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Down and Out in Death City

By ProMa

Romance / Action

Prologue

He didn’t want to do it anymore, but he didn’t know how to stop. 

In the beginning, it was a matter of desperation—Soul Evans had discovered his inborn ability and it had been his ticket out. They called him the Weapon, because really, that’s what he was. He could turn himself into flexible metal, stronger than steel, impervious to harm, and shape his body to his whim. To fight, he sprouted blades. He only stole from fatcat corporations and assholes like his parents. What did it matter? He wasn’t hurting anyone, was careful to never really hurt anyone. Hell, he actually helped people! He donated a lot of what he took to places that helped poor kids, sometimes gave money to poor families. He had even done things that were called heroic on occasion—saved people from burning buildings, stopped a few muggings, helped capture some guy who wanted to kill everyone in the damned city—the type of stuff the Meister generally handled, only she hadn't been around and the Weapon had, and he wasn't actually a total asshole.

Soul had convinced himself that being a villain was great.

Then he met Maka Albarn, and his world was reborn.

Then he needed a way out, because Maka was worth it, Maka was all that mattered, the girl he had never meant to love.  Maka deserved better, so he would be better. 

He promised himself this would be the last time, the Weapon’s final appearance.  It was a big score, big enough to ensure he’d be set for awhile, long enough to figure out how to do something else with his life because he’d do anything for her. Soul wanted to be someone worthy of her love, and the Weapon never would be.

It was a large sum of money set to be transported to a newly opening bank, one run by a company that had been involved in some huge stock scandal a few years back. It was perfect. The Weapon would hit the truck, get the cash, take it through his contact to launder, and Soul would be set for some time to come. Maybe he could even get his fledgling music website that he claimed his income to originate from off the ground enough to actually make money. That was the goal, anyway.

Willing himself to change, his body became sleek metal as it had hundreds of times before, absorbing his clothes and all.  The change altered his appearance enough that he needed no disguise–he had no hair, no color, just a shiny metallic human shaped body.  Soul would jump from the bridge to the large armored truck, cut his way in, grab several sacks of the most obvious valuables, then escape over the bridge.  Easy peasy.  

What he hadn’t counted on was the Meister waiting for him.  When he entered the truck, she was already there, in her usual, stupid school girl costume (that Soul might have found hot had it been on, say, Maka, but the Meister was too often annoying for him to admit she was actually attractive,) and that stupid black mask that covered half of her face, letting her pigtails poke out the sides.  

Having just started to sift through bags, Soul didn’t see her in the shadows of the truck.  The Meister clucked her tongue, causing him to whirl around.

“Tsk, Tsk, Mr. Weapon.  Getting predictable in your old age.”

“You’re one to talk,” he growled at the annoying super hero.  It was his last damned job.  Couldn’t she be derelict in her duties just this once?  Fuck.

He transformed his arm into a scythe blade, his other hand on the sack he’d begun to fill, and then, leapt up through the top of the still moving vehicle.  "I’ll just be going,“ he smirked down at her and then, bounded off the truck.  Along with making him impervious to most physical harm, his metal body was super strong and abnormally fast.  Not fast enough, though.  The Meister had followed and had him by the arm, whipping him around.  Shit shit shit.  Worse yet, they were no longer on the bridge; the truck had moved faster than he’d calculated and they were back in the city.  He transformed the arm she grabbed, causing her to let go, and ran.  

But the Meister was as fast as he was.  And she could fly.  He was never going to lose her this way.  Finding that he’d run into a dead end alley, he turned to fight.  Double fuck.

The Meister was a real pain in the ass to fight, too.  Flight.  Super strength. Energy attacks.  Mind reading.  Shielding.  She claimed her power was to manipulate her soul and to read the souls of others, but whatever the case, she was strong.  

The Weapon dropped his loot bag and transformed both arms into sharp scythe blades, facing her with a vicious smile.

"Sure you wanna play, little girl?”

“I should be asking you that.  I don’t think you can handle me.”

“Oh, you’d be surprised what I can handle, tiny tits.  You get outta my way and I might not have to scar up that pretty little face of yours.”

“Pffft.  As if, loser.  A two bit villain like you should give up now, save yourself a few broken bones–or,” she eyed his odd metallic form skeptically, “whatever you have in there.”

“Bring it on, little girl.”

And then, she did.  Only, this attack was new.  It was an energy attack, the type that normally didn’t much hurt him so he didn’t even bother trying to dodge, but this time, it was super heated, unlike anything she’d ever thrown at him before, and he found himself beginning to–melt.  Gasping in pain, he felt his grip on his metallic form slipping and fell to the ground, completely vulnerable, completely human.  This was supposed to be his last job, and now he was totally fucked.  

“Oh, crap!  I didn’t know that would–I mean–I never meant to–”  The Meister sounded panicked as she knelt over him.  He’d collapsed to the ground face first and was groaning in pain.  His torso felt on fire and he was pretty sure he was burned, badly.  The hero flipped him over gently, her strength allowing her to handle him as if he were a child, and then gasped.

“S.. Soul?”  

“Wha–?”  His vision was hazy with pain, his senses blurred, but she suddenly sounded so familiar.

“Oh my god, Soul, I didn’t know–I didn’t.  I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, but how could you—”  She was shaking her head, and were those–tears?  Was the Meister crying for him?  It was the first time, the only time, she had ever been this close, and he noticed her eyes were green, so green.  So much like–

“Maka?”  His voice was a low rasp.

She was still shaking her head in disbelief as she spoke.  "We’ll… figure this out.  I’ll take you home, and I’ll–I’ll call Stein to help you–and we’ll figure this out, okay?“  She sounded more like she was talking to herself than to him, but she scooped him up just after, leaving his bag of loot behind in the alley like so much trash and whisking him off into the night.  

Soul didn’t know what was going to happen now, what she would do, though her arms around him felt familiar, good and right.  It was supposed to be his last job, and one way or the other now, it would be.  It truly would be.

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