This oneshot is dedicated to my friend. Based on real experiences. Sort of. I mean, kind of. Well, not really. Except the tangled part. And Poor Little Pussy Wants a Corner. So enjoy! Oh, and even though the main character is named Cocky, it's not really related to any of my other stories. Oh, and I decided to play around with the accent again. So- the newsies' accents are all there! Just not Cocky's, 'cause she has a Cockney accent.

"Oh shoot," Cocky muttered sleepily, "I forgot to braid my hair."

She sighed as she was faced with the usual dilemma- whether to be responsible and get up and braid it, or to be lazy like she wanted to be and just sleep without it done.

"Argh," she said finally, as her conscience pricked her, "I suppose I will."

She groaned as she hauled herself out of bed and clambered down the ladder. "I know my hair's going to be hopelessly tangled tomorrow if I don't do it now, so I might as well do it." she murmured groggily. She always had to talk herself into things like this; she hated brushing her hair.

She sat down on one of the stools in front of one of the mirrors and picked up a brush. It was a ragged, broken old thing with barely any bristles in it. She grudgingly lifted it to her head and tried to drag it through the long, golden brown curls.

She tried to keep quiet so as not to wake up the boys, but her hair was so tangled it was hard to brush it without screaming. It hurt.

"It's all Mush's fault," she thought grumpily to herself; "he was the one who suggested playing Poor Little Pussy Wants a Corner."

"No," the other half of her brain said, "it was your fault for staying up till all hours of the night playing it!"

"But-" the other part argued, "it was ultimately Blink's fault, because he was the one who tangled my-"

Abruptly her thoughts were cut off as they were invaded by one panic- someone was coming up behind her.

She whirled, holding the hairbrush out before her as though it were a knife, pointing it at the unknown.

Racetrack Higgins calmly took it and sat her back down again on the stool, and began to try to brush out the muddles of gold.

For once, tried is not a key word; his deft hands, used to playing (or in other words, skillfully cheating at) poker and the like, quickly became adept and he did a much better job than Cocky had been doing.

As he finished off the last few snarls, Cocky smiled up at him and said, "Thanks" in that shy sort of way she sometimes had.

Then suddenly, the shyness was gone, replaced by an impish glow. "I got an idea!" she gasped excitedly. "Let's cut my hair!"

Race was staggered. "Cut yoah hair?" He stage whispered incredulously, as though she had just suggested cutting her head off.

"Yeah!"

Racetrack lifted the long, gold curls almost reverently (but then, how can Race do anything reverently?). Her hair had never been cut (only trimmed), so they were her baby curls, soft and pretty. And very long.

"Are youse shoah?"

"Of course!"

"But it's so beautiful!"

"Oh bother beauty! Who cares about that!"

Racetrack saw that he had tried the wrong tack. He attempted to argue some more, but Cocky was determined. "Come on, get your knife!" She said, her face lighting with roguish glee. She tiptoed over to her bed and got her knife out from under her pillow.

Then she walked back over to the mirror. Race was reluctant to cut it, but after some more pleading and urging and teasing and conniving, he sliced off some locks.

When Cocky wasn't looking, he sneaked some of the golden strands into his grubby pocket.

Finally, they were finished. Cocky looked at herself in the mirror. It was cut a little past her chin, and it was badly done (due to the fact they had used only knives), but it looked good on her, and Race grudgingly admitted to such.

But he looked down at the old curls and gave a sigh.

"Hey." Cocky gave him a hug. "Thanks for helpin' me. It was really fun."

Racetrack smiled at her and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. "It was." he agreed.

0o0o0o0o0

It had become a custom for Mush to awake in the mornings and jump upon Cocky to arouse her.

However, this morning, he took one look at the figure in Cocky's bed and fell on top of Blink instead. "Cocky's gone!" He exclaimed.

That caused a sensation.

Racetrack, however, much to everyone's astonishment, began chuckling.

Finally, Boots said, "What- I mean, who- I mean, why ah youse laughing?"

"Becawse," said Race, and recounted the proceedings of last night.

Just as he was finishing, Cocky sat up on her elbow and said groggily, "Race, I forgot to braid my hair last night. Now it's-" Suddenly she gasped and sat bolt upright as she felt the rough ends of her hair.

"Racetrack," she wailed, "my HAIR!"

Well, there you have it. Please don't forget to leave a nice little review!

Me, how did you like it? This was for you! ;-)

-Austra