The Dare

Sequel to my ‘The Bet’ series. Howard is still having trouble expressing himself, so it’s down to Vince to give him another little push…



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Length: words

Notes: None of the characters are mine (but I wish they were). No money being made here.

The Dare by jcheartsboosh

“Howard? Howard? Howard? HowardHowardHowardHoward…”

Howard looked up from his newspaper and stared frustratedly at Vince.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you ask me, the answer is still no.”

“Aww come on Howard, think about how much fun it would be!”

“Fun for you? Yes. Fun for me? No sir.”

“But Howard…”

“There is more chance of you plucking every hair out of your head with a pair of tweezers than there is of me doing that.”

“That’s sick. You’re ill Howard.”

“Zip it.”

Howard watched Vince slump defeated onto the floor in front of where he was sat on the sofa.
He knew Vince liked to see how far he could push him. Howard also knew it was simply Vince’s way of finding out how far Howard would go to make him happy. But that was what people in love did, they went out of their way to make each other happy. Howard did it for Vince, and Vince… well they could work on Vince later.

But there is no way i’m doing this. Howard TJ Moon has too much self respect!

Vince’s recent requests had varied from just asking Howard to make him cups of tea, which had been largely successful, to asking Howard to bake him a cake in the shape of Mick Jagger’s head. Successful in that Howard had baked it; unsuccessful in that Vince had said it looked less Jagger, more Jacko.
Vince seemed to need these daily reassurances from Howard; it was like Vince hadn’t believed a word he had said that night on the hill. Then again, Howard couldn’t blame him because – ironically – since they’d admitted their feelings they’d hardly spoken. Well not about the important stuff anyway; the mushy emotional stuff, where they went from here. They just kept playing this game, it seemed that all they did was play games.
In Howard’s head, admitting their feelings to each other had been the easy part, (not that he had actually found that easy.) It was almost like that had been the starter, and Howard had no idea how to deal with the main course. He wasn’t surprised Vince needed all these actions because, after all, Howard was too much of a coward to give him words.

We have issues.

Howard’s thoughts were interrupted by a whining voice below him.

“Howard, karaoke is no different to you performing your jazz … ”

A pause.

“… shit.”

Howard rolled up his newspaper and smacked Vince emphatically over the head with it.

“Ow! Howard you teaspoon. What was that for?”

“Was there really any need for that last word?”

“I couldn’t leave the sentence incomplete.”

“It was complete! Completion was achieved, Vince!”

“To leave it there would have been a crime against… humanity.”

“Humanity? Isn’t that a little extreme, even for you?”

Vince stared down at the ground, grinning, cheeks flushed with possible embarrassment. In that moment, all Howard wanted to do was pick Vince up off the floor and carry him to the bedroom. But that would be dessert, and Howard didn’t know how to deal with that either.

We have issues.

“I hope you have a Plan B, Vince.”

“C’mon Howard, you could do it, you’re a Jazz Maverick remember!”

Vince beamed up at him, then started walking his fingers up and down Howard’s leg, up to the knee and back down again.

How dare he try and unlease his ‘moves’ on me at a time like this.

“Funny how I’m a jazz maverick when you want something isn’t it? The other day, while I was scatting, you called me a jazzy turd!”

Vince looked up, this time not even trying to conceal his grin.

“It was jazzy turd burglar actually.”

Howard hit him with the newspaper again.

“Shut it.”

Over the last week, Vince had been nagging Howard about singing at this apparently ‘genius’ karaoke bar in town. The idea made Howard feel quite sick. Despite what Vince had said, it wouldn’t be the same as when he performed jazz. He knew jazz; it was in his blood, pumping ‘round his body like a musical disease. The idea of having to sing ‘Karma Chameleon’ or ‘I Will Survive’ to a throng of heckling drunkards made Howard shudder. He wasn’t an exhibitionist like Vince; he couldn’t just put himself out there like that, especially not on his own. He shouldn’t have to make himself look like a tit in order to show Vince that he wanted him properly. Not this in-between thing they’d got going on, but properly, for keeps.

No, you should just be able to open your mouth and tell him. You knob.

Howard wasn’t appreciating the input from his brain today, and hit himself over the head with his newspaper to prove it.

Vince was, so it seemed, unimpressed by this action.

“Stop that, you mentalist. That newspaper will get you arrested.”

“What for? Crimes against humanity?”

Vince rolled his eyes, before kneeling up. Using Howard’s left leg to lean on for balance, he grabbed the newspaper from him and threw it across the room, grabbing Howard’s now empty hand. Howard’s body sparked to life. Even now, it scared Howard how right all this felt. Howard watched as Vince pulled his hand towards his lips, placing a kiss on the palm. He felt like giving up there and then.

Tell him.

They were having a ‘moment’, and surely this ‘moment’ would be the perfect… well, moment to be honest. Howard gulped, and opened his mouth to speak… but Vince beat him to it.

“I dare you.”

The ‘moment’ was gone.


“If you won’t do the karaoke for me Howard, do it for the dare.”

Howard pulled his hand away.

“You can’t do that, Vince.”

“I just did.”

“You know I can never back down from a dare.”

“Well duh.”

“Oh, very mature.”

Howard stood up, and moved so he was standing over Vince. He’d never refused a dare in his life, but he was Howard Moon: Man of Action, not Howard Moon: Karaoke Queen. He just couldn’t do it.

“I can’t Vince, please.”

Vince stood up.

“Howard, don’t make me do this.”

“Just forget it, please Vince. I know what you’re thinking. Don’t think that, I’m begging you.”

Howard started walking back slowly, trying to create some space between himself and the smaller man.

“You’re only making things worse for yourself, Howard.”

Vince was following him step for step.

“I won’t do it!”

Vince chuckled as he continued to stalk Howard across the room.

“Then you leave me no choice.”

Howard felt his back hit the wall. He had no escape.


“Please Vin…”

“I double-dare you to sing karaoke!”


And by no, of course he meant yes. Because you never turn down a double-dare. Fact.

“Great! I’ll pick the song and the outfit. This is gonna be genius Howard.”

Howard watched Vince’s face light up. He could hear those cogs whirring again, and it scared the shit out of him.


Howard’s voice cracked as he spoke. Vince leant up and gave Howard, what he imagines is meant to be a quick, reassuring kiss.

“You like Britney don’t you Howard?”

Howard let his brain process this.

“That blonde bint?”

But Vince had already left the room, and seconds later Howard heard a familiar song creep through the airwaves from Vince’s bedroom.

‘Hit me baby one more time…’

Howard groaned, and slid down the wall ‘til he hit the ground with a thud.

Welcome to the concept of the double-dare Howard. You knob.

End Notes: Reviews are lovely!

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