Francis flicked Arthur’s bangs out of his eyes. “You are in desperate need of a trim,” he said. “Let me get my scissors.”
“Ha,” Arthur scoffed, batting Francis’ hand away. “I seem to recall that ending rather poorly the last time, you made me look like…”
“Like what, yourself?” Francis laughed. “A tragedy, to be sure. But I still hold that it looked the best on you.” He tugged on Arthur’s sleeve. “What’s the worst I could do, if the worst I did last time was your very own haircut? Come on, you’re just being contrary.”
Arthur looked at Francis’ grinning face, squinting as though deceit could be seen through in the same manner as bright sunshine. He rose warily to his feet. “No tricks,” he warned, “or I shall shove that plate of macarons there down your stupid throat.”
Francis placed his hand at the small of Arthur’s back and guided him down the hall. “Your warning is noted, my dear.”
“It was more a promise.” Arthur cocked an eyebrow as Francis pushed open the door. “You have your own salon? How decadent.”
“One chair and a sink hardly counts a salon.” Francis picked up a soft blue towel and draped it around Arthur’s shoulders, pulled him a little too close and let his hands linger a little too long. “We’ll wash your hair first, I want an excuse to grope at your scalp.”
“Of course.” Arthur sat at the chair in front of the sink and leaned back to rest his head on the rim. Francis turned on the water, ran it cold at first and made Arthur swear before warming it up with a chuckle. The shampoo he used smelled quite strongly of strawberries, and despite his better judgment Arthur sighed and slunk low in his chair at the soothing massage of Francis’ fingertips. He closed his eyes, and a smile played on his lips.
“I could do this all the time if you’d let us bathe together,” Francis said, rubbing Arthur’s hair dry, a pink towel this time.
“You just want to shag in the tub, you perverted frog.”
“Of course I do, there is no shame in such a desire. To the other chair, now.” Francis sat Arthur down in the barber’s chair and fastened a cape at his neck. He began to cut, the only sound in the room for a quarter hour the snip of his scissors and Air playing down the hall where they’d forgotten to shut off the stereo. “I could give you a fauxhawk,” Francis said to break the silence, brushing hair off the cape and making a few quick, jabbing cuts near Arthur’s ears. “It would bring back such fond memories, don’t you think?”
“Bastard, don’t you dare.”
“Ah, well,” Francis whipped off the cape and shook it, “Like I told you, it looks best this way.”
Arthur grinned. “Now do I get to trim yours?”
Francis laughed, leaning down to kiss the nape of Arthur’s neck. “I am a fool in love,” he said, “but I’m not insane.”