The Hand of Fashion

Hikaru more or less dares Akira to go shopping. Written purely because I think it’s a crime to see someone so good looking dress so badly, and I bet Hikaru would agree. Humor, I-2

Akira was used to he and Shindou tearing apart each other’s games, but he’d never honestly expected Shindou to start on his clothes.

"Seriously, Touya, that blue suit makes you look like a salaryman."

"Supposing it did, why is this your business?"

Shindou put his hands on his hips. "You’re a pro; you should look like it. Ogata-sensei has style. Even your dad has style. I can’t have my rival looking like he doesn’t know how to dress."

Akira was starting to get more indignant than startled. "As if you have any room to talk, when you show up to your matches in tee-shirts!"

"Hey, these have a lot of style!"

Akira settled back, a bit smug. "Even if they do, what makes you think you can pick out good styles in formal clothing?"

Shindou glared. "I bet I could."

"You never have before."

"I could!"

"Prove it!" They were nose to nose now, leaning over the table.


As Shindou stomped out of the salon, growling, and Akira stalked after him, he heard Ichikawa-san sigh, "I’d thought they’d grown out of that."

He couldn’t imagine why she would think that; not as long as Shindou was Shindou.

Akira waved a hand at the racks of sober suits. "So. Go ahead and try. Find something stylish." He said the last word as if it had been dipped in a sauce he didn’t like.

Shindou snorted. "Easiest thing ever." He made for the nearest rack and started paging quickly through the jackets. Akira wasn’t surprised when a clerk approached them; he’d have wanted to protect the merchandise from Shindou, too.

"Can I help you sirs?"

"Ah, we’re just…" Akira started, only to be interrupted by a jacket landing half on top of the clerk.

"Yeah, take that. Oh, and this one, and these slacks." Two more items were tossed over the clerk’s arm. "Take those to a changing room, would you? Thanks."

Akira and the clerk both stared, startled, as Shindou trotted to the next rack. He paused and looked back.

"Well? What are you waiting for, Touya? Go try them on."

"If you would, please," Akira murmured, a bit dazed, to the clerk, watching Shindou efficiently ransacking a shelf of shirts.

Akira stood in front of the mirror, tugging at the cuffs of a shirt. "Black suit, white shirt… Shindou, I look like I’m going to a funeral!"

"Ah, that’s just to start with. Here, try this tie."

Akira gave the tie in question a resigned look and knotted it swiftly. Shindou squinted at the result and made thoughtful noises. "Nah, wrong jacket, that’s what it is. Try the shorter one. And the gray shirt."

"All black?"

"Why not? Ogata-sensei wears all white."

"That’s Ogata-sensei! He’s… he’s taller."

"What? I bet you’d look good in all white, too. Hang on!"

Akira rubbed his forehead as Shindou made for the racks again.

"Oh, yeah, there we go!"

Akira frowned. "Shindou, this is getting awfully informal."

"No it isn’t. It’s style, I told you. You definitely want a band-collar shirt. It’s perfect."

"So now I’m going to a casual funeral," Akira said dryly, examining his black pants and jacket.

"Not with a blue shirt you’re not. Trust me."

Akira shot his friend a dire look. "If you make me into a laughingstock at official matches, I will hunt you down."

Shindou sighed excessively and leaned against the wall, crossing his arms. "Touya, you’ll look good. And you need every edge you can get against people like Ogata-sensei, right? This is one you can use. So use it!" He grumbled under his breath, "Ogata-sensei sure does."

Perversely, that made Akira feel better.

"All right, fine. I’ll get this and a couple of shirts. Happy?"

"Sure!" Shindou straightened, grinning. "Now we just need to hit the casual section to get some tee-shirts. And turtlenecks maybe. And jeans, Touya, you really need to have some jeans. You look like a banker, even when you’re not in that suit."

Akira thought wistfully, as he was towed to the next department, of the days when he and Shindou had fought every time they met. It had been so much simpler.

"Dark gray denim, perfect! Try these on, Touya."

So very much simpler.