Now was her chance. The moment had come where Maka could finally repay Soul for all the times he'd saved her.

She'd thought about this moment many times. She always wondered if she'd have the courage to do what he had done for her when they faced Stein. She wondered if she'd do anything she could to save him. More than that, she wondered if her everything would be enough to save him.

And, in this moment, she realized that her thoughts didn't matter. She didn't care to know ahead of time if it would be enough. She'd find out by trying.

As the witch stood there and cackled, Maka gently set Soul on the ground, watching as he transformed back into his human form. He had no visible cuts, be he was still breathing shallow and unconscious. She knew he would need care as soon as she could give it to him.

"Well now, dear. It seems that you are defenseless. I'll take you down before I take down that little boy of yours." The witched laughed, waving a finger in front of her face.

Maka stood to her full height and moved so that her body was shielding Soul from the witch, "You won't be getting either of us."

The woman's features contorted into an angry expression as she began launching attacks at Maka without warning.

Maka's first move was to get far away from Soul so that none of the attacks had any chance of hitting him. From there she was forced to simply dodge for awhile. Unfortunately, there were no pillars or objects in the room that would allow her some sort of cover.

"Just give up, dear. You can't beat me."

Maka growled as she lunged forward. She got within inches of the witch before a large ball of energy hit her square in the stomach. She fell to the ground, a growl falling dead on her tongue. She wouldn't give the witch the satisfaction of hearing that she was hurt.

Without any hesitation, Maka stood from the ground and lunged again. She dodged the attacks coming at her this time and was finally able to land a hit on the witch's face. The witch flew backwards and landed on the ground, directly next to Soul and entirely on the opposite side of the room as Maka.

The witch stood to her feet and turned to face Soul, "Looks like I'll just have to start with this one, then."

Maka didn't know she could run that fast. In fact, she didn't think anyone in the world could run as fast as she did to protect Soul. Nothing mattered to her except keeping her partner safe. If it meant her own demise, that was fine. Soul needed to live though. He just had to.

In the blink of an eye, Maka had tackled the witch and pinned her to the ground, "I won't let you lay a hand on my weapon,"

A moment of surprise passed over both of their faces as they realized what had just happened.

"Why won't you give up?"

Maka stared at her, "You know," she drawled, smiling a little to herself, "You never know how strong you are until you are fighting for something you care about."

"So you care about this boy?" The witch asked with mild interest.

Maka could feel Soul's wavelength growing, She knew that he was getting better, that he was waking up. She knew that he would be here to help her soon enough. And she knew that she needed to get the words out before he woke up and heard them.

"He's not just somebody I care about. He's the one. I love him. And I won't let you touch him."

The witch opened her mouth to reply, but suddenly disappeared from beneath Maka. She blinked a few times, trying to discern what had just happened. A small, red soul was beginning to form before her eyes. Maka stared for a moment, before noticing a bright light.

She snapped her eyes to the spot of the light in time to see the blade of a scythe transform back into Soul's arm. Hesitantly she turned to her right, only to see Soul staring lazily, although gratefully, at her.

"S-soul…" Maka's voice trailed off as she stared into his red eyes.

"Maka," He addressed, smiling his signature crooked smile at her, "You fought for me. And you saved me."

She smiled a little, turning her gaze to the afreet egg before her, "Call it even."

Soul laughed, turning his attention to the egg as well. He reached out smoothly and gripped it in his hand before swallowing it whole. Maka took this momentary break to stand up. Once Soul had finished, she extended a hand to him, hauling him to the ground once he placed his own hand in it.

Without a word, Maka turned and began to walk for the doors. She was nervous. Admitting her feelings out loud made them real. And she wasn't sure if Soul had heard or not. He had to, right? He had killed the witch just moments after. But she couldn't ask, in case he hadn't. And he wasn't about to say anything.

Her head was spinning. But all the thoughts were suddenly cleared when she felt Soul's hand on her shoulder. He spun her around and placed his lips on hers without a second thought. Maka kissed back, smiling against him.

After a moment, Soul pulled away and looked into her jade eyes, "For the record, I always protect you because I love you, too."

All Maka could do was smile and kiss him again.