“Can you get it out?”
Minako chews her lip, smearing her lipstick. She’s a good actress (if she does say so herself), and maybe an even better liar, but at some point, Zoisite is going to have to be told the truth. She's not looking forward to it. “Well… I mean, I’ve only been trying for twenty minutes.”
Zoisite’s lower lip begins to tremble. It’s essentially the most pitiful thing ever. “That’s not an answer.”
Minako looks over at Kunzite. He hesitates, but nods when it's clear that they can't draw this out any longer. “Sweetie, I think it may have to come out... the hard way.”
If their positions were reversed, Minako would undoubtedly break down into such hysterics that the neighbors would become concerned. Zoisite becomes so quietly devastated that it breaks her heart.
“I don’t understand why she did this to me,” he whispers.
“She’s three,” Kunzite reminds him sensibly but not without sympathy. “She doesn’t know any better.”
“Zoisite, I am so sorry,” Usagi says for the fourth time that day. “Honestly, I have no idea how she even got the gum.”
Kunzite very pointedly does not look at Minako, which is an accusation in and of itself.
She scowls over Zoisite's tangled, gum-filled curls. "Hey! Not every chaotic thing that happens around here is my fault."
Having been caught out, he shrugs. "Just considering the law of averages. Occam's razor. That sort of thing."
Usagi tilts her head in confusion. "You think a razor might get the gum out?"
"No, that's not... never mind."
Ignoring her boyfriend and best friend for the moment, Minako returns to consoling Zoisite while picking sticky hair out of the brush. “You never know, Zoisite… maybe you’ll look good with short hair.”
He gives her a withering look. “You can just bite your tongue right off.”
He wilts immediately. "I'm sorry, but you and I both know that I'll resemble a bleached out Ronald McDonald." He focuses somewhere in the middle distance. "No, a bleached out knock-off of Ronald McDonald. The clown doesn't have my cheekbones."
Usagi hugs him tightly, and now she appears to be the only thing holding him up.
“This has always been my worst cosmetic fear,” he whimpers. “Gum. In my hair.” He looks at Usagi balefully. “Will she be punished?”
“Don’t worry. Mamo-chan’s taking care of it right now.”
At last, Zoisite can’t take it anymore. He wails.
“That isn’t right! He can’t punish her at all!”
Usagi opens her mouth to disagree, but finds she can’t. The girl does have her husband wrapped around her little finger. Instead she says, “Would it make you feel better if I bought you a new outfit?”
Zoisite stops, but only just. “Do I get a jaunty hat?”
“Anything you want.”
Zoisite takes a deep breath, squares his shoulders, and hands Minako the scissors. “Do it.”
Minako clutches the scissors to her chest in awe. “You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known.”
Zoisite nods solemnly. “I know.”
Kunzite’s already in trouble, so he goes ahead and rolls his eyes.
“Watch it," Zoisite cautions. "Mine isn’t the only hair Chibi-Usa has access to.”
“Yes, but if I cut my hair, I won't resemble a Q-tip with a deranged bit of cotton fluff perched on my head."
Zoisite and Minako give the exact same affronted gasp, complete with twin expressions. Kunzite's willing to bet that they practiced somehow.
Zoisite looks over at Minako. “You have the meanest boyfriend ever.”
“I say that all the time!”
Kunzite shakes his head and leaves. “You’re both ridiculous.”
“Maybe so!” Zoisite shouts after him. “But our fashion sense is die for!”