Disclaimer: I do not own Soul Eater.

School Girl
Poisoned Scarlet

"I don't need a new outfit!" Maka ground through her teeth, unwilling to move any closer to the intimidating, girlish, stores Liz was so fond of. "I'm fine with the one I have right now!"

"Don't be ridiculous, Maka, of course you do!" Liz scoffed, dragging her down the shopping district of Death City by the hand. "You don't really plan on wearing that horrible uniform for the rest of your life, do you?"

At her pink cheeks, Liz gasped. "Oh, my god! No way! No wonder you don't have a boyfriend right now!"

"So what if I want to continue wearing my Spartoí uniform?" Maka defended herself, looking away to hide her rosy cheeks. "I've worn it for this long - and it's not like it looks bad on me!"

"Maka, I'm your friend, and I'm not about to let you to die a virgin because of that horrible outfit! It's a total turn-off, trust me." Liz crisply said, continuing to lead her down the street. Shops of all sorts lined the edges of her vision, advertising pretty shirts and pants and dresses – even shoes, although Maka preferred boots over heels. "It's bad enough even Tsubaki has gotten some! And she was the most unlikely in our group!"

"That's not true – not since we entered the Book of Eibon, anyway." Maka flatly said, making Liz laugh nervously.

"Ahah, so you know about that, huh?" At her dry look, Liz continued hastily: "Alright! Alright! So everyone in our little pack saw it coming... but the rest of the school sure didn't!"

Maka shrugged noncommittally. Liz ranted on and on in her defense.

She didn't understand what was so important about changing outfits. She had gone from a simple vest, a collar shirt, and trench coat with a red plaid skirt to a Spartoí uniform, which consisted of a faded blue plaid skirt and a sailor-style shirt she had extended at the hems since her trench coat would clash horribly with her white-themed uniform.

She supposed it made sense that she would grow out of the uniform someday but, in a way, she wished she didn't have to. Many of the best, and worst, moments in her life happened while she was in that uniform and to finally put it away in her trunk sounded heartless.

"...that store has nice shirts! Come on, let's go try some on!" Liz excitedly said, pulling her into a small boutique.

Liz had been kind – or should she say, forceful? – enough to yank her out of the comfort of her home to go shopping that early morning.

She wished she could have seen Soul's face when Liz frankly told him that when Maka came back, he would barely recognize her.

She bet Soul just shrugged it off.

That man had only grown more impassive with the years – Maka had a feeling that if he had never let himself fall into the whole 'cool' ideal, he would be much more talkative when they were with their friends; not standoffish and, well, cool.

"Oh! Try this shirt on! This one, too! This one's kind of cute... and this one! And this one! And – oh my god – you have to try this one on!" Liz shoved various shirts in her arms and pushed her into a dressing room without so much as a pause. "And don't come out until you've tried them all on! Show me the ones you like, okay?"

"Okay!" Maka sighed resignedly, dropping the pile of clothes on the bench inside. She sifted through them, discarding two that were just much too revealing (fishnet, really? Maka would rather wear Black Star's signature on her back...).

She tried out a simple off-the-shoulder shirt.

It wasn't that bad although it was too loose around the shoulders. Maka would bet that would kill her in battle.


She took it off and tried on another one, tighter than the previous one, but much too bright.

It was crucial to remain inconspicuous – the new missions Lord Death had been assigning she and Soul were difficult, not to mention highly dangerous. And it was common sense that if she wanted to sneak up on her enemy, wearing a bright shirt wouldn't get her very far.

The last two shirts were black although one had reflective silver stripped diagonally on her chest area. The last thing Maka needed was to inform a Kishin that if it struck right where the silver was, she would be down for the count. Maka tossed the shirt back into the stack and held up the last one, humming thoughtfully.

"Are you ready?" Liz asked, when she heard the door creek. Liz eyed the shirt she had chosen: it was mostly black, with hints of red from the shredded part on her ribs, but clung to her lithe figure nicely. "It's a little plain." Liz said. "But it suits you... what was wrong with the other shirts? Was that the only one you liked?"

"Yeah, the rest were too bright." Maka answered. "And two of them were just... no."

"Hmm, the fishnet ones?" Liz guessed, humming in understanding when Maka meekly nodded. "Well, I chose those shirts out specifically. I wanted to know your clothing style and now that I have an idea of what you like, we can really start shopping." She beamed.

"Wait, you mean... you chose all of these shirts on purpose?"

Liz laughed heartily at her bewildered reaction. "Of course I did! What, did you really think I chose them out 'cause they were pretty?" Liz missed Maka's nervous smile when a yellow shirt caught her eye. "Anyway! We're wasting daylight! Come on, I know a few stores with your style!"

Maka didn't know shopping could be this... fun, as they went from store to store; bags beginning to pile on their arms.

She had gone shopping with Liz, Patty, Tsubaki and even Kim before, sometimes as a group, but their clothing taste varied, and Maka didn't necessarily like spending money on casual wear when she would be wearing a single outfit for the majority of the year.

"What about this jacket?" Liz held out a leather jacket with oversized buckles and studs on the lapels. "I think it's cute."

"I think it's a little too short." Maka eyed the way it stopped above belly-button level.

"Yeah, you're right." Liz agreed, tossing it back to the stack they had steadily created. "It's not really your style, anyway. It's more Soul's style..." She let her eyes run down Maka's frame for a second. "You want to keep your school girl look, right?"

Maka shifted, unsure of how to answer. "Yeah, I guess. I don't want to look too different."

"Hmm... how about we ditch the boots," Liz grabbed her by the shoulders and steered her out of the store suddenly, toward a shoe store across the street, "and we go with sneakers?"

"Sneakers?" Maka repeated, disheartened. "But...but I like boots!"

"Yeah, but these would go better with your new look!" Liz pointed excitedly at the knee-high Converse that were on display. "And you, Maka, have the legs for them! So we're totally buying them!"

"Huh? But they're one hund—!"

"Got'cha covered." Liz whipped out three fully-loaded debit cards.

Maka gaped.

Liz giggled at the reaction. "Kid gives me and Patty a lot of spending money... Now, come on! You just have to try them on!" Liz grabbed her by the wrist and bounced inside the store, leaving Maka with the single thought that Kid obviously gave them a little too much spending money, and freedom for that matter...

They did fit.

They didn't look too bad on her, either, as she stared at her reflection in the mirror.

They were comfortable and Maka knew she would have no problem navigating in whatever terrain Lord Death threw at them if she wore them. She had grown used to the hard soles of her boots, so adjusting to these would be difficult at first, but she was sure she would forget the uncomfortable feeling the instant she barged head-first into battle.

"You like them?" Liz asked, hopefully.

Maka beamed. "Yeah, I do, actually!"

Liz squealed. "Great! We're buying them!"

"But, I don't have enough money to buy them..." Maka said, a little sadly. She had already wasted more than she had intended to, and she hadn't brought that much to begin with.

"Don't worry about it!" Liz laughed, patting her on the head like a little girl. Sometimes she was just too adorable. "It's on me!"

"Oh, no, Liz! I don't want to owe you—!"

"Think of it as an early birthday present. Your birthday is next month, right?" Liz smiled, making Maka sigh. It was true: next month, she would finally be eighteen and entering Shibusen U with Soul. "Just leave it to me! The reason I brought you here was to buy a new outfit and shoes are a crucial part!" She lectured. "We've already got your shirt, your shorts, and now your... hey, are you going to wear tights with those? They go pretty high up your leg..." Liz murmured, uncertainly.

"Hmm, I'll probably just use my regular socks." Maka decided, also looking at the shoes. "I won't need to use my thigh-highs anymore."

"True..." Liz murmured. "Alright, then, it's settled! We'll take them and you'll change into your new outfit in the next store!"

"What? Why so soon?" Maka said in surprise, slightly nervous. "Can't we wait until I get home?"

"Nope!" Liz deadpanned. "I promised Soul I'd bring you back looking totally different and I'm gonna' keep my promise!" Liz shooed her to the cash register, where they paid for the shoes she decided to keep on. Liz took a few bags from Maka once they entered another clothing shop, the woman digging around to pull out the new clothes.

"Here are the shorts!" Liz handed her black shorts. They were far shorter than Maka liked but she had fallen in love with the oversized belt buckle shaped like angel wings... "The shirt!" The shirt was black but very sheer; with a collar, upon Maka's insistence. But because it clung to her figure, Liz had allowed her a hoodie jacket with three gold stripes on one sleeve, and three more on the hood itself with a Death City emblem on her right breast. It split from her lower back, unraveling in two thick strips of fabric all the way down to her ankles; reminiscent of her trench coat. "We'll leave your hair how it is for now..." Liz hesitated for a second then nodded. "Yeah, you can keep your hair how it is."

It was down. Maka just hoped she would be able to tie it back up into her trademark pigtails as she entered the changing room and began to slip on her new outfit: the outfit she would most likely be wearing for the next few years, or until Liz decided to take her on another shopping trip.

"Well...?" Maka tugged on the sides of her shorts when she came out, uncomfortable with how tight they fit her. "How do I look?"

Liz smirked. "Badass. Soul's gonna' regret saying you had no sex-appeal." She missed Maka's scowl when she dug into her bag again. "Oh, and here!" She tossed her a set of black gloves. "White gloves are a pain to wash, right? Black ones are better."

Maka tugged the gloves on, fisting her hand. They weren't loose on her and it was padded on the inside, perfect for handling Soul Eater when he was a scythe. She had been meaning to buy these types of gloves for a long time now. "Thanks, Liz! I needed some of these!"

"No problem!" Liz preened, motioning her to the door. "Well, let's go! I promised that lazy partner of yours I'd bring you back before nightfall."

"It's not like he'll notice." Maka rolled her eyes. "He probably fell asleep on the couch again!"

"Maybe, but a Thompson always keeps her promises!" Liz laughed, dragging Maka into another girly conversation consisting of the newest fads and some girl from school that Liz disliked...

"Thanks for taking me out shopping with you, Liz!" Maka gratefully said, holding five bags from different stores in her hands. Liz had managed to tempt her into splurging and buying a few casual outfits for herself. "I owe you one!"

"Just promise me you'll wear those shorts every day and we're even! Oh, and happy early birthday, Maka!" Liz brought her into a quick hug. "Say hi to Soul for me! And I'll see you tomorrow in the courts!" She winked, disappearing down the stairs and leaving Maka at her front door, smiling happily. She really had some good friends; she knew she wasn't the most easiest person to shop for.

The door opened behind her, startling her.

"Hey, you finally back?" Soul greeted lazily, raising a brow at the unfamiliar clothes on his meister. "What's with the get up?"

Maka finally turned, Soul's brows raising even further as he drank in her new clothes.

"It's my new mission outfit." Maka said cheerfully, lifting a hand and clenching it into a fist. "And Liz even got me padded gloves!" She paused. Then she smiled. "And something similar to a trench coat! See?" She pushed past him after she showed off her jacket and entered the warm apartment, tossing the bags on the couch and walking into the kitchen to pour herself a cup of water.

Soul followed and leaned on the edge of the table. "Not bad." He commented, appreciatively, his eyes running down the brand-new shoes on her feet. He didn't think she'd give up her boots that easily but the shoes were rather cool. "Converse?" He smirked. "Ironic."

"Why?" Maka asked, frowning at his amusement. "What? What about them? I thought they were pretty cool..."

"Converse were used a lot when basketball first started." He grinned at her cringe.

"I did not know that..."

"Figured." He chuckled. "No worries – they're not really used for basketball anymore. They strain the ankles a lot."

"Ankle strain? That could be a problem." She glanced down at the shoes, raising a foot. "Well, I'll see how it goes with these. If they give me any problems, I'll just go back to my boots." She resolved. "Besides, Liz said I have to wear this until... she gets bored of seeing me in it or something." She shrugged.

"You looked fine in your Spartoí uniform." Soul mumbled.

"That's what I told her!" Maka exclaimed, glad she had someone on her side. "But then she said that I'd never get a boyfriend that way!"

Soul snorted, derisively. "Boyfriend? Why would want one of those when you've got me?"

"I—well—ask her!" Maka cleared her throat, flushed. "She's the one who kept yapping about me dying a virgin! I don't know why she's even entertaining the thought of me actually dying!" She rested the rim of her glass against her lips, disgruntled. "Some trust she has in my skill..."

She felt his presence behind her but Maka stayed still, allowing Soul to rest his chin on her shoulder. His arms to encompassed her, pressing her protectively against his chest.

"You should have told her you wouldn't be dying a virgin, not since a long time ago..." He smirked in her ear, causing her cheeks to heat red.

Maka hastily brought the cup of water to her lips, bubbling out: "Th-they don't need to know that!"

"Doubt they'd even believe it—ouch!"

Maka elbowed him once more for extra measure. "You're lucky I don't have a book on me right now!"

"Yeah, 'cause I have all the luck in the world..." He mumbled sarcastically, rubbing his sore ribs. "Why did you choose shorts? Why not a skirt?" He complained, hooking a finger in a belt loop. He admired the way they captured her ass just right, but really? He tugged again, moodily. "Do you know how hard it's gonna' be to take you out of these—!"


He swore and glared at the offending book in her hand, noticing that a counter drawer was open. So she kept those in there, too, huh? He'd have to do another thorough search of the house to disarm her and save himself a bump on the head the next time he said something stupid...

"Pervert." Maka huffed, dumping the remaining water in the sink and putting the glass back in the rack. "I prefer shorts – at least I can be assured that no perverted Kishin is going to try and flip my skirt!" She narrowed her eyes at him accusingly.

He cringed. He remembered the time he had flipped her skirt to get Sid to reveal Stein's location all those years ago...

Not one of his coolest moments, he'd admit.

"It was only once..." He muttered, glumly.

"Soul, I was thirteen, did you really think Sid would fall for that?" Maka deadpanned, making him groan and turn away to hide his embarrassment. "Think next time, would you?" She sighed, tugging on a lock of silver hair. "Did you sleep the entire day away?"

His smug, stifled, yawn answered her. "Half of it."

"You're going to stay up all night again, aren't you? You're lucky Shibusen U chooses the best grade out of a Meister-Weapon pair or else you'd be in real trouble."

"Hey, you're the brains, I'm the brawns." He grinned, clapping both hands around her own when she raised them."I think it works out."

She smiled, lacing her fingers through his own. "Whatever you say, Soul."

Liz – or anyone, really – didn't need to know that, even in her plain and boring Spartoí uniform, she managed to snag something similar to a boyfriend (Soul preferred the term partner, since boyfriend sounded too temporary) and be rest assured that she would not be dying a virgin any time soon.

Or be dying, for the most part.

A.N: There is a picture of that outfit online somewhere. I saw it, and that's where this idea came from. I wrote this a long time ago but I haven't posted it because I didn't see any reason to. Then today I read a depressing Soul/Maka fanfic and discovered I needed to edit something, well, heartwarming and happy.