Posted originally to Multiverse5000.
Prompt: Vila Restal & Cat, Makeover
Fandoms: Blake's 7/Red Dwarf
Word Count: 932
Summary: When Vila meets the Cat again, he's ready for a change of image. Since I wrote the Cat giving sartorial advice to Avon in the Blake's 7/Red Dwarf crossover Pleasure, I couldn't resist this prompt.
Time for a Change
It was always Vila who got sent down for supplies. He occasionally objected for the form of it, and had this time.
"You can acquire the local currency most easily," said Avon. "You got the permanent short straw," said Tarrant. "You blend in so well," said Soolin. "No one would bother looking at you twice," said Dayna.
Vila pulled a face as he moved through the market. Still, he didn't really mind. Never knew when you'd hit a planet that was worth deserting on. He placed an order for potatoes and rice to be delivered to the Third Chance's berth and paid with some of the cash he'd unofficially withdrawn from a bank the previous night. As he looked around for a spice vendor, a sudden flash of black and white drew his eyes. It wasn't Avon, but a man in a swirling snow-tiger striped coat over a scarlet satin outfit. Wasn't that...
"Cat! Hey, Cat!"
The Cat turned and peered at the crowd.
"It's me, Vila!"
"Remember me? You and Lister and Rimmer and Kryten and me on Space City, and Lister taking Servalan for a pleasure gelf? I'd think it was all a dream if Avon hadn't started wearing studs after that. I mean, I had a hard time remembering my own name when I woke up. I'm relieved I didn't imagine it!" Vila paused. "Did I?"
"Yeow, you're the guy who was all dressed in cream!"
Vila blinked. It was an odd thing to remember someone for.
"So your friend took my advice, then?"
"Not about the apricot," Vila said regretfully.
"Pity. It would lift black and silver, give it some pizzazz. Still, nothing says sensitive male like rows of tits." The Cat showed his pointed felines.
"You're right, absolutely nothing does! It's really more Rotweiler Avon’s going for. He's got gauntlets so studded, he can hardly move his fingers."
"But you though, what’s with those dull grey threads? That is just tragic! What're you going for with that look, little scared mouse? Because it’s making me hungry!"
"You think I should go back to the cream?"
"Nah. It said fresh-faced innocence, but let's face it, that was a few years ago. You're a bit past that now."
"Oh, thanks very much! I happen to have been through a lot since then, intergalactic invasion, almost being spaced, shot in the back. Which is only marginally better than in the front because you don't have time get worried. What about brown, then? I always thought I looked good in brown suede. Nice, warm comforting colour."
"No no no no!" The Cat showed the whites of his eyes. "Serious fashion mistake! You're all shades of brown already. You want to fade into the background?"
The Cat reeled back. "You like being ignored and unnoticed? Because, tell you what, I bet it's working!"
"Well, no, come to think of it." Perhaps it was time for a change. "All right, what would you suggest. Black? I look quite distinguished in black," said Vila, thinking of the Space Captain's uniform he had worn for such a short and rather unpleasant time.
"Too sombre. For a start, you need some contrast. But I'm the expert in stunning fashion statements." The Cat preened himself and pranced around Vila, one hand to his chin. "Perhaps a rich purple? Emerald maybe? No, too cold." He lifted a triumphant finger. "I have it! Turquoise!"
"Good God," said Avon, startled into a statement illegal across the Federated worlds. "Is that you, Vila?"
Vila was wearing a high-collared shirt in bright turquoise, a long form-fitting coat in purple trimmed with turquoise and a touch of gold, very tight matching purple trousers, and knee-high boots in a darker purple picked out with gold. His hair, artfully streaked with pale gold, was thickened, lightly trimmed, and combed forward in the style of Ancient Rome. Avon was even sure Vila was wearing makeup, being a long-time user himself. His cheekbones seemed more prominent, and his eyes a deeper brown.
"I don't know." said Vila, putting down shopping bags bulging with new clothes. He grinned. "I could be an alternate universe version called Lightning, or my hitherto unknown twin brother Aston."
"I would say that was impossible since you can't even use the third person about yourself, but on the other hand you seem to have joined the oldest profession in a management role."
"And this from the man who wore a red leather suit and was only prevented from putting shoulder spikes on it by me pointing out they'd get caught in doorways?"
Avon looked dignified. "Every garment you are wearing is quite acceptable, but as a combination, Vila, it is... somewhat overpowering."
Vila glared. "It suits me! The turquoise brings out the warm peach tones of my complexion!"
Avon felt shakily behind him for his flight chair and fell into it. "I did not hear that." He tried to pull his curious (and rather avaricious) gaze away from the shopping bags with their hints of rich green brocade, maroon velvet, and deep pink silk. "Just don't let the others see you."
"See what?" asked Soolin, coming in. "Oh!"
"Yes. I concur."
"Vila! You look..."
Vila grinned and struck a pose. "Dashing? Handsome? Devilishly attractive?"
"Strangely enough, yes." Soolin came closer. "I had no idea what lovely brown eyes you have."
Vila gave Avon a triumphant look, and Avon sunk his face in his hands. Vila gallantly offered his arm to Soolin and picked up his shopping bags. Things were looking up. Cat was right: clothes did make the creature.