Disclaimer: Nope.

Author's Note: I haven't forgotten about "101 Ways;" I actually wrote the second chapter ages ago. I just didn't like it all that much, so I haven't gotten around to editing it… I dunno. XD; Sorry…?

Warning: Soul and Maka making out. :D

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Bodily Confidence

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Maka Albarn was, by all accounts, a self-conscious person.

It couldn't be helped; she was a teenager, after all. Nerves were part of the package deal, as natural as hormones or acne. Of course, she didn't enjoy feeling so uncomfortable… But no matter how many times her father insisted that she was the most beautiful girl on the planet, or Blair complimented her on her nice skin, or she caught flustered schoolmates looking at her in that way, she couldn't help feeling… well, a little insecure.

It was probably the result of mass media, her rational mind supplied. How could she not come to notice her body's every little flaw, when it seemed to be pop culture's job to point out how perfect other people were? Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if the only beauties in her life had been the stars on the television, but sadly that wasn't the case; all of her closest female friends were practically sex goddesses, as well. And it really wasn't fair, all things considered…. how come Blair, Tsubaki, Liz, and Patty were all skinny-waisted, wide-hipped, big-boobed bombshells? It was bad enough that Maka was the proverbial stick— standing next to any one of them practically invited comparison, which was like adding salt to the proverbial wound.

And 'standing next to them' had, predominantly, been what her evening had entailed. Not that the party hadn't been fun, not that she hadn't had a good time—but all the same, hanging out with four modelesqe lovelies for five straight hours had taken its inevitable toll on Maka, and whatever bodily confidence she might have once possessed. Though, to his credit, Soul had been trying (quite enthusiastically) to remind his meister just how attractive she really was…

At least, that was the conclusion Maka's mind had jumped to; the reason her brain provided to explain why she had been jumped, only just-managing to make it into their apartment before Soul's arms had curled possessively around her middle. And to the girl's surprise, amidst the kisses and love-bites and general groping, she had been able to forget her concerns. For a while, anyway. But then she had felt Soul's hands on her chest, and heard his irritated grumbles…

"God, these are small," the weapon muttered, so busy fiddling with the front of his girlfriend's shirt that he missed Maka's face turn a flustered shade of burgundy. He did, however, notice when her fist came rushing dangerously close to his temple; he managed to roll away just in time, taking his meister with him. Quite suddenly, Maka found herself straddling Soul's hips, looking down into the face of a wholly confused young man.

She was yelling at him before he could even ask what had happened.

"S- shut up! I know they are, you don't need to tell me!" the girl snapped, her cheeks still ruby-red as her watery eyes clamped shut, and her palms lifted protectively to cover her front. Not that she really needed shielding; Soul hadn't yet managed to rid her of her shirt, much less anything else… "I mean, why would you even say something so mean at a time lik—!"

Her tirade was interrupted by a strangled hitch-gasp-moaning sound that got horribly tangled in the back of her throat; Soul had yanked his ranting partner low enough to plant a nibbled kiss atop the swell of her bosom, only-just-visible beneath the rumbled fabric of her half-open top.

"It isn't cool to assume the worst, Maka. Especially of me," Soul chastised, even as his mouth worked up, up, up the slope of her sensitive throat… "I was talking about the buttons."

Silence.

She blinked.

"…oh."

As if she hadn't been embarrassed enough.

But before the girl could do so much as try to squirm away—perhaps so as to go die in a corner, somewhere— Soul had flipped them back over, catching Maka's wrists and dipping down to rest his head against her cleavage. "And for the record," he breathed as he did so, nuzzling close and wearing the smile of a very happy child, "your breasts are perfect."

For the second time in a few short minutes, the meister's face flushed pink. This time, however, her pleasure was obvious… and contagious, apparently, for Soul was grinning just as brightly. And sometimes—just sometimes—when he beamed, and caressed her cheek, and whispered compliments in her ear… When he kissed her so passionately, so powerfully, groaning appreciatively when his fingers were given permission to trace her body… When she noticed the reaction his body was having, all because of her

When he did all of that, it was hard to remember to be self-conscious.

X

X

X

"...and why is your arm a scythe?"

Soul, still astride his girlfriend's thin hips, was considering her shirt with a great deal of narrow-eyed attentiveness. "I can't get the rest of the buttons undone," he returned seriously, tilting his head as he contemplated the correct angle of attack. "And you know I have no luck with your bra. So…"

Maka arched a single eyebrow. "Do it," she told him, "and you will never again have a chance to so much as try unhooking my bra. If you know what I mean."

…uncool.

The boy visibly pouted, metal blade transforming back into warm flesh. And as she watched the magical alteration, it suddenly occurred to Maka that—of the two of them—Soul was the one with the weirder body. So really, if anyone was going to feel self-conscious…

"Soul?" the girl murmured, suddenly somber. Her weapon cocked his head, confused by the emotional 180. "Do you ever… feel embarrassed? You know, about… about your body?"

Soul started, momentarily taken aback. Where had that come from? Why would she…? Well, it didn't matter. She was his partner; he had no reason not to answer. "Sure, I do. All the time," he confessed, pressing a kiss to the tips of his meister's fingers. When he released her delicate hand, she returned to the task of ridding him of his shirt. She was having far more luck disrobing him than he was undressing her… "Like tonight at the party, for instance. You looked so good, I… um, well…" He flushed a little, but shook off his humiliation just as easily. "Sometimes in class, too. When you're sitting really close to me, and you're all caught up in a book… and you shift in your seat so your skirt rides up, and I can feel the heat of your thigh against mine…"

For a full minute, his meister stared up at him, utterly nonplussed. It seemed to Maka that she and her partner were on the same page of different playbooks... But when she opened her mouth to ask what on earth he was talking about, she felt a familiar pressure against her pelvis. Two and two made four in her mind; in that instant, she realized how he'd interpreted her question, and that—yes—they were speaking of two entirely different things.

But all the same, the blushing girl grinned. I guess that's a 'no,' then… And if he didn't feel self-conscious, what right did she have?

"What am I going to do with you…?" the young woman sighed, chuckling to herself as she wrapped her arms around (a somewhat confused) Soul. Though understandably bewildered, the weapon wasted no time in answering what others would have considered a rhetorical question.

"Show me how to take off your bra, again?"

And Maka—feeling unusually and cheerfully self-confident—did just that.

XXX