You’re Not Supposed to get Groupies

Sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll. Even though the sex is disappointing, the drug is alcohol and the rock‘n’roll is electro-jazz.


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Length: words

Notes: Written for the tour challenge. Archiving is fine.

You’re Not Supposed to get Groupies by thymeth

Three weeks on the road away from all the bustle of London. It was the perfect opportunity to make a move.

They had been hanging out a lot lately and Vince seemed to like him a little bit better than usual.

It would be perfect, Howard driving and Vince sat next to him talking rubbish all day, them onstage in the evenings, them at night… Well…

Yeah, he would make a move.

But, as usual, it didn’t work out as Howard had planned.

Vince slept most days in the car and Howard was left driving and reading the map all by himself. He couldn’t even turn the radio on or Vince would wake and shout at him.

They played well, though. Vince was amazing onstage, completely captivating. Howard had to pinch himself to make himself stop staring at him.

One night, after an exceptionally good gig, they sat at a table near the bar drinking and talking. Or, rather, they had been drinking and talking. Technically, they were still drinking and Vince was still talking, but no longer with Howard.

Howard sighed and looked out on the dance floor, beer in hand. People were bopping about having a most brilliant time, it seemed. He had been having a brilliant time too, until that girl had come over and started chatting to Vince. It was really unfair, her coming just then. Vince and him had been in the middle of rather an interesting and deep conversation, the sort that, if nurtured carefully, could easily lead to other things. Vince had laughed at the right places and slapped Howard’s arm and he’d had that look in his eyes.

That look that Howard had been seeing quite a lot of lately.

They would have carried on another half-an-hour, perhaps, till their glasses were empty, and then gone back to their room, for they shared a room; two single beds were cheaper than two single rooms, and one thing would lead to another…

But that stupid girl had butted in.

Howard turned back to them.

But they were gone.

Maybe she’d gotten bored and left and Vince had gone to the toilet or to get another drink…


So Howard sat back and waited for him to return.

Which he didn’t.

At half two he gave up and left. Vince had probably gone to bed.

He found his way back to the hotel and up the stairs, rummaging around for the key. Which he had given to Vince earlier that evening.


Now he’d have to wake him.

Howard knocked on the door, but there was no answer.

He knocked again, louder.


Then he heard something that sounded like a giggle and he pressed his ear to the door.

Someone was in there alright. He banged on the door again.

The giggling grew louder, accompanied by a distant creaking sound.

Bloody hell.

Howard gave the door a final, futile pound and sank to the floor, back against the wall, hiding his face in his arms.

Breakfast was strained the next morning, three of them eating in silence. The girl left soon afterwards, Vince giving her an awkward kiss on the cheek before she hurried away.

“What the fuck was that all about?”

Howard followed Vince upstairs, two steps at the time.

“Just shut up, Howard,” Vince answered.

“No, I’m not shutting up,” Howard retorted, “What the hell were you thinking? I was sat in the corridor all the bloody night!”

“You could have knocked.” There was that smile again. Howard usually liked Vince’s smile, but now he could beat him up for refusing to take anything seriously.

“I did knock, you nut job, but you were too busy with little Miss Lizzie in there to notice. How do you expect me to do the gig tonight when I’ve had close to no sleep and I’m driving?”

“Howard,” Vince said and turned to him in the doorway of their room, “Just shut up.”

Vince slept in the car again, all the way.

At least they had separate rooms at this hotel.

But strangely enough, the gig was excellent. Vince sang and pulled shapes, spellbinding the audience, and Howard played like he’d never played before.

They were very pleased when they left the stage after having been called back on three times, and sat down for a drink.

“Hi,” came a voice before Howard had even tasted his beer. He looked up at a girl staring at Vince.


“You’re that guy onstage just now, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Vince answered and grinned.

“Yes, so was I,” Howard said, “Onstage. We’re the band, Vince and me, Howard Moon.”

The girl looked at him quizzically a moment then turned back to Vince.

“Can I take a picture?”

And suddenly they were both gone.

A couple of hours later, Howard was too pissed to care. He was jumping around like a kangaroo on speed together with some woman whose blurry face told him nothing about her.

The sex was quick, messy and unfulfilling and the next morning Howard woke in such a daze he almost screamed when he realised there was someone else in his bed.

Breakfast was a quiet affair, Howard could not even make himself look at her. He was sure she had been at least ten years younger last night. She gave him a note with her phone number and pecked him on the cheek just as Vince came downstairs, alone.

Vince sat in the car with his eyes closed that day, but Howard knew he wasn’t sleeping. His breathing wasn’t slow enough and no-one slept with such a frown on their brow and arms crossed that vehemently.

The gig was awful.

They left as quickly as possible and returned to the hotel.

Waiting for the lift, Vince prodded the button violently.

“It won’t come any faster if you do that,” Howard said, unable to stop himself.

“What do you fucking care?” Vince snapped back, “Shut up, Howard, you’re useless.”

“I’m useless? Who was it that forgot the lyrics and kept singing the first three lines over and over again?”

“Yeah, well, you could have helped me out,” Vince answered as they entered the lift, “Anyway, I’m not speaking to you.”

“Not speaking to me?” Howard asked in disbelief, “How old are you? Seven?”

But Vince just crossed his arms and stared defiantly at the little orange numbers on the screen above the door.

He had never seen Vince in such a bad mood before. He didn’t usually care if gigs went badly, he’d just blame it on something crazy like the audience not understanding his hair and his laugh would make everything rosy again.

Not tonight, it seemed.

But then again, Vince had been in this thunderous mood all day. Ever since…

“Oh, I get it,” Howard said smugly as he understood, “This isn’t about tonight, it’s about last night.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Vince said, frowning at the numbers.

“Yeah, well, if you’re that stupid, maybe it’s best I don’t tell you so your brain doesn’t overload on too much information, then.”

The atmosphere was decidedly frosty as the lift continued upwards.

“You’re not supposed to get groupies,” Vince said suddenly.

“‘Not supposed’?” Howard exclaimed, “What kind of rule is that?” Alright, so he could accept Vince deciding what he should wear and how he should comb his hair and how he should walk and stand onstage, but this was going too far.

“You’ve gone wrong.”

“Fuck you, Moon,” Vince said and stormed out of the lift and disappeared onto his room, slamming the door.

Howard unlocked his door and went in and fell on the bed, shoes and all.

He slept badly that night and woke early, still in the same clothes.

Vince looked equally dishevelled as they passed in the corridor, Howard coming from breakfast and Vince going to.

“Hey,” Howard tried, “Sleep well?”


Vince sat staring out of the window as they drove on. This was much worse than him asleep. They didn’t talk and the silence was stifling.

Howard had no idea how the gig had gone. He knew he’d been onstage and he knew he’d gotten off it again but what had happened in between was a complete blank.

He could not make himself look up at the people he passed as he went to the bar.

Vince had gone fuck knows where so he seated himself at the bar and ordered whiskey.

Later, the barman’s face was delightfully blurry and the bar swayed gently from side to side and Howard grinned sheepishly at his glass before emptying it.

“Hey,” came a voice at his elbow. Howard turned and saw a woman swaying there. He was rather impressed at seeing her keeping her balance on the unruly floor.

“Alright?” he answered and began giggling. He sounded like Vince.

“You played, didn’t you, earlier tonight?”


And then she pulled him to the toilets and took his cock half-way down her throat.

Howard didn’t sleep that night.

Vince was in a very bright mood at breakfast, smiling at the waitresses and laughing when his toast got burnt.

Howard couldn’t eat.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Vince’s happy breakfast mood was gone again.

“I’m not well,” Howard tried, sitting with his elbows on his knees and face in hands.

“‘Not well’ is the biggest understatement of the year,” Vince raved, “You were rubbish! I’ve never seen anything like it. What the hell is going on in your head?”

Howard sat still. This was the perfect place to make a move, Vince asking him what was going on in his head.

He couldn’t.

“I’ve not eaten,” he said.

“Here,” Vince said and threw him a couple of banknotes, “Knock yourself out. I’m getting pissed.”

They sat at opposite ends of the bar, mirroring drinks. When Howard ordered one, so did Vince and when Vince ordered one, so did Howard. And no matter how they tried to avoid it, they kept looking up at the same moment and meeting each others’ eyes.

“Do you have a light?” came a voice close to Howard’s ear.

“Sorry,” he said, not looking up.

“I saw your concert,” she said, “It was really cool.”

“It was rubbish,” Howard answered.

“I thought it was cool,” she insisted and sat down next to him, “Are you always so sullen?”


“I like that,” she said and the next thing Howard knew was that she was kissing him.

They left the bar, passing Vince chatting to a couple of girls and eyeing them with a frown.

And soon Howard was on the verge of orgasm as she sucked him off, delirious with pleasure and alcohol, loins on fire.

“Oh, and by the way,” she said, coming closer, hot hand on his cock, almost pushing him over the edge, “I’m a man.”

Howard froze.

“Wha…” But she bent down and kissed him just then, squeezing his cock and making him come in her hand.

Howard wished the bed would open up and swallow him. He felt so… so… dirty. He’d just had sex with another man. Sleeping with girls was one thing, but with another man. That was… cheating.

Cheating on Vince.

He didn’t sleep that night either.

Howard saw Vince looking at him from across the breakfast room. But all he could do was turn away. He did not want Vince to see him like this.

He prodded his corn flakes with the spoon, unable to eat it.

“Hey, Howard,” came Vince’s voice, softly at his side. Howard froze, spoon in milk. He could not look up.

“Hey,” he answered, his voice hardly louder than a whisper.

“You ok?”


“You don’t look ok.”

“I’m… fine,” Howard said, forcing his voice to keep steady.

Vince squeezed his shoulder a short moment.

“I’m going upstairs.”

And he was gone.

Vince’s hotel-room door was open.

Howard passed it, then stopped. He could still feel where Vince had touched his shoulder.

This couldn’t carry on. It didn’t matter who was to blame, it had to stop.

He turned and peered in. Vince was pacing the tiny space in front of the bed, his hand in his hair.

Howard knocked and Vince turned.

“Can… can I come in?” Howard asked.

Vince nodded and Howard closed the door behind him.

He did not know what to do now. Nor did Vince, it seemed, standing there with his hands in his back pockets and wide eyes locked with Howard’s. Howard couldn’t look away. He didn’t want to look away. He just wanted everything to be over and go home.

They began speaking at the same moment.

“Sorry,” Vince said and dropped his head. Howard was almost sure he’d seen the tiniest smile brush his lips.

“No, I’m sorry,” Howard said, “About everything.”

Vince lifted his head.

“I’m sorry too.”

“Are we still friends?”

This time Vince did smile.


They stood another moment looking at each other.

“So,” Vince said finally, kicking at the carpet with his boot, “Did you sleep well?”

Howard could not help smiling just a little. Nothing from the last few days seemed to matter any more. He could hardly remember them.

“No, I didn’t,” he said, “Did you?”


“Maybe we should just leave.”


But neither moved.

“So, have you packed?” Howard asked.



“Yeah. Have you?”


“Do you want any help…?”

“Yeah, alright.”

They packed Howard’s suitcase and both reached down to snap it closed at the same time.

Howard froze, his fingers just touching Vince’s.

He looked up and saw Vince touching his lips with his tongue.

And, as if both knew what the other was thinking, Howard leant closer and slipped his hand to Vince’s face and kissed him.

That night they had no groupies, just each other.

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