[identity profile] hobbit-feets.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] booshslashhaven
Title: The Mighty Boosh Christmas Special of Glitter – Chapter 2
Pairing: Howard Moon/Vince Noir
Summary: In which Vince does some snooping, and there is accidental magic
Rating: PG
Word count: 1453
Notes: Any similarity to other Howince stories being written at this time are, honest m'lud, completely coincidental. I HAD THE IDEA and was halfway through writing the chapter when a certain other fic was posted, and I went, '... Well shit.' But it's a good trope, and there's not enough of it as is, SO I WENT AHEAD ANYWAY. Also, so many apologies for how long this took me. I have no good excuse.


The thing was, the thing was-- well, there were quite a few things, really. But the main thing was that Vince had made a decision about what to do about Howard’s proposal. And that had helped, sort of. He was less blindingly, nauseatingly terrified than he had been, anyway. Now it was just something that was Going to Happen, like rain on the day of a party, or trends changing even though you’d really kind of liked the fun flappiness and 70’s glam of flares. All you could do is really beef up the hairspray and switch to skinnies until you liked them just as much.

All that was to say, even now he’d decided he was going to say yes, his brain was still buzzing with ways to make it easier-- both for himself and Howard. Vince didn’t want to drink too much and accidentally burst out laughing-- or worse, start crying, and give Howard totally the wrong idea. And he just thought, maybe he if knew exactly what to expect, he was able to really prepare himself, he could make sure it all went off alright.

‘Sorry’, he whispered to the room at large when he crept in. Howard was downstairs in a jazz trance, he’d be there for at least another hour, and Vince did feel a little bad about taking advantage to go snooping in his stuff. Not bad enough not to, but still.

The room was quiet, and Vince tiptoed over to Howard’s secret hiding place, knocking aside the jazz albums to lift out the little box. The holographic bow on top gave him another one of those awful clenches just under his sternum; Howard was trying so hard, how was he supposed to know that Vince felt half sick with freaking out over it? Vince swallowed, and gave the bow a gentle brush with a fingertip, like a greeting, or an apology. It was a pretty genius bow, after all; it wasn’t its fault it was being used for this.

The hinge of the box squeaked as Vince carefully lifted the lid, like it hadn’t been opened for years, and inside, on its shabby velveteen cushion was-- not a ring.

Vince sat down hard, falling back on his arse with a bump. It wasn’t a ring. There was another one of those somethings welling up inside his ribcage, rattling and hysterical, and Vince clamped a hand over his mouth. It wasn’t a ring! Howard wasn’t going to propose. Oh, sure, obviously it was something important-- a ‘token of his regard’, Howard would probably call it, or something like that, all sensitive and pompous-- but Vince knew Howard, and if he was going to propose, it would be with a ring. Howard was well hung up on those sorts of traditions.

What it was was a necklace. Or maybe a sort of amulet, really; a smooth oblong the length of his thumb of something that looked like amber, all cloudy gold with little carnelian flecks in its depths. Over one end, a cap of tarnished silver with a scalloped edge, an o-ring attaching it to the chain coiled beneath it, also gone dull with tarnish. Vince nearly started giggling; Howard would probably use words like ‘understated’ and ‘tasteful’. On the back of the cap was engraved in fancy filigreed writing the name J. Emmeline Moon.

Vince exhaled a curious breath. Something from Howard’s weirdo family? It could be anything, then. He’d always liked Howard’s family; despite being Satanists and vampires and ghouls and all that, they still managed to be as ordinary and Northern as if they’d walked off one of those dull afternoon telly shows. The contrast tickled him. And he'd always felt sort of at home amongst all their weirdness. Vince liked to stand out, of course; he spent enough effort on his look trying to do that, but he knew perfectly well that there were good ways to stand out, and ways that got you avoided or beaten up.

He peered more closely at the box with its shiny silver bow. It did look old, just plain smooth wood, the hinge tarnished and the presentation cushion faded from what had probably once been a beautiful deep blue, and inside the lid-- what was that? Vince squinted, trying to catch the edge of the little piece of paper with his fingernail. It fluttered loose after some judicious wiggling, and Vince unfolded it, a bit nervous of accidentally ripping it; it looked about as old as the box, all delicate and yellowed.

In scribbly cursive, someone had written, Being a Test of Outlook, for the furtherance and enhancement of Ardour and Understanding between Paramours.

Vince blinked, and hunched further over the paper, squinting at it like that might make things clearer for his brain. He didn't even know what half those words meant. Trust Howard to get him a gift he couldn't even understand. He shook his head, carefully refolding the paper into its neat little square and slotting it back into the lid.

And then he did something that was... probably kind of stupid. Okay, very stupid. His snooping accomplished and his nerves calmed, he should have put the amulet back into its box, replaced the jazz albums, and gone about his business. Howard would have no idea, and Vince would be able to make it through the night without crying or vomiting or having a panic attack. Everything would be great. That's what he should have done.

Instead, judgement slightly compromised by the combination of nerves and shiny jewellery, he slipped it over his head. Just to see how it looked, just for a second. The chain slithered against his neck, the pendant weighing heavy and cool against his sternum, and then Vince blinked, and the entire world shifted when he wasn't looking.

Half a heartbeat, not even; the infinitesimally short length of time it took to blink, and when he opened his eyes, his ears were full of experimental jazz, and his centre of gravity was all wrong, and when he flailed instinctively away from the racket, he fell flat on his arse, whacking his head on a cupboard on the way down. The world hadn’t spun before; now it was definitely spinning, and Vince groped out for something to pull himself upright with. His perspective had gone funny; he seemed to be looking down on everything, the way you suddenly did when you had on a pair of really high heels, and-- he blinked and squinted. Maybe hitting his head had made his eyes go weird? The world didn’t feel quite… in focus. A bit like being drunk, except less swimmy. Or something. Colours looked just slightly different; Vince couldn’t have said how, exactly, just that they weren’t what they were supposed to be.

Not that that explained what he was doing down in the shop listening to Howard’s smelly jazz when a minute ago he’d been in their bedroom.

‘Vince!?’

The sound of his own voice yowling his name in a panic from upstairs, however, certainly explained something. Vince clapped a hand to his mouth and felt, with horror, the sudden bristle of hair there, looking down from his newly vertiginous height to see a bulge of belly that definitely did not belong to him.

‘Oh, shit’, he breathed. Howard was going to kill him. Vince had gone prying into Howard’s special surprise Christmas present that he’d been keeping secret just for Vince... and accidentally managed to wind up inside Howard’s body.

There was a clattering thump descending the stairs that suggested Howard was having as much difficulty with his too-short limbs as Vince was with Howard’s ridiculously long ones, and then he turned to see… himself, eyes huge and face projecting confusion and distress and annoyance like a fucking beacon. The pendant was swinging around his neck. No amount of mental preparation could have braced Vince for that sight, and all he could do was stand there stupidly clutching at the countertop to keep himself upright, knees wobbling like a fawn’s.

‘Howard!’ he squeaked. ‘Um, I can explain, honest.’

Date: 2016-01-03 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carolyn-claire.livejournal.com
It is a good trope, and it's a great idea for the mystery gift! And the way you present them floundering through it is adorable. I particularly liked Vince's concern for the poor bow--it's so him and so lovely that he didn't want it to feel unappreciated. It pretty much sums up his attitude and his efforts over the whole situation.

Date: 2016-01-03 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluestocking79.livejournal.com
Now it was just something that was Going to Happen, like rain on the day of a party, or trends changing even though you’d really kind of liked the fun flappiness and 70’s glam of flares. All you could do is really beef up the hairspray and switch to skinnies until you liked them just as much.

I adore this chapter so much, but this line alone made my heart ache and made me want to high five you. VINCE. VINCE, SWEETHEART. On the surface it's just a Vincey way of explaining how he deals with things, but it is simultaneously so revealing and it gets at something so essential about the character, especially about the way we're exploring him here in this round robin. Skate right over acknowledging the disappointment or negative feelings and focus on doing the thing so enthusiastically that you convince yourself you love it!

But just in general, I really love this chapter and could not possibly have asked for a better continuation from my chapter. It's chock full of wonderful characterization and thoughtful little details, the emotions are right on target, the twist is brilliant (and very fitting, I think, for the situation they're in emotionally!), you've introduced a spectacular myserious magical artifact, and you've left us with a great cliffhanger. I can't wait to see where everybody goes with this! There really is never enough of this trope, and it offers so many delicious possibilities for this scenario.

Like Carolyn, I have a lot of love for Vince's feelings about the bow, feeling that lurch of guilt and affection on looking at it (because Howard is trying SO HARD and here's the proof, and it makes Vince a bit sick that he can't appreciate it the way he thinks he ought to) and wanting to be sure it's appreciated, because it isn't its fault that Vince has Issues and it's gotten caught up in this, and it IS quite good.

But I love so many other things here! I love Vince feeling at home with Howard's family's weirdness (and his understanding, probably from experience, that there's a line between standing out and being a weirdo, and just because he can pass doesn't mean he's not a weirdo himself). I love the description of the switch and the difficulty they each have in their new bodies, how Vince describes the weirdness of suddenly being tall like wearing really high heels. (And I sporfled at the thought of Howard stumbling down the stairs with short little legs that can no longer take steps two at a time.) And I both laughed and awwwed at Vince (correctly!) thinking of how Howard would describe the gift and what language he'd use to present it, because that shows a lot of affection and understanding under the amusement.

And I feel like it speaks volumes that Vince's initial reaction to realizing the switch is not "OMG how do we fix this??" but that wince of guilt over knowing that Howard KNOWS now that he was snooping and totally ruined Howard's big special surprise. He was trying so hard not to much things up for Howard yet again, and in the process of trying to avoid that... totally mucked it up. Whoops!

Date: 2016-02-04 10:13 pm (UTC)
ext_72072: (Doctor Who Martha)
From: [identity profile] garrideb.livejournal.com
Ooh, what a cool concept for the heirloom! I love that this is body-swapping charm with the intention of giving the couple better insight into each other, especially at this early stage in Howard and Vince's relationship, where they've been friends for so long but the romance is rather new, and Howard thinks he's got things figured out and Vince is hiding all his insecurities.

Vince's 70's flares metaphor was brilliant and heartbreaking. His relief at finding a not-a-ring was palpable, and I loved the moment where he realizes he could have put the necklace away and everything would have been perfect, but he can't resist trying it on.

The description of adjusting to a new body was great, and the last line had me giggling. This was an imaginative, insightful chapter!

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