Soul Seeing Alchemist
Disclaimer: I don't own soul eater or full metal alchemist.
Chapter 02: Home Sweet Home
It had been only about a week living with Medusa and though Medusa was perfectly nice. Crona sweet nice but was so shy that sometimes Maka didn't even notice they were there.
Maka tried to be friendly and start a conversation but Crona was so shy and meek the most she got was, "I don't know how to deal with this."
Medusa would give her lessons from morning to noon. They started off going over the basics, Maka knew them already but didn't mind it after all it made sense to make sure she had everything down. Then followed a couple of assessments of what she could do.
Maka used some chalk to draw out the alchemical array, she kneeled beside it and slammed her hand down it. Energy crackled around as the stone floor began to bulge.
A bit of the stone floor wrapped and twisted and took on the form of a small stone cat.
Medusa examed the small statue, "Hm, it's not bad. It's smooth and almost carved. You did it so quickly too, usually, when it's done so quickly there are edges and block edges but it's smooth. You have remarkable control and focus."
"Thank you," Maka blushed a little at the kind words.
"Okay, that's going to be it for today."
"Oh. Really?" Maka said disappointed, "I mean, I don't mean to be disrespectful or anything but I thought I'd be learning more. It's mostly testing."
"I can understand your impatience, all I'm doing is assessing your skill. I don't want to have you double up on anything you have mastered already. That would be a waste of time, now that I have some idea of what you are capable of I'm starting planning a proper lesson for you. Just give me a little time to plan it out. For now, study your books and go over your basics."
Maka made her way back to her room but she heard something, a certain sound drifting through the hall. It was coming from Soul's room, it was music.
Maka couldn't say she had gotten particularly close with Soul, in fact, she'd barely talked to him. He was a bit of a loner and he stayed to himself in his room. Maka knew there was conflict in Ishvala there had been a war, the reasons were never known for certain. Both sides said different things but in the end, Ishvala was annexed as a vassal state. There were a lot of orphans and not enough homes, many luckier children finding some safety in foster homes in Amestris.
Maka didn't know how to approach him, she tried to be nice and everything but he'd been through some stuff and just didn't know how to act. If he was alone odds has he had no one back in Ishval.
She did often hear him playing music on a small radio. She didn't really understand music like some people didn't understand paintings she just had a hard time wrapping her mind around music. The most that she could figure was that it was violin music.
Maka peeked from the opening of the door to find Soul just sitting by the radio, Maka moved to get a better look and the floor creaked.
Maka gulped, "Ah, yes, ah, it's me. Sorry to interrupt."
"Maka?" Soul's gruff voice spoke her name.
Maka felt fluttered but couldn't go on run away, she pushed the door open and took a step in, "Hi!"
She blushed even worse when she realized she had spoken much louder than she had intended.
"Did you want something?"
"Ah, well, I guess I wanted to see how you're doing." Maka scratched her head nervously, "We really haven't had a chance to talk a lot."
Soul's red eyes blinked and just made it more awkward for Maka.
Maka tried to continue, "I mean, you moved a long away, I moved while still in the same country, maybe you were a little homesick."
Soul just reached over and turned off the radio.
"So, you like music?" Maka forged along.
Soul just silently looked at Maka.
"Ah, well, I mean, we have that in common. I mean, not about the music, about the moving and- and-"
Soul broke out laughing, "Yeah, I couldn't keep a straight face anymore. You are too easy to mess with."
"What? Were you just messing with me?!"
"Serves you right for spying on me."
"I wasn't spying!" Maka objected with a clenched fist. "I was just passing by and got curious about the music, your door was a little open."
"Yeah, I think the lock is busted or something. It doesn't want to close the whole way. Medusa said she'd call a repairman when she gets a chance. I think she's just being lazy since she told me that when I got here."
Maka didn't much like him saying anything bad about Medusa. "Hey, don't say that about her, especially after she's been so nice enough to give you a place to stay."
"Don't get me wrong," Soul assured her, "She's a cool lady, I'm grateful alright."
"But do you miss Ishval?"
"A little, I guess, that's where I was born and grew up but things were not great when I left."
Maka saw him glancing over to the radio, "Does music remind you of home?"
"No," He said saddened, "It reminds me of my brother?"
"His name was Wes."
"…Oh," Maka's voice got weaker, "I'm so sorry-"
"Don't be, its not your fault." Soul worked up a small smile, "He was a musician, we both were, I played the piano but I was nowhere as good as he was on the violin."
"I didn't know you played, you have to play for some time. I'd love to hear you play."
Soul looked away, "Yeah, maybe I just haven't been much in the mood to play."
"Yeah, I know it's not the same thing but I lost my father, I mean yeah it's not -it doesn't compare- I mean, we shouldn't compare"
"Yeah, sorry I'm a mess."
"No at least your trying, the guys they sent from Central that helped arrange this whole thing was just going through the motions, they said they were sorry but they were mostly machines trying to get through the work."
Maka smiled as she started to relax. She was having a real conversation and it something she missed. She and Tsubaki had often had long talks, and she didn't have that with Medusa always being busy and Crona being to shy.
Maka felt a connection between them, and they talked for hours really getting to know each other.
"Okay, I hope you don't mind," Soul asked her, "what got you into alchemy?"
"Oh, I don't mind talking about it." Maka smiled, "Actually it was my mom, she's an alchemist and very talented. I would see her do all sorts of things in her lab. She was so devoted and talented. It was strange sometimes it was like alchemy was like breathing to her, she could do it so easily but at the sometimes it seemed she needed to do it. She had such a drive for the work."
"So why isn't she teaching you?"
"Mom left a while back, she went on a journey. She sends me letters every once in a while but I haven't seen her in a long time."
"Oh! Sorry." Soul felt like he just tripped over a land mine.
"Why? I'm proud of mom, she's following her passion, not a lot of people have the drive or the courage to do something like that. I don't know all the details about it but I know it's important to her and it's something she needs to do. I can't wait for when she's done and I can show her everything I've learned."
Soul himself looking at her in a new light, she had goal something he didn't and he respected that.
"Uh, Soul," Crona's voice squeaked from the door, "I-" Crona looked at the room, finding Maka and Soul sitting together on his bed.
"Uh, Oh! Maka and Soul, ah, its time for dinner."
They had dinner together and it all seemed like it was the start of something.
For the next few days, Maka found herself reading her books and studying, Medusa was busy preparing for a big project. Maka kept telling herself that it wasn't to teach her, Medusa worked for the government as a state alchemist so she had deadlines and reports to do. Medusa did promise that she'd start her proper lessons soon.
Crona mostly spent their ways tending to everything around the house, Maka had offered to help but Crona insisted on doing it themselves, "Uh, mother has a certain way she likes things done. I just feel better doing them myself."
Soul often busied himself by listening to the radio and making notes in his book.
"What's with the notebook?" Maka one time asked him.
"Uh, well, I don't play music much anymore but I still hear it. Sometimes I wake up with the music written in my head and write it down. I don't know why I don't plan on playing it but I write it down. I don't know, I just feel like if I don't I'd disrespect my brother."
Maka looked over the notebook, it was filled with music notes and she didn't have a clue to read it, "Well, I'm sure he'd be happy to know you're still writing."
Maka smiled, it was something Soul had come to appreciate.
"You really have to play for me sometime."
"Fine, you know what? If you can find a piano for me to use I'll play for you something."
"It's a deal."
Maka spent most of the mornings training her body, practicing martial arts that her mother had taught her. Her mother telling her that training not only helped the body but also the soul, keeping in a keen mindset.
After her morning works out she planned on walking into the town to get a new book. As she walked she noticed a small cafe with a piano. She quickly rushed in to ask if she could have Soul play it. The shop owner agreed if they did so before the lunch rush.
Maka quickly rushed back to her new home.
Maka rushed through the front door where Medusa noticed her.
Medusa took a sip of her morning coffee, "Maka? Up early as usual? But was you worked up so early?"
"I have a surprise for Soul."
Medusa paused, "Oh. Maka, I'm sorry Soul is already gone."
"Gone? What do you mean?"
"I'm a little surprised he didn't tell you. He got a letter a couple of days ago, Central found some family of his."
"Family, but I thought he didn't have any family left."
"Well that was our thoughts but they found one, so they connected them and I dropped him off this morning at the train station. I saw him off, he will be arriving at is destination soon."
Maka was stunned, "But he never said anything, and we've been talking and-"
Medusa gave her a small smile and placed a hand on your shoulder looking her in the eyes, "Maka, Soul has been through a lot I wouldn't be surprised if he just didn't want to have to say another goodbye."
"I- I guess that makes sense."
"I will tell you what, I'll see if I can get an address so you can send him a letter."
Maka tried to be optimistic, "Okay that sounds good."
Medusa smiled, "Don't worry, I do have some good news. I'm preparing for the lessons. I have to focus on a secrets projects for the government. I don't think it should last much longer and after that, I'll give you proper lessons."
"That great," Maka said less excited than she should have been.
"Okay, go upstairs and get cleaned up. Soon breakfast will be ready."
Maka walked upstairs in silence and right into Soul's room. It was empty without everything he brought. Maka half expected to find the radio playing. She sat on the bed saddened by the loss of her new friend. She spotted something in the corner of her eye, it was Soul's journal that fell in between the desk and his bed. She picked it up and held it close. It seemed wrong for it to have been left behind.
Days passed and most of the time Maka spent reading, training, or studying. The lesson began like Medusa had promised, a lot of them were just testing to see what Maka could do but soon proper lessons started. They were slow at first as Medusa was also working on some sort of project for the government.
With Crona being so shy there wasn't much for Maka to do, it actually had gotten rather lonely. Maka even tried to write a letter to Tsubaki but didn't know what to write.
A night like any other Maka went down to bed. Maka wasn't a music expert or anything but at night when she was deep in sleep she sometimes heard the music. It was often said, she imagined Soul playing it for his brother and sometimes she wondered if it was for her too.
Then one night she woke up from her sleep, her dream that night was filled with music horrible trashing music. It was more like screaming than actual music.
Maka couldn't shake the dream, she walked downstairs. It was late and she didn't want to bother anyone so she didn't bother to turn on any lights. She went to the kitchen and served herself a glass of water.
She drank in silence her mind wandering as she did. As she readied herself to go back to bed she paused, she was certainly half asleep but she was hearing the music. She wasn't hearing with her ears but she was hearing it. Mindlessly she walked deeper into the house and stopped when she realized she was at the basement's door.
That was where Medusa had her lab, she had never had been allowed in there. She assumed Medusa didn't want her to mess with her experiments. But she kept hearing the music.
Half out of it she reached for the knob and opened the door. She walked down the steps as if a force was compelling her. She reached the bottom of the steps before she realizes it.
Her eyes blinked, there was light there, just a few candles laying around the desks and walls.
As her eyes adjusted her heart leaped, in the middle of the large room was a table and strapped to it was Soul.
"Soul?" Maka rushed to his side, and she was disgusted to see him in that state. He'd been cut open and experimented on. Bloody towels all around showed her this had been going on for a while.
Without hesitation, she undid that straps.
"Soul! Soul, please wake up."
His red eyes flickered open, "Maka?….You're here…. how did you…?"
"Music." Maka shook her head, "I was hearing music and then I was here-"
"Souls are a strange and powerful thing," A voice spoke, an eerily calm and familiar voice. "For alchemy and for life. Some suggest that sometimes bonds form through them. It would be interesting to see."
Medusa stepped out of the shadows holding a cup of coffee. "I go to take a small break and find this." The chipper smile that she usually wore was gone, instead, it was now a smile devoid of warmth. "I truly didn't want you to see this, Maka. I was truly impressed with so little training you demonstrated great skill and comprehension. I was hoping to-"
Maka shouted, "You did this!"
Medusa shrugged, "I suppose there is no point in hiding it. I do run experiments on people, sometimes refugees I take in and sometimes on foolish alchemist. But you did surprise me, you could have been amazing. But more experiment fodder will work too."
"Run." Soul gasped.
"Crona," Medusa called out and Crona walked out.
"I'm sorry," Crona lowered their head, "I must have forgotten to lock the door."
"Yes, I will punish you for that later. Right now we need to take care of Maka." Medusa smiled. "Try and keep her alive."
Maka raised her hands so she could defend herself, "Crona don't do this. I've been training every day for years, you can't beat me."
"I can't," Crona admitted, "But he can. Ragnarok."
Croan shook and a stream of blood shout of their back, "My blood is black."
The blood congealed and formed into some strange human-like figure.
"Hm, it's been a while since you let me out."
"What is that?" Maka stared dumbfounded.
"Time to get to work," Medusa told it
"Right," the strange dark figure's body changed and turned into a sword and moved right into Crona's hands.
"Let's slice up this little bunny." A pair of large lips formed on the sword.
Crona rushed sword in hand and slashed at Maka. Maka barely managed to duck and pushing forwards pushed Crona backward.
Crona tumbled the sword yelling, "Don't let her just push you back!"
Maka jumped at them, she hated hurting Crona but Soul needed medical help and she couldn't hold back. She slammed her fist right in their face.
"Ow!" Maka jumped back, her fist aching.
"Funny little thing." Medusa tittered, "Carbon, humans are made of it and so are diamonds. You alter the structure a little and well, Crona's blood is coal black for a reason."
Maka looked up just in time to see Crona slam their foot right in her face.
Later Maka was stunned and she opened her eyes to find herself tied up with rope and left in the corner. She saw Medusa drawing up a transmutation array around the table that held Soul.
"…stop." Maka tried to speak.
"Hm, I guess Crona didn't hit you hard enough. "Medusa spoke,
"Why?" Maka was trying to understand why such an upstanding Alchemist would do any of this.
"Experiments," Medusa told her frankly, "I've been working on turning people into weapons, imagine that being able to hide a weapon because you are one. The closest thing I have to a working prototype is Crona." She turned to where Ragnarok was tugging on Crona's hair. "And the dual mind sharing one body…. It's just a huge disappointment."
Maka was happy that she was talking, while Medusa talked she was distracted and Maka could loosen the rope that bound her. It was something she read in a book once, about tensing one's muscles until the rope loosened up a little so you slip out of them.
"You have no idea of how many attempts I've made, and how many failures. Most didn't survive long." Medusa smiled "I wonder if this one will be another failure." Medusa placed her hands on the array and it lit up as energy began to crackle off it.
Maka in a panic pulled her hand free and pull the ropes off, she was hoping to bid her time but time had run out. With every bit of her strength, she rushed forwards.
Soul was screaming in agony as sparks covered his frame. Maka rushed past the distracted Crona and Medusa.
"Soul!" Maka rushed towards him hoping to pull him away.
The moment Maka came into contact with Soul the sparks consumed her and the array was disrupted and energy exploded backward tossing Medusa and Crona back.
"What happened?" Medusa looked up as the energy faded away.
Maka was now standing before them holding a large scythe. Maka stared at the weapon, she sensed something in it, something familiar.
"Soul?" Maka asked of the blade.
"…Maka?" The blade spoke to her.
"Soul… you're…. you're a scythe…."
Medusa's mind raised, "what happened?" Had Maka somehow altered her array, had she added something. Was there something unique to her?
Medusa smiled, "Crona kill her."
Ragnorak turned back into a blade, Crona merely whimpering, "If you say so."
Crona rushed at Maka and slashed at her.
A loud clank filled the air as the scythe collided with the sword.
Maka's heart was beating a mile a minute, pure instinct driving her she pushed Crona back and kicked Crona right in the chest. It hurt Maka's foot but she didn't need to hurt Crona, she just needed to throw Crona's balance.
Crona tumbled backward,
Souls voice ran in Maka's ear, "Keep swinging me!"
Maka followed through and swung the scythe in an arc slashing Crona at the side.
Crona raised an arm blocking the blow but causing their already weak balance to shift again.
Maka twirled the blade getting momentum before striking their head.
Though physically not hurt Crona shot back and hit the floor.
Medusa tore off her coat revealing alchemical symbols tattoed all around her body in a snake-like chain.
"You've gotten too troublesome. I can come back for the body later. I don't need either of you alive." Energy crackling off her hand she struck the walls and the building began to shake as lightning crackled.
"Crona let's go, make sure that she can't follow."
Crona got up and slashed at the ceiling and it began to crack open ceiling the only exit.
Maka began to panic, "Maka!" Soul's voice shook her from her fear.
Maka then spotted the answer to their survival.
Outside Medusa watched as her home collapsed onto itself. She tugged on a coat she managed to take before her home collapsed.
Medusa turned away, "We have to go, we will need to make a report on this."
Crona followed along only pausing to turn back to the remains of the house.
Inside the basement Maka was safe, she grabbed the chalk Medusa had been using and made an array. It was pretty simple alchemy but it worked and she created pillars to support the collapsing ceiling.
It wasn't much but it should hold while the house settled, after that she could use just create a path upstairs and escape.
She held Soul, it was strange to hold him now as a scythe but she could sense him through touch, it was really him.
"Soul, I'm right here." Maka smiled, she tried to sound reassuring but she didn't know the first time about this.
Soul's image appeared on the blade, barely lit by their last remaining candle.
"….Maka…. I feel so cold…."
"Soul?" Maka felt it, the weapon had felt warm since the first second she touched it but not it was starting to feel cold like steel. "Soul? Soul!"
Whatever she had felt was now fading away.
Her body was shaking, she would not let Soul die. But wasn't this what Medusa said would happen, none surviving long enough. Maka refused to accept it, she looked around finding notes that Medusa made. She read them as quickly as she could.
"Hold on Soul, maybe if I invert the symbols." She drew a few marks on the array, "Maybe, I reverse, it just happened, Just hold on!" She placed Soul right on the array.
Maka closed her eyes as she slammed her hands down the array.
The array lit up and Maka charged it with everything she had. She screamed as her body felt as it was on fire.
Maka found herself in an endless white world with a black door to her back. Standing before her was a tall figure in a black cloak and a skull-like a mask.
Its voice was like steel scratching against the stone, "Hello."
Maka spoke without thinking, "Are you death?"
"Yes, I am known as many things, Death, God, Truth, the Universe. And Even You."
The door opened up and hundreds on hundreds of hands reached out of it and grabbed pulling her in. Maka tried to struggle but could not. She saw it, she saw everything, everything that could ever be known and she screamed. She screamed as all of it was shoved into her mind and it more than she could ever take. Then she saw him, She saw Soul and through her tears, she reaches for him. "Soul!"
Their hand locked together and Maka was desperate to never let him go.
Death voice rang to her, "The toll must be paid."
Maka screamed as she felt her body being ripped apart.
It was a rainy morning a storm rushed in overnight and the small town that Tsubaki had lived in was soaked. She looked on and hoped that it wasn't raining where Maka was. She'd train even if it was raining and if she wanted to impress her teacher she'd overdo it to prove herself.
Tsubaki sat at the table reading, Sid and Nygus were making a stew for them to share during breakfast.
As she relaxed there was a knock on the door. She put a bookmark in her book and went to answer it.
"Hello-" The words got stuck in her throat. "Maka?"
Maka was standing there, "Tsubaki?"
She collapsed on the floor.
Tsubaki reached for her, her clothes were soaked through and she looked so pale. Her hair a mess and eyes bloodshot.
It got worse, she was limping and as Tsubaki checked, she was missing a leg, now replaced by a quickly made prosthetic. and her left arm was missing and hurried bandaged up.
Maka had been holding something, now Tsubaki assumed it had been a walking stick to help but it was covered by a black coat but it fell off when she hit the ground.
Tsubaki was shocked to see her holding such a weapon. She tried to pull it away but Maka refused to let it go.
"SID! NYGUS! MAKA'S HURT HURRY!"
Tsubaki was crying to see her friend in such a state.
The very next day Maka opened her eyes. She gasped for breath, her head aching. Her mind racing as she tried to recall what had happened.
After her attempt to save Soul, her bandaging herself up quickly and climbing out of a hole, scavenging what she could from the collapsed home. Taking the first train in the morning to go back Resembool and using the last of her strength to go home.
She looked over and cried, she felt like she still had them but now awake she could see it, her arm and her leg were gone.
Her eyes went wide as she found her arm that remained was still gripping the scythe never letting it go even as they treated her.
"Soul? Soul? Is that really you?"
"Yeah." His voice was tired. "Are you okay? I've been watching over you but there isn't much I can do like this." He went quiet, "I can't even begin to understand what happened but you gave up your arm and your leg to keep me here."
"Your still a scythe?"
"Yeah, I've tried changing but nothing, but I'm still here that's something."
Maka saw his reflection in the blade and touched, she could feel him in there, still there and strong. "Soul, I promise you I don't care how long it takes or what I have to do but I will find a way to get your body back."
For the first time in so long he felt her grip weaken, she looked at him with teary eyes. "Don't worry about that right now. You're exhausted, go back to sleep we've got time."
Maka wanted to argue it but she felt her strength leave her. She fell into the warm bed and pull the scythe to her chest.
"Don't worry I'll be here when you wake up." Soul smiled at her, soon she was asleep.
Soul couldn't touch anything, he couldn't feel anything outside of Maka, he wasn't hungry and as he realized he didn't need to sleep.
This new existence scared him, more than it could ever put into words. Though he'd do everything he could for Maka, he'd be sure to protect her. He was a weapon, he could do that.
He could feel her heartbeat, it was strong and had a good beat and so Soul hummed a song to it, a nice soft tune to help Maka sleep.
She'd need her rest because they were just getting started and they would have a lot to do.
Author's Notes: Hi, so this is my third and final entry for reverb. I'm sorry it doesn't feel polished. I had a partner, the artist who came up with this idea, but not sure what happened to me and the people running the event couldn't contact them. I was hoping to bounce off ideas off them and really fix this up so... I didn't really have some to work off of. I hope you guys liked this little crossover and let me know if I should do another one.