By doubling and redoubling

This story was inspired by a phrase prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth, as well as… well, my own frustration with my barrettes this morning.

**

“I don’t think it’s going to work,” Beth said, frowning at Lucy as she fussed with the barrettes.  She chewed her lip thoughtfully.  “Maybe if you used a pin to hold it or tied it at the base with a ribbon?”

“Then, what would be the point in wearing them at all?” Lucy said, taking out the barrette on the left side once again.  She shook her head and heaved a sigh.  “I’ll just have to keep trying until they’re both even and staying put.”

“Maybe put them lower,” Lyall suggested.  When the girl both looked at him, he shrugged.  “If they’re behind your ears, rather than above them, they’ll go in at a different angle.  Maybe they’ll be more secure at another angle.”

Lucy scowled and pulled out the left-hand barrette.  Her eyes brightened when it stayed exactly where she wanted.  Then, she pulled out the right-hand barrette and moved it so that they were even once again.

“That’s rather cute,” Beth said, nodding in approval.

“Yeah,” Lucy started.  Then, her expression darkened and she began fighting with the right-hand barrette.  “Now, this one’s slipping,” she complained.  She fought with it for a few moments and then smiled.

“That worked?” Beth said, blinking.

Lucy shook her head and then nodded.  “They both seem secure now,” she said.  Then, she grinned impishly.  “See, it just took a bit of effort and now I’ve got them.”  When Lyall cleared his throat, she added, “And a helpful suggestion from a friend.  Thanks, Lyall.”

“You’re welcome,” he said, grinning.

Beth shook her head.  “Where’d you learn about barrettes anyway?” she asked, frowning.  “It’s not as though you wear them.  Do you?”

Lyall frowned at her and then rolled his eyes.  “No,” he said, sounding annoyed.  “My hair’s not long enough for little barrettes.  I just… I’ve seen girls wear them, that’s all.”  He crossed his arms over his chest and glared.  “It’s called paying attention.”

“Don’t mind Beth, Lyall,” Lucy said, patting his shoulder.  “She’s not used to boys that pay any attention to her hair.  They’re usually looking at… something else.”  She waved suggestively at where the boys might look.  When Beth flushed, Lyall stifled a laugh.  “What?” Lucy said, grinning.  “It’s true!”

“But you don’t need to tell him that,” Beth said.

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