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A Cut Above the Rest

By fictionwriter


One Shot

It was a clear sunny day, without a cloud in the sky.  It was autumn, and there was a cool breeze, blowing the falling leaves down in a swirl to the ground.  There were kids outside playing, enjoying the nice days before winter set in.  At a certain house, however, the young teen that resided there was not playing outside, but rather, he was concentrating hard on something but failing miserably. 

Ciel Phantomhive was practicing his violin. He was doing an arpeggio on a fairly complicated piece, missing the same note three times already, and on top of that, he had a big recital coming up…in two days.

“Darn it!” He yelled dramatically, flipping his long fringe out of his face, but it didn’t work quite right. He tried the piece again, but missed the same note as his stubborn hair wouldn’t cooperate and fell back into his face once more. Sighing, he put down the violin and pushed his hair back with his hand. No good.  He liked the style of his hair, but even for him, it was getting a bit much and making his practice rather difficult, but he wouldn’t admit that.

“Ciel, honey?” He heard his mom calling from downstairs.

“Yes?” he answered, giving up on trying to tame his hair.

“I have an appointment to take you to,” she called up to him.

What appointment? Ciel thought. He couldn’t remember her making any kind of appointment for him. He came downstairs and into the family room where Rachel was standing there with her purse on her shoulder, ready to go.

“Where are we going, mom?” he asked her.

“To get your haircut,” Rachel answered casually. She knew Ciel would not come to her to ask for it cut, and he had put it off far too long, so she made the appointment for him last week.

“Mom, I don’t need a haircut,” complained the 13-year-old boy, folding his hands over his chest.

“Oh yes you do, young man,” Rachel answered her son with a no nonsense tone. “Your fringe is growing half way down your face!”

Ciel grumbled. He didn’t want to admit she was right, even though he had been experiencing trouble seeing well lately. But that was beside the point.

“Anyway, I made an appointment for you. It needs to look nice for your recital. I don’t know how you can even see.”

Resigning himself to his fate, knowing he had no other choice, Ciel went with his mom to get his haircut. He still didn’t want to do it, despite the fact that he was beginning to have some trouble with his long fringe. But he liked having his hair longer, as he felt it made him look older and more sophisticated. Besides, longer hair was in style. No doubt he would get some inexperienced barber that would cut it too darn short! That’s what always happened.

“I worked really hard this time to find a good barber for you, Ciel. So I got a recommendation for this new place and I’ve heard the guy you’re going to see is really good,” his mom told him as they drove. Ciel just made a noncommittal noise. He wasn’t convinced. Rachel sighed. Ciel was certainly a typical teenager.


When they arrived at the placed called “Hair Frenzy,” Ciel and his mother got out of the car and walked inside. It was fairly crowed and there was some kind of rock music playing in the background. Ciel felt annoyance creeping in.

“What’s this guy’s name?” He wanted to know. He probably had some dumb, weird name.

“Sebastian Michaelis,” Rachel answered as they stepped up to the desk to check in.

Sebastian Michaelis? Ciel thought. That was his old dog’s name. Oh brother!

“My son has an appointment with Mr. Michaelis to get his hair cut,” he heard his mom telling the receptionist. After being told to have a seat, Rachel turned to her son, a bit apprehensively. “I feel bad to ask you this, but I want to quickly run next door and buy a couple of things. Will you be all right?”

“Of course mom,” Ciel assured his mother. She could be a little overprotective sometimes. “Anyway, I have my phone.”

“Okay, dear. I wont be gone long,” Rachel told him, with a pat on his shoulder.

Ciel watched her go and idly wondered what this ‘Sebastian’ guy looked like. He didn’t have to wait long before he heard his name called.

“Ciel?” A deep voice called.

The boy looked up to see a tall, young man with raven colored hair, and dark chocolate eyes. His hair was longer on the sides and he had one piece in the middle that hung loosely in his face. Didn’t that bother him? He wore jeans and a t-shirt with a black jacket on top. The words “A good man is hard to find, but a good hairdresser is next to impossible” was seen-printed on the shirt.

Ciel scoffed a little at the words before answering, “Yes, I’m Ciel.” The teen got up to stand by the taller man.

“I’m Sebastian. Let me take you to my station, Ciel,” Sebastian said with a charming smile. The way this man talked, sounded as smooth as butter, almost seductive. Ciel swallowed hard and followed the man to his station and sat down.

Sebastian’s hands stalled for a moment as he considered something, and then he moved, securing the hair-cape around Ciel and began to prepare the tools. “So, tell me Ciel, what do you want me to do?”

Ciel stared at Sebastian in mute horror. He shouldn’t have to explain something that obvious. Then he sighed: apparently, he did.

“Obviously, it needs to be shorter than it currently is. But I’ll have you know that I’m only here because my mother wants it cut. Personally, I like it longer,” he told the stylist with some arrogance and annoyance.

Sebastian smirked. Typical teenager. “I see. I completely understand. As you can see, I like my hair a bit longer as well. So, I can assure you that I won’t cut it too short, pleasing both your mother and yourself.” He then brushed some of Ciel’s fringe back. “But with eyes like yours, they should be more visible,” he purred near the boy’s ear, making him shiver at the proximity.

What the heck? Ciel thought as Sebastian picked up some scissors and began to cut the boy’s hair.

“What grade are you in Ciel?” he asked the teen conversationally.

“Eighth,” Ciel answered, watching the man cut his hair very meticulously.

“Ah, so you would be about thirteen?”

“Yes,” Ciel answered again wondering where this was going.

“What school do you go to?”

“I’m at a private school,” Ciel answered curtly. Really what was with all the questions?

“Any plans for high school?” The raven-haired man went on as he continued to clip.

“I’ll be attending where my father went, Westmont,” Ciel answered, with a hint of bitterness.

Sebastian easily picked up on it. “Oh? Is that not what you want?” he asked.

Ciel had no idea why he felt compelled to continue this conversation, but he was now finding it fairly easy to talk this man. “Not really. He wants me to go into business like him and ultimately run his company.”

“I see,” Sebastian answered, putting down the scissors and picking up the electric trimmer. “I’m going to going to shave the back a little bit. Tilt your head down please.” Ciel did as he was told. Sebastian adjusted his head slightly and gently. To Ciel it felt like an electric charge went through him. “If you could choose, what would you like to do instead?”

Ciel shook himself back to the present. “I would like to go into music,” he answered.

“What instrument do you play?” the raven asked, genuinely curious.

“I play the violin,” Ciel replied as Sebastian finished with the electric trimmer. He moved Ciel’s head back up in a gentle, almost caressing way. Ciel didn’t know what to make of it.

Sebastian hummed in thought. “Perhaps you should tell your father that,” he said, going back to Ciel’s fringe.

“I’ve tried. He won’t listen,” Ciel answered, a touch angry. Sebastian seemed to realize he hit a nerve and was quiet for a bit. Ciel spoke up again after a few minutes of silence. “How long have you been cutting hair?”

“Five years now,” Sebastian answered.

“Is that what you wanted to do with your life?” Ciel asked incredulously. It was hard for him to imagine someone wanting to be a hair stylist for life.

“Not initially. I wanted to be a chef, but things changed for me. I do enjoy meeting interesting people. I’ve had some fairly amusing conversations,” Sebastian answered, with a playful smirk.

Ciel pondered this for a while until Sebastian interrupted his thoughts. “What do you think?” he asked, finally finished with his client’s hair and stepping back so the boy could have a look.

Ciel studied his reflection in the mirror. He had to admit, Sebastian had gone a good job. True to his word, the raven-haired man hadn’t cut it too short and it still looked pretty stylish.  The man had trimmed up the longer side sections of Ciels hair so he could see again, and yet, kept it in the style that he liked.  He had to admit that it was nice to be able to see again.  It seemed the stylist actually understood what he liked…strange.  He had never encountered a stylist until now that had listened to him with regards to his choice of hairstyle.

“It’s acceptable,” Ciel answered blandly, not wanting to give away his true feelings.

“Ah, the young and their smug tones…” Sebastian smiled wickedly. “I’m glad you approve. Now everyone can see your lovely face and eyes. You should not let such features go unnoticed,” he said once more leaning over Ciel and undoing the cape to let him stand up.

Ciel got a strange feeling in his stomach that he couldn’t identify when the man complimented him like that. A faint blush stained his cheeks. Just then his mother walked in.

“Oh Ciel, darling, it looks great! Thank you so much, Mr. Michaelis! You don’t know how long I have been after him to get it cut!” Rachel gushed.

“Not a problem, ma’am,” Sebastian bowed his head just a bit.

Rachel smiled as she turned and went to the desk to pay.

“I hope to see you again, Ciel,” Sebastian said in his low, honey voice, putting a hand on Ciel’s shoulder briefly before turning and walking back to his station to tidy up.

Ciel felt like butterflies were in his stomach when the other man touched him. And the way he said his name; it rolled off the man’s tongue in such a seductive way that it couldn’t be normal. Who talked like that?

“Oh, Ciel honey, I forgot the tip. Will you give this to Mr. Michaelis?” Rachel asked as she handed him a 5-dollar bill.

Ciel didn’t want to admit that he was little excited and nervous to talk to the raven-haired stylist again. There was just something about him…

“Excuse me, Mr. Michaelis?” Ciel asked, tapping the man on the arm to get his attention.

Sebastian turned and looked down at the boy. He could tell he was nervous. Cute. “Yes?”

Ciel took the man’s hand, flipped it over, and stuffed the 5 dollar bill in his now open hand. “Your tip.” He quickly walked away, his cheeks slightly pink.

Sebastian folded his hand over the bill as he curiously watched the boy leave with his mother. He then smiled and put the money in his pocket. He was certain that he would be seeing the boy again.

Well, Ciel felt he had found a devilishly good barber after all.

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