Howard finds himself a pretty little jazz girl. Vince is not so sure he likes it all that much, and is she really so perfect?


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Invisible by TheMystique

It had seemed great at first. Howard, finally finding himself a pretty little jazz woman to go out with, who collected bookmarks and who was mayor of Make-up Village at her tiny new cosmetic shop at the end of the road, but now, now that Vince found himself alone in the flat (Bollo and Naboo having gone to ‘ave it large!’ with the rest of the shamen) he wasn’t sure it was so great after all.

She was always coming into the shop and standing around smiling at Howard, who did exactly the same back, a really nice, handsome smile, that Vince had never seen him do before, whilst Vince brooded in the corner, or she was forever ringing him up and going on and on about where they were going to go that night, or if maybe they could go on holiday together, usually when he and Howard were in the middle of something, like a crimp, or a new song for a gig, or even sometimes just a conversation.

Vince was sick of her. He was sick of watching Howard wrap his arms tight around her and murmur things into her hair, he was sick of listening to Howard going on about how pretty she was, or even worse, the prettiest in all of London, he was sick of having conversations interrupted by her phone calls or her arrivals and he was sick of being alone at night in the room he shared with Howard and having no one to talk to and, if he had a nightmare (he rarely did so sometimes he just lied), get a small, five-second hug and an affectionate ‘don’t touch me’ from, because he was off making love to her instead.

It was dark in the flat, and Vince sat on the sofa, knees drawn up to his chest. Quite honestly, he felt like crap. He had thought that he’d be happier about the fact that Howard had a girlfriend, but he wasn’t, and now he thought about it, he wasn’t sure that he’d been that happy about it from day one. It was just… he didn’t know what.

It was just annoying, inconvenient. He was fed up of watching Howard walk into the living room dressed up attractively, smiling broadly because he was going out for the rest of the night with Make-up Village Woman, as Vince liked to call her. Her real name was Dixie.

Howard would ask Vince to fix his hair for him, and Vince would get to work wrestling the curls into position with some gel, but there was always one misbehaving one at the front that he’d have to tuck behind Howard’s ear. He always sulked to Howard lately that he didn’t see why he bothered, because within an hour, Dixie would be messing it up again, no doubt.

Well, he thought, getting up from the sofa, if everyone else was out, he was going to bloody well go out and all. He stood up and headed into the bedroom, surprised that he had to talk himself into selecting an outfit that would dazzle Camden and wherever else he went for the night.

When he stepped outside into the rain, the opportunity to sit alone and think about Howard and her had created a whirlwind of angry emotions swirling around in his head. He didn’t care what he did tonight. Maybe Howard would actually take a bit of notice if he drunk himself to death. Then again, he thought, as he set off down the road, heels clicking on the pavement, probably not. After all, Howard had managed not to notice that he now had red highlights in his hair, had won a singing competition down at the Velvet Onion, and was going through to the final, the prize being a place in a new band.

The pavements outside the clubs were overcrowded with people, and Vince weaved his way through them, constantly being stopped by people who recognised him. He paused outside a towering nightclub, its bright lights illuminating the damp streets.

That’s when he noticed Howard and Dixie across the road, seemingly deciding whether or not to take shelter from the ever-impending rain in a club or just go home. He watched in silence, wondering, perhaps even hoping slightly, that Howard would see him, and he did look across the road, his arms around Dixie, but he just looked right through Vince, and turned back again, kissing the top of her head, and Vince realised that Howard had just made him something he never thought he could be: invisible in a crowd of people.

Why did it affect him so much?

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