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Tae woke up with a horrible headache. Her mouth was unbearably dry and her feet were cold and blistered as if she had just ran in the olympics. She groaned and flexed each part of her body before she noticed the flesh on the knuckles were bleeding.

For a few moments she was confused until she sifted through the memories of the previous night… in the club. 

In an instant she was awake, frantically she searched around her for the boy she had tried to save. She powered through the vertigo that almost knocked her off her feet as a result from standing up way too soon with an awful hangover. 

She did not need to look for very long, as moments later she heard the soft voices of a speck calling up to her from below. Tae looked down on the other side of the couch and felt a wave of relief wash over her to see the young man from last night sitting upright facing her.

“Woah woah!” Eren assured her, as she exhaled deeply. “It’s okay… *we* are okay.”

“Oh thank god!” Tae exclaimed, and sat back down on the couch. She brushed some hair that had stuck to her cheek away. “I thought… you’re safe.”

Tae rubbed her temple.

“Those girls.” She muttered. “I am so sorry you had to go through that.”

“You saved my life from them, miss.” Eren told her. “I can’t thank you enough, Tae.”

“Did you spend the whole night there on the couch?” She asked, concerned. “A-Are you sure you are okay? I should have gotten you a blanket or something-.”

“I’m fine, Tae.” Eren said firmly, he placed his hands in the air in an attempt to calm her down as she began to freak herself out. “Really.”

The giantess realized what she was doing and decided to take several more deep breaths. Eren found it ironic that despite the ordeal it was her who seemed rattled right now. She winced, her soreness was a lingering effect of the hangover.

“My name is Eren by the way.” He formally introduced himself. 

“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance Eren.” Tae replied, and brushed herself off. Now that she had time to calm down and relax she realized just how covered with grime and dirt she truly was. 

Tae wiped a pillow across her lips, which cleaned a messy smudge of lipstick. As the pair sat in silence for a few moments Eren worked up the courage as ask a question that had bothered him since she saved him.

“Why did you help me?” He asked quietly. “I’m just a speck and you’re…” He trailed off, looking at the luxurious penthouse. “Well, nothing like me at least.” Eren noted.

She pursed her lips. “It’s personal.” Tae eventually told him. “I would rather not get into it, if it’s all the same with you.”

“I understand, I didn’t mean to pry.” 

“Thank you. I appreciate it.” Tae said with a faint smile. “Is there somewhere safe for you? A speck community you come from?”

“I am from Northside.” Eren told her. “The settlement beneath the bridge.”

Tae grimaced. “It recently lost city funding, if I am not mistaken.”

“That’s why I was at the bar.” Eren admitted. "Trying to not think about how all of us are probably going to be homeless soon.” He admitted.

“What will happen to all of those people?” Tae asked. “I thought the mayor said he had a plan to find different accommodations.”

Eren scoffed and folded his arms.

“His ‘plan’ is to integrate us with another larger settlement on Westside. Resources are already strained as is so it’ll become a slum in no time.” Eren shook his head as Tae listened sympathetically. “Honestly I don’t know. We have families that I can’t imagine will do well on their own but nobody really seems to care.”

“I had no idea things were heading in that direction.” Tae told him. “Honestly I thought things were better in this city than most other places for specks. How wrong I was. I can hardly believe those two girls last night…”

“And the bartender.” Eren said, he recalled how the bartender had been complacent in the entirety of his near death experience. 

Tae narrowed her eyes. “What did they do?”

Eren recounted the events of the previous night from the very beginning. He explained how he had first had trouble even getting service from the barkeep and how she kept ignoring him until forced by management to take his order. Then stalled and said nothing while the two girls almost killed him.

As he explained his story Tae seemed to become more and more angry. She did not once interrupt him for further clarification, only listening, allowing her cheeks to flush red with anger once more. 

“What did she look like?” 

“Super skinny. Dyed blonde hair with a purple and blue streak in the front.” Eren replied. 

“Beauty mark under her lip?”

“Uh yeah actually.” Eren confirmed, uncertain how she could know, considering as far as he knew Tae had not run into her. “How do you know?”

“I bumped into her outside the bar on my way home.” She hissed. “I actually *apologized* to that fucking bitch for it too.”

“Ah well.” Eren shrugged, but Tae remained vexed. The colossal woman rose to her feet. She began to pace back and forth, swearing under her breath in what Eren by now assumed was probably Korean. “After she found what you did to those two girls in the bathroom I’m sure she’s scared shitless.”

Tae exhaled sharply. She noticed the fear lingering on Eren’s face, and seemed to calm down.

“Yeah. I suppose so.” Tae plopped back down on the couch, sending a tidal wave through it that sent Eren tumbling from her sheer weight. She remained silent for several tense seconds before relenting. “It’s fine. Are you hungry? I can get something for you to eat.” She offered.

Mikayla was in hot water with her manager, she knew for a fact. For some reason Jennifer actually insisted on offering service to specks. Her little stunt last night with the one speck in a blue moon who waltzed into the bar earned a scolding, and even a write up.

The rest of the staff she had told was on her side, she knew, they told her as much while she vented to some of the other employees. Nobody there wanted to ever have to degrade themselves by selling drinks to the bugs. 

Even some customers were on her side. Those two last night had been doing her a tremendous favor by trying to get rid of the damn vermin. It still bothered her that they ended up leaving the bar in a stretcher, with no sign of the speck. 

How that had happened she had no idea, but at the moment Mikayla was too busy grumbling about being assigned trash duty to care. Her ‘punishment’ from Jennifer who was still angry over last night.

“Fuck. I need a new job.” She bemoaned while crouching over to pick up a discarded vodka bottle. “With a decent fucking manager.”

She heard footsteps behind her. Jennifer?

“Look Jen I said I was sorry can I please go back-?!” Mikayla turned around, exasperated and expecting to see her stony faced manager standing in the cold alleyway with her. Instead she was face to face with a familiar person. The asian girl from last night who ran into her on her way out, drunkenly wandering the streets. “Uh hi miss, so sorry about that, I thought you were someone else.”

The woman only scowled. Her arms crossed forbiddingly. Mikayla looked around. Nobody else was in the alley and all her coworkers were inside serving guests, leaving them alone. 

“Did you lose something last night? Oh! Were those your shoes in the bathroom?” Mikayla asked. “I’m really sorry but the police ended up taking them. We had a incident last night here when-.”

“When there was an attempted murder.” The woman finally snapped. 

Mikayla was confused. “I wouldn’t describe it as being a murder, ma’am.” She said. “Two girls were beaten up in the bathroom.” The woman remained furious.

“For their part in an attempted killing that *you* were complacent with!” Mikayla took a few steps back as Tae stormed forward, digging her finger into her chest accusingly. “You let those two monsters take a young man into the bathroom and did NOTHING. They were going to fucking drown him in a toilet you piece of shit.”

She roughly shoved Mikayla, who stumbled backwards several feet before catching her balance on the wall behind her. She was about as tall as Tae, but far skinnier and lighter in frame. 

“Hey now what’s your fucking problem lady?!” Mikayla exclaimed incredulously, but her voice cracked. “I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Don’t lie. The least you can do is not lie.” Tae hissed, crossing her arms. “Admit it.”

“Whatever.” Mikayla said, rolling her eyes and picking her trash bag up. “So what if they tried to kill the little shit? He’s just a goddamn pest.” She hissed.

Mikayla shook her head and tried to walk past Tae, only to be grabbed by the arm and thrown onto the ground. She yelped as she ate dirt, some of the trash she had not picked up ruining her uniform. 

Tae towered over her menacingly, her eyes full of anger.

“Get away from me.” Mikayla demanded, she stood back on shaky legs. “I am calling the police!”

Once more she tried to walk away, only to be stopped in her tracks as Tae delivered a strong kick to Mikayla’s sternum, sending her catapulting back into the wall. It knocked the wind out of Mikayla, who found herself unable to breathe for several seconds from the impact.

The larger woman rushed in, and tackled Mikayla to the ground, which left her defenseless as Tae removed a syringe from her pocket. Before Mikayla could react the needle was jammed into her arm, and plunger pushed, immediately it forced the strange chemical deep into her bloodstream. 

Mikayla tried to call out for someone to help, but was hit by a tidal wave of sudden nausea that came from seemingly nowhere. Her arm felt like it was about to fall off from pain, but simultaneously she felt too woozy to scream out in agony. 

She huddled into a fetal position, confused as she felt her clothes quickly becoming far more roomy than she had remembered them being. It occurred to her, much to Mikayla’s horror that she was shrinking. Rapidly. 

By the time she had recovered enough to be able to scream, Mikayla was far too small for anybody to hear except for Tae, who now had a sadistic smirk on her face as she watched the wretched little bartender try to crawl away from beneath her clothes. 

Her victim was under three inches tall now, just shy of the normal height specks usually were. Dazed and confused Mikayla began to sob as she looked up in morbid terror of the looming giantess who looked down at her hatefully. 

Instinct took over and Mikayla began to run away at a pitifully slow pace. She had no idea where to go, other than that if she wanted to live she had to get as far away from Tae as physically possible. She cried out as an overwhelming weight from behind her closed in, pressing her face down into the asphalt as Tae pressed the sole of her boot directly on top of the now diminutive girl which pushed Mikayla deep into the snow. 

To any potential observer, it seemed like Tae was tying her shoe laces. She got on one knee and gently pulled her foot free from the warm confines of the winter boot. The nylons she wore beneath did absolutely nothing to protect her feet from the cold exposed like this. Still it was nothing compared to the frosty coffin Mikayla was temporarily trapped in. 

Tae placed her foot aside then lifted the boot off Mikayla, who sobbed loudly. “In you go.” She remarked coldly to the terrified bartender. Roughly she squeezed Mikayla by her abdomen and dropped her the full length of the boot where she landed with a hard thud on the leather interior. 

Mikayla had no time to get her bearings in the smelly boot. Tae angled it so she could insert her foot, and as she did so forced Mikayla to crawl as far away from the five toes which surged to bulldoze her. Tae felt a total lack of resistance as her foot slid back into place, with Mikayla now situated comfortably at the toe section of her boot. She could feel the now shrunken woman’s head sandwiched beneath the crux of her big toe.

Within the shoe Mikayla hyperventilated on the only oxygen that could reach her, none of which was fresh and reeked purely of Tae’s feet. Her only comfort was that Tae had showered recently, and even the most odorous space in the crevice beneath her toes was not altogether unpleasant. Mikayla’s frantic shouting echoed loudly against the walls formed by the interior of the boot, and became panicked when she felt the mighty digits close around her. 

Then Tae took her first step. 

Mikayla lurched forward and her stomach turned as she felt herself rise. She could feel Tae lifting her foot, and cried out like she was on a roller coaster when it all came crashing down. The wait to feel when exactly impact would come was awful, but the crash itself was worse. Her spine compressed, underneath the sheer weight of Tae’s entire body bearing down on her. The soft underside of Tae’s feet smushed Mikayla hard against the leather insole, until she felt herself about to burst like a grape.

Mercifully the horrible pressure was alleviated right before that could happen. Tae made sure to step a little harder on that foot, and focus as much of her weight as possible into her toes. She couldn’t imagine the suffering Mikayla was experiencing, but whatever it was couldn’t come close to what she deserved. 

It was not everyday Tae took the scenic route home, especially when it was so cold outside. However today she had a special foot warmer, so she could make an exception. With each step she could feel Mikayla going through bouts of resistance. At first she was an absolute mess, endlessly squirming in a desperate and futile attempt to free herself. Four blocks later and that struggle was now quiet acceptance of her miserable fate

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