Glass Heart

Vince Noir- he plays the field, has probably dated most of Camden and swears it'll always be that way. Howard is surprised to discover that Vince was in love once. Why has he kept it secret?


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Genre: , , ,



Length: words

Glass Heart by TheMystique

Chapter Notes: I am not yet sure of the pairings taht will be in this fic 😀

If I seem a bit aloof in terms of author’s notes it’s cos I’m just getting used to BSH’s posting business. Enjoy!

‘Right, I’m gonna have to ask everyone to leave, C’mon, s’ five-thirty; closing time!’

Vince watched Howard chase the Camden elite away as if he were rounding up a flock of sheep. The maverick was waving a ruler at them and making shooing noises. It was annoying and ridiculous.

‘Yeah, d’you mind?’ he said, as Howard gratefully shut the door, ‘they weren’t even customers, they were me mates!’

‘Vince,’ Howard said, heading outside to pull down the shutters, ‘as I’ve told you before, this is a shop;’ he came back in again, ‘anyone who comes in here from nine in the morning ‘til five-thirty in the afternoon is classed as a customer and will therefore be asked to leave at closing time,’

‘Tha’s bullcrap!’ Vince scoffed, ‘I bet if you ‘ad friends you’d let ‘em set up camp down ‘ere!’

‘Hey, don’t start mouthing off at me sir!’ Howard wagged a finger at him, ‘I’ve got friends, and you know it,’

‘Oh yeah,’ Vince scowled, ‘let me rephrase that, actually: if Lester Corncrake could get ‘is body to carry ‘is ‘ead in the right direction an’–’

‘Hey,’ Howard interrupted, ‘Don’t be dissin’ Lester, he can get about just fine by himself,’

‘That’s not what word on the street is…’ Vince said, fiddling with the propellers of a little green toy helicopter that had been left on the counter.

‘Yeah, well I’m not interested in the word on the street…’ Howard replied.

There was a pause, Vince waiting for the inevitable:

‘What is word on the street?’ Howard asked, giving in to curiosity.

‘Word on the street is you’re Lester’s body wrangler,’ Vince replied, eyes glistening mischievously, small sideways smirk tugging down the corner of his mouth, ‘‘e’s goin’: ‘no, left! No, right!’ an’ you’re runnin’ about with a lasso, like Tom Selleck in a weird Western,’

‘Humph.’ Howard folded his arms, ‘There’s always a lot of words on the street, isn’t there? The road sweeper might wanna think about giving that street a good once-over, clean it up a bit, stop people treading prose all through their houses,’

‘Yeah, but I’ve seen that road sweeper,’ Vince replied, ‘little thin bloke; ‘e scrubs away at that street like a good’un, gets it all shiny an’ clean like a new boot, but by morning it’s covered in words again; they get all stuck into the pavement like chewing gum,’

‘Anyway,’ Howard held out his hand for Vince to hand over the toy helicopter, but Vince, feeling quite attached to it, pocketed it and dropped a couple of euro into the till in response, ‘you’re just sulking cos I’ve made all your possible lovers go home and upset your apple cart,’

Vince made a noise of ridicule and tossed his hair, ‘My apple cart’s fine,’

‘No it isn’t,’ The Northerner replied knowingly, making sure Stationery Village was secure for the night, ‘it’s upturned in the middle of the street, apples rolling all over the place,’

‘My apple cart’s standing firm!’ Vince told him defiantly, ‘An’ yeah, you did send ‘ome all my possibilities for the night,’

‘The night?’ Howard made a face, ‘Vince, don’t you ever wanna just settle down now, find a special someone to fall in love with?’

Vince laughed at the idea, ‘No!’ he said loudly.

‘But don’t you ever wanna be in love?’ Howard said rather passionately, making Vince take a step back as his best mate leaned on the counter, looking like he was about to spout poetry.

‘No!’ he exclaimed, ‘what is your obsession with me an’ love?’

‘I just don’t see why you wouldn’t want to be in love, Vince;’ Howard said simply, ‘You plan on ‘playing the field’ forever, do you?’

‘I just don’t see the point of being in love if all it does is make you feel like crap. I mean, look how you were with Gideon! Why would anyone wanna go through something that makes their ‘art feel like it’s made o’ glass an’ been smashed with a sledgehammer?’

Howard raised an eyebrow at Vince’s bitter speech, ‘How can you say all that if you’ve never even been in love?’

Vince’s eyes, which had been staring straight into Howard’s, giving him severe, aggravated eye contact, suddenly flickered down to stare at the counter.

‘Christy, you’ve been in love, haven’t you!’ Howard spluttered-it was almost impossible to believe that The Vince Noir, Camden’s bitch who flitted about constantly like the moth that was currently burning itself to a crisp on the light bulb, the man who swore he would never fall in love-had actually been in love and quite possibly had sleepless nights thinking about them and maybe even hid away and written poetry or gone all dreamy eyed at the very mention of the object of desire’s name–

Howard hadn’t noticed that Vince had left the shop and was heading up the stairs to the flat.