Sam Gets a Haircut

Unimaginatively titled, I know, but…

This is set during the last chapter of Frail. It got in my head this morning on the way to work and wouldn't leave me alone. I may or may not include it in the final version.

I don't know if you'll think this is funny if you haven't seen a particular movie. Heck, you may not, even then. :)


When the bandage came off, there was no longer any way for Sam to fool himself into thinking he wouldn't have to cut his hair.

Practically bald on one side is no way to go through life, son, had been Luke's advice.

So Sam had resigned himself to the inevitable, much to the glee of his older brother and Luke.

Sitting on a chair out in the backyard, Sam bent his head in response to Jo's amused question and gentle fingers tilting his head forward.

"Ready, sweetie?"

Sam relaxed under Jo's touch, the buzz of the clippers bringing back odd memories.

When he and Dean had been young, their father had been haphazard about haircuts. At times, early on, they'd all grown shaggy, finances and jobs keeping John from thinking or prioritizing personal grooming for their small family. Sam's hair had always grown faster than Dean's, so it had usually been the younger boy's out-of-control mop that elicited comments from strangers or managed to startle John into dragging them both to the barber shop.

Sam could still see the look of bemusement on John's face when he would come out of whatever preoccupation had consumed his attention for weeks at a time and notice the hair falling past Sam's ears and over his eyes. It was the same look Dad often had when he seemed to realize suddenly that Dean's wrists were sticking out inches past the cuffs on his older son's shirts. It was a vague, when the hell did that happen kind of expression that had grated on Sam's nerves as a teen and now just made him a little sad. For all of them.

When Sam had been close to 10, John found an old pair of automatic clippers at a flea market he'd been prowling for silver or iron or whatever else he could find that might be useful and cheap. The clippers hadn't worked well initially, but after a couple of bumpy haircuts with skinned heads and tears from both boys, John had finally managed to get the little appliance running smoothly.

There'd been regular—usually monthly—haircuts after that, John keeping the boys, if not himself, in flat-top buzzes for no other reason than convenience.

Looking back, Sam had to admit that those early times of getting his hair cut by his father were mostly fondly remembered. His dad's big, calloused hand on his head, the hum of the clippers, Dean watching with a critical eye, his turn next, pointing out places Dad had missed. John had been swift and efficient about his work, lingering only for a moment with a pat or sometimes a fleeting kiss on the top of his head as he moved Sam off the chair, pulling Dean into place. And right now, remembering his father's touch, warm and strong, brought an ache to Sam's throat that took him aback.

The later cuts had gotten brutal—Sam rebelling one of the only ways he could figure out, fighting every month, every six weeks, ever two months (he could see now that his father had let the time stretch out between inevitable battles), until Dean had taken over the responsibility, letting Sam talk him into minutely larger gradations on the clippers that he ran firmly, but gently over his younger brother's head.

Sam had spent most of those sessions complaining about Dad, Dean moving the younger boy's head this way and that, "mmm-hmming" occasionally, letting Sam blow off steam. Sam had always known when he'd gone too far, though – he had several small scars on his ears from nicks Dean had given him.

"Oops," Dean would apologize blandly at Sam's yelps of protest.

This cut was shaping into a replay of the earlier memories, with Dean standing nearby, a satisfied smirk on his face. The other boys were there, too, Jo having decided to hit everyone while she had her gear out.

When it was over, Sam ran an exploratory hand over his head. He hadn't had his hair this short since he'd left home. Dean's eyes, when they met his, were surprisingly understanding.

"How's it feel?"

"Weird, man."

Dean shook his head. "Yeah, well. It looks weird, too." He cocked his head on one side, studying Sam. "Dude, when did your head get so big?"

His big brother looked at Jo.

"You'd think it would look smaller without that mess on top, wouldn't you?"

Dean was grinning, reaching out to run his own hand over Sam's hair. Sam jerked his head away.

Michael was matching Dean smirk for smirk. "Look at the size of that boy's head!" he exclaimed, making a poor attempt at a Scottish accent.

Sam's eyes narrowed.

"It's a huge noggin," Jake agreed with a lilt of his own.

"I don't think it looks that big," Tommy said, confused, trying to reassure.

"That's a virtual planetoid," Dean said.

Sam stood, shaking off hair and the towel Jo had put over his shoulders. He caught it before it hit the ground and handed it to Jo, who was clearly trying not to start giggling.

Jaw tight, Sam stalked toward the house, flinging open the screen door.

"It's like sputnik," Luke said. "Spherical, but quite pointy at parts!"

Made reckless by the emotional trauma of his haircut and the taunting by the family, Sam flipped them all off before the door crashed behind him.

He heard Jo's gasp of surprised laughter, and Luke shouted after him, "I won't tolerate those kinds of obscene gestures in my house, young man!"

Sam had just reached for the door into the kitchen, when he heard Luke add, voice pitched so that Sam would be sure to hear, "I guess he'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow."

The gales of laughter that followed were cut off by the slamming of the door.

The end.


Quotes and paraphrases of quotes from So I Married an Axe Murderer.

I was unable to work in my favorite quote, "Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!"