So I was browsing around one day for a new show to watch, and I stumbled upon this anime. The rest, they say, is history.
However, since it is my first Soul Eater fic, I apologize if anyone is out of character. I tried hard to keep them as in character as possible in this set of circumstances.
Oh well. Enjoy!
She is four years old, and she doesn't know a lot of things. She doesn't know why she always walks to school while the other kids ride the bus. She doesn't know why mama always has to leave late at night to go to work. She doesn't know the meaning of words like 'prostitute', or 'drugs', or 'drive-by shooting.'
She also doesn't know why mama and papa fight, but she can always hear them.
They start out quiet, usually just after she's sent upstairs to brush her teeth. Then, as she changes into her pajamas, their voices will raise, and she'll hear them screaming.
She tries very hard not to cry, she really, truly does. She'll distract herself by taking her hair out of the pigtails and brushing it over and over again until it's sleek and shiny. She'll make sure to use the bathroom so she won't get up in the middle of the night, and sometimes she'll brush her teeth twice, just to be sure they are clean.
Sometimes, this is enough. Sometimes, by this time their voices are quieted and they say goodnight before going to bed. Those nights, she always has good dreams.
Other nights though, they will continue to scream and shout. Sometimes papa will hit the wall, and once or twice mama broke a plate or a cup. On these nights, she can't help the tears in her eyes.
She's not a crybaby, she thinks. She's tough. When she falls down and scrapes her knees, she doesn't cry. When her teacher yelled at her for not doing her math homework (it was the only time this happened – she always did her homework – but that day her papa had accidentally dropped coffee all over it) she didn't cry. When that one kid pulled her pigtails, she didn't cry.
These times she can't help it though. She can't stand it when her parents fight, because they're supposed to love each other, and her stomach starts to hurt when they scream. Then that hurt rises from her stomach and makes her throat and eyes and nose burn. Before she can stop it, hot and stinging tears leak from her eyes and she wipes them away with grubby hands. The action makes her cheeks burn and her nose leak, but the tears won't stop.
She buries her face in her pillow and hugs her only stuffed animal, a well worn plush bunny, firmly to her chest. She tries to quiet her sobs, and she doesn't realize how loud she cries. All she knows is that a few minutes later, her parents come into her room.
They're cold to each other, but she's too young to feel that. They are banded together because of her, but she's too young to feel guilty. All she knows is when her grip on the bunny is replaced by the soft stomach of her mother, accompanied with the svelte scent, the tears begin to stop.
Her mother has strong hands, rough, but they are soft and gentle, too. She strokes her daughter's hair, and Maka's tears are dried on the thin shirt. Her papa's hands are on her back as he promisingly tells her that mama and papa may fight, but they love each other always. She misses when her mama throws him a cold glance. He tries to ignore it.
Then her mama has to leave for work, so she kisses Maka on the forehead. Her papa tucks her in, as always. He pulls out a book, one of a fairy story, to read her. She's read it a bunch of times, she doesn't have many books, but he always finds some way to read it that was different than the last. Sometimes he will jump around and act silly, and other times he will start tickling her when describing the teeny feet on the little mice until she shrieks with laughter.
He snuggles on her bed with her and begins to read. Tonight he's animated and loud. He enacts the part of the ogre by stamping his feet on the floor and making himself roar crazily. She screams playfully as he jumps on the bed, laughing along with her.
No matter how many different ways he reads it, though, the ending is always the same. The prince and the princess marry, and live happily ever after. He then kisses her on the forehead, telling her that she is now and forever his little angel. He tucks her into bed and she closes her eyes, drifting into a deep and dreamless sleep.
It's why she doesn't hear when the door opens and a scantily clad woman enters, giggling quietly as her papa tells her to keep a low voice. He escorts her to the living room, where they continue their secret playtime in peace.
She's nine years old, and her mother is gone.
A year ago today, she gave up on her husband and his philandering ways. She gave Maka a kiss on the forehead, Spirit a slap on the cheek, then packed her bags and left. She didn't leave a number or a way to contact her, although sometimes they got postcards in the mail. Always for Maka though, never for him.
She's twelve, and life has lost the luster it had when she was little. She now knows things that she didn't before, and much more than she should. She knows why she walks when the others ride the bus (because the bus is too dangerous). She knows why her mama used to always leave at night to work (because they were close to being evicted). She knows the meanings of words like 'prostitute' and 'drugs' and 'drive-by shootings'.
She also knows why her mother had to leave, and that it is all because of her no good, cheating papa.
Still, there's not much she can do but silently resent him. She would leave, but she doesn't know where she would go. She's too young to get a job, and where would she sleep? Besides, he may be the reason her mama was gone, but he's the only family she has.
At school she's befriended a young Japanese girl – the only friend she's ever made. Her name is Tsubaki, and she's quiet and nice, but much prettier than Maka. She has long black hair that shines and enticing eyes. Maka keeps her ash blonde tresses in pigtails, even though it makes her look young.
Her family is nice, also. Tsubaki invites her over for sleepovers, and the two girls will watch movies or sit in her room and play with her dolls. Unlike Maka, Tsubaki's family can afford nice things. She's too proud to admit she only has three changes of clothes, and that her father spends more money than he actually makes.
She focuses hard on her schoolwork, thinking that if she tries hard enough, maybe she won't end up in such a decrepit place. She's tough, despite her girlish appearances, so the others tend not to mess with her. The last time that had happened, she had broken a kid's nose and another kid's ankle. Since then, she was afraid of being jumped, so she takes obscure paths to school. When she can, she stays with Tsubaki. Her friend doesn't mind.
After the school year ends, her papa takes her to a restaurant, and requests that the manager allow them both to work. The manager was her mama's manager, where she used to work before moving. While he doesn't like Spirit, her papa insists if they don't get a job they'll end up homeless, so he accepts. Mainly out of pity.
The work is hard, but her papa allows her to keep her earnings. Then one day she asks Tsubaki if she wants to go out to a movie for the first time. All the times before, Tsubaki had offered, but Maka shook her head. She couldn't afford it, and she felt bad for asking Tsubaki to pay.
It was one of the best days of her life.
She's thirteen years old, and she's running away.
She's had it, just like her mother. She can't stand her papa anymore.
The streets are cold and slick with rain. The buildings are old and decrepit, and she sticks to the shadows, not wanting to be seen. She knows bad things happen to girls like her at this time of night on these streets. She doesn't want to end up as a headline for a newspaper.
But it's so cold, and she can't just sleep on the cement. Her backpack is small. She didn't truly have a lot of things. Just a jacket, a change of clothes, some books and all the money she had tucked into various places. Therefore if her backpack was stolen, not everything was lost.
It's two in the morning, and she's never been so cold. She wonders if her papa is looking for her now. Maybe the cops are searching as well.
She breathes on her fingers then shoves them in her armpits to try and warm them. It doesn't help much. She jogs across another street, staying active to keep warm, and feels more relaxed as she passes into the nicer part of town.
This is the place where people with nice coats and filigree earrings come to enjoy the sights. They gather at clubs and drink expensive wine while discussing things that don't matter. She can't help but feel a little bit jealous.
A few yards away, she spots a cop on duty. He's patrolling the street corners, and before he can notice her, she ducks into the shadows and bolts into an alleyway. There, she sees a door slightly ajar, and she hesitates. She doesn't trespass, nor break the law, really. She doesn't like to do so, but she's so cold, and she hates to say it, but the darkness was getting to her.
She slips inside the door, almost sighing with pleasure when a blast of warm air meets her. It's warm and wonderful, and she edges a little bit closer to the inside, vying for that warmth, but trying not to be greedy. She keeps the exit firmly in sight.
The place she is in is dank, and she can hardly see anything, but she knows it's a storage room. There are various shelves filled with miscellaneous items. When she glances closer, she sees a few stray records, and then a violin case lying there as well. She's confused as well as awed. Do people here really just leave the back door open like this? She could easily take the violin and pawn it for some extra money.
She revolts at the idea, though. As much as she needed money, she wasn't a thief. She pulls her twitching fingers away from the instrument, and instead focuses on getting warm.
That's when she hears it, the soft pling pling of a gentle music. It's a high note, and after a moment she realizes it's a piano.
She's never had much experience with music, she muses, but then stiffens. If someone's playing a piano, that means there's a person in there, a living person. Her breath almost stops, and she begins to edge towards the door, moving as silently as possible.
Then it begins, though. Whoever is playing slams a discordant string of notes on the piano and rips upwards, making the keys shriek as they are hit. The hands move up and down the piano with lunacy and fury, racing and howling, crying and crashing. Each note hit is chosen with careful precision, and the result is a clash of sounds that makes the hair on her arms stand on end.
She's frozen, she can't move. Actually, that's not true. She's moving closer to the sound. She hypnotized, spellbound. She can't pull herself away. It's sucking her in, pulling her closer. She's trapped in its madness, and she can't escape.
It seems like hours – or is it only seconds? – until the score comes to an explosive end. The keys are hammered down mercilessly, and the result is a sound that almost makes her heart bleed. The song was so crazy, so insane, but it was something else too. Something sad, almost, but not quite. Despondent, maybe?
She doesn't have time to dwell on it any further though, because the door is suddenly thrust inwards, and she realizes she has no chance of fleeing from her position by an old armature where she was listening and not be seen.
In retrospect, though, she thinks it might have been a better idea to at least try to run than to remain rooted to the spot, like an idiot.
The light is flipped on, and he freezes when he sees her, while she practically goes into shock. Of all the people she imagined the player to be, it wasn't him at all.
He's young, maybe her age, maybe older. His hair is a chaotic mess of white spikes, while his eyes are the strangest color of blood red she has ever seen. His eyes slant down, giving him a look of permanent indifference. Even when he looks at her, he has a look of uncaring that makes her nervous.
"What the hell?" He growls, his voice thick and gravelly. "Who are you? How'd you get in here?"
Once again, she thinks she probably should have just taken off then. Cut her losses. She's warm as it is, she could survive the rest of the morning at least. However, the only thing she can think to say is, "the door was open."
He glares at her, but she doesn't squirm beneath his dark red gaze. Perhaps it's simply in her nature, but she glares back, trying to make her emerald green gaze as powerful as his red one.
"It was open?" He snorts, crossing his arms across his chest. "That's not an invitation, you know! You can't just walk in when the door's open."
She sneers, trying not to let her eyes tear up. She took off so quickly, and she's been trying hard not to cry all day. This white haired demon was only making everything worse, and so she takes a deep breath and does the only thing she can do. Transform her tears into anger.
"Look, I'm sorry, okay?" She spits, seeming to take the boy off guard. "I didn't know! I was just cold, and it was warm in here."
Then, despite her confidence, she's unable to help it when hot tears start to leak from her eyes. Just like when she was little, her face is burning. Furiously, she rubs the tears away, unable to stop them. She feels like she's cracking underneath the force of everything, but the last thing she wants is to show her weaknesses to this random kid with unnervingly sharp teeth.
She expects him to grab her and throw her out, or maybe to call the cops while telling her to stop her blubbering. That's what she expects, so she's surprised when he puts an unsure hand on her shoulder, saying, "hey, it's okay. Look, I didn't mean to make you cry, you just startled me. C'mon, cool girls don't cry."
That part makes her mouth twitch as she forces the tears to stop. His voice is suddenly quieter and tame, unlike the mean gruffness it had held before. When she looks up he smiles, but only a tiny bit. It's more of a smirk than anything, and she guesses he doesn't smile so often.
After a moment, she straightens herself, taking a deep breath to stabilize herself. "It's okay." She says, trying a shaky smile herself. "I didn't mean to stay in, it's just your playing was really good."
She twitches her fingers slightly before looking up at him. She expects him to roll his eyes or something, but he's staring at her with an expression that's akin to amazement. She tries not to be too surprised, although she's not sure why he's staring at sure in such a way.
"You thought my music was good?" He almost blanches, before looking at her almost accusingly. "You're not just saying that so I won't kick you out, are you?"
She huffs at that, crossing her arms in annoyance. "No, I'm not!" She snaps, affronted at such a thing. If anything she was honest to a fault – straightforward with her opinions. She didn't lie about much of anything, although she'd like to believe that wasn't just because she was an awful liar. "I actually liked it."
He growls, as if not sure to believe her, but when she meets his gaze determinedly, he seems to relent. "Fine." He says, and she scowls. Why the hell is that so hard for him to believe? "What are you doing out here at two in the morning, anyways?"
Maka's demeanor immediately changes at that. She slumps slightly, clasping her hands in front of her. "I was… uh… I was just out and-"
"Oh yeah?" He snorts, cutting her off. "Just out? At two in the morning?"
"Well you were playing the piano at two in the morning!"
"That's completely different, you idiot. I have a concert, and I have to practice."
"At two in the morning?" She gapes, and when he nods, she sighs. She could give him grief for it, but then she'd have to admit all the nights she spent up studying for tests. For some reason, she couldn't stand giving him the satisfaction.
He simply rolls his ruby eyes, and she can't help it. It bubbles up in her throat, and she giggles. It's a hiccup at first, she tries to keep it in, but then it jumps from her throat and she's laughing. He stares at her in surprise again, but then he joins her. She likes the sound of his laugh, it's warm and deep. It rumbles, and she gets the feeling that he doesn't laugh very often.
He shakes his head, looking at the strange girl with curiosity. "Seriously, though." He says. "No one should just be out wandering the streets on their own at two in the morning. Now it's almost three."
"It is!" She exclaims, suddenly looking even more miserable. "Ah, jeez."
He stares at her, rubbing his head with irritation. "Look, you can either tell me what you're doing out here, or I can call the cops for you."
"Hey!" She snaps at his threat, but he merely grins, showing off his row of shark like teeth. She grumbles, then glances away. "If you must know, I'm running away." She says determinedly.
In front of her, the boy now is truly dumbfounded by her. He gapes, saying "and where are you going to go?"
"I don't know!" She growls, putting her hands on her hips. "If I knew that, I wouldn't be in this place at three in the morning!"
That statement then brings her back to reality, as she glances around the room as if seeing it for the first time. "Hey, what exactly is this place?"
"Huh?" He grunts, and when she looks at him with a sparkle of curiosity, he relents. "Oh, it's my family's private studio."
"Your family's private studio." She echoes. It's her turn to be shocked. She stares at him, wondering suddenly, self consciously, just who exactly she had happened to stumble upon. She may not know much about music, but she knows that for a family to have a private studio, well, he must have a lot of money.
Much more than she has, anyways.
She briefly wonders about that violin. Maybe she could have stolen it, and no one would have even cared.
Then again, she's sure she would have been back here the next morning, apologizing and giving it back.
"A private studio, huh?" She repeats, suddenly feeling small and puny compared to this boy. He composed his own music, he had his own studio. He had a concert coming up, and she was running from the fact that was her life.
The fact makes her even more depressed, and he scowls at her this time. "Hey." He says. "If you don't know where you're going, why would you just run away like that?"
She doesn't reply immediately, instead clutching her hands into fists. She's almost shaking with rage, and he almost feels as if he should take a step back. She's covered in rage, it's leaking from her body in torrents that shake her lungs. "I just – I couldn't stand it anymore!" She snaps, although she's not really looking at him. Her eyes are somewhere else. She sees whoever it is that is the source of her anger. "My stupid father! He keeps going to those clubs and spending our money, and today we were evicted." She finishes, finally deflating from her pent up anger.
He had finally crossed the line. She had stuck with him before because he was family, but she couldn't any longer. It was because of him her mama was gone, halfway across the world, maybe. It was because of him that she was on the street right now, lurking in some rich kid's family studio as a result of seeking warmth from the night. He could claim to love her all he wanted, but he could never prove it.
The boy watches her, but she misses the look of empathy that passes in his gaze. She staring at the floor, suddenly feeling very hopeless and very, very foolish. Where was she planning to go, she asks herself without amusement. Like always, she had run away without even considering what to do or where to go, and now she was on the street with no money.
She hears the boy sigh, and he offers a hand out to her. She flinches, staring at his hand as if he were offering her drugs. She wasn't one to trust easily, especially men. To her, they were all philanderers and cheaters. They never held their word.
Then again, she has been standing in his private studio for nearly an hour, and he hasn't done anything to attempt to hurt her. At her obvious hesitation, he snorts, rolling her eyes at her. "Come on." He tells her. "I've got a place you could stay."
She doesn't move, and he bares his teeth with irritation. "Hey, you could come with me or sleep on the streets."
"Come with you where?" She wonders, watching him with distrustful emerald eyes. "Why would you help me, anyways? I barged into your place uninvited."
He rolls his eyes, wondering if he's getting in over his head with this one. "Because that's what cool guys do." He says impatiently. "They don't let girls just run around on the streets."
She stares at him, but then smiles, and accepts his hand. "I'm Maka." She tells him, believing she owes him at least that. "Maka Albarn."
He looks at her for a moment, and his hand feels warm around hers. He face suddenly twists into a grin, and while most would flinch away, she merely grins back. "I'm Soul Eater." He says. "Nice to meet you."
She's seventeen years old and she sits quietly on a train. A book is opened on her lap, and she absorbs herself in the tale of mystery and romance that has enraptured her for the past hour. She's near the end, and as the story climaxes, her own breath hitches with anticipation.
Her closest friend occupies the seat across from her. He's slumped over slightly in the seat, chin propped up in hand as his cheek is pressed lazily against the window. His eyes are open slightly, watching the scenery fly by and by.
Beside her, Tsubaki is entertaining her current boyfriend – a loud mouthed devil with strange but natural aqua locks. He's arrogant and cocky, constantly praising his own prowess, and he tended to rope in the mild mannered Tsubaki into his schemes, but she didn't mind. She was one of the few who seemed to appreciate his ambition, and in return, he practically followed her around like a lost puppy.
It took a long time, but finally Maka was able to focus on reading without Black Star's voice making her want to tear out his hair. She's lost in the story, and it's only when Soul nudges her ankle with his own voice while calling out her name is she pulled out of her reverie.
She brushes her bangs from her eyes, glancing up at the boy. Over the years, he has certainly grown. While once they stood at the same height, he now holds a few inches over her. While he isn't bulky like Black Star, his figure is lean. However, his white hair is just as spiky, his eyes are just as red, and his teeth still make dentists cringe whenever they see him saunter in.
"What is it?" She hums, making sure to mark her place with her fingers. Her eyes feel a bit strange after reading so long, and she blinks a few times to adjust.
He snorts, and before she can do anything about it, he rips the book from her hands. "You've been reading far too long." He announces, ignoring her cries of protest as she suddenly vaults herself from her own seat to wrestle the book back. He sticks out his arm though and grabs her shoulder, keeping her away from his other arm.
"C'mon, Soul, give it back!" She demands as he chuckles. He waves it temptingly at her face, and while most days she would humor him, she was just at the most important part, and now he made her lose her place.
"Make Chop!" She yells as she pulls out another book to slam into his head. He lets out a howl of pain and she uses the moment to snatch the book back, settling herself primly back into her seat.
Tsubaki glances over at them, suddenly looking concerned as Soul lays half dead in his seat. "Hey, Maka…?" She begins questioningly, not sure what to say.
"He's fine." Maka says flippantly, browsing through the pages to find her place, and settles in for the remainder of the story.
The last time she's interrupted, it's the conductor calling that they should be stopping at Shibusen Station in ten minutes. This time, Maka shuts her book accordingly, packing it into her bag. She ignored the sore look Soul gives her. It isn't the first time he's experienced such abuse, and, she thinks with amusement, it won't be the last.
They are all here together, the four friends. They're here to attend Shibusen academy, world renowned for its professors and its classes. They've made it, she thinks, and she knows she could only thank one person for it.
It was him, the white haired boy who decided to help her the night she happened to stumble into his studio. He took her in, despite the obvious distaste his parents seemed to show. He insisted they give her a room and a home, and while she never really considered that house to be home, she knew it was the place Soul was.
Of course, she knew she couldn't run forever. Eventually she had returned to his father, who had made a mess of himself sobbing. The manager ended up taking her back as well. She had always been a hard worker.
Through school she studied, and afterwards she worked. She saved up money, she earned a scholarship to the academy, and she grew closer to Soul. Of course, his real name wasn't actually Soul Eater, like when he had introduced himself. It was more of a nickname, only because he didn't like to be associated to the family he came from, the Evans family.
He was always meant to go to a prestigious college for music, perhaps Juliard. However, when she announced her intention to go to Shibusen, he promptly changed his plans. To his parents, he said that he was going for the experience, and Shibusen wasn't that bad in the musical world. To her, he confided that it was because he wasn't sure if he could handle being in such close proximity of his parents without her around.
Tsubaki had been accepted as well, and while Black Star didn't really have any sort of goal to go to college, he had no intention of letting Tsubaki go without him. While he would never admit it, he was the jealous type, and Tsubaki had grown into a very beautiful young woman. He claimed he was there to protect her, and she merely giggled in the way she always did.
The conductor called their arrival, and the four of them picked up their own bags. Black Star promptly grabbed Tsubaki's, then trampled off the train, screaming to the world of Shibusen that he, the great Black Star, has arrived. Maka feels her temple pulse angrily, and she wonders if it was a good idea after all letting him come with.
"Hey, you coming?" Soul grunts. She's spaced out, staring out the window, but he snaps her back to reality. The world outside seems so huge, and anticipation swells in her gut.
As if sensing her emotions, which he always did, he holds out his hand to her, a large grin on his face. "What, are you scared?" He taunts in that way that always makes her blood boil. She scowls at him as she grabs his hand, allowing him to help her to her feet. She slings her back over her shoulder as she sticks her tongue out at him.
"Yeah, right." She says. "You're the one who's going to be failing classes, not me."
"Ouch." He smirks with mock pain, sticking his hands in his pockets. "Your insults are awful."
"Oh, shut up." She grumbles, perking up as Tsubaki calls for them, followed by Black Star yelling, "Yeah, we won't wait for you two lovebirds forever!"
Soul grumbles and Maka rolls her eyes. At first, they had always blanched whenever their friends brought up their close relationship, but that had stopped after awhile. Now Soul just called out, "I told you we're not dating, you idiot."
By then, though, Black Star was distracted, and no longer truly cared. He began tumbling around the terminal as Tsubaki chased after him, deeply concerned about the bags he carried on his back.
Soul sighs, mumbling something about how not cool their first impression was, and Maka can't help but to smile gleefully. "Come on, Soul!" She exclaims, unable to help her excitement. "Let's go!" She grabs his hand and takes off after her friends, dragging her reluctant friend in tow.
He complains at first, but then relents, deciding that maybe it's alright if they were seen as uncool, since he was holding Maka's hand.
So maybe it's disappointing after all that work that they never became 'official', but I think there's enough there. I don't know, I tried to write the rest of her life's snapshots, but then I kept getting stuck on a couple of the shots, and I gave up, thinking this was an alright stopping place.
Sorry for errors, I didn't go through it a second time.
If you like it, leave a review! If not, well, that's terribly sad.