A/N: OK, so I uploaded a previous version of this story years ago now, and looking back on it, I realised how many mistakes there were in it, so this is just fixing it up. Also, this is a spin-off alternate universe one shot from my soon to be published fic "Brotherly Affection", also starring these two. Drop me a review if you wish
"Oh for goodness sake, James, sit down and wait quietly," hissed a woman in her thirties, looking mortified. A young boy of only about 12, James, pulled a face but obediently dropped the magazine he had been about to throw to his younger brother, and sat on the couch, sulking. There was nothing to do - they were stuck waiting for over half an hour in the hairdressers. Personally, James didn't see why they needed to pay someone to cut their hair; he could do it just fine himself. But his mother had insisted, upon seeing his last self-done haircut. He'd rather liked the long bangs over his face, but apparently they were to be banished.
"James. I don't want my hair cut," said his younger brother softly. His long blonde hair fell to his shoulders, and his blue eyes welled up. James suppressed the urge to cuddle him, which always calmed him, but he was 14 now. Matt was 12. It would look too weird. And they certainly couldn't in their mother's presence.
"It's OK, Matt; I won't let them cut it any shorter than you want. Mother be damned," he muttered under his breath, making the younger giggle. Turning back to the hair magazine he was flipping through, he pointed out a male model with a spiky purple Mohawk.
"I think you should get this one, James. It'd suit you," he sing-song-ed, hoping to persuade the elder. James scoffed, and flicked the bangs out of his face proudly.
"My hair is perfect the way it is, thank you very much. It's bad enough mum's making me cut it," he scowled, already looking like a full-blown teenager. He and Matt had always preferred their hair longer - Matt loving his hair to be even longer than shoulder length, sometimes. Their parents, however, had different ideas. Boys, no, men, should not have hair any longer than an inch, his father strongly believed. He himself had a buzz cut which he maintained fortnightly. The boys had been too young previously to bring to a salon without causing a tantrum, but the time had come. The "girly" locks they possessed were to be cut.
"Matthew? I'm ready for you now," called a young girl, her apron barely covering her massive chest, which was fully on display. James snorted to himself - he didn't understand girls who bore all in public. It certainly didn't warm him to her. Matt looked a little nervous, and despite his mother's inpatient little noises, James followed his younger brother to the chair, standing protectively near him.
"Now, sweetie, what can we do today?" the girl asked, leaning down into Matt's face, her chest dangerously close to his face. Anger, and the familiar pang of jealousy arose in him, and cutting his mother off, who attempted to dictate her orders from across the room, James answered coldly
"Just a trim. Don't make any shorter by more than an inch, and don't you dare butcher it." The girl looked shocked, but recovered quickly. She got the hint, however. Cutting Matt's hair quickly but precisely, she didn't speak or look either of them in the eye. Matt smirked at James, his eyes lighting up. They didn't need to speak - Matt was impressed, and thankful.
He relaxed, chatting with James, sometimes looking a little too interestedly at him, or grazing his hand. The girl seemed to notice - she didn't look impressed. Panicking, James pulled away slightly, so that he no longer looked so couple-y with his younger brother. Matt's face fell, but he continued talking, if not a little less enthusiastically. The girl finished soon enough, and gestured for James himself to sit in the cutting seat. He sat reluctantly, swapping places with Matt.
"Let me guess. Just a trim?" the girl asked sourly, now dropping all attempts at cordiality. James wished internally that her boss would notice the rudeness. However, this time, their mother made her way across the salon and cut James off before he could reply.
"No, he absolutely needs this shorter. Look at these ridiculous bangs, he looks like a girl," she ordered, grazing his bangs impatiently. James didn't argue back - he knew he had been lucky enough to get Matt's hair off; his would have to go. The girl noticed his discomfort, and seemed to take extra pleasure with each golden lock that fell to the floor. She finished, leaving his hair a short mop atop his head, his face completely exposed. He jumped up out of the chair, stalking outside angrily. Matt followed him hesitantly down a side street.
"James? You alright?" he asked in a small voice, as if expecting to be yelled at. James snapped out of his frustration, turning to face Matt. The younger boy's eyes were wide, and he looked nervous.
"Course I am. It's just hair," James replied, feigning cheerfulness. Matt's face lit up again, and fell within the same second.
"Sorry if I embarrassed you or anything in there. I just didn't think. I shouldn't have talked so much, or… you know," he muttered shamefacedly. His cheeks reddened, and now there was no around to see, James couldn't resist planting a firm kiss on the younger boy's lips.
"Don't be stupid. You know you can't embarrass me. You're bloody perfect. If anything, I should parade you around the streets, making everyone else jealous, because you're all mine. But it's just, mum, and people, you know. We can't be… together in public," James explained, caressing Matt's face.
"Yeah I know," replied Matt softly, gazing into his older brother's eyes. The two remained staring into each other's eyes for a moment, until they heard the slam of the salon door, and the clip clop of their mother's high heels.
"Oh, gosh, there you are! Don't just storm out like that, James. You're so ungrateful. What are you two doing down here anyway?" she cried, eyes narrowing.
"God, mum chill out. Just had to get out of that damn salon," James retorted, knowing full well the consequences of his language. His mother reddened in rage, and prattled on the entire way home about him being a blasphemer, that he was grounded, that he was to stay in the two boy's shared room, and read the chapter in their family Bible about "taking the Lord's name in vain".
The boys smirked; Bible study had turned into a rather interesting euphemism of late -let's just say they'd definitely be studying taking the Lord's name in vain - only their mother hadn't intended one of them to be screaming it.