The One Where They Get Sick
Maka woke up to find that she was wrapped tightly inside Soul's soft black jacket. She rose, confused and still a little drowsy, as she slowly opened her eyes. She rubbed her eyes and saw from the tiny window in the corner that it was still dark outside. Her attention then hovered over to the boy soundly sleeping, his chest softly pumping up and down from his breathing. Her blush was very visible when she realized she had just gotten up from his lap, but it quickly faded when she saw his body shivering. He had his arms around his chest in an effort to keep warm, and she realized that he was only wearing a thin sweater. She widened her eyes and threw his jacket back at him in haste. Was he crazy? Did he want to die from hypothermia?
Maka didn't know when or how, but she fell asleep again and woke up a second time to see the black jacket was around her again. Except this time he wasn't there.
"S-Soul?" Maka called out, fear rising up her throat. It was brighter inside the shack now. The blinding sun's rays emitted through the window, but she still did not like the eeriness of the old, worn out building.
"Soul?" Maka tried again, as she took his jacket in her arms and stood up. She looked around desperately for his signature white hair, but the shack was quite small and it was clear that he wasn't inside. She rushed outside, to find him idly looking up at the sky. He noticed her presence immediately, and diverted his attention to her.
"Heya," he grinned, his body still in a state of torpor. She ignored his sluggish greeting and instead flung the jacket at his face.
"What the hell are you doing outside, without your jacket nonetheless? Do you want to freeze to death?" She snapped, as she watched him put on the jacket. A silly smile grew on his face.
"Aw, were you worried about my well being?" He teased, leaving the front zipper open.
"Zip up your jacket!" She scolded him, ignoring his irritating remarks.
"Man, yelling and ordering me around the minute you wake up," he shook his head, as he zipped his jacket up per request. "I highly doubt anyone would want to marry you other than me."
"Don't worry, I just won't get married!" She retorted, the last part of his statement flying by her. "Anyways, how are we going to get out of this forest? Do you have your phone?"
He flipped open his phone and showed her the screen. "No service."
She groaned, stuffing her hands inside her coat pocket.
"What are we going to do now?" She wondered, looking grimly at the thick trees that stretched out for what seemed like endless miles.
"Well, we could go tread through the snow or we can just stay in the shack waiting for others to find us while cuddling and whispering sweet nonsense-" he was abruptly stopped with a huge blow to his head. "Ow!"
"You are so, so annoying!" Maka complained, rubbing her throbbing hands together. She had a feeling that she had inflicted more pain to herself than the target when she hit him on the head.
"That's not what you said yesterday night," he cheerfully reminded her, to her dreadful dismay. She was hoping he was not going to mention it, thinking maybe he could have conveniently gotten a brain concussion for some unknown reason and forgot all the words that were exchanged that night.
"I was weak and vulnerable!" She sputtered, an ill concealed blush spreading across her face. "I was drowsy and I didn't know what I was doing."
"Sheesh, you make it sound like I raped you while you were drunk or something," he rolled his eyes. "So, I'm really a pretty amazing guy, huh?" He wondered out-loud, fully aware she was as red as tomato. He couldn't help but crack a smile.
"I take back all my words!" She exclaimed, walking into the forest. She was clearly flustered by the whole thing. The scene last night played over and over in her head, making her cringe repeatedly as she remembered the terribly cliche words she had said to him. Although they were completely honest, and she really did feel that way about him, she had never meant for him to know it! And now she would never hear the end of it...
"Where are you going?" Soul whined, in a babyish tone. "Let's go together, Maka."
Maka moaned, and thought that maybe "pigtails" sounded better after all. It was nice when he called her name out last night, just the way he said it- it was completely opposite to the way he was going about it now. Right now it was just plain creepy.
"What kind of policemen were hired to find us anyways?" Maka asked angrily. "Some rescue team you hired! A whole day passed and they still couldn't find us? Useless! Completely useless!"
"Uh, Maka, we're two tiny people," Soul reminded her, trying to calm her down. "In the middle of a gigantic mountain. Secluded by trees and a shack that looks like it's about to crumble down any minute. I think we should give them some credit."
"Useless!" Maka persisted, power walking down the trail. She knew he was following her from behind, and she was fine with that. As long as she didn't have to see his face, it would be fine. Yesterday night kept replaying over her mind, and she felt as though she might die from embarrassment if she had to deal with him face-to-face.
They were walking down in silence, before Soul decided to speak up again. "Did you mean it?" He asked out of nowhere, causing Maka to almost trip on a rock.
"Mean what?" Maka questioned, fully aware of what he was asking.
"What you said last night," Soul explained. "Did you mean it?"
"Who cares!" Maka shouted, trying to relinquish the topic. She knew that this conversation was insidious, and she desperately tried to avoid it. She started walking at a faster pace, her face beet red. Just when she was starting to forget about it, he just had to remind her again.
Soul quickly caught up to her and grabbed onto her wrist.
"I care," he flatly said, his scarlet eyes staring right at her. His attempts to trap her until he got a clear answer by giving her steamy expressions and strong words were laudable. She felt her face grow even warmer and redder, if that was even possible.
"Why does it even matter?" Maka angrily asked, not wanting to stay on the topic anymore. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to say anything nice to this person- he always took it to the next level.
"Because you matter," Soul instantly replied back, his eyes sturdy with honesty. Maka was taken back by his statement, and she opened her mouth to retort something cynical back at him, but no words would come out. She had no idea what to say...
Thankfully, she didn't have to.
At that exact moment, Maka saw a rush of black running towards her and she tumbled onto the snow-covered floor caused by the impact of someone holding her down.
"Maka!" She was relieved to hear the familiar voice of her friend, and hugged her back just as tightly.
"Tsubaki!" Maka cried in happiness, holding down the urge to burst into tears.
"We were so worried!" Tsubaki exclaimed, tears escaping from the corner of her eyes. "I thought you were g-gone!"
"N-No!" Maka shook her head, sitting herself up from the fall. She briefly glanced over to the white haired boy who was conversing with his blue haired friend. "S-Soul saved me, he came for me."
Tsubaki widened her cerulean eyes, noting the light blush that came over her friend's small face. "Oh," the raven haired girl said knowingly. "Anyways, let's go home. I bet you're tired from all this catastrophe. Kid brought his car, so we'll just leave with him."
"O-Okay," Maka slowly said, her eyes not being able to tear themselves away from Soul. When he looked towards her direction once every few whiles, she quickly darted her eyes away, afraid that he might have caught her staring.
When Maka had arrived home, all she could think about was how to face Soul the next day during school. She had stayed up all night contemplating on how to answer his question, if he dared to ask it again. As a result, she woke up Monday morning a mess.
But all the thinking and excuses went down the drain when she saw that he hadn't come to school that day. She tried to ignore it, but it was hard not to notice the empty seat in every class that was usually filled with his presence. She repeatedly try to divert all her attention to her studies and what her teachers were saying, but she found it hard to concentrate. She got home the whole day wondering why he hadn't come. Was he avoiding her?
Maka snapped out of her thoughts when she heard her phone ring. She went to go pick it up, and was surprised to hear who it was at the other end of the line.
"M-Maka?" A hoarse voice asked weakly.
"S...Soul?" Maka wondered. The voice sounded vaguely like Soul, but it had lost its smooth roughness, and instead sounded miserably weak.
"Yeah, it's me," he confirmed, his voice cracking. "Maka, can you please come over? I think I might have caught a cold, and I would be fine by myself but I feel as though my head is literally going to split open."
Maka felt a wave of concern hit her. "You're- you're sick? How about your dad or your maids?"
"Ugh..." He groaned in pain. "My dad's never home and all the maids went on their winter vacation...ugh..."
"A-Alright," Maka agreed, quickly grabbing her keys and coat. She disregarded her questions on how he had a hold of her number, and instead concentrated on getting to his house as soon as possible. "I'll be there in around thirty minutes, try to get some sleep."
When Maka arrived forty-five minutes later, she found a dying Soul hidden under three layers of thick blankets. His eyes were shut tightly, and he had his arm on top of his forehead, in an attempt to cool it down. His silver hair was a mess, and he was breathing heavily. Maka tried as hard as she could to come in so he wouldn't notice her, but he noticed her presence as soon as she came in and he lazily opened one eye.
"How did you get in?" He wondered, remembering that no one was outside to open it for her.
"Jumped over the fence and inserted the code," Maka shrugged.
Soul smiled weakly at the mental image and asked, "You remember the code?"
"I have good memory, remember? Because the brain department is the only place I excel at," Maka recited bitterly.
"Come on Maka, I didn't mean-" he started, before clutching his head tighter. "Ugh..."
"Where does it hurt?" Maka asked in concern, dropping off her coat on top of his piano.
"My head, it hurts like crazy," Soul said, his breathing getting harder.
"It's because you stayed in the cold for too long!" Maka scolded, feeling his forehead with her cold hands. It was burning.
"You idiot!" Maka cried, her emerald eyes looking down at him angrily.
"Wha...?" Soul drowsily asked, not wanting her hand to leave his face. It felt all soft and nice and cool.
"Why did you give me that jacket?" Maka asked, irritation evident in her voice. "It's because you spent that night in the freezing cold shack with nothing but a sweater on that you're this sick!"
"Eh..." Soul grinned mischievously, despite his throbbing headache. "Instead, you didn't get sick, and you smelled like me the whole day. I think it was worth it."
"You're stupid," Maka snorted, afraid that another blush was going to appear on her face. Why did she feel so flustered around him? "Did you eat anything?" She asked, pulling her hand away.
"Nope." He shifted around in his bed, trying to get more comfortable. Maka watched in half amusement and half pity, as he rolled around in his bed to find a position he liked.
"I could try to make you something..." Maka offered, thinking about the various soup recipes she had previously read about in cookbooks.
"Are you trying to kill me from food poisoning?" Soul asked wearily, and Maka resisted the urge to kick him.
"Well, fine!" Maka shook her hands up in annoyance. "You just lie there like a cocoon and starve to death for all I care!"
"Haha," Soul laughed. "I was just joking, learn to take a joke Maka." Maka glared at him, but stopped when she saw his eyes were tightly shut.
"Does it hurt a lot?" Maka tried to ask him emotionlessly, but her words came out drenched in worry instead.
"Yeah, kind of," Soul managed to let the words escape, as he clutched his head in pain. He then abruptly sat up, startling Maka. He proceeded to unbutton his shirt, and Maka's mind told her to look the fuck away but her eyes were glued to his chest. No matter what direction Maka forced her eyes to go, she found them being pulled towards his bare chest, tracing over the way his muscles were carved in his body so perfectly- not too much muscle and not too little. The sheen of light sweat covering him made him look all the more appealing, and her face stultified. She did stop gawking his body long enough, however, to notice that there was a wide scar running across his chest.
"What happened there?" Maka found her voice ask, before she could stop herself.
Soul looked down at where her fingers were pointing and replied, "The scar?"
"Yeah," she confirmed, observing that the wound was an old one. The scar was as healed as it could get but it still left a horrible red mark on his body, defining his whole middle torso.
"This scar is like ancient," Soul informed her. He sluggishly walked past her to open a few windows; he was freezing cold one moment and burning hot the next. "I got it when I was around five years old, protecting this little girl from this vicious dog."
"What little girl?" Maka asked him immediately, not liking the way her voice sounded so...jealous.
Soul shrugged, oblivious to the envious tone in her voice. "It was a long time ago. Truthfully, I don't even remember how she looks like or anything, I just remember liking her a lot."
"Oh," Maka said, taking a deep breath out. That was dangerous. She seriously needed to learn how to manage her tempers more.
"Uh...Maka?" Soul asked unsurely, his crimson eyes filled with worry.
"W...What?" Maka asked, afraid to know what he was going to say. Was he going to mention the conversation they had that night again...?
"I think I might, I-" Soul looked at her sympathetically. Her emerald eyes widened in realization, that he was going to say something much, much more terrible than "the talk."
But it was too late by then.
"You know," Tsubaki started, chewing on a strand of her stick-straight hair. "Maka really seemed out of it today."
"Really?" Kid asked, taking out a few textbooks from his locker. "How so?"
"I don't know really," Tsubaki admitted. "She just seemed...dazed. Like, remember what happened during lunch? She spilled juice all over herself and started to wipe it off with a fork."
"Oh yeah," Kid laughed. "That was pretty funny."
"And even now," Tsubaki continued, a little annoyed that Kid was finding such a serious topic funny. "Even now, she rushed home without waiting for us...she always waits for us."
Kid shrugged. "Maybe she had something to do after school?"
"No..." Tsubaki shook her head. "Maka never has something to do after school." It was mean, but it was also the truth- Maka was not a very sociable person and if she had nothing planned with them, she had nothing planned at all.
"So where are you trying to get with all this?" Kid looked at her quizzically, starting to finally realize what his observant friend was trying to imply.
"I don't know," Tsubaki lied, knowing exactly where she was trying to go. Instead of explaining her assumptions, she gave him the partial truth by replying, "I just feel as though we're losing her to someone else."
"I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE you Soul Eater Evans!" Maka whined, her head feeling like it might explode out of her head. So this was the intense amount of pain he was feeling.
"I'm sorry," Soul sheepishly apologized, feeling terrible that she had to endure his pain.
"I'm going to kill you!" Maka threatened, the migraine not residing in the least. She brushed the white locks of hair away from her face, looking at her own face filled with guilt in anger.
"I made you soup, if that counts for anything," Soul said as he handed her a tray filled with warm food.
"It doesn't." Maka growled, slowly getting up from the bed. She looked at the plate in front of her...it actually looked really good. She glared at him once more, before she picked up the spoon and devoured the food down.
"Maka?" Soul called her name, causing her to look up. Her cheeks were filled with clam chowder soup and bread, he chuckled as he wiped away some that had gotten on her cheek.
"What?" Maka scowled, squatting his hand away from her face. She could never get used to it; seeing her own body in front of her, moving when she wasn't controlling it.
"I won't bring up the conversation we had on Saturday anymore," Soul promised her, and she noticed the way his emerald green eyes suddenly dulled.
Maka swallowed thickly at the expression on his- her?- face.
"I mean, I thought about it, and it makes sense that you would say anything at that moment," Soul smiled, although it was quite a melancholy one. "I was your 'savior,' and you were vulnerable so-"
"I meant it," Maka interrupted, looking down at the dish of clam chowder. She had no idea why she felt a need to say it, but the urge to do so was great. It might have been because of the way his eyes looked so dim or maybe because she was in his body and she was admitting it to her own body. It could have been the headache, or possibly, just maybe, because it was the honest, complete truth. She continued to avoid his eyes at all costs.
"What?" Soul asked, a tingling feeling taking control of his entire being.
"I'm not going to repeat myself," she stiffly told him, biting down on her metal spoon. "But I only meant it if you never bring it up again," she bargained, not wanting to be bothered by that one speech for the rest of her life. "If you bring it up again, I swear I will not only kill you, but take back all those words- for real."
"Alright," Soul promised, turning his back to her to hide the goofy grin plastered on his face.
Because seriously, who the hell grins like a lunatic because of what a single girl says?