It was a quiet and peaceful morning in the house. Sunlight created golden patterns as it wafted silently down onto the carpet, illuminating dust motes as they floated through the air. The light passed through several rooms, going slowly over a small shrine, complete with incense, and a well-used katana…then in the next room, an odd mix of various firearms and manga. In the last room, the sunlight almost seemed to pause for a moment before settling on the face of a boy with long brown bangs that, at the moment, weren’t in their most common hairstyle.
In fact, Trowa Barton’s bangs were downright boring at the moment. Not spiky or gravity-defying, they were downright…plain.
Trowa woke up slowly, his visible emerald eye cracking open slowly. He saw the sunlight, seemed to think about something for a second, then started to turn over, only to have to brush bangs out of his face.
That made him halt—he shouldn’t have had to do that—then he remembered the previous day. The attacks with a water hose from a very sneaky braided pilot, the subsequent water war, and the matter of five extremely saturated pilots and one VERY pissed cat.
They’d apologized to the cat’s owner, of course. Rather, Quatre had. Still, the feline wasn’t the same after about five separate drenchings with water and one mad stomp on its tail from a certain violet-eyed demon. Trowa smirked as he remembered Duo’s sudden halt and exaggerated screech, which resulted in Heero having to take him inside, and the end of the water war.
Trowa frowned, returning to the problem at hand. His bangs needed emergency treatment. He quietly climbed out of bed and walked across the room, so as not to wake Quatre, exiting into the hall and making his way into the bathroom. The door was opened, Trowa was inside, and the lock was pushed with a hollow click. Once he was certain that nobody was going to intrude, Trowa turned to the mirror and pulled a comb and brush out of one of the drawers, viciously attacking his hair. After brushing out the long, light brown colored bangs, Trowa opened the medicine cabinet, searching through the various items there. He finally found what he was looking for, wedged in between an ace bandage and a tube of sunscreen. Hair gel!
Trowa quickly unscrewed the cap and squeezed the tube over his hand. Nothing. A confused look crossed the boy’s face. He rolled up one end of the tube and squeezed it viciously. Still nothing. Trowa, starting to get frightened by this point, all but mutilated the tube. Still no hair gel.
Then, Trowa did a very un-Trowalike thing. He screamed.
Heero was up in a flash, his instincts immediately on guard. He looked over at Duo, who was still asleep, and had a rather happy look on his face. Heero got out of bed, walked over to the other boy’s bed, and grabbed his arm, shaking him viciously.
“Whaa? Chocolate? Mm…yeah…plea…” Duo chose this moment to wake up and nearly died when he saw Heero looking at him with a look that got lost somewhere in the middle of ‘you are a hentai’ and ‘we’ve got a mission.’
“I heard someone screaming.” Heero explained, sensing Duo was too embarrassed to talk by the look on his face. “I think we’d better check it out.”
“We?” Duo said. He rolled over. “Why don’t you go? Wu-man probably just rolled out of bed and onto his katana or something…”
Heero grabbed Duo’s braid and half-yanked the other boy out of bed.
“ITAI!” Duo screamed. He snatched his braid out of Heero’s grip with a very displeased look on his face. “Hmpfh.” He said. “Okay, I’m coming…”
Quatre woke to the scream and one thought immediately came to mind. Rolling over to face the other bed in the room confirmed his fears. “Trowa?” he said quietly. Then urgency shook him fully awake. “Trowa!” he said, almost shouting, as he hopped out of bed and ran towards the door.
Wufei, who had developed excellent Duo instincts, was awake the second the scream sounded. “Kisama! Maxwell! What have you done now!” Wufei shouted. “It is unjust to wake someone so early! You will pay, Maxwell!” he barked, grabbing his katana and rushing from the room, fully ready to deliver justice to whoever disturbed his rest.
The four other pilots arrived outside the bathroom door in various states of disarray. Quatre’s hair, far from its usual style, stuck in a surprising number of directions, despite its short length. Duo looked as if he just wanted to go back to bed. For about a year, at that. Heero and Wufei looked fairly ready-to-go, however.
Heero looked at the bathroom door skeptically, then at the other three pilots. All of them had the question in their eyes, but Duo was the first to speak.
“It was TROWA?”
The other three made slight nervous noises before Quatre finally knocked on the door.
“Trowa? Are you okay?” Quatre asked. Hearing no response, he tried louder. “Trowa?”
The other pilots were starting to get worried when they heard a series of bangs and thumps from inside the bathroom. Suddenly, the door opened, to reveal Trowa…with…a towel wrapped around his head.
Whatever Trowa had done resembled a turban slightly, except for the fact that it covered his whole head from the neck up, and not just his hair. Moreover, there were no places for his eyes. It looked very uncomfortable. And very foolish.
Heero suddenly noticed something wrong with Duo. The braided boy was quivering slightly. Heero looked at him closer, trying to discern a problem, when he realized that the American was trying to hold in laughter. Wufei shook his head slowly, an incredulous look on his face. “Barton…” he said slowly. Quatre just looked horrified. “Trowa? What happened??” he asked urgently.
A muffled voice came from behind the towel. “No hair gel.”
“No…hair…?” Duo said. It was the last straw. Duo broke into howling laughter, and, unable to support himself, fell to the ground and began rolling around, still laughing. Wufei tried to glare at Duo, while still keeping an eye on Trowa, but found it was nearly impossible. He finally settled for looking at Trowa.
“But why did you SCREAM so?” Quatre asked. “Is it really that important?”
The towel-wrapped lump nodded.
Quatre sighed. “Well, I suppose we’d better go buy some hair gel then, but you can’t wear that towel there.”
Trowa nodded acceptance, then halted. “But what would I wear?”
“We’ll ahh…we’ll find something.” Quatre assured the taller pilot, then instructed everyone to go get ready to go to the store.
Thirty minutes later, everyone met downstairs. It appeared that Quatre had, indeed, found Trowa something else to wear—a brown paper sack with holes cut out for Trowa’s eyes. Duo fought hard not to snicker again.
“We’ll take the convertible.” Quatre said hesitantly. “I’ll drive, since it’s my car.”
“Shotgun.” Wufei said instantly, surprising everyone with his quickness.
“What…? NO! AW! NO!” Duo lamented instantly. “NO NO NO! I WANTED SHOTGUN!” Duo said, pouting like a five year old.
Wufei showed a surprising gloating streak and smirked at Duo. “Too bad Maxwell, I got it first.”
Duo glared at Wufei with a single minded ferocity. I’ll get you for this one, Chang!
Heero, who was becoming very annoyed with their behavior, suggested that they shut up. His patented combination of gun, glare, and threatening tone worked like a charm, and soon enough all five boys were in the car, Quatre driving, Wufei shotgun, and Trowa in between Duo and Heero in the back seat.
Quatre started the car, the radio, which Duo had left on to his favorite station, coming to life as well.
“Aaand now it’s time for your stunning morning commentary from us, your favorite DJs Fox and Chaz, on 104.2 WING, Wing Radio!”
Heero, from the backseat, twitched imperceptibly.
The boys listened in silence to the radio as they drove along.
“You know, Chaz, one of the biggest controversies out there today is ice cream.” Fox, the DJ, said.
“Ice cream? Really…” Chaz said in an interested tone.
“Yes. According to one of the largest manufacturers of ice cream that supplies both Earth and the colonies, ice cream consumption has gone down by at least 32% since the creation of the colonies, on a rather gradual decline.”
“A pity.” Chaz said in a sincere tone.
“Yes, did you know that companies are now producing less ice cream? It’s criminal!” Fox added in a rather sarcastic tone.
“Do your part, people—eat more ice cream!” Chaz said, then paused. “In fact, we’ll give away a year’s supply of ice cream to the eighth caller, right here on WING Radio! While you listen to this golden oldie, we’ll take calls.”
Heero immediately paled. He knew what was coming. And he knew if by some miracle Duo was the eighth caller, that radio station would be paying THOUSANDS—
“Quatre! QUATRE! GIMME YOUR CELL PHONE!! HURRY!” Duo squealed. Quatre, confused, complied. Heero groaned. He could only hope…
Wufei rolled his eyes as he heard Duo punching in the numbers frantically. Heero glanced at the braided boy as he held the cell phone to his ear. He must have been given a hold signal, because his expression dropped drastically. However, at that second the song on the radio stopped playing.
“Hello and welcome back! We’ve currently got our lucky eighth caller on hold!” Chaz exclaimed. He must have hit some kind of button because there was a brief pause. Then, to Duo’s delight, and Heero’s horror, Chaz’s voice came back on the radio—and echoed slightly through the cell phone. “Congratulations, lucky caller number eight! What is your name?”
“SHINIGAMI!” Duo screamed loudly. Then he seemed to calm down. “Err, I mean Duo Maxwell!”
“Maxwell, Maxwell, Maxwell…” Wufei said quietly from the front seat. Heero tried to hide his frustration. He would have no peace for the next year.
Chaz’s voice echoed through the radio again. “Well congratulations ‘Shinigami’,” he said the word with a laughing tone in his voice, “You have just won a year’s supply of ice cream!”
Duo nearly collapsed in his seat, ecstasy painted across his features. “Do I get to choose the flavors?” he said into the phone.
Chaz laughed. “Yes, you do! Congratulations again, and please stay on the line so we can get your address!”
Another song started playing as Duo gave the address to the DJ and Quatre pulled into the parking lot of the supermarket. Duo gave Quatre’s phone back to him as the boys climbed out of the car.
“Can you believe this?” Duo exulted as they walked into the store.
“I don’t want to.” Heero muttered under his breath.
Trowa levitated almost instantly towards the hair care aisle and the boys walked down it, looking. Duo stopped to examine some wild-colored hair dye while the others walked ahead. Duo looked over the colors, and smirked when he saw hot pink. He grabbed a box of the stuff and snuck off to pay for it, sure that the others would find him.
Trowa looked through the bottles of hair gel, obviously looking for some specific brand. He finally found one that was acceptable. “This one.”
Quatre looked at the bright red and black tube, which had several skulls-and-crossbones painted across it. “Err, Trowa, are you sure that one is safe?”
“Yes.” Trowa said.
Heero picked up another tube of it and read the
ingredients. He recognized some of the
chemicals as ones he’d used in explosives.
“Are you sure?”
”Absolutely, I’ve used this stuff for years.”
Wufei could only imagine what Duo would say to that, then realized the braided baka wasn’t in attendance. He looked around. “Maxwell is gone!” he said urgently.
Three heads snapped up and muttered curses were heard. They all knew what kind of mischief Duo could get into if left alone long enough. Especially in a store of this size.
Heero immediately ran out of the aisle and up and down the main aisles of the supermarket, looking for Duo. Finding nothing, he looked to the checkouts and saw Duo waiting near the exit doors, a small sack on his arm as he chugged a bottle of soda. Heero frowned and made a silent oath to kill the boy, then returned to the others to tell them that he’d found Duo.
Trowa made his purchase quickly and they surrounded Duo, almost dragging him back to the car. However, Duo wasn’t about to go quietly, as they’d spilled his soda as they forced him around. Spilling soda was a deadly crime in Duo Maxwell’s book, so he did the only thing he could think of.
Ripped off Trowa’s paper bag.
Four startled gasps (including Duo’s own) sounded in the air, and passersby stared in shock. Trowa looked like an irritated fuzzy rat was trying to hang onto his face, and spikes of hair stuck at odd angles. A little girl screamed and ran over to her parents, burying her head in her father’s leg.
The girl’s mother walked over and smacked Trowa—rather hard—on the back of her head with her purse.
“How dare you scare my daughter like that!” the woman chastised Trowa. She turned around with a slight hmpfh and walked off, daughter and rather meek husband in tow.
Duo stood there for all of three seconds before he started to snicker. He then broke into full laughter, nearly falling over before Heero supported him. Trowa was bright red and quite sure he’d never go out in public in this town again as he jammed the paper bag back onto his head with no small amount of frustration. He then proceeded to run back into the store and spend ALL of his remaining money on tubes of hair gel—he wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.
Soon enough, they’d managed to restrain Duo and make it back to the house, (Heero insisted that they leave the radio off this time), and into it. Trowa went upstairs with his purchase, and a few minutes later, came downstairs, looking as normal as he always did.
“I can’t believe we went to that much trouble just so you could fix your hair, Barton.” Wufei said irritably.
Heero looked around, and noticed that Duo was gone again. He was about to go search for the boy when he heard a knock on the front door. Making sure his gun was in easy reach, he walked over to the door and opened it.
The delivery boy looked at the prussian-eyed pilot, who had a very vicious expression directed at his cargo. Which was several cases of ice cream. Strawberry, vanilla, bubble gum, rocky road, pecan praline, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
“U-uh, is Duo Maxwell here?” the delivery boy managed to choke out.
Heero was just about to say no and slam the door in the boy’s face when Duo came running down the stairs, screaming like a banshee. “MY ICE CREAAAM!!!”
The delivery boy then became more bewildered than ever. He couldn’t seem to decide who he feared most, Heero or Duo. He was amazed as the braided boy hustled all the ice cream into the house in a remarkably short time, signed the form, and then slammed the door in his face.
Shocked, confused, and more than a little scared, the delivery boy went back out to his truck, unaware that he’d make the same trip many, many, MANY times in the future.
That night, Duo grabbed his box of strawberry pocky, pink markers, crayons, and paper, and the pink hair dye. With all the skill of a professional thief, he crept into Wufei’s room and got to work.
Wufei woke up the next morning to a surprise that nearly made him faint. Sticks of pocky—PINK pocky—had replaced the incense in his shrine and little strips of pink paper with messages written on them decorated his clothing and his room. He picked up one that was lying on his bed and read the message.
Hey Wu-man! If you think this is bad, just wait until you see your katana!
There wasn’t a signature, but Wufei didn’t need one. He reached down beside his bed and grabbed his katana. The blade was pink, colored by crayons, markers, and doubtlessly other mediums. The grip had been painted pink, and the handle had several streamers of pink paper dangling from it. One of them had a message on it that Wufei was almost afraid to read.
And if this isn’t bad enough…go look in a mirror!
Wufei crept over to a mirror and looked in it, only to see that his hair had bright pink streaks in it.
“MAXWELLL!!!!!!!!” Wufei’s bellow of rage woke the three sleeping pilots and clued Duo in to run. Like heck. Which he did.
And remarkably fast at that, but since he was on a sugar high from the numerous cartons of ice cream he’d consumed, it was acceptable.
A year later, the two morning DJ’s of WING Radio looked over a sheet of statistics as they gave the morning report.
“Well, Mr. Maxwell, if you’re listening, yesterday was your last day of ice cream! In fact, ice cream consumption has gone up over 3% in just a year!” Fox said, quite surprised. “I guess Shinigami had an influence on other people!”
In the car, Heero switched off the radio. “No, Shinigami did all that work himself, I assure you.” He muttered, feeling very vexed. At least in about two weeks, when the residual sugar-high wore off, he would finally be able to get some sleep.