The One Where They Switch
all started on a Friday afternoon.
“There he goes!” a girl squealed quietly to an auburn haired girl next to her.
“He looks so attractive today, too!” the friend replied back, in an equally high-pitched voice.
There were female voices (and even some male voices) from every corner of the school, gushing about a particular person who was strutting- yes, strutting- down the hallway. He had gleaming silver-tinted hair, sparking ruby eyes, and a dashing crooked smile that made girls’ hearts melt. His voice was an oxymoron in itself, as it was roughly smooth, gently husky. He was from a wealthy family and had various talents, the most outstanding variable being a genius piano player. He was a senior at Death Weapon Meister Academy, and also the single most popular guy in the whole school.
He went by the name Soul Eater Evans.
When he walked by, all eyes were directed to him. Girls ripped each other’s hair out to get his old textbooks or broken lead pencils. He had the popularity close to that of a movie star.
“He’s not that great,” a certain ash-blonde haired girl stated, taking a bite of her sandwich. Before she could continue, however, her raven haired friend quickly shut her up by blocking her mouth with her hands.
“Shhh!” the black-haired teenager warned her blonde friend. “Maka, you do not want his fans to overhear you, you’ll get killed.”
“But it’s true, Tsubaki!” the blonde protested to her friend, putting her sandwich down. “I really don’t see what the big deal about him is.”
Someone started to pick up on their gossiping, or it might have just been their “Soul” radar, but a few girls started to give Maka an icy cold glare.
“Haha, yeah, I don’t see the big deal out of Kid either.” Tsubaki replied back nervously, loud enough for the glaring girls to hear. They rose their eyebrows, but eventually went on with their business. Tsubaki sighed in relief when she realized no one was listening to them anymore.
“Why are you guys talking about me?” an annoyed voice asked from behind. Maka turned around to see her other raven haired friend behind her, carrying his lunch in a tray.
“Hey!” Maka said rather shocked. “It didn’t take as long as it usually does to get your lunch today! How did you get here so fast? Decided to stop your symmetry crap?”
“Maka!” the boy harshly said, before pushing her so he would fit in the table where the three of them were crammed in. “First of all, symmetry is not crap, it’s a work of art. Secondly, I got this lunch fast because it’s a sandwich, it has perfect symmetry already...as opposed to the spaghetti dish. I still have nightmares on that one.” He stopped and shuddered at the thought, proving his point. “Thirdly, why were you talking about me?”
“We weren’t, I was just saving Maka from dying an untimely and gruesome death.” Tsubaki told Kid, chewing on her french fries.
“I was just telling Tsubaki here,” Maka started, before realizing that she might really get killed from various eyes that she could feel were on her. She lowered her voice many octaves down. “I was just telling Tsubaki that I think Soul Evans is way too overrated. He’s not even that great, yet girls are willing to kill themselves over him.”
Kid showed his disapproval of Soul by making a funky face at the thought.
“He really is not that great.” Kid agreed, carefully unwrapping his turkey sandwich. “He seems like such a pompous bastard.”
“Right?!” Maka wholeheartedly agreed happily. Kid looked up at her with his brilliant sunny gold eyes and smiled.
It was always the three of them- Maka, Kid, and Tsubaki. Actually, Tsubaki was a rather recent attachment. During the Freshman year of high school, Maka and Kid were best friends. Kid automatically befriended her because she was the epitome “perfect symmetry” in a human. She befriended him because...well, he was her only option really. She was quiet, shy, and had terrible socializing skills. If people gave her a chance and got to know her, they would fin out she was actually quite loud, had a short temper, and shockingly cursed a lot. A whole lot. But no one bothered to deal with her, and her existence was only acknowledged because of her high grades. Kid, who a lot of girls were interested in at first because of his good looks, lost his popularity due to his compulsive disorder for symmetry. They were both the outcasts of the school, not welcome to single clique, so they became close friends.
Tsubaki came during the junior year, and while she was a year older than them, she was put in the same grade as them. She had moved from Japan, and although she spoke perfect English, the school decided that she needed to get left back a year. It was quite foolish because Tsubaki was an extremely bright student, but Tsubaki didn’t mind it too much. Although Tsubaki did not have any friends at first because she came so late, and everyone already had close friends, she eventually friended Maka and Kid. She liked them a lot, and they liked her a lot in return. It was thanks to being left back that she was able to meet them, so she was ultimately thankful for it.
“Maka, you only hate him this much because he gets higher grades than you in Music class.” Tsubaki argued warily.
“Not true!” she quickly retorted back, annoyed that she had been found out so easily. While Maka was so brilliant at the sciences and math that no one was able to pose as threat to her number one student position, he always got higher grades than her in music. She studied and studied music, but he just had a natural talent. That was actually what irked her the most- the fact that she had to study so hard to understand the concept of music while it just naturally flowed to him. It was completely unfair, which eventually lead to her dislike of Soul Evans to gradually increase more and more.
“It is true, you complain about it all the time. What other reason do you have to hate Soul Evans? You never even spoke a single word to him in the past year I have been here.” Tsubaki reminded her. “Not that he speaks to anyone, really.”
And that was yet another reason Maka hated Soul Eater Evans so much. Not only did he steal her crown in being the top student in every class, he acted like a total jerk. He never spoke to anyone, and always ignored those who tried to be his friend. Couldn’t he be a bit more friendly? Would it hurt to try to break down the terribly cheesy high school cliques their school had?
“His existence just bothers me, I don’t have a specific reason. He just bothers me.” Maka cut the rather dislikable conversation she was clearly losing. The minute Maka finished her sentence, the bell rang, signaling them that it was the end of the period.
“Well, have fun! You have class with him now, don’t you?” Tsubaki grinned, causing Maka to be exasperated beyond belief.
Yes, Maka had just thought of yet another reason she disliked Soul Evans so much- he was EVERYWHERE. Literally, everywhere. She had all the same classes as him, and while he sat far away from her most of the time, they were only one seat away from each other in English class. Which was what she had now.
The blonde groaned at the thought of being within a 10 feet radius of the silver-haired annoyance, as she picked up her book bag and slung it across her thin shoulders.
“Good luck.” Kid told her with an uncertain half-smile, patting her on top of her shoulders. For some odd reason, Maka had a presentiment, a tingling feeling at the pit of her stomach that she should avoid English class that day. But she chose to ignore the feelings, and quickly left the cafeteria. The meat in the sandwich was just weird, she convinced herself.
“Hello class!” the teacher chirped brightly to her dead class. Almost no one replied back, and the few people who did muttered incomprehensible words. The platinum blonde haired teacher, however, didn’t let the response lower her mood down in the least. In fact, she was used to the half-dead class. She learned from the beginning of the school year that they were a bunch of unenthusiastic teenagers who behaved liked this on a daily basis.
“I know you guys are all bored.” the teacher continued on. “But today I have a really exciting project for you all!”
There were moans and groans escaping from practically every corner of the room.
“No, no! Really, it’s fun!” the teacher tried to reassure her students to calm down. “Let me just finish!”
The class simmered down, although their faces were filled with disgust.
“It’s called the Flour Sack Baby Project!” the overly excited teacher exclaimed. The students actually started to look a little more intrigued. “I will assign you with a partner, and you two will have to take care of a flour sack for a week! You must treat it like it is your own baby, and keep it safe. If you rip it or lose it before a week ends, there will be consequences.” Her eyes dimmed in such particular way when she said “consequences,” that a few students were intimidated. Soul could have almost sworn she was looking directly at him when she said it, but then she quickly gave the same look to pigtails, so he decided not to worry too much.
“Now, I have the names of all the boys in this class inside this hat.” the teacher informed them. “There are shockingly an equal amount of girls and boys in this class, so it will work out smoothy. The girls come up to draw a name in the hat, and whoever they pick out will be their partners. No trading partners, no matter what.” the teacher firmly ordered.
Although most of the class were eager to actually have a remotely fun project, Maka felt absolutely miserable. This meant that she would have to communicate and socialize with another student in the English class. She hated making new acquaintances, and when the teacher told the girls to get on line to pick a name, she was the last one on the line.
“I hope I get Soul!” a girl next to Maka gushed. Maka’s heart stopped at what she just heard. What if she got Soul? How would she have to deal with hanging around him for a whole week?
“We’re at the back of the line, someone would probably get him before us.” another girl replied, with a sad sigh. Maka sighed along with the girl, but a relieved sigh. She was right- they were at the end of the line. Someone would have probably drawn out his name by the time it came for Maka to pick. Well, actually, Maka did not have the option of picking since she was last in line, but she didn’t mind it at all. It increased the chances of her not getting Soul as her partner greatly.
The line moved on rapidly, and not a word about getting Soul was sprouted. All the girls looked disappointed in their ‘baby’s fathers,’ but all of that flew by Maka’s eyes. She was getting more nervous by the passing girls. Soul Evans was not picked yet, and the chances of Maka having him as partner were increasing. When the girl right in front of Maka went, they both closed their eyes and prayed- one praying to receive the Soul Evans card, the other one praying she didn’t.
The girl reached into the black hat, and after what seemed like forever, she fished out a label. With trembling hands, she unfolded the paper.
“...Ox.” the pink haired girl revealed quietly, with tears at the tip of her eyes. Maka could feel tears forming in her eyes too.
“So it’s settled! Ox and Kim, Soul and Maka. All the partners have been recorded down in my book, so don’t even try to change your partner if you don’t want a zero for this major assignment.”
“But Ms. Nablar, I really think Maka doesn’t want Soul to be her partner!” one girl shouted.
“Yeah! Look at Maka, she looks almost pained!”
“I would take Soul! Please, let me take Soul! I’ll treat him right!” another invoked.
The blonde haired woman gave her class an icy glare before she loudly closed her class recording book.
“No. Changing. Partners.” the teacher strictly answered. Her glassy green eyes looked at her students with pure hate, and the students immediately shut up. When she saw that her students finally quieted down, her eyes softened and she smiled as she told them, “Go get your flour babies now! From today to next week Friday, you will keep this safe, yes? Now go to your partner and discuss how you will be taking care of your babies.”
Maka, avoiding a certain pest called her partner, slowly walked up to her teacher. The teacher glanced at Maka slightly and smiled.
“What is it, Maka?” she asked.
“It’s just...” Maka hesitated. “I don’t see what this project has anything to do with English.”
“It doesn’t.” Ms. Nablar replied immediately, her smile never fading. “It has to do with building better relationships.”
“What do you mean?” Maka asked out of curiosity.
“I mean I’m trying to make it so that all students can get closer with others by the end of senior year.” the blonde teacher stated, winking at her. It was a terrifying yet calming wink, almost as if she was gently mocking Maka. “Kissing might be involved...”
“What?” Maka asked, her eyes widening. Did her teacher just say...?
“Nothing, now you have work to do. Go talk to your partner.” Ms. Nablar told her, pushing her gently towards Soul, who was sitting on his desk with his head down.
Maka grunted, as she walked closer towards the sleeping menace. She shook him in disgust, causing a few girls who were nearby to gasp. Maka bluntly ignored them, as she was already annoyed as hell. If one more of his cronies gave her a hard time, she would punch their faces in.
“Wha...?” the looked up lazily, his deep scarlet eyes meeting with her harsh mint green ones.
“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty.” she growled, her hands crossed at her chest. “So what do you want to do about the project?”
“Do whatever.” he replied, lowering his head again to fall back asleep. She huffed in absolute annoyance.
“Just as I thought, from afar and from near- you’re an annoying piece of fuck.” she said to herself, but just loud enough so he, and only he could hear. His head shot up at the comment, surprised that such an innocent face had just cursed, and was ready to question her but she had already walked away from him to receive a flour baby. He saw her reach for a bag in the closet, but the teacher stopped her and handed her a different bag instead. Maka raised her eyebrows at the teacher’s sudden change in bags, but took it anyways. Instead of returning back to Soul, however, she sat back down in her own seat.
Soul, indignant that some loser girl had just dissed him, walked to her desk. It only took two steps, as he was one seat away from her.
“I don’t think I heard you clearly.” the silver haired boy told the blonde in front of him. “What did you say? Repeat it?”
Girls in the classroom stopped to stare at Soul. It was the first time they ever saw him talk to a girl, and with this many dialogue...they were in shock.
“Leave me alone. Go away.” she told him, not even bothering to look up at him. She stared at the flour baby in front of her. Although the packaging was the same, the bag she picked out was considerably heavier than the one Ms. Nablar gave her.
“We kind of have to do a project together.” he reminded her, his voice getting rougher.
“You were the one who told me to do whatever.” she retorted back, her eyes not once leaving the flour bag. He was ready to protest, when the bell rang and she sprinted out of the room, holding the flour packet in her hands.
“Dammit!” he muttered to himself, shoving his hands into his jean pockets. He would find her, and make her pay for saying such things to yours truly.
“You what?!” Tsubaki exclaimed, her eyes widening to the size of saucers.
“Yeah, I was so aggravated before, and I ended up just saying whatever was on my mind. But after seeing all these death glares I’ve been getting ever since, I regret being so rash.” Maka bashfully told her two friends, closing her locker door.
“Well, I think that you did a good thing.” Kid encouraged her. “He needs to step down his pedestal at one point and come back to earth; realize that he’s not that a prince or that great, if at all.”
“You think so?” Maka asked him, feeling a little more relieved. Maka had miserably spent rest of her day eschewing a certain senior with ash gray hair.
“I know so.” Kid reassured her. “Anyways, what are you going to name that thing?”
School had just finished, and the three of them stopped by their lockers to get ready to go home. They all lived relatively close to each other, so they walked home together too.
“Huh. I don’t know...I guess since I’m a single mo-” Maka stopped dead on her tracks. Tsubaki’s already saucer-sized eyes magnified, and Kid looked absolutely revolted.
Around the corner, waiting for them- rather, a single certain blonde, was the infamous Soul Eater Evans. His arms were crossed against his chest, and he was leaning on the wall. He saw Maka, who looked horrified, and his facial expression changed to that of a tiger spotting his prey.
“I need to talk to your friend.” he simply stated, and before any of them could protest, he held tightly grabbed her wrist and pulled her away.
“Ow, let go of me!” Maka cried, finally pulling her wrist free from his clutches. He had dragged her to a completely empty lot near the school yard.
“What you said to me has been bothering me all day.” he told her in a voice that he tried to maintain monotone, but she could easily hear the anger blended in. “I’m an annoying what?”
“I don’t know, I forgot what I said.” Maka told him off, lying through her teeth. She looked down at her shoes.
“Fine, then let’s pretend you forgot.” he continued. “Then what about our project? I thought it was some partnership shit, why are you leaving me out of it?”
“You were the one who told me to do whatever!” she repeated, looking up at his eyes now in fury. Why did she have to hide her head in shame? He was an annoying piece of fuck, and he was the one who acted like a complete jerk when she was trying to be civil.
“You called me Sleeping Beauty, of course I would tell you off.” he acerbically reminded her. His face turned sour at the memory.
Oh yeah. She had completely forgotten about that...
“W-Well.” she stuttered. “You kept sleeping, not even paying attention to what was happening.”
“Like a care about that shitty class anyways.” he scoffed, yawning. “Now, give me the flour baby, pigtails.”
“Pigtails?” Maka scorned at his lack of remembering other people’s names. “The name’s Maka.”
“I know what your name is, I would just rather call you pigtails, pigtails.”
“Menace?” he asked her, not exactly sure where she got that name. He shook off his confusion. “Forget it, I will never get weirdos like you anyways. Just give me the flour.”
“I’m going to just rip it.” he calmly told her. She looked at him with anger in her eyes.
“What?” she challenged.
“You heard me, I’m going to just rip it.” he repeated. “That way, we won’t have to hang out with each other anymore. I can’t stand the thought of being with a nerd like you for a whole week, and I highly doubt you would want to spend time with annoying piece of fuck like me. So let’s just tear it now, so there is no pressure. It’s too bad about the failing grade but...”
Maka looked at him with her wide, fierce green eyes. How was it possible to hate someone to this extent? She was paralyzed from her shock, and she didn’t notice him eying the flour baby she had set on the floor before talking to him until he grabbed it. When she saw him holding it, the blood rushed back to her head again, and she grabbed it back. Well, tried to.
His hands were gripped firmly on the flour, and he was not willing to let go.
“Let...go...!” Maka cried, pulling the flour as hard as she can. He replied by continuing to tightly keep his hands gripped on the flour.
As one should know, a flour packaging, especially one that is paper packaged, is not firm at all and if two huge forces are pulling at it from opposite sides, it is bound to rip.
And that’s exactly what happened. The flour bag ripped into two, Maka and Soul both tripping from the impact of a sudden release of pressure. However, instead of the expected powdery white ingredient coming out, sparkling gold powder spread everywhere. Maka and Soul both looked at the foreign substance in complete confusion, before their eyes grew itchier, and they started to sneeze.
“Ahchoo!” Maka said, her eyes watering from the gold glitter. What was that substance? Maka felt her cheeks burning red hot, and for a split moment, the world went black. When she regained her vision, she noticed the substance was gone and the fog left behind by the mysterious powder was starting to clear.
Maka was needless to say, furious. Actually, furious would be a total understatement. She was livid- absolutely, completely, utterly, and totally livid.
She had enough of him, and wondered how it was possible that a person could be this hateful. She execrated him to the point of even thinking of starting a goddamn vendetta with him. She was sick of him. She was sick of this project. She was sick of that stupid English teacher.
Through her sedulous efforts of breaking night to study for tests, she was able to remain being at the top of her class. She hated how she had worked so hard to keep up her grades, to be number one, and he was ruining them one by one. The fog cleared down, and Maka was about to tongue slash him like he never heard cursing before, when her mouth dropped open to the figure in front of her.
“M...M...Me? Huh?” she heard the words escape from her mouth, but in a voice much deeper than hers. She quickly put her hands, which felt rougher and bigger, over her hands in shock. There was a groan that escaped and Maka quickly looked up. She gasped.
The person in front of her was...herself? She moved closer to the girl in front of her, who had a completely dazed look on her face and looked exactly like her. If she didn’t know any better, she would say it was herself. But Maka knew that it was impossible- it was impossible that was herself because here...
Maka looked down at herself, despite being in a torpor. She wasn’t wearing any of her old clothes, but they looked oddly familiar. They were... that asshole Soul’s clothes. Wait, wait...Maka felt her head grow heavy and the world sinning. What the hell was happening? How was she there when she was here? Where did Soul go?
After five minutes, everything clicked in Maka’s head, which ultimately led her to scream her lungs- or rather, Soul’s lungs out. The shriek was enough to bring the dazed Soul, who was still having side effects from whatever the gold powder was, back to attention.
The murky green eyes he had cleared, and his face scrunched up as he stared at Maka. The face in front of him was...himself? Soul was nonplussed, and was about to say something when he realized that hair was reaching the side of his face. And it was blonde. His emerald eyes widened, as he slowly looked down at himself. When he finally got grasp of the situation, and he was reassured he was not high on the powder he just sniffed, three words escaped his lips.
“What the fuck?”