"Snapshot" By RavenAK.
Apparently unconnected moments in time, about everything, about nothing, about them. Soul/Maka/Crona, because ever since their roads connected they are undividable.
Disclaimer: Soul Eater belongs to Ohkubo Atsushi, Square Enix and Shônen GanGan. Not me. No, sir. The song "Get Out Alive" belongs to Three Days Grace.
Warning: Spoilers for the manga. They might get heavier as the story progresses.
Eight: Get Out Alive.
If I stay it won't be long
Till I'm burning on the inside,
If I go I can only hope
That I'll make it to the other side…
She's not supposed to be here.
"Maka?" He glares at the Demon. "What kind of trick is this?"
"I don't know, I didn't invite her here!" He excuses himself, hands in the air.
"What do you think you're doing?" She asks, glaring at him.
"I should be asking you the same thing!" He responds, eyes wide open. He's got some nerve. "How the hell did you get here? How are we even resonating if you're unconscious?"
"I woke up". She says, still upset. "I woke up and as soon as I did our souls connected again".
"Wha-? But I lost you! I felt it, when you passed out our link broke!"
"But I reconnected!" She yells. She's so mad at him. "And the first thing I find is that you're using the Black Blood on your own! Haven't you learned anything?"
She starts walking up to him, her heels stepping over a few blood-rain drops, but she doesn't even care. She wants to punch him in the face, repeatedly. Have you taken a look at yourself?"
"Maka, I-" He tries to step back, but she's faster. In a second she's in front of him, pushing him back.
"You're bleeding! Crona's bleeding! The whole damn place is destroyed!" She punches him in the arm. "What in the world could lead you to think that using the Black Blood on your own was a good idea? Don't you remember what happened the last time?"
Because she does. The last time he went insane on them, Professor Stein had to fight him while he tried to recover his senses, he hurt Jackie, and he even pulled her hair. But more importantly, he scared her. She had thought that she had lost him forever, that he would never go back to normal; just why would he want to do that again?
"I do, but-" She punches his other arm. "Stop doing that! I couldn't do anything else!"
She slaps his arm instead. "Couldn't do anything else? What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means that I offered him an option and he took it". The Red Imp intervenes, sitting comfortably on the tall chair. "Since his Meister was nowhere to be found, he had to take action upon himself. It's his duty, you know".
Well, it was true, she had technically disappeared for a few minutes… or hours…
She lets her guard down. Soul was trying to protect her, as usual, and in return, she breaks into his mind and beats him up. Not fair.
"But…" She protests, her voice lower but equally anxious. "You could have waited for me".
"Couldn't". He shakes his head. "Crona was this close to killing both of us in one move".
Oh, God, it's all her fault. Why did she have to pass out in the middle of a fight? This has never happened to her before! And who knows how long it took her to come back! She had that argument with her Angel self, and she had to rebuild her strength… Maybe this fight has been going for hours!
Outside, Crona stabs him. Inside, more Blood starts pouring down on them. Maka realizes this and opens her mouth in horror, looking at Soul with a pained expression. It's only now that she realizes what he's holding: it's a bubble of light… with wings.
"What is that?" She asks curiously.
"Nothing". He answers, and tries to hide it behind his back.
"It's the guarantee". The Imp answers for him.
"Shut. Up". Soul glares daggers at him.
"Guarantee?" She asks, confused, looking at the Imp for answers, knowing that Soul will give her nothing.
"The deal doesn't say anything about giving her information". The Demon says smiling.
"The deal?" She raises an eyebrow. "What is going on?"
"Nothing is going on". Soul says. He's a terrible liar, all things considered. "You need to get out of here".
"Me? What? No! I'm not going anywhere until I know what the hell is going on here".
"It's better if you don't know". He pushes her back toward the door with one hand, holding the bubble of light with the other. She notices how the room's colors have faded, how the blood pouring over them is starting to form small pools on the floor, how the Imp sits all high and smug.
Something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong.
"Wait, wait up a second!" She stops to stand firmly on the floor. "I'm not leaving until I get an explanation".
She crosses her arms. He sighs. "If I tell you, you'll get mad".
"I'm already mad. I don't think it can get any worse". She answers, and the Imp laughs at the incredibly lame pun.
"Alright…" Soul sighs, bringing a hand to cover his face. He doesn't want to look at her, he looks ashamed. "Look, you were unconscious, and Crona was going to kill you, and… there was nothing I could do. I couldn't… take her out on my own… I needed… help".
"I know that part".
"So I made a deal with that guy". And now he's looking away. "I gave him full control over me, with one exception: he can't hurt you, even if you attack first".
He blurted it out so fast, she couldn't hear anything after 'I gave him full control'. She opens her mouth in disbelief.
Never in her life did she expect him to do something so irrational, so dangerous, so stupid. He's supposed to be the cool one!
"Soul, you IDIOT!" And she pulls a book out of nowhere. And beats him. And then falls to the floor. And starts crying. "Are you kidding me? You've been fighting against this thing for so long and now you just surrender to it?"
Her tears are falling uncontrollably. She was supposed to save them both, and now they've both fallen to the insanity.
She falls to the floor, next to him, and cries with her head in her hands.
"Maka…" His voice is so… painful to hear. "I'm sorry. I am. But I did it for your safety. You need to understand-"
"I don't want to understand!" She keeps sobbing, her heart hurts so much. "This is my fault, I left you alone and you made a desperate decision for my sake".
He puts a hand on her back, trying to comfort her. "It's not your fault, I chose to do this on my own".
"That's what you always say!" She says, finally looking at him. "And yet you always get hurt. And now… now I've lost you for real".
"Maka…" He starts to rub her back softly. "Listen. It's gonna be fine… Black*Star and the others must be on their way… When they get here, they will help you and you can kill this guy… he won't fight back".
"Wouldn't I be killing you as well?" She asks, though she knows the answer. He doesn't say anything. "Your solution is for me to kill you while my best friend is murdered by my other friends? Is that the ending that you want me to have?"
"No, it's…" It's all fucked up, that's what it is. "I still think you can save Crona, you'll find a way. We just need to weaken her first".
"Soul, how…" Her eyes are starting to water again, while her heart feels like it's being stabbed. "How can you be thinking about that now? How can you expect me to kill my own partner?"
"It's the only way". He repeats, looking down. "You're the only person that he won't attack. You're the only one who can-"
"I won't". She shakes her head. "I could never-"
"Listen to me, Maka". He looks at her again, holding one of her hands. "I know it will be hard at first, but once you look at the destruction that it has caused, and that will cause if you don't stop it, you'll be able t-"
"I could kill everyone!"
"I don't care!"
"Don't give me that, you stubborn idiot! I could kill our friends, our families… I could kill Crona right now if you don't stop me!"
"Why are you doing this to me?" She yells at him, slaps him. She's shaking. "Why are you forcing me to murder the only guy I… I…?"
And even now, it can't be said.
"It was either that, or having to kill the most important person for you…" And he's looking away again. "I know you can still save her, I'm just keeping you alive in the meantime. But I'm sure that even now, I'm not strong enough to take her down, and in any case, I wouldn't want you spending your life without her".
He squeezes her hand a little tighter. Is this supposed to make her feel better?
"But I don't want to spend my life without you, either". She covers their locked hands with her free one. "I just can't imagine going on without you".
"It's alright". He says smiling weakly, falsely. "It's gonna be hard at first, but… you'll have no trouble finding a new partner".
She feels that throbbing pain in her heart again. "I'm never gonna find a new partner, because I'm not gonna lose you. I'm not going to hurt you, Soul".
"It won't have any long-term consequences. You won't be judged for killing your own weapon, because it's justified. He went nuts and attempted to kill you. I think, in any case, it will make you more of a badass". He grins. She doesn't buy it for a second. "You're the coolest Meister in the world and you deserve a future. A happy, successful future".
She can't link 'happy future' and 'without Soul' together. It doesn't make any sense.
"That's why…" He continues, standing up, but never letting go of her hand. "I need to get you out of here".
"No…" She pleads, weakly.
"Maka". He says, seriously. "Soon the Black Blood will flood this place. That means that my soul will get completely infected, except for this".
He shows her the light sphere. "This is the only part of my common sense that will live on no matter what. It's my loyalty to you, my instinct to protect you. If you don't leave now, everything will be worthless, you'll get infected, too, and then no one will be able to stop me. So, come on".
He tugs at her hand, but she's heavier. Maybe it's because her long black dress is soaked in blood, or maybe it's because she's just stubborn. Either way, she won't get up. She can't.
"Maka, come on".
"I'm not leaving". She won't cry anymore, she will stand her ground.
"If you don't, even with your wavelength, you'll be infected directly. I can't have you losing your mind now. Come on". He keeps tugging at her, as the demon chuckles.
"We're partners, Soul". She starts pulling him instead. "If we live, we live together; if we die, we die together. You should come with me instead".
"I can't. I can't leave. This is my mind, if I'm not here, I will lose control over it. This guy will completely take over and I'll disappear". He looks at the sphere again. "If I leave, he will take this, too".
"Then… I guess I don't have a choice". And she lets him bring her to her feet. "I'll let it consume us both".
"What?" He yells, completely taken aback. "No! You can't! You have to save yourself!"
The demon is now nibbling on his fingers again, laughing hysterically.
"What are you so happy about?" Soul snaps at it.
"She'd rather die with you than live without you". It answers giddily. "Told you it would be romantic".
She blushes slightly, but he's thinking of something completely different, yet related.
"You…" He's glaring furiously at the demon. "You knew this would happen, didn't you?"
"I don't know what you're talking about". It feigns ignorance.
"You knew that she would want to stay rather than kill us both, right? That's why you agreed to my terms!"
"Well, I agreed not to hurt her, but of course I didn't expect her to hurt you; if you die, I will die too, that's not convenient". It jumps off the chair, walking around it like some quirky old-fashioned detective. "However, if I can get you to spread the Black Blood to her and you're both under my control, I'll have a blast!"
"You bastard!" He speaks through clenched jaws.
"Both of you combined under the effects of the Blood will be invincible, taking down that chick with the swords and absorbing her soul". Maka shivers at the thought. "Hers is powerful and corrupted. It's worth thousands of kishin souls. After that, no one will stop you. No one will stop me".
"Maka". Soul speaks seriously again. "Leave".
"I can't leave you here!" She whines stubbornly.
"You have to, you idiot!" He stares at her angrily, his face on hers, as if he's about to hit her, and she instinctively steps back. Under normal circumstances, she would kick his ass, but right now he looks so damn menacing. "You're always holding me back, I'm always getting hurt because of you!"
He keeps doing this, almost stepping on her as she backs away from him. He's scary. This is not the Soul she knows. "You're so stupid and reckless, you always drag me down, you can't fucking fix your own problems, you're nothing but a nuisance!"
Now he's screaming in her face, so many painful words. And he's walking faster, too. She closes her eyes as she steps backwards, fearing he might just eat her alive. "You're a stupid, useless, ugly bookworm and I hate you so much".
"You don't mean that!" She says as her eyes snap open.
"No, I don't". And then he pushes her out of the door and locks it after she's gone.
She's back to the nothingness. "Soul?"
She can't believe what just happened, he actually forced her to leave his mind. He tried to scare her away with lies, and she was stupid enough to let him.
"Soul?" She tries to knock on the door, but there's none… It's gone. Where the hell is he? Why can't she find him? "Soul, you jerk! Don't walk away from me! Don't fucking walk away during a fight!"
She's yelling at the top of her lungs, but the only response is silence. "You're a coward, you know that? How could you leave me alone?"
She breaks down in tears. Stupid men and their stupid ideas. If he really wants to protect her, if he really wants her to be alright, he should consider her opinion, right?
She would have chosen to stay with him, and they would have figured things out… but that idiot! He always has to make the stupidest decisions.
"You're such an idiot…" She sobs. "I would never hurt you, you should know that…"
The darkness shows her the way back to her own soul. If he won't let her back in, then she'll have to find another way.
She will save them both, no matter what it takes.