It was a fine summer’s day in Death City, Nevada. Birds were singing, the sun was laughing, and Scythe Meister Maka Albarn was sitting in her apartment instead of enjoying the nice weather. On a day like today, most students of the Death Weapon Meister Academy would be out and about, playing games or hanging with friends.
But not Maka.
Maka would rather be sitting in the comfort of her home, book in hand and air conditioning roaring.
“Maka,” groaned Demon Scythe Soul Eater from the kitchen, “if you’re gonna stay inside all day, the least you could do is make some food.”
“Make your own food,” Maka retorted. “I’m reading.”
“You’re always reading,” said Soul Eater, leaning in the door frame to the living room. “The only thing you ever do is read. Why don’t you get up and actually do something with your life?”
“I am doing something with my life,” said Maka. “I’m nourishing my brain with literature.”
“That’s the stupidest excuse I’ve ever heard,” Soul scoffed through gritted teeth. “Now go outside.”
“I’m not even asking you to stop reading. I’m just asking you to read outside.”
“No,” Maka repeated adamantly. “It’s too hot. There’s AC in here.”
“Ugh… You’re such a pain.”
Soul Eater scratched his chin thoughtfully. Surely, there must have been some way to convince his meister to get up and about. Just a little push, some sort of motivation to do anything other than all this nothing. But what could it be? Then, Soul Eater got an idea. A horrible, awful, downright moronic idea.
“Maka,” said Soul Eater, a glint in his eye, “do you know what you need?”
“My own apartment?” Maka snarked.
Soul shook his head. “No,” he chuckled, grinning a twisted grin. “A boyfriend.”
Immediately Maka’s head shot up, her eyes bugging out of her face. “What did you just say?”
“You need a boyfriend,” Soul Eater repeated, “and I’m going to get you one.”
Laughing sarcastically, Maka slammed her book shut and set it on the couch beside her. “Um, no,” she said, “that is not happening. I am not getting a boyfriend, much less one that you suggest.”
“Aw, that’s adorable,” Soul Eater snickered. “You think you have a choice.”
He then forcefully lifted her over his shoulder and carried her out the door. She screamed the whole way.
On the streets of Death City at the height of noon, Soul Eater taped a hastily thrown-together flyer to a lamp post. Said flyer depicted an unflattering school photograph of Maka and pencil-written advertisements saying that she was single. All the while, Soul Eater cackled maniacally, only encouraged by his meister’s protests.
“Soul Eater!” Maka exclaimed. “Stop that right now! You’ve made your point!” She held her arms open to the beaming sun, shouting, “O great sun, how beautiful art thou?!” then swung back around. “Can we go home now?!”
“Nope!” replied Soul Eater. “Not until we’ve found you the perfect guy.”
“I don’t need a boyfriend!” Maka roared. “I don’t want a boyfriend! What part of this are you not understanding?!”
“The part where you sit inside with your nose in a book on perfectly nice days like today.”
“But it’s scorching!”
It didn’t take long for the flyer to start attracting attention. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the kind of attention Soul Eater had been hoping for.
“What the heck is this?” queried Shadow Meister Black Star, pawing the flyer as he looked it over. With a hearty laugh, he said, “You’re seriously trying to get Maka a boyfriend?! What kind of guy would want to date Maka?!”
“Now, Black Star,” said Shadow Weapon Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, “I’m sure you don’t mean that…”
“I totally mean it!” Black Star asserted. “I say what I mean and I mean what I say! And I mean it when I say that no guy in his right mind would ever want to date Maka Albarn!”
Tsubaki sighed. “Even if you do mean it, that doesn’t mean you should say things like that about our friend…”
“No, he’s right.”
Some confused stares turned to Maka.
“No guy in his right mind would ever want to date me,” she declared, “because I am undesirable. We should just give up and go home, because this will go nowhere and we are all wasting our time.”
“Wow, seriously?” questioned Black Star. “I was trying to insult you.”
“I get the feeling that Maka isn’t doing this by choice,” Tsubaki observed.
“Nope, but this is for her own good,” said Soul Eater. “I am not unlocking the door to our apartment until she is happy in somebody’s arms.”
“Then why don’t you be her boyfriend?” asked Black Star.
“Ew, no,” said Soul and Maka in unison.
“Besides,” Maka growled, “he’s part of the problem.”
“Well, what about Death the Kid?” Black Star suggested. “He’s smart, a good meister, and a total snob. Just like Maka.”
“I’m right here!” Maka shouted, and Black Star reveled in the glory of a successful blow.
“He does seem up your alley, Maka,” Soul Eater concurred.
“I’m not interested in Kid,” Maka huffed, “or any guy. Besides, likes repel, and I don’t think I could stand to listen to another one of his symmetry rants.”
Somewhere, Death the Kid pauses in the middle of one of his hourly symmetry rants to his weapon partners.
“What’s the matter?” asks Liz.
“Someone is talking about me,” replies Death the Kid. “Someone… unsymmetrical…”
“If Maka doesn’t want a boyfriend, she shouldn’t be forced to have one,” said Tsubaki. “It’s her choice to make, not Soul Eater’s.”
“Yes, thank you!” Maka cried.
“You’re just saying that to defend her,” said Black Star, “and the fact that she is completely undateable.”
“That’s not true!” Tsubaki exclaimed. “Maka has plenty of desirable traits! She’s smart, nice, a talented meister… But if she doesn’t want to date, she doesn’t have to.”
“Well, she’s gonna have to be dateable,” said Soul Eater, “because she’s getting a date, whether she likes it or not.”
“Did you hear a word I just said…?”
“Hey, what’s going on over here?”
The group turned to see two new arrivals, Lamp Meister Kim Diehl and her partner Demon Lantern Jacqueline O’Lantern Dupré, checking out the Maka poster.
“Maka needs a date?” Jackie questioned.
“Looks like,” replied Kim, “but why?”
“Because she needs to step out and smell the roses for once in her life,” said Soul Eater, attracting the girls’ attention.
“Do you guys have any ideas?” inquired Black Star. “‘Cuz we’re drawing a blank, and she’s being stubborn.”
“I’m being stubborn because this is stupid!”
“I can’t think of anybody off the top of my head,” said Jackie.
“I can,” said Kim. “How about Ox Ford?”
Maka wasn’t the only person who said that. At the same time, Lightning King Ox Ford stumbled out from his hiding place behind the nearest building.
“What were you doing there?!” Kim shrieked.
“Certainly not following you around the city in case of any opportunity to be your knight in shining armor, that’s for sure!” Ox Ford replied nervously, and Kim gave an exasperated sigh. “But really, I’m insulted that you think I would even consider going out with Maka Albarn! I am very out of her league, and I have no interest in someone such as her!”
“Good!” Maka spat. “I have no interest in someone such as you!”
“Sounds like we’re running out of options,” whispered Soul Eater to Black Star.
“Yeah, Maka may be undesirable, but she can’t be completely hopeless,” whispered Black Star to Soul Eater. “There’s got to be somebody who’d be willing to go out with her. Like, maybe if we could blackmail them…”
Maka’s eye twitched. “Ox, may I take a look at your school supplies?”
“Of course,” replied Ox Ford. “I don’t go anywhere without bringing school with me.”
Ox held his book bag open for Maka, who retrieved a hefty textbook on soul science, hardcover. She slammed it spine-first into Soul Eater’s head. He crashed into Black Star and they both hit the ground. Maka handed the book back to Ox and expressed her gratitude.
“Ow,” said Soul Eater.
“Hey, I know!” Black Star exclaimed, prying his face off of the pavement. “That hit to the head gave my brain the jump start it needed to come up with an idea!”
“Let’s set her up on a blind date!” Black Star suggested. “That way the guy doesn’t have to know who he’s dating! It’s the perfect plan!”
“Are we sure this is a good idea…?” Tsubaki questioned.
“No,” Maka grunted, “no we aren’t.”
“Hey, I know the perfect guy, too!” Kim added. “He won’t suspect a thing!”
“Oh my god,” Jackie chuckled, “I think I know who you’re talking about.”
“Just as long as he’s decent,” said Soul Eater. “I don’t want some grungy jerk talking up my meister.”
Kim assured, “Don’t worry about that. He’s probably a better person than Maka.”
“You all keep talking about me like I’m not right here!”
“Alright, then it’s settled!” Black Star declared. “Tonight, we commence Operation Get Maka A Boyfriend! YAHOO!!”
While Soul and Kim cheered, Maka buried her face in her hands, and Tsubaki patted her on the back solemnly. “My life is over.”
That night, Maka found herself in a make-shift restaurant, this being Black Star and Tsubaki’s dining room with a sheet draped over the table and some candles set about to solidify the “romantic” atmosphere. She hadn’t bothered changing out of her attire from earlier, mostly because Soul Eater still wouldn’t let her into their apartment, but also because she didn’t care. She was sitting across from Pot Meister Kilik Rung, who was dressed in a messy bow tie over his street clothes. He looked even less comfortable than Maka did. Pot of Fire was playing a peaceful tune on a little violin while Pot of Thunder pretended to take the “happy couple’s” order, wearing a fake curly mustache.
“So,” asked Maka dully, “how did Kim drag you into this?”
“She threatened to text my grade school photos to the entire academy…” Kilik sighed.
Black Star strutted into the room, carrying two plates and wearing a mustache similar to Thunder’s. “Dinner is served,” he said in a crude Italian accent before darting back to watch the chaos unfold with the others.
On each plate was a ham sandwich. Literally just a piece of ham between two slices of white bread.
Maka rolled her eyes. “Look, Kilik. I appreciate the effort, but I’m just not interested.”
“Oh, good.” Kilik sighed with relief. “You said it first.”
“Does this mean you’re not gonna make out?” Black Star called from the other room.
“This isn’t going to work, guys!” said Maka. “Just shut it down already!”
“You heard her,” came Tsubaki’s voice, which was met with groans of disappointment. The lights came up, and Black Star, Tsubaki, Soul Eater, Kim, Jackie, and Ox Ford stepped into the dining room. Ox looked like he wasn’t completely sure what he was doing there.
“Aw, man!” Kim complained. “I was so sure that would work.”
“Maybe Maka really is hopeless,” Soul Eater lamented.
“Or maybe I just don’t want a boyfriend!”
Kilik glanced around awkwardly. “So, uh… can we go, or…?”
“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” said Jackie, “and love can’t be made in one.”
“There has to be some other way!” said Black Star determinedly. “Maybe we can sign her up for a dating website or something.”
“My cousin met her husband on a dating website,” said Ox Ford.
“That might work, actually…” said Soul Eater.
Tsubaki cast a nervous glance to Maka, whose body was tensing and teeth were grinding.
“We might have to get creative with the profile, though.”
“Maybe we could say that she’s foreign. How good is her Russian accent?”
“Does she have any talents other than reading?”
A string sprung on Fire’s violin. The room fell silent.
“What did you say?” Soul Eater questioned.
“I’m gay,” Maka repeated, now standing, her chair knocked over. “I like girls, okay?” She tidied her outfit, face flushed, before continuing, “I didn’t want to tell you because I figured you’d make fun of me, since you’re always looking for new material.” Black Star scratched behind his ear. “But you didn’t give me much of a choice there… and I guess you had to find out eventually.”
For a few seconds, nobody said anything. Kim and Jackie exchanged glances, and Kilik sat obediently for fear of what was coming next.
“Seriously…?” Black Star eventually spoke.
Maka scowled back at him. “What?”
Black Star chuckled, catching Maka off guard. “You thought we would make fun of you for that?” He burst out laughing, on the verge of hysterics. “You’re kidding! Why would we make fun of you because you’re gay? That’s just mean!” He elbowed Tsubaki in the ribs, and she squeaked. “Tsubaki’s gay, too!”
“You didn’t need to tell everyone that…” Tsubaki whimpered, covering her face.
“Yeah, half of my friends are lesbians!” Kim added. “That’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Though I can’t say I blame you,” said Ox Ford, “for thinking Soul Eater and Black Star would use that as another excuse to harass you.”
Maka’s expression softened. “I… didn’t think you would all be so supportive.”
“Why wouldn’t we be?” said Jackie.
“It doesn’t make you any different from the rest of us,” said Kilik.
Fire and Thunder each gave a thumbs-up of approval.
Soul Eater approached Maka, and she eyed him skeptically. “I wish you would have told me sooner,” said the weapon.
“Why’s that?” asked the meister.
Soul Eater flashed a toothy grin. “Because then I could have advertised you for a girlfriend instead.”
Maka roared her frustrations, swatted at the howling Soul Eater and started towards the door.
“Oh, come on!” Soul Eater cried. “We make fun of you and you get mad, we don’t make fun of you and you still get mad, what do you want from us?!”
Maka grumbled when she realized the door was locked, and Tsubaki walked to stand beside her. As she slid the key into the lock, she whispered, “If you want, I could take you out to lunch tomorrow. To make up for… all of this.”
Maka ran her fingers through her hair, cheeks slightly pink. “Uh, yeah,” she replied. “I’d like that.”
Soul Eater and Black Star looked to each other curiously.
It was another fine day in Death City, Nevada. Flowers were blooming, the sun was snoring, and Scythe Meister Maka Albarn, as usual, had her nose stuck in a book. However, this time she had her nose stuck in a book outside on a park bench.
As the boys played basketball on the court before them, Tsubaki sat down beside Maka. “What are you reading?” she inquired.
“Oh, it’s just a book that my papa got me,” the meister replied. “It’s called Boyfriend, and it’s about this passive girl who has a really sweet boyfriend, but realizes she doesn’t feel the same way about him and doesn’t know how to turn him down. In this chapter she goes to her best friend…” As Maka went on, Tsubaki smiled and nodded, listening intently to the summary.
On the court, Soul Eater and Black Star paused their game to observe their partners. “Well, it didn’t go according to plan,” said Black Star, “but you got her to come outside, right?”
“Yeah.” Soul Eater nodded. He watched Maka further explain her reading, sitting close to Tsubaki and smiling brightly. “She seems happy. That’s what’s important.” He turned back to Black Star, and with a smirk, he added, “But I’m never letting her forget that I was totally right about her needing to get out more.”