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Buzzing for a Change by Armando94

“Its so great to hear that you’ve been doing well, its been too long."

“Likewise, I’m glad to hear things are good by you, too," Giles offered up.

“Oh, please, your far better off," Brad swatted a hand at Giles, as they stood by the hotel bar, two of the last people hanging around before the wedding the next day. Brad and Giles had grown up with each other, but were never friends. Far from it, in fact. Giles remembered being occasionally picked on by Brad in middle school. But then they didn’t see much of each other in high school, and like most people, went their separate ways. Until this weekend, where fate seemed to bring them back together. The groom was an old college roommate of Giles’, and they remained close post-grad, being like many who moved to the city for work. Giles was pleased to be asked to be a groomsman over a year ago, even though this was already the third wedding of the year he had not only attended but been in. And he still had more to attend after this spring’s slew of them. But he was stunned to come to the after drinks post-rehearsal to find an old stranger. It turned out, Brad was a cousin of the bride. Thankfully, or at least Giles was hoping, he wouldn’t have to deal with him much on tomorrow.

“You look really good too, you know," Brad stated. “I’m being serious, not pulling your leg."

“Well, thanks Brad," Giles tossed a hand through his wavy blonde locks. He had that flow-look many guys, young and old, had started to sport in the last few years since the pandemic. It looked sophisticated and worked well on Wall Street for him, with occasional trims and maybe a taper here and there, but never feeling like his look was inappropriate. And Giles always dressed nice. Its one of the reasons he liked to think his college buddies kept him around all these years, as he became their personal fashion consultant. And now that they were all 30, and fairly established, they could afford a bit more luxury with their styles. Instead of Giles racing to flea markets and thrift stores on the weekend, to find what he could, and mend even some other things from the trade he picked up from his family. Giles also took note to keep himself in the best sort of physical shape, thanks to his boyfriend, and because he could afford a nice gym membership as well.

“Seems like your one of the lucky ones, not just with the job and life, but the looks as well," Brad taunted, but Giles could sense there was some sadness, not bitterness, in the tone. Brad wasn’t bald, or balding, but his hair was certainly thinning. Giles would like to think it might have been contributed by bad lifestyle choices and not just genetics, but that wasn’t his place.

“We’re all on our own paths, my friend," Giles said.

“None as bright as yours," Brad said, before his fiancé came around and said she was turning in. Giles said he probably should too.

He got up to his hotel room and found Patrick not asleep but still watching TV. “So much for being tired from your shift?" Giles teased.

“At least I actually worked," Patrick yawned, “and didn’t have the luxury to take off for the day."

“At least you took the next two days off," Giles started to take off his shoes and tie, unbutton his shirt a few buttons, before curling up into bed with his boyfriend. “Your gonna need it."

“Oh, you know it," Patrick laughed, his skin heating up red without even any alcohol intake. He put his huge arm around Giles, tugging him in. “How was the rest of it? The yuppies and trust fund babes and all?"

“Oh you," Giles jokingly struck his boyfriend’s bare chest with a punch, emitting another laugh. Patrick was the same age as the rest of them, 30, but he had been in the service before joining the NYFD full-time upon returning home, like many of the men in his family. “They were fine, I was still saddled with Brad, so didn’t get a chance to ask any of them about their fancy country clubs here in Connecticut, or beach homes in the Cape."

“Oh, Brad, I see," Patrick became animated. “Not some long-lost fantasy of yours to have your way with a high school bully, huh? Should we ring him up, see if he wants to ‘hang’ with the big boys tonight?"

“As if," Giles laughed out loud. “You know as well as I do how awkward it is when people constantly congratulate you on your life, even though they damn well know they made your upbringing miserable."

“Easy baby, easy," Patrick stroked Giles’ hair now. The sheer contrast between boyfriends, Giles with his longer locks, and Patrick with the tightest High and Tight, a full healthy thatch of ginger hair on top, with his freckles starting to creep up the sides of his head. “You are incredible though, you’ve done well for yourself."

“You know I appreciate that," Giles pecked his boyfriend’s cheek, before turning back to the TV, falling into a trance at his boyfriend’s soft touch, which always amazed Giles, given Patrick’s profession. “But you know, its about the job, the life, the looks."

“You do have all three."

“Sure," Giles sighed. Then, he turned to his boyfriend, admiring how fresh his boyfriend’s haircut was. Thinking he might have been late for the rehearsal because of a last minute haircut appointment, which Giles couldn’t be mad about. But then he asked. “Do you like your hair that short?"

Patrick hesitated before saying, “Yeah, of course. I got used to it in the service, and its just easy maintenance wise. For both work and working out." Even though Giles had upped his own workout regiments, he would never be a match to Patrick’s physique. “Why do you ask?"

“No reason," Giles lied, turning back to the TV. He realized it was probably wise he actually get to bed, before groomsmen duties. So the two of them got ready and were about to hit the hay, but not before a bit of fooling around in bed. More than before, Giles felt his hands up and down Patrick’s head, feeling the friction come off the short bristles and skintight sides. And he even noticed the way Patrick’s fingers wove their way through his own tresses, in scissor-like motion. Almost like he was giving Giles the message he knew what he was thinking. Eventually they subsided and fell into a deep sleep.

The rest of the wedding weekend was great, and so did the next couple of weddings they had in early summer where thankfully Giles was merely a guest. But after that one night, he couldn’t shake the thought away, when he looked at himself in the mirror every morning, or at the gym. And especially whenever Patrick got home to their Village apartment, clearly gotten freshened up. Giles couldn’t keep his hands off his boyfriend especially on those first few nights after the haircut. It started to become a warm summer from very early on. Giles found himself getting trims a lot more than he remembered, at one appointment asking for “More than an inch off" which surprised his stylist. Patrick noticed it that night, which was Giles’ hope.

“You cut your hair, didn’t you?" he asked.

“I did," Giles touched the back of his head. “Bit of a change."

Patrick snorted and mumbled, “Change."

“What’s that mean?" Giles laughed back.

“Nothing baby, just, it is different," he crept around the kitchen counter, where he’d been chopping up dinner shirtless, to stand mere inches from his boyfriend, and graze his hand through Giles’ tresses. “But I wouldn’t call it a change," winking too.

“Well, a change for me," Giles managed to stifle out, feeling hot and breathless, as Patrick didn’t remove his gaze or hand.

“Guess we still have the rest of summer though," Patrick teased, his voice having dropped a few decibels, in almost a flirting-teasing manner. Then quickly planted a smooch on Giles cheek before playfully slapping his butt, and heading back to his cookware.

Now, of course, Giles was truly in a tizzy. Throughout their dinner, he was distracted, and could only make small talk. As they sat together and watched Netflix at night, he wasn’t paying attention to what show they were watching. And on and on this continued for the next few days. They had a couple free weekends coming up, finally, and they had made plans to go to Fire Island, something they didn’t do as much these years later. Patrick hadn’t had his haircut that week, and from Giles’ estimation, he thought it might happen before they headed out Friday morning. Giles couldn’t wait to see if this would come to fruition, so much so that for the first time ever he seized the opportunity to look at his boyfriend’s phone to see if he had anything marked in his calendar, possibly for a haircut appointment saved. But he didn’t see anything. Come to think of it, Giles didn’t know where, or who, cut his boyfriend’s hair.

Thursday, Giles was able to break out of work at a reasonable time, and Patrick told him to meet him at the station, and they could grab dinner. Giles hadn’t been to the Fire depot that Patrick worked at since the holidays, but he got on the subway and made his way. Upon arrival, some of the other firemen recognized him and made small talk. Giles talked back and forth with them all, very friendly, until it dawned on him what he was here for. He asked where Patrick was and they pointed to inside. Giles strode in and was surprised to find the sight before him.

“Hey baby," Patrick spotted him and shouted over to Giles, who was sat in a chair with a cape around him, having his hair cut.

“Hey," Giles startled. “Sorry if I’m early?"

“Oh, we’re almost done, Mike’s just hooking me up," Patrick winked.

Giles nodded his head subtly, and then stood there waiting, taking in the last few minutes of his boyfriend’s haircut. Then they were quickly on their way once Patrick grabbed his things. As they walked to dinner, Giles said, “Looking good, as always."

“Thanks," Patrick blushed, rubbing his shorn nape to his occipital bone, back and forth.

“Did you not make an appointment with your regular barber?"

“Mike is my regular barber," Patrick said. “Did I never tell you? He cuts a lot of us, probably most of us, at the station. Learned it from his family’s trade, but he never wanted to go into the business. He’s been cutting me ever since we’ve both been in the depot."

“Oh, no I didn’t know. That’s pretty cool. Does he charge?"

“He doesn’t want to, but we all usually throw him money anyways, it’s the least we can do."

“That’s kind of you," Giles said.

“I have my moments," Patrick teased, as they both locked eyes, and he held a hand out to Giles to take. “Will be nice and short for the weekend in the sun, right?"

“Just make sure you put on enough lotion," Giles recommended.

“You know I always do," Patrick purposely bumped into his boyfriend. Dinner went fine and of course, in Giles’ mind, being home that night was even better as they made love before the trip. Patrick’s fresh cut truly was fresh, and Giles couldn’t keep his hands off of it. Even nuzzling his face into the back of his head as they fell asleep.

The rest of the weekend, he couldn’t keep his eyes off Patrick, more than usual. Patrick was aware of this, and was more than happy to ask Giles to apply lotion to him several times a day. The first morning he had to, Patrick said, “Can you do my head too? We don’t want that to burn, right?"

“No, sorry, I should have done it," Giles fumbled, squirting a glob into his hand and then softly and slowly applying it all along Patrick’s shorn sides and back, giving him a gentle massage. This truly made Giles feel something else, especially when he had the opportunity to do it a few times each day. And Patrick absolutely leaned into the moment, dipping his head backward and forward with Giles’ motions.

After that weekend, Giles couldn’t take it any longer. His frustration had grown so severe, he knew what had to be done, even if a part of him was pained to consider it. But nothing would subside his thoughts from his boyfriend’s haircut, and the desire to have something similar. Of course, a part of him from inside was frightened by the thought of his long locks falling to the floor of his salon. But no, he knew his stylist wouldn’t be the one to commit the crime, she probably wouldn’t even want to. There were plenty of shops all around the city, whether in his neighborhood or down by work, and he was tempted every time he passed by one. Just go in, sit down, and say what you want. No, Giles knew, he knew what he had to do, or more so, where to do it. If it was allowed.

A couple weeks later, Giles and Patrick were going to grab dinner again, Giles going uptown to meet him. Even though Patrick offered to come by him, but Giles had other plans, if fate would align. He left work the moment he could that Friday afternoon and headed up to the station. A lot of the firetrucks weren’t around, so he figured there must have been a job to do. But inside the station, there were a few firemen waiting around. He saw Mike hanging there, and he said hello. “Is Patrick here?"

“Nah," Mike shook his head, “he must still be out at one of the sites. We got a lot of calls this afternoon, more than normal. I have the night shift tonight, but I was already planning to come in early because I was cutting some guys’ hair. Including Patrick. But they didn’t need me for any of the fires so I hung back. They should be back soon. Sorry if I make you guys late for dinner or an event."

“Oh, no, we don’t have a reservation. We were just gonna play it by ear."

“Ah, nice, your more than welcome to wait here with us then," Mike offered.

“Thanks," Giles nodded, looking at his feet and telling himself to just go for it. “Actually, uh, Mike. Not sure if you’d be willing, but you said you were cutting some guys’ hair tonight?"

“Yeah, I am planning to," Mike nodded.

Giles nodded back, before slowly asking, “Do I need to make an appointment, too?"

Mike’s lips turned into a huge grin, and then he started laughing. “Well, since my other ‘clients’, shall we say, are all late, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to take someone else first." He turned around and grabbed a few things off a nearby table, dragging a chair along with him to the center of the room. “Have a seat, sir," Mike extended a hand.

There was no going back, he was doing it. Giles marched the few extra steps into the chair, dropping his bag on the ground, sitting back and upright as Mike whipped the cape out, cracking it in the air, before securing it across Giles’ body. He was not only covered, but Giles felt chained down, no turning back now. Mike took a comb and started to brush through Giles locks, for the last time. “You take care of your hair, I can tell."

“Thanks, I try," Giles offered.

“So what do you want, just a trim? A little something more?"

No turning back, Giles took a small breath in and said, “I’m looking for a change, actually. I don’t know why, but I just know I can’t stop thinking about wanting to change my look up. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I just want to do it, you know? Does that make sense?"

“Of course it makes sense," Mike agreed. “Your not unique, tons of peopleneed to shake it up every once in a while. Was there something you had in mind?"

Of course there was, he knew it all along. All this time. “Would it be weird if I asked you to cut my hair like Patrick’s?"

“Like your boyfriend’s?!" Mike sounded shocked, coming around from behind to look upon Giles properly. “Bro, that would be a huge change. I mean HUGE."

“I get that," Giles murmured. “Would it be weird if I wanted it like his?"

“Nah, I don’t think so, it works on Pat," Mike brushed the front of Giles hairline back with his hand, and let out a low whistle, “ooh, boy, you sure about this?"

“Why? Will it look bad?"

“Uh, no, I don’t think so," Mike said. “But now I’m dying to do it, now that you’ve said it."

Giles sat up more in his seat, and declared, “I guess I have been too." Without further hesitation or warning, Mike stood back behind Giles again, combing and brushing out his hair some more. Then from behind, Giles hear Mike cleaning off his clippers, and firing them up. Then, he felt Mike’s hand at the front of his hairline, the clippers motoring away like a lawn mower. Pressed right in the center, the barber slowly dragged them across the surface of Giles’ head. Electrifying wasn’t even enough to describe the sensation and feeling Giles had as the hot blades tore through his beautiful blonde tresses. A second pass came soon after, just as slow and gentle, yet at the same time felt harsh and brutal across his skull.

“I’m giving you a #4 on top, so a little longer than Pat’s, just so you aren’t that scared with the new look. But its still gonna be short."

“Okay," Giles managed to say as Mike continued to plow through his mane. The more strips made across the top, long locks slowly fell to the cape and ground around. Giles couldn’t even bring himself to make small talk, he was stunned and in awe of the crime he was committing to his hair, yet thrilled by his decision to take the plunge. He was taking in all the emotions and motions of the moment, savoring it for later. Even though he knew from the second swipe of the clippers, this would be his new look. The feeling of his hair being shorn down, it was like no other. Even when Mike went over swiped sections again, Giles still went crazy on the inside at the feeling buzzing on his head and inside him. It seemed like Mike was taking an incredibly long time just to clear off the top, but Giles had to remind himself that he had plenty of hair to work through up there.

Eventually, Mike switched out the clippers and was onto the sides. If what had felt extreme and severe on top, that was clearly no match for the next part of the cut. The blades up against Giles’ skin, his literal skin! Now he knew there would be no hair on his right side, gone to the last vestiges of his flow-look. He was going full military now, a stark difference from most in the office. Giles mouth went bone dry at the sensation of Mike’s swipes up the sides and back of his head, reducing his hair to hardly stubble. He felt a breeze pass across his head, a sheer sign that he’d been sheered down. Mike made sure to take things down real tight too, with a few other clippers, and blending from the top down to the nape. When Mike even touched the sides of Giles’ head, he got a real feel for what he’d be feeling the next few days and weeks. This was going to take some getting used to.

As his haircut was wrapping up, but not yet done, a couple trucks pulled into the station. One of them included Patrick, as he stepped off the back of one of them. He called out to Mike and his other colleagues, saying “Is the shop still open boys?"

“Very much open," Mike called back. “But we had a walk-in, so I decided to take him in since it looked like y’all wouldn’t be back for some time."

As Patrick got closer, it dawned on him who was sat in the chair, hair shorn. “Baby?!"

“Hey," Giles nodded up at him. “Surprise."

Patrick was beyond disbelief and couldn’t find words to articulate. The rest of his team was equally if not doubly surprised to find that was Giles in the barber chair. They all went to clean off while Mike finished up on Giles. Then Patrick took his seat first so that the two of them could head out for dinner as soon as possible. As they walked the street together, Patrick couldn’t help himself but graze his hand all along Giles’ shorn back and sides. “Giles, baby, it looks so good. I can’t believe it."

“If you can’t believe it, how do you think I feel?" They both laughed at that. It was going to take some getting used to for Giles. That first look in Mike’s handheld mirror, he didn’t recognize the man staring back at him. And the more kept taking looks in other mirrors inside the station, he was constantly struck by the contrast in appearance he walked in with and was going to be walking out with. He didn’t look like his old self, but he felt so good. The more he thought about it, the better he began to feel about making this drastic decision. No more stylist and salon or worrying too much on products in his hair. This would be no maintenance and great for working out, and Mike said he could be an honorary client.

That night, they met up with some other friends at a few bars, who were also staying back in the city. Everyone surprised by Giles’ new look, Patrick always sitting nearby, beaming at his boyfriend. That night together, just the two of them when they made it home was incredible. Both their hands feeling up each other’s fresh cut, their twin shorn skulls. If all they did was feel these vibrations and sensations, that was enough for them. Finally panting out of breath, Giles let out, “I can’t believe I did this," as he went to tussle with his long locks at the front like usual, but was met by short bristles.

Patrick took a free hand and rotated it across the top of Giles’ hand, stating, “You were buzzing for a change, baby," making a bumble bee sound to tease him further. They both laughed and fell asleep. When Giles woke up the next morning, he knew he made the right decision, and was looking forward to showing off his new look at all the other weddings they had this year, and the years to come.

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