A Day In Your Shoes

The One with the New Kid

"Resist it!" The exhausted blonde told the silver haired boy next to her for what seemed like the hundredth time.

"How?" He asked once again, ignoring her deadly graze. "How in the world is one supposed to hold back a sneeze?"

"Just resist it!" She persisted with her illogical chain of reasoning, walking towards their school at a more rapid pace, hoping to lose the annoyance that was tagging alongside her.

For some reason beyond her comprehension, after he found out where she lived, he started to wait outside her door everyday and persisted on walking to school with her. This burdened Maka greatly, since his "fangirls" immediately started to take notice and proceeded to give Maka threatening glares.

"But I have apple allergies, and my garden is filled with apple trees. Every time I pass by my own garden, I have the biggest urge to sneeze!" He complained to her, catching on the faster pace she was walking. Although it was true that Soul did have apple allergies, it only happened when he ate the apples; and even then, he obtained rashes- not the urge to sneeze. But what she didn't know couldn't hurt her, right?

"Then cut the damn tree or something!" She sharply replied back, trying to lose him once again by taking a different route to their school.

"School is that way," he reminded her, confused by the unfamiliar path she had taken.

"Yeah, it is. I need to get something at the market first," she lied, practically running down the street. "See you later!"

And with that, before Soul could even register what was going on, she was out of sight.

"Today is going to be an extremely exciting day for us!" The young blonde teacher chirped, clasping her hands together. Soul looked at her with his dull crimson eyes, as his eyes drifted off to the empty seat two seats down from him. Lunch had already passed by, and pigtails was still missing in action. Various thoughts clouded his mind, as he thought about the possibilities. For a split second, he thought that maybe she was cutting, before he mentally laughed to himself.

Maka Albarn and cutting school would never, ever be used in the same sentence. Ever.

Then what could have happened to her? Perhaps she got...kidnapped?

Soul actually had to laugh out loud about that one. Like anyone would waste their time or energy to kidnap a girl like her; she was from an unknown middle class family, and had absolutely no appeal to her name.

Before Soul could think up of more absurd scenarios in his head, his train of thought was interrupted by his teacher's high pitched voice.

"Yes, there is a new student that will be joining us today!" The teacher clapped, looking at the class expectantly, hoping they would look a little more lively. Her attempts were of no avail; the students barely looked up from whatever they were doing to pass the lengthy English class. The teacher chose to ignore the dreary response, and continued. "Please welcome Chrona Gorgon!"

As soon as the teacher called the name out, a girl- boy? -with purple-tinted hair that fell down her hair in a messy fashion walked in. Her eyes were a light lavender color, that immediately cast downwards in shyness. She was wearing a tight black dress that hid most of her body features, making it hard to tell if she was really a she.

The class fell into an awkward silence, as Chrona fiddled the edge of her dress. She was a nervous wreck, sweating from all the pressure of being in the center of attention.

"Well...uh," Marie started, noticing lean girl next to her was starting to hyperventilate. "Oh! I know! To help nice little Chrona here out, how about someone become her big sib? You know, a big sibling that tells her where everything is, helps her out with her schedule- anything to make her feel more comfortable. Anyone want to volunteer?" The blonde teacher frowned when no one raised their hand. "Well if no one wants to-"

"I'M HERE!" A familiar voice yelled out into the room, as the door slammed wide open and rushing inside came a panting girl. Soul perked up. Her hair was a mess, and there were pieces of leaves stuck in between her pigtails. She looked absolutely mortified when she noticed that all the whole class was staring at her in amusement.

"Oh, Maka!" The teacher looked at the beet red girl in relief. "There you are! You came just in time! From now on, you'll be Chrona's big sib!"

"Huh?" Maka scrunched her face up in confusion.

"What?" Soul thought to himself, careful not to burst it out loud. For some annoying reason unbeknownst to him, the thought of someone else besides himself being around pigtails twenty-four seven uncontrollably irritated him to no end.

It wouldn't have gotten to Soul nearly half as bad, however, if he didn't trace the sparkling glint in Chrona's hazy purple eyes. Those dangerous periwinkle pairs were definitely intoxicated by the sight of the blonde girl in front of them, and Soul didn't like that.

At all.

"And that's where we do our lab experiments!" Maka happily told the girl with light violet hair, as she pointed to the room directly across from the physics room.

"I-I see..." The nervous girl stuttered back, her hand placed cautiously in front of her mouth. The purple eyes briefly spared a glance at the white door, before they went back to staring at Maka.

Maka smiled at her new acquaintance. She had grown fond of this shy, timid girl who treated her as if she was a role model, and she was glad that something good had come out of arriving to school late. Maka was positive that there was another route to the school; she would have never expected, in a million years, to get so terribly lost. It was actually a miracle that she made it to school before it ended. It was all thanks to that jerk she was so late, mercilessly shattering her perfect attendance record.

"Hey wifey," a voice flatly called out. Speak of the devil.

Maka mumbled back an incomprehensible reply, before grabbing Chrona's frail wrists in an attempt to escape any form of communication with the silver-haired boy coming towards her.

Chrona looked back and gasped at the boy that called out to Maka, as she was led into a different hallway.

"I'm sorry!" Maka apologized, immediately losing the grip she had on the purple-haired girl who looked absolutely terrified. "I just needed to desperately avoid him, please forgive me!"

"Ah, it's o-okay, I-"

"No, it's so not okay," a deep voice interrupted, causing Chrona to freeze and Maka sigh dramatically in despair. "In fact, it's so utterly, completely, totally, and absolutely uncool how badly you want to avoid me."

"I'm not trying to avoid you," she dismissed, thinking of various ways she would be able to avoid this conversation. She noticed he was carrying a yellow envelope, and she decided to use it as a distraction. "What's that envelope for?"

"Way to subtly change the subject," he easily caught on, tightening his grip on the envelope. "But if you want to know, it's my application."

"Application to what?" She wondered in genuine curiosity.

"What else?" He scoffed at her dumbfounded expression. "Of course it's a college application."

"Oh wow," Maka breathed out in surprise. "You actually care about your future?"

He tossed her an angry scowl with his hard ruby eyes, and Chrona felt as though she might rip in half when she saw them move towards her direction.

"Of course I care about getting into college, especially this study abroad one. It's my only way to escape from this hellhole," he told her, ignoring the looks of sympathy Chrona was unconsciously throwing at him. "Besides, you should stop thinking so lowly of me. If I wanted to, and had my heart actually set on it, I could easily get higher grades than you."


"Excuse me?" Maka tried to reply in a cool and calm manner, but she failed miserably, as her words came out high-pitched, squeaky and filled with anger.

"You heard me, I'm smarter than you. I can get better grades than you," he shrugged, a small grin tugging at the edge of his lips. He knew that this sort of teasing would get her all riled up, and this sort of chance came once in a blue moon. When the opportunity came, he took it without hesitation.

"Don't make me laugh," Maka sneered, the voice growing more threatening by the second. "You? Smarter than me? Haha, so funny."

"What's so funny?" Soul rhetorically asked. "It's true, want to bet on it?" He offered, trying hard not to reveal his true intentions.

"What bet?" Maka snapped, tugging at the end of her pigtails in irritation.

"How about this?" He started, his bright scarlet eyes gleaming. "Whoever gets the higher grade on the math test we have next week wins?"

"Wins what?" Maka asked, fully aware that all bets had a price and prize.

"The winner has the power to order the loser to do anything they want," he decided, tapping his fingers rhythmically against the white walls of the hallway.

"Anything?" The blonde teenager asked in disbelief.

"Anything," he confirmed, watching a wide smile grew on her face.

All she had to do was do what she did best- study. It was the easiest bet anyone could have ever proposed to her, and she couldn't contain her excitement. Was this popular jerk a total idiot as well? It was almost ridiculous how cocky he was being, thinking he could ever surpass her in the arithmetic department. If she won- no, when she won, she would tell him to get off her back and leave her alone once and for all.

"Alright, you're on!" Maka happily agreed, shaking the hand he held out towards her. "The next time I see you, I'll be rubbing my hundred in your face. For now, Chrona and I have places to go, so we'll be seeing you later," she matter-of-factly told Soul, letting go of his hand and grabbing the astounded Chrona's hand instead.

"Yeah, yeah," Soul shrugged, smiling that lopsided smile of his. It was almost sick how innocent and naive this girl was.

When Friday morning- the date of the mathematics test- rolled around, Maka was livid. She was furious, a ball of fury and wrath. In fact, she was so mad that she was not even able to speak properly; the words that came out of her mouth came out in incomprehensible sputters and spazzes.

"SOUL EATER EVANS!" She boomed, rushing down the hallway, pushing all the girls that gave her a face filled with an unusual combination of confusion and adoration.

"Why is that ball of crazy screaming his own name out?" Kid asked Tsubaki, who answered back with a shrug. They were both standing in front of their lockers, watching the entertaining yet pathetic scene starring Soul Evans unfold before them.

"You can run but you can't hide you fucking bastard!" Maka proceeded to bellow out in the hallway, causing a few teachers to stop and hush her up for the derogatory terms.

The bell rang, signifying the start of first period, and Soul was still nowhere in sight. They had math class first, and Maka figured if he was going to be absent, at least she would be able to make up for her test at a later date. She sighed in relief when she thought about it, and realized she would not lose the bet because he wasn't even present.

But the serenity of her temper was short-lived.

She knew it was logically impossible for him to be smarter than her and get higher grades than her by studying for only a week. She knew that he would undoubtedly use some sort of cheating method, but this was going too far. He had switched bodies with her on purpose, somehow forced himself to sneeze, so that she would have to take the test for him, and vice versa. It was a clever idea, Maka had to admit, even though it royally screwed her over and made her have a near heart-attack when she woke up to a maid staring creepily at her face.

Maka's temper was slowly but surely subduing, and she was ready to fail Soul's paper on purpose for vengenance, when she saw her own blonde pigtails gayly walking into the math classroom. Her anger spiked up, and she had a sudden adrenaline rush.

"Soul fucking fucker," she hissed, as she grabbed her own frail figure by the collar. "You're such a cheater. How can you do this to me? I'm going to fail your paper so badly, your math average will drop at least ten folds," she threatened viciously.

"Oh no you won't," Soul grinned, his emerald eyes twinkling in mischief. "Because you see, if you fail my math test, I'll fail yours too. I don't really care about my grade too much, so if you fail this test, by all means go ahead and do so. But remember, if you do, your grades are plummeting down with mine...are you okay with that?" He threatened her, the grin masked on his face growing larger as her face twisted in horror at the thought of her perfect grades dropping.

Failing? Maka Albarn did not do failing. In fact, she never failed a single test her whole life; even the mere thought of failing made Maka's legs go weak.

"Fine, fine!" Maka cried out in defeat. "You win the bet," Maka hissed, tightening her fists so hard that her knuckles turned white. "Just get a good fucking grade for me, or I'll kill you. If I don't pass with at least over an eighty-five, I will seriously skin you alive," Maka told him, meaning each of her words literally.

"I seriously win?" Soul asked in surprise, cruelly laughing to himself inwardly about how easy this victory was. "No take backs, no change of rules later on, no tricks, no nothing? I seriously win?"

"Yes, yes," the blonde agreed. "I'll do whatever the hell you want, just get a good grade for me," Maka weakly replied back, hating the way she sounded so vulnerable.

"Sweet," Soul crookedly smiled, showing his jagged pearl white teeth. "You better keep your end of the promise, pigtails," he said, before promptly taking the seat Maka had always sat in to take the test.

"Exactly why are you always looking at me like that?" Soul asked the light purple-haired girl in front of him. The bangs on her forehead were cut in such an uneven and unfashionable way, it bothered even a messy person like Soul.

"L-Looking at you like w-what?" The lean, fragile girl refused to meet his eyes, and instead they nervously darted all over the place.

"You're always looking at me, don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about," Soul accused, folding his hands together. "Sure, I'm your big 'sib,' but you think of me more than that, don't you? You're always looking at me with such affectionate, mushy googly eyes, and it's getting really bothersome."

Chrona's face turned bright red as soon as Soul completed his sentence, mumbling bunches of words together that ended up making no sense whatsoever.

"I-I...well," Chrona sputtered, still avoiding the pair of emerald eyes that bore into hers with a cold vibe. Usually Maka's green eyes were filled with warmth and kindness, but today they were filled with an intense feeling of...jealousy?

"Spit it out," Soul ordered, scowling at the girl who flinched at his harsh words.

"T-Truthfully, you are my i-i-idol," Chrona finally admitted, her face growing redder by the second.

"Idol?" Soul asked, a little dumbfounded but very amused.

"Y-yes, i-idol," Chrona confirmed, tugging at the short locks of hair that fell all over her forehead. "I-I've been looking at you f-for a while now, e-even before I came t-to this school. We live in the same a-apartment, I live two floors a-above you. I got h-h-home-schooled all my life, so I don't have a-any friends. I k-know it's going to s-sound c-creepy, b-b-but I..."

"You?" Soul encouraged her to carry on with her story, wondering if there was any point to it.

"I-I kind o-of stalked you w-when you went to school," Chrona sheepishly admitted. Soul raised his eyebrows at her, but said nothing. "T-Then one day I-I saw y-you talking to that S-S-S-Soul E-Evans guy."

Soul's ears shot up at his name, and he started to pay much more attention to her story.

"I-I saw you yelling at h-him, and s-standing up t-to him. He's s-s-so popular, yet you didn't feel intimidated at all, it was r-r-refreshing. Y-You are such an unique individual, Maka Albarn, and I s-strive to be like you," Chrona bashfully told her, her face rapidly spreading a deep scarlet hue.

"Well, I am kind of unique, aren't I?" Soul agreed proudly, thinking back to the moment when she told him off. It all made sense now; what made Maka Albarn stand out from all those other girls who threw themselves onto him. "So you're not trying to get with me after all," Soul sighed in relief.

"W-Well actually, if y-you w-want to, I w-wouldn't mind-" Chrona started, the color red erupting all over her features. Soul abruptly shut her up by coughing loudly and pretending that he couldn't hear her. She still posed a threat; she was dangerous territory, female or male.

"Hey, Chrona, it's been a whole week since you came to this school...Aren't there any guys you would like to get with?" Soul asked hopefully, wanting to get rid of his potential competitor. In fact, Soul wasn't even sure if she was really a she at this point.

"W-Well," Chrona started, her face growing even darker shades of red. "I-I really like y-you but I a-also did think that your best friend K-K-Kid was really cute."

"Symmetry?" Soul laughed out in glee. He couldn't believe how well everything was turning out; this new piece of information allowed him to kill two birds with one stone.

Chrona continued staring down at her shoes, tightly grasping the hems of her skirt, not knowing how to take Soul's- that she thought were Maka's - laughs.

"Hey look," Soul started, causing Crona to slowly look up. For some strange reason, although Maka physically looked the same, Chrona felt like it wasn't really the bubbly flaxen haired in front of her. "How about we make a deal?"

"A-A deal?" Chrona asked in confusion. Somehow, this conversation seemed oddly familiar...

"How about I help you get together with symm-Kid, if you can help try to convince me to get together with Soul Evans?"

"What?" Chrona asked, as her face crumbled in confusion.

"I have a few problems," Soul whispered yet another lie to yet another naive person. "I actually like Soul Evans a lot, but I don't know it yet. Can you help me realize I like him by implanting the idea in my head and trying to always get me together with him?"

"Uhm...okay?" Chrona accepted the proposal, though she was not so sure she understood exactly what she had to do. "So I just have to convince you that you belong with him, and I'm playing matchmaker?"

"That's right!" Soul cheerfully told her. "And I'll try to get you closer with Kid," Soul promised.

Chrona's eyes brightened as he said this, although what Maka was asking her to do sounded absolutely ridiculous and senseless. The bell rang for the last time, and Chrona got up to leave to her locker, before Soul called out after her.

"Hey, messy hair!" Soul yelled out to her retreating back. "This conversation never happened, got that? Don't ever talk to me about this talk or remind me of it ever again!"

Chrona turned back around, smiling shyly as she slowly held up a thumbs up sign.

Soul sighed contently, leaning against the wall of the hallway nonchalantly. The new kid wasn't so bad after all.

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