"Shachi? Penguin?" Lexi called, moving between the racks of shirts and pants with price tags much higher than was reasonable. They'd wandered into a California Republic. The lighting inside was a little darker than out in the main walkway. She blinked to adjust to the change. Passing by the mannequins of male models, she spotted them taking jackets off hangers and putting them on.
"This one is super tight, but it's got so many pockets!" Penguin looked through a thick cargo jacket, stuffing his hands in the various pockets adorning the front. "I could fit all my tools in it!"
"Look at this shirt." He held up a t-shirt, showing his friend. "Cali For Nia? Who's Nia? What's a Cali?" Penguin rubbed at his chin.
"Hmm…" He snapped, pointing at the shirt. "Maybe it's that bear? But why would you give someone a bear?"
"Uh…guys?" Lexi said, approaching the two. They looked up, smiling in excitement.
"Lexi-chan, what is a Cali? And who is Nia?" Shachi held up the shirt for reference, and she laughed beside herself. They looked concerned for a moment, but she recovered quickly.
"It's not Cali For Nia, it's California. California is a state."
"Oooohhhh…" They said in unison, and Shachi put the shirt back. Law appeared at her side, inspecting the clothing around him with interest and slight alarm.
"The attire in your world is rather…diverse." He stated, looking at a red crop top with white sequined letters spelling 'BACON.' Lexi snorted at the sight of it, appalled that such a shirt even existed.
"Can we get something?" Penguin asked, putting the jacket away as well. Getting over her fit of laughter, Lexi sighed, giving an apologetic little smile.
"Sorry, guys, but money is pretty tight nowadays. I let you binge with the food but that's the last time." Their shoulders fell a little, but there wasn't much Lexi could do. With a tiny chuckle, she gestured out the door. "Let's go."
"Awww…" They muttered, putting everything back where it went. Law smirked, leaning in closer to whisper in her ear.
"There's nothing to stop me from simply taking what I want." She gave him a deadpan look before pointing towards the security sensors on either side of the door.
"See those?" His gaze followed her finger, and he nodded. "If anything is taken past that and it hasn't been bought, loud alarms will go off and the security will come and arrest you. How are you gonna get past that?"
His eyes narrowed, grin still in place as he rubbed his chin. "Hmm…Everything has a solution." She huffed, grabbing his elbow forcefully.
"Let's go before you get us all thrown out and in jail." He chuckled, following after her and his two crew men.
Outside the store, people milled about with shopping bags as they clutched crying children or talking into their cellphones. Lexi looked around in an attempt to find the nearest exit, but it quickly became apparent that there wasn't one. The cheerful tracks of the newest pop hit played on the speakers overhead, though no one appeared to be listening.
Suddenly, she heard her own cellphone buzz in the front pocket of her bag. Grabbing it out, she checked the screen. It was a message from Brittany, complete with multiple smiley faces and exclamation points.
Lex, I've found the perfect sweater for my date with the hottie!1! :D It's blue and it says 'I Support Sweatshirts and Messy Hair! XP You gotta see it! :P I'll send the pic! :)
Rolling her eyes, she moved to put it away, but Law had unfortunately seen her pull it out.
"I've seen many people with the same devices. What is it?" He questioned, going so far as to take it out of her hand.
"Hey!" She tried grabbing it, but he dangled it out of reach. Smirking, he looked at the screen.
"Is this a message from someone you know?" His eyebrows furrowed, and Shachi and Penguin gathered around him to look.
"It's a cellphone. You can talk to people through it, but you have to have that person's specific phone number."
"So it's just like a den den mushi!" Penguin concluded, still eyeing the strange design and structure of the cell phone.
"Ehh? So cool! What's this button do?" Shachi reached forward and pushed the 'Call' button before Lexi could stop it.
"Wait a minute! Who are you calling?" She tried grabbing the phone but Law held her back with one hand easily. Frustrated, she flailed her arms in an attempt to knock it out of his hand but to no avail. He smirked.
"I wonder what is so important about this device that you want to keep it a secret?" Suddenly, the thing stopped ringing, and a person's voice came through.
"Hello?" Lexi stood there, horrified. They'd called Brittany.
Law frowned deeply, looking at the thing strangely. "This device is rather strange, but no different than what we-"
"Lexi? Hey, Lex? Are you there or did whoever I'm talking to find this phone?" She asked in a confused voice. Lexi tried once again to grab the thing, but Law was still holding it.
"Who are you?" Shachi asked, trying to see where there was a face on it. Maybe they didn't work exactly like snails phones after all.
"Uhh…I should be asking you that. You're on Lexi's phone. And you are definitely not her." Brittany sound a bit suspicious, and Lexi was glad she didn't just take things as they came.
"What is your name, Miss?" Law asked, curiosity effectively piqued. It was very entertaining to learn the many uses and features of her world's items, though seeing her angry and desperate face was half the fun.
"…" Her friend didn't answer for a second. "Why, I'm Brittany of course."
Lexi sighed, face palming herself at the dramatic shift in voice tone. Replacing the confusion was now what Lexi knew to be her seductive voice; lower tone and slowed speech, the kind that she used on who she thought were attractive men.
"Well, Brittany-ya, it was a pleasure to speak to you." Law grinned at Lexi's red face, thoroughly enjoying the dilemma she'd placed herself in.
"I didn't know Lexi had a…man around." She giggled, at which point the brunette had had enough.
"Hand the phone over. Now." She demanded, and Law decided that she'd endured enough torment for one afternoon. Which left the evening open for all sorts of mayhem designated for her.
"It appears our time conversing is over, as Lexi-ya demands." Law said, and since the phone was somehow on speaker, she could hear her friend sigh loudly.
"Aww, already? Well, I'll definitely talk to you again soon, hun."
'She's really laying it on thick…' Lexi thought, finally managing to snatch her cellphone from the pirate's hand, and walking away briskly. Making sure to turn off the speaker, she brought the electronic up to her ear.
"Brittany?" She asked, wondering if she was still on the line.
"Lex, how come you didn't tell me you were with the company of an extremely hot-sounding guy? From his voice alone I can tell he is a 12 on a scale of 10. I demand a picture. Right now. And for God's sake, tell me he's single."
Face quickly turning even deeper shades of red, Lexi rubbed the back of her neck, glancing back at the pirates to make sure they weren't listening.
"Ah, see that's not-"
"Are you dating him?" She demanded, and Lexi's eyes widened.
"Of course not!"
"Well then he is free, and I am free, so I'd like to make us both not free." Lexi sighed, noticing that Law was walking over with that stupid smirk, followed by the two idiot engineers.
"Look, Brit, I gotta go. I'll talk to you later."
"Uh huh. And I want all the juicy details about that sexy piece of-" Lexi hung up before Law could hear her friend's voice through the receiver. She shoved her phone in her pocket, zipping it up so no one would take it.
"A friend of yours?" He asked, his grin widening at the state of her facial complexion. She frowned, straightening her back and neck in a dignified pose, before walking away further into the mall.
"Wait for us, Lexi-chan!" The two pirates ran after her, leaving Law to follow up last. She could feel his amusement dancing at her back through his gaze alone, but she wouldn't allow him the satisfaction of seeing her flustered any longer.
She should have known, really. Should have known that something like this would happen, especially from the way the two had been partial to staring at her during their stay at the house. Whatever notion had led Lexi to walk past this particular store was really letting her down. Her fingers tried to rub away the quickly growing headache.
"I wouldn't think a store as…racy as this would be so boldly advertised." Law commented, arms folded as he leaned against a potted plant in the middle aisle.
"Yeah, well, welcome to America." She muttered, watching as the two, now obvious perverts, sat on their knees drooling at the entrance of Victoria's Secret.
The mannequins were outfitted with an assortment of patterned and sexy lingerie, with fake wings attached at the back. Posters for women with the same wings decorated the tops of the displays and on the moveable advertisements outside. Lexi could see several women inside looking rather alarmed by the two creepy men sobbing at the entrance.
"Heavenly ladies!" Shachi cried, holding his hands out as if in praise, Penguin was sobbing pathetically into the tile, too awestruck for words. Both of their noses were bleeding rather heavily, though when Lexi offered to get them stuff to clean it up, they refused to move from that spot.
"Is this normal?" She inquired, not bothering to glance at the hoodie-wearing Captain. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him shrug.
"Lexi-chan, this place is beyond what our dreams could ever be!" Shachi sputtered, and she couldn't help but grin. "Are we allowed inside?" He asked meekly, turning to her with a hopeful face and clasped hands.
"Uh uh, no way. I am not allowing you inside there with a reaction like that." She held her hands up in a stop gesture, and both men sweat dropped.
"But…but…!" They grasped at straws, trying to think of a reason to allow them inside. "Can I just sniff one of them?" Her face changed to one of horror, and crossed her arms.
"I think you guys have had enough of the mall for one day. Or even your entire life." They slumped over in defeat, and she checked her watch. "It's getting late anyways, and I still have to start dinner."
The mention of food seemed to be the cure for the perverted engineers' depression. They brightened up and followed her towards the way they had come.
"Ooh, can I get second helpings since I'm your favorite?" Penguin raised his hand, and Shachi immediately punched him in the back of the head.
"Baka, Lexi-chan likes me more. I'm her favorite." His friend scowled back.
"Shachi-ya, Penguin-ya, we don't want to cause a scene." Law said, instantly silencing them. Then, a second later, he smirked again. "Why not just ask her yourselves?"
Lexi deadpanned, watching as both idiots turned to her for the answer. She found a loophole, however, and grinned in satisfaction.
"Bepo's my favorite and no one else!"
"Dammit…" They muttered, and she chuckled. As stressful as these pirates made her life, they certainly were entertaining.ns 22.214.171.124da2