In which Maka has to explain to her six year old daughter why papa has “that big hurt” on his chest.
Just a little drabble including Maka and Emma (Emerson), SoMa’s second child and only daughter. I don’t think it’s all that great but I just wanted to write a little bit about Emma and her relationship with her parents, even though Soul isn’t included very much. So please enjoy ~
Maka could always sense Emerson’s moods more accurately than she could her own, so it’s no surprise when Maka can practically feel the confusion radiating from her six year old daughter.
For the past couple of days, Emma had been…strange. Subdued. She hadn’t been eating as much, nor had she been so quick to jump into a conversation (which she’d become very good at doing), and hadn’t even been talking very much. Maka couldn’t believe that she was the same girl who, only days before, had pounced on her dad at five o’ clock in the morning because she couldn’t go back to sleep. Or the girl who got into the middle of fights between Blaze and his friends as if she were one of the best fighters, even if she’d had little training to date.
So Maka could only wonder what had her usually energetic daughter in such a slump that she wasn’t even protesting her nightly bath.
Maka had taken out all of her toys and tossed them in the tub, hoping that would cheer Emma up. But the girl only sat in the water, the ends of her snowy white hair getting wet as she sank deeper into the water. Not even the bubble bath was helping.
It had started days ago, right after the pool party they’d had for Blaze’s birthday. Like usual, she’d stuck around her father – a daddy’s girl – for most of the day, except for the few times she went off with Blaze and the other kids she’d grown up with. But she’d always gone back to Soul, who always welcomed her back with a smile and a playful dip in the pool.
But he’d left the day after for DWMA work, a mission that required him to travel with Kid. Emma and Blaze were both used to the times when either one parent or the other left, sometimes both, so Maka was more than sure that it wasn’t his absence that was causing the mood.
Worried about her tense silence, Maka picked up the soft, thick towel as she gave her daughter a smile that was most definitely forced. “Come on Emma-bug, time to get out and get dressed for bed!” She enticed, hoping that her little girl wouldn’t catch onto the worry that was nagging at her. Because Emma was never just sad for any reason.
Slowly, Maka dried the little girl off before wrapping her in the towel that looked reminiscent of a burrito. She dressed her, slowly, and ran a brush through her silky, quickly drying locks as she continued to question just what could be affecting her daughter so much.
But then, Maka was surprised when Emma looked up with wide, inquisitive eyes and asked, “Momma, why does papa have that hurt on his tummy?”
Her body tensed up as soon as the words left her daughter’s mouth, stunning her into momentary silence. But she shook herself out of the stupor, emerald eyes meeting her daughter’s stunning ruby. “Do you mean the sca-the hurt on his chest, Emma?” She asked, running her hand along the neckline of her shirt, feeling the ghost of a scar that had been meant for her.
Emma nodded, turning her body completely around so that her whole attention was on Maka. “I saw it when we were swimmin’ and it looked like my hurts – but bigger.”
Without meaning to, Maka’s eyes strayed to Emma hairline, where her pale, snowy hair met fair skin. Her own hurts were there, barely recognizable unless one knew what to look for. And Maka did; she’d been the one to help clean them in the first place. All that remained were light scars, peppered on either side of her forehead at the beginning of her hairline. “Papa’s hurt happened a long time ago. It’s healed now.”
Maka hoped that Emma would let go of the subject, allowing the resurfacing guilt once again fade into nothing but a memory. But Emma was insistent, shaking her head as she pushed her way onto Maka’s lap. “But wha’ happened to papa? Why’s he got a hurt too?”
It wasn’t a memory that Maka could easily forget. It had been etched into her memory, as permanent as a tattoo or a brand on her mind. The weapon, the injury, the blood, his body slumped in her arms. Blood; dark, thick and red and everywhere. It covered her like syrup, a layer of guilt that she could never get rid of, no matter how many showers she took, no matter how hard she scrubbed her skin until it was raw.
Maka swallowed, pushing back the panic attack that was quickly trying to surface. “Papa…papa was on a mission for Lord Death – Uncle Death’s dad. Momma was out with him and…we were there to do a mission, to stop a very bad person from hurting anymore people. You know how momma and papa always tell you to be careful when you and Blaze fight?” Emma nodded jerkily, sitting with her back stiff as she waited. “Well, we were trying to get this person to play nice too but…he wasn’t being very nice to me or papa.”
“What’d you do to him? Did you put him in time out like me an’ Blaze?”
Maka choked on her laugh, allowing the ghost of a smile to flash across her lips. “No Emma-bug. Your momma and papa, we were trying our hardest, but he was really strong. And when I tried to finally stop him, I almost got hurt really bad. But your papa…” Flashes of torn, tattered clothing sprint across her mind, tainted further by harsh crimson stains. “Papa jumped in front of my and he protected momma. He was being so brave but he got hurt really bad. His hurt went from here,” She says, running a single finger from the top left of her chest to the right of her waist, where it ended. “To here. Papa almost didn’t make it, but then Uncle Stein got there and managed to fix him up. He was being so, so brave trying to save your momma.”
For a few moments, Emma was silent and Maka waited, half expecting her to scream at her for being the reason papa had gotten hurt. But she was instead stunned when Emma snuggled into Maka’s lap, putting her hands on top of her momma’s. “Papa did it ‘cuz he loved you momma!” She murmured, already beginning to drift off as Maka sighed, grateful that she’d narrowly survived the inevitable explanation, and picked up the little girl to tuck her into bed.
“Yep Emma-bug. And you know what else happened?” Emma’s ears practically perked up in excitement, waiting for her words as a Christian would if listening to God himself. “That’s when he became like you, love bug. He did all of that so that he could save me. That’s why he’s so brave.”
Instantly, Maka could see the wheels turning in tiny Emma’s mind before she nodded, with the type of determination Maka rarely saw in adults, much less children her age. “I ‘cided that I’m gonna be brave like papa! If he could be brave with the little oni, so can I!” She replied, ruby eyes alight with perseverance. “I’mma save people like papa.”
Quietly, Maka chuckled as she pulled the blanket up to the girl’s chin. “You tell papa that when he gets back. Tell him how brave he is and how brave you are. But first, you better get some sleep Emma-bug. You’ve got school in the morning.”
And with that, Maka slunk quietly out of the room with the expertise that only came from years of training that she had, thankfully, not forgotten. But one thing she had forgotten, was to listen, which was why she exited the room only to run into the hard surface of her husband’s chest.
Looking up at him, Maka lost her breath for what seemed like the thousandth time; she never got tired of looking up at him, thinking to herself that he was hers and she was his. They had made it. They were together, along with two wonderful children and they were alive.
And with that, Maka threw her arms around him and let the tears fall as she held onto him with everything she had, as if afraid that he’d disappear if she let go too soon.
“Hey, hey, what’s wrong? Did Emma have a nightmare? Is Blaze okay? Did something happen? Are the kids in one piece?” Soul whispered in rapid succession, his large hands resting on either side of Maka’s waist as she pulled away with a chuckle, smiling in spite of the tears. “You’re kind of freaking me out here, Maka.”
“It’s nothing. I’m just happy you made it back in one piece. I was getting a little worried is all,” She consoled him, knuckling away the tears and hoping that her eyes hadn’t turned red. “I’ve missed you, idiot.”
Finally, Soul smiled and pulled Maka back into his embrace, leaving kisses on her cheek, as if to kiss away her tears. “I’ve missed you too. I hated not being able to call you every night and tell the kids g’night,” he murmured against her skin, his lips slowly starting a trail to her chin and down her neck until he reached her collarbones, enticing a gasp as she felt the soft scrape of his teeth against her skin. “I would show you just how much I missed you, but I don’t think it would be too smart in front of the kids’ rooms.”
Maka laughed, silently, before pulling him towards the stairs that led down to their room. “Come on before one of the kids realizes you’re home. We won’t be able to sleep in as it is; they have school tomorrow,” She told him, before she remembered one small thing. “And by the way, thank you Soul,” She murmured, leaving a demure kiss on his cheek as she walked down the stairs and in the direction of their room.
And that night during their regular reunion, Maka made sure to worship Soul’s scar, brushing her lips lightly across its surface. Because she wouldn’t even be there with Soul or her two wonderful children if it weren’t for that scar. And sometimes, she just needed to show how thankful she really was for everything he’d done for her.