Pairing: Howard Moon/Vince Noir
Length: <1k words
Over Him by Amy Wolf
“It’s not worth wasting all of your time over someone who doesn’t fancy you back.”
Howard dug his comb ferociously through his hair. “Mrs. Gideon does fancy me. She just doesn’t realize it yet.”
Vince rolled his eyes. “She fancies you without realizing it? How does that work?”
“Chemistry, little man. Unspoken layers of sexual tension between us. A slow, smoldering burn. Neither one of us mentions it, but it’s there. In every word, every glance, smoldering like a volcano.” He tucked his comb in his pocket, and checked the results.
Hair nice and flat. Part you could use as a ruler. That was bound to impress her.
“Is that why she can’t even remember your name?” Vince asked. “Because the volcano’s burned a hole in her brain?”
“What would you know about it?” Howard turned and glared at Vince, who was lounging on the sofa with a magazine. “What would you know about real passion? You’ve never fancied anyone for longer than it takes for your hair-spray to stop working.”
Vince held up a finger. “With some of the extra-hold brands, that can be quite a long time.”
Howard sighed, turned, and headed for the door.
He almost missed Vince’s voice behind him. “I have, actually.”
“I have. Fancied someone for longer than hairspray lasts. Even the good stuff.”
Howard looked back over his shoulder. He hadn’t know that. “Really? When?”
“Started when I was back at school. Went on for years. Never fell for anyone like that before. Or since.” Vince, still looking at the magazine, rummaged through the sack of wine gums on the floor beside him, and pulled out a handful.
Howard definitely didn’t remember that. Even allowing for exaggeration, ‘years’ would still mean well over a month. And Vince never spent a month fancying the same girl. All the girls Vince had dated at school were brief little flings; gorgeous girls practically throwing themselves at him (literally, in the case of a certain gymnastics champion), and drifting out of his life without making a dent in that easy grin. “Who was she?”
“He,” said Vince, popping a sweet into his mouth.
“Oh.” Howard didn’t know what to say. He looked down at the floor for a stretch, shuffling his feet.
But Vince was his best friend. Always had been. And even if he did have…tendencies, Howard could accept that. He was a man of the world. Tolerant and open-minded.
Besides, he’d always had his suspicions. How many straight men spent that much time on their hair?
“So, what happened?” asked Howard, looking up. He was slightly put off that Vince evidently hadn’t even noticed Howard’s internal struggle for acceptance.
“Like I said, I fell hard. Completely devoted. This was the bloke who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So I followed him everywhere. Even went traveling with him after leaving school.”
“That week before you and I went off together?” Howard asked.
Vince glanced up at him. “Yeah.”
Howard hadn’t guessed Vince had spent a week having a torrid secret love affair with another man. But they both had secrets. Vince had never learned about Howard’s adventures as a bin man. “And then what?”
“That’s it. That’s the end of the story.”
Howard groaned. “Not that again! Dangling the first hints of something interesting, and saying the story’s over!”
“Can’t help it.” Vince grinned. “I’m the juicy dangler.”
“You’re bloody annoying, that’s what you are. You can’t just tell me about the love of your life, and stop before anything happens. What happened when he found out how you felt? Did he panic? Did he get upset?” If this idiot had said something nasty to Vince over it, or worse yet, hurt him, Howard was going to track him down and…
“He didn’t find out.”
“Well, I wasn’t going to tell him, was I?”
“You weren’t?” Howard frowned. “Why not?”
“He didn’t fancy me back. He only liked girls. No sense saying anything to him. It would only have made things weird. He might not have wanted me around anymore.”
Howard shook his head. That didn’t sound like Vince at all. Normally, he was The Sunshine Kid, going after everything he wanted with the glowing confidence that it would fall into his lap.
And it did. Every bloody time.
Not declaring his love because he might lose whoever this man was? Vince must have been really gone over him.
Howard was beginning to really dislike this bloke. What kind of idiot would wander around just not noticing that Vince was in love with him? Leave the poor little fellow lovelorn and heartbroken because he was too oblivious to notice?
“So you didn’t even try? See what might have happened?”
Vince shrugged. “There are loads of people who do fall for me. I figured I was better off with all of them. Me and this bloke, we stayed friends.”
Leroy, Howard thought. It had to be Leroy. “So you got over him?”
“You’re still in love with him.” Vince had spent all of this time in love with that tosser Leroy, who couldn’t be bothered to notice.
Vince shrugged again.
“Say something to him. Go! Find him! Declare your love, and damn the consequences! This is your one grand passion; you can’t just abandon that.”
Vince shook his head, a bit sadly. “It’s not worth wasting all of your time over someone who doesn’t fancy you back.”