[identity profile] sallysorrell.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] booshslashhaven
Title: The Mighty Boosh Christmas Special of Glitter – Chapter 7
Pairing: Howard Moon/Vince Noir
Summary: A visitor to the Nabootique throws a proverbial spanner in the works, with plans to throw an actual party.
Rating: PG
Word count: ~1400


Instinctively, Howard stood, adjusted his collar, and approached the door as it crept open, while Vince gave the internal equivalent of hooking onto Howard’s arm and taking shelter against his shoulder.

What if it’s that jazzy freak?


Howard rushed to shut off the radio, just in case.  They didn’t need to be upsetting him with Gary Numan, not now.


Well, throw your boot this time, won’t you?


These have barely got heels on.


Just be ready.


The figure was appropriately Christmassy, all green and formal and pepperminty, but lacked any appearance of warmth.  Something like a fireplace in an ancient house, roped off and more accustomed to having its picture taken than to warming the room.


Howard immediately shrank back to his mental stock-taking, with Vince prodding him forward only so he would have someone to hide behind.  Vince’s body felt dizzy, unsure of who to listen to, or of who was in control.


“Can I help you at all?”


Howard.  Howard was used to being a bit nervous, and would never finish anything otherwise.  What Vince found crippling, he reluctantly lived on.


“I’m here to see the little boy... Naboo?” he exploited the spark of recognition in Vince’s face, “Naboo the Enigma, that’s the one.  Owes me a few things.”


“He’s, er, he’s away for the weekend.  Is there anything I can do?  I do manage the shop most days, and I’m sure I’m qualified to take care of wh--”


“Won’t take a minute.”


The Hitcher grinned, displaying his fittingly green and disfigured teeth.


Vince shoved Howard away from the controls, before he could get the body slouching and weeping and soliloquizing about death.  He’d spent ages on the day’s eyeliner, and that was worth more than his fear could purchase.


“I’m sorry about this,” Vince explained, “but there’s been a bit of a mix up, and I’m sorta sharing my body with someone else.”


The Hitcher interjected, claiming he knew all the joys of organ harvesting, while Vince shook his head and Howard winced in invented and self-imposed pain.


“No,” Vince flattened his hands over the counter, “it’s a spell or something.  Naboo’s gonna sort it out for me once he gets back.”


“Oh?” drawled the Hitcher, “and when’s that?”


Vince shrugged, and said he wasn’t sure while Howard scolded him for being too generous with private information.


“Shame, that,” the Hitcher continued, “I could get up in your head and pull you lot apart in no time.  Could make a game of it tomorrow, at the party.”


“Party?” Vince was disappointed in himself for sounding excited, or perhaps that was from Howard too.


Vince tried to have an internal conference with Howard, but was distracted by the Hitcher, who stepped past the counter and toward the stairs.  His grimy fingers seized the bannister, and he heaved himself upward.


“Well,” Howard shook their voice under his authority, effectively undoing the intended tone, “we’ve got to find the other body, first, so I don’t think we’ll be attending.”


Their guest did not seem to be listening.  Instead, he hammered at Naboo’s door-handle with his cane, loosening it until the lock surrendered completely and the door fell open.  He swept aside the contents of Naboo’s bookshelves, dusting the wood with his sleeve.


Then he picked up an unlabelled bottle, held it to his ear, and shook it.  Satisfied, he shoved this into his pocket, where it disappeared from sight and left no outline.  He was tearing pages from black-magic books when Vince’s words finally clicked into his consciousness.


“Empty vessel, eh?  Elsie does pinatas out of those, when she can find ‘em.  You should stop by and have a look.”


Howard did not feel safe with the invitation, even as the Hitcher explained his Christmas parties were the highlight of every occultist’s calendar.


It can’t be that bad, Vince suggested, or Naboo’s spell would’a kept him out.  Anyway, sounds like it’d be right up your family’s street.  Your body probably will be there; you and that jazz nutjob.


Howard coughed uncomfortably.


“What’s, uh, what’s the dress code?” he asked, with unsolicited enthusiasm from Vince.


The Hitcher laughed.


“It ain’t a ball, it’s a blinder,” he said. “We’ve got it all worked out; jellied eels and plum pudding, evisceration lotteries, youth-juice punch spiked with owl beaks, crackers with blades inside, the lot.  And it’s all goin’ down tomorrow midnight, up Bethnal Green.”


Howard struggled to blink Vince’s eyes at him, making them teary at each corner with his overbearing attempts.


The Hitcher, meanwhile, found what he declared an ‘interesting’ box, tarnished and empty and covered with scribbled spells.  He abandoned its holographic bow before tossing it and catching it in his hand, amused.  Howard stepped forward, thankful Vince opted for his flattest boots that morning.


“That isn’t for sale,” Howard urged, “In fact, it isn’t even Naboo’s.”


“You’re right,” the Hitcher said, “It’s mine now, isn’t it?”


“Actually, it’s mine,” Howard’s voice was firm. “Belonged to my family for a long time.”


“I tell you what; you come ‘round tomorrow night, and I’ll give you the chance to get it back.  How’s that sound, boy?”


Howard was forced to say ‘fine’ as the Hitcher crept downstairs, pocketing other trinkets as he went.


“You tell the doorman you’re a friend of the Hitcher’s,” he said, “and you’ll get right in, no problems.”


They watched him leave.


“Well that’s just perfect,” Howard said, “What’re we supposed to do?”


He told us, Vince suggested, We go ‘n’ see if you’re a pinata, and he can put your brain back in, instead of sweets.  Imagine that!


“It doesn’t seem like you’re taking this seriously, Vince.”


Vince took over, only to insist otherwise.


“Of course I want to get this fixed.  I can barely deal with just me in my head, Howard, and you’re well complex.  Plus I miss you bein’ here,” he pointed at the ground on his left, “Properly, so I can touch you.”


Vince ran his fingers through his hair, to calm himself.  Howard was happy to settle down in Vince’s desperation, hypnotised by the movement.


It’s just that, Howard began, I wanted to spend a nice Christmas home with you.


“What do you call this?” Vince made a vague gesture at his head.


I know, but a nice dinner, a quiet night in.  Gifts, songs, stories.  Not some shifty stranger’s party and a celebratory dissection.


Vince shrugged.


“We’ll get it sorted out, it’ll be alright.”


Howard wanted to believe him.  Vince kissed the back of his hand, then pressed it to his cheek and imagined Howard brushing against it.


“It’ll be fine,” he said.  “It always is.”


Howard did believe him, until the phone rang.  It was Naboo.


“Can both’a you muppets hear me?” he asked, in place of a greeting.  From the quality of the reception, Vince assumed he was still on Xooberon.


Yeah.


“Yeah,” Vince assured.


“This is probably the worst thing you’ve ever gotten me into, so thanks for that.  I’ve talked to the Shaman Board.  Basically, we need to use Howard’s stupid amulet to generate a new body, and then we can do our best to separate your personalities out.  They weren’t going for it at first, ‘cos we’ve gotta pour both of you into a pool, but I said you’re different enough for us to tell apart and separate again.  What’d’you reckon?”


“Cool,” Vince said.  Only to Howard, he added: a new body, imagine that!  You could be proper willowy this time, and sort your hair out.


Do you mind?


Vince recognised that Howard felt, somehow, less comfortable in Vince’s body than he ever looked in his own.  Even though Vince was there, willing to hold him and talk to him, and to give him the safest and warmest of rooms to reside in.  It was only temporary, and fixed nothing.


“Sorry,” Vince slipped, saying this aloud.


“We’ve gotta do it quick,” Naboo said, “the council’s really busy this time of year; I could only get ‘em to stay through Sunday.”


Howard wasn’t sure where or how he would be spending his Christmas, but none of the options sounded pleasant to him.  They both involved more unconsciousness and dubious drugs than he liked to think about.  But they both involved Vince, too; at least he was sure of that.


“Give us a minute to work this out,” Vince said, “and we’ll ring y’ right back.”

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