Shinjiro can't keep his eyes off the back of Aki's neck.
Akihiko runs his bare fingers over that skin and plucks at the scant prickly growth there. Aki must get his hair cut every three weeks to keep that crop so perfect. The hairdresser is probably a complete stranger, some nameless hopeless guy in a barber shop setting his razor to Aki's nape to collect those stray little hairs that grow outside his hairline. And Aki pays the guy to do it. A stranger, touching him.
Haircuts are something Shinji never thought to miss. He can't bring himself to lift something sharp so close to his throat even to cut his own hair. He can't trust another person to bring something sharp that close to his throat. Shinji – ok, so he doesn't like being touched, but at least he's not as bad as some guys out on the street with dreads to their ass and boils under their caps and maggots and fuck knows what else breeding in their hair/skull/brain. Sometimes services come out to offer hope for humanity: soup, new set of shoes, a shave. The guys queue for that last even more than the first. Touch is both more terrifying and more satisfying than soup in the belly, especially when it's someone sane doing the touching. Someone real. Someone not just another street shadow.
Shinji swallows, heavily, when Aki's long fingers slide through that silver crop. It's been long, so long, since Shinji's let someone touch him. Shinji doesn't queue for anything, doesn't need to shave, doesn't need a haircut. Shinji is a shadow, and shadows don't need succor.
Aki keeps a comb in his pocket. Proper little schoolboy, of course. Shinji watches that comb run its impersonal teeth along Aki's scalp under that too-short hair, its unfeeling spine cupped against Aki's bare palm. Stupid, pointless action. Aki doesn't need a comb.
"You want me—"
"No," Shinjiro says before Aki finishes, before Aki offers, because Shinji wants nothing and he doesn't understand why people keep offering him hope.
Aki stares at his own outstretched hand, the comb held between his two forefingers. He makes a move sort of like a shrug trying not to look like a flinch, and slides that plastic back into his shirt pocket. Under his blazer; over his heart.
Shinji watches then as Aki works his fingers back into his gloves. Only then does Shinji relax. Leather: a barrier just like the filth/clothes/filth/distance/time/uniform that comes between them already. Aki reaches, and Shinji bows his head. He has to close his eyes to hide the pain and the saltwater prickle as Aki tugs.
It's ok, though. Aki can't really touch him if he's wearing his gloves.