“SenPAI, what is thAT?”
Tsumugi looked up, a bit startled by the sound of Natsume’s voice. “Ah, Natsume-kun! Good morning,” he said cheerfully. Natsume simply scowled.
“Didn’t you hEAR my questION?”
“Eh, sorry, no... What was it?”
Natsume scowled again, and pointed an accusing finger at his senpai’s head. “That. Your hair is a MESS.”
Tsumugi reached up thoughtfully, patting at his wavy locks. His hair usually was unkempt, but he’d never seen Natsume throw a fuss over it before. Maybe it was a little unrulier than usual, but he’d been busy lately. As if reading his mind, Natsume asked:
“Have you been brushING it?”
“Well...not as often, no. It’s been very difficult, you see! I’m always busy, Natsume-kun, I hardly have time to sleep...” he trailed off, reaching up to thoughtfully touch at his hair again. Could it truly be that bad? Natsume reached forward to touch at it as well, then recoiled in disgust.
“You idIOT,” he snapped. “It’s mattING at the bACK!”
Huh? Tsumugi tried to run his fingers through the back of his head...only for his fingers to quickly become jammed up in what could only be a quickly forming knotted mess. He tugged his fingers free, and pressed his mouth together.
“Can you fEEL it?” Natsume demanded. “Brush that oUT. I don’t cARE if you want to look like a slOB on your own, but I won’t have you making Switch look bAD!”
“Does Natsume-kun want me to do it now?”
“I don’t care whEN, just get it dONE.”
Even though he promised Natsume he’d do it, Tsumugi quickly forgot about his promise as the day unfolded. It wasn’t until later when he was working alone in the library that he looked up, saw Natsume’s glowering figure in the doorway, and remembered their conversation.
He dropped the pencil he was holding, and threw up his hands a little defensively. “I-I didn’t forget!” he implored. “I just got busy!”
Natsume glared at him as he approached the other student. He pulled up a chair directly next to his unit mate, and plopped into it. “Turn arOUND,” he ordered, and Tsumugi, wary of Natsume’s physical punishment, did so without question. He waited for some sort of blow, or maybe sudden curse to rain onto him, but it never did. Soft bristles began to seperate his locks, and pull downward. Natsume had began to brush Tsumugi’s hair.
“What are you-“
“Shut UP, senpai,” Natsume said, albeit gentler than usual, and pulled on a more intricate section of knots as if to emphasize the statement.
Shut up, and let me do this for you.
It took maybe 15 to 20 minutes for Natsume to completely separate all the knots in Tsumugi’s hair, but it was done. Natsume set down the brush and combed through his hair with his fingers as if to make sure he had gotten all the the knots. “There, it should be fINE now,” he muttered.
Adoration fluttered in Tsumugi’s chest. “Uwa, Natsume-kun is so nice to me~” he cooed.
“ShUT up and take better care of yoursELF, idiot! I shouldn’t have to do it for yOU!”
“You’re right, you’re right~ Still, I’m so happy-“ Tsumugi sentence was lost S he choked audibly, the force of Natsume punching him in the stomach forcing all the air out of him at once.
Really, all things considered, he really should have remembered to brush it himself, but in true fashion, Tsumugi quickly forgot again. A few days passed, and suddenly, Natsume was standing over him as he worked at organizing library shelves, face set in stone.
“Your hair is a mESS,” he said coldly. Tsumugi touched his hair again, cringing as he felt the nest that had begun to form again.
“I’m sorry, truly!” he insisted.
Natsume said nothing, instead stooping down next to the older student, and began furiously brushing it again. He muttered incomphresensibly under his breath, the sound so vile and hateful Tsumugi briefly worried whether or not he was being cursed for his forgetfulness, or cursed in general. Honestly? It was probably both.
“Senpai, do you even look in the mirror in the mornING?” Natsume grumbled, tugging the bristled brush none-too-gently through Tsumugi’s wavy locks. “Do you even care about your appearANCE?”
“Well, I shower-“
“That’s basic hygiENE.” Natsume shuffled to a different side of Tsumugi head, grabbed the tangled pieces of hair in his hand and grumbling audibly. Tsumugi kind of laughed, wincing at how hard Natsume was pulling at his scalp.
“Natsume-kun, the truth is I don’t like to spend much time looking at myself.” Natsume made a quizzical noise, prompting him to continue. “Ah, well...my nose seems rather big, doesn’t it? And my eyes are much too wide. My skin is poor, my teeth aren’t very straight...” he trailed off, shaking his head slightly. “Sometimes just looking in the mirror is enough to make me want to get back into bed, you know? So it’s just easier to avoid.”
Natsume scoffed at this. “If we all have to look at your fACE,” he started. “You have to look tOO.” He set down the brush, propping a hand on his hip. “You’re stupid, but you’re not ugly, senPAI.”
“Wow, a compliment from Natsume-kun?!”
That earned him a swat with the brush. “Be serIOUS!” the younger student hissed. “Even if you think you’re ugLY, you can’t neglECT your appearANCE. No one’s gonna come see to our performances if one of the members looks homeLESS.”
Tsumugi’s glance shifted around. “Ah, I suppose...”
Scoffing again, Natsume began to brush through his senpai’s hair again, much more gently than before. “On the days senpai cannot bear to look at his faCE,” he murmured. “I’ll come brush you haIR for you. Just don’t make a habit of iT.”
“Ah, really? But wouldn’t that just make me a nuisance?”
“You’re already a nuisANCE, you doLT.” With those words, Natsume set down the brush again, and immediately began to run his fingers through Tsumugi’s detangled waves, the strands parting easily with the movement. “I’d tell you to be less of oNE, but I don’t even think you’re capaBLE of thAT.”
“So cruel~” Tsumugi pouted, but he simply leaned into Natsume’s touch, relishing the feeling of his friend’s gentle stroking. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to take advantage of Natsume’s generosity for just a bit, after all.