Category: The Mighty Boosh
Pairing: Howard Moon/Vince Noir
Length: 1-5k words
Prompt: Prompt #538 from the lgbtfest. The Mighty Boosh: Vince Noir/Howard Moon. Howard doesn’t mind when Vince brings home women. Even when it means he won’t get any sleep, listening to them going at it. But when he brings home men, that’s another thing…
Spoilers: For Party
Notes: Big thanks to my superb beta easilyled
Do It Yourself by glitter traces
Howard had never liked the sound of drilling. The noise that punctuated through the air brought to mind long forgotten memories: smells of fresh paint, stale beer and the taste of too greasy Yorkshire pudding. Each stuffy Sunday afternoon his father would pass out drunk on the sofa after telling Howard what a waste of space he was. Howard would then spend the rest of the afternoon hiding in the airing cupboard listening to the next door neighbours banging and drilling.
He shuddered at the memory and walked up to the flat.
The noise was coming from his and Vince’s bedroom. When Howard poked his head around the door he found Vince tottering around their room on high heeled boots whilst brandishing a drill. Howard was shocked; he didn’t realise that Vince even knew what a drill was.
“What’re doing?” Howard asked.
A set of the darkest blue velvet curtains lay on the floor, spotted with the odd silver sequin; it was like gazing at the night sky. He looked up at Vince, wobbling on his silver platforms, stretching up on a small stepladder to screw a curtain pole at a point near the ceiling. The curtains were definitely Vince’s handiwork. Howard knew Vince could sew, but didn’t know he could do DIY as well. If Howard had known he would’ve put Vince to work putting up shelves in the shop to display the jazz pencil cases. Perhaps that’s just the reason why Vince had never told him.
“I’m putting up some curtains,” said Vince with a mouthful of screws.
“I can see that. I mean the curtains are very nice Vince, but why are we having them in the middle of the room?” Howard asked, watching as Vince stretched up, the movement feline.
“I don’t want you freaking my dates out when I bring them back here,” Vince explained as he screwed the pole in place.
Howard felt slightly taken aback. Is that really what Vince thought of him? His stomach dropped.
“What d’you mean? You’re saying I’m a freak?” he asked, gazing up at Vince. The difference in height was unusual; it wasn’t often, if at all, that Vince ever towered over Howard. Vince looked down at him and started gesturing wildly.
“It’s your eyes, your little beady scorpion eyes, shifting and darting about. I mean I’m used to it, but I don’t want those small eyes of yours to disrupt my dates when I bring them back to my boudoir.”
Boudoir? Howard rolled his tiny eyes.
“So you’re going to hide me away behind a big velvet curtain, like the wizard in the Wizard of Oz?” he asked wondering where the fuck that analogy had come from. Howard mentally slapped himself. The Wizard of Oz wasn’t exactly the sort of a film a ‘Man of Action’ should admit to watching. It was more Vince’s domain; in fact Howard wouldn’t be surprised if a pair of red glittery shoes were stashed away somewhere in the depths of Vince’s wardrobe.
“Yeah. It’s a genius idea, isn’t it?” Vince beamed, leaning on the wall.
“Okay, little man. Whatever makes you happy,” Howard said, resigned to going along with Vince’s idea.
Vince grinned, climbing down (rather gingerly Howard thought) from the ladder before grabbing one of the curtains. He showed it to Howard.
“Look I lined the curtains with beige-coloured tweed, thought it would go better with your side of the room.”
Howard smiled weakly at Vince’s twisted thoughtfulness, but somehow wished that he had the deep blue and sequins on his side, so he could look at the fabric and dream of stars. Vince had such colourful things on his side of the room, things that shimmered and glittered, plastic beads and wind chimes, feathers and fake fur. Howard’s jazz records, autumnal-shaded clothing, and khaki bedspread looked positively dowdy in comparison.
Together they finished putting the curtains up. Howard found himself caressing the deep lush velvet, and quickly moved his hand away, fiddling instead with his hat. As a finishing touch Vince tied the curtains back with thick bands of silver ribbon.
“See—we can leave them like this normally, but when I bring someone back—well, we can close them, both get a bit of privacy then.”
Howard nodded. It was unusually sensible of Vince to think of that.
He’d been dreaming about playing in a band with Blue Duke Scoot-a-Bop when the moaning had woken him. It was annoying; Howard had just been about to perform a magnificent saxophone solo.
“Vince?” Howard hissed.
No answer. Then he noticed Vince had closed the curtains and his sleepy brain started to kick itself into understanding. There was more groaning, but not Vince this time, a woman. Howard sank under his duvet and tried to block out the noise. He couldn’t.
In a way it was worse not being able to see because it sent his imagination into overload. What colour hair did she have? Small breasts or large? Slim or curvaceous?
He could hear kissing and imagined pale limbs tangled, and lip-gloss-smeared pink mouths. Maybe their mascara had sweated off—with the, er, exertion—and Vince and the girl would look like twin pandas writhing on the bed. The make-up would rub off and stain the sheets…
Then the giggling started—Howard had always thought sex was supposed to be romantic, with scented candles and rose petals. And now Vince’s bed was gently rocking, the tell-tale creaking signalling that the couple had moved to the next level. It was exciting him. He absently touched himself as he heard the couple getting closer to climax. Groans and moans reverberated around the room. And then just as suddenly the noise stopped.
He let out a sigh and pulled the duvet over his head, trying to get back to sleep.
The next morning the curtains were open and Vince’s bed was a mound of triangles and crinkled sheets. Smears of glitter, black make-up and lip-gloss soiled the pillows. Howard found himself drawn to them, and lightly caressed the waxy marks. Those stains would never come out with a normal detergent, and despite himself he started to think of going to Tesco’s to get some Vanish. Vince shouldn’t have to sleep in dirty sheets.
He walked out to the kitchen, going to the fridge to get some milk, and was confronted by Vince’s back as he bent over in his kimono dressing gown rummaging around inside.
“Howard?” said a voice behind him, and the not-Vince turned around, her breasts barely covered by the low-cut gown.
She had raven-black hair like Vince, but was all curves and softness. She smiled. It reminded Howard a bit of Vince’s smile, and he felt himself become shy and nervous. Vince spun Howard around so he was looking directly at him.
“What d’you want for breakfast, you freak?” Vince asked, in an affectionate way, hand touching Howard’s shoulder.
“It’s okay, er, I’ll just go back to bed,” Howard said, not wanting to intrude on the beautiful people.
Naboo and Bollo looked up from the sofa as Howard shuffled past. In a synchronised movement they shovelled cereal into their mouths.
“Don’t lie in too long, you’re opening up the shop today,” Naboo mumbled through Golden Nuggets.
“Bollo open up shop,” Bollo offered, milk dribbling down onto his chin.
“No, Bollo. I need you to carry my cauldron. I’m doing home visits today.”
“But Bollo wanted to wear shopkeeper’s hat.”
Naboo rolled his eyes, and went back to staring at the TV.
Howard shut the bedroom door and sat on the side of his bed. He sighed. How did Vince do it? Howard never knew how to act around women. She was beautiful. Almost like a female version of Vince. Those full lips and skin like cream. He held his head in his hands. Vince was like sunshine and candy floss and everyone loved him.
He was in a bad mood in the shop that day. Stationery village was just not working out and someone (probably Vince) had drawn moustaches on the sleeves of the jazz records. He spent all morning trying to restore the covers, and had found Vince’s nail varnish remover particularly useful, although he had had to keep it clear of the actual vinyl as it did have a tendency to melt plastic.
Still, he felt better after re-arranging the jazz LPs, and doing a stock take on the stationery. Howard wanted Naboo to order more pens; preferably proper pens, not those glittery ones that Vince favoured.
In fact, he was beginning to feel quite good until Vince accompanied the girl to the front door of the shop. They kissed goodbye. It was as if Vince was kissing his own reflection, albeit one with breasts. Why did the thought make Howard feel so hot? Vince waved at her as she sashayed out of the shop and down the high street.
“What did you think of her?” Vince asked.
Howard suddenly found his hand extremely interesting.
“You liked her didn’t you? I’ve known you too long Howard. I bet you started to write one of those cream poems about her,” Vince laughed, and started to go through the clothes rack.
He did like her; that was the problem, but he didn’t really understand why he did. She was no Mrs Gideon. Irritated, Howard began to clean the non-existent dust off of the counter top. Vince was pulling the clothes every which way, and when a clothes hanger crashed to the fall Howard looked at Vince, who was clutching a t-shirt in his hand.
“Hey,” Howard sighed, “I’ve just tidied in here.”
A little shyly, Vince picked up the clothes hanger and put it back on the rack, turning back to smile at Howard.
“D’you think Naboo will let me have this t-shirt? Look at it, it’s genius!”
Vince held it up to his chest and preened. The front had two cowboys on it; two extremely naked cowboys with erect—Howard was lost for words. In fact he was gaping. He quickly snapped his mouth shout.
“This will wow them down The Velvet Onion. I’m gonna try it on!”
Vince bounced up the stairs, t-shirt in hand, leaving Howard’s thoughts dominated by gay cowboys and straining cocks. His cheeks felt hot again and to distract himself he made an inventory of the paperclips, sorting them by size and colour.
Slowly he was dragged out of unconsciousness. The groaning sounded different from last time. Not the same woman from the week before then.
Resigning himself to not falling back to sleep any time soon, he laid back on the bed listening to the lovemaking from behind the curtain.
A needy whisper penetrated through the fabric. It was Vince’s voice.
“I want you inside me, please,” he begged.
“Where’s your stuff?” a distinctly male voice asked, as someone (Vince?) rummaged in a drawer.
Vince was with a man. Howard closed his eyes. Vince was with a man and he was going to let the man—Howard felt extremely cold and pulled the duvet tight around himself.
He could hear the rustling of foil and the slick sound of something wet, and then Vince’s small sounds of pleasure. The idea of Vince sprawled on the bed begging for the man to—up his—he didn’t want to hear this. He really didn’t want to. The soft noises continued however, Vince’s voice suddenly penetrating the relative quiet.
“Please, I need more.”
Vince’s words trembled with sheer unadulterated need. If only someone needed Howard. He started doing Chinese burns on his wrist. Why did no-one want to—?
There was a creaking of the bed, silence, and then suddenly a sharp gasp from Vince. The two men groaned in unison, and Howard could hear the bed begin to rock forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards. Thrust. Thrust. Thrust. Thrust. Howard slapped his hands over his ears trying to block out the sound. It didn’t help, the sound of love-making penetrated through his fingers, so he lay on the bed, arms by his side staring at the ceiling.
Why did this feel so much more agonising than when Vince was with the girl last week?
Howard’s hand fluttered to his wrist again, and he started to twist and pull the skin.
The noise began to reach a crescendo, a thrusting, a rocking, groans, moans, the slapping sound of flesh on flesh, and all of the time Howard kept up twisting the skin on his wrist. He was trying to distract himself. Just distract. Not punish.
There was a huge long creak from Vince’s bed, and then everything was still. All Howard could hear was heavy panting and sloppy kisses. He couldn’t go back to sleep. The thought of another man touching Vince’s body with his thick fingers made Howard feel—well, he wasn’t sure what he felt but it wasn’t good.
The morning light broke through the window and Howard stretched himself through dancing dust motes as the sunlight cascaded onto his duvet cover. He turned to find Vince’s curtains open, and a lone figure lying on the bed. The figure shifted and he saw that it was Vince lying there with his eyes closed and a small smile playing on his lips. As if sensing Howard’s gaze, he shifted and lazily opened his eyes.
“‘lo Howard,” Vince slurred, rubbing sleep-filled eyes.
He sat up in bed and frowned.
“Where’s Matt gone?”
Howard shrugged. Vince pulled on the gay cowboy t-shirt and left their bedroom. A few minutes later he padded back in and sat down heavily on the bed.
The atmosphere had gone wrong and Howard couldn’t see Vince’s face because his hair was falling over it.
Howard didn’t care about this Matt guy, but asked anyway.
“So this bloke you had back last night—he’s gone then?”
“Yeah.” Vince said quietly, voice half choked, “Didn’t even—didn’t even—shit—I wasn’t expecting, but you would’ve thought he’d at least—”
And Howard could understand that. So he got up from his bed and sat on Vince’s. Vince buried his face into Howard’s chest, grabbing armfuls of Howard’s stripy blue pyjamas. For once Howard didn’t complain: Vince obviously needed the comfort. This Matt guy was obviously a cunt. After what Vince had let him do you would’ve thought he would have at least—Howard looked down at Vince and stroked his hair.
“I quite liked him,” Vince mumbled against Howard’s chest.
No-one should be able to make Vince feel this bad. And Howard Moon, ‘Man of Action’, knew just what to do to bring a smile back on to Vince’s face.
“How about I make you that cereal with those little marshmallows in and we go to the Oxford Street Topshop…”
“But you hate Topshop,” said Vince, squirming against Howard’s chest.
“…and I’ll buy you something and then we’ll go for pizza.”
Vince looked up at Howard, smiled and nodded. Howard’s thumbs were wiping the tears from Vince’s eyes quite of their own accord and when he noticed he stopped.
“Do you know what else would help—baking me a cake. Will you bake me cake?” Vince asked with a slightly cheeky grin on his face, looking up at Howard with luminous eyes.
“Of course,” Howard said, smoothing Vince’s hair.
“One of those pink ones with silver balls on like you did for my birthday?”
Vince’s face lit up like fireworks. How could Howard refuse?
“Yes,” he said, mentally preparing a shopping list with all of the things he’d need to buy to make the cake.
For the first time since he’d woken up that morning Vince beamed with happiness like his normal self. He reached up, hugging and kissing Howard on the cheek. And Howard didn’t say anything about not liking being touched, because this morning, today, always, Vince deserved to get exactly what he wanted, pink cakes or silver boots or diamante-studded belts.
That evening they collapsed on the sofa, a small nest of bags lying around their ankles. Vince pulled off his platform boots and pink glittery socks, and started to rub his feet.
“My feet hurt,” Vince complained loudly. Howard watched the movement of Vince’s fingers as he squeezed into the ball of first his right foot, then the left.
“If you wore sensible shoes like I did then they wouldn’t, little man.”
“Sensible shoes? Yours look like something old grannies wear. Not fashionable old grannies, but the type that smell of stale wee and cat shit.”
Surely his boots weren’t that bad? He looked down at them. Vince little sighs soon attracted his attention; Howard watched Vince’s thumbs rub in small circles, starting from the heel and working up to the ball of his foot.
“Well at least I can walk properly in mine,” Howard shot back before getting up to put on the kettle.
“Tea?” he asked.
“Yeah. I don’t suppose you’ve got any Jaffa Cakes?”
How did Vince know? Howard pretended not to hear and started to look in the kitchen cupboard for cups.
“Come on,” Vince said, his voice suddenly right next to Howard’s ear, causing Howard to jump and bang his head on the cupboard door.
“I know you keep an emergency pack that you hide from me,” Vince said smoothly, touching Howard’s arm.
Howard rubbed his head, scowling. He’d bake pink cakes for Vince, buy him glittery tops, and feed him pizza—but his Jaffa Cakes, well, that was different. A pouting Vince looked up at him with big eyes.
“No sir, you’re not going to do that to me,” Howard groused, looking away.
“Do what to you?” Vince asked with a hand on hip, looking at Howard with a puzzled expression on his face.
“Use your—to get—no sir!”
Sometimes it annoyed him that he couldn’t resist that look from Vince, that wide-eyed look which would make him want to give Vince anything.
“Whatever. Can I please have a Jaffa Cake, please?” Vince whined.
And Howard caved in. After he made the tea he gave Vince the whole box. Vince happily sat munching them on the sofa while Howard stared steadfastly at the TV screen. Howard had no idea what the programme was about. He was full of conflicting emotions which he couldn’t sort out. When Vince tapped him on the elbow to get his attention he had to bite his tongue to stop from screaming. The Jaffa Cake box was thrust towards him, the cardboard sticky from Vince’s chocolate and orange covered fingers. Howard took a Jaffa Cake without thinking, smiled at Vince and turned back to the TV.
“I love this bit,” Vince excitedly babbled, “it’s well genius—you don’t expect it at all—you think they’re gonna hit each other but—”
There were two men on screen Howard noticed; two men who seemed to be very angry with each other. In fact one was pulling the other one upwards by his lapels and then—
They were kissing. Howard closed his eyes. He hoped his cheeks weren’t flushed.
“I love Torchwood. Only in Torchwood would you get all of that unresolved sexual tension spilling out into a man-on-man snog. Genius!”
Vince was bouncing up and down on the sofa. There was a pause in the bouncing and Howard could feel Vince shifting on the cushions.
“Howard? Howard? Why have you got your eyes closed?”
“I’m just resting them.”
He opened one eye slightly to look at Vince, but Vince was looking back at the television, grinning manically.
“Wow. They’re throwing each other about all over the place now!”
Howard stood up, trying to navigate from the sofa to anywhere else in the flat, which was very hard to do if you had your eyes closed. So he opened them. The blokes were fighting now, although it seemed to be in a rather homoerotic way. Howard fled to the bathroom and leant against the closed door, slumping down until he was sat on the floor.
There was a tightness in Howard’s chest, like the time Vince’s punk friend had rearranged stationery village, or the time Vince had kissed him up on the roof. And what an embarrassment that kiss had been! All that talk of switches being flipped, and kingdoms of gheydom, and then a few minutes later dumping Vince for that glamorous party girl. Vince had only kissed him so that the head shaman wouldn’t cut off Vince’s head. Howard wasn’t gay. He just got confused and lost in the moment.
Vince opened the door and peered in.
“Howard, you’re alive! I thought you were allergic to watching gay sex or something. I was gonna feed you Bollo’s Dirty Dancing DVD to counteract it.”
Howard pulled himself up and Vince entered the bathroom, waving the DVD case in his hand. It was then that Howard slipped on the bathroom rug and collapsed to the floor, Vince cushioning his fall in an angular (and painful) way.
Where their bodies intersected Howard felt hot. Howard tried to haul himself to his feet, but Vince’s limbs seemed to be in the way.
“Your pointy elbow is in my kidney,” Howard complained.
“Sorry,” Vince said, pulling his elbow out of the way, “D’you want to watch the DVD anyway? Patrick Swayze is kind of hot looking in it.”
Dumbly, Howard nodded, and this time when he stood up Vince supported him and they walked back to the sofa. After a while Howard’s legs stopped wobbling.
A noise made Howard jerk awake to find he had fallen asleep, in Vince’s lap of all places. A stray hand was stroking his hair. He could hear Bollo and Naboo crashing up the stairs, arguing in quiet voices. Vince gently pushed Howard’s head back down and laid it on his lap. The hand then continued to stroke Howard’s scalp. Howard was too tired to do anything but acquiesce. It was easier.
“You know we need to talk about this,” Vince said as he watched Howard cook breakfast.
That morning Howard had woken up to find them curled up together on the sofa—he had leapt up as if scalded and run to the bathroom locking himself in. It had taken ten minutes of Vince pounding on the door and Naboo shouting at them to keep quiet because he had the hangover from hell, before Howard had finally opened the door.
Naboo had muttered something about sleeping for a week and had disappeared back to his bedroom. Vince had looked a bit upset, so Howard had decided to make breakfast.
“Talk about what?” Howard asked, nervously fiddling with the eggs in the pan.
Already he could feel his chest beginning to tighten at Vince’s words.
“You clearly have some weird thing against me being bisexual,” Vince answered, and Howard could have let out a sigh of relief because he didn’t think that was the problem, and said so.
“What is the problem then?” Vince asked as he stretched up into the cupboard to get some plates, his t-shirt riding up to expose skin, and Howard suddenly became very attentive to the frying eggs. “There’s this kind of weird thing going on with you, when I sleep with guys, or there’s gay kissing on TV.”
“I don’t—I’m not—” Howard said, poking the sausages and flipping them over.
Neither of them said anything for a while; the only sound was the sizzling of the pan and the bubbling of the baked beans on the hob.
“I hope they’re those low-fat sausages,” Vince said, breaking the silence.
“Yes. These are the ones that don’t have any meat in at all, as opposed to the ones that pretend to have some meat in.”
“Genius! Sausages with no meat in, whoever thought of that?”
Vince stirred the baked beans and tasted them, his features twisting in disgust.
“Can’t we put more sugar in these?”
It was no good buying the reduced-sugar baked beans because Vince could obviously taste the difference.
Howard didn’t normally like situations like this. He preferred to play the show and then bam-bam-bam; disappear into the night. It was more mysterious he felt. And sometimes he even did, letting Vince stay and stagger in the next day, make-up awry, still drunk. But tonight he stayed—and if he was honest with himself it was because this young guy dressed in tight red drainpipes, grey cardigan, shirt and tie was trying to bum Vince.
During the gig the guy had been stood at the front, all of the time looking at Vince making his shapes. And it wasn’t long until Vince had noticed him too—and had walked over to the guy, bent down and kissed him, causing Howard to play the wrong chord.
The gig had long finished and now the guy was following Vince around, shooting longing looks his way. He couldn’t make himself any more obvious. Howard nursed his Guinness, watching from a dark corner of the club. For some reason the idea of this guy bumming Vince really made his stomach cramp.
And then Vince appeared at the table, smiling, the guy hovering behind him.
“Alright?” Vince asked, taking a sip from a drink that glowed ultra-violet blue in the dark of the club.
“I’m glad you stayed tonight,” he said, sitting down next to Howard on the bench and squirming up to him, even though there was plenty of room.
It was obvious the guy wasn’t sure what to do. He stood there, eyes devouring Vince, and took a swig from his bottle of beer. Vince leant into Howard, whispering into his ear.
“Please do something, I mean he’s wearing a cardigan with a shirt and tie—not even you would do that!”
So Howard put a protective arm around Vince’s shoulder, leant right back and gave the guy the sort of stare that Howard hoped would shrivel his balls. The guy looked at his shoes and scuttled away, a look of embarrassment on his face. Howard smirked.
“You’re touching me without going all funny,” Vince said.
And he was. The cousin of the plan pony, the clue horse, was beginning to kick inside Howard’s brain.
“You remember what I said, about what ‘goes on the roof stays on the roof’; well I think I’ve changed my mind.”
Vince looked up at Howard and smiled.
“You knew, didn’t you,” Howard said, realisation finally dawning on him, “You knew I was—er—well—”
Had Vince’s sudden interest in DIY been for a whole different reason? Howard began to get the sneaking suspicion that this was a Set Up of the Highest Order. The clue horse was giving Howard a headache.
“Forget what I said about buying ladders,” Vince said, Howard briefly becoming lost in Do it Yourself analogies again, “I should’ve realised you kind of meant it at the time about maybe being gay, but you didn’t think you did.” Vince frowned and crossed his eyes. “I don’t even know if I’m making sense!”
Vince snuggled up to Howard in the corner of the club and they watched people kiss, dance and grope. They stayed like that for a while, Howard enjoying the closeness of Vince and smoothing the nape of Vince’s neck. It was like stroking a cat, especially when Vince started to purr and stretch beneath Howard’s fingertips.
“Howard,” Vince asked in the sort of tone he normally reserved for when asking for money to buy sweets, “will you please let me bum you?”
This time Howard’s chest was pounding with excitement. He was speechless. He could never refuse doing something that would make Vince happy (especially if it would make him happy too).
In answer to Vince’s question he took Vince’s hand and delicately kissed it. Vince grinned, pulling Howard to his feet, and they left the club hand in hand.