AUTHOR'S NOTES: NORKIA, I STILL LUFF YOU FOR THE PAID LJ ACCOUNT. That is why I bestow upon you this next fanfic.

Kudos to Emi Watanabe for the prompt. I find it fitting, especially since this is pre-anime…and very amusing. XD

excuse me while I hit myself for screwing up such a nice idea.

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Shino Lundgren did not have to look up from where she was perusing the most recent issue of Armor Mechanics Monthly to see who had come in, shaking his long, windblown blond hair from his face.

"I'm back."

At the sound of his deep lilt, she stood up, crossed the living room to where he was closing the front door behind him, and embraced him, placing her head on his shoulder and feeling his fingers run through her cropped hair. They only broke away when they heard the voice of a boy in his adolescent years say, "Brother, you're blocking the way in…you and Shino."

The two adults chuckled, both of them stepping aside to make way for the boy – more of a young man than a boy these days – as though he were of blue blood. He wore a pair of goggles like a headband showing up in his mane of wavy, golden hair, and smiled like a child who had finally found his parents.

"I made some tea and biscuits for you two…I bet you're hungry after working on Vulcan for so long. They're on the table." Shino gestured towards the table in front of the sofa she had been lounging in a moment ago, flanked by two armchairs.

"Wow, thank you very much, Shino!" exclaimed Joshua, quickly taking his place on one side of the sofa and reaching for the jar of biscuits. "And don't worry, we washed our hands too, right, brother!"

Ray couldn't help smiling as well as he sat down beside Joshua. "I hope you enjoyed your afternoon off, Shino. Vulcan's working just fine, Josh and I made sure of that."

"Your brother really is quite the prodigy when it comes to armors," she couldn't help remarking, putting her elbows on the back of the sofa and looking down at them. "Joshua, you're a fast learner, don't you know that? I think I'll have to build something for you as well…would you prefer something like Vulcan, or…"

The younger Lundgren sibling shook his head. "I think I'm better off fixing armors, not piloting them."

"Oh, really?" said Shino, reaching out for several strands of Ray's hair. It didn't take too long for him to notice.

"Shino?" he began, his cup of tea halfway towards his lips.

"I'm fixing your hair," she said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "You really should tie it back when you work, even when you pilot. Don't you find it annoying, getting hair in your eyes?"

Piercing, light azure eyes flashed as Ray turned to face her. "You don't hear me complaining, right?"

"Well, I think you should tie your hair more often," she replied, drawing a length of plain red ribbon from her pocket and pulling back some of his hair into a ponytail, combing through with her gentle fingers.

"Tell that to Josh," Ray pointed out, pointing his biscuit at his younger brother.

"My hair isn't as long as yours," said Joshua swiftly. "And…you look a lot neater with your hair like that!"

Ray blinked, and reached up to touch the half-ponytail Shino had created so expertly, and tied securely with the spare ribbon. It didn't feel as though it was tugging at his eyes, and neither did it feel as though the ribbon would unravel and fall off any minute. Plus, things simply looked a little clearer without the extra hair obscuring his vision, especially since quite the gust of wind had blown past them that day…

Unwittingly, he took the hand mirror his wife offered him, and stared at his reflection, feeling quite vain as he did so. But when he passed the mirror back, he gave her a satisfactory nod and a small smile.

"I guess…you do have a point."

"See?" said Joshua triumphantly. "And I think you should wear your hair that way for the rest of the day. Right, Shino?"

She stepped forward and plopped into the empty space beside Ray. "Yes, I agree. Plus, it looks very good on you…makes you even more handsome, if that's even possible." As she inched just a little closer to her husband, Joshua abruptly stood up, leaving his empty tea cup on the table.

"This is the part where you tell me to leave you two alone, right?" he asked with the straightest face he could muster.

And whether it was due to his question or his expression, Shino and Ray began to laugh. Eventually, all three Lundgrens were laughing, until Joshua really left the living room to work on something in his room, and left the couple alone to talk about other things besides hair.