Chapter Twenty-Seven: Will We Find the Answers, Or Will We Have More Questions?

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I can't believe I lost control like that. Again. Even after two years I still can't keep the memories from taking over. I sighed quietly so Maka wouldn't notice and I looked up at the menacing building covered in stitch marks. It cast a dark, foreboding shadow that encompassed the entire front yard. I had an ominous feeling. I didn't like this place. I never did. Last time I was here I-

I stopped my thoughts abruptly. Bringing myself back to that time wasn't something I liked to do.

A deep frown set itself upon my face and I shoved my hands far into my bottomless pockets, slouching like I always do.

I walked as slow as physically possible up the twisted and cracked steps, which were set in a random disarray up the small hill to the large metal door. It too sported a large medical stitch that ran diagonally across the frame.

A sharp pain shot through my scar and a hiss escaped my semi-parted lips. Maka turned around as her eyes traced over my face, finally landing on the place where my fist was trembling on the top corner of my left shoulder. "Soul, are you okay?" I watched her for a second, initially not wanting to answer her.

When I had brought her back to the apartment last night and told her about Diana... I had left a few things out. Maka didn't need to be burdened by my problems. She had enough of her own to deal with without having to worry about me. So... I left out some of the details of how Diana died and why I wasn't able to protect her.

The memory drifted through my mind.

We were sitting on the couch when I drew a deep breath and sighed before turning to her to explain. "Diana and I decided to take an assignment which we weren't ready for as partners... We battled a strong Kishin named Zualoo. He was powerful. More powerful than either of us could have imagined. ... When I thought about it later, I looked at the assignment sheet again and the payment for it seemed unreasonably high for a normal low level weapon-meister pair."

I had kept my eyes downcast the entire time, knowing full well that what I was saying wasn't the full truth. I hated to lie, even a little bit, because lying was like saying you didn't trust someone with the truth - or that you didn't trust yourself. But since the day my mother sent Kayla away and I ran from home, and the day Diana betrayed me and died, well... Let's just say it's gotten easier with time.

"... At some point Zualoo had separated us and later I was told that I had been knocked out shortly after. I woke up in Stein's hospital with a mild concussion and he was there watching over my healing process. He said your dad and himself had come searching for us after Lord Death told them something had gone terribly wrong with our mission and to go help before more horrible events took place. ... He didn't tell me until after I was released that the terrible event was that my mei-..."

I struggled on the word. Never since that day had I referred to Diana as my meister out loud. I sighed and took another deep breath.

"That my meister... had died. Gutted and eaten by the Kishin Zualoo. I guess that brings us here. You see before I went unconscious I remember slicing the Kishin's leg and it's black blood spewing everywhere. He must have swiped at me too because I had stitches in my arm. Dr. Stein told me some of the black blood had melded with my own and was now flowing freely through me. So... That's how Demon got inside my head..."

I trailed off again, finished with the half lie.

How could I have told her the truth? Would she have understood? Would she have blamed me for Diana's decision to run and leave me for dead? Was I right not to have told her what really happened?

The memory over, I turned my eyes to look back up at her and forced myself to pull my lips into a small smirk. I forced myself to ignore the pain and my hand dropped back down to my side, slipping into my pant's pocket. I kept my smile on her and watched her lips form a small line as she raised a wary eyebrow. A worry wrinkle made itself known between them and my lips faltered slightly. It didn't seem like she was buying the charade.

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