A/N: Yay! Christmas Update! (Not that it's Christmas themed).
Thank you everyone who's read, followed, commented, or favorited my fic so far, it means a lot. I also apologize that it's been so long since I last updated. School and the end of the year got absolutely nuts-o. ANYWAY... I hope you enjoy!
As always, I don't own Soul Eater or any of the characters etc.
Tsubaki nervously glanced across the floor in time to see her meister's scheming grin. When he gave her an *ever-so-subtle thumbs up, she felt her heart sink and she looked worriedly at the frustrated girl in front of her. Maka was angrily putting selections on her plate from the smorgasbord laid out for the party. Tsubaki felt bad for the blond girl, and guilty for what she was going to do, but Black*Star was right; enough was enough. She was tired of watching her friends obliviously tiptoe around each other. And when things like this happened-when they ended up hurting each other because they didn't know how to do anything other than keep the status quo-it was downright unbearable.
The usually serene weapon knew, or had a pretty great guess, as to why Maka was fighting back hurt and the shimmer of tears using anger. Even if she wasn't fully aware of it herself. She, Tsubaki, Liz and Patti had spent the better portion of their limited free time over the past month getting ready for this event. And who could blame them? They were, most of them, 17 almost 18 now (older still if you considered on occasion how battle had aged them), and it had been a long time since they'd cut loose. Not to mention it would be nice to have male attention different from the companionship of their partners. At the very least, the girls wanted to shake up their partners a little; maybe cause a heartbeat skip or two. No one wanted this more than Maka, although she'd never admit it, even to herself.
They'd all changed so much and so little in the past two years. Living it, they didn't often notice, but some things were obvious to those who rarely saw them. The biggest change was that Black*Star now matched Tsubaki in height. Incidentally, Soul had managed to top him by almost an inch-a fact that frustrated Black*Star to no end-but was definitely the lankier of the pair. Watching the two together was like observing a lion and cheetah. Both had a grace about them, and a feral edge, although the latter was less apparent now than when they were fighting. Maka, too, had changed, no longer a shapeless sprout-although her partener still often teased her as if she were. Tsubaki thought her rather beautiful, with her more willowy form. Honestly, the taller girl's more hefty cures were often a pain in the ass and she sometimes envied her friend.
But even so, even if she never said anything, the dark-haired weapon knew Maka was getting tired of her partner's comments whenever the subject of the feminine form came up. As strong and confident as she was, there were just some things that tended to undermine a woman's self-image, especially over time. Empathizing with their friend, the other girls had decided the dance would be the perfect time to strike back and mix things up. Although they didn't have nearly as much trouble, they had their own reasons to get the boys in their lives to wake up. It was the principle of the thing! And thus the month long planning had begun. Over the weeks, Maka's growing excitement hadn't gone unnoticed, and the quartet had had a lot of fun planning every detail and roping each other into the quintessential girly anticipation and minute preparation.
"...and I don't even know why it's bothering me so much! It's not like I even care that he still thinks of me as a thirteen year old brat with a chip on her shoulder,"
Tsubaki broke from her reverie when her friend plunked a cookie down on her plate with particular emphasis to her grumbling.
"Stupid Soul! gephe...and I!...grrehnge." Maka trailed off into unintelligible grumbles.
"I'm sorry, Maka. I'm sure he didn't mean it," doing her best to sooth the girl while internally wishing she could knock that idiot albino a new one, she continued. "And it's no surprise you're hurt; after all, we've been preparing for this for a long time! And you look fantastic! A little complimenting from your friend shouldn't be too much to ask for." Maka nodded a bit sadly and looked back at the banquet table. "would you like me to get you some punch?" Tsubaki asked, hoping her voice remained completely consoling and didn't betray her nervousness.
"Yeah, that'd be okay. Thanks, Tsubaki. You're such a great friend. Unlike some people I know," she shot a venomous glance to the idiot in question.
"Oh, don't be silly, Maka!" The girl laughed somewhat affectedly. Back turned, the weapon walked the few paces to the punch bowl, filled a cup, and-with a last desperate glance at Black*Star, who gave her a grim nod of command-slipped the contents of the vial hidden in her sleeve into the fruity drink. "Here ya go!" whirling around, she handed over the glass, her voice a little too bright for the situation, but her gloomy friend didn't seem to notice.
"Thanks," Maka said again, chugging the contents before going back to the munchies, completely missing the wide-eyed look her friend was giving her. "Would you mind getting me a little more? Soul is such an idiot. I'm just going to eat and drink and enjoy myself and that jerk can just go shove it!" Steam was practically puffing out her nostrils in anger.
"S-sure!" and a refilled cup was produced, sans the extra contents this time.
A wide-eyed frightened frown was turned on her partner just in time to see the blue-haired teen surreptitiously slip the contents of his own hidden vial into Soul's half-drunk soda as his view was blocked by some flocking first years. Looking rather pleased with himself, Black*Star leaned back in his chair and crossed his legs, arms going behind his head after giving Tsubaki another confident smirk and thumbs-up. And now...we wait. Tsubaki could practically hear the thought run through her meister's mind.
She was still unsure of this plan, even more so now that they'd started but, well, it was too late to go back now. The drug they'd lifted from Stein's lab was supposedly mostly harmless. Theoretically it would just make them feel as if they'd drunk a lot more than they actually had, and maybe rev the attraction a little bit. Theoretically. Despite being a brilliant scientist, you couldn't always trust some of the experimental things Stein came up with. He liked dissecting a little too much.
Of course, the professor hadn't actually missed the fact that a pair of vials were missing. He'd even, sharp eyes hidden behind flashing round specs, observed the duo slipping the substance into their unsuspecting friends' drinks. Well this should be interesting. The doctor blew an imaginary puff of smoke from between his lips. He really hated the fact that he couldn't light his cigarettes any more, what with the little one around. But Marie packed one hell of a punch when she got mad, and he knew she had a point about the kid's health. Although a small part of him was mildly interested in doing a study of the effect his smoking had on her throughout her life.
Watching as both Maka and then Soul, downed their drinks, a smile-tinged-mad flickered momentarily across his face. He saw as much as the students did, sometimes more than the other professors, and was well aware of the match-making schemes of the pair's friends. He honestly thought their purely platonic relationship was a bit ridiculous himself, not that that was really an opinion for a teacher to have... Stein glanced at his watch. Things should start getting interesting in about half an hour, if his formula worked as expected. He was fascinated to see what might become of the pair in the coming days. They had the potential to have one of the greatest soul-resonances ever, a power to rival even Black*Star and Kidd, the pair she had been chasing since the battle on the Moon. It would be a new chapter for the soul-theory books. Or it would be an unmitigated disaster.
Maka stumbled into Tsubaki as she made her wobbly angry way back towards her partner. The drug was working much more quickly than expected. Soul seemed somewhat less affected, as made his way, with barely a trip, towards Maka after Black*Star pushed him out of his chair. He turned to verbally berate his obnoxious friend, clearly not wanting to move or go anywhere near his partner when something the dark haired weapon said caught his attention. Whirling around, Stein watched with no little amusement as the Death Scythe displayed visible over-protection and, removing Maka from Tsubaki, took her arm and draped it over his shoulder. The lanky white haired teen managed to successfully get his partner out of the dance hall and into a cab without causing much suspicion of intoxication and the scientist had to give a nod to the boy's discretion. Chuckling quietly, Stein blew another imaginary puff. "This should be very interesting indeed," he muttered under his breath.