Category: The Mighty Boosh
Pairing: Howard Moon/Vince Noir
Challenge: Challenge 06: Boosh on Tour
Length: 1-5k words
Charm by lieja
After a particularly tough morning tending to a sick hedgehog, Howard was looking forward to a jazz lunch. Just him, his records and a packet of crisps. As it was barely lunchtime, Howard fully expected Vince to be happily wasting the day in bed, leaving him alone. No such luck. As soon as he had closed the hut door behind him, Vince pelted out of the bathroom with a wide grin planted firmly on his face, hairbrush in one hand and a sparkly Stetson in the other. Howard wasn’t given a chance to open his mouth before the hairbrush was thrown at him, and everything went black. And sparkly. Pulling off the hat, Howard watched in silent horror as his friend treated him to a full on display of his newest outfit.
“You’ve lost it. Even by your standards.”
“What are you talking about? The glam hippy look is going to be massive this year! Just you wait and see.”
“Glam hippy? Are you mental? You can’t make hippy ‘glam’. We’ll be overrun with greasy haired tree huggers demanding you’re burnt at the stake.”
Throwing the hat back at Vince, Howard walked towards the kitchen trying to ignore Vince’s moronic twirling, as he tried in vain to get a good look at his own star spangled arse.
“Yeah, well. What do you know? You’ve got no idea about style. I, on the other hand, am a master.”
“Have you eaten all the cheese and onion?”
“See, I’ve been headhunted. Some bloke saw me strutting my stuff on the dance floor last night, and gave me his card. Turns out he’s recruiting new models, and couldn’t resist a bit of The Noir magic.”
“Modelling? That’s just up your street, that is. Posing for the camera in skimpy flares and tie-dyed t-shirts while the rest of us do some proper work.”
“Proper work? You call playing jazz to some pandas ‘proper work’? You’ve gone wrong. Modelling is what I was made for. I’m perfect for it. Troy said so. And it isn’t posing for a camera, it’s proper catwalk stuff. I’ll get to travel, find my fortune on the fashion highway. The groupies’ll be a nightmare at first, but I’ll learn to live with it.”
Shoving a business card at Howard, Vince bounced off into his bedroom, returning a good six inches taller in a pair of high heeled, platform hippy sandals.
“What d’ya reckon?”
Howard stared, speechless. He didn’t know which was worse; Vince’s new friend ‘Troy’, his indifferent attitude towards leaving him behind, or the sight of Vince hovering above him in his new ‘creations’.
“You’re leaving the zoo? What am I supposed to do on my own? I’m a social creature, Vince. I need companionship. I can’t live here on my own. My work will suffer. Think of the zoo.”
“I am thinking of the zoo. Picture the scene when we get back. Hundreds of girls flocking to the zoo, hoping for a glimpse of The Noir. The place will be flooded. Fossil won’t know what’s hit him. You never know, you might get a few groupies yourself. Old people go to fashion shows too.”
“Old people? How dare you. I can attract girls. I just choose not to. I scale down the old Moon charm. If I scaled it up, you wouldn’t know what’d hit you. I’m a sex magnet. I try my best to repel.”
“So you’ll come with me? I can teach you some tricks. Lend you a girlfriend. I’m sure I’ll have a few to spare.”
Scowling, Howard flicked Vince’s ‘PrettyBoy Modelling’ card back at him, and strutted into his room.
“Yeah, I’ll be there. And I’ll show you how it’s done. I don’t need clothes to attract the ladies, I’ve got The Charm. I turn it on, they fall at my feet. It’s like a stampede. People have been known to drown when Monsoon Moon gets his Charm on.”
The following morning, Vince was up before Howard. Preening himself in the bathroom for two hours straight had obviously taken its toll, as he was fast asleep on the kitchen table when Howard made his big entrance. Clearing his throat loudly, Howard struck a pose in the doorway.
“God, Howard, that’s the best you could do? You look like you’ve climbed out of the nineteenth century. You’re going to a fashion show, not a re-enactment.”
Running a hand through his new quiff, Howard smirked as he looked down over his outfit. Okay, it was a bit dated. But it was a classic. Frilled cuffs and a cravat never go out of fashion. At least he hoped not any time soon, his suitcase was full of them.
As it turned out, Vince was right. He had girls falling at his feet, while Howard was the laughing stock of the show. Something had happened to his Charm. Maybe it’d got bored with never being used and wandered off? Maybe he’d used it all up? Nah, he’d only used it once and that had been a disaster. He’d aimed it in the wrong direction and hit a fox by mistake. At least he knew it worked, the fox couldn’t keep her eyes off him.
After a week on the road, Howard was missing the zoo. He missed the animals. Heck, he was even missing Fossil. But more than anybody else, Howard was missing Vince. He barely saw him for five minutes a day, and even that was to do his laundry or hold up a mirror while he backcombed his hair. By the second week, Howard had made up his mind. He was going to find his Charm and get back in the game. He knew it had to be out there somewhere, he just needed to find it. He knew how he was going to do it, too.
That night, Howard caught up with Vince on his way to the after show party. Wearing his very best suit and tie, he definitely looked the business. More ‘business meeting’ than anything else, but very dapper all the same. He’d even got rid of the quiff, replacing it with his usual scruffy mop. He thought it looked endearing.
“What are you doing here? C’mon Howard, someone will see us together. Do you know what that would do to my street cred? I can’t be seen to socialise with the roadies, I’ll be outcast.”
“Well thanks, Vince. I thought it’d be fun, I could show you some of my moves. We haven’t done anything in ages, lets have a night off, eh?”
“Night off? In this business? No way. You can come if you want, but I’ll still be grafting. I need to keep it up, give my public what they want. Just give me some space, yeah?”
“Fine. Just don’t come crying to me when The Moonster’s nicked your groupies, and they’re fawning all over me instead.”
With that, Howard stalked out of the lobby and into the street, before realising he didn’t know where he was going.
After a few drinks, Howard was getting into the swing of things. He was chatting to what he thought were two lovely young ladies, but they could have easily been just one old man. His double vision and slurred speech weren’t stopping him, though. He was on a roll. He could feel it coming back to him. His Charm was returning. All it took was a few pints of dutch courage.
Vince, on the other side of the room, was not enjoying himself. He’d been told to tone himself down, or leave. Apparently he’d been making the other models look ‘plain’. Tone down? Did they know who they were speaking to? He was Vince Noir, professional fashion victim. He stared with disgust at his manager, casually chatting away to the rest of the guys. Well he didn’t need them anymore. He could make it on his own, wowing the fashionably under privileged world with his unique sense of style. He was Vince Noir, after all.
Draining the last of his cocktail, Vince headed towards the bar for another. He was going to have a good time, however much he regretted it in the morning. He stopped next to Howard, who was happily chatting up a statue on the bar. Tapping him on the shoulder, Vince grinned his best grin, and hoped his friend wasn’t too drunk to recognise him.
“Vincey, buddy, have you met Tricia? She’s a bit quiet, but who could blame her. I think she’s in awe.”
“Yeah Howard, she’s great. Want another drink?”
Shouting for the barman, Vince stood on his toes and leaned over the bar.
“Where’re all your model pals? Are you too good for them as well as me?”
“Shut up Howard. I’m having a rough time. They’re thinking of kicking me out.”
Howard suppressed a smile, and tried his best to look sympathetic. He knew Vince well enough by now to know when he was upset.
“Sorry Tricia, another time. The little man needs me.”
An hour or so later, Vince was smiling again. It could have been the steady stream of alcohol, but he’d never been so happy to sit and have a drink with Howard. After a few verses of ‘cocktail shaker man’ he was feeling good about himself again. Howard looked much better too, although that could have been down to the distinct lack of quiff. There was definitely a sparkle in his eye that Vince hadn’t seen for a while.
As the night wore on, Vince found himself engrossed in Howard’s conversation. That had never happened before, he usually did all the talking. Vince caught himself staring at Howard. His brooding, masculine features. His small, dark eyes. He watched as he lifted a drink to his lips, gently touching the glass and tilting his head back slightly. Forgetting about their conversation, Vince couldn’t take his eyes off the few droplets left on Howard’s bottom lip. He wanted to taste them, to taste Howard. He wanted Howard to want him too. Tearing his eyes away from his friend, Vince spoke quietly.
“C’mon Howard, let’s go home.”
He stood up, grabbing his hat off the bar and draining his glass. He plonked the sparkly Stetson down over Howard’s head, and pulled him off the stool onto his feet. Swaying slightly, Howard mumbled incoherently before allowing Vince to lead him outside.
Standing outside the club, Howard turned towards Vince, pulling the hat off his head. He felt Vince’s customary flinch as he arranged it over his hair, and stepped back, smiling. Vince shivered, despite the warm night.
“It looks better on you anyway.”
Under the influence and defeated by Howard’s smile, Vince stepped forward and laced his fingers through Howard’s hair, pulling him close. Feeling no resistance, he tilted his head back, brushing Howard’s lips with his own.
Howard woke the next morning with a throbbing headache, and a smile on his face. Looking down at Vince sleeping peacefully next to him, he grinned.
The Charm was back.