Somehow this fell through the cracks and never got posted on Fanfiction

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This story is all Brit_Columbia's fault! Her stories put strange ideas in my head. They sneak into my subconscious, run around with my plot bunnies while I'm sleeping, and give me all sorts of weird dreams that turn into things like this!

Seriously, thank you Brit for letting me write this.

And yes, I too believe that Drake is a hockey fan!

Having raised two sons, the contents of Drake's closet are taken from real life. And one of them is a good looking hockey fan who owns several signed jerseys.

Disclaimer: Drake and JJ aren't mine. I'm just keeping an eye on them for Ms. Matoh, so they don't get into too much trouble.

Clothes Make the Man

JJ had been fidgeting all morning, sneaking glances at him, then sighing deeply. Every now and then it looked like he wanted to say something, but then thought the better of it. Drake had finally had enough. He leaned back in his chair and looked at his partner.

"What's up JJ? You wanna talk or something? You're doing a lot of heavy sighing over there."

JJ's face held a slight look of embarrassment, with a faint tinge of irritation at allowing himself to be caught. OK, how do I get around this one? Honesty is the best policy? I think not in this case. I just can't tell him he has lousy taste in clothes.

"Well, I was wondering if you were busy Tuesday, when we both have off. I thought maybe you might like to go shopping with me. I spotted this great new casual shop that I'm just dying to check out and thought you might like to keep me company. I hate shopping alone; and having someone else along for a second opinion is a good idea." JJ looked at Drake with questionable hope in his eyes.

JJ's statement surprised Drake. He'd never asked him to do anything like this before. He really hadn't planned anything for the day, other than to try to kill a 6-pack while watching whatever NHL teams were playing that night. What could it hurt?

"Sure, why not? Maybe I'll find something I like too. I could use a few new shirts."

JJ just beamed. "Thanks Drakey, I'll be over to get you around noon, OK? We can catch a quick lunch before we start marathon shopping." Half the battle was won. He was willing to look for new clothes too.

Marathon shopping? What have I gotten myself into? He said one shop, not all of New York. "What do you mean by marathon? How long are you planning to be out? I don't want to close up the shop…."

Oops! I slipped. "Its just a phrase, Drakey. I just meant that shopping will be the main purpose of the day. Nothing else. Jeez." Yeah, absolutely right. With a strong undercurrent of making my partner better dressed.

"And stop calling me Drakey!"

"Would you rather I call you Mr. Parker?" retorted JJ, with a smirk on his face.

Drake hung his head. Sometimes JJ could be so infuriating.

TUESDAY

JJ stood before Drake's door, having just rung the doorbell. Operation 'Dress Drake' was about to begin. He heard Drake yell, 'be right there' and waited for him to open the door. What he saw when the door opened took him completely by surprise.

"DRAKE! What are you wearing? You can't go out in public like that!"

Drake stood before him in a pair of faded, baggy jeans and an official Philadelphia Flyers Hockey Jersey. "Waddaya mean? This is my most valuable possession – it's my Robert Esche jersey. It was even game-worn! Cost me a bundle but it's worth every penny. It's even signed, see?" Drake turned and pointed to the signature on the back.

JJ sniffed haughtily. "I hope it was washed before you bought it. Wearing someone else's sweat-soaked shirt isn't my idea of a treasure." Pushing Drake aside he let himself in. "You're not going with me dressed like that."

"But I dress up every day for work. Why do I have to dress up on my day off?"

JJ ignored his whining and grabbed Drake's wrist, dragging him along as he quickly heading for the bedroom. "Let me see what you have in your closet."

"JJ! Wait a minute…." But it was too late, JJ had already dragged him into the bedroom.

"Sit," said JJ as he pushed him down on the bed. "Now stay. Good Drakey. JJ wants to check out this closet."

Drake was speechless, his mouth opening and closing but with nothing coming out. How had this turned into an invasion of his personal space? The sound of hangers being moved was the only sound that broke the silence for several minutes.

JJ recognized most of the clothes; what he didn't recognize was the state of said clothing. "Drake, this shirt has a stain on the front."

"Yeah, but it doesn't show if I don't take off my jacket. That's my favorite shirt, so I can't just trash it."

"What about these with the missing buttons? "

"A tie hides it –I lost the buttons. I use a tie-tack to hold it together, or if I have to use a safety pin, the tie definitely hides that."

"And this one with the threadbare elbows?"

"I leave my jacket on."

"… and the frayed cuffs?"

"That shirt's for off days, when I can roll up the sleeves."

Should I even look at the slacks? This pair looks funny ....

"Come on JJ, you can't tell me you don't have any old shirts or that buttons never went missing on any of …."

"DRAKE! THESE SLACKS ARE STAPLED TOGETHER AT THE SEAM!?! AND THIS HEM IS SCOTCH TAPED IN PLACE?!?

Drake's face turned pink. "Huh, oh yeah. The seam split at work and I didn't know what to do other than staple it. I'll get around to fixing it sometime soon. Anyway, it doesn't show under the jacket. And the hem I caught on a loose nail at that crime scene last week. I would have noticed it when I washed them again. Though the tape does hold real well, a couple washings at least."

The man is unbelievable! "Do you wear these – these – 'clothes' for lack of a better word – when you're dating?"

Drake offered a vague nod, starting to become annoyed with JJ's manner. "Yeah, what's wrong with my clothes? They're clean, maybe a little old, but what's the problem?"

JJ just held his forehead, trying to soak in the naiveté of his partner. "Now I see why you can't keep a girlfriend. I think this shopping trip for me has just done a 180 and now points in your direction."

"Huh?"

"Drakey, my boy, if the gift isn't wrapped up pretty the lady won't want to open it. Wrapping an orchid in a used paper bag distracts from the orchid. Get it? Maybe you don't see anything wrong with how you're dressed but others do, especially ladies." And your fashion-conscious partner that's stuck with you for at least 8 hours a day.

After doing a quick run-through the dresser drawers and categorizing the poor state of his remaining pieces of wearing apparel JJ had a mental list that would make any shop owner grovel at their feet.

JJ selected a nice. fairly new off-white Henley to go with the snappy brown wool tweed slacks he found pushed to the back of the closet, and after adding Drake's leather bomber jacket he deemed Drake acceptable to be seen with him in public. The treasured hockey jersey was left lovingly folded on the end of the bed.

"Make sure you bring a credit card. We're going to need one with the state of your wardrobe."

Lunch was a quick stop at the local delicatessen. It was going to be a busy afternoon. And it would be a marathon shopping trip. The man needed everything. He had a few of each item that were salvageable, but most needed replacing. And coordinating. A few sets each of black, grey, and brown. Lots of mix-and-match colors for when something gets ruined in the line of work. His shoe collection was good since that was one item Drake didn't skimp on. They had to do too much footwork to wear cheap shoes. He had four good pair, two brown and two black, and all were fairly new. Sneakers didn't count.

After getting Drake over the sticker shock in the first store, it got a little easier to get him to try things on. JJ wasn't looking at the best quality; he knew that Drake wouldn't go for that. Even he didn't wear his best clothes to work. You never knew when you would have to run down a dirty, wet alley after a suspect that didn't want to be caught. Or get hit with a flying trash can thrown by said suspect. Or worse.

Drake thought about it, and it had been a long time since he went on a buying spree for clothes. Usually he bought something because he didn't have enough to last a week without having to do laundry, or that favorite shirt he always wore finally had to be trashed and nothing else could replace it. He never intentionally went out to buy a lot of clothes.

So, between JJ's compliments on how good the clothes looked on him and his own pleasure of seeing how nice he DID look and feel, Drake bought a new wardrobe. By the end of the day Drake was even suggesting new items to purchase, rather than just following JJ's lead. They actually did manage to close up the shops that night, with only a short break for dinner. JJ's car was filled with the shocking amount of packages Drake amassed, but despite the cost he went home a happy guy. Maybe clothes do make the man. He'd know once he found another girlfriend.

JJ managed to purchase a few odd things, mainly so Drake didn't catch on that there never was a 'new casual store', the supposed goal of the day that had started the whole excursion. But then, JJ always appreciated new clothes. One can never have too many nice things.

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JJ had been fidgeting all morning, sneaking glances at him, then sighing deeply. Every now and then it looked like he wanted to say something, but then thought the better of it. Drake had finally had enough. He leaned back in his chair and looked at his partner.

"NOW what's up JJ? You wanna talk or something? You're doing a lot of heavy sighing over there and I'm feeling déjà vu over here. The last time you did this it cost me over two grand."

Maybe I made a mistake dressing him like that. But now I have some personal eye candy that can't run away from me. I've just got to stop thinking about those leopard print bikinis he bought.

"Nothing, Drakey, just nothing. And, by the way, you really look good today."

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Additional Author Note: Recently my daughter-in-law won a raffle at a local AHL hockey game, the prize being a game-worn jersey. The player skated over, took off the jersey, and handed it to her. They don't wash 'em folks!