Dedicated to Cutter-wifey... she'll know why.

Braided Bakas, Unite! by Lys ap Adin
[AU Sidestory to O&O] Part Two


Tasuki appeared to be mulling something over as they approached the cave. "Oi, I've got a question," he announced, looking at Duo and Heero. "You two an item or what?"

"Nani?" Duo exclaimed, shocked by the question.

Tasuki shrugged. "I was just wondering--Chichiri, stop elbowing my ribs, damn it!--because you have that braid and all, and Heero was yelling for you when he was still in Tamahome's body and for crying out loud, Chichiri, if you don't stop it..." He swatted at Chichiri. "Shit, just ask a simple question and you get all sorts of abuse around here."

Duo sighed mournfully, casting his gaze to the heavens. "Why does everyone just assume that the guy with the braid is gay, huh?"

"Well, Nuriko had a braid until this morning, and he's gay too," Tasuki pointed out. "SHIT! Chichiri, that hurt, damn it!" He rubbed his shin ruefully.

Duo's eyes widened. He looked at Nuriko, stricken. "You lost your braid?" He glomped the purple-haired seishi. "Oi, I'm so sorry--You have my sympathy..."

Nuriko grinned at him. "It's okay... I did it on purpose... sort of..." He rubbed the back of his much-lighter head sadly. "Though I kind of wish I hadn't..."

Duo nodded vigorously, clutching at his own braid protectively. "I think I'd just have to die or something..."

"Hn. Baka."

Duo just grinned at Heero. "You always say that."

Tasuki sighed loudly, exasperated. "So, are you or aren't you?" He dodged away from Chichiri, bumping right into Mitsukake, who, after exchanging a glance with the monk, gravely smacked the bandit. "ITAI!"

Duo hemmed and hawed for a moment, flushing and glancing sideways at Heero, wondering what to say.

Heero glared at the group, which was looking at him expectantly. He seized Duo, pulling him close and wrapping the other boy's braid around his fist. "We are," he said simply. His fingers tightened on Duo's shoulder. "Duo's mine."

Duo gasped very softly, barely breathing. "...Heero?"

Heero rested his face against the side of Duo's neck, whispering just loudly enough for Duo to hear. "Dai suki, Duo."

Tasuki smirked triumphantly, even though he had to brush away a maudlin tear. "You see? That wasn't so hard, now was it?" He backed away from the expressions on his companions' faces. "What?"

Nuriko sighed. "Someday, Tasuki-chan, you and I are going to sit down and have a long talk about this thing called tact."

Tasuki looked puzzled. "Is that anything like tacky?"**

There was a collective sweatdrop.


"I still can't believe you wasted ammunition on two ghosts," Heero grumbled as they walked out of the cave, Genbu no Shinzaho in tow.

"Oi! I didn't know they were ghosts!" Duo complained. "I can't believe you accused me of missing two glowing targets in a dark cave. You know I'm a better shot than that, Heero." He tapped his lover's shoulder meaningfully.

"You two are adorable when you argue," Nuriko commented drily. "Aren't they, Miaka?"

The miko nodded. "Just like a pair of newlyweds or something...."

For some reason, that made Duo remember something rather important. "Oh, shit... the other guys," he moaned, slapping his forehead.

"Nani?" Heero asked, suddenly all business.

"They went out on a mission... if we don't get back before they do, then what are they going to say? Hell, what if a mission comes in for me while I'm here?" Duo ground his teeth.

Heero frowned. "Aa..."

Chichiri shrugged. "All the more reason for us to reach Sailo swiftly no da."




**I actually knew a ditz once who asked this very question, I swear to God I am not making this line up... and I couldn't resist giving it to Fangboy.

There. I finally wrote more. Bwahahahahahaha! Cutter, I do so hoped you enjoyed it... C&C, NEone? Please?