Soul peered through the crack in Maka's bedroom door. There was no sign of movement and the only sound emitting from Maka was her breathing. Soul grinned widely.
"Alright. Now I can start my plan."
Soul tiptoed towards the kitchen slowly. Every time a floorboard creaked under his feet he would stiffen up and hold his agitated breath. He would listen intently for any signs of conscious life; his eyes swivelling insanely around the room. Only when he heard Maka mumbling something about Pocky in her dreams would he finally allow himself to exhale and loosen his rigid muscles. Then he would begin prowling towards the kitchen once more. As he approached his destination, Soul hoped there would be a sufficient amount of ingredients. If not, he'd have to make a long, cold journey to the 24-hour convenience store, and that was definitely something he'd prefer to avoid.
Soul gritted his shark-like teeth as he cautiously opened the tiny fridge.
"Let there be food." He thought as the fridge revealed its contents to him.
He frowned in displeasure at what he saw. Two eggs sat idly in their container alongside half a pint of milk that was way past its use-by date. A small chunk of butter looked forlorn where it lay and the mouldy piece of cheese looked in no better shape. This was even less than he was expecting.
"Maybe the cupboard has something in it." Soul suggested to himself.
He carefully advanced towards his last chance of avoiding a stroll to the store at five in the morning. He yanked open the cupboard door upon reaching it and grimaced at what he saw. His hopes were dashed. A loaf of crusty bread and half a packet of crackers were the only results of his search.
"Time to go for a walk." He groaned.
Blair appeared beside Soul as he was putting his trainers on at the porch.
"Where are you going ~Nyan?" She purred.
Blair began to wash her face, pretending that she wasn't all that bothered about why he was up at that time in the morning. In truth, she was hungry for answers.
"Out." Replied Soul abruptly, "Take care while I'm gone."
Soul opened the front door and gave a fleeting glance to Blair before sluggishly stepping outside the cosy apartment. Blair just stared after him, dumbfounded, as he hesitantly closed the door. She heard the distinct click of the lock followed by the sound of Soul's feet as he dragged himself lazily down the apartment corridor.
The lights shining inside the convenience store were, compared to the darkness that engulfed Death City, a welcoming site. Soul made his way through the automatic sliding doors, not at all impressed by the technology. But then again, you could never really tell whether he was truly impressed by anything due to his constant drowsy expression. Soul reluctantly picked up a shopping basket at the entrance and let it hang loosely by his side.
"I look so uncool right now. I probably look like a housewife." He mumbled.
Soul longed for Maka to be there with him. That way she could hold the basket instead. She didn't have to worry about ruining her image; meanwhile, he did. Soul slumped his shoulders as he strode briskly through the aisles. He could feel the eyes of the clerks watching his every move. He knew they were asking rhetorical questions in their minds. Who is he? What business does he have here at this hour? What's with his teeth? Why are his eyes that colour? Contacts perhaps? He began to feel self-conscious and he didn't like it. He longed to be at home, safe and warm in bed. But instead he was roaming around the freezer aisles, shivering thoroughly. He suddenly came to a halt and stared at a boy in front of him whom was staring at a bottle of milk. The boy was around his age and had vibrant yellow eyes and three obvious stripes upon his black hair.
"Hey, Kid!" Called Soul, no longer feeling self-conscious.
Being with a familiar face comforted him and him made oblivious to the people around him that were judging him as a delinquent. A thug. A troublemaker. All thanks to his messy hair, sharp teeth and murderous red eyes.
Death the Kid turned to face Soul and gave him a warm greeting smile.
"What are you doing here so early?" Asked Soul.
"Well, I like to shop for my groceries in the morning. I'd never dare step foot in this place at noon or night."
"Why?" Queried Soul.
"Because," Announced Kid, his face lighting up with admiration, "There's so much symmetry here in the morning!"
There was a long pause.
"Well, my dear friend. At noon and night, items are scattered everywhere. Bread would be in the drinks section, Bacon would be sitting alongside Flour, and Sugar would have burst forth from the bag containing it and spread out all over the floor. It's all due to careless customers, you see." Explained Kid, "But in the morning, when there is not a customer in sight, clerks may get on with their respective job of assigning and aligning their products to the point of perfection!"
There was another long pause.
"I really don't get you." Sighed Soul.
"Well, what I don't get is why you're here instead of in bed as usual." Replied Kid, artfully changing the subject.
"Ah…Well I'm planning a surprise for Maka."
"Delightful! What's the surprise?"
"I was planning on making breakfast for her."
There was yet another long pause.
"Why would you do such a cruel thing to Maka?"
"Oi! Are you saying I can't cook?" Asked Soul in a threatening voice.
"Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying." Replied Kid bluntly.
Soul looked down, embarrassed. Kid was right. Soul's skills lied in eating food, not cooking it.
"But still," He declared, "I want to do something for her. She's always giving and giving and giving. And I'm always taking and taking and taking."
"And so you decided that Valentines Day would be a grand opportunity to give?"
Soul nodded in reply. Kid stared at Soul, his eyes then trailed around the aisle as if searching for something to say. He scanned the shelves for a while before finally looking back at the downtrodden Soul.
"Although the surprise may well end up being Maka's last due to your culinary skills, I think what you're doing is admirable."
Soul smirked at Kid's praise.
"Well, I should be off." Said Kid, peering at his skull-shaped digital watch as he spoke.
Soul nodded in understanding. He wished he could leave too, but he still had a lot of items to pick up. Kid smiled and with a wave of his hand he disappeared swiftly down the aisle. Soul was once again left alone to bask in his self-consciousness.
"Please come again!" Cheered the clerk, watching Soul as he practically ran out of the store, eager to escape from the staring eyes.
Once he was at a safe distance from judgemental gazes, Soul slowed his pace down to his usual lazy stride. His feet dragged wearily against the gravel.
"Why was I cursed with this intimidating appearance?" He thought.
Soul looked up at the sun as it laughed drowsily. He wished he were in bed.
"Let's see." Said Soul, putting on an apron, "100g Plain Flour. Check. 250ml Milk. Check. 1 Egg. Check. Salt. Check. Lard. Check."
Soul smiled at his organisational skills. Wait! Organised? Maka was definitely having an uncool influence on him.
"I'm seriously being a housewife, aren't I?" He asked himself in disgust.
Soul shook his head and focused on his task.
"Step one." He read, "Sieve the Flour and Salt into a mixing bowl. Make a small hollow in the centre of the mixture and drop in the egg. Easy!"
Soul grinned confidently.
"It says 'sieve' here. They must of spelt 'scythe' wrong, the morons!"
Soul poured the Flour into the bowl, transforming his arm into a scythe as he did so. He then poured the whole container of salt into the bowl, ignoring where the recipe stated 'A pinch of Salt'. He stuck his scythe arm into the bowl and stirred it in a clockwise circle, round and round. Flour flew into the air and Salt spilt upon the counter. Soul showed no sign of caring. He formed a hollow in the centre of the mixture before picking up an egg and, without cracking it or releasing the yolk, flung it in, shell and all.
"Step two. Begin to mix while gradually adding about one quarter of the Milk. Continue to mix well until bubbles become visible in the mixture. No problem!"
Soul poured all of the Milk into the bowl, too lazy to attempt to find out what a quarter of 250ml was. He placed his scythe arm back into the bowl and, again, began to mix. After a short while of zero percent bubbles and one hundred percent lumps, Soul gave up and withdrew his messy scythe arm from the gloopy mixture.
"When they said bubbles they must of meant lumps." He reassured himself.
"Step three. Gradually pour in the remaining Milk while continuing to mix. If it's a bit too thick then add a little water."
Soul stared at his creation. A lumpy, yellow mess with shards of eggshell poking out from within it sat lifelessly in the bowl upon the messy counter in front of him.
"It does look a little thick I guess." Declared Soul, "But I used up all my Milk…Hmm…I'll just add water."
He fetched a jug and filled it to the brim with water. He then proceeded in dunking the water into the mixture, causing it to become sloppy. Soul smiled proudly, still unaware that he was creating an image of hell.
"Step four. Pour batter into a jug for easier pouring into pan." Recited Soul, "Well if it makes the work come any easier then I shall pour it into a jug as you command."
Soul plonked the disastrous excuse of a batter into the jug he had just used for fetching water and watched calmly as it fell over the sides.
"Alright, step five! Heat the frying pan…"
Maka was having a nice dream. She dreamt that she and Crona were kids, playing tag on the Beach Planet. The deep, blue ocean frothed as it lapped over the golden sand. Crona was smiling cutely while Maka ran and laughed jovially. Crona's tiny hand frequently reached out to tag Maka, but Maka dodged every attempt and increased her pace. Suddenly, Maka bumped into something and fell back, landing heavily on the sand. She pouted and looked up at see Soul as a child staring down at her with those familiar drowsy eyes. Maka just stared back at him, dumbstruck. Soul grimaced at her, as if she was dirt on his tiny trainers.
"That wasn't cool." He barked, "For that, you shall burn."
With a snap of his little fingers, the ocean became a red, hot fire, threatening to devour them. Crona screamed in agony, causing Maka's ears to bleed. Despite this, Maka did not take her eyes away from little Soul. Little Soul opened his mouth, bearing his sharp teeth. From his throat emitted the sound of an alarm.
The alarm was deafening, and it sounded so real. Maka's nose became stuffy. This smell surrounding her, it smelt of smoke. Maka's eyes shot open. The alarm from her dream continued to penetrate her ears and the smell of smoke continued to exist. That's when Maka realised the alarm was real. The smoke was real as well. She briskly jumped out of her bed and bounded towards the kitchen.
"SOUL!" Exclaimed Maka, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!"
Soul simply stared at Maka whom was making her way towards him quickly and angrily.
"WHY ARE YOU COOKING? ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL US?"
Maka snatched the scorching frying pan from Soul's grasp and turned off the stove with exaggerated force. She then sighed with relief before turning to glare at Soul. The phrase 'If looks could kill' flashed across his mind.
"I just wanted to cook for you." Said Soul, smiling crookedly, "Happy Valentines Day."
Maka continued to glare for a while longer, but she couldn't keep it up. She couldn't stay angry at Soul after hearing his sweet intentions.
"You're such an idiot. The most idiotic idiot that was ever an idiot. If Excalibur was here, he'd be aiming a never ending string of 'Fool' at you." She declared, smiling as she spoke.
"So you don't like your surprise?" Asked Soul innocently.
"Well, it's not really…"
She stared at the black lump lying within the frying pan.
"Why did you over-do it so much?" She sighed.
"Well, the recipe said 'Cook until it becomes a golden-brown colour', but I thought you'd like the colour black instead."
Maka stared at him in disbelief. He was such an idiot, why was she in love with him? Ah, yes. Because despite his lack of ability, he still did his best. He knew very well that he was a terrible cook, and yet he decided to ignore his limitations and do his best to please Maka. He knew that she was waiting for the day that he cooked for her, and so he decided to help her fulfil her dream. Because he wants to see her smiling, he wants her to be happy. Her happiness brings his happiness along with it.
"Oh, come here, you absolute moron!"
Maka grabbed a tuft of Soul's snowy white hair and used it to pull him down to her level of height.
"Ow! Maka, what are you-"
But before he could finish his sentence Maka pressed her lips softly against his. Soul accepted this action and hugged her closely to him. Maka freed the tuft of his hair and moved her soft hand to cup his face. They held each other for a while, kissing, immersing themselves into one another. Maka timidly pulled away and giggled at Soul's confused face.
"Idiot." She whispered.
"I love you, too." He replied, brushing her sleek, blonde hair out of her face so as to get a better look at her features.
She looked like a porcelain doll. And to him, she was just as precious as one if not more so.
"Happy Valentines Day!" She sang.
"Yeah. Happy Valentines Day."
And for Soul, the 'happy' part couldn't be any truer.