Blair's voice gradually grew softer, and sympathy for the woman welled up in both Maka and Soul - especially Soul, since he too, had once went through the sad childhood of being isolated because of his albino traits and sharp teeth.

When Maka beckoned for Blair to continue, ignoring her father who was crying up a river (quite noisily, in fact). Blair swallowed and continued her story, "After that, no one else wanted to take Blair in, since they all thought that Blair was a witch and they would've been cursed if they did. To stay alive, Blair had to steal from the wealthy or sell her own body to earn money to buy food and clothes. Blair had lived like that for all her life, until that witch came along."

Both Maka and Soul stayed silent after hearing her story, so Blair started to plead her case,"Blair promises to make it up to you two! Blair really doesn't have anywhere else to go…"

"Well..." How could she say no? After knowing what Blair had went through, Maka couldn't bring herself to actually chase the cat away anymore. If she had a childhood like that, she'd definitely grow up with a tendency of not trusting people and a habit of lying. It's not like Blair could help it - she had lived her whole life having to use her wits to survive.

"Why not? Besides, I'm pretty sure that Kidd's going to want to see her anyways. He's been looking for the culprit that erased that NOT weapon-meister pair's memories, anyways," Soul commented off-handedly, guessing Maka's thoughts, and she nodded.

Hope brought light into Blair's eyes and she perked up, her face taking on a hopeful expression. Spirit, who had just hastily wiped away his tears, smiled proudly at the two.

"But first, we have some rules…"

-End-

A/N: Thank you for reading! :)