Your Shine Is Something like a Mirror
Because she and Soul, they had never been her Mama and her Papa. They weren’t doomed to fall apart at the seams. They were so much more like the Professor and Miss Marie than she’d ever noticed before.
For an instant, she realized that she was the first Albarn to come to Patchwork Labs in over a decade without any malice or spite or fury or fear in her bones directed toward the man who owned it. She was just a senior Meister looking to have her favorite professor read over her valedictorian speech. As the only one in her entire class to make a Death Scythe, not to mention her immaculate grades, she was graduating with honors.
And yet, with all those awards and all that prestige, she just couldn’t make the damn speech sound right. She sat across from Stein, balancing a teacup on her knee that Marie had handed her when she first walked in, and the full cup was definitely cold. Her opposite leg was shaking, bouncing up and down as Stein read over her neat handwriting as he had for the past two minutes.
Then, without warning, he looked over the notebook, quirking an eyebrow.
“Why did you want me to read this, again?” he asked, and Maka huffed, setting the teacup down on the table where a small plate of cookies had been promptly devoured via her stress eating.
Typical. Her favorite professor was unconventional if nothing else.
“To see if it’s…I don’t know! To see if it reads well.”
“It reads fine,” he said, setting the speech down on the desk and yawning, leaning back against the couch and crossing his ankle over his knee.
Maka rolled her eyes. “Just fine?”
“Mmm, this isn’t about the speech, is it?” he asked, looking at her with something like amusement on his face, and Maka’s brows went up.
“Really? News to me,” she snarked, but avoided his unsettling stare.
Truthfully, it was about the speech. Sort of. Kind of? But not because it wasn’t right. Rather, because everything wasn’t right, and that she had no idea how she was meant to talk about the bright future when hers was looking so murky and difficult to wade through.
She was a three star Meister. She was graduating top of her class. She had made a Death Scythe.
She had made the last Death Scythe.
“It’s because he might leave,” Stein said, and Maka’s head whipped up , her eyes wide as she met his analyzing, careful gaze, reading her soul.
She was scared he was going to go.
She was scared of what she should do.