Dialogue-only fic


Characters: ,


Genre: ,



Length: words

Notes: Contains heavy references to the radio episode of Electro, and features an appearance of Mrs. Gideon.

Outfit by cailenbraern

“I’m not wearing this.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m sorry Vince, it’s just not me.”

“You said you’d let me give you a makeover!”

“That was before you made me look like Isadora Duncan, yeah?”

“What are you on about?”

“I mean, what are all these layers for? And the feathers?”

“They look good!”

“I look like some sort of demented chicken.”

“Don’t you trust me?”

“It’s about my legs, isn’t it?”


“Yeah. You think they look like chicken legs, yeah? Like little drumsticks.”

“That’s not the reason at all.”

“Yeah? What about this shirt, Vince? I can’t breathe.”

“It’s Rock Chic.”

“No, it’s Rock Cow, yeah? It’s a leather shirt. It’s a gay shirt, Vince.”

“Yeah and you’re going down a storm with the ladies, aren’t you?”

“You know what I mean.”

“I don’t think I do. Look, I wear these clothes!”

“Yeah? That’s different.”

“Is it?”

“Course it is! You can wear these outfits, yeah? No one bats an eyelid. You’re young, sexy, gorgeous, charming…”

“Flattery gets you everywhere.”

“You’re all those things. Yeah? You could wear a bin bag and make it look good.”

“A bin bag?”


“I did that. Years ago. Summer of ‘99. I did a benefit gig for some urban foxes in the park.”

“You see? That’s my point.”

“Look Howard, I think you’re underestimating yourself.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, look at you.”

“I can’t look at me Vince, I am me.”

“Well just try! Here, look in this mirror.”

“Yeah? What?”

“What? Well what can you see?”

“I see a pillock in a stupid outfit, Vince, I see the human chicken!”

“Look, we’ll lost the feathers if they bother you that much.”

“…What are you staring at?”

“You, you side-show freak!”


“Because you’re tall, sexy, handsome, well-built…”

“Stop that.”

“No! I won’t. I mean it.”

“You’re saying it to make me feel better.”

“I’m not!”

“Yeah? Why dress me up like this then?”

“It looks good!”

“This isn’t one of our normal gigs, Vince. Yeah?”

“I know that!”

“This is the first Jazz recital I’ve been invited to for years.”

“I know, you tell me every two minutes.”

“Well, I’m nervous, Vince.”

“What? That is ridiculous! I’ve heard you play! You’re a jazz freak!”

“You don’t know anything about jazz. I could be rubbish.”

“You’re a genius.”

“I can’t wear this.”

“It’ll make you stand out from the all the others. It’s a gimmick.”

“I don’t need a gimmick Vince. People should remember me for my music.”

“Exactly! Think about it, your jazz, and my style…you’ll be unbeatable! You’ll knock ‘em dead!”

“Do I have to wear the cow?”

“Yeah! If I had my way you’d perform naked!”

“Already been done!”


“Yeah, Johnny Keggers. Finished his career it did.”

“Well that’s because he didn’t have a sexy body like you.”

“I don’t know Vince. He was a big hit amongst the ladies, and a few of the men too. I know Mrs. Gideon took a shine to him.”

“Yeah? What about you?”

“Well he was a handsome man, Vince, like myself. We got a little close, yeah, but it wouldn’t have worked out.”

“Why’s that?”

“Well, you know, two deeply handsome men, two gifted Jazz pioneers, it was a competition thing. And people would look at us and hate us, because we were so handsome. So we went our separate ways and found partners less good looking.”

“Oh, right and you settled for me, then?”

“That’s right, yeah. No, after that…that’s when I hooked up with Mrs. Gideon.”

“As if, she never remembers you!”

“Yeah? I’ll let you in on a little secret Vince. Drugs.”

“No way!”

“Yeah, terrible thing. She used to do Glade air fresheners in the mornings, Red Bull and Febreeze in the afternoons, and just before bed, she’d swallow a moth ball.”

“That is unbelievable!”

“Yeah, she was in a bad way, Mrs. Gideon. That’s why her minds not what it used to be.”

“So what happened between you two?”

“Me and Mrs. Gideon? Well, you know, the drugs were a problem. She’d wake up in the morning and scream at me cos she couldn’t remember who I was. Threw whatever she could find at me. Books, yeah? Empty Airwicks, bottles, you name it. Our music suffered, then she met someone else, and she left me. I never played again after that.”

“I thought that was because the Spirit of Jazz worked you like a puppet.”

“Well that was one of the reasons, ok? The downfall of my career was a culmination of several bad periods.”

“Oh right.”

“It’s growing on me.”

“What is?”

“The shirtcow. It’s merging to become one with my skin.”

“It looks fab.”

“Yeah, well I’ll have to take your word for it. I don’t think it’ll come off without a fight.”

“How long ‘til the gig?”

“About 3 hours.”


“Come on, Vince! How long does it take to get a drink?”


“…Mrs. Gideon!”

“I thought I recognised you. How long has it been since we last saw each other?”

“We’ve been working together at the zoo for ten years.”



“Oh…well, you’ve changed a lot since I last saw you. I recognised you from your performance. You were very good you know.”


“Oh yes. It reminded me of when we used to play in Leeds.”

“Ah yes. We were the toast of the town.”

“The crowd loved you.”

“Yeah? I was nervous you know? I haven’t played for a while. Not since you in fact.”

“I was thinking, what if we became a team again?”

“What, me and you?”

“Yes. We could tour across the country, maybe even Europe.”

“You want to go on tour with me?”

“Yes Howard. You know you are a very handsome man. You remind me a lot of Rudi.”

“Ah. What happened to Rudi?”

“He’s dead.”

“Oh, right.”

“So, what do you think?”


“About the tour, you and me, together again.”

“Yeah, the thing is, I’m with someone right now. And if I go off on tour, it’ll make them unhappy. And I don’t want them to be unhappy, you know? It makes me unhappy.”

“Oh. Oh, I see.”


“Who is the lucky lady?”

“Lady? No, it’s Vince.”


“Yeah, he worked at the zoo. Good looking, great hair, talks to animals…”

“Yes, I know Vince. Are you…happy together?”

“Yeah. We are.”

“Oh. I’m very pleased for you Howard.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Gideon.”

“Well, I’d better go, perhaps I’ll see you perform again?”

“Oh yes, I’m the new face of Jazz.”

“Yes…bye Howard.”

“Take care, Mrs. Gideon”


“Vince! There you are! What took you so long?”

“What took me so long? What were you talking to Gideon about?”

“What? We were just discussing jazz.”

“As if! She was all over you!”


“Like a powerful moss. What did you say to her?”


“I saw her! Her eyes crawling all over your legs.”

“Yeah? So? My legs are a thing of beauty Vince.”

“They’re my legs.”

“Look, she came over, said she enjoyed the performance.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah! She said she remembers the fun we had performing back in the day, and would I be interested in starting it up again.”

“Starting what exactly?”

“Well, she asked me if I wanted to do a tour.”

“She what?”

“A tour, like the old days. Going around Yorkshire, touring the clubs, bringing the art of jazz for all to hear.”

“I don’t believe this!”

“What’s the matter with you?”

“Mrs. Gideon comes swooping in, finally remembering you after 10 years, asks you if you want to go on tour with her and you swan off, leaving me behind!”


“I thought you’d gotten over her, but you want her, don’t you? I’m second best.”

“Shoosh your lips up! I said no.”


“I turned her down, Vince. I’m not going anywhere.”

“So, you’ve had a crush on her for the best part of a decade, she hits on you and asks you to come away with her, and you turned her down.”

“That’s right.”

“So you feel trapped by me.”

“What? No! I said no because I didn’t want to go away with her Vince. She messed me around, and I’ve got no time for that. Yeah? I know what love is like, and it’s not an infatuation with a woman who barely remembers your face.”


“That’s right. I turned her down, because I’m in love with someone else.”

“Tell me more about this person.”

“Well, what can I say about him? He’s sexy, funny, gorgeous…”

“Great hair, fabulous clothes.”

“Yeah! You know Johnny Keggers? Ow!”

“You look so sexy.”

“Yeah? Well why don’t we blow this joint and see if you can prise this shirt off me?”

“That sounds like a good idea.”