Author's Notes

Kouji's ponytail. They could have done so much with it in canon. I know there's a few fics floating around, but I wanted to add my two-cents in.

I have become recently obsessed with FMA, so the references sometimes sneak in.


Twists and Tangles

'Do you mind leaving my hair alone?'-'Sorry Kouji, I think I've developed a fetish for it.'

Takuya K & Kouji M

It was very annoying, Kouji surmised, to be attempting something that required concentration when there was someone sitting behind him. Especially when that someone was Takuya, who couldn't sit still if his life depended on it. Especially when the brunet chose to occupy himself with doing something behind his back…literally. He could feel the fingers prodding his vertebrae on occasion, and it was rather uncomfortable, because when the other poked, he squirmed. And when he squirmed, he lost concentration.

He wasn't going to give the other the satisfaction of being informed of how distracting his actions were…until his head suddenly jerked back slightly, pen rolling out of his hands onto the floor and the mental web he'd been building to sort out the theoretically and practically possible mechanisms for creating chloroform collapsed almost entirely.

'What the hell do you think you're doing?' he growled, straightening his head before half turning in his desk chair to glare at the other.

Takuya shrugged, seemingly uncaring. 'Fixing your hair,' he replied, as if replying to the weather. 'Certainly more interesting than figuring out how to make poison. Seriously.' He raised his hands to the sky a moment. 'I'd just go to the drug store if I wanted some. Besides, they might as well teach us how to make bombs.'

Kouji sighed. 'It's not a poison. It's an anaesthetic. Were you even paying attention in Chemistry?'

'Umm…no, not really,' the brunet admitted. 'It's either boring or confusing.'

'And you wonder why you're failing.' The raven-haired male sighed again, trying to lean down to pick up his pen. 'You could at least attempt the assignment instead of just-do you mind leaving my hair alone?'

Takuya had picked up his ponytail again and threaded his sun-kissed fingers through the knots and tangles. His own hair was in a similar condition, except much smaller. A quick run-through with the comb would easily fix it. That was what happened when best friends slept in the same room during a sleepover…when they were actually sleeping. Like all sleepovers, even those involving two people, there was a pillow-fight that, funnily enough, Kouji's dog had started. They'd actually managed to settle down at two in the morning after watching a new movie and either grumbling over the holes in the plot, the acting of the characters and the overall movie quality, or picking up the funnier aspects and dragging them to annoyance.

In any case, the knots kept him busy with the hair, and as he was holding the ponytail steady with the other hand, the pressure stopped the other from easily bending. Sure, he could yank his hair out of Takuya's grip…but then he'd have to suffer the pain as a consequence.

'Sorry Kouji.' Takuya pulled a little, causing the other to bite back a curse as his head yanked back again. 'I think I've developed a fetish for it.'

There was silence for a moment, before Kouji raised his right hand in an attempt to pry the other's grip loose. The problem was, facing forward, he was at a disadvantage, especially since Takuya, sitting on his bed and dangling his feet, could easily move out of the way.

He couldn't even stand up without losing a few hairs.

'Don't make your idiocy and lack of self control my problem,' he snapped, a little thrown for a loop with the other's words, though the usual light tone implied it was probably he didn't realise the implications of the word than he was using it in its correct context. Takuya had a habit of doing that. It was mostly a consequence of being only half-attentive in class, but not entirely. After all, they couldn't attribute him giving them all a red rose for White Day to inattentiveness. Nor could he entirely blame him. Apparently he himself had been the only one to stick with the traditional yellow for friendship, and even then only to Izumi in return for the Valentine's Chocolate.

'Sheesh, are you always such a grouch when you're doing homework?' the brunette shot back. 'You know its rude to ignore a guest.'

'You're not a guest, you're an annoyance.' He said something else too, but Takuya had talked over him.

'Don't worry, I know you love me deep down.'

One day, Takuya's lack of understanding of context was going to get him into trouble. Or was going to drive someone crazy.

'Hold on.' Kouji felt his hair being released, and took the opportunity to withdraw his pen from under the desk, taking extra care not to crack his skull open. 'Did you say something?

'I asked you to pass me my cell,' Kouji repeated, mentally telling himself the other's behaviour was completely normal. Really, he should have known better than to attempt something so mind-boggling in his presence. Perhaps it had been wistful thinking to hope he'd sit down and do his homework too. Or his father would pick him up soon. Or the weather would clear up and he'd kick his ball around outside. Or he'd watch something on the TV or play a video game.

It was just one of those days where very little seemed interesting. Not even the question did, but then again chemistry wasn't his strong suit. He was only doing it because it wound up being a necessity in the science stream. Even next year when he could elect out of one subject, he'd still be doing chemistry, if only to supplement physics.

Or just so he could kick biology off his timetable. It was easy for Kouichi to say "it's not so bad." He was in the arts stream.

'Why?' Takuya asked curiously.

'So I can call a psychiatrist for you,' the other deadpanned, sticking out one palm.

The brunet laughed at that. 'You'll never cure me,' he alleged. 'And you know full well you'll never want to.'

'Say that the next time you break a girl's heart because you told them "love" when you meant "like",' Kouji retaliated, looking at the cell the other had given him. 'I said my cell.'

'But then I'd have to get up.' Great. Not only was Takuya bored, but lazy too.

Then there was the unmistakable threading of hair again.

'Would you leave my hair alone?'

'Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realise someone'd pressed the "rewind and replay" button.'

Another low growl attempted to escape, but instead the raven just punched in a familiar number and pressed dial.

'I didn't think you were actually going to-hey, don't use up all my credit.'

Kouji ignored him. 'Hey Ni-san.'

There was a slightly lethargic: 'Hey Kouji.'

'Great going Kouji,' Takuya snorted a little. 'Not everyone gets up at the crack of dawn you know.'

As it was nearly midday, the statement somewhat fell through.

'Is that Takuya?' Kouichi's voice sounded both clearer and more confused.

'The phone's on speaker?' Kouji asked at the same time, before trying to twist around and glare at Takuya.

'Hold still,' the other cautioned. 'Did you like sit and tie your hair into knots or something? It feels a lot better when it's evened out you know.'

'Umm…do I want to know?' The elder twin sounded further bemused. 'And I wasn't asleep. Just reading a very boring book.'

'No,' Kouji answered flatly, trying to be a little more polite to his innocent (and hopefully helpful) brother before adding to Takuya: 'How many times do I have to tell you to let go of my hair? And have you heard of a private conversation.'

Takuya shrugged. 'You're the one who said you were ringing a psychologist for me.'

'Psychiatrist,' Kouji said, accidently talking over his brother. 'Sorry Ni-san. Takuya's being…well…'

'Takuya,' Kouichi supplied. 'What are you so wound up about?'


Takuya had pulled out a few too many strands.

'That's it.' He grabbed the ruler from his desk and whacked the other's hands with it.

'Sheesh,' Takuya mumbled, rubbing the offended knuckles. ''tou-san never does that.'

'Yeah, well that's your father,' Kouji muttered.

'Um…guys?' Kouichi interrupted before Takuya could retaliate on the tone. 'Kouji, why did you call me?'

'Oh, right.' For a moment, he had forgotten he had his brother on the phone. Here was where the speaker was going to come in handy, otherwise he would have turned its function off the second he realised it was on. 'I want you to explain to Takuya what a fetish is?'

'Oooh-kay.' Kouichi decided, for his own sanity, not to ask. 'Is that the general presumption or the actual definition? And in what context?'

'The context of Takuya being obsessed with my hair-that isn't funny.'

He added that last part because there was the unmistakable sound of Kouichi stifling a laugh on the other side.

'A fetish is an excessive and irrational commitment,' the elder twin defined, still sounding amused though he had managed to squash the urge to chortle. 'It's not exactly a colloquial term, but every little kid has fetishes, and some people grow up without letting them go.'

'Are you reading from a dictionary?' Takuya asked, before sticking his tongue out at Kouji. 'See? Nothing wrong with my choice of words.'

That was not how the argument was supposed to go.

'Still, must it be my hair?'

'Aiko obsessed over it too,' Kouichi reminded.

'Aiko was a two month old baby,' Kouji pointed up.

'So I'm Peter Pan.' Takuya didn't seem insulted by the implied message.

Kouji just shook his head. 'Do you ever think about your future?' he asked, before staring at his assignment again. 'Chloroform was an annoying product to pick,' he complained out loud.

'I said so,' the brunet pointed out. 'Especially bad idea because it's a poison.'

'No it's not. It's an anaesthetic.'

'It knocks people out.'

'Hence why it's an anaesthetic.'

'It's both,' Kouichi interrupted…again. 'The average lethal dose is 10mL, which makes it a poison.'

That shut both of them up for a second.

'How do you know that?' Takuya asked finally. 'You're not even doing chemistry.' He paused for a moment, then turned to Kouji. 'How can you not know it?'

'You know what,' Kouichi sighed, cutting Kouji's reply of. 'I'll just leave you two to it and go back to my book.'

By the time they got their reluctance to the idea into words, he'd said his farewell and hung up.

'I don't know how Kouichi can stand reading boring books,' Takuya said after a few minutes, back to disentangling Kouji's hair. The latter decided to give up trying to stop him and was instead waiting for the car-horn that will announce Kanbara Hiroaki's arrival.

And it wouldn't be a moment too soon.

'Pass me my comb.'


'So you don't pull out all of my hair.'

If he thought that would stop the other, he was wrong. Because now that the strands were untangled, he could run his fingers through them.

'Maybe I should put your hair into a braid,' the brunet mused.

'Leave it the way it is,' the other ordered, slamming his note-book shut. 'Uurgh, this is hopeless.'

Takuya waved a dismissive hand. Kouji cursed the mirror's position that allowed him to see all the visible cues the other…well, flaunted really.

'You shouldn't be doing homework with a guest over,' the brunet repeated. 'Besides, what's wrong with a ponytail?'

'It's girlish.' All the girls at school wore their hair in ponytails or pigtails…excluding the Yankees.

'My friend, you really need to watch Fullmetal Alchemist. Besides, my father puts his hair into a ponytail when we're out playing softball. Doesn't get in his face in the wind then.'

Sometimes, arguing with Takuya was like fighting a losing battle. Especially when he had outside help.

Well, it wasn't like he had memorised the dictionary. But seriously, what normal person used the word "fetish" without a care of its conventional implication…despite what the book said.