Apologies had never been Kid's strong suit. Liz and Patty had been less than amused with his conduct two nights ago, and Liz was definitely more wounded than Patty, but one of the things that had drawn him to her was that under her rough exterior, she was a more forgiving soul than she was willing to let on to. Kid was convinced that, given some time (and a few new beauty products. Never let it be said Death was not above committing an act of bribery), she would come to grant him the forgiveness he desperately sought. And a few weeks later, his hunch was correct. Liz forgave him, and life at Gallows Manor returned to the chaotic balance it had come to live with since the Thompson sisters had moved in. It wasn't perfect, but it was enough.

Sleep had done him more good than he ever thought it could. He couldn't remember the last time he had slept for so long, but when he had awoken, it had been to a burning hunger in his stomach that was sated only after he consumed six fried eggs, four pieces of toast, half a pack of bacon, and nearly a gallon of orange juice. By mid-afternoon the superficial cuts and scrapes on his hands and feet were healed, and by the time he laid down that night, the ache of fractured ribs that had burned in his side since the fight with Asura was finally gone.

After that night, his father had started to come home much more often than before. Work was still a high priority, and there were still nights when the table was set for four and only saw the company of three, but the effort was there and Kid appreciated it more than he could ever hope to verbally express. They communicated more now, and though Shinigami was still prone to falling into his prior habit of false cheer and Kid found it hard to express himself at times, they were making progress. And that was enough as well.

It was strange for Liz and Patty to see their Meister's father seated with them in the den area, munching on a bowl of popcorn or drinking a cup of tea, his exaggerated glove hands and mask set aside and the hood of his cloak down to expose a face that nearly mirrored Kid's to perfection. Only his more chiseled, adult features and the completion of the lines of Sanzu in his graying hair stood as contrast to the looks of his son, and Liz couldn't help but admit to herself, once she was able to stop staring at Shinigami long enough to actually examine him, that Kid would grow up to be a handsome man.

"Kid, I feel that it would be best if we started at the beginning of your obsessive-compulsive issues and worked our way forward. Oftentimes, the best way to solve an issue is to figure out where it stems from…"

Therapy was still an idea both foreign and frightening to him, but he was giving it a try. The therapist had allowed him to dance around his issues for the first two sessions, and finally had insisted that nothing was going to get done if he filled the silence with useless information and comments on how her bookshelves needed a serious rearranging.

He had been unable to find the root to his issues, but he was at least able to remember the first time something asymmetrical had bothered him, and the core feelings that had come along with it. It wasn't the source, but it was the best he could do, and it was certainly better than nothing. So far it felt as though therapy was doing nothing to help curb his obsessive-compulsive tendencies, but he had to admit that talking to someone about them made his episodes easier to deal with. Kid would never be free from his disorder, and medication was out of the question (both a personal choice and a result of his Reaper body's metabolism), but he felt less alone when he talked about it, and that helped more than she would ever know. For the first time in his life, he was able to view the world through eyes that did not perceive every mishap and every imperfection as being a fault of his own, and that fact made it a lot easier to sleep at night. He would never be able to walk by a disorganized bookshelf without fixing it, or at least harboring a strong desire to do so, but symmetry was no longer the beginning and the end of existence.

And that, too, was enough.


AN: Big, BIG thanks to everyone who read, reviewed, watched, and favorited my first Soul Eater fanfiction! If not for your dedication to the fandom, fanfiction would never be written or shared throughout the world :) I know that November was slow-going as far as updates, and I apologize. NaNoWriMo ate up more time than I thought it would, but Hour of Need is finally completed!

Love and Peace!

Yours respectfully,