In Those Jeans?

“Julian knew he was being cruel, but it was funny. Noel. Claustrophobic, in those jeans?” Noel gets himself into a tight spot. Julian finds it funny.


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Length: words

In Those Jeans? by spiderweb_kiss

Julian Barratt – resplendent in his purple Rudi robes – was hurrying down a whitewashed, strip-light illuminated corridor with a glass of flat champagne and a pair of oversized false teeth.

He was looking for Noel and had, so far, not met with much success. For a time, he’d been following a straggly trail of fallen sequins from the mirrorball suit, but the glittery path had long since dried up and he was now hurriedly, frantically traversing the corridors of Brixton Academy.

They’d finished filming the DVD. They’d finished the tour. The after party (during which voluminous amounts of salsa had been tipped down Julian’s street clothes, hence the robes) had even died down, and it was time to go home. And yet… No Noel. And so no home. Julian swore colourfully.

“Ju?” asked the cupboard he’d just passed.

Julian blinked, and stopped. It had been a long couple of months.

“Julian, you northern bugle!”

Taking a step forward and pressing his ear against the cupboard door, Julian experienced a tired, long-suffering epiphany. “Noel?” A loud crash and a naughty word from inside confirmed Julian’s worst fear, and he leant heavily against the wall. “Why,” he said, “are you in there?”

“I’m stuck, ‘ent I? In I walk, next thing I know the bleedin’ door’s shut on me.”

With a groan, Julian sank to the floor with his back against the door. “Well why did you get in there in the first place, you Cockney ponce?”

“General shits and giggles?” Noel tried.

“You were having a wank.”


Julian sighed and rolled his eyes, getting unsteadily to his feet and trying not to trip over the royal purple robes. “I’ll just go and find a caretaker–”

“Julian!” There was a thump as Noel put both palms flat on his side of the door, a hint of desperation creeping into his voice.

“What now?” Julian didn’t want to know. He wanted to find a caretaker, get Noel out, go home, not think about Noel shut in a dark hot cupboard bringing himself off–

“I’m–” Noel stopped, gentle rustling sounds betraying his nervous fidgeting inside the cupboard.

“No,” Julian said, disbelievingly. “You’re having a laugh. Small spaces?”

“Don’t make a fuss of it or nothing, just don’t leave me–”

“You wuss. Just stay there, I’ll be back soon!” Julian knew he was being cruel. But it was funny. Noel. Claustrophobic, in those jeans? “You just stay put. Oh, right, course you will…”

He paused, silent, counting. One… two… three…


“I’m still here, you fridge.”

“Thought you’d left me…” Noel laughed nervously from inside his cupboard. All this for a wank.

Julian sat back down again, realising that with no mobile handy, he had no choice but to wait with Noel until someone else came along. Sometimes, he mused, having a drama queen like Fielding for a best friend and comedy partner was a bit of a hassle.

“Still there?” Noel asked apologetically after a very long silence. Julian waited a bit before answering. A second too long, as it happened. “Julian?” Noel squeaked, panic rising in his throat.

“Easy there. Just waiting for a passerby to fetch the keys.” He felt bad for teasing Noel; the little man was genuinely terrified. Julian groped around for something to talk about other than confined spaces, to distract Noel with. “Go on then. How come it was suddenly so necessary to get your rocks off you had to shut yourself in a cupboard?”

Well. There went ‘not thinking about Noel pumping his fist’. Out the window like a rock star’s telly.

Noel didn’t answer right away. “Just…” Brazen it out, he told himself. “Y’know. One of them random boners. One moment you’re doing a finale under ten layers of green greasepaint and the next thing you know you’ve got a stiffy like a too-ripe banana… Not that I’ve had a boner since the Old Gregg finale!” Shut up, Noel… “Ah, bollocks…” Noel said softly.

Julian chuckled lowly, touching the back of his head to the door. He heard Noel slide down to the floor on the other side, and had an idea. He produced a crappy Biro from his inside pocket, along with his dog-eared lighting cues. In spidery, scribbly handwriting, he wrote a note on the back and slid it under the door.

“What’s this?” Noel asked, his voice tinted with childlike curiosity. He sounded vaguely amused now. “I can’t read it, you Yorkshire berk. No light.”

“It says ‘Noel Fielding pisses sitting down’.”

“Bollocks it does.”

“It does, put it in the light from the crack–”

“Yeah, good one, Ju. Light from the crack… It doesn’t say that.” Julian became aware of his heart pounding in his ribcage. “It says ‘Noel Fielding gives Julia–”

“Hi Mike,” Julian said loudly, standing up as the younger Fielding approached. Noel fell silent.

“Alright? What you doing?” Mike was running his hands through his chocolate hair, trying to enliven it after hours under Naboo’s sleek black wig.

“Noel’s trapped,” Julian told him.

Mike looked around. “Where?”

“Hi Mike,” Noel piped up from the cupboard.

Julian went to put his hands in his pockets, and found none. Stupid robes. “Spilled salsa on my street clothes,” he explained. “Can you go and fetch the keys?”

“To your clothes?”

“To the cupboard.”

Mike nodded absently and walked off.

Noel began reading again. “ ‘Noel Fielding gives Julian Barr–”

“Where from?” Mike was back.

“Caretaker. Two doors down from the green room.”

Noel waited a safe amount of time, burning inside. “He gone?”


“‘Noel Fielding gives Julian Barratt boners onstage.’”

Maybe he was waiting for Julian to say something first, or maybe he’d finally passed out from lack of oxygen combined with extreme claustrophobia. Either way, Noel had shut up for once in his life. Julian began to have a panic attack of his own.

Then, finally:

“When Mike comes back with the keys, do you want to get in this cupboard with me?”

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