The One with the Auction
Maka woke up with her hair disheveled and her eyes half closed. She was still in a light daze, the events of yesterday seeming so surreal and far away. What exactly did happen? Everything seemed to be a big blur, a mix of events that could not be distinguished from reality or fantasy.
"Soul?" She called out, rubbing her eyes together. No response. She wobbled to the living room and only fully opened her eyes when she realized his presence was completely missing. She frowned as the scenes that occurred the day before flashed through her head and decided she shouldn't even bother to look for such an inconsiderate jerk like him at all.
"Out of sight, out of mind my ass," Maka hissed to herself, as she etched doodles on top of her wooden desk.
"Did you say something?" The teacher asked her, looking quite annoyed.
"N-No, I didn't." Maka blushed when she realized everyone's eyes were directed towards her and she sighed in relief when the bell rang. She ignored the dirty look her teacher gave her, quickly packed her bags, and made her way to the Social Justice Club.
When Maka opened the door to the room where the club was held, she was greeted by long faces and heavy sighs from all corners of the room. She placed herself next to Ox, a classmate she wasn't that fond of, for the sake of getting some answers.
"What's wrong?" Maka asked the bald teenager, who expressed his depression in a posture where he was covering his face with his arms. "Why does everyone look so depressed?"
He slowly raised his head, saw Maka's face, and slowly lowered it back down.
"Maka, you're smart," he said in more of a spiteful tone than a respected one. "You figure it out. What is the number one problem that people face?"
"...Baldness?" Maka guessed, as she eyed the shine on Ox's head.
"Money!" He hissed, subtly trying to cover the top of his head with his hands.
"Money?" Maka asked in puzzlement, unable to link the problem with money to her club. "What about money?"
Ox looked at Maka as if she was ignorant and let out a long sigh. "I take back what I said, you're not too bright." Maka was seriously debating on whether to punch him in the face or kick him in the shin when he continued, "Remember that trip we planned to go to at the end of the year? You know, the one to the UN?"
"Yeah?" Maka encouraged him to continue. "What about it?"
"It turns out we can't go after all." Ox sighed once again, the scowl on his face deepening.
"What?" Maka cried in protest. "But we've been planning that trip since the beginning of the year! The principal approved of it and everything! Weren't all the expenses covered already?"
"Yeah," Ox sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time, and continued the conversation with a drag to his words. "Apparently a huge group of Seniors went up to the principal and told him that 'we need to have prom at an elegant hotel, not the smelly, gross gymnasium' and complained about it for weeks. He finally gave in, and the money that was to be spent for our trip is now going to be used for prom funds."
"What?" Maka angrily said. "How is that even fair? How does it make sense? I get that people want a fancy prom, but we asked for this in the beginning of the year! How can he tell us about this at the last minute? If he told us sooner, we could've at least tried to earn the money on our own! This is absolute nonsense!"
"Yeah yeah, complain all you want," Ox shook his head in pity. "The principal's way too scared of the prom committee, he's not going to listen to us."
"Ugh," Maka groaned in disgust, not sure if she was more disgusted by her school's lack of concern for education or by her principal's wimpy decisiveness. "Then how about we try to earn the money ourselves? If we work really hard, we just might be able to..."
"Dream on," Ox dully said, crushing her hope of ever going to the UN. "Like we can make a thousand dollars in two weeks."
"Well, don't we have five-hundred already saved up? You know, the money we were going to use to call in that guest speaker but it never fell through?" Maka reminded him.
"Yeah, but that still leaves us half a grand to earn," he calculated.
"Well how about a bake sale?" Maka suggested, as she recalled the memory of her elementary class having one to earn money to go to the zoo.
"Yeah," Ox snorted. "We can definitely make half a grand by baking a few treats." Maka glared intensely at the snotty teenager in front of her until he took notice and softened his expression. "I-I mean it's a good idea, but it's not very practical."
Maka nodded her head in agreement and thought about how other schools made money. A festival was out of the question, since planning it would be too time and energy consuming. A play would be fun, she thought, but she doubt anyone would want to see a play with a bunch of students from Social Justice Club. How about...
"Wait!" Maka suddenly outburst in her epiphany, nearly knocking Ox off his chair. "Isn't that auction of buying and selling guys taking place in a few days?"
"...You've got to me kidding me." Ox gave her a stale look, before he found a spot in his arms to place his head back into.
"What?" Maka grinned, unable to contain her excitement. "Remember two years ago that attractive blonde senior raked in around three hundred dollars?"
"Yeah, but he was extremely popular and handsome. Look around you Maka," he ordered her, turning her head involuntarily. "Do you see someone like that here?"
Maka slouched down in defeat when she scanned the room and saw he made a good point.
Maka came home with different levels of anger rising and didn't notice her white haired acquaintance was there until he called her name.
"Maka." He said, his voice flat and distant.
Maka jumped in surprise and turned around to see his sunken face through the kitchen counter.
"I don't have the time of day to deal with you right now," Maka rolled her eyes and tried to retreat back to her room, her mind set on looking up education laws on the internet.
"Are you still mad at me?" His voice sounded detached.
"Well, what do you think?" She glared at him, not really wanting to deal with him.
"I judged you yesterday and automatically drew conclusions...The words I told you were extremely harsh as well. I really didn't mean any of it, I just...when I thought you might be taking Hiro's side, I kind of flipped. I'm really, really sorry." Maka could automatically tell that he had practiced those lines and couldn't help but find his apology a bit amusing. Yes, she was still annoyed and aggravated that he made it clear last night he had not even a speck of trust nor respect for her but the expression on his face made it hard for her to take him seriously.
She narrowed her eyes, keeping them an icy green color.
"I was actually really offended," she admitted, frowning at the memory. "You didn't even ask me for my side of the story. You just heard assumed what the situation was by that you saw and not only humiliated me but broke my trust. I was finally going to mend an old relationship and have a closure, but you ruined it."
"Yeah I know," he said softly, his scarlet eyes darker than usual. "I feel like an idiot, I'm sorry I jumped to conclusions. I can't believe how uncool I am these days. I'm really sorry, is there any way you can forgive me?"
"I don't know," she said, not really sure if she would be able to forgive him so easily. "I can understand that because you're my friend you want to protect me from someone like an abusive ex, but he changed. He really meant no harm this time, yet you...you were so possessive."
Soul cringed at the two words- friend and possessive. One was a word he didn't really want to hear or label their relationship as, while the other word was one he heard too often when he had that occasional, brief talking session with the maid.
"I know, a lot of people tell me that. I try really hard not to be," he admitted, diverting his eyes away from her. "But I can't help it, especially to the people I really li-"
"Wait!" Maka interrupted him, as she looked at Soul up and down. He looked as confused as he looked annoyed, and was about to call out on her rudeness when she started to squeal.
"W-What?" Soul asked, taken back by her complete change in moods.
"You're really sorry, right?" Maka challenged, her hands on her hips.
"Y-Yeah," he stuttered, still in shock by what seemed to be a serious case of bipolar-ness.
"Well," Maka slowly shook her head, looking down on him as if she was royalty. "I just can't trust you anymore. You're going to slowly have to build my trust...do you get where I'm going with this?"
"I'm saying you have to listen to everything I say from now on," she confidently informed him, ignoring his perplexed facial expressions. "Are you willing to do that? I will only forgive you if you promise to do everything I ask you to do and listen to everything I tell you to do...all right?"
Soul was not sure how misunderstanding a situation entailed him to be her personal slave, but he figured if she was willing to forgive him, he would go ahead and do whatever the hell she wanted him to do.
"Just don't worry about it," Maka reassured Ox before she found a seat next to her two best friends in the huge auditorium. "If this turns out well, we might be able to get half the five-hundred! Then we can earn the rest with a bake sale...yes!"
Ox raised his eyebrows in suspicion but kept this mouth shut.
Maka anxiously sat in her seat. She was more nervous now than when she received crucial test scores- at least she knew she did well on them because she studied...who knew when Soul would bail out on her because what she ordered him to do was " too mortifying, degrading, and dehumanizing."
After what seemed like eternity, the velvet curtains opened and the "host" greeted the students.
"Students of Death Weapon Meister Academy welcome to the annual The Perfect Date Auction!" He greeted his fellow classmates, the response phenomenal. "How are all of you today?"
"Just get on with it!" An impatient girl from the front row screamed.
The good natured host just chuckled at her rudeness and continued his speech. "In case you transferred to this school this year or you are a Freshie, this event is a tradition that our school has every year. It is called The Perfect Date Auction, where there are wonderful guys from our very own school immediately ready for a date! How much are they? It depends on how much they are wanted, of course! All the money that each person here earns will go to whichever school event they want it to go to. I know a lot of men this year are taking place in this event to raise money for prom- I guarantee you will be shocked at the unique selection this year! Yes, all the date candidates this year are male since last year it was all female. Now, without further ado, I say we get this auction underway!"
The audience went crazy once again, and Maka actually had to block the noise with her hands so the earsplitting screaming wouldn't permanently damage her ears.
The host started off with the less popular students, who Maka sympathized with because the girls basically stated that they weren't worth more than ten dollars. The auction went on smoothly for forty-five long minutes, which meant there were fifteen minutes left in the hour long auction. With each passing boy, the queasiness in Maka's stomach started to grow stronger.
"Now!" The host boomed with a loud voice, his voice somehow unaffected by the constant yelling he had done until now. "The time you have all been waiting for! This person is someone that none of you will have even dreamed about. When we got the request for him to take part in this auction, we were so shocked, we couldn't believe our eyes! We had to personally go up to him and confirm it! This person is someone you all know: the last but definitely not least, Soul Eater Evans!"
The auditorium went completely silent. Maka's heart pounded furiously, and the quietness in the auditorium was not helping with the situation at all...why was it so quiet?
And then he came.
He had on a sleek black striped suit, with a red rose boutonniere on the left side of his chest. He had his signature cocky grin plastered on his face and his glossy dress shoes made clunking sounds that would have sounded clumsy had it been anyone else who was walking with them. His white hair was unruly tousled by his hands, making him a strange yet fitting combination of elegance and messiness.
"Hey. I'm Soul Evans." He flatly said when the host handed him the microphone, and all hell broke loose.
If Maka wasn't so mesmerized by how natural and handsome he looked in that suit of his, she would have probably fainted by the ear shattering screeches of the girls around her. He caught her staring at him from the audience and smiled widely, and such a wide smile on his sharp face might have looked goofy were it not for the unimpeachably elegant red in his eyes. She felt a light blush grazing her cheeks and immediately regretted asking him to take part in the audition.
She bit her lip in annoyance. Why was she feeling so annoyed when she was the one who ordered him to take place in the auction? Somehow she wanted to feast on the sight of him wearing a suit by herself. She greatly disliked the idea of having to share his rare, formally dressed self with so many people...so many girls.
"Yes!" The host grinned, obviously pleased with the positive response. "It is THE Soul Eater Evans up for auction! For one whole day, he will be your boyfriend and you will be able to go on a date with him! The date includes him playing the piano for you, cooking for you, and hugging you- can it be a better deal? We don't think it can! Well then, let's start the bidding! Starting with twenty dollars!"
Maka frowned, the rapidly increasing numbers that girls were screaming out buzzing in and out of her ear. Play the piano for the girl? She never heard of this! He didn't even play the piano for her yet, how dare they even entertain the idea?
Maka was having a mental battle with herself, one side telling her ignore her agitated feelings and the other telling her to just throw away her pride and take part in the auction, when a girl in front of her screamed out "two-hundred."
Maka almost choked on her own spit. That was half of how much she got every month for living expenses.
Maka's palms started to sweat and get clammy. She completely forgot about the trip, and instead the image of Soul, decked out in his fancy black suit, playing the piano for some girl who would undoubtedly be all over him took over.
"Maka, are you okay?" A concerned voice woke her up from her unpleasant thoughts.
"You look a little sweaty and sick," Kid informed her, looking at her quizzically. "Is something wrong?"
"O-Oh, no, it's just a little hot in here, isn't it?" Maka faked a laugh. "I-I'm perfectly fine, just a little tired haha."
"Mhm..." Kid replied full of doubt. He continued to observe her out his peripheral and realized with every increasing number a girl shouted out, she shook harder. It didn't take him long to catch on to the true reason for her strange behavior.
"Five-hundred!" A voice boomed out-loud, shushing everyone in the crowd. Maka looked in horror to the direction of where the voice came out, and her prayer that it wouldn't be the pink-haired devil were left unheard.
"Woah!" The host widened his eyes before laughing off his surprise. "Kim with five-hundred dollars, is there anyone who can top that? Going once..."
Maka clenched her fists tightly. The girl in the scenarios she had in her head before being replaced with Kim was more unbearable than she thought it would be. Kid watched Maka suffering in silent agony and then directed his attention to a nervousTsubaki, who noticed Maka's erratic behavior as well. Kid shook his head, wondering why he ever bothered making friends with girls.
Despite Maka's plead that someone in the audience would outbid her, the auditorium remained silent.
"Seven-hundred!" A voice offered, sparking the attention of every single person in the auditorium. Even the sleeping boys who had no interest in the boy auction woke up to the voice in shock.
Maka froze in her seat, her grassy green eyes popping out in shock and her mouth dry of words.
"K-Kid?" Maka finally managed to squeak out, as she slowly lifted her head to look at her raven haired friend who had stood up and blurted out the outrageous number. His face was flushed in such an impossibly dark red color that if it weren't for the lack of hands around his neck, one would have assumed that he was suffocating.
To Maka everything seemed to be happening in slow motion- the bewildered look on Kim's face, the coy look on the host's face, and most of all, the absolutely petrified look on Soul's face. The auditorium remained silent for five minutes, before all hell broke loose.
"I knew it! What did I tell you all? I told you he was gay!"
"No wonder his two best friends are girls! He just connects with them better!"
"Since he's so obsessed with keeping things symmetrical, I was positive he was straight! I would've never guessed!"
"There goes my hopes and dreams."
"I'm not surprised, the good looking ones are ALWAYS gay."
The host gave an uncertain look to one of the teachers sitting down, who in turn nodded her head.
"Well then..." He continued on with a wave of uncertainty. "Kid with seven-hundred, is there a higher offer? Going once...going twice..."
"I knew it!" Soul repeated for what seemed like the hundredth time. He carelessly tossed his book-bag on top of the sofa and started to pull on his tie. "I just knew it! I mean, how could I not? The signs were all there! I always knew Symmetry swung that way! I just can't believe I was blind enough to think he used to like a certain girl- I should've been more worried about myself!"
Maka narrowed her eyes at him and pursed her lips together. "Kid's not gay, Soul."
"Yeah, he just likes men."
"He's been my friend since Freshman year, I know Kid better than anyone else. He's not gay." Maka tried to convince him.
"Yeah, he just dates men."
"You're unbelievable." Maka gave him a dirty look, which he returned.
"And you're lucky," Soul replied, tearing off the rose from his top pocket. "You not only earned enough money for the trip and then some, but you also got to know a little something extra about your best friend you never knew."
"I'm sure he has an explanation," Maka confidently said. "He'll tell me the reasons for his actions eventually...for the meantime, you should get ready for that date you have tomorrow!" She snickered, fully aware that it would tick him off.
"Do you have any idea what people are saying behind your back?" Tsubaki asked her friend who had his head buried under a pillow. He mumbled back an incomprehensible response and let out a huge sigh. "Exactly what triggered such a spontaneous and crazy action?" He remained silent and Tsubaki stared at him for a few minutes before she gasped loudly. "Don't tell me you're actually-!"
"NO!" He immediately denied. He took the pillow off his head and finally showed his face to Tsubaki, who immediately took notice of the dark bags under his eyes.
"Then why...?" She wondered, unable to grasp the situation.
"You saw it too, didn't you?"
"Saw what?" Tsubaki asked in confusion.
"The look on Maka's face when she realized that her boyfriend was going to be auctioned off to some asymmetrical snob," Kid reminded Tsubaki. "She looked like she was going to have a heart-attack. You know how Maka is. She's the type of person who would rather die than give up her self pride."
"Ah..." Tsubaki finally understood what he was trying to say. "So that's why! Then why didn't you just ask me? I could've tried to buy him off, you could've texted me or something..."
"Yeah," Kid scoffed. "That Black Star kid was right next to you, it would undoubtedly cause a huge conflict between him and Maka's lover if you took part in that auction. I mean, I really don't give a shit about those two's friendship, but you would probably be stressed out over it because you like Black Star, isn't that right?"
"W-What?" Tsubaki stuttered, surprised by his unexpected accusation. "W-What makes you say that?"
"Well you broke it off with Mifune- yes, I found out because he gave me a pitiful call asking why you did- and you're always stuttering or being super nervous whenever he's there or the topic of him is mentioned...like right now."
"I-I do not!" She denied, a blush spreading across her cheeks.
"Mhm..." Kid shook his head, wondering why girls had to be so complicated with their feelings.
Maka squinted her eyes and looked around the park for her black haired friend that called her out. She immediately agreed to his plan of meeting up when he told her that he had something to tell her. She automatically assumed it was about the whole auction ordeal and eagerly came to speak with him. Maka quickly found the huge tree they planned to meet up at, easily distinguishable by its size. She stood under it in silence and glanced at her watch, wondering if she came a bit too early.
"Pigtails?" A familiar voice called from behind. She immediately turned around and found herself face-to-face with Soul, who had on a leather jacket and denim jeans.
"S-Soul?" She asked. "What are you doing here?" Before she received an answer, she felt a vibration in her pocket. She flipped out her phone and saw she had one message from Kid:
Enjoy your early birthday present.
Maka stared at the strange message with furrowed brows and only understood the true meaning of it when Soul flatly replied, "Symmetry wanted to meet up here."
"Wh...What?" Maka asked in disbelief, still staring at the text message on her phone screen. "I don't...wait, I don't understand."
"You don't understand what?" Soul curiously asked. He stole a glimpse of her text message and grinned widely at the message. "Maybe Symmetry's not so into men after all...I believe good ol' Symmetry here is trying to set us up."
"Well I get that part," Maka scrunched up her face in confusion. "What I don't get is why? Why would he try to do that using this method?"
"Maybe he just really wanted to help you out for your club." Soul shrugged. "Who cares?"
"I care! That's really sweet of Kid..." Maka smiled softly at the thought of her friend's considerate gesture. "But it was really unnecessary. I feel really guilty...not only was it immensely embarrassing for him, but he has no money..."
"What are you talking about?" Soul raised an eyebrow at her worried face. "Kid's family is loaded."
"No..." Maka returned the puzzled face. "Kid's family is extremely poor. He never let me or Tsubaki into his house because he's embarrassed by how tiny it is."
"...Maka, does your naivety know no bounds? I see Kid and his family at our family concerts all the time, an event only rich and renowned people are able to attend."
"No way!" Maka doubted Soul's words, finding them hard to believe.
"Whatever, this is boring." Soul yawned. "Let's stop talking about Symmetry and go on our seven-hundred dollar date instead!"
"And do what?" Maka asked as casually as she could, trying to hide the blush elicited from the word "date."
"Well what do you want to do? Your call," he grinned, taking full notice of her ill concealed blush.
"Hm..." She pondered about it, only cliche date plans coming to mind. "Um...oh yeah! Didn't the host say you'll play the piano for your date? I want to see you play the piano, you've never played it for me!"
"No!" He quickly rejected the idea.
"Why not?" She whined in protest. "I want to hear you play! The host guy said you will!"
"They lied! I never agreed to it, they just put it in the program without my permission...they didn't even ask me about it!"
"You're a seven-hundred dollar date!" Maka glared at him. "So totally not worth it!"
"Well you didn't pay so it's fine," he reasoned.
"No it's not!" She protested once again, the anger and disappointment eminent on her face. "Why won't you play for me? What's the big deal?"
"I'll play for you when the time is right," he offered.
"And exactly when is the right time?" She slit her eyes.
"Not now," he stubbornly answered.
"That's it!" She crossed her arms across her chest. "Then I don't forgive you and I'll never forgive you for what you did, freak!"
"What? !" Soul cried out in objection. "How is that even fair? I made a complete fool of myself up there on stage- I basically sold myself! There are rumors about me because of that stupid auction saying that Symmetry is my hidden lover and I'm still in the closet about my sexuality, but I'm actually into men!"
Maka cockily grinned at him. "You know what that sounds like? A personal problem," she smoothly finished.
She laughed, enjoying the fact that the tables seemed to have turned. Lately she was the one who was teasing him or getting him flustered.
"Well, since you're being a total prick and refusing to play the piano for me, I guess it's your call," she told him, as she started to walk away from the barren tree. "Whatever we do, though, it better be worth each and every penny of that seven-hundred dollars."
"Oh, I can make it worthwhile..." The coy smirk on his face grew vastly, as he knew for a fact that the next two words he was planning on saying would trigger an amusing reaction from the blonde in front of him. "...In bed."
Maka choked at his remark and started to frantically pound her chest in hopes of letting some air in.
She figured maybe he still had the upper-hand when it came to teasing after all.