Chapter 10

Soul put Maka to bed with two pain killers, hands wrapped in more bandages than Nygas and a kiss on the forehead ohmygod what is going on?!

Needless to say, neither one slept that well, although Maka did drop off into a deep, emotionally exhausted dreamland in the early morning hours, leaving Soul to pace the living room and check up on her every 15 minutes, wracking his brain to put together the ultimate forgiveness plan.

And that plan started with breakfast.

The ball was in his court, and Soul Evans was winding up to score the winning goal.

Maka woke up late, morning sunlight streaming through a crack in her blinds, playing along the duvet on her chest and keeping her deliciously cozy. Rubbing her eye's gently with the giant mittens she currently called her hands, Maka was delightfully surprised by the warm smell of brewing coffee and sweet cinnamon wafting through her slightly open door.

Stepping into a pair of slippers, Maka cautiously followed the smell out into the kitchen where the heart stopping sight of Soul in a pair of low-slung sweatpants, loose tank top and her frilliest, most floral monstrosity of an apron. His hair was carelessly tousled, giving him the effortless untroubled air that was Soul's signature look and made him famous amongst the girls, and some guys, in Death City.

Maka felt her mouth go dry and her words stick to the back of her throat. Who gave him permission to be so…handsome? Hot?


Ooooh that thought needed to be burned ASAP.

A hot flush washed over Maka, making her cheeks glow atomic red and rendered her immobile, only able to watch as Soul stirred something on the stove, humming perfectly in tune to a song only he could hear. It was a rare treat to hear Soul play the piano, let alone sing. It was like catching a unicorn running across the moon. But oh, she could listen to him for hours, his voice rough and dangerous, weaving a sound of seduction and sin, whether he knew it or not.

Soul turned around, spatula in hand, a wide grin spread across his face seeing his Miester standing in the doorway, back lit with late morning light and looking fresh from a mostly good nights rest.

"Morning Maka," Soul said easily, his eyes twinkling in a telltale sign that he was up to something. "How are you feeling?"

Maka swallowed, focusing on her hands and not her thrumming heart. Wiggling them experimentally under her bandages, she winced finding them tender and still very painful.

"Okay, fine. Good, their good." Maka placed her hands behind her back, peering into the kitchen on her tiptoes trying to see what was cooking on the stove.

Soul frowned, setting the spatula down on the counter and stalking towards his Miester, eyes half lidded and dark, broaching no room for lies.

Even though she kept steady eye contact, Maka found her self backed up against the wall, Soul towering over her with one arm braced above her head so he could lower him self down bringing them eye to eye.

"Our partnership is based on trust Maka," Soul rumbled, his forehead just barely brushing hers. "This won't work if we can't be honest with each other. Be open and willing to share and understand." Maka's face was flushed and her pupils dilated wide, her mouth completely dry as all she would be able to do would be squeak.

Using his free hand, Soul pulled Maka's right hand from behind her back and carefully began to unravel the strips of sterile cloth until her hand, still red and blistery but no worse than they were from the day before, as expected.

"Liar," Soul said around a sympathetic smile, turning to shut the stove off and then grasping her wrist lightly pulling her down the hall and into the bathroom. "These are defiantly painful."

Maka rolled her eyes, allowing Soul to lift her up onto the bathroom counter while he set about unwrapping her other hand and pulling out the first aid kit.

"Its not painful if I don't think about it." Maka countered. ""A good Miester compartmentalizes pain and does not let it rule his or her mind, body or soul."" Of course, she would be quoting the Miester's handbook at a time like this. Soul shook his head, unable to understand where she stored such useless information and yet that's what made Maka so amazing and unique, unlike anyone else.

What made her such a perfect fit for his academically lacking brain.

"And you've learned how to just shut off your pain receptors permanently?" Maka scowled at him, holding out her hand with out even being asked for Soul to start dabbing on burn cream.

"Of course not, don't be silly Soul. But I just try not to think about it, distract my self. And there is no sense in whining and complaining about it. It'll only make me feel bad and you feel worse and its terribly unproductive." Maka was rambling and Soul was happy to listen patiently as he tended to her hands, nodding here and there and giving the appropriate hum and grunt when required. It felt like before. Before the Witch and the girls and the suffering chasm gaping between their relationship.

And it was so much easier to fall into than expected.

"-in fact, Dr. Johannas Strife from Amsterdam says-"

"You can tell me over breakfast." Soul said, wrapping his hands around her tiny waist and needlessly lowering her the 3 feet from the counter to the floor, letting his long fingers rest a moment to long on the strip of exposed skin from where her shirt rode up from the waist band of her pajama pants. How it was possible for someone to be so smooth and perfect, he would never understand.

"Come on," Soul rumbled, removing his hands from her waist, not noticing the little shudder that ran through her when he did. "I'll go warm up breakfast."

Soul had managed to find good coffee, not great-amazing-rare rainforest coffee, but he warmed up the milk and poured each up perfectly into their matching mugs, setting it down beside an amazing spread of crispy bacon and warm cinnamon pancakes slathered in butter and real maple syrup.

Soul watched carefully as Maka tried to maneuver a fork and knife with varying levels of success. Eventually, he did suggest that she let him feed her, just like back when she had been paralyzed by Arachne but Maka waved him off good naturedly, insisting that her independence was more important.

"Besides," she said off handedly, concentrating on spearing a piece of pancake. "You'll just get food all over my face." A sticky piece of bacon slapped her right in the middle of the forehead, making Maka freeze then slowly look up at an angelic Soul, innocently sipping his coffee. The silence stretched as Maka glared daggers and the bacon slid down her forehead, over the bridge of her nose and into a goopy, greasy pile in front of her plate.

"Sooooooul" Maka growled, giving him just enough warning before she launched her self over the kitchen table, sending them both tumbling onto the linoleum. Wrestling turned into play fighting which turned into tickling and finally they were just a heap of arms and legs and giggling, heaving chests.

"You got syrup in my hair," Maka wheezed, thumping her head down against Soul's broad chest, listening to the steady thrum of his heart. He was so solid. So there and real and steady. She finally felt like the final puzzle piece of her life was clicking into place. Everything felt as it should be even though not so long ago Maka was resigning her self to a life devoid of Soul and the intrinsic, consuming happiness he brought her.

"You got pancake all over me," Soul fired back, licking the pad of his thumb and rubbing the tacky syrup on Maka's forehead.

"Gross Soul! Cut it out!" Maka tried to shove at him with her forearms only making Soul laugh and draw her in closer to him, pinning her arms between them as he scrubbed at her forehead.

"All clean!" Soul proclaimed, beaming down at Maka's red forehead and her face desperately trying to look angry when a giant grin was trying to break free. Soul finally found what he had been missing for so long. Or maybe less found and more accepted as Maka had always been there, never left, never wavered in her friendship and devotion.

Without a second thought, Soul reached down, planting a tender kiss on the top of Maka's head, letting his lips linger as he breathed in the scent of sweet pea shampoo and maple syrup and something else that he never could quiet place his finger on but was so integrally Maka that it made his soul feel like it was coming home every time he smelt it.

"Come on," He said after a long moment, pulling away ever so slightly. "Lets get cleaned up. I've got a big day planed for us."