Of Wine, Women and Cream Poetry

There’s a shindig going down at the Zooniverse


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Notes: Set sometime during series 1, obviously. I really want a drunken Howard all of my own. Bow before my cream poetry! Took about an hour and a half, according to cailenbraern. Would like to dedicate this to tundra_boy, as she’s had a nasty day at work. Also, the last line? Is what I kept telling everyone repeatedly on Halloween after a little too much of the red stuff… No not blood! Weirdo…

Er, not been betaed.

Of Wine, Women and Cream Poetry by phoon

Vince wasn’t sure as to the occasion, but any shindig where he got flirtini’s and pringles didn’t necessarily need a reason. He glanced down, swirling his flirtini around in the glass, and took a delicate sip. Looking out across the Zooniverse forecourt, at random people he didn’t know milling about and picking at the buffet table, he could see Bob Fossil dancing in front of Dixon Bainbridge. Stroking his moustache slowly, Bainbridge seemed rather… impressed, as Fossil leapt around in front of him. Thankfully, Vince was too far away to listen to what Fossil was singing, and could only see him mime dramatically.

Shaking his head, Vince looked around, searching for Howard. It had taken some heavy convincing to get Howard to agree to come to the party. A whole box of jaffa cakes and a sherbert fountain, not to mention lending him some of Vince’s clothes. And the promise that there would be ladies present.

Vince rolled his eyes, taking another sip of his flirtini. As if Howard could ever get off with a woman at one of these parties. He tried too hard. He told bad jokes and then laughed at them, spouted off zoo opening times, rambled on about the weather, about the mating habits of porpoise, about his own poetic prowess. And if the lady was really lucky, she’d get a cream poem all of her own. Really, it was painful to watch.

Howard had never written Vince a cream poem. Vince wasn’t bitter. Really.

Finally, he spotted Howard weaving his way in front of the chameleon boudoir, wine bottle clasped in one hand. He was wearing Vince’s black too tight jeans, that were clenched around his hips and made his belly stick out. Then a t-shirt, followed by a size too small, blue, pinstriped suit jacket, bright enough to stun small mammals on motorways. Vince groaned and closed his eyes. That man had no fashion sense whatsoever. Fortunately, he hadn’t done anything to his hair. Despite Vince’s (rather accurate) criticisms, he liked Howard’s hair, soft dark curls almost begging to be played with.

“Ladies, ladies, having a good time I hope?” Howard stopped in front of two rather horrified looking older ladies. Howard wobbled a little where he stood. “Ooh you cheeky vixen…” He leant forward towards the old lady with the plastic rain hat. “Givin’ me the eye.” He made a vaguely obscene gesture with the wine bottle. “Go on, get in me wheelbarra’…”

“Heeeey Howard!” Vince decided now would be a good time to intervene. He slipped one hand around Howard’s waist and tugged back, rather effectually spinning Howard off balance. “Sorry about this.” He said to the old ladies, one of whom was clutching a handkerchief to her mouth. “He’s just had too much sherbet.”

“Vince!” Howard had managed to stand properly, and threw one arm around Vince’s shoulders before leaning heavily against him. “Vince, Vincey Vincey.” He leaned in and peered closely at Vince’s eyebrow. “Vince!”

“Howard, you’re in a right state! Look at you, what’re you playing at?” Howard grinned, tightening his hold around Vince’s neck.

“Wine.” He waved the bottle in front of Vince’s face. “Dixon. Dixon gave me wine.” He giggled almost hysterically and brought the bottle to his lips. Vince frowned, looking around the forecourt until he found Bainbridge, watching them with a grin on his face, and Fossil, watching Bainbridge and hopping excitedly from one foot to the other.

“Bainbridge?” Howard nodded enthusiastically, pressing the wine bottle against Vince’s chest. “Bainbridge gave you wine?”

“Yep.” When Vince didn’t take the wine from him, Howard took a quick swig then hugged it to his chest. “Hm. I like red wine.”

“Howard? Concentrate. Bainbridge gave you wine?”

“Uh huh.” Howard frowned, pouting a little. “You’ve already asked me that. You drunk Vince?”

“No, I’m not. Howard, Howard look at me.” When Howard didn’t stop staring at the button on Vince’s lapel, he cupped Howard’s chin in one hand and tilted his head up. “Why did Bainbridge give you wine?”

Howard shrugged, seemingly with his entire body. “Mdunno. Somethin’ bout… entertainmen’…” He looked rather adorably confused for a moment, before concentrating back on Vince’s button.

“Entertainment?” Vince frowned, glaring in Bainbridge’s direction, though Bainbridge wasn’t watching them. Apparently, drunken Howard had lost his interest. “Wanker.” He turned his attention back to Howard, who was listing to the side slightly.

“Hey… Vince.” He muttered as Vince slid one arm around his waist. “Vincey Vincey Vincey…”

Rolling his eyes at the continued mumbling, Vince steered Howard towards the keepers hut. It was slow going, what with Howard stumbling every other step then giggling hysterically. And Vince was sure the door had some sort of personal vendetta against them, because it really shouldn’t keep swinging back into them that hard. Of course, when they got inside, he had to manoeuvre Howard onto the couch. And then again when he slithered off sideways. He fished the blankets out from the cupboard, tossing them to the floor near the couch. Then he put the kettle on, leaning back against the counter and watched Howard gesture randomly into the air with both hands, wine bottle propped precariously against the back of the sofa.

“… Like cream pencils…” Vince frowned softly, as he slid his boots off, then moved a little closer. “No… no, like… like cream…” More gesturing. Howard had his eyes closed, frowning in concentration. “Like, like, hm… tendrils! Ha!” Vince shook his head, and stepped closer.

“Howard, you want some…”

“Oh Vince, sweet… No, no… Vince, with your hair like cream… tendrils…”

Vince froze, mouth still opened, and stared. Howard didn’t seem to notice him.

“And your… And your eyes like cream… balls. Ha! Heheh. No, no, like… like cream spheres.” Howard giggled again, still oblivious, even as Vince walked slowly towards him. Behind him, the kettle clicked off. Vince ignored it. “Spheres. Spheres. And… Hmm, and your mouth like… a cream cavern. Cave. A cream mine. Mine.”

Softly, “Howard?”

“Hm. Mine. And your…” more gesturing. “And your legs like… cream…”

A little louder. “Howard!”

“Pencils. What? Vince!” Howard grinned up at him from where he was slumped on the couch. “Hey Vince, I wrote you a poem! Oh Vince, with your…”

“I heard it Howard.” Vince smiled reassuringly down at him, before tugging his jacket off, grabbing the blanket and climbed onto the couch.

“What… Whatcha doing, Vince?” Carefully placing the still half-full bottle of wine onto the floor, Vince lay down, stretching out carefully over Howard. Finally, after much shuffling, he settled with his head on Howard’s shoulder, one leg over Howard’s, pressing close. He had arranged the blanket over them as best he could, given the awkward position. “Vincey? What… Hey, my wine…”


“Hm?” Howard stopped trying to reach the wine and looked quizzically at Vince, eyes bright and unfocused. Smiling, Vince slid his hand up Howard’s chest, to rest against his jaw. “What?”

Vince leant forward, brushing his lips carefully against Howard’s, licking gently at his bottom lip. It didn’t take long for Howard to respond, his lips parting, and press back. It wasn’t much of a kiss, but as Howard’s breath ghosted over his cheek, a brush of tongue as Howard licked his own lips, he knew it was enough.

Sighing softly, he moved back, resting his head against the warm solidity of Howard’s shoulder and pulled the blanket closer.


Howard’s arms slid around his shoulders, pulling him closer. “Yeah Howard?”

“Remind me how much I like red wine tomorrow.”

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