Category: The Mighty Boosh
Pairing: Howard Moon/Vince Noir
Length: 1-5k words
Notes: So, I got the idea for this after reading an article on Noel Fielding recently which said that there might be plans for a Boosh film underway (no kidding!) This is basically my take on how that film would turn out to be. It’s set after season three, so expect spoilers for pretty much everything. The title is taken from the song ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ by The Human League. If you haven’t heard it, you should go look it up—it’s a beautiful song and it fits the Boosh—and the Howince relationship in particular—perfectly.
Disclaimer: To summarize, all is owned by the lovely Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt. I just hope that I’ve done their creations justice.
Electric Dreams by Ceni Vonir
Howard Moon couldn’t sleep.
He tossed this way and turned that way, he pulled the covers up to his chin, kicked them off completely, rolled onto his back, his front, his side… his other side. But no matter what he tried, he just couldn’t get comfortable. He had too many thoughts whirling about in his mind-tank, all of them fighting for dominance and each one even more nonsensical than the last. He sighed loudly, adjusted his pillow, and glanced over at the digital alarm clock perched on the bedside table. The display read 3:35 am. Great. He had to be up in less than three hours to open the shop, and he hadn’t had a wink of sleep.
He lay very still on his back—sort of like a stick insect with a bad case of rigor mortis—and closed his eyes, waiting for his body to succumb to sleep. After an innumerable amount of seconds had passed, he could finally feel himself drifting off—when a loud snore sounded from the other side of the room, startling him back to his former fully awake state.
Howard snapped his eyes open and glanced over at the adjacent bed in irritation. His best friend, sidekick, and constant thorn in the side slumbered peacefully, totally unaware of Howard’s death glare boring into him. Despite his best efforts not to, Howard felt himself softening, his anger melting away. Vince looked—and he’d never admit to thinking this—cute, almost angelic, lying on top of the covers in his old Kiss t-shirt, one arm slung across his belly and his black hair splayed on the pillow around his head. Looking at him, the older man felt an odd twinge from deep within his chest. Ever since they’d shared that kiss at his not-birthday party, he’d been feeling these twinges more and more often. He’d also started paying attention to things about his friend that he’d never normally notice. Like the way that Vince’s whole face would light up when he smiled, or the way that, when they were alone, he would let Howard see the more vulnerable side of his personality that he would never dream of showing in public.
His changing feelings for Vince confused Howard no end, and the longer he thought on them, the more complications they seemed to bring. For one thing, he was a straight man, and while Vince was pretty androgynous and his sexual preferences were questionable, there was no mistaking the fact that he, too, was definitely of the male persuasion. And then there was the matter of Howard’s virginity and his general lack of experience in the field of romance. Much as he hated to admit it, Vince was right—he did tend to fall for people who showed him the slightest bit of affection. And he and Vince had kissed not too long ago, which was further than he’d ever been with anyone else. It could just be another Mrs Gideon-style crush/infatuation/borderline obsession, in which case it should all blow over eventually, anyway.
And then, of course, there was Vince himself. Supposing for a second that Howard’s newfound feelings meant something deeper, there was no way they would ever be reciprocated. Worse still, if he ever admitted to them, it could destroy Vince’s faith and trust in him completely, shattering his idealistic image of friendship beyond repair. While he could be snide, arrogant, and downright rude at times, Vince was a good person at heart, and he was generally sweet, naïve, and a little bit clueless. Howard wouldn’t go so far as to describe him as innocent, but he did have a certain… pure aspect to him. A shining light followed him around wherever he went; he was the kind of person who inspired others, who made them want to be more like him. If Howard admitted his hypothetical feelings, it might just destroy that purity irreparably. And that would be a crime against humanity, taking away the essence of everything that was Vince.
No, Howard decided, it would be much better for everyone concerned if he just ignored what his heart was trying to tell him and hoped that his feelings would eventually disappear. And in the meantime, he would just be grateful for the fact that he had Vince’s friendship.
It was with these uncomfortable and confusing thoughts that he finally fell into a disturbed and uneasy sleep.
“Hey, Howard, check this out!”
Howard looked up from his latest edition of Jazz Monthly, and saw that, to his great surprise, he was no longer in the shop, but instead standing in the middle of a small room whose walls, floor and ceiling were made entirely out of mirrored tiles. How odd. Vince, who was standing a few feet away from him in his rainbow-striped cape, was clearly in paradise, leaning in close to one of the walls and eyeing his reflection with approval.
“A whole room made of mirrors! Genius!”
Howard nodded absently and watched transfixed as Vince twirled on the spot, his cape flying out around him as he did so. God, but he was beautiful. When he’d grown bored of spinning, he sidled up to Howard, a most peculiar expression on his face.
“Would you like to kiss me again, Howard? ‘Cause you know you can, if you want to.”
Howard’s breath caught in his throat and he stayed rooted to the spot, frozen. Vince came even closer until he was right in Howard’s personal space, and he shot the other man an irresistible ‘come-hither’ look from underneath his lashes.
“Go on… you know you want to.”
Unable and unwilling to resist any longer, Howard closed his eyes and leaned in to press his lips to Vince’s, when he heard an odd, frighteningly familiar giggle from the smaller man. His eyes flew open and he recoiled in horror from what he saw.
“Ooh, Howard, it feels good to have you holdin’ me in your strong, manly arms again!”
Vince had somehow transformed into Old Gregg, right down to the tutu. Feeling used and cheated, Howard quickly backed away, but Gregg followed, advancing on him until he was backed up against one of the walls, which, oddly enough, gave way slightly beneath his weight. Looking around, he saw that the room was no longer made of mirrors, but instead was lined with some kind of soft, white cushioned material. Much like a padded cell, he realized with dread. Gregg jumped up and down slightly and then giggled again.
“All soft and springy, like a bouncy castle. Bounce with me, my fuzzy little man-peach!”
“Um, no, Gregg.” Howard protested feebly. “I don’t really want to… bounce with you.”
But of course Gregg was having none of it, and grabbed onto Howard’s arms, bouncing with enough force to lift them both. “Do you love me, Howard? I’m Old Gregg!”
Suddenly there was a noise like a crack of thunder, and the scene froze and then vanished completely, leaving Howard seemingly floating in a vast expanse of nothingness.
“Howard Moon!” A new voice boomed from behind him. He spun around to see a short, rather chubby man dressed in a white robe entering through a red door that seemed to be suspended in mid-air.
“Who are you?” Howard asked, unable to completely stop his voice from trembling.
“You know me, Howard Moon.” The stranger replied cryptically.
Howard gasped as comprehension dawned. “Oh my God! Morgan Freeman!”
The short guy looked slightly put out. “No! It is I! God!”
Howard gaped. He’d encountered some pretty strange things in his time, but this was definitely a new one. He didn’t even believe in God: not a God, the God, or anything else that might fit the description.
“Yes,” ‘God’ mused, oblivious to Howard’s musings, “That was quite some dream you were having, there. I was almost sorry to interrupt it.”
“You were watching that?!”
“Of course I was.” God replied with a slight smirk on his face. “I’m omniscient; I see everything.”
“Well, let me tell you now,” Howard retorted indignantly, drawing himself up to his full height. “You have no business snooping around the private dreams of Howard Moon, sir, no business at all. There’s some pretty powerful stuff in there, not everyone can handle it. Just one peek could drive a man insane—”
“Enough of this!” God snapped, clapping his hands, “I come to you with a warning of grave danger. There is a rare flower located deep within the heart of the Amazon rainforest. It is called… The Orchid of Shatoon!”
“Now, why is this starting to sound familiar? Howard muttered, less than impressed with dramatic speech.
“The Orchid holds a great power, but there are those who would wish to abuse that power. Even as we speak, a man of great evil begins his journey to locate it. Should he succeed, he will use it to destroy the world!”
“Yeah, this is all very fascinating and everything, but… what does it have to do with me?”
God looked shocked. “Because, Howard Moon, you are the only one who can stop him. You and your lady friend.”
“My lady…? Oh, you mean Vince?” Howard shook his head. “Look, I work in a second-hand shop in Dalston. I think you’ve got the wrong guy.”
“No… no, I’m sure it said Howard Moon on that memo I got. You must go now, and find the Orchid, before it is too late. When you locate it, you must take it to a place called Khalatoo.”
“Right…” Howard said sceptically, “And where would I find that, exactly?”
“Oh, it’s just off the M6. Take a left turn when you get to Junction 3. I’ll be waiting.”
Howard woke with a startled gasp to the darkened bedroom of the flat he shared with Vince… Vince! He looked over and saw that the other man was still fast asleep, his chest slowly rising and falling in a regular rhythm. Howard stumbled out of bed and not-so-gently shook his friend awake.
“Vince, wake up. Vince!”
Vince frowned and mumbled a little before reluctantly opening his eyes, scowling up at Howard with a very disgruntled expression.
“Ow! What are you doing, you cream-faced loon?! I was just having this fantastic dream before you came blundering over and interrupted. I was supporting for Mick Jagger, the crowd were loving it… it was amazing!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, never mind all that,” Howard cut in impatiently. “We’ve got to go!”
“Go? Go where? It’s half past four in the morning, Howard.”
Howard proceeded to explain the events of that night and what his vision had entailed. Vince listened throughout with a most peculiar expression on his face. When Howard had finished, he was silent for several seconds. Then he burst out laughing.
“I’m failing to see the funny side of the situation, Vince.” Howard said with a disapproving frown as he watched his friend roll around in hysterics.
Vince gasped for breath, struggling to regain his composure. “That’s got to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Now, I know it sounds crazy—”
“You’re right about that. You’ve gone wrong, Howard. I mean, even if there is a God—which I doubt—what makes you think he’d consider someone like you important enough to talk to?!” At this, Vince dissolved into a fit of giggles again.
“How dare you?” Howard asked in what he liked to think of as his ‘dangerous’ voice.
“Look, Howard,” Vince persisted, sitting up in bed and absently fiddling with his hair, “I know what this is, I’ve seen it before. Life’s getting a bit boring, we haven’t had any adventures for weeks, sales are slow… So you convince yourself that we need to go on some death-defying mission to save the world. You’re just trying to over-compensate for your inferiority complex again.”
For about half a second, Howard was vaguely impressed by the amount of multi-syllable words Vince had managed to pack into that sentence, before the implication of those words hit him.
“I dont have an inferiority complex.”
“Of course you do, you hang around with me all the time. How could anyone compete with this?” Vince struck a pose, managing to look effortlessly cool even whilst lounging in bed, wearing his scruffy night attire with his hair all dishevelled.
“Howard Moon does not have an inferiority complex!”
“See, now you’re referring to yourself in third person. Classic sign of an inferiority complex.”
“Thank you, Sigmund Freud.” Howard grumbled. A look of utter confusion fell across Vince’s striking features.
“He was a great, great man, Vince, a great psychiatrist. One of the pioneers of our time. Without him, we’d be living in a very different world right now…”
“What, that German nut job?!” Vince butted in as a small switch flipped on somewhere within the dark recesses of his mind. “He was the one who thought everyone wanted to shag their mum, wasn’t he? What a freak!”
Howard looked at him with a mixture of disbelief, disgust, and pity. He was so simple, it was hard not to feel sorry for him at times. A man like Vince would never be able to grasp the more complex aspects of life. But then, some might envy him for that.
“You should open your mind, Vince, be more like me… stop viewing the world in black and white.”
The other man looked at him uncomprehendingly. “Do you even know who you’re talking to? I’m Vince Noir, I live in a world of Technicolor. I think you’re the black and white guy around here.”
“Oh dear, dear, dear.” Howard shook his head with a deprecating chuckle. “You don’t really know me at all, do you? No, if anything, I’m more the sepia type. I see things in subtle shades of beige and nutmeg, with some powerful chocolates thrown in for contrast.”
Vince shook his head. “Only you, Howard… only you would choose to look at everything in various shades of brown.”
Howard sighed impatiently. “Look, I think we’re getting a little off-track here, don’t you? I’m going to find this flower, with or without you. I’m very disappointed in you though, Vince, I would have expected more, after everything we’ve been through together.”
“Alright, alright! Cool your boots! I’ll come with you, okay?”
“So, you believe me now, do you?”
Vince looked bewildered. “No, I think you’ve lost what’s left of your mind.”
Howard growled in frustration. “Don’t come, then! No-one’s forcing you!”
Vince softened a bit, and he ducked his head, smiling almost shyly. “Well… who’s gonna get you out of trouble if I’m not there?”
Howard felt an irresistible urge to both hug the smaller man and struggle him at the same time, so he stood awkwardly and did nothing. “Great, it’ll be just like old times. You and me—partners again.” He had to admit, he was vaguely excited at that notion. He missed those days with Vince in the Zooniverse, dodging Fossil and Bainbridge and going on exciting adventures to the Arctic tundra or somewhere else almost every week. Sure, they’d had some good times here in Dalston, but it wasn’t the same. They weren’t as close anymore as they had been in those days.
Vince smiled wider and laid a hand on Howard’s arm. The older man flinched at the spark of electricity he felt at the simple action. “Don’t touch me.” He warned.
Vince’s face fell and he quickly removed his hand. “Right. Sorry.”
Howard, meanwhile, felt oddly empty now that the comforting touch was gone. He wanted it back.
“So, what do we do now?” Vince asked, oblivious as always.
“Erm… I dunno. Cuppa tea?”
To be continued…
Chapter End Notes: So, there it is, the first chapter. All feedback is greatly appreciated, but please bear in mind that this is my first Boosh fic, and also my first fic posted on this site. So be kind. But honest. I’m hoping that the two aren’t mutually exclusive!
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, Howard mistaking God for Morgan Freeman was a reference to the fact that the role of God is actually played by Morgan Freeman in the film Bruce Almighty.