A/N: *bounces in like Lord Death* YAHYAH! HELLO, HELLO! 8D This is Tay again! This was my chapter, and let me just say, THIS WAS SO FUN TO WRITE. Jessie and I had never been in a Spencer's store before we had to write this chapter, so we actually went to the mall together and went inside Spencer's for research. ...Only to run back out almost instantly (like prudes). Bahahaha. Making memories, y'all. Anyway, we've put a lot into this chapter (and story, really), and I hope it shows and makes you readers interested! *hands it over to Jessie, drumroll please*

*pops in* Yo! Okay, first off, that trip to Spencer's was...awesome and scary and a complete culture shock and wow. I mean, it was nothing like either of us had ever seen in our lives! Still, for the sake of the story, we sacrificed our innocence and braved the store...research, you know? Anyway, I won't withhold you any longer. To Taylor's genius we go!

Hooold up. *steals laptop back* psshaww. *this is Tay again btw* Just wanted to add a little something that's totally unimportant. I read the word "research" in Jessie's input in Jiraiya's voice. BAHAHA. Omg, and, reading our author's notes, I'm just now realizing we're both so much like Maka in ways. xD Okey, okey, done now. Read onwards!

To be quite honest, I was reluctant to leave that diner. Something about the atmosphere there was just so fun and free.. I found myself smiling to the level of idiocy as Soul and I got back on his bike, replaying the way I'd just fallen into his arms, how he'd caught me with such ease.. So far I wasn't regretting the decision of ditching school at all.

Little did I know, I was soon about to, though.

"Where're we going next?" I asked, tempted to rest my chin on his shoulder but unable to summon the guts.

"Same answer as before. It's a surprise."

I glared, then realized he couldn't see me making a face and settled for huffing in frustration. As he kept driving, I began to notice how we were venturing into the rougher part of town. Not quite ghetto, but you still wouldn't want to walk the streets alone at night there, either. I was alert to my surroundings as Soul pulled over to park in front of a building that almost looked like a big garage. The word Spencer's was spelled in graffiti on the store sign, and for some reason I got a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. When we'd walked in the diner, I'd felt out of place; this was a thousand times worse. I just somehow knew I wasn't supposed to be here. "Um.. what is this?"

Soul hopped off. "Go in and find out," he told me, one corner of his mouth quirking up. Couldn't he give me a straight answer once in a while?! Mystery got irritating after a while.

Even so, I let him lead the way in, trailing behind him. And as soon as I'd taken a step inside, I knew this whole thing had been an entire mistake. No no no no! This can't be happening to me! I remember thinking in horror, wanting to throw my hands over my eyes and run out.




I felt so mortified and out of my comfort zone, I went blank. I couldn't yell at Soul, couldn't move my legs to get the hell out of there, couldn't even muster a proper glare. I was utterly and absolutely stunned.

I was surrounded by body piercings.


Sex toys.

Other things that I'm way too naive and sheltered to know about, but that I know are trouble.

I was suffocating.


The entire atmosphere was dark and emo-y and gothic and... screamo rock music was blaring, and somewhere in my dumbfounded mind I registered a poster on the wall of two girls in intimates making out. There were tons of tshirts on display, all of them having some sort of perverted message written across them. For example, "Blow Me Maybe," "Bitches Be Trippin," "I Came Here to Get My Balls Wet." To name a few.

It was just... I mean, I'd always known Soul was a bit on the perverted side, but I didn't know he was engulfed in it! Most of all to bring me here, was he out of his mind?! It was a complete culture shock to me.

"Soul," I hissed fiercely when I finally regained use of my voice, "get me out of here! I mean it!"

Soul, as per usual, didn't listen to my - kind, considering the absurd situation he'd put me in - suggestion, and took hold of my collar like I was some puppy, dragging me behind him. I flailed and put up as much of a fight as I could, no doubt making a ridiculous commotion. But I didn't care at the time. I just wanted the heck out of that Godforsaken place. "Let me go! I SAID LET ME GO!" I thrashed.

Buuut Soul unsurprisingly kept ignoring me, acting like I wasn't throwing a toddler-worthy tantrum, and dragged my writhing body with such ease that it really annoyed me. I should've been able to put up a fight against him. He dragged me with one hand and with his other, grabbed at whatever rack we passed by. This gave me a bad premonition. "Soul... what do you think you're doing?!" I shrieked. He didn't answer (as expected) and shoved me in a dressing room (not as expected), then shoved a bunch of lingerie he'd apparently gathered on the way into my arms and shut the door (definitely not expected). I threw the disgusting clothes down on the floor and tried to open the door, but apparently Soul was leaning against it from the outside, trapping me in. "No no no no, STOP! Soul, I mean it, this is crazy-" I slammed my fist against the door loudly, making it shake. "STOP IT!"

Then I heard presumably the clerk's annoyed voice yell, "No sex in the store! Take it outside, people!" followed by Soul's quiet snicker.

I was mortified. I backed up against the wall of the dressing room and sank to the ground, knees to my chest. I couldn't take this. I wanted to go home. I should've never agreed to this stupid thing in the first place. Right now I could be getting my A- up to an A+ in Economics and being one step closer to making Soul a Death Scythe. And what if Lord Death had wanted to assign us to a special mission, but we weren't there?! I let a groan escape my lips. "Soul.. take me home.." I whimpered.

"Not until you try all that on."

The exasperated groan quickly turned into an angry growl. "Why?! Give me one good reason why I should even touch one of those- those- things!"

"So I can see you in them," came Soul's cocky response, and I felt my jaw drop.

"WHAT?!" I couldn't believe he was even... "Who do you think you are?! I'd never do that for you even if you were the last guy on earth!" My voice raised an octave.

There was a squeak of the door as Soul straightened. "Then I'm leaving. See ya." I heard his footsteps. By the time I swung the door open, he was out of sight.

Spencer's was a pretty big store.. so of course I had no idea where to go or how to get to the exit. Soul hadn't left the building; I could still feel his soul somewhere close by. I balled my fists at my sides and set off through this creepy store in the direction of his soul's wavelength to find him.

But it seemed that whenever I got close, Soul would get farther away. The idiot was probably leading me in circles like a headless goose. Uggghhhh. I was going to grab the biggest book I have and hit him so hard later he'd get a concussion...

Then one of the employees approached me. It suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks - I was standing near the, erm... "toys" while I'd stopped to think and steam about Soul. To the workers it probably looked like I was interested in the... yeah, you get it. Upon realization of this, my throat felt like cotton and I could feel all the blood in my body circulating to my face.

"We're having a special sale right now. Buy one, get one free," he said mechanically, as if he had memorized the sentence from repeating it all day. Then suddenly he gave me the once-over and got a certain smirk. I began to feel even more uneasy. "In case you and your friends wanna have a little.. party, if you catch my drift," he added, leaning in much closer to me than necessary.

I opened my mouth to tell him to back off, I wasn't interested, anything, but only a squeak came out. How come I could face Kishins head-on, but when it came to normal social situations, I was a complete idiot?!

And then, suddenly, like a shadow, Soul was there. Right beside me. It was all I could do not to hug him as the employee noticed and leaned back, brow raised.

Soul gave the guy one of his stoic, cold death glares. I was so glad I'd never been on the receiving end of one of those. His normal glares, sure. But one like that... "A woman needs assistance over by the dildos. Figured you're the best one for the job. Takes a dick to know one," Soul was saying so casually, so nonchalantly, but with a certain dangerous underlying note.

And I was struck dumb, silently admiring Soul's, yes, coolness. Never tell him I said that or I'd never hear the end of it. And I was hoping so, so badly that this wouldn't make a scene, not because we couldn't take the guy (we definitely could), but I'd like to avoid as many confrontations as possible. But to my relief, the guy just scowled and stormed off. I sighed with relief.

"It's not a good idea to wander around and get lost in this kind of store," Soul informed me as if the whole thing hadn't been orchestrated by him and he wasn't at fault for it.

"I wouldn't have wandered off if you hadn't left me!" I countered snippily.

"I wouldn't have left if you had just tried on all the crap I gave you!"

"That's exactly what it is - crap! And I have no interest in any of it!"

Soul gave me a staredown for several long moments - I didn't back down, just met his eyes just as stubbornly. Finally he gave in and sighed. "Just try on one thing. You don't even have to show me. And then we can go."

If he didn't get to see it, why would he make me try it on in the first place? But I wasn't about to argue, since that was all I had to do to go home. "Fine," I grumbled.

Before I knew it, I was trailing behind Soul again - this time, obediently. On the way back to the dressing rooms, he swiped a string bikini and handed it to me. I stared at the tiny thing. It was smaller than the underwear and bra I wore normally..

Once I had it on, I surveyed myself in the dressing room's mirror. "Not bad.." I accidentally thought aloud in surprise. "Now if just the chest part was a little smaller.." Little was an understatement. Needless to say, as Soul had pointed out many times before, I didn't have the chest to even fill an A cup.

"You do realize I can hear every word you're saying, right?" Soul's smirking voice sounded on the other side of the door. I facepalmed, mentally cursing myself. "Do me a favor - tell me how you look in it, since I can't see for myself. What do you think?"

I blinked in surprise. "...Well...it's...tiny," I managed.

For some reason I just knew Soul was rolling his eyes. "Not what I meant." After a moment, when he spoke again, his voice was more serious. "Maka...you act like it isn't a big deal, but I know you've let everyone's comments about your figure affect how you think of yourself." My eyes widened, and in my reflection I saw my pupils show. How..how can he possibly know that?! "Now take a look in the mirror and tell me you can't be sexy."

I stared at myself for a long time, seeing all the flaws. "I'm not.." I said quietly.

"Yes, you are," Soul argued with feeling, shocking me.

"How can you say that, Soul? You're the one who calls me Tiny Tits, remember?" I tried not to let the hurt surface in my voice, but I knew it showed anyway. "Blair's the one that's sexy to you! I'm the one who has to clean up all your nosebleed stains thanks to her!" Anger trickled into my voice.

Soul was silent a moment, then when he spoke up, his voice was quieter and filled with meaning. "Maka, don't you get it? It doesn't matter if you don't look like someone or look a certain way or not. You're you...and that's sexy to me."

My vision blurred. I wasn't even aware of blinking back tears. "Soul..." I choked out, stopping to regain composure. Soul wasn't the eloquent type, so the thought that he'd planned out this entire Spencer's trip just to give me more self-esteem in my body... it was really, really touching and meant a lot to me. I rubbed a fist across my eyes and stared at my reflection, this time with a smile.

"I think I'm going to have to buy this."