Valencia Panache
#1
They were doing this! Jamaal had never been in a store so full of color in his life, and it had him just a bit purple-eyed to behold it all. Who knew men could wear more than a plain black tux?

"Dude," he said to both dudes after the shop dude left them to peruse the selections. "The price tags on these things are..."

A lot??
#2
It was, he had to admit, more fun to look at than a bunch of tuxedos. But it was more nervewracking. What if he accidentally picked something considered really tacky and he just didn't know? Showed up to the wedding and Asha's entire family came together to frown at him.

"Don't sweat it," he said. "Uh. Asha's family is covering it."

Was it weird to say that? He hoped it would make everyone involved feel better and not like they needed to consider Abraham's personal budget, which wasn't the best. He spoke quietly, nervous about being overheard, as if he was saying something scandalous.

"We gotta find two each. First can be any color you want. Second is matchy-matchy."
#3
The more he'd let himself be okay with all this, the more Wallace was genuinely okay with this. Truthfully, it was pretty neat! And he was learning things, too, on top of getting to hang with his guys and have a pretty good time.

It was weird, yes, and far outside the comfort zone he inhabited daily, but for a special occasion he could do this and enjoy it.

Wallace had told himself not to look at price because he'd be tempted to offer to help out if he did, he was sure, but... hey! That was good news. Parents were great. Wallace sort of tended to forget most of them even had parents. Adults + secretive lifestyle = kind of abandoning those sorts of normal things. Had he ever heard anything about Asha's family beyond her being adopted? He couldn't even recall.

These thoughts occupied him briefly as he stared at the walls, unsure of where to even... start. Color! What's your favorite color, Wallace! Actually, really, he wasn't sure he had a good answer for that in his own heart. He wasn't particular. "So green on the second day, right?" He was still wrapping his head around things. But he'd have this all figured out and feeling natural by February.
#4
Oh. Huh. That was an interesting... thing. He realized that parents covered these things, but he'd spent so long villainizing and then begrudgingly accepting the existence of this woman in his friend's life that the idea that she had generous parents kind of felt incongruent.

"Think so. What if I wore..." he pondered, then pointed to a sherwani wrapped in plastic. He thought the design was pretty cool..?
#5
Abraham nodded, Jamaal confirmed. Party the first day, classy the next. Though he understood there'd be parties both days.

And leave it to the youngest one to pull out something first. He leaned in to look closer, and whoaaaa.

Whoaaaaaa.

"That's sharp," he said. "Me and Wallace got a problem, and it's that you're gonna show us up."

Looked all... princely.
#6
Dude, for real. Jamaal had an eye for this while Wallace felt mostly just overwhelmed by choices. And maybe unknowingly feeling a bit like Abraham--just pretty sure he was going to get something wrong.

"Not a problem for me, I'd rather everyone look at this guy than me. I can be best man and Jamaal can be best dressed."
#7
Pfffft. Buncha babies.

"I mean, you shoulda thought of that before you got so tall?" he ribbed Wallace. "I'm gonna try it on."

He went to go find the, uh. Changing room.
#8
He laughed. Jamaal had a point. Sorry, Wallace, but you were a walking billboard for your own existence.

"Good luck," he said to the kid, then was left here with Wallace, pondering. Flipping through colors and patterns. It was cool not to have to wear something specific day one? Led to some... freedom. His work was a little aimless until a sudden pause, whipping out a specific plastic wrapped set.

"From me, to you," he said, holding it beside him and offering a Vanna White style sweep of his hand. Purple, Wallace! Like your eyes!
#9
Yeah, don't remind him about the tall thing. :(

Jamaal went off to be the most reasonable person here and get to the task. Wallace was left to feel vaguely overwhelmed and follow Abraham like he was a mother hen because that was a little easier than picking anything with confidence he didn't feel.

Which was giving Abraham all the power, which just put him in position for exactly this. He knew why this was the color without Abraham saying a goddamn thing!

What made it worse was he... didn't hate it.

"Fuck you," said lowly because they were in public and a nice establishment. "That's actually kind of cool." >:[
#10
Meanwhile, Jamaal was hanging out in the fitting room. And like. Getting it on wasn't too hard. Except the pants. Surprise, the pants had a drawstring? And he wasn't used to that. Silk pants didn't stretch, huh. But he managed it, he thought.

Carry on :3
#11
Yeah, Wallace. It was a joke, but it was also a look. He thrust it toward the taller cat, groomzilla. (His jaguar blast in accordingly, all stupid animal noise.)

"Yeah. I feel like everything here is made to make you look like royalty," he said, as if any of their trio was anything approaching royal. Having handed off the purple to Wallace whether the guy wanted it or not, he rifled through a few, pulled out one he didn't intend to wear but had to comment on.

"Look, I can be a military general." That's what he decided it looked like. In a good way. "Why am I not wearing this all the time?"
#12
Wallace took it, begrudgingly wanting it, privately worried that nothing here would fit him very well because... that was how his life went...

But they'd figure that out. Surely he wasn't the only tall fool to have ever wandered in here.

Eying the one Abraham had found, though, he grinned. "You'd do it but then you'd have to deal with everyone respecting you based on appearance, and we can't have that."
#13
Buttoning himself up, he found the fabric to be like. Nice. Nice, okay? Brocade had a build to it.

Jamaal poked his head out, a little shy.

"Y'all choose anything yet?" he called. Assumed they'd like, hear him.
#14
Wasn't that the truth, Wallace. He laughed, put it back just in time to hear Jamaal.

"Wallace has!" he said. Then looked to his tall friend and jerked a thumb toward a dressing room. "Go try it on. I'll find something."

Or so he hoped.

If everyone split off, he would find... something that unexpectedly called to him after a little more browsing, then run off to try it on secretly. >:[
#15
Wallace was feeling self conscious in a way that was natural. It would be unnatural to go into this sort of situation and throw anything and everything on and strike a pose and demand to be admired. Normal, sane people got bashful, at least.

Jamaal was sane. As he approached with his own prize in hand he spied the young man doing a peek.

"You good?" If he was good he'd... go do the thing they were doing. Dress up but for grown ups.
#16
Wow no one wanted to look, huh? Fine >:'[

"Yeah, I think," he nodded, then watched Wallace head off. Well. He felt pretty comfortable in this, though the tailor approached and asked if he was ready. Jamaal nodded. Might as well commit to this? Or. Was it too much?

Nah. Stop second guessing. Everyone liked it. He did snap a picture, to send to Ash later.

But anyway, he'd be standing on a small stool, getting his measurements and adjustments pinned whenever one of them popped back out.
#17
He'd missed Jamaal poking his head out entirely until he was sneaking off to his own dressing room. Didn't realize the kid was looking to start showing off when he passed by, though it made Abraham all secretive about his choice, okay.

It took him a bit to change into it, and with every passing second, there was greater doubt. The look was kind of like. A different him! A previous him! One he thought Asha might like. But it also looked just like a hotel curtain.

But he'd come as far as putting it on, finding it a little too long, a little too loose. Sleeves not quite right.

Stepping out in his Choice Look, he approached Jamaal with some reluctance. Except.

"Look at you!" he cheered, feeling unexpectedly very...

Feelings! About seeing Jamaal dressed up like that.
#18
They were all rustling around, doing their best. If they were ladies maybe they would have been in the dressing rooms with each other, helping tug things into place or whatever. But they weren't. So Wallace got to feel awkward all on his own. The top actually fit pretty well. The sleeves hit about right, which was a relief, though it was clearly intended for someone... a little heavier. This was fixable.

And the color was nice. He wouldn't tell Abraham this but it was hard to deny he didn't look bad at all in purple.

The pants though. It was as he'd feared. They weren't atrocious, but they were a little... floody. High on the ankle. His legs looked ready for a prance down the beach.

He'd be out in a minute here.
#19
He was only a little bit startled by Abraham's return, and mostly it was in looking back at him and seeing the... COLOR! That he'd chosen??

"Yo waaaaat?? Look at you!" he looked so. PINK! But for some reason it kinda worked??? "Dude, how you pull that off?"

Wallace wasn't out yet, but... hopefully soon??
#20
He felt a half second of fear as Jamaal's expression came together. Because surprise could come before delight, or before horror. Or like. He could look delighted but it was because it was funny how bad it was!

It wasn't that Wallace was unstylish. (Hmmmm.) It was more that Jamaal was young and someone both Abraham and Wallace would agree to be the coolest one of the group. So his opinion was the one with the most power but also highest fear factor.

After that second, though, it was all grins. Sheepish, and he ran a hand through his hair.

"Just naturally very fashionable?" he said, voice high but pleasant surprised himself as he turned modelingly in place.
#21
Wallace could hear too well to not hear Jamaal. This hurried him up a bit to get out there, to see for himself before Abraham found a reason to go slink away and not show him. :(

So he went slinking out, trying to be inconspicuous but failing as he often did. He was a tall man in a very handsome purple coat thing. And a lot of visible, dark-haired ankle. Don't look at him, look at, "Abraham, damn." No seriously, Jamaal was right, how did that even work? It was the hair. The distinguished grey hair and the skin tone.

"Why were we ever considering tuxes?"
#22
"Yeah ya are," he agreed, and that was about when Wallace appeared. Wallace in royal purple was a total LOOK.

Jamaal gave a whistle of approval, agreeing with that comment.

"I dunno, but I dig this. Way more comfy."
#23
They were a very stylish trio. Abraham felt an unexpected giddiness, bright and boyish.

"Me too," he said of comfort. "Too bad Wallace is gonna break the bank with ankle fabric."

Abraham kicked out one foot of his own, as if his pants weren't slightly too long. Don't worry about it.

"I'm afraid the girls are going to get mad we outdressed them," he said. Then felt kind of fond about that too? The girls?! What the hell, Abraham.
#24
He'd just take Abraham's excess fabric. It would be fine.

But yeah, definitely... getting these adjusted. Whoops. He tried to look like it didn't bother him.

"They can get mad. I'm not afraid of them."

He beamed over at Jamaal, though. "You look dark and mysterious in the best way." Wasn't afraid to compliment, maybe the giddiness was infectious all around.
#25
Jamaal snorted into a laugh at that. The ankle thing. And also the girls.

It reminded him to ask a question, actually, but Wallace caught him with a sort of compliment that tickled him.

"It's 'cuz I'm black, right?" he asked, held it for just enough of a second before anyone could say something, and then laughed again, smoothly moving it along. "Naw I'm kidding. I think we all look way too good for this wedding. But like — obviously, yours is the bride —" to Abraham, then looked to Tiger Man, "Your girlfriend dressing up like this too? Or like. Is she gonna wear whatever she wants?"
#26
Wallace was definitely afraid of girls. Abraham was certain on this. He huffed to Jamaal's first joke, and then-

OOooooooOoooOOoOooooooOOOOOH.

WaLLaCe's GiRLfRIenD. Abraham waited for a denial, eyebrows raised in suspense. Suspended!
#27
Abraham and his eyebrows would not need to be suspended for long.

"Whoa, hey, no girlfriend," was the immediate and very uhm... insistent rejection of the world. Absolutely not, no sir, he wasn't going to let himself fall into that trap even if he was more inclined to be nice to Jamaal and his assumptions than he would have been to Abraham on the same matter. "But if you're asking about Kara," dude, if you know who the kid is talking about... "I don't even know if she's coming?"

She knew Asha, but did that make for an invite? No clue. They literally had not talked about it even once.
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