Chapter 3: Changes

The morning light slowly made it's way through Maka's window, causing her to stir and reluctantly open her eyes. She groaned softly as she went to stretch, only to realize that she couldn't move one of her arms.

She looked down in surprise to see her arm around Soul. To be more precise, he was laying on it. Her

eyes opened wide and she was at a loss of words.

Images from last night's ordeal flashed through her mind. Slowly, a smile made it's way across her face. "Thank you, Soul." she whispered. A part of her was so happy to know that he cared this much. Another part of her felt ackward. How was this going to change their partnership? Had last night actually meant anything or was Soul just being friendly? Was she reading way too much into this?

Trying to clear her head of all the distracting thoughts, Maka glanced over at her clock. She squealed loudly once she realized that, odds are, they were going to be late for class. Her squeal startled Soul. "What in the hell?"

"We're going to be late!" Before Soul could answer, Maka was already in the bathroom trying to change. He only looked at the ceiling and sighed. Did the night have to end? Maka had no idea that he had spent most of the night watching her sleep to ensure that she didn't sucumb to any more nightmares. Yes, she cuddled with him, but did that mean she cared for him the same way?

"Soul! Go get changed!" Maka pleaded as she ran from her dresser to the bathroom again. Soul didn't move. He was enjoying this too much, and he was allowing himself to get lost in thought.

"MAKA-CHOP!"

Soul found himself on the floor, his head pounding. She had done it again. "Damn it, Maka. So not cool!" he mumbled as he pulled himself off the floor. As Maka watched him leave, she couldn't help but laugh softly as Soul ran his hand through his white hair before disappearing into his own room.

Minutes later, Soul and Maka were about to leave, however, she was in for a surprise when she opened the door.

In front of them stood Spirit with a sincere, yet creepy, smile upon his face. Soul pushed by him. "Come on, Maka. We can't be late." he took her hand and pulled softly. She didn't move.

"Maka, you are not going to class today. You'll be spending the day with me instead!" Spirit said dreamily. Soul spun around angrily and looked him in the eyes. "This time it's not of my doing. Lord Death has asked this of us." Spirit added.

Maka rolled her eyes and looked over at Soul. "Go on without me." she sighed. Soul hugged her "If you need back up, I'll be waiting." he whispered. He glared at Spirit "You better not hurt her." he warned. With a nod to Maka, he headed off to class.

"Why would Lord Death ask for this?" she asked, though, part of her didn't want to know the answer. "Apparently, our love-hate relationship is causing trouble." Spirit sighed. "But I'm your Daddy and I love you! Never forget that! I'll make you proud!"

Maka instantly pulled a book out of her bag, and before Spirit could move:

"MAKA-CHOP!" God she was getting good at this! "And to think Black*Star thinks he'll surpass God!"

The thought made her giggle.

"Stop making a fool out of yourself." was all she said. She started making her way down the sidewalk and noticed that her father wasn't with her. "Are you coming or not?"

A smile took over Spirit's face. Gently rubbing his throbbing head, he ran to catch up with his little girl.

While Spirit ordered food and drinks, Maka waited for him in the green leather booth. She hadn't been this resturaunt before, so she wasn't quite sure what to expect. All she could think of, is how the relationships in her life are changing.

She had always thought of men to be unreliable in relationships…like how her father had betrayed her mother, Kami, while they were together. It seemed like Spirit wanted to change and to be a proper father, but did he know how? Now, her partnership, and friendship, with Soul may be changing. Maka rested her head in her hands. Why did everything have to be so complicated?

As Spirit waited for their order, he couldn't help but watch his little girl. She was growing up quickly. Lord Death was right, of course. He loved Maka more than anything. He knew he had messed up and had betrayed both her and her mother. He knew he wasn't perfect now. All he wanted to have his daughter look up to him and love him. The way other daughters loved their fathers. How would he be able to prove his love for her, let alone prove he had changed?

Silently, he looked to ceiling and prayed "Lord Death, help us!".

What he didn't realize was at the same time, Maka was doing the exact same thing.