Just Walking Through

Vince and Howard walk through a doorway and find themselves in the Hub.

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Length: words

Notes: Betaed by the ever-lovely avon_09. This is a Torchwood/Boosh crossover, daft and very much through the Boosh prism. It’s a bit sweary.

Just Walking Through by crowson75

It was just a doorway. By all accounts, it looked like a cupboard set into the back of the dingy club. There was no way Vince and Howard would have dreamed of entering it were they not being followed by a six foot squirrel holding a squirty orange. Once through, they found themselves in dark corridor with a screen of shimmering violet light at one end. It would, of course, have to be Vince who walked through first, remarking that purple was ‘the’ colour for this week. Howard was in the midst of reprimanding and following him when suddenly, everything went a little bit strange. It had felt like being sucked through a vacuum cleaner and spewed out on the other side into what looked like a disused underground station.

That was when the people with guns appeared.

“Sorry, we didn’t know,” Howard said, holding up his hands and closing his eyes, legs clamped shut in case he started to wet himself. “We didn’t mean to be here, it was the squirrel and he liked the colour and… Just don’t kill me. I’ve got so much to live for!” By the end of the sentence, Howard was practically weeping.

Vince looked around at the people pointing guns at them. A nice looking bird and guy in suit that… Well, he should really consider a few tailoring touches and then he’d be able to be photographed by ‘Mod Weekly’.

“Alright,” he said holding up his hands and waving slightly. “Sorry, we went in this cupboard in Clapham and ‘wahey’, here we are. I’m Vince and this is my friend, coward…” He looked at Howard and shook his head. “Sorry, I mean Howard.”

The suit was trying not to smile.

“Do you guys know anything about a six-foot squirrel?” Vince asked them nonchalantly. “Oh, and me and him, we’re not armed. We don’t really do guns. Though I do have this hair-dryer….”

“Jack?” The foxy lady was holding her ear and talking. “We’ve got two guys who said they walked into a cupboard in Clapham and came out here. There’s one in a loud shirt; says they were involved in a pursuit of a six-foot squirrel.”

Whatever Jack had told them, the lady seemed pleased. “He’ll be here in a sec, Ianto. Check them for weapons, I’ll keep you covered.”

The nearly-mod stepped forward after tucking his gun inside his jacket.

“Can’t help but notice that lady’s got a bigger gun…” Howard had regained his composure long enough to manage to say the worst possible thing, at the worst possible time.

“Be quiet,” the mod-lite told them, frisking Howard abruptly.

“Ow, mind where you…” Howard was wriggling.

“Stand still, or I will shoot!” The lady was shouting, and Vince was starting to feel that this might not be the start of a fabulous adventure.

“He’s not very good with… People,” Vince said apologetically, spreading his arms and legs to allow the sharp-dressed man to touch him up. “Easy sailor,” he said, lifting his eyebrows as the man reached eye-level. “Where’d you pick up the suit? I really like the detail on the cuffs. That tie’s a good colour on you too…”

“Oh, I have a tailor just off the bay,” the young man said casually, pulling his gun free from inside his jacket. “He made me these cufflinks…” The man lifted his arm to show Vince a cufflink, which seemed to be in the shape of a big bird type thing.

“Cool,” Vince said appraisingly, nodding. “That a pterodactyl?”

“It’s Myfanwy,” the young man pointed up to ceiling of the enormous room, which had, in it’s centre, a metal cylindrical tower. A pterodactyl swooped around the uppermost reaches of the room, soaring around the tower.

“Nice!” Vince said eagerly. “This is a great space. You guys ever have parties or anything down here..? I know someone who could DJ if you do, lay down some tasty prehistoric monkey beats…”

“We don’t really do parties…” the young man told him, slightly sadly.

“Or monkeys…” the foxy lady said.

“You haven’t met Bollo yet,” Vince told them grinning. “He’s a hit with the ladies.”

“It’saverynicewaterfeatureyouhavethere!” Howard said in a rush, twitching and nudging Vince with his elbow. “Pleasedon’tkillusI’mverysorryaboutthegunthingsinceI’msurethatyou’rebothequallydangerous, I mean, nice… DidImentionnotkillingus?”

The young, be-suited man looked a bit puzzled and offered Vince an understanding look. The woman looked slightly sympathetic too, but she was clearly still unsure about whether they required her gun’s attention or not. It was then that the man with the coat walked in.

“Let me guess, you came through the cupboard in The Damask Pumpkin?”

He was an American.

“On god….” Howard was burbling. “He’s an American. We’re going to die, they all have guns andthat’saverynicecoatsirandifwepromisenevertodoitagaincanwegohomenowsirandnotgetshot?”

The American was smelling the air. After a moment, he spoke. “And you too gentleman are…?”

“My name’s Howard, Howard Moon,” Howard said softly “We’re not dangerous.”

“That’s nice,” the American replied. He looked at Vince. “You are…?”

“Vince,” said the man himself, smiling, completely relaxing and putting his arms down to tuck his thumbs in his belt. “Vince Noir. You were right about the club and the cupboard… No idea what happened there. We were being chased by an amorous six-foot squirrel with a bit of an orange juice obsession at the time. I think he might have thought we needed vitamin c. I was just chatting to him before and then, he did that sniffing thing too. Can you smell rickets or scurvy or something? You’re not going to turn into a raccoon or something and chase us with limes are you?”

“Not planning on it anytime soon, Vince.” The American looked at foxy. “Gwen, I think we’re safe, Ianto? I think Howard might need some spare trousers. Howard, follow Ianto and he’ll show you where you can change. Vince, would you like to have a seat in my office?”

Howard nodded and followed Ianto, his arms still raised until Ianto turned and told him shyly that shooting them was off the ‘to-do list’ for the time being.

Vince looked skyward again. “I think Myfanwy would like a few more greens in her diet. She said Tosh used to give her the salad out of her sandwiches..? She misses that.”

The American looked puzzled and looked at Gwen. Gwen looked at Jack. “How did you…?”

“I’ve got a way with animals.” Vince grinned. “Never knew I could talk to prehistoric ones though. I’m way more talented than I thought.”

The American chuckled. “My name’s Captain Jack Harkness. This is our base and… Something tells me that even if I tell you everything about this place, you’re not going to be believed.”

“Your base?” Vince asked excitedly, leaning forward to take Jack’s proffered hand in a firm handshake. “Are you superheroes or something? Or shamen… Aw, do you know Naboo?”

“Should I?” Jack said shaking his head. He motioned for Vince to follow him up some steps where there were desks laid out. Then, he paused. “Little guy, turban…got a gorilla as a familiar? Rollo or something?”

“Bollo!” Vince smiled. “They’re great those two. We work with them… Live with them actually.”

“You guys wouldn’t have had anything to do with setting Nanatoo free would you?” Jack asked, motioning Vince to follow him again. “Gwen, coffee I think?” Jack turned to look at Vince who nodded.

“Two sugars please… For me and Howard.”

“Right…” Gwen turned on her heel and walked off, seemingly incredibly confused by the whole thing. Vince wondered if she’d ever considered spending more time with shamen. Or the friends of shamen.

“Nanatoo… Old lady, demon thing?” Vince looked back at Jack, biting his lip slightly. Jack nodded. “Yeah. It was just a thing, trying to impress a couple of goth girls, you know how it is. I mean, Howard was really trying to impress them most and then, you know, there’s a book with a star on it and… Next thing you know, mad granny demon.” Vince shrugged for emphasis.

Jack led him through into a separate office and sat down behind his desk. He motioned for Vince to sit down. “Are you sure it was Howard who wanted to impress them?” He looked skeptical.

“They were really hot goth girls…” Vince explained, looking around. “Nice coral.”

“Thanks,” Jack said. “Before we get you guys back, I feel I should warn you and your friend about the squirrel. Ah! Ianto! Howard!”

Vince couldn’t help but notice that the trousers Howard was wearing, were far more stylish than his own. He planned on stealing them if Howard was still wearing them when they got back to Clapham.

“Mr Moon’s trousers are in the machine sir,” Ianto told Jack. “They should be ready in within the hour. Shall I make coffee?”

Jack reached out a hand and pulled Ianto towards him. “Gwen’s on it. Come sit down for a sec, whilst we decide what to eat for supper. Are you guys hungry?” Jack turned back to Howard and Vince. Howard’s eyes seemed glued to Jack and Ianto’s entwined hands, watching Jack’s thumb grazing Ianto’s knuckles.

“I could handle a gay sandwich…” Howard blinked with panic, sitting down next to his friend. Vince resisted the urge to hold Howard’s hand too. “I mean a sandwich…maybe hands…I mean ham or, or…um…”

“Does this bother you, Howard?” Jack asked, raising Ianto’s hand. “I assumed you two were gay so…”

“Coffee!” Gwen announced brightly entering the room. “Ianto, I am sorry if this isn’t up to your standard. Vince, Howard, Jack, Ianto and one for me.” She handed out the coffee and looked puzzled at the hand holding. “Do you need me to do anything else Jack?”

“Are you eating here with us?” Jack gave her his very broadest grin. “We were just talking about getting some food in.”

“I suppose I could…” Gwen said nodding, taking a seat in front of Jack’s desk next to Howard, who winked at her. She looked slightly scared. Vince made a mental note to tell Howard to wink at people next time they ended up in trouble.

“How about gay pizza?” Howard suggested suddenly. “It’s what my uncle Ron calls quiche…” He laughed in a forced manner. “Where are we?”

Jack smiled patiently.

“You’re in Cardiff. We’re Torchwood and we’re safe,” Jack replied, in as smooth and confident a tone as Dixon Bainbridge. “You’re safe Howard. Vince and I have established that we both know Naboo. He’s one of the few men who know we exist, and we trust with that knowledge. Even from the Board of Shaman… What a bunch they are.” Jack shook his head.

Howard was visibly relieved. He took a deep breath and slapped Vince’s shoulder. “I told you we’d be okay, Vince. They’re friends of Naboo!”

Vince smiled indulgently. “Yes, Howard.”

“How’s Bollo?” Ianto asked in all seriousness. “Last time we saw Barry the Shaman, he was talking about trying to convince Naboo to get an upgrade… But I like Bollo.”

“Bollo’s fine,” Vince told him sweetly. “Bollo and Naboo are solid, there’s no chance Naboo would upgrade. Why would you want a bat when you can have a really funky ape on your side? Who’s Barry?”

“Welsh Shaman, long story,” Jack said. “Apparently, last time Barry saw Naboo he was having to rescue two dimwits from a yeti…”

Howard laughed nervously. “Imagine that… Dimwits, getting seduced by the siren call of the yeti in the wild. The strong, peaceful yeti.” Howard stood and began to sing. “Look around, everything is…”

Jack coughed loudly and reached over the desk to shake Howard firmly by the shoulders. “There’s no singing in Torchwood,” he told Howard solemnly. “No matter how much we beg… I used to be on the sta…”

“Not now, Jack.” Gwen shook her head. She turned to Vince. “If we let him get started now, there’s no way you’ll get out without two verses of every song of every musical John Barrowman’s been in since he was 12.”

“Who’s John Barrowman?” Jack asked, before looking up to a point somewhere in front of him. He winked and smiled as if he were talking into a camera. Everyone turned round and tried to look for who Jack was talking to. There was no one there.

“I met a yeti once…” Ianto said mistily.

“Me too, filthy fucker tried to shag everyone.” Gwen nodded, the stress of the memory etched on her face.

“That’s a very nice scarf by the way, Vince.” Jack tilted his head to the side. “I have a friend, a Doctor, who I always feel should wear a scarf.”

“He’s got the ghost of scarf thing?” Vince replied looking concerned. “If you’re a scarf man, it stays with you… Even when the scarf is long gone.”

Jack nodded in a way that Vince could see meant he understood Vince’s deeply mystical nature.

“Shall I order a meat-feast pizza then?” Ianto added, “before we start talking about shoes or something?”

“Now, let me tell ya about these babies!” Vince almost yelled, lifting his leg and perching his foot on the tip of Jack’s desk to reveal a scarlet cowboy boot.

“Vince,” Howard yelled, just as abruptly. “I’m sure Ianto here doesn’t want to talk about your boots..”

“They are nice though…” Gwen said, reaching out to stroke the leather. “Almost unisex…”

“Omnisexual boots.” Jack laughed, slyly looking at the boots. It looked to Vince as if he was wondering if they would fit him. “I’m omnisexual you know.”

“Really?” Vince asked. “Me and Howard were gay for about two minutes once.”

“I know what that’s like.” Gwen laughed. “It’s still one of those things I know I can never tell Rhys…” She looked skywards. “Snogging a girl, who was possessed by an alien, on your first day at work. Only in Torchwood.”

“Wow,” Howard said. “Do you have any footage…?”

“Howard, you’ve just met the lady.” Vince shook his head, pulling Howard closer to him to whisper in his ear. “And besides, she and I are connecting. I’m thinking me and her and the captain, a bit of a cross-over three-way…”

“As if!” Howard exclaimed loudly. He looked around to see Gwen, Jack and Ianto staring at him. “I was thinking that you guys are a team so… A five-way would be about right?” He winked.

“Just when we thought the voice of Owen was long gone,” Ianto said, walking out of the office, presumably to order pizza.

“So, what do you lot do then?” Vince asked, pulling his foot off the table and wishing he could dig a hole big enough to bury Howard.

“We search out aliens and alien technology,” Jack explained, leaning forward, his cheesy grin returning. “Save the earth, that sort of thing. What about you two?”

“Me and Howard? Well, we’re sort of… Between jobs at the moment.” Vince blushed.

“We’re hard men to pin down Captain Hardness,” Howard said raising his chin, refusing to be beaten down. He leaned back in his chair. “We’re masters of many things. Really, the choice is almost too much in terms of what nugget of talent we choose to show the world at any given moment.” He waved his arm around expansively, in an attempt to show the breadth of their skill.

“Harkness,” Vince whispered,

“Hark what?” Howard shook his head.

“His name, it’s Harkness, Captain Jack Harkness,” Gwen said helpfully, pointing at Jack.

“That’s what I said,” Howard swallowed. “We’re not aliens by the way.”

“I know.” Jack nodded, uncertainly. “We’re not going to kill you, you know that right?”

“Of course,” Howard whimpered. He cleared his throat. “Caught any good aliens lately?”

“We had a Dalek in the Hub the other week!” Gwen said excitedly.

“Those fellas with the plungers?” Vince asked, leaning forward to smile at Gwen eagerly. “They’re genius… They should form a band you know? They’ve got the whole outfits, catchphrase, mad leader thing going on.”

“Well.” Jack smiled. “It would be more peaceful than exterminating people…”

“Absolutely!” Vince said. “Do they still do that? They might just be misunderstood. Exterminate might mean ‘got a blocked sink?’ in Dalek… I mean, you never know.”

“They… Really mean exterminate, as in die, Vince,” Jack told him gently, his smile only just starting to slip.

“Right.” Vince laughed, looking worried. He turned back to Gwen. “So, how did you get away from it?”

“Forcefield that Tosh… Well, she came up with it,” Gwen said sadly. “She saved myself and Ianto’s lives.”

“Is she…?” Howard titled his head. Gwen nodded. “I’m sorry.”

Vince was puzzled but before he could speak, Howard was elbowing him in the ribs hard.

“Pizza everyone,” Ianto said returning with a huge pizza box. He handed everyone a napkin and tucked his own into his collar.

“So how long have you and the Captain been… Together?” Vince asked, his face showing genuine interest. He thought they were quite a cute couple.

“Oh, well…” Ianto blushed and fussed.

“Couple of false starts, Vince,” Jack answered, stroking Ianto’s arm, “but we’re together now. That’s about all we can say.”

“Good for you.” Vince nodded. “Me and Howard will probably end up married.”

“Will we?” Howard shrieked, alarmed.

“I was your first love.” Vince smiled smugly. “Admit it, once you’ve had a taste of Noir, you’re ruined for everyone else.”

Howard shook his head, and made a gesture to Gwen that suggested that Vince had fallen off the sanity wagon.

“So what’s with the period clothing then, Jack?” Howard asked. “I can see why you’re going with the heavy gauge fabric. It’s wearable, adaptable…it works for men of action like us.”

“I don’t get a lot of time for shopping,” Jack deadpanned.

“What, since the 1950’s?” Ianto looked at him skeptically.

“Come on Jack,” Vince said sitting up. “When a man is tired of fashion, he’s tired with the world. See, this stuff suits you, it really does. The simple lines really work for you. But thing is, you could really brighten that with a splash of colour…”

“I wear a pink shirt sometimes,” Jack argued, starting to look slightly hounded. “And besides Ianto, you said you liked the coat!”

“I love the coat, and the braces….I like what you wear because it’s you,” Ianto replied, shrugging his shoulders. “That should be your reason.”

“Can I go back and say what he said?” Jack asked Vince.

“Sure…” Vince nodded. “I can see you in pink. It would go with your skin tone.”

“Sometimes you really worry me Vince…” Howard was looking at his friend with a mixture of bemusement and oddly, a touch of real respect.

“My mother always liked me in pink,” Jack told Vince in something like confidence. Vince tried valiantly to ignore the fact that Gwen was giggling madly.

“See, you two have real clothes statements going on.” Vince was looking at Ianto who had stopped munching pizza in embarrassment. “I think, Ianto, you could go really sophisticated mod. Get that suit working with a nice parka. Between you, you’re like bridging the years of fashion. It’s all good.”

“Why didn’t I think of that?” Gwen asked no one in particular. “Vince, do you think this top is okay on me?”

“I wouldn’t mix too much red and black, can look a bit tarty.” Vince sat back a little to really give his attention to Gwen’s outfit. “But red IS your colour. I’d like to see you maybe bringing in a little bit of a punky edge to go with that haircut. And you could really give that some height. There’s a product I recommend…”

Howard yawned in an exaggerated fashion.

“As tremendously gripping as this is, Vince,” Howard said, looking to Ianto for support. “I’m sure some of us would rather talk about these people’s dangerous work, and how we can help them. I’ve got the moves you know… Like a stingray, like a beagle, like a hamster; comin at ya…”

Ianto choked on his pizza.

“I’ll go see if Mr Moon’s trousers are ready, shall I?” Gwen bounced to her feet and gave Ianto a friendly thump on the back on the way past.

In the meantime, Vince and Jack were talking about how they could bring in some minimalist decor into his office.

“You could just try actually doing some of the paperwork I leave on your desk,” Ianto chuntered.

“I’m feeling that you’re a downtrodden man, Ianto,” Howard said consolingly. “I think that with a new person by your side to help with the administration….”

“Fuck off Howard,” Vince suddenly said, in the middle of explaining to Jack that some frosty pastel shades might bring a bit of light to the cells. “You’re rubbish with paperwork. It took you six months to figure out how to apply for a passport.”

Howard looked crestfallen.

“They are quite tricky those forms…” Ianto started to say, before Jack stopped him with a panicky glance.

“We’re not really hiring…” Jack told Howard, pushing a pile of job applications under a pile of expenses claim forms.

“Besides,” Vince said stroking Howard’s back, “we’re in Cardiff. I don’t think you can spend Euros over here.”

“I suppose not,” Howard told him. “We’ve had some good times haven’t we Vince?”

“It’s alright,” Vince replied warily, “I don’t think they’re going to kill us.”

“Trousers!” squealed Gwen breathlessly, bursting back into the room. “Now, how do we get them back..?” She looked at Jack with an expression that told him to come up with something fast.

“Ianto,” Jack said standing, trying not to look at Howard’s underwear as he changed back into his hideous brown corduroys. “Take Howard to the broom cupboard in the third storage room on the right. Vince, let me tell you about the squirrels.”

It was with some trepidation that Vince and Howard stepped though the shimmering veil of violet, loitering at the back of broom Cupboard D. They were armed with a Jiff lemon each and instructions on how to handle their furry fan. It was, however, only Vince who left with Captain Jack’s phone number.

End Notes: Comments are adored.