Characters: Edgar Frog, Sam Emerson
Synopsis: Sam thinks Edgar cares more about how he looks than he lets on.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Lost Boys
Edgar rolled his eyes as he looked up to see Sam Emerson enter the comic shop with a grin on his face. It wasn't that he didn't want to see Sam, but Alan had gone out, it was a slow day, and he had been planning on catching up on his reading. It wouldn't do if a customer tried to talk to him about the latest plots and he had to bluff his way through.
Sam sauntered through the store toward him, and Edgar gritted his teeth. Everything in the shop looked exactly the same as ever. The new issues had just come out, but Sam hadn't seen them yet, so he had no idea what he was talking about. He was going to have to humor him. “What is?” he asked.
“You, idiot,” Sam told him. As he passed the new issues shelf, his eye lingered over the Superman comics and he reached out and grabbed one without slowing his pace.
Edgar frowned. “Me?”
“New bandanna, right?”
Sam reached the cash desk, put his comic down, turned around and hopped up onto the hard surface, got himself comfortable, and then opened the book at page one. Edgar was still staring at him.
“Right?” Sam asked again, with a knowing smile.
“Um,” Edgar turned a page of his comic and stared at the action scene intently. “Yeah. So?”
“So it looks good,” Sam told him. “I mean, it looks exactly the same as always, but it's a little less faded. Brighter colors suit you, you know.”
Edgar fingered the strip of material that ran down the back of his neck from the knot. “I don't really care about what looks good, Sam. It's functional.”
Sam smirked and turned to glance at him incredulously before returning his attention to Superman.
“What?” asked Edgar.
Sam didn't reply. He turned another page.
Edgar shrugged and demonstrated his lack of interest by reaching across the desk to switch on the old black and white TV. The screen exploded in static and a burst of white noise filled the room until he turned down the volume to zero. He pushed a cassette into the VCR under the counter and some old B movie from the '50s began to play.
“You care too much about looks,” Edgar informed him. Today, Sam was dressed in blue jeans and a bright red t-shirt covered by a blue and yellow shirt. It was too warm out for him to need one of his hideous jackets. His hair had been as meticulously styled as always, every strand carefully placed in its proper position, stiffened with mousse and finally fixed into place by half a can of hairspray. It wasn't that Sam didn't look good, but he really did care what people thought.
Sam's mouth opened and his eyes widened in an expression stuck half way between hurt and amusement. “Me? Seriously? Look who's talking.”
“What?” Edgar frowned. He and Alan were the least fashionable people in the whole town. Just to check that he hadn't somehow slipped into a parallel universe without noticing, he glanced down and saw that he was still dressed in his favorite combat pants, army boots, a black t-shirt and his sleeveless denim jacket. “What?” he repeated.
Sam put down his comic book and slid from the surface of the desk, spinning around as he did so that he landed facing Edgar. “Are you serious?” Sam asked. “You're the most image conscious person I know.”
“I don't know the first thing about fashion,” Edgar told him. He folded his arms defensively, his comic book now forgotten on the desk in front of him.
“I didn't say fashion. No one cool cares about fashion. It's all about image, and you, my friend, have one hell of an image to maintain. This grungy, military meets denim thing you've got going on? The way you wear your hair? And are you aware that I've never even seen you without a bit of material tied around your head, Rambo style?”
Edgar shook his head as he felt heat in the skin of his face and hoped that the blush wasn't visible. “It's functional,” he repeated. “My hair's too short to tie back, and when you're fighting vampires you need it not in your face. What am I supposed to do, pigtails?”
Sam grinned at the image, but shook his head. “If you want to, I'd like to see that. But no. Why not cut it short?” he asked. “I mean, if it's just functional, why not get a pair of scissors and hack off those lovely locks?”
Folded arms tightened slightly and he felt his hands clench against his will.
“It's okay,” Sam said. “I don't want you to. I think you look great. Seriously, don't change a thing. But don't kid yourself that you're not trying to maintain an image. You even co-ordinate your headbands with your outfits. Different colors with different shirts. Did you really think I wouldn't notice that?”
“I don't do that,” Edgar told him.
“Think about it.”
Edgar did. And he realized to his horror that Sam was right. It wasn't all the time, but often he did wear the same things together.
His face was definitely red now, he could feel it radiating heat into the room.
“I can't believe you noticed that,” he said.
Sam shrugged. “I can't believe you didn't.”
Edgar fell into silence, thinking. He turned his attention back to his comic book. Superheroes were careful about how they looked too. They weren't fashionable, the average person wouldn't walk down the street dressed as Superman or Batman, but they had an image, and it worked for them. Maybe he was in good company after all.
Sam was stood watching him, the comic book he had taken from the shelf still in his hand. “You okay?” he asked. “I didn't mean to shatter your world view or anything.”
Edgar glared at him. “I'm fine. I'm just trying to read this comic, if you don't mind.”
“Sure.” Sam shrugged, he raised his own comic in the air so that Edgar could see what it was. “I'm taking this one. Put it on my tab, okay?”
Edgar gritted his teeth again and wondered whether the rapidly expanding tab would ever be paid. “Where are you going?” he asked.
“Just to the mall,” he paused a beat. “Wanna come?”
“I don't go to to mall,” Edgar informed him.
Sam allowed a grin to spread slowly across his face. “Of course not. You've got an image to maintain.”