Cirque de L'extraordinaore Introduction
A/N: Hey guys, as you know, GunningTwice and I have been working on a Soul Eater circus!au. We’ve set it in France during the 1970’s and are really excited to show you. I’ll be writing it while GT does fanart for it, as a collaboration. This is just an introductory drabble as there will be more soon. Also, fyi, it is mostly shameless female fanservice with little foreshadowing thrown in. And this isn’t the only circus!au, be sure to check out “The Dire Circus” by raining-down-hearts on ffnet!
Thank you and enjoy!
Running after the missing ringleader, Maka briefly stopped at her own wagon to toss in her bells. Her part of the show was over and there was no more need for them tonight. Besides, they gave Soul resounding echoes within his already pounding head. He had once told her that hearing loud noises while he had an attack was akin to feeling trapped inside a room with large and loud banging drums on all sides of him, surrounding him and drowning out his shouts of mercy.
Maka turned around to sprint around the circus, not bothering to remove anything else or change out of her stage costume. She made it down the steps before groaning and turning back around to lock the door. Whenever Soul’s fit was late at night, it went without saying that Maka would be sleeping over at his wagon. A scantily clad girl in her stage costume staying in the same enclosed room with a grown man and no chaperone had been scandalous the first couple of times, but it was quickly overlooked when Soul’s screams no longer pierced the entire night.
But with the slowly changing dynamic between the pair, a chaperone wouldn’t have been bad, Maka mused. There had been a shift in the atmosphere between the two. Taunts of small breasts and shark teeth were laced with undercurrents of affection. Too many times, Maka had caught Soul and herself staring at each other longer than appropriate when they happened to look simultaneously. Lingering touches, absent-minded grazing of fingers and standing entirely too close summed up their current relationship; it was all wrapped with a delicately-tied bow of denial. Really now, there was no way that anyone else could have been fooled with their recent actions. Now, it was up to either Soul or Maka to admit that their feelings were a little more than platonic with each other.
Shaking her head, Maka steeled herself and resolved to only think about getting him to calm down and feel better. Ducking under various tent-holding ropes and barreling around assorted circus props, Maka reached the housing row. It was a group of tents and wagons pitched together in two straight rows like a pseudo-neighborhood directly behind the main tent. With the forest behind them, it was easier to keep guard over the circus paraphernalia and personal belongings of the circus members. Her own wagon was away from the row, kept hidden to the side with the rest of her caged animals. Being near the animals was essential - it provided easier access for Maka to take care of them and her scent would often calm them down.
Finally reaching a nondescript brown wagon, Maka rushed up the steps and frantically slammed open the door. Expecting a groaning Soul curled up into a ball, the small room was oddly calm in contrast to Maka’s agitated heartbeat. Each time Soul would begin to experience the cold, creeping sensation of his mind losing its grip on reality, he would tense up and retreat to his room. It was his way of ensuring that he did not lash out or attack anyone during his psychedelic mind trip. So, why wouldn’t he be in his wagon like all the other times?
This break in Soul’s consistent pattern had doubled Maka’s worry. The only time Soul hadn’t gone to his wagon was the one time that his onset of schizophrenia had been too sudden. It had been the only time the entire circus crew had witnessed their leader, the strong and charismatic Soul, break down to a blubbering mess of tears with screams and threatening something only he could see. It had broken Maka’s heart back then and if it were to happen again, after finding a town where they may be able to stay permanently, would only cement guilt into her for failing on her part as his partner. Spinning back around, Maka redoubled her efforts to find the absent ringleader.
While getting help would have been nice, there was still a massive audience in the tent watching the last bits of the show and the closing act would have to be done without Soul. Racing through the various rows behind the circus tents, Maka looked in and around every corner. He wasn’t anywhere near the row or baths and mess tables. Her chest heaving with exertion, Maka let out a frustrated shriek. If anyone from the backstage crew had caught a glimpse of the distinctive white hair by now, Tsubaki would have found Maka. However, there had been no feedback from anyone, inside and outside the tent. Growing frustrated with not only herself but with everything around her, Maka decided to resort to her last ditch effort.
Jogging back to the cages as silently as possible, Maka neared her potential rescuer: a two-year-old cheetah named Blair with a nose that worked as well as a bloodhound, odd purple fur coloring and a crush on Soul that almost rivaled Maka’s. She was the star of Maka’s performance, as a cat that wasn’t as well known as her jaguars, panthers, leopards and lone tiger. The irony of Soul having bought Blair for her also wasn’t lost on Maka.
Fingers clumsy due to the adrenaline rushing through her veins, she was furiously trying to untangle Blair’s leash and collar from the rest of the pile. Letting out another small shriek, Maka turned at a tiny “mew” to see that the cat was already awake and alert. Feeling each second wasted on the pile weigh heavily on her shoulders, Maka threw the mess of leashes back down and untied a decorative ribbon from her skirt bottom. A cat as well-behaved as Blair wouldn’t need the restricting leather and the ribbon was long enough to wrap gently around the big cat’s neck and leave room for Maka as a makeshift leash. She had grabbed a tie that belonged to Soul from her wagon earlier; pulling it out, Maka held the fabric up for Blair to sniff, and soon the cat began to lead her to him.
Curiously, Blair led Maka on a path near the outside perimeter, instead of retreating into the maze of wagons and small tents. And with how easily she picked up on Soul’s scent, Blair eagerly tugged around her owner. To her immense relief, Maka was finally able to catch a view of white hair in the far distance, near a river that ran conveniently close to the circus. Running along the cheetah now, she pushed her body to reach Soul as fast as possible, wanting to ease the pain that he must surely be in right now. But the closer she got, with Blair trailing after, the more confused Maka became. Soul wasn’t lying on the ground nor was he wrapped tightly around himself, shuddering with the awful illusions he experienced. In fact, he was standing by the riverbank quite normally. Soul had removed his shoes and was now testing the water with his toes. Was he seriously about to wade into the frigid waters at this time of night? He must be still out of his mind!
Maka paused to catch her breath and gather enough air to yell at the doofus when she got within shouting distance, but was immediately quieted again as Soul turned to the side and gave her a view of his yawning profile. It wasn’t his position that muffled Maka’s voice but the movement of his hands. Feeling like an utter creep yet curious of his actions, she crept closer and ducked behind a tree nearby, eyes wide when Soul deftly unbuttoned his topcoat and let it pool at his feet.
Yawning loudly again and rubbing his eyes with one hand, Soul began the long process of unbuttoning his shirt. Maka stared in a flustered mess as his Adam’s apple bobbed with the working muscles of his throat and two hands came up to his second and third buttons. Soul always left the first one unbuttoned and no matter how many times she pestered him to completely button up his shirt, Maka was grateful that he chose not to listen to her. She was given a perfect view of his collarbones and the hollow in between. She suddenly wanted to kiss him there, see if his muscles would work just as fiercely as they did now. She had always known Soul was attractive but watching him now, Maka was able to note every detail she found alluring.
As the sides of his shirt slowly gave way, Maka barely stifled her cry. He had a happy trail! One that began halfway to his bellybutton and slowly disappeared into his pants. Maka had to admit, gazing at someone who she was actively attracted to was enjoyable. Broad planes of his shoulders gave way to an expanse of hard pectorals which lead down to his set of trim abs. The contours of his lower torso were graced by that infernal trail of hair, framed by his Adonis belt. And though the night was slightly chilly, Maka seemed to have trouble cooling down her body, especially her flaming cheeks. This was wrong! She should not be peeping on her very attractive ringleader! Whose very enjoyable pelvis and happy trail were displayed by a pair low-slung pants. In retrospect, she was doing the feminine race a favor by glimpsing at the very fine, male specimen. There was nothing wrong-
Coughing on her own saliva, Maka could not believe this was real life. Soul had dropped the shirt to lay with the coat jacket and then proceeded to thread his fingers together to bring his arms up and over his head, stretching his arms and back. Maka was frozen, completely in shock. There was no turning back now. His back was as finely muscled and toned as his front. The tattoo on his right shoulder blade crinkled with the bunching of his muscles. It was something Maka did not understand: a little red demon with horns and a pinstripe suit covering his body that was oddly similar to Soul’s. But looking at it aesthetically, the tattoo was a very fine adornment to Soul’s muscled back as fit his darkly humorous personality well. She also knew that Soul worked out with Black*Star sometimes and helped Killik with his drums and various other labor-intensive jobs around the circus but dear lord, having muscles like that should be illegal. Similar to how his abs curved with the defined muscles under the skin, Soul’s arms were just as pronounced with broad shoulders and muscled arms. Even from the distance, Maka could tell that underneath the tanned skin, the layers of hard muscles were created from days of honest labor.
Satisfied groans could be heard as well as the popping of his spine. The sounds coming from Soul went straight through her body, lighting her skin on fire. She dug her nails into the tree bark, desperate to hold onto something as support for her shaking knees. As his arms dropped back down and neared the buckle of his pants, Maka’s own muscles tensed in anticipation. She watched with bated breath as his long fingers unbuckled the leather and slipped it through the belt loops. Every second it took Soul to unbutton and unzip his pants had Maka getting hotter. Her cheeks weren’t the only thing burning. As Soul hooked his thumbs on the waistband slung low on his hips, Maka felt her blush start to crawl down her neck and chest. Directly beneath the sharp jut of Soul’s hipbones was the the very top of his white briefs and trail of white hair. She brought a hand up to her parched throat, cupping it as a precaution to any sounds that might escape and feeling herself swallow.
With eyes wide open and focused only on Soul, it had taken Blair a while to get her mistress’s attention. The ribbon felt odd on her neck and she wanted to go nuzzle Soul, her second most favorite person. But Maka had been so focused on him and hadn’t paid attention to anything else around her, even to the tiny licks and nudges Blair gave to her. Therefore, Blair decided to vocalize her intentions, by meowing right as Soul let his pants hit the floor. Gasping and scrambling to hide behind the thick tree, Maka pounced on Blair to cover her mouth with her hand. Really now, she had been so close to seeing the white briefs that all men of this day and age wore.
Closing her eyes in defeat and quietly groaning at how easily she was caught, Maka sulkily crept out from behind the tree, keeping her eyes on the ground and her hands on Blair. Though the moon was bright and shining today, Maka prayed that it was too dark to see her red face. She heard him walk up close to her and glancing up, caught a glimpse of defined thighs and calves.
“How did you know it was me?”
“Well, whenever Blair is out of her cage and on a leash, you’re always near her. And it’s also not recommended to let wild cats out in the open.”
Resigning herself to watch Soul smirk at her, Maka rolled her eyes and mentally agreed. She always felt unsafe when Blair was unleashed and out of her sight. The people around Blair were more of a danger to the cat than Blair was to anyone else. Angling her body away from Soul, Maka scratched the top of Blair’s head, feeling her purrs vibrate throughout her body. She was only prolonging the inevitable; the part where Soul would start asking questions and eventually get a confession as to why she was trying to covertly watch him.
“Soooo, whatcha doin’ there, Maka?”
Bingo. Right on the dot. Clearing her throat and straightening her back, Maka decided that keeping things simple and honest was her best way of getting out of this situation with her pride intact.
“Nothing much. You had disappeared from the main tent and I feared you were having another attack. When I couldn’t find you, I had Blair track you here. Imagine my surprise when I find you standing by the edge and starting to take your clothes off.”
There. That had been a nice response to the teasing lit in his voice. But Soul’s grin only stretched further, skyrocketing Maka’s own dread. What had she said?
“So, you were watching me? And from the beginning? Maka, who would have thought that you would openly watch your boss take his clothes!”
He uncrossed his arms and slouched, placing his hands teasingly on the waistband of his briefs while continuing to poke fun at her.
“Do you want me to continue? Know that the only reason I’m not charging, is ‘cause you’re the only one here. Groups are usually more. And hey, if you wanna help-!”
“NO! Soul It wasn’t like that!”
“Oh really? Cause-!”
“It’s not! I was really worried! And the only reason I didn’t say anything was because I thought you still weren’t yourself and I was trying to see what you were about to do and when I should jump in to help! And when you were already half-naked, I realized that you were ok and it would be weird for me to come out and say ‘Hey Soul, I was watching you the whole time’!”
Taking a deep breathe to calm her rapid heartbeats, Maka turned her face to the side and patted down her costume for the sake of having something to do. Her cheeks were puffed out, eyes narrowed and she started scratching Blair with a vengeance.
Feeling Soul snicker with barely-concealed mirth, she turned her back to him and ‘harumph-ed’, set on ignoring him and getting Blair back to her cage. Maka really had been worried and truly wanted to help him, she honestly didn’t know when to jump in! Well, this is what she got for trying to help the jerk. She bent forward to pick up Blair’s ribbon and her skirts for the long trip home when Maka felt two hands with long, calloused fingers gently wrap around her bare waist and still her movements.
Just like every other time, she could feel a shift in the breeze and there was a steady thrum of something heady and hot underneath the air surrounding them. Maka could feel goosebumps rise on her arms and the places where Soul’s warm hands touched her. The two were frozen for a second, adjusting to the different mood around them when Soul brought her back against his chest and dropped his face near her cheek. Her senses were on overdrive and her mind was sent reeling with his actions. As he began to speak softly, Maka could feel his stubble prick against her smooth skin and the rumble of his accent sent heat shooting through her.
“To be honest, I did think I was feeling the effects. When I left the tent, I felt so much better away from everyone. But just to make sure, can you move your hips for me again?”
Her outside demeanor was frozen, but she was panicking on the inside. Maka had no idea Soul would have asked her to dance for him. Especially when they were having another one of their moments. They usually jerked awkwardly away from each other but now, she wanted was the feel of his skin against hers and perceived that Soul wanted the same. Maka knew what he was doing. They had skirted around the topic of their fierce attraction to each other for too long and after finally playing his move, Soul let the ball rest with her. He was allowing her the option of accepting or rejecting him. Well, since Maka felt the same, she would just have to reciprocate and give as good as she got.
Maka raised her arms and wrapped them around his neck, curling the fingers around the baby hairs at the base of his skull. Even though Blair was now free from her, Maka knew that the big cat wouldn’t wander too far. She would stay close, to where her mistress was. Closing her eyes, Maka relaxed her body and let herself fall completely into Soul’s embrace. Whispering back to him,
“You asked if I wanted to help you, so why don’t you help me now?”
And then she slowly began to sway her hips, side to side. Maka made sure to keep her sways short, keeping the body contact between them to a maximum. Her skirt was wrapped around his legs and the bare back of her top allowed the body heat to be shared between them. She could feel the hard abs pressed into her while his arms were wrapped around her body. Maka wasn’t planning on actually dancing for Soul. There was no need to hypnotize him if Soul wasn’t under the effects of his mind. But she was going to work Soul up and make the mood around them to be carnal and passionate. They were playing a slow and easy game of seduction where there were no winners, just two players aiming for the same peak.
Soul pressed his lips to the side of Maka’s neck. Her pale skin had been calling him and the feel of it under his lips proved she was as soft and smooth as the rest of her. He began to move his hips in time with hers and just as she stretched upwards to fit her curves into his angles, Soul leaned in to press against her. Pleased with how well he was following her lead, Maka untangled a hand from his hair and cupped one of his forearms with it.
“I’ve been running after you this entire night. Put your hand here to support me.”
Maka grasped his hand and flattened it over her lower pelvis, spreading out his fingers to diffuse the warmth over her skin. Standing in his embrace had already sent fireworks bursting across her skin but having his hand so low on her stomach only lead to a deep and burning warmth pool between her legs. Soul’s own breath had increased, along with the grip of his arms on her. Maka had him right where she wanted and slowly turning herself around rub their bodies against each other in the most pleasant ways, she brought Soul’s head down and kissed him for the very first time.