A/N: Another weird little fic by me. This story is based off of another picture of Black's under Regless's account on Deviant Art, titled Clothes Make the Man. Much the same way that I did with the first fic that I did of said author's artwork, One Moment Itsumademo, I'm trying to capture the scene while working with only the characters that were used, namely Alice, Jeri, Rika, and Takato (the last of whom Regless and Black describes as the most unsung, under appreciated, and clueless lady killers in the entire digimon franchise, and perhaps in anime for that matter), and work with the artworks featured expressions on the three girls faces at the same time while trying to keep true to their respective characters. Very, very slight humor. Enjoy!
Clothes Make the Man
A Digimon Tamer's Fic by Crazyeight
She walked through the streets, her face downcast and set in a small frown, her light blue eyes directed inwards as she steadied herself for the business that she had to attend to. In one hand she held a bouquet of white roses and from them dangled the familiar form of the crucifix. Garbed in a black dress, the blonde haired girl known as Alice McCoy made her way through the city of Shinjuku, aiming for one spot in particular in the maze of streets, buildings, alleys, and people. It was a place that held a lot of memory for her. Painful memories of a time when she and a friend had been pursued by a dangerous enemy, a computer program that had been bent on destroying two worlds and she and her friend, a creature from an alternate plane of existence known as the digital world by the name of Dobermon, held the key to saving them. She had been the messenger from the digital worlds guardians, the Sovereigns, and Dobermon the bearer of the key to unlocking the secret of Mega evolution while in the world of humans. The mission had been a success; only Dobermon had paid for the world's survival with his own life. Or so it seemed. The memories of that day still pained Alice McCoy with varying degrees of hurt and sorrow, but she had moved on. Tried to anyway. There was no way that she would ever forget the brave digimon that had sacrificed himself to give others a fighting chance to live, and now, with her father heading back to America, and she going with him, Alice wanted to pay her last respects to her friend before she left. Her father, one of the initial designers of the digital life forms known as digimon, of which Dobermon was one of, understood her reasons for doing so. He had come to have a greater understanding of the relationship that humans and digimon could have since he met the group of children known as Tamers, and though he was reluctant to let his daughter out of his sight so soon after returning to the real world, he knew that this was something that she had to do in order to move on.
Finally, Alice arrived at her destination and looked around. The place had certainly undergone many changes since she had last been here all those months ago. The city had done its best to repair the damage caused by both the D-Reaper and the Parasimon invasions, and now the signs of battle were almost erased. Alice wondered if her memories of Dobermon would be like that, but she doubted it. They had far too much history together for that to happen. As Alice laid the roses down on the ground, on the spot where her partner had met his fate, a sparkle of light trailed across her eyes and a noise, perhaps caused by the slight breeze in the air, reached her ears.
The blonde haired girl smiled softly, but happily as she wiped some tears from her eyes and stood up. There were times where she thought that her friend was still there. Still with her, and it was times like that she wished that Dobermon were with her, so that she could hold him once again. But that would never happen. Whispering a goodbye Alice turned around and began to weave her way through the crowd once more, feeling a sense of presence with her but shaking it off as nothing more than her imagination and hope. It was time to move on with her life, try to find something else to focus on…
As Alice began to head back to the hotel to meet her father, something caught her eye. Turning with a curious eye, Alice saw a boy with light brown hair and a pair of yellow-rimmed goggles covering his head. A strange sight to be sure, but she was used to strange sights. Though it was the goggles that had caught her attention, reminding her of someone that she had met a while ago, one of the Tamers she thinks, the memory is quickly disregarded as she looks the boy over, noting the crisp blue suit, buttoned up carefully over a red shirt underneath it with a blue tie encircling around his neck. Alice takes a moment to smile at the scene. The goggles may have been a little ridiculous, but the way the suit looked on the boy… and those crimson eyes of his that radiated warmth, innocence, and maturity…
Alice giggled softly.
Kind of cute, she thought as the boy passed by, not noticing her. Completely intent on wherever his destination was. Alice shrugged and resumed her own journey, the smile on her face widening slightly as the image of the boy remained fixed in her mind. Something to hold onto, to think about in the future perhaps…
Alice felt something warm trickle down her face and she wiped at it before looking at her hand and frowning.
Oh great… the blonde haired girl thought with an irritated frown. Nose bleed. Perfect timing too. What is this? An anime show?
Shaking her head, Alice continued onwards. She didn't want to be late getting back to the hotel.
Takato Matsuki smiled warmly as he strode through the streets of Shinjuku, occasionally fidgeting with his hands in his pockets, his outward appearance belying how he really felt. He was a little uncomfortable with the suit that his parents had picked out for him for his job interview, but they had made it quite clear that he was not going to try out for a part-time job looking as he normally did.
"First impressions are important," his mother had told him sternly as she picked the suit out, and reminded him again right before he had left, which basically meant that he couldn't go see Guilmon or bring him along either. Takato sighed. He wasn't sure if he thought that this was a good idea. The only reason that he had started job hunting was more on Henry's advice since he thought that it would be good for Takato to broaden his horizons before settling down on any definite lifestyle. Oh well. He couldn't back out of it now, and he wouldn't anyway. He had experienced too much to shrink away from something as simple as an interview.
Sure wish that Guilmon were with me though, thought Takato trying to wipe away the sense of discomfort at wearing clothes that he wasn't used to wearing. Hopefully Kazu and Kenta didn't see him in this get-up. Otherwise he'd never hear the end of it…
"Well, well, well," hailed a sarcastic voice that made Takato almost freeze in his tracks. "Look who it is. Never thought that I'd live to see this happen. Almost didn't recognize ya, Gogglehead."
Turning slowly, fighting down a beat red face as he did so, Takato turned around and his crimson gaze met the lavender one of his friend and fellow Tamer, Rika Nonaka. The girl looked at him, one head tilted to the side in amusement as she smirked at the boy's appearance. Her headphones hung around her neck, a tune playing on it that sounded something like Promise of the Setting Sun, but before Takato could accurately identify it as such, Rika reached over to her Walkman and turned down the volume before walking up to him, her eyes never losing that playful amusement all the while.
"Off to your job interview?" Asked Rika as she looked him over, though whether or not she was pleased with his appearance or just amused Takato couldn't really tell for certain. It was hard to tell sometimes with Rika.
"Yeah. My mom had to drag me out of bed early and send me out the door with only a quick breakfast because she wanted me to get to my appointment on time."
"Given the stories that Kazu and Kenta tell about you that doesn't surprise me. I'm not sure what to make of you going to this job though. Can't really imagine you being something other than as a baker, but then I'm just used to you being in that position for a while."
"Well, it's not like it's anything that has to be permanent, Rika," said Takato. "I'm just going with Henry's advice. He is right you know…"
"When is he not?"
Takato had to laugh at that.
"Well, practically never. Kind of wish that I didn't have to wear this suit though…"
Rika nodded in agreement.
"Now you know how I feel about dresses. Still, I've got to say that you don't look half bad in that. Now if only you'd ditch the goggles… which you should if you don't want your potential boss to think that you're a weirdo or something."
Takato rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment as he felt his face flush a little at Rika's compliment. It wasn't often that she handed those out, given her rather high standards, so her saying that he didn't look bad in a suit was certainly high praise indeed.
"Heh. Thanks Rika," Takato said, smiling his usual, wide, goofy smile. Rika looked at him a moment longer, her face assuming a thoughtful look to it before she reached out and pulled his goggles off of his head.
"Wha…?" Stammered Takato in surprise at the unexpected action. "Rika… what're you doing?"
"A favor," said Rika as she held onto his goggles. "Face it, Takato. You're too goofy looking wearing these, and it's not something that I'd suggest wearing if you're trying to get a part-time job, even if you plan on it being only a temporary one. Makes me wonder how your mom let you out of the house wearing these…"
"I wasn't wearing them at the time. And I thought that you didn't care about looks…"
"I don't, but this is a little different, Gogglehead. Besides, aren't friends supposed to help each other? Consider this my part of the effort, all right?"
Rika leaned back a bit and looked him over with a critical eye.
"Not bad, Gogglhead. Not bad…"
Takato tried not to fidget uncomfortably under Rika's gaze, but nonetheless a faint blush escaped his cheeks. Rika smirked seeing it but chose not to comment on it.
"Um… Rika? Not that this hasn't been… um… fun, but I should probably get going…"
"Huh? Oh, yeah. Sure. I'll have Renamon drop your goggles off at your house, and try to relax already. You don't want to be nervous during your interview. And good luck. You'll need it."
Takato cocked his head to one side at that last part, but put up a smile anyway. This was just Rika's attempt at lightening the situation.
"Heh. Thanks Rika. I'll see you later."
Rika watched Takato go, her head tilted to the side in much the same manner that her partner Renamon would when thinking about something that slightly confused her, before putting her headphones back over her ears. She didn't turn up the volume just yet though.
All right, Renamon. I know that you're watching. You have something you want to say about this?
There came a silent chuckle on the other end of the mental rapport that Rika shared with the vulpine, ninja digimon that was her friend and partner.
Nothing really. I just find it amusing how you chose to help Takato. I wouldn't have thought that you would do something like that for him.
Normally I wouldn't, thought Rika. But like I told him. This sort of thing is a little bit different then what he's used to. In this case, making a first impression is going to be important, and with the way he is he needs all the help that he can get.
Perhaps… thought back Renamon, and Rika sensed a trickle of amusement through their link. Rika's eyes narrowed in wariness and she waited for whatever else it was that Renamon had to say on the matter. She didn't have long to wait.
Still, I find the situation rather reminiscent of that time down in the tunnels when he commented on your shirt. Interesting that your roles were reversed this time…
And that was when Rika turned up the volume on her headset, not wanting to hear the rest of what Renamon had to say, a small blush burning her face as she held onto her friends goggles.
Stupid Gogglehead… Rika thought fiercely as she fought down the heat that pervaded her face.
Takato scratched the top of his head as he turned the corner, checking the street signs to make sure that he was heading in the right direction. It felt kind of weird to him to not have his goggles strapped to his forehead, having the cool wind play across his face the way it was, his hair tickling the spot where his goggles normally sat. He was so used to wearing them now that he couldn't imagine going anywhere other than school without them. Well, maybe he should start treating life like school. It was starting to come up on him after all, and he needed to start figuring out what he was going to do with his life. His cousin, Kai had once asked him about what he wanted to do with his life, and the question had come up again on the day that Henry suggested to him and Rika his plan to send their partners messages in the digital world. He hadn't really thought about it much, but perhaps now would be a good time to do so…
"OH! TAKATO!" Shouted a voice so loud that Takato once again nearly froze in place. Turning with wide, surprised eyes Takato Matsuki felt his face go instantly warm as yet another familiar face approached him. Well, okay, maybe approached wasn't exactly the right word here, especially since the person that was now coming towards him was doing so at a rather rapid pace. Brown hair flew across the girls face as her golden eyes sparkled in excitement. The girl that Takato knew as Jeri Katou, his crush, was coming towards him with a happy, excited face that he had only seen once before back when she had chased her partner-to-be through the park, believing with an intense fervor that they were meant to be together. Looking closely, Takato could see that same intensity of emotion in her eyes, but only slightly tempered back by their friendship. As Jeri came to a stop in front of him and clasped her hands together, Takato fancied that he could see hearts dancing in her eyes as well, but maybe that was his imagination.
"Uh… heh, heh… f-fancy m-m-meeting you here, J-Jeri," Takato stammered out as he felt the temperature on his face go up another couple dozen degrees. Oh man… he felt so warm right now he was sure that he was going to melt…
"Takato…" Jeri said breathily and Takato's body temperature once again sky rocketed. He wasn't used to this kind of attention, least of all from his crush. And meeting two girls in one sitting who both apparently thought that he looked nice? This was starting to become a little too much for him.
At this rate I may end up dying before I even get to my appointment. And it will be from embarrassment! Terriermon's right… love hurts. Might as well take his advice and momentai already…
"Are you going to your job interview, Takato?" Asked Jeri, her eyes still looking dazzled at his appearance.
"Uh… um… Y-y-yeah. You know… um… for a… job… and… uh… a job… yeah…" Takato fought to keep his voice from breaking, but with the way that Jeri was looking at him it didn't look like he was going to be able to pull it off.
"Well, you certainly look like you're ready for it. I hope that you have the best of luck with it."
Once again Jeri fixed Takato with a dazzling smile, her eyes sparkling for all they were worth and Takato felt his heart melt under her gaze.
"And maybe later," purred Jeri like some kind of lioness. The redness in Takato's face deepened. "You and I can hang out together and…" Jeri's face suddenly became shy and she looked away. "…And um… maybe we could have… ice cream together?"
It was almost like a dream come true, and for Takato, who was the resident expert on dreams coming true this one couldn't have been any better. Not trusting his voice to answer for him Takato nodded as he rubbed the back of his head nervously. Jeri gave another giggle and swiftly passed by him, waving cutely at him.
"Great! See you later! And good luck!"
Takato watched his crush race off, and he felt his knees suddenly start to wobble unsteadily. Shaking his head, Takato tried to get a grip on himself and to take his mind off things he looked at the watch that his parents had given him before he left the bakery (Insurance they had called it, knowing full well his habits). What he saw immediately granted him the strength and control that he desired and he soon sped off.
"AHHHH! I'M GOING TO BE LATE!!!"
As Takato broke into a dead run, people stared after him, wondering faintly where the digimon was that had caused the boy to take off like that before shrugging and returning to their daily routines.