ok, i'm having a crap of a time uploading this, so hey, just know this and "messed up" were posted about a month ago on my lj first so you people could've gotten this a month early and avoided my procrastination and unwillingness to deal with alas, alas.

check "messed up" out if you can handle weird twisted r-ishness.

title: fashion sense
pairing: bubbles/boomer (gen fic)
rating: pg... or pg-13? implied naughty joke.
disclaimer: ain't my characters, please don't sue, i'm in college and henceforth poor.
summary: bubbles notices boomer's clothes. and, subsequently, boomer.
notes: spoiler for "bubble boy." quite possibly the only good rrb ep that's existed since the boys came back.

Fashion Sense


Bubbles has exactly two articles of clothing carelessly tucked away in a plastic box on the top shelf of her closet; the rest are either hanging or neatly folded in her bureau. They are (or were) loose and comfortable, with worn knees in the dark jeans and a tear in the left sleeve, and grass stains in every place imaginable, including inside the pockets. She's worn them a grand total of once in her entire life, and while she regrets it just a little (man, the fuss that would've raised if he'd seen her in them afterwards), the chances she could fit into them now are rather slim. Bubbles isn't a large person, granted, but clothing from kindergarten doesn't exactly wear well ten years into the future.

She thinks it's a little weird sometimes that she still has them, particularly when she's suddenly overcome with the urge to pry the lid off the box and rub the fabric between her hands. Even as a kid she was always doing that. It just didn't strike her as anything strange until she was older, past primary school, when she noticed that she was fascinated with the scent of them more than anything else.

He smells exactly the same, but then again, they had been his clothes at one point or another.

She knows because they bumped—literally—into each other one day, rounding the same corner from opposing directions, and her face had hit his chest and it had been strange but the fact that she'd found it familiar had been even stranger.

How odd, she'd mused, and Boomer had scowled and shoved past her. Her gaze followed him, and his jeans were of the wide leg variety, his shoes for running track, his sweatshirt one size too big for him.

After that Bubbles started noticing little wardrobe quirks of his—on cool days he wore the sweatshirt, on warm ones it was an open button down with some goofy tee underneath. When it started getting colder he had a fleece pullover, and in the most brutal days of summer it was always white or blue t-shirts, never any other color. It seemed to her he lived in his black jeans.

When she takes the time to think about it now, it's hard for her to pinpoint exactly what he smells like, maybe due to the fact she doesn't really have a nose, but mainly due to the fact he doesn't smell like anything else she's ever come in contact with before. She just knows that it isn't bad, and it isn't great, but it's good enough to be pleasant.

For the most part, Bubbles is pretty sure she's being subtle about this whole wardrobe watching thing, at least until he corners her in the bookroom one day as she's exchanging her flimsy history text for a new one.

He plants his arms on either side of her head against the metal shelf and she whips her head around abruptly.

"You're looking at me," Boomer accuses.

"Uh, yeah, I am. You're kinda right there."

"You know what I mean."

"What do you mean?" Bubbles cannot help but pride herself on her ability to play innocent.

"I mean. . . Cut it out."

She rolls her eyes and turns back to the shelf. "Pft. What are you, a five year old?"

"Shut up." He moves his hands back to his sides and, after a while, crosses his arms and mumbles, "You're the five year old."

"Ooh, clever comeback, Boomer. I'll bet you were up all night trying to come up with that one." She manages to locate a book she's satisfied with and starts heading away. The musty scent of hardback binding is mingling with his smell, and it's almost stifling, though not necessarily in a bad way. The sooner she gets out, though, the better. She's not up for a fight, especially not during a school day in first period.

"Hey, did you hear me? I want you to cut it out."

"Sure, sure," she tosses carelessly over her shoulder, but instead of being behind her he's suddenly in front of her in a brilliant blur of blue.

"I'm not that stupid," he grumbles, and she has to squint at him for saying that. "Don't give me the innocent act. Quit it. The looking thing is freaking me out."

"Shoot, our master plan is foiled," Bubbles answers in a dull monotone. "Guess I'll admit defeat and move on with my life somehow." She starts walking again.

Out of things to say, Boomer splutters, "Why do you keep looking at me anyway?"

Bubbles pauses midstep and rotates on her back foot to face him again. She shrugs. "Because I happen to like the way you dress."

This time, Boomer's really out of things to say. Bubbles decides to take the initiative.

With a thoughtful frown, she muses, "But I think I enjoy your clothes off of you more than I enjoy them on you."

If possible, he has even less to say now and can only stare at Bubbles with wide eyes.

Outwitted the dimwits. Bubbles can hear Blossom's triumphant voice on her way back to class and can't help feeling a little smug herself for making uncharacteristically lewd comments.

"Work like this calls for a celebration," she whispers to herself, smiling, and makes mental plans to go shopping after school.

She considers whether Boomer would prefer a sweater to an overcoat, and decides she'll call him when it comes to choosing a color.