Done for AllisonHarvard13's challenge. And it's possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever written. Oh yeah, it completely is.

I think Preston's a little OOC, but I assure you it's not on purpose. Enjoy.

Predictable

Debra Delong was different, but in an almost predictable way. Preston knew her niches, her quirks, and now as scared as he might be when certain traits in personality arise, he is not surprised. Simply because Debra was Debra, and Debra was quite obvious in most everything she did. She had many expressions to go along with this obviousness that was her. And even when she performed an action, or came up with a new ridiculous plan – when she was just plan shocking, she was never surprising.

And that was the way Preston liked it. He truly loathed surprises. Routines were easy to understand, they made life simpler. If he could count on things, it was a comfort in itself. Debra's predictability was a comfort and that often made her escapades easier to handle and therefore easier to complete. After all, she had yet to hatch an adventure without including him. She was very considerate that way, and that made her predictable, which of course made her a comfort.

So it was the day that Debra broke her regular routine, in truly the most trivial of ways, that Preston became unnerved. It was a preposterous thing to get worked up about, to which Preston was quite aware, and he tried to his best to keep his anxiousness in check, something which he managed surprising well. He was a good actor. He could hide his feelings when the possibility of ruining his reputation of normality – not that it would truly do any good as any chance of anyone referring to him as "that normal kid" was defenestrated the moment he accepted Ms. Delong as a friend. It was a good thing Preston was blissfully unaware of this fact otherwise it can be easily predicted that his sanity would easily diminish as Preston craved normality as if it were a primal need.

And Debra having her hair up was not a normal thing.

It was silly! He was getting worked up over a ponytail. It couldn't possibly mean anything… or, as the paranoid side of his brain went to work, it could mean she was slowly breaking and her self image was being demolished as he thought this very concept. After all, Dancy had worn a ponytail the day before. Anyone who wanted her approval would be following her lead today. So his brain came to the only likely conclusion – something was wrong and that was not predictable and therefore not a comfort.

It was lunch when this issue was finally addressed, though not in the way Preston wished.

"Dude," Auzzie was very frank in the way he spoke, "You are way too quiet and I know that look. What happened?"

Preston was smart enough to know attempting to hide this was futile against Auzzie, "Debra's hair is up."

"And," Brud stretched out the word as a form of taunt and smiled when he received a sarcastic glare. Preston was just glad that Debra always took longer than anyone else to arrive to lunch. Always. It was a constant. And as preferred, she did not fail.

"Oh, I know the issue," Auzzie piped up, a dirty smirk stretching across his face, "He's under the up-do effect!"

Preston rolled his eyes. It wasn't within Auzzie's capability to understand, just to point out.

"No I'm serious," he continued, "It's a real thing. It goes back to our tribal needs in the caveman times. Cave men would overtake cave woman by pulling them by their hair off to his cave man cave! Your instinct see this as an opportunity, her ponytail is almost like a sign saying 'pull me! Take me, I'm yours'!"

"That's ridiculous."

"No man! I know it's true. Dancy temps me with it all the time. She uses the up-do effect to her advantage; maybe Debra's doing the same."

"I'm not talking to you anymore," Preston told him flatly and continued to eat his bagged lunch in silence.

Debra joined them, 20 minutes into lunch as always, and sat down in her usual spot, with her usually perky smile and with her hair unusually confined by an elastic tie. Auzzie winked at Preston and mouthed his theory from earlier, but Preston would have nothing of it. It was up to him to find the real reasons behind such strange change of pace. After all, Debra was predictable, and Debra always wore her hair down – always. But not today, which as a result left the word 'always' as an empty shell of a being, left to be disappointed forever.

Preston turned to her, every intent fibre of his self focused, ready to unwrap the secrets all to do with this unpredictable event. His eyes studied the situation first. It was a simple pull back, nothing too decorative to it unlike the many of the Dancy-impressors. It wasn't too high up the head, or too low. And by all means her hair certainly looked the same; it was still all ordinary tendrils of waves in a gradient of browns. It was just pulled up, but Debra always wore her hair down.

Debra, finally catching on to Preston's gaze looked back at him with a smile that he was more than used too. He smiled back faintly, before going back to the issue at hand. He looked up at still pondering the reasons. It could have been for aesthetic appeal, maybe not for Dancy, and definitely not for some up-do effect. It did show off her cheek bones and her eyes seemed brighter, although they had always been a brightness shining behind the blue. The curve of her neck was also a newly interesting aspect, and that ponytail did make access easier.

Access? Preston turned away from her, the stupid bubbling in his gut going ignored as he wondered why on earth the idea of access to Debra's neck had all of a sudden become a priority over her hair and that was something Preston could have never predicted. But for some reason the thought wasn't so uncomforting, no, not in the least. The idea of this ponytail and this new found access and want for it was strange, confusing too, but not uncomforting.

"What's with the hair," Brud broke through his thoughts and Preston's eyes shot back to Debra, eager.

Debra laughed, "My grandmother did it. She insisted this morning and I couldn't say no. Who would say no to their grandmother anyways? It's kinda comfy too; my hair doesn't get caught in my backpack this way. I hate that. All you want is to throw your backpack on but then your hair gets caught underneath one of the arm thingy's and if it's really heavy then it hurts and boy it's annoying."

And so the mystery was solved. Debra was merely doing a favour for someone else. That was no surprise, and it was quite predictable. Not that it would be such a big deal if she had put it up anyways. It wasn't like the world was ending.

In fact, Preston found that the small unpredictable action had a new type of comfort he'd never felt before. Not that he want her to do such a thing ever again.

Debra always wore her hair down, and Debra was predictable and predictable was comforting. And Preston loved routine as routines were predictable. And so, as could be guessed, Debra wore her hair down, and came up with more plans, and smiled that same pretty smile. And as could also be predicted, Preston was happy to have things that way, because in all truth, Preston craved predictability and normality no matter how much the idea of access gave him that new type of comfort.

Preston was normal, Debra was different. But Debra was different in a predictable sort of way. So maybe, just maybe, normality was overrated. But that thought was a strange one for Preston, and therefore unpredictable which was uncomforting. And Preston loved predictability.

And Debra was predictable.