Howard and Vince have a sleepover. Sweetness ensues.


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Sleepover by Replenished

Howard wiggled in his sleeping bag, trying to pull it further up his chest without success. It was unfortunately made for a far shorter individual and his feet squished uncomfortably into the bottom corners. He thought about getting out of it, perhaps using it as a blanket instead. After lying in the dark a while longer he decided he would just stay where he was and suffer silently. Surely he would get no sleep tonight anyway, not when tomorrow loomed ahead. He would be boxing a kangaroo and despite all the training and Vince’s assurances Howard couldn’t help but assume the worst. Vince had confidence in all things; even now Howard could hear that Vince’s breathing had slowed into the gentle rhythm sleep. Typical that nothing could shake Vince’s unerring optimism. Howard brought his hand up close to his face until he could see the vague outline. He flexed his fingers balling them into a fist.

Closing his eyes, he tried to focus on something, anything else. Howard started as Vince let out a small sigh. He scrunched his eyes shut tighter, focussing on Vince’s breathing and how the pace had changed. It became more jagged with quick intakes followed by painfully slow outward breathes. Howard grimaced, thinking that Vince was probably having a lovely dream about a girl. Was he humming now, the happy bastard? The volume of Vince’s voice increased occasionally petering out to a small squeak. Howard listened, fascinated by the tune that seemed so unlike the usual electro nonsense Vince favoured. He opened his eyes to the murky brown of the zookeepers hut as Vince swished violently in his own sleeping bag.

“How?” There was a desperate edge to Vince’s muttered voice. Howard realised that Vince’s dream wasn’t a pleasant one at all. It seemed impossible that Vince was upset by something.

“How do you kill a ‘roo!”

Howard’s eyebrows shot up as he tried to comprehend what Vince had just exclaimed. Vince continued to thrash and Howard suddenly felt like a complete twat. His friend was having a nightmare about tomorrow. There was something behind that’s shiny exterior and it was a genuine concern for Howard’s safety. He thought about shaking Vince awake but had a vague recollection about that causing heart attacks.

“Vince,” he whispered, surprised by the volume of his voice.


“It’s okay Vince.” His voice croaked a little


Howard twisted his arm awkwardly to the side, trying to gently touch Vince’s arm. He found flesh and tapped it gently with the tip of his finger.


Howard whipped his arm back, realising he had been touching Vince on the cheek.

“Go back to sleep Vince,” he said gently.

“Okay.” Within moments Vince’s breathing returned to its steady rhythm of sleep. Howard listened again and found his own breathing slowing to match. As his eyes became heavy and closed his last thought was of Vince and how he seemed to somehow make everything better.