Hello People of FanFiction! This is a new story, as obvously depicted, by Stef.235, a good friend of mine. And by me! And by my ninja sister Sarah, we're writing it together. I hope you like it!

Annika's POV

Walking down the street, I could feel the pavement mercilessly biting at the soles of my feet through my worn out sneakers. I could feel even the slightest breeze through my thin worn out clothes sending shivers down my spine. Of course,it seemed ten times worst to me than to Tegin because he didn't have the doubled senses. He wasn't blind. The wind picked up again, blowing my short, blue-streaked black hair into my face, which I disliked. Reaching up to push back my hair, I listened to the busy street beside me, guiding my way through sound. Tegin stirred beside me, walking a bit faster than he normally would have.

" Hey Sis, I can see the mall up ahead, just a couple more blocks." Tegin's voice sounded through the darkness. It was still strange for me to listen to how much deeper his voice is now, as opposed to how innocent it used to sound when we were kids. Now that he was 15 he considered himself a man much to my dismay. I guess he had the right of the title but it made me uncomfortable thinking that I had been given a more matured version of my little brother. His dirty blond hair had grown longer than he used to keep it from lack of cutting it. His little arms that used to wrap around my waist perfectly don't fit anymore because with age came a more defined body. He grown into a mans body even if he was still a child in my un-seeing eyes. Of course he had never lost his humor, something I deserted long ago when we ran from the orphanage together too, too long ago. He managed to keep it even though we had to steal to survive, even though we sleep next to dumpsters in ally ways at night, and even though he has be seen walking around with a short blind girl. He seemed to be able to do this but he couldn't talk to any one other than me. I've never really known why, I assumed it was a trust issue but he won't say.

" Okay we're here. Don't look suspicious or you'll get us busted….want to go over the plan again?" Tegin said reaching out to stop me. He's been my eyes since I was blinded all those years ago. He didn't even realize it half the time. Just the sound of his breathing and movements tell me were to go. In the orphanage, one of the sisters tried to make me use one of those canes they give to the other blind people. What resulted was that that same sister got whacked across the head, breaking the cane in half. They put me in the 'silent room' - which is a room without any windows and only a bed- for a week. I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone, but Tegin sat on the other side of the door and talked to me. I really hate those things.

" Ah, no that's-" I tried.

" Okay, here's the plan. You go in, and play the 'I'm Blind, Please Feel Sorry for Me' card. While I follow some family around, looking like I hate the world, since it's a chick's store. You get one of the ladies to help you pick out some clothes and get her to take off the ink tags, then find our 'parents' to pay for them. Then I swoop in and grab 'em. Then we go to the rest rooms to stuff them in the bag, and we go to my store. Got it?"

"How can I not 'got it'? This is the sixth time you've told me!" I folded my arms and shook my head. I could hear him being scoff by mimicking my voice in a high tone like a cartoon character. I felt around to find his arm, and when I did, I punched him.

" Hey, blind people shouldn't be so rude to awesome people like myself! Learn some manners!" We walked into the store to set our master plan into action. Tegin held my hand so not to loose me in the sea of bustling people too busy to notice a blind 16 year old lost in their midst. We walked for a while until Tegin stopped us and whispered, "This is the store…I can feel it."

" You're such a freak." I said walking through the entrance letting his hand fall out of mine. The store was small; I could tell by how hot the room was. It reeked of perfume, new clothes, and the sweat of close-packed bodies. Terrible canned music played through out the store, I think it was 60's love songs. A torture chamber.

" Hi! Can I help you?" An all too cheerful voice blared in my ear. I shied away from the noise and ran into a body.

"Would you help me?" I said in as pitiful a voice as I could muster, " I can't see where anything is, and my parents deserted me to go look at the electronics next door. I have to find some new school clothes, but I can't see to know what I'm getting!"

" Awww…. You poor little thing! Lets just come over here and look to see what we can find, shall we?" Her voice was high pitched like a yapping dog tinged with the slightest southern accent. I could almost picture her with big poofy hair and wearing way too much make-up for one person. She took my arm, very roughly, and drug me through a few isles. I ran into her when she stopped abruptly without warning. "What kinds of clothes were you hoping to find, Hon?

" Well, I don't really like the tight pants or bright colors, if you could just-" I started.

"Oh, okay! I know just what you need. Follow me!" The woman giggled as she walked off, leaving me an easy trail to follow.

" Like I have any choice," I muttered under my breath, hanging my head in shame.

We stopped and I heard the screech and clanking of hangers raking across the metal rack. "Here, Try this one on! It's a nice tank top with wonderful looking bleach spots- apparently, worn looking is fashionable nowadays. It used to be that if you had a hole in your pants, it was because you fell and you would go right up to your room and sew it up by hand. Now the holes come pre-made and ready to wear! You know, there was a time when I got this really nasty gash on my leg, when I was-"

"Wait! Okay, so this shirt, it's absolutely perfect. Just what I wanted. And look," I said holding it up and feeling it. "It's even the right size! So umm… I need some pants and a jacket still. Lets go look for some."

"Oh, that's a great idea! Follow me, dear." I sighed as she scurried off to another isle. This time I didn't have a distinctively annoying giggle to follow and because she completely forgets I'm blind. As I walked around listening for an annoying yapping voice of my clerk I picked up on a conversation of some little girl and her mother. They spoke in hushed tones as if they were hiding their words but my super ears picked it up.

"-following us mommy. Make him go away, he scares me."

" I know dear just ignore him maybe he'll go away,"

" But he smells funny mommy,"

" I know dear, I know. Lets speed up, he won't follow us in the underwear isle." Their foot steps picked up, accompanied by another pair of quiet ones. I had a feeling Tegin was doing his job very well. I rolled my eyes and silently apologized to the women and the girl. They're going to be scarred for life.

" Hey you, I found you some jeans! What are you doing over there little miss?" This woman has the IQ of a nickel.

" Coming!" I called out pretending to be eager. I spent the next ten agonizing minutes listening to her babble on about the styles and colors of jeans that would 'look just darling on me.' Seriously was it so hard to ask for just a simple pair of jeans? Did she not realize that fashion meant nothing to me considering the fact that I'm BLIND!? "Umm… are there any that are normal or, I don't know, ripped? I want them to look old and-"

"Ha ha! I know the perfect pair! They're right over here. And I know of the cutest little coat to go with that outfit!" She dragged me over to the other jeans shelves. I suddenly had denim shoved in my hands. "There! That's what you wanted, right?"


"Good. I'm so glad you're happy with what we're finding today! Now let's find that coat I was talking about." She bounded off (there was a 10 minute recession in which I sang I am a man of constant sorrow and tried to slide on my knees, forgetting the hole in my pants, on wood floor. IT BURNED LIKE FIRE! Stupid Sarah didn't care, she just video taped me wiggling on the ground in pain. And she's supposed to be my sister!) leaving me yet again. As I followed the sound of her humming a random Bon Jovi song, I ran my hands over the jeans she threw at me. They felt rough and had holes at the knees and frayed rips along the thigh and near the feet. I felt along the top to check the size because it seems this woman can't get anything right, only they felt like a perfect fit. Okay so she can't get anything right except clothes. The synthetic material of the coats and sweatshirts brushed against my arms as we passed by them.

" Oh here it is! Just look at those buttons…this on you will look great! It matches your gorgeous hair." I felt her run her fingers through my hair as she spoke. She draped it over my shoulders, fixed my hair, and clicked her tongue as she skipped to the register. "Come here, hon. I'll check you out."

I tried to look pitiful again. "I don't have any money; my mom took my wallet with her when she and Dad went to the electronics. Could you, maybe, ring 'em up, then help me find my parents? My mom will pay for them as soon as she gets here."

"Oh, of course!" She started to ring them up and take the security tags off. "Can you give me your parent's descriptions?" I told her about the couple Tegin had described to me shortly before I came into here. They were the employees of the store, a dirty trick that made me extremely guilty but I did what I had to do.

The clerk finished ringing up and de-tagging the outfit. "Alright now, honey. You follow me next door, and we'll find your momma, kay?" She started to walk off. Suddenly I felt someone at my elbow.

"Nice one, Sis. That one looked like a real pain." Tegin said reaching for the clothes.

" She. Was. The. Worst. She made it so I don't feel so bad about stealing this stuff." I huffed and leaned against the counter. He patted my head-which he was able to do now that he was taller-and started for the door too.

" This stuff looks expensive." He said once we had cleared the store and walked at least two stores away.

" Alright the guilt is back. Thanks Tegin." He led me down more store fronts, until we reached the 'man store' that Tegin speaks so highly of all the time. This too was small but didn't reek of perfume; instead it permeated loud voices of men yelling at each other in a playful way. Heavy metal music blasted through the speakers at an un-godly sound level. When I walked in I could feel the rooms attention being drawn to me. Have they never seen a girl before!?

" This place is freaking awesome!" Tegin yelled before running off. I was left alone. In a store full of men that I couldn't see, but they could see me. Judging by the feel of things, I was the only girl in the entire place. Note to self: kill Tegin later.

" Annika come here!" Tegin's voice sounded over the music and dudes from somewhere to my left, far away.

" Where the hell is here, Tegin!?"

"Oh… yeah. I forgot about that. Uh, this is awkward. Hang on for two minutes. I'll come to you." He called back.

I stood there shuffling my feet waiting for my stupid brother when I felt someone stand next to me. Though it wasn't Tegin, I could tell that much. This person seemed to take up more space and he smelled like beer.

" Hey your hot. Are you seeing anyone?" His voice was slurred and deep like a drunk semi truck. Oh great, why does bad stuff happen to good people?

" Well no, actually. I'm not. Ironically enough, it could be because I can't SEE!!!" I yelled at the drunk man stupid enough to hit on me with THAT pick up line. He stumbled a little closer to me making me uncomfortable.

" Dude, no way! Hot chicks can't be blind…unless you're lying 'cause you don't like me. But how could you not, I'm a sexy beast." He gloated.

"Alrighty then, I'll take your word for it. Ah, I have to go, you know, find my brother, and uh… yeah. Good bye." I just started walking in a random direction, forward, forward is a good way.

" No wait! Don't leave me! I LOVE YOU!" The drunk guy called out. I ducked into a clothes rack that I bumped; hopefully, the stalker won't find me in here. I could hear him blubbering in the distance calling out, "HOT GIRL, COME BACK!"

I sat there contemplating killing that drunk man when someone started going through the clothes around me. I scooted away from the side that they were shifting through and waited for them to pass. Only they didn't leave, instead I heard a yelp and a crash.

" HOLY GOD MY SISTER IS STALKING ME!" I heard someone scream; that could only be one person. My dear little brother had finally gotten around to saving me. I climbed out of the clothes rack only to trip on another one that I assumed was the crash I had heard. I landed on Tegin, who was hyperventilating, and we rolled into another clothes rack knocking that one over as well.

" Hot girl! You're back!!!" I heard from over the top of me.

" Oh, please god no!" I whisper yelled. Tegin pulled me to my feet and I felt him tense against me.

"Wait, a second. Whats going on?! What aren't you telling me?! Do you have some ugly new boyfriend now?!" He demanded.

" NO QUESTIONS!!! Just Run!!!!!" Now I know it wasn't the smartest idea but I grabbed his hand and pulled him along. We ran, me following the sounds of the other people to hopefully lead us to the exit. "Watch out, people! Blind driver coming through!!!" No one headed my warning apparently because I kinnda ran us into a nacho cheese machine. Once I recovered from that, and Tegin stopped being dizzy, I pulled us along again. Only Tegin pulled back on my hand and screamed, " WAIT!!!!" He caught his breath then continued, " Let me drive you crazy woman!"

We ducked into a store that smelled like plastic. I bumped a rack and heard things falling to the ground.

" Hey! Don't droppa the merchandise-a!" A man with a gruff voice said in an Italian accent.

" Sorry!" I said into the air. I finally realized how quickly we had fled the store, leaving no time for Tegin to get clothes. "Oh, no, Tegin! I'm so sorry!"

"About what?"

" We left so quickly, you didn't get any clothes, did you?" I replied

"Huh? Oh no, I got them. Wanna see?" I heard a zipper being un-zipped and the sound of clothes being pulled out of his bag. He shoved them in my hands with a childish laugh to follow.

" You're telling me that while I was being mentally abused by a drunk semi, you were shopping around!?"

" Pshhhh, no! I have no money, how could I shop?"

" I. Will. Kill. You," I paused for dramatic effect, " Preferably when you sleep."

" Okay, whatever. Ooooo, hats!" He started going through the apparent racks of hats humming the mission impossible theme as he did. I had nothing better do so I fingered hats. I found one with an arrow sticking out of it- I didn't understand that one in the least, whats the point?

" Whoa, Sis! Dude, I just found a hat that is so you! It's this really awesome black and white trucker's hat!"

"Do I look like a trucker to-" He put his finger over my mouth.

"Shhhh, big sis. Be a good girl and put the pretty hat on." I bit his finger as he put it on my head. It was huge: it fell just under my brow and covered half my ears; who ever this was made for had a big head!

" Ow, you're a feisty one!" He laughed.

After locating the restroom, I cleaned myself up as best as I could and got dressed. I slipped the tank top on then pulled the jeans on. I noticed that they fell down low around my hips daring to fall the rest of the way any second. Scowling, I pulled on the coat- it hung down to mid-thigh.

I went out to wait in the hall for Tegin. After a few moments, he came out, starting to pull on a belt by the sounds of jingling. Hmmmm, I could use a belt.

" Hey Tegin, do you love your sister?" I asked innocently inching closer to him.

" Ah, yeah…except when she runs me in a nacho cheese machine." He said with a laugh.

" Ignoring that…you love me and so," I reached in and yanked the belt out of his hands, " Your going to give this to me."

"Hey! I was gonna use that!" He complained.

"Too bad. My jeans are too big. I NEED this belt. You just use it for looks or whatever." I told him, pulling it through the loops.

" Arrrrg, I hate you!" He said storming off.

" Fine by me, I just use you, so whats it matter…we don't need love in this relationship," The belt was…heavy, " What the crap is this made out of?"

" Human bones," Tegin yelled indignantly from the other side of the store, " The innocent victims you killed with your fat butt! 'Cause you have a cold, black, heart," He sniffed like he was crying, " Belt thief."

" Don't be such a drama queen Tegin," I yelled back, " Now get your butt over here and pull me out of this store now! I want to leave now! And while your at it, I want some freaking Mc Donald's…you better steal me a Big Mac now or bad things will happen to you…" I contemplated things for a moment. " If you do as I command you, I might just be nice enough to let you steal yourself a chicken nugget. But not unless you do exactly as I said!" I laughed evilly.

" You're the wicked witch of the west, Annika…you're-" He was cut off when the shop-keeps voice bellowed from behind the counter.

" Why you speak of stealing!? You no steal hat, I chop thief's fingers off!" He yelled.

" Ha, you better hide your hands Annika, he'll cut you're fingers off….belt thief!"

"Shut up, Tegin!" I turned in the direction of the shop owner, "Pshhhh! What are you talking about? I paid for this hat! See? I even have the receipt!" I grabbed a piece of paper off a shelf next to me that was next to my hand, then waved it in the air.

" Wha? But I don't…you never…when did you…LIES!" He pounded his fist on the counter.

" FINE!" I ripped it off my head, listening to Tegin laughing hysterically in the background. "I didn't want your stupid hat anyway!!!" I listened for a moment to figure out his exact location, then flung it as hard as I could at his face. It connected with a very satisfactory thump. Suddenly I was grabbed by the elbow and was all but thrown out into the cooler air of outside.

" Annika…ha…you can't viciously attack store owners just because…ha ha…they catch you stealing." I heard him fall and hit the pavement, trying to get his breath back. Once he finally got himself under control, we were both completely silent, then…

"Dude, seriously! What the hell is this belt made of! I want to know," His laughing picked up again, " So your not gonna tell me huh!? FINE! I don't need you, screw you all!" I spun around and walked towards a wide open space. As I walked I ran my hands over the belt and felt cold metal studs on a long length of the leather.

" Oh so that's why-" BAM!!! BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! I had run headfirst into something very big and VERY hard. I ran my hands along it- oh crap! That's why there's alarms going off! I just ran into a freaking truck! Across the street I could hear Tegin mocking me.

" Oh I don't need you, hey look a truck, I'm gonna run into it!" He chanted in a cheap imitation of my voice .

" SHUT UP TEGIN! Just SHUT UP!!! I don't have to take this and I refuse!"

" Careful, Annika. Last time you said something like that you ran into a truck!"

" I HATE YOU WITH A PASSION!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed.

"Hey, you know," he said, "Not that this hasn't been fun, but we've reeeaaally been pushing our luck today with this whole not getting caught thing. I'm starting to think that its about time we should be going, don't you?"

I sighed heavily, all my anger evaporated. "Fine. I guess you're right. Let's go." I walked back to the side walk, tripping on the curb. Tegin caught me before I could fall, then led me back through the mall.

"Ha. You do need me." He whispered.

"Shut up, Tegin.."

As we walked by the electronics store, I heard a lot of shouting coming from inside.

"Hey, Tegin," I whispered. "What's going on?"

" Well, as far as I can tell, some crazy stuff is going down. That lady that helped you with your clothes is being handcuffed, and so is the electronics lady. They are both bleeding like they got in a fight and their shouting at each other. One is screaming, 'SHE'S BLIND! HOW COULD YOU! How could you disown her like that!' and the other one is all like, ' Woman, I told you already …I. HAVE. NO. CHILDREN!' now they're kicking each other in the shins and the mall cops are spazzing out. This is so awesome, people are fighting because of us…we are responsible for the war of the mall! Oh, its our favorite Italian hat salesman, he's trying to get the cops on us. I've decided to call him Fabio…HOLY CRAP! That lady just tackled Fabio! No, run Fabio, RUN! Oh, and Annika, I'm sorry to tell you this, but your boyfriend is passed out and being dragged out by like, four cops. I'm sorry, but I think you need to get a divorce. This is freaking INTENSE!!!" He pulled on my arm. "Ummm… I really think we should go now."

Then we started to run as fast as we could without losing each other out of the mall and down the street to the alleyway. We ran until we collapsed next to each other. Tegin was laughing his head off while I sat there taking in everything that had happened today.

" Well that was…interesting." I said letting loose a rare smile, falling back into a puddle messing up my 'beautiful jacket' as that crazy lady said. A good day.˜

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