A lot of unexplored potential
Down and Out is cleverly written, with nods to the original series cropping up in creative ways that I hadn't seen before. The universe ProMa has created here has several layers, hinting at more large-scale organizations and world mechanics than the limited perspective of the protagonist can allow. It makes the reader wonder what all is going on and what kind of backstories exist. Pretty cool uses of superhero powers that reference the original series without coming off as hokey, and there are bouts of conflict from both the good side and bad side, which keeps it interesting.
Read the story now
I do wish I could have seen more of Maka, particularly in the beginning, to see just why Soul adores her so much rather than being simply told. Soul also has grueling bouts of self loathing, which are also told (frequently) more than shown, and I was holding out for him to realize his own worth by the end of the story, but it never seemed to quite happen, even though the story wraps up fairly nicely. Between this and his overall caustic attitude (namely with his students), I found it difficult to sympathize with him.
This story has a lot of fantastic concepts, and I'd love to see ProMa take them up and explore them with more depth. Some of the character interactions are really entertaining, with great dialogue! I really enjoyed that Soul and Maka were quick to talk through obstacles -- seeing relationships with active communication in fic and fanfic is so important.