Peer Pressure

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It was a normal Tuesday afternoon, and classes were just ending at UA High. Hanta Sero was still sitting at his desk shoveling his books and writing utensils into his backpack when suddenly, he felt a hand ruffling the back of his hair. He jolted his head around, only to see the grinning face of one of his best friends.

“What’s up, Kaminari?” He asked, raising an eyebrow with a slight smirk.

“Dude, your hair is like, so long right now,” the blonde says with a laugh. “You have a mullet!”

Sero blushes with embarrassment, a cocky grin still on his face. “What, there’s something wrong with mullets?”

Bakugo walks over, chiming in. “Being bald is better than having a mullet,” he says, rolling his eyes.

“Hey! That’s rude!” Sero says, groaning.

Mina skips over, waving to her friends. “Hey guys!! What are we talkin’ abooooout?”

“Sero’s stupid mullet,” Bakugo says with a slight smirk.

Mina doubles over with laughter. She’s clearly slap-happy for some reason. “You guys are so mean to Sero!! Although I admit, he’d probably look better with a different hairstyle,” she giggles.

“I agree!”

The voice belonged to Kirishima, who was now walking over to join the others.

“You should make it all spiky! It’d look really manly,” he said, pointing to his own hair.

Sero shook his head, laughing a little. “No way, dude! It’d look so stupid if I did that!”

Kaminari reached over to touch Sero’s hair again. “Maybe you should try getting a different haircut or something, it’d probably look awesome!”

Sero paled a little. “I dunno…. you sure about that? I like my hair the way it is….” he says, sweating a little bit. He didn’t know where this was going but he was a little concerned. His friends could be a little crazy sometimes.

“Yeah!! Sero honestly would look really good with short hair,” Mina chimes in, looking even more excited.

Kirishima nods in agreement. “Don’t pressure him though! It’s his decision what he does with his hair,” he says, shrugging a little.

Mina groans. “Aww, c’mon Kiri!! He won’t budge if we don’t peer pressure him! Peer pressure! Peer pressure!!”

Sero looked very concerned now, as Kaminari and Mina were now both chanting “peer pressure” over and over.

“You guys really want me to get a haircut that badly?” He asks, a kind of sad-looking smile on his face.

“Yes!!” Mina and Kaminari exclaimed, eyes wide with excitement.

“Dude, no homo, but you could be really cute if you had a better hairstyle. Like honestly,” Kaminari said with an amused grin.

Sero rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “You really think so..?”

He was actually starting to consider it now. His hair wasn’t necessarily super important to him, so he figured it might be worth a shot, right? It’d at least make his friends happy.

“Yeah, I gotta say, I agree with them,” Kirishima added. “You’d look so manly!”

Sero couldn’t help but laugh a little. “I mean, I guess… but if it turns out bad I swear I will be so pissed at you guys.”

“WAIT are you saying you’re actually gonna do it???” Mina asks, her eyes practically bulging out of her head.

“I… I um.. I guess so?” Sero says, a little bit of uncertainty in his voice.

Kaminari, Kirishima, and Mina all looked at each other, their eyes lighting up. Bakugo looked a little surprised, but still unphased.

“Good, you’re gonna get rid of that shitty mullet,” Bakugo said nonchalantly.

“When are we gonna do this?? Are we gonna do it today?? Can we do it today???” Mina asks excitedly. She seems almost a little bit too excited about this.

Sero looks unsure. “Today? I mean, don’t you think we should think this ov-“

“HELL yes we should do it today!!!” Kaminari exclaims. “Dude, Sero, you’ve been putting this off for too long. We’ve gotta take this matter into our own hands.”

Kirishima nods. “Definitely. Let’s go once we leave the school! We can head back to the dorms to change then go downtown! Maybe we can go get dinner and stuff too while we’re there. It’ll be fun!”

Sero tries to relax a little bit. “Sure, uh- it’s no prob! Yeah. Let’s go change then we can go downtown,” he says meekly.

Bakugo shrugs. “I guess. You guys better not be annoying-ass extras this time, though.”

With that, they headed back to the dorms. All of the members of the bakusquad went to their rooms to change, and they’d planned to meet back in the common room at 4:00.

Sero stood in front of his closet, trying to pick an outfit that would most flatter him. He didn’t normally care about fashion, but he wasn’t sure what kind of haircut his friends had in mind for him, and he wanted to at least look decent afterwards.  Even though he didn’t care much about his hair, he still didn’t want to look shitty. He hadn’t cut his hair short in years, so he had no idea what it might look like on him. He couldn’t deny the fact that he was super nervous. He had a pit in his stomach that only grew the more he thought about it. He checked his reflection in the mirror, knowing subconsciously it’d be the last time he looked like that. With that, he left the room to meet his friends in the commons.

“Wow, Sero! Didn’t expect you to get all dressed up for this!” Kirishima said with a grin.

Mina and Kaminari both looked so excited. Maybe a little too excited.

“Let’s go already, dumbasses,” Bakugo says, starting to walk towards the door. The rest of the squad followed close behind.

The five of them walked to the downtown area around UA, looking for the nearest salon to go to. Kirishima took his phone out and opened google maps to see if he could find a place with good reviews. Sero was clearly tense. After about 20 minutes, they finally came across a cute little salon that looked welcoming enough.

“Should we go here?” Mina asked, pointing to the place.

Sero just nodded slowly, heart beating faster and faster. Did he really want to do this? I mean, no.. he was pressured into it. But was it too late to back out? Probably. The black-haired boy swallowed thickly, walking up to the door of the small salon.

As he entered, a small ‘ding’ announced that the door had been opened. His friends came in behind him, taking seats in the waiting area. A young woman came over to the reception desk to assist Sero.

“Hello, Sir! What can I do for you today?”

He fidgeted with his jacket a little. “Er… hi, I um.. I’d like a haircut.. do you take walk-ins?”

The lady smiled and nodded. “Yes, we take walk-ins. If you’ll just sit in the waiting area for a moment, I’ll let you know when someone is available, okay?”

He nodded. “Sweet, thanks.” With that, he joined the rest of his squad in the waiting area.

“Hey, Kaminari. Do you even have an idea of what kind of style I should get, anyways?” Sero whispered to the blonde sitting next to him.

“Oh, don’t worry. We’ve got it all figured out for ya! We had a council meeting,” he says dramatically, “and we’ve decided on a surprise haircut for you! Ya can’t see it until it’s all done!”

Sero looked even more terrified after Kaminari told him that. “You guys better not ruin my hair…”

Mina slapped him on the shoulder, a wide grin on your face. “I PROMISE we won’t ruin it! We know what we’re doing!”

“Sure… uh huh….” Sero muttered under his breath.

The receptionist walked back over to him from the back of the salon.

“Hi, Sir! We’re all ready for you in back!”

He stood up slowly, the knots in his stomach tightening even more. He felt like he was going to be sick.

The receptionist led him to a chair near the back of the salon, and another young woman, presumably the stylist,  approached the chair with a soft smile on her lips. She was in no way intimidating, to Sero’s relief. He always hated when stylists were… menacing in a way.

“Hi, my name is Lydia, I’ll be your stylist for today!” She said with a smile before moving a hand to Sero’s unruly locks. “So, what can I do for you?”

The black-haired boy could barely even open his mouth before Kaminari interrupted his train of thought. Mina was right behind him, also looking wildly excited.

“Here’s a picture!! Make it look like this,” the loud blonde exclaimed, thrusting his cell phone into Lydia’s face. “Don’t let him see the picture though! It’s a surprise!”

The young girl was a little startled by the sudden jolt of energy, but steadied Kaminari’s phone to look at the photo.

“Wow, that’s a big change, are you sure he’ll be okay with it?”

Mina nodded. “Mhm! He agreed to this, and we’re doing him a favor, are we not?”

Lydia chuckled a little. “I think you guys chose a good style for him. I’m sure it’ll be very flattering with his face shape.”

Sero seemed to calm down a little bit as she said that. At least the professional thought it would suit him.

“Alrighty then, let’s go over to the sink to get your hair washed, okay?” Lydia said, putting a hand gently on Sero’s shoulder before walking to the sinks in the very back of the salon. He got up and followed her, his stomach still feeling queasy.

She sat him down in the chair, draping a towel around his neck and helping him to lean his head back into the bowl of the sink. She moved around to the other side of the sink, turning on the water and rinsing his hair in the lukewarm water.

“The temperature good, hun?”

He simply nodded. He always did like this part of the salon experience.

She pumped some shampoo into her hand, beginning to lather it onto his dark hair. She used her fingers to massage his scalp, which caused him to close his eyes softly in pleasure. She continued for a moment longer before rinsing the soap out. She repeated the process with conditioner, then used the towel around Sero’s neck to wring the excess water out of his hair. The butterflies in his stomach immediately returned as she led him back to the chair.

He sat down on the cold leather seat, trying to calm himself as she wrapped a strip of paper around his slender neck and shook the nylon cape out to put over him. He knew that in salons, they only used the neck strip for really short haircuts, so his anxiety was practically through the roof. Lydia grabbed a black comb and started to untangle Sero’s wet, messy hair.

“I know this is a big change for you, how are you feeling?” She asked, pinning up a big section at the top of his head with hair clips.

“Petrified,” he says sheepishly. “My friends kind of peer-pressured me into this, so I’m hoping I can trust their judgement. I’m scared I’ll look stupid.”

Lydia couldn’t help but laugh as she plugged the electric clippers into the wall.

“Nonsense, I’m sure you’ll look amazing! The cut they chose will really accentuate your sharp jawline,” she says with a smile.

He smiled a bit, but jumped as she turned the clippers on. The noise was really intimidating. She placed a guard on them, then pushed his head down towards his chest a little.

“Okay, stay still for me please, I know this part can be a little bit intimidating. It’ll be fine though, it’ll be done before you know it!”

He bit his lower lip and clenched his eyes shut as the clippers started to move up the back of his head. He could feel the hair raining down on the cape, which made him feel even more sick. He couldn’t believe this was really happening.

The sound of loud buzzing filled his ears, getting seemingly more intense with each pass of the clippers over the back of his head and around his ears.

After what seemed like hours, Lydia finally turned the torturous device off, brushing off his shoulders a little bit to get some of the hair off.

The rest of the Bakusquad was still watching, their jaws (excluding Bakugo’s) practically dropped to the floor. They couldn’t believe how short the back of Sero’s hair was.

“OHMYGOSH Sero!! It looks so good so far!!” Mina exclaimed, jumping up and down a little.

Sero gave a small smile to Mina before examining his reflection a little in the mirror. It was way shorter than he’d even anticipated. It was gonna take a long time to grow it out again, which made his eyes start to water a little bit.

Lydia took the clips out of the top section of Sero’s hair, letting it fall over his face. She combed through his wet locks a few times before then combing it straight back and cutting off a bit of the length with scissors. She briskly combed the section upwards and layered the ends, shaping the cut more. She combed it in front of his face once more, trimming the fringe in front of his eyes so that it just reached his eyebrows.

“Alright, I’m gonna blow dry and style it now, okay? I’ll turn you away from the mirror so it can be a surprise!” Lydia says with a big grin.

Sero smiled nervously. “Okaaaay…”

She turned the chair around so that he could only see the grinning faces of his friends.

“How ya feelin’ right now?” Kirishima asked, putting a hand on his hip.

Sero shrugged a tiny bit. “Nervous as hell maybe?”

Kaminari laughed at Sero, putting a hand over his mouth to try to quiet himself. “No need to be nervous dude, you look awesome!”

The black-haired boy gave an awkward smile as Lydia started to blow dry his hair with a round brush. It didn’t take very long, to Sero’s surprise, since his hair wasn’t very long anymore.

The blow dryer was shut off, and Lydia used a bit of gel to push his hair back off his face and tousle it a little bit.

“You ready to see? I must say, you look incredible!” She says excitedly.

He just nods a little bit, feeling quite numb, but the slightest bit excited. He imagined it’d look pretty bad, but his friends and the stylist seem to think it’s amazing, so it couldn’t be that bad, right?

She turns him around so he could see his reflection in the mirror, taking the cape and paper strip off of his neck.

“What do you think, hun?”

His eyes widened in shock as he saw himself in the mirror. There was no way that was actually him. He looked like a totally different person, but he hated to admit that he actually looked really good. The hairstyle really did suit him, as his jawline and slender neck were much more exposed now.

He put a hand to the back of his head, running his fingers over the short strands of hair and his bare neck.

“It… wow. I look so different. But like, a good different,” he says, turning his head this way and that. “I don’t like admitting that my friends were right, but… just this time they were right. Thanks, guys!”

Mina, Kaminari, and Kirishima were practically leaping with excitement.

“YOU LOOK SO GOOD!!!” They almost said in perfect unison.

Bakugo scoffed a little. “See, your hair looks less shitty when it isn’t a mullet… tsk..”

Sero blushed bashfully, smiling brightly.

“Thanks!” He then thanks Lydia as well, giving her a good tip.

The five friends walk to the front desk and Sero pays the receptionist.

“Should we get celebratory ice cream?” Mina asks, unable to resist touching the back of Sero’s hair. It just looks so soft!

He jumps at the sudden touch to his neck. He isn’t used to it being so exposed like this. He almost feels a little embarrassed, like people are staring at his neck or something.

“Yeah, definitely!” Kaminari exclaims. “This shit DESERVES a celebration,” he says, also reaching over to touch Sero’s hair. This time, Sero was anticipating it and didn’t jump as his friend caressed the back of his head.

“Whoa, dude it’s so soft!!! It seems so much healthier than before too!”

Sero rolled his eyes and let out a little laugh. “Since when have you cared about that kind of thing?”

“Pshhh… since like, now.”

The squad left the salon as it started to get dark outside and walked over to the nearest ice cream shop, which luckily happened to be just a few doors down.

“Dude, I seriously can’t get over how different you look, Sero. You look so manly!! It’s awesome!!!” Kirishima commented, opening the door to the ice cream place. “You should totally keep that cut for a long time. It really suits you!”

Sero smiles a little. “Thanks, man. I probably will. It’ll take some getting used to though, for sure… having my neck and ears exposed like this feels really weird.”

Kirishima laughs. “I don’t know the feeling too well, since my hair is pretty close to shoulder length when it isn’t spiked, but maybe one of these days I’ll opt for a cut like yours! Bakugo, you think it’d look good?”

The blonde just grunted in response, which Kirishima took as a ‘yes’.

Mina and Kaminari walked over to the counter to order their ice cream, and Sero, Kirishima, and Bakugo joined them after a few moments.

As they sat with their ice cream, they just joked and had fun, their awesome day coming to a close. Sero was more than happy with the outcome of the day, and for once was happy to have trusted his crazy friends. Even though they acted like crackheads, they knew when to help a bro out.

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