Like Father, Like Son
Disclaimer: Spooks belongs to Kudos and the BBC. The other characters are all mine.
A/N: I don't know where this idea came from but it popped into my head a while back. I was organizing my flash drive and was pleasantly surprised to find this one-shot nearly complete.
A bell rang as the door opened and the man behind the chair glanced up and greeted his father by name, welcoming them to his shop.
His father directed him with a gentle hand on his shoulder to a row of chairs along the wall. He sat in one where he could watch the activity going on from a safe distance.
"Will it hurt, Papa?" The little boy tried not to look scared as he watched the man behind the chair with the noisy machine in his hand.
His father looked down at him with a smile. "You've had your hair cut before, son. Did it hurt then?"
He shook his head. "No, but Mum used scissors."
His father nodded in understanding. "He's using clippers. It cuts your hair like a scissors but it's better for cutting hair short. It's what Mr. Percy uses to cut my hair."
The boy nodded then turned to watch the barber again. The man in the chair was talking and smiling. Maybe it wouldn't hurt.
"Do you still want your hair cut like mine?"
He turned back to his father and thought about the question for a moment before nodding again. "Yes, I want to go to school with a big boy cut like you. Not a baby cut like Ben."
James smiled down at his son as the barber waved him over. "Alright, Harry. Let's get your hair cut."
The memory of that moment with his father came rushing back as Harry walked to the barbershop. The parallel to his life at that age caught him by surprise and left him with a smile, which didn't go unnoticed.
"Papa, why you smiling?"
Harry looked down at his son and was reminded how much his son looked like him as a boy, with the exception of his eyes. Sam definitely had his mother's eyes.
"I was remembering a time when I was about your age and my father took me to the barber for my first big boy haircut. I was getting ready to start school, just like you, and I wanted my hair to look like my dad's."
"Were you scared?" Sam asked.
"A little. I didn't know what to expect. My mum had always cut my hair and I'd never gone with my dad for a haircut, so it was a new experience. The clippers were noisy but they didn't hurt."
"I'm a big boy like you, Daddy. I'm not afraid of anything," Sam remarked in his best tough guy voice.
Harry laughed. "Well Sam, I'm glad to have you by my side then. Here we are, Higgins Hair Cuts." Harry opened the door and ushered his young son in the door.
Sam elected to let his father go first so he could see what would happen. As Sam settled in a chair opposite where his father sat, he took the time to look around the room. A television hanging on the wall in the corner was turned to BBC News, something Sam saw regularly on the television at home. There were several chairs in front of mirrors, but his father was the only person sitting in the chairs that could spin. Mr. Higgins had something noisy in his hand and was moving it around his father's head.
His head was bent forward but as Sam watched his father opened his eyes, looked at him, and smiled. Sam smiled back and continued to watch Mr. Higgins. Soon his father stood up and motioned for Sam to take his place.
"It's your turn, Sam."
Sam nodded and walked up to the chair. The seat was almost as tall as him so Harry picked up his son and set him in the chair.
"Alright?" he asked and Sam nodded. Harry moved to occupy the seat recently vacated by his son. He watched as the young boy sat still, something Harry rarely ever saw at home. Sam listened intently to Mr. Higgins's instructions, obediently following each one.
Harry's pocket vibrated and he reached in to view the text message on his phone.
'Going okay?' the message read.
Harry snapped a picture of his son sitting quietly and attached it to the message. 'Just fine. Never seen him sit still this long,' he added before hitting send. It wasn't long before a smiley face reply was received.
Fifteen minutes later father and son were strolling home, both looking dapper with their new haircuts.
"Will Mummy think I look handsome, Daddy?" Sam asked. Harry thought his son was joking but one look at his face betrayed the serious nature of his question.
"Oh yes, I'm sure of it. Why do you ask?"
"Because Mummy always says you look handsome and Ben and me are cute. I want to be like you, Daddy; not a baby like Ben."
As they approached a busy intersection, Harry reach down and picked up the four year old boy. "Sam, your mum is going to tell you that you're cute until you are as big as me. That's what mum's say to their little boys, no matter how big those little boys get.' Harry paused his conversation as he quickly crossed the street during a lull in the traffic. Once safely on the other side he set Sam back down and took his hand. "My mum used to tell me I was cute even when I was in the army!"
Sam giggled at the thought of an army man being called cute and Harry faked offense.
"Hey you, who are you giggling at?" Harry said in a stern voice that made Sam laugh even harder.
"You, silly Daddy!"
"Oh, okay. Just checking," he said and the two continued on their way.
Ruth was sitting in the front garden with Ben next to her when she heard the quick pounding of feet getting closer to her.
"Mummy! Mummy! I have a haircut just like Daddy's! Now I'm ready to go to school like a big boy," Sam exclaimed as he dashed to her and wrapped his arms around her neck.
"Oh, let me see," she said as she held him at arm's length, shifting him around to see the new haircut from all sides. "Oh yes, very big boy indeed. I do believe you are ready to meet your teacher this afternoon."
Sam raced into the house before either of his parents could stop him.
"So he did well?" she asked as Harry sat on the blanket with her, pulling Ben into his lap.
"Followed every instruction Mr. Higgins gave him to the letter. Wish we could figure out how to do that," he said with a smile. Ben was babbling in his lap and Harry leaned down to press a kiss to his son's pale blond curls.
Ruth laughed. "Hopefully he'll be that well behaved for his teacher," she said as Sam raced back out of the house with his backpack on.
"I'm ready to go to school now!" he exclaimed. "Is it time to go and meet Miss French?" Sam added excitedly.
Both parents laughed at their son's enthusiasm.
Ruth patted the blanket next to her. "Sam, we'll go and meet your teacher after lunch. Why don't you sit down and tell me all about getting your haircut."