Chapter 1: Shaggy Mop
"It's really time for a haircut," Shindou's mother says over breakfast. Shindou blows his bangs out of his face and rolls his eyes. "I mean it, honey. I put that clipping of your last title match on the fridge and when Handa-san came over for tea she asked if you were transitioning."
"Transitioning to what?" Shindou demands.
"You know your father and I would love you no matter what," his mother tells him, and then laughs into her hand when Shindou snaps an affronted "Mom."
He's still grumbling about it that afternoon over his practice game with Touya. They could have gone out to the salon but with Touya's parents traveling again there's more privacy for yelling at his house. Besides, these days any fight over corners or archaic joseki has a fifty percent chance of turning into making out, and the percentage is rising gradually over time.
"She's driving me crazy," Shindou says. "Honestly, going on about my hair, it's ridiculous."
"Mm, yes it is," Touya says mildly, gaze drifting up to the palm tree tied up in the center of Shindou's head.
"I'm a professional! Who even cares about my hair?"
"Not you." Touya goes back to looking at the board, playing a stone with deliberate interest.
"That's right, not me!" Shindou agrees loudly. He frowns at the board. "Touya, what the shit was that?"
"You'll see in about fifteen moves." Touya's eyes flick up to Shindou's palm tree again. "Or maybe you won't."
"Ugh, not you too." Shindou gives an aggravated sigh.
"There's a simple solution, you know."
"There is!" Shindou announces. "I need to move out."
Touya splutters into laughter. "What? That's not what I—"
"Wanna move in together?" Shindou asked, cutting off Touya mid-laugh. Touya's eyes went wide. "Be cheaper that way."
Touya's eyes narrow. "That's the reason?"
"Nah, be nice to be able to play you any time I want and do it it without worrying one of our moms is gonna barge in and make some cracks about the laundry." Shindou smiles when Touya mutters that it's only Shindou's mother with the laundry jokes. "Come on, say yes."
"Focus on the game," Touya holds up a hand, "and I'll think about it."
It's easier said than done, a month looking at ads and seeing places in between matches, and then another month of packing and furniture and moving in the middle of summer, because they are idiots. But it's worth it when they have their futon unpacked and the AC cranked high enough to enjoy it without worrying about being walked in on by anybody so long as Shindou remembers to lock the front door.
In the morning, Shindou wakes up with the sun moving across their floor and Touya clinging to his side like a leech.
"Hey," Shindou whispers, bumping Touya's cheek with his shoulder. "Hey, my arm's asleep."
"Nnnn," Touya mutters, flopping over across Shindou's chest. He yawns, nose scrunching cutely, before opening his eyes the smallest amount possible to look at Shindou. "You know, you really need a haircut."
Chapter 2: Bob
Touya doesn't care about his hair, pry that headcanon from my cold dead hands.
Touya doesn't really care about his hair one way or another. He's had the same haircut ever since he can remember and he doesn't see much reason to get himself a new one.
"Touya-san," even the stylist says, and maybe it's a little embarrassing he still goes to the same woman as his mother does, but Touya can't be fussed about that either. "Don't you want to ever try a new style? Something more adult would be more flattering, especially with your cheekbones and eyebrows."
"Thank you for the compliment, but no," Touya says politely. "If you changed it now I wouldn't even recognize myself in the mirror, probably."
It's not so much the mirror Touya cares about, which he only bothers to look in because it happens to be above the sink when he brushes his teeth. But he does care about Shindou's fingers winding through the long, black strands. He cares about the tightness of Shindou's grip when he's pulling Touya's head back to mouth at his neck or up for a kiss. He cares about the softer touches when they're falling asleep, Shindou's fingers dragging through them until Touya is boneless from the rhythm of it, smoothing out tangles first thing in the morning when they're too lazy to do anything but kiss or spoon together.
Shindou all but demands Touya come out to lunch with him, only mentioning halfway there, as if it slipped his mind, that he's actually meeting Akari. Touya rolls his eyes, because he doesn't mind Akari at all, and only says mildly that Shindou probably doesn't need to bring his boyfriend along as a human shield if he's just having lunch with a childhood friend.
Inside the cafe, Akari waves to them cheerfully from the table she's been guarding from the lunch rush. She looks perfectly professional in her blazer and skirt, and she also has a new haircut, which Touya compliments her on.
"Oh, do you like it?" Akari asks, putting a hand up to pat it self-consciously. It's a sleek bob, a little shorter in the back than the front, but it frames her face nicely. "I wanted something easy for summer, but you know as soon as I go out in the humidity, it poofs up like you wouldn't believe. I'm always so envious of your hair, Touya-kun. How do you keep yours so put-together?"
"Hm, well." Touya can't help but think of just outside the cafe door, when Shindou had smoothed down Touya's hair with his palms and then snuck a kiss as thanks. Touya hopes he isn't blushing. "I'm just lucky, I suppose."
Chapter 3: Ponytail
useless tiny jrock ponytail, seriously those things kill me. hi i think Touya should definitely have a ponytail and yukata and be the Go samurai or sexy lord's retainer.
Touya didn't mean for it to turn out like this. He was just busy at first, matches and professional appearances and then planning his parents' anniversary party, and then Shindou won Honinbou and their lives were a complete shitshow after that for weeks. His haircut seems like the least important thing, pushed back and pushed back, and then his hair dresser breaks her wrist and can't see clients for two months, and Touya can't at all be bothered to find a new one.
Then they have a heat wave, and Touya's hair is sticking to everything, his neck, his forehead, his cheeks. He's never thought a thing about his hair before, but he'd go have it chopped off right now except it's 20:00 on a Tuesday night and everything is closed. Also there's no way he's going back outside because the humidity just coming back from his teaching sessions was nearly enough to kill him, and the switch between outside to train AC to outside gave him a migraine that's only now starting to fade.
So instead he goes to the drawer of junk that accumulates in the kitchen and finds a rubber band and just ties all of it out of his face. And he really let this get out of control because he isn't even in the half-ponytail hair falling out all over stage, he's in actual tiny indie jrock band ponytail stage.
He'll get a haircut tomorrow, he thinks crankily as he falls back on the couch with the book he's been trying to finish since the beginning of summer. If he can fit it in between lunch with his mother and the interview with Go Weekly, and fuck, he forgot he promised to meet Aishiwara later. Maybe not.
The door slams eventually, Shindou stomping into the apartment with his usual lack of grace. He's already hollering the start of a story about whatever Waya did at the group session before he even finishes kicking off his sneakers. Touya doesn't look up from his book until Shindou comes around the corner and then stops mid-sentence.
"Hm?" Touya asks, looking up. Shindou's mouth is open like he's having trouble breathing, cheeks pink.
"Hot," Shindou manages.
"Yes, it's terrible outside," Touya comments. "Go drink some water before you—"
"Not outside, you moron," Shindou laughs. "YOU. You have a ponytail! Warn a guy!"
"It was just in my way!" Touya protests. Shindou is pulling the book out of his hands and dropping it carelessly on the floor, then climbing on top of Touya. "Oof. Shindou, it's too hot."
"Ponytail," Shindou breathes, and then his mouth is on Touya's, sucking all the air out of his lungs and raising the temperature in the apartment ten degrees in a matter of seconds.
Eventually Shindou's hands work their way into Touya's hair, gently pulling the rubberband free.
"Those aren't good for your hair," he mutters, combing fingers through Touya's sweat-damp hair and making Touya hum. "We'll get you some real ones at the combini. And some ice cream. Do you want ice cream?"
"Sure," Touya murmurs. He's probably not getting a haircut tomorrow.