Okay. Warnings: Spawned from an ICQ session with Trowa-bat-admin-sama and the contemplation of certain weird rituals that people put themselves through. Also an attempt to generate a little bit of noise.
OOC, weirdness, quirky moods, written after too little sleep, and chenille robes.

Not mine, don't sue, onegai?

Pilot's Day Off by Lys ap Adin

Heero stared at the computer screen, hardly daring to believe his good fortune. He read it again. There were no changes.

Almost against his will, he smiled very faintly.

"Oi, Heero, what's on the to-do list today?" came the lazy question from where Duo was sprawled across the floor.

"No missions today. We... have the day off."

Duo sat up. "Honto ni?" he demanded eagerly. Heero nodded tersely. "Wai~!" With a burst of energy that would have made a hyperactive five-year-old sick with envy, Duo bounded out of the room to spread the joyous news.

Heero turned the laptop off, and stood. He had just the perfect way to spend the day already planned...

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Duo knocked on the door to Trowa and Quatre's bedroom and then entered without waiting for a response. "Oi, guys, guess wha--Hello!" He turned red to the roots of his hair, hastily backing away. "Um... I ... er... sorry to interrupt... I really oughtta stop barging in like this... uh, carry on..."

Wufei glared at Duo. "It's not what you think, Maxwell..."

Duo waved his hands placatingly. "Don't worry about it, this is an enlightened society, there's no reason for you guys to cover up, okay? Don't let me stop you or anything, I'm no one to judge after all--"

"Duo, shut up," Wufei growled. "Look, Quatre left on an errand early this morning and Trowa and I were feeling bored and there was nothing else to do and--"

Duo looked injured. "You could have come to me," he pouted. "There's no need for *that*." He gestured at the pile of teenage beauty magazines spread out across the floor that Wufei and Trowa were perusing.

[A.N.: My, my, and what were *we* thinking? You hentais!]

Duo, curious in spite of himself, ambled over and plopped himself down. "So, what do these things have to say?" he asked, picking one up and eyeing the picture of the overly pretty young male singer on the cover appreciatively.

Wufei shrugged. "Makes me glad I'm not an onna, that's for damn sure."

"...some of the stuff they put themselves through is ridiculous," Trowa added quietly.

Duo flipped through the magazine, making a mental note to clip the article on PMS and send it to Lady Une. Something caught his attention. "For added volume and shine to hair," he read aloud. "One cup of day-old beer, the flatter the better, one cup of basic herbal or neutral shampoo, and one raw egg yolk (optional). Mix together and shampoo as usual."

Wufei looked incredulously at Duo. "You're seriously considering it, aren't you?"

Duo fiddled with his braid. "It requires constant maintenance," he admitted ruefully. "And most things are worth a shot at least. Besides, I don't have anything better to do today."

"Why?" Trowa inquired.

"Oh, yeah, I forgot!" Duo beamed. "We have the day off!"

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Heero wandered into the kitchen and very nearly sweatdropped. Wufei, Trowa, and Duo were bent over a pile of glossy magazines, a table full of assorted kitchen items, and were animatedly discussing--beauty remedies?

"I dunno, Trowa, you have *great* skin... I don't think you should worry about the oily skin recipe."

"You really think so? Maybe just for trouble zones..."

"That could work... Hey, I found a cure for tired eyes. That's just perfect for me! ... Do we have any witch hazel?"

"Here ya go... Damn it, I just know we have to have day old beer around here somewhere..."

"Quatre opened a bottle last night... he never finished it."

"Great! Thanks, man, I owe you!"

Heero shook his head and quietly decided that he hadn't heard any of the odd conversation, and silently fetched the item he had come for--a box of Epsom salts. Then, as swiftly as possible, he vacated the premises.

Some things are just too weird to really ever happen.

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Wufei wrinkled his nose. "Are you *really* going to put that on your *hair*?"

Duo eyed the goop in the bowl. "Well... shit. Yeah, I wasted half a bottle of herbal shampoo on this, and that stuff's *expensive*! I'm not gonna just throw my money away."

Wufei sighed. "It's not like we're not hacking into OZ's slush funds every chance we get."

"So I like to be thrifty. What's wrong with that?"

Trowa eyed his own concoction. Somehow, what looked so sensible on the magazine page now seemed a lot sillier. "How does this work again?"

Duo eyed him thoughtfully. "This is actually probably going to get messy... I think we need to dress for the occasion," he announced.

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Passing by the kitchen, Heero had to pause and stare. The other three were sitting around the table yet again, but this time... He rubbed his eyes, but the scene remained the same. Wufei had stripped to the waist, Duo was only wearing his boxers (with huge smiley faces), and Trowa--

Heero couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.

Trowa was wearing a ratty old chenille robe, with fuzzy pink slippers on his feet, and his unibang had been pulled back from his face with a headband. Unfortunately, his hair was textured in such a way that the bang stood straight up over his head.

And Duo was very carefully dabbing what looked a lot like oatmeal onto Trowa's face.

Heero fidgeted with his candles briefly, debating whether he should speak up or not, and then decided that it was none of his business.

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"This... is kind of nice," Wufei mumbled, reclining in his chair peacefully, two cotton balls soaked in witch hazel perched incongruously on his eyes.

Trowa said nothing, but looked rather relaxed in his robe, slippers, and facial mask.

"I... have a bad feeling that I'm going to smell like a brewery," Duo muttered, continuing to work the shampoo mixture through his wealth of hair. "Oh well, I can always wash it out again later."

"Ne... what's Yuy doing, anyway?" Wufei inquired.

Duo shrugged. "Beats me. Probably working on the mission or something."

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Heero tested the water with one hand, and sighed in satisfaction. Not quite hot enough to burn... perfect. He slid into the water, eyes closing in bliss. After a few minutes, he opened them, lazily gazing at the candles perched throughout the bathroom, flames flickering, and let the tension seep out of his body.

Yes, this was the perfect way to spend a day off.

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~Owari~

Heh heh. Toldja it was weird. <random glomps to everyone> Now make some noise, huh?