Story Summary: After over a half decade at Shibusen, Soul is finally returning home to attend his brother’s wedding, bringing his meister with him for moral support. When a misunderstanding forces Soul and Maka to pretend they are in a different sort of partnership, will it lead to fate or folly?
Chapter 2 is a-GO. Special thanks, again, to ilarual for being the best beta and putting up with my massive whining—mwah! She really does make this stuff better.
Chapter 1 can be found here.
Everything can also be found on FF.Net and AO3.
It was taking too long, that much she was sure of. From what she knew of the local geography, Greenwich couldn’t be more than an hour from the airport, yet they had been driving two and were still on the highway. It was starting to get dark, and Maka was getting more than a little concerned.
She squeezed her weapon’s arm, trying to get his attention.
“Soul? Are we almost—“
“Can’t hear you,” he cut her off, yelling back. “Hold on, was about to pull off anyway.”
“Oh—Okay!” she yelled back. True to his word, Soul pulled off at the next exit and then, driving only a short way down a four-lane road, pulled into a restaurant parking lot. He craned his back and neck around to look at her.
“Uh, I guess? But, um, shouldn’t we be at your parent’s house by now?”
He got off the bike, offering her a hand to help her off which she took absently. Something wasn’t right.
“This place has the best ice cream, seriously. Figured it would be better to eat before we went home, avoid the whole family dinner bullshit for one night.” He tugged her into the restaurant, red and white themed, sort of country kitsch meets carnival. Maka thought it looked a bit like a circus and a farm had collided and spilled their insides across the interior. It was definitely on the eye searing side of the spectrum, but then, so was their beloved academy, so she was pretty used to loud kitsch. Soul seemed excited, so she figured it should be decent—he was generally pretty serious about his food.
As soon as they were seated by the same person who happened to be their server for the meal, a matronly woman with gray hair and a ready smile whose nametag declared her to be Madge, Maka turned to her weapon, her tone casual.
“So, where are we anyway? We’ve been driving for—over two hours, I think.”
“Uh, Manchester, I think,” he shrugged. Maka had little notion of Connecticut geography—they had only been here once for a mission, and Soul always drove, but she was pretty sure that was far inland and north, whereas Greenwich was just over the border from New York and south.
“And how long will it take to get to your family’s house from here?”
“Dunno. Maybe an hour, hour and a half, depends on traffic.”
“That—Soul, that doesn’t make sense. How can it take over three hours to get from the airport to Greenwich?”
His expression remained neutral, though she could tell he was hedging. “Might have taken the scenic route,” he ran a hand through the back of his hair, a tell that he was nervous.
“Uh, just, didn’t want to go through the whole family circus tonight, alright? Figured we’d take a little drive, eat a little something, and avoid the show for one night. Don’t worry, we’ll get to jump through plenty of flaming hoops tomorrow.”
Maka sighed. “You could have just told me to begin with. It’s your family, Soul. If you want to drive around the entire state before you face them, then fine. I’m here for whatever you need, you should know that.”
“Thought you might get pissed and chop me until I agreed to go,” he grumbled.
She flashed him a smile. “Nah, I can’t chop my fake-husband.”
“Why thank you, fake-wife, I appreciate that.” The smile he flashed her back was genuine, and she felt the tension drain from him, his soul relaxing. “Now, down to business. Stick with burgers, and definitely get dessert.”
“Uh, sure, sounds good,” she agreed, and they both began choosing and ordering their dinners.