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this is a universal queer experience, right?

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Roxy pressed a hand to the side of James' head, holding his hair away from the edge of his hairline. The clippers buzzed in her other hand, but she hadn't touched it to her husband's head yet.

The two of them were crammed into the tiny bathroom in their apartment for the umpteenth time. This particular go-around was dedicated to their semi-weekly hair-cutting session, cleaning up the shaved bits in both of their respective gay-ass haircuts. A key feature of cutting your hair at home was not wearing clothes while you did it, which was what Roxy had told James the first time she’d offered to trim his hair at home. At the time, they weren’t married, and James hadn’t known how to really work with her hair, so she ended up having to shave it all off after he left. She’d been bleaching the fuck out of it and had been meaning to do that anyways, but the look on his face the next date had been hilarious. She smirked, remembering. 

"Are you alright, Roxy?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm good. Just thinkin'."

James looked up at her through his eyelashes, trying not to move his head. "About what, dear?"

Instead of answering, Roxy pressed the clippers down and started slowly pulling it up from his scraggly sideburns to his scalp. She kept going, letting go of James' hair to pull his ear aside and carefully define his hairline."Remember the first time we did this?"

"Oh, do I!" James laughs and tries to suppress it, shaking a little. Roxy pulls the clippers away.

"Hey, hey, I don't wanna nick your ear, Buster Brown. Cool it, will ya?"

He was still laughing. "Do you still have the picture of how your hair came out?"

"Sir, I had to wear that haircut until it grew out! It wasn't funny at the time!" She stuck her tongue out at him, winking to let him know how serious she was. 

James brushed some hair off his bare shoulder into the trashcan he was holding next to him. "Yes, but it's hilarious now, isn't it?"

Sighing, Roxy kicked his knees together and sat on his lap, grabbing his hair again. "Hush, you." She started the clippers again, finishing the left side and grabbing his hair to flip his head to the right. James had been growing out a mohawk lately, so she didn't need to clip the back. His hair was thick and soft, but not as soft as Roxy was expecting. Hm. Needed to get him to try a hair mask again, probably.

Roxy shut off the clippers and started brushing more small pieces of hair off of James' shoulders, not caring where they fell. She was going to sweep the bathroom. While she got ahead of what would no doubt be an itchy annoyance later, James started lightly smacking her thighs with her hands. She gave him a look.

“What?”

“I’m not done cleaning up the lil bits I missed, mister man. Be patient.” 

“Why do you keep calling me the same nicknames you call the cat?”

Roxy booped his nose. “Because you’re both cute. Now lemme finish!” 

He finally shut up and tilted his head so that she could get the few small longer bits she’d missed. Roxy ran her hands back and forth over the short fuzz on the side of his head to make sure she had finally finished. 

James hummed. “That feels really nice.” 

“Aww, does it?” She poked him in the cheeks, then the shoulders, then the boob. “That’s really great babe, but now you gotta do me.” 

“I absolutely want to do that, yes,” James said cheekily, and pulled Roxy forward on his lap. 

“Noooo, my hair, you gotta do my haaaiiirrr,” Roxy whined, laughing as James blew a raspberry in the middle of her chest. 

“Ugh, fine, but I don’t think I can do the cool little stripes in the side of your head Gamzee does when they cut your hair.” 

“You don’t have to do it like they do it! You don’t even have the same kind of hair as us,” Roxy points out, and climbs out of James’ lap. She braces herself against the wall, which is right behind her, Jegus this bathroom is small - then holds out a hand to James, who rolls his eyes and stands up without help. 

“If you try to pull me up I’m just gonna pull you back down, you know,” he gripes at her. 

Roxy slaps his ass and sits down. “Babe, hush, I’m stronger than you think and you’re not as heavy as you keep making yourself out to be.” 

“Way to dance around the fact that I’m fat.”

“Yes, you’re fat! Also, you’re cute and I love you!” Roxy grabs James around the middle and starts smooching his stomach, making him laugh and lightly bap her on the head. 

“Noo-hoo-hoo-hoo, stoooop!” He was giggling as he protested, but Roxy stopped anyway and pulled back. 

They both finally settled enough for James to clip just the one side of Roxy’s hair down shorter. Gamzee had braided their hair the week prior, and put in a bunch of pink and purple and black and white beads to match Roxy’s streaming channel’s theme. “Coincidentally,” they also matched the set of anime colored contacts Roxy used when she was doing her “gaming job,” as she put it. Roxy definitely hadn’t seen James texting Gamzee pictures of her Jolt.TV account to match the color schemes, no-siree. 

James popped the plastic guard off of the clippers to trim all the way down to the skin, and carefully put the clippers on the week of growth on Roxy’s side-shave. She sometimes let Gamzee or Dirk shave designs into it, but just as often kept it trimmed down. Her hair grew quickly enough she could change it almost as often as her mood.

Roxy’s hair was cleaned up quickly, and James tapped the extra hair out of the clippers into the sink, unplugged them, and wrapped them up to put in their case. Waggling her eyebrows, Roxy reached a foot out languidly to turn on the tub faucet. 

“Wanna take a bath with me and get all the little hair bits off?” She punctuated her sentence with a wink. 

James put his hands on his hips. “Okay, now who’s horny?”

“I’m not horny, I’m just want to take a nice, regular bath with my husband, who I love very much - “ 

“Oh my god, okay, I’ll hop in with you, but I want to take a shower.” 

Roxy huffed. “You’re gonna use that as an excuse to make the water super hot.” 

“It’s not my fault that the water loses some heat by the time it hits me but that doesn’t apply to you!”

“Stop lording your short privilege over me, you horrible little troll.” Roxy reached out to tickle James’ sides. He grabbed her hands and put them behind her back, leaning forward to kiss Roxy’s nose once, then twice for a bit longer. Roxy tilted her head up to kiss James, who leaned in more and opened his mouth against hers. The toilet tank was cold, unlike the plastic seat, and she felt a shiver run up her spine that had nothing to do with the way James was warm against her chest. 

James pulled away. “Come on, we’re wasting water,” he said.

“Aww, damn, thought I’d getcha to tie me up first,” Roxy teased, but got up when James let her arms go. 

James smiled, pulling the shower curtain shut and flipping the water flow to come out of the showerhead. “Maybe later.”

“MAYBE later? Maybe?? Sir, I’m incredibly disappointed there’s a change that WON’T happen -”

“Oh, hush! The water is definitely warm enough now, miss ma’am.” James held the curtain open at the end away from the water spray, gesturing for Roxy to hop in first. 

Roxy couldn’t say that she and James didn’t neck a bit in the shower, and she hung out under the warm water for a bit longer than she’d admit to James because of the shower tile being a similar temperature to the toilet tank (cold, really cold, WHY), but she didn’t think that a half-hour shower was going to impact their water bill all that much. She let James soap her down and returned the favor, massaging his scalp with her fingers and trying not to let her hair get caught in the spray. Fuck, where was her shower cap?  

Her hair made it through the shower mostly unscathed, though, mostly by virtue of James having her up against the shower wall for no reason at all , and she toweled off his hair only a little roughly after wrapping her own towel around herself. 

“Hey, I’m getting water up my nose, Roxy!” James battled half-heartedly at her arms, but the towel was covering his face and he couldn’t really see what she was doing. 

Roxy finally stopped drying his hair and handed him the towel. She leaned against the wall and looked in the mirror. The yellow fluorescent lights above them flickered and the mirror is still foggy at the top. James’ broad shoulders were slightly damp and shimmering as he dried himself off feet-to-head. Another snapshot of a time that might not seem to be that important to anyone looking in, but to Roxy was a reminder of how much having someone who cared about her and saw her as she was really meant to her. 

She smiled, and held the door open for James and flicked the light off as they went out to make breakfast, winking at herself in the mirror.