Sequins and Feathers
Category: Real Person Fic
Characters: Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding
Pairing: Noel Fielding/Julian Barratt
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Length: 1-5k words
Notes: New idea and still new to Boosh fics- Noelian seem to be easier for me to write than Howince.
No copyright infringement (or any other ill-feeling) intended- just flexing my writer’s muscles!
Sequins and Feathers by Emberwolf
Author’s Notes: New idea and still new to Boosh fics-Noelian seem to be easier for me to write than Howince.
No copyright infringement (or any other ill-feeling) intended-just flexing my writer’s muscles!
As it turned out, sequins don’t burn very well. Didn’t stop Noel trying though.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
The incredulous voice belonged to a slightly tipsy Julian, wide eyed and frozen in place as he surveyed the scene in front of him. A makeshift pyre popped and spat in disgust as the sullen figure on the other side of the flames flicked another sequin into the centre, then sent a feather fluttering down to join it for good measure.
“What’s it look like?” came the moody reply.
A dark sense of foreboding won over Julian’s initial shock and let him move a couple of steps closer. Noel’s absence hadn’t been picked up on for a while, though it appeared now that it had been long enough for him to set up this little ritual. No-one had been worried at first; Noel was a people-person, and could never walk from one end of a party to the other without having to stop and greet at least ten people on the way. Everyone had just assumed he was with another of his friends on his seemingly endless list. It was only when the DJ had made a shout out to ‘the brilliant boys of the Boosh’ that Julian had neglected to pick out Noel’s dulcet tones joining in with the cheers.
“Everyone’s wondering where you buggered off to. Mike thought you’d got lucky.”
That might have been a lie. Mike and Rich had been busy applauding and laughing at a semi-drunken Dave strutting his stuff on the dance floor, and Julian had thought better of interrupting them to point out Noel’s disappearing act. Despite Mike being the younger brother, he could worry every bit as much as a mother could when Big Brother went AWOL.
A barely perceptible shrug appeared to be the best response Julian was going to get right now. A second feather and what seemed to be a clump of black hair were offered up to the flames-the acrid smell that followed a few seconds later betrayed their synthetic nature. He was burning bits of the costumes.
End Notes: More to come soon-probably on my next quiet work shift.
Author’s Notes: Another short chapter, another kind of cliffhanger ending.
Trying not to take too deep a breath of the nauseating smoke, Julian made to circumnavigate the fire. As he drew closer, he was able pick out the bewitchingly blue eyes-now glazed and unblinking-and the near-flawless pale skin over high cheekbones and a strong chin. The more detail he took in, the more his chest started to tighten; and he had to admit, not all of it could be put down to the unusual and uncharacteristic behaviour of his younger friend.
“What’s up, Doc?”
Noel’s eyes flicked up to give Julian a look of ‘what the hell’, convincing Julian that the sentence maybe had sounded as corny out loud as it had done in his head. He heard Noel sigh deeply, and was surprised at how world-weary he sounded; Noel was laughter, sunshine, boyish fun. Julian was the one who’d been hit with some of the hardest of life’s knocks, and even he managed to keep such desperation from his outward persona. Mostly.
“I dunno. It was fun, but it was mad.” Noel’s voice was flat, lifeless. Julian closed the gap between them a little. “If I have to strut around in that bloody suit once more, I’ll go fucking mental.”
A fistful of sequins and torn scraps of ‘seaweed’ were hurled into the flames, sending angry sparks flying.
“I don’t even know who I’m meant to be any more; I spend more time as fictional prats than I do as myself, and it’s not funny any more.”
Julian was starting to understand. “It’s a long tour, I know,” he said carefully. “But you can’t let it take over your life–”
An indignant snort cut Julian off short, and he shot a meaningful look at his friend. “You know what I mean. We get to fuck about on stage, yeah-but that’s us, that’s what we’re like. Being up there’s just like a final rehearsal-we can afford to screw up the lines, piss about and play jokes on each other, because the people sitting out there will laugh and love it. If anything, we can be more ourselves up there than we can those ‘fictional prats’.”
There was a long silence, just the crackling of the flames and the distant ‘thud-thud’ of the bass from inside the club. Julian watched Noel shift position a little, feet rocking onto the outside of his boots and a slight flick of the head to move a stray strand of black fringe. And all the time, he just wanted to take his hands from his pocket and do something, anything, that might bring the roguish smile back to his friend’s face. Instead he stayed where he was, waiting for an angry retort, another defeated sigh-even a cold ‘Fuck off, Ju’ would have been better than the silence and the tightening in his chest that was getting more and more acute.
Author’s Notes: Final chapter, and a bit of artistic license taken with the ending.
The silence got awkward after ten seconds, and took a turn into unbearable by twenty. Resigned to the fact Noel was stuck in a dark rut, Julian shrugged and turned to head back. Somewhere in that bar was a very large gin and tonic with his name on it.
He’d barely taken one step when he felt something brush his sleeve. Looking down, four pale fingers had taken a light hold on his shirt, their warmth burning through to his own skin. Julian let his gaze follow the finger upwards, along an arm swathed in near skin-tight black fabric to a chest half hidden in the rest of the shirt. A wide ‘V’ of pale skin drew his eyes up to a face he knew all too well by now, even when it was painted green or black or pink. And a pair of blue eyes, those dazzling blue eyes–
The smile was slowly coming back to his face, and Julian’s fears melted.
“Anytime, little man.”
As Julian reached to ruffle Noel’s hair, the fingers closed tighter round his arm. Noel dodged the taller man’s outstretched hand as he always did, then swung his free hand round in a playful slap.
The hand was caught in a tight grasp mid-flight.
Both opened their mouths to say something, but neither managed to summon up a sound. They stood, a pair of guppies for a few seconds. Then suddenly, Noel was being pulled in towards Julian’s chest.
His forehead coming to rest lightly on his friend’s shoulder, Noel finally felt the most like himself as he had in a long time. And Julian had been right-all the sequins and feathers were just there as dressing, like the spring of parsley placed on top of a posh meal. Even covered in the trappings of the stage, he was no less himself than he was right now; standing in a car park in Liverpool wrapped in the arms of his closest friend.
The tightening in Julian’s chest was now unbearable. The embrace had given him a few moments’ respite, but hadn’t made the feeling fade altogether.
Taking a breath, he lifted his chin from its light resting place on Noel’s head. Pushing back ever so slightly, he bent and pressed a gentle kiss to his friend’s forehead.
The tightening was banished as he felt cheekbones rise in a satisfied smile against his arm.
Charred silver sequins and the remnants of torched feathers let off final gentle wisps of smoke, the fire stamped out and covered by loose earth. Two men turned and began to walk slowly towards the side entrance of the club-the arm of the taller man draped round the shoulders of the smaller, whose own left arm snaked round the middle of his companion’s back.
“They should kiss.”
“Howard and Old Gregg. Like, curtain closes, audience cheers for a few seconds, curtains pull back a bit to reveal Howard and Old Gregg having a snog.”
“What do you think?”
“I think we could manage that…”