Omake: "...and a haircut, two bits."

"I am just old-fashioned enough to prefer long hair." - Erich von Stroheim




Ruby Moon broke the shocked silence. "Hmph," she said. "'I have cut another worthless thing.'"




Nadeshiko, Sakura's mother and Star Guardian, tucked the towel around Yue's shoulders with obvious hesitation. She minced her steps around the chair in which Moon Guardian Yue sat waiting. She was being careful not to step on the long cascade of hair that lay unbound and pooled on the floor of the patio. "Sakura," she asked her daughter, "could you help me with making a braid?" She took another look at the do-it-yourself instructions in Tomoyo's hair styling book.

Kero-chan approached with Sakura. "Are you really going to try to braid that mess? You'll get tangled up." The little Sun Guardian crossed his small arms over his plushy chest while he hovered authoritatively at Yue's shoulder. "A real mess," he warned in the tone of someone who had witnessed horror.

"But the book says," Sakura began, "that to cu... cut long hair, the first step is to braid the extra length."

"So that it stays together after..." Nadeshiko trailed off. Both she and her daughter looked at Yue's hair and emitted small sighs.

Yue interrupted. "If you wish, I will wrap the tail," he offered.

"No no no!" Nadeshiko protested. "It could come out crooked. We will do it." She made a small sound of helplessness. "I promised you that I would."

"Maybe we should get Onii-chan," Sakura suggested. "Onii-chan cuts Yukito-san's hair."


Touya and Fujitaka returned to the Kinomoto house with Sakura's guests in tow. If not for Kaho, Touya would have felt like a tour guide taking strangers around to the sights. Because of Kaho, it had been better, if still a little weird. Eriol, Spinel, and Nakuru enjoyed visiting the shrine again. They had all seemed a little wistful at the amusement part, thinking no doubt about the old manor and estate that had gone under the bulldozers when the amusement park was constructed.

Sakura, Nadeshiko, Kero-chan, and Yue didn't join them on the excursion because Sakura said that they had something that they needed to do. However, when Touya and company arrived home, they found the home group sitting around the dining room table with tea cups and despondent faces. Kero-chan's expression was more of boredom than gloom.

"What's up?" Touya asked Yue.

"Touya, can I trouble you for a haircut?" Yue asked.

Nadeshiko hid her hands in her face and shook her head.

Touya looked the group over, waiting to say anything. Finally, instead of posing questions or asking for explanation, he simply said, "Sure. You want to do it outside? It's easier to sweep up the patio."

"We're all set up already, Onii-chan," said Sakura.

"All set up for what?" asked Ruby Moon, insinuating herself into the room. She was out of her Nakuru Akizuki form and in her full Moon Guardian regalia. "Ahh, mmmh!" she squealed, stretching out her toned, bare arms. "So good to stretch out my wings. I've been cooped up in my false form all day!"

The dining room became even more crowded as Spinel Sun, also in large form, and Eriol and Fujitaka entered. Kero-chan exacerbated the situation by growing to large form himself.

Yue sighed deeply and cast Touya a look of supplication. But his attempted rescue came from another quarter.

"All right, already," Keroberos boomed. "There's nothing to see here. Yue's just going to get some barbering, so everyone except Big Brother can go do something more interesting." He waved a paw at the crowd with regal dismissal.

Nadeshiko stood up. "Touya, I promised I would do it, but - I just can't," she confessed as she handed over the hair scissors.

Touya saw his father give Nadeshiko a look of tolerant amusement as Fujitaka made his way to her side. Touya took the scissors and walked out to the patio. Yue followed with his bound hair in a loop over one arm.

Touya knew that this haircut was a big symbolic act for Yue. Severing his hair, Yue said, would be a practical move, allowing him to go out in the world as himself instead of only when hidden in Yukito. With honesty he admitted that the cutting away of his hair would be, not a cutting away of his past or of Clow, but a symbolic liberation from being dragged down, as if by an anchor, by his past self. When Touya, Yue, and Yukito had talked about it, it had been clear to Touya that Yue was sure about what he wanted.

Touya was surprised that Yue was holding his ground in spite of the unexpected spectators, since Eriol's crew and Touya's family trooped outside, too, to watch the event.

To minimize the spotlight on Yue, Touya went about the preparation for the haircut with an attitude of practicality. Yue's long hair was already tied with cotton string from the center of his back to down to his knees. Yue's wings were, of course, non-present, since they would have gotten in the way. Touya picked up the scissors and lifted the ponytail to reduce unevenness caused by the heavy hair falling when he cut the tail off. He took the scissors to the silvery hair and started snipping.

The scissors shattered.

Touya dropped the tail and tried to catch the broken pieces of steel before they bounced all over the ground. He heard Sakura's yelp of worry. Yue snapped around at the sound of breaking, checking to see that Touya was unharmed.

The scissors had disintegrated, luckily without creating dangerous shards, as far as Touya could tell. "It's OK," he told the onlookers. "They just broke. Huh."

Eriol made a noise in his throat. "Hmm." He postulated, "Sakura-chan, you may need to use The Sword."

"On Yue-san?" Sakura protested. "Oh no, I don't think that I could! I might hurt him!"

Eriol replied, "Nothing in my memories tells me that our Guardians will be harmed if their hair gets cut."

"No, but Sword," Sakura countered. "Sword will cut through anything, and if I slipped..." Too worried, she didn't finish her sentence. "Yue-san, maybe we should wait. I could use The Return to ask Clow-san, or do a reading with the Cards..."

"Oh, what's the big deal!" Ruby Moon huffed. She covered the ground between her and Yue in determined steps. Before anyone could react, she grabbed Yue's hair, and her arm moved in a slashing motion. Yue's hair was suddenly in her hand, separate from the rest of him. In one hand, she held the rope of hair. In the other, one of her ruby blades.

She looked around at everyone staring at her in shock. "Hmph," she quoted. "'I have cut another worthless object.'" She filled the silence with a shrill laugh. "You know, from that show? After that rounin guy cuts something in half?"

Eriol shook his head. With a heavy exhalation, he apologized. "I am sorry, Sakura-chan, Yue-san. Ruby Moon -" he started to reprimand.

Yue turned around in his chair. "Thank you, Ruby Moon," he said over Eriol, interrupting Clow's reincarnation.

She preened and leaned on Yue's shoulder. "You're welcome, old fuddy-duddy. Now maybe we can do something about your outdated fashion sense."

"Yue, your hair!" Nadeshiko gasped.

It sounded like a ridiculous redundancy until Yue realized what Nadeshiko indicated. His hair, the long part that his moon counterpart had cut away, was fading out of existence. At the same time, he felt as if a small amount of magic returned to him. In moments, the cut hair tail disappeared.

"Interesting," Spinel Sun commented.

"Well, that makes the cleaning up easy," said Kaho, deadpan.

"OK, we found something that works," Touya directed. He included Ruby Moon. "Akizuki, how good are you at cutting hair? I'm taking a guess that I can't wield that thing you're holding."

"Nope!" Ruby Moon confirmed.

Nadeshiko stepped up to offer help. "We were using this book," she said, indicating the hair fashion guide. "We thought maybe this style would look nice? Not too short?"

"Is that the one we're doing, Yue?" Touya asked, going to the source for confirmation.

"Clow wore his hair at a similar length," Yue answered. "It will allow me to dress my hair in a manner already familiar to me. I would feel strange with Yukito's cut."

"It's kind of grunge," Ruby Moon commented. "I could go with it." She turned around to look at Eriol. "Is it all right, Eriol?" she asked, somewhat subdued by his expression of lingering disappointment.

"If it's all right with Yue," Eriol answered.

Ruby Moon became bored with hair cutting after a few minutes of razoring Yue's fine hair, but Touya and Yue collaborated to bait her in conversation, which kept her snipping verbally and practically. Everyone else left to start the evening meal and engage in friendly conversation indoors. When Yue's hair seemed finished, Ruby Moon stood twirling her blade in her hand for several moments before pulling a face and dismissing the sharp crystal.

"We're going home tomorrow," she announced.

Touya did not comment.

Yue, unexpectedly, did. "Was your visit pleasant?" he asked.

Eriol's Moon Guardian made a throaty sound of frustration. "Too pleasant," she huffed. She caught Yue's gaze and stared at him. "I was looking forward to Team Eriol handing Team Sakura your collective asses for hats again, but Eriol says no fighting." She clenched her teeth.

"What a pity," Yue replied like a killing frost. "I welcome a rematch."

Touya smirked, watching the two magic beings look daggers at each other when they had been barred from doing each other harm.

"Sure, you can say that while you're hiding behind your mistress's skirts." Ruby Moon's expression went from vicious to snide.

Yue exploded up from the chair, his wings coming out with a whip crack of magic force. He floated slightly above the ground as he rounded on Ruby Moon.

"Ugh. Those clothes really don't go with your badass haircut," Ruby Moon complained in a flat voice while she looked over Yue's usual suit. "What is with that wrapper, anyway? You look like an old lady waiting for the bus to come on a cold day." She rolled her eyes.

"I do not," Yue bristled.

"You really do," she retorted. "Haven't you ever been shopping?"

"Off the rack?" asked Yue, aghast. "No, never. All of our clothes were bespoke."

"Well, now they're moldy," Ruby Moon said. "Here's a challenge for you. Let's go shopping before I leave. I may not be allowed to hand you your ass for a hat, but I can at least get your ass in some tight jeans. And maybe Touya, too," she growled.

"I'm not shopping," Touya immediately stated, in a way that brooked no argument.

"Then it's just you and me. Can you take it, old timer?" Ruby Moon challenged.

"Hmph!" Yue derided. "I can best you in any battle. Challenge accepted."

Touya left the two moon beings sneering at each other and went inside wondering how Yuki was going to fare, being drawn along on that lunatic ride.

A/N: With apologies to baka deshi, whose drabble inspired the idea that Yue would get a haircut.