[identity profile] garrideb.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] booshslashhaven
Title: The Mighty Boosh Christmas Special of Glitter – Chapter 6
Pairing: Howard Moon/Vince Noir
Summary: Vince and Howard flee the Velvet Onion, the Spirit of Jazz hot on their heels.
Rating: PG
Word count: ~1500

Vince had fled for his life from the Velvet Onion on numerous occasions. This wasn't his first time as a rodeo clown.

Howard's voice sounded inside his head, soft and bumpy like corduroy. Do you mean 'at the rodeo'?

What? No, here at the club. Jacques Le Cube put on a fashion show, but the clown look was too shocking for some. Too bold. The crowd revolted. That was the night Vince had learned the trick he hoped would save them tonight. He'd hidden backstage with the other clown models when the audience started throwing things, but soon the mob had rushed the stage and everyone panicked. Vector, the photographer, had screamed, "I won't let them make an orphan of my camera!" grabbed the rope holding up the main curtain, and cut it from its anchor. She had been lifted to safety on a catwalk high above the stage. It had looked well cool.

That was also the night Vince had learned he could knock a switchblade out of a hand at twenty paces with a clown nose, but that was less relevant at the moment.

He dashed across the stage. He could hear Howard's body following, but the sound was nothing like the comforting plod of Howard's usual gait. Instead the footsteps were oddly paced, with too-long pauses followed by several steps in quick succession.

It's syncopation, Howard mused.

It's nightmare fuel, Vince countered.

It was gaining on them.

Vince risked a glance around. The club was deserted and Naboo and Bollo were nowhere to be seen. The Spirit of Jazz was only a dozen meters away. Howard's dark red eyes locked on his and Howard's mouth smiled. "Come back here, little synth-pop lolly," he rasped. "I own Howard… body and soul! I'm only getting half my due like this!"

"Get stuffed!" Vince yelled back, too winded for clever insults.

They reached the curtain rigging. The two cut ends of the rope had been tied together in a sloppy bow, with a post-it note slapped over it. In Bob Fossil's scrawl it read, "Note to self: fix."

Vince grasped the rope above his head the way Vector'd done, and tugged the bow loose. Almost instantly the rope flew upwards, several inches sliding painfully against his palm before he tightened his grip enough to be lifted. Vector might have looked cool but Vince suspected he didn't, with both his hands clutching the rope in a death-grip and his legs wrapped around it too for good measure. He might have been screaming, or that might have been Howard's voice in his head.

They jerked to a halt and Vince opened his eyes, which he didn't remember squeezing shut. The catwalk was in easy reach, and he clambered onto it. For a moment he simply sat there breathing hard, but then the adrenaline caught up to him, making him giddy. That was genius! Vince exulted. Better 'an Euro Disney!

You're insane, Howard noted dryly. Come now, best get moving.

No backseat driving! Vince complained, but he hoisted himself up. Where'd the jazz monster go? They looked down, but the stage below was empty.

"Over here, kitten…" By the opposite wall, Howard's possessed head peered over the edge of the catwalk. "Did you forget that there are ladders, too?"

Quick, throw something at it!

Like what? Vince glanced around, but he didn't see any convenient clown noses.

I don't know! Your boots? Throw your boots!

No way!

He's almost on us, Vince! This is no time to respect fashion!

It's not that, Howard! These boots are from Topshop's Hero line. Guaranteed to take down several rugby players, or a small minotaur. I don't want to hurt your body!

Oh. Vince felt a flush of affection, and knew he was feeling Howard's fondness. He'd never experienced anything so intimate in his life, and he knew he'd be freaking out about it if there weren't a demonic music man chasing him down right that moment.

"Nowhere to run," the Spirit taunted as it stalked towards them, confidence and purpose oozing from Hoard's body like high-end liqueur oozing from a milk jug. "You're mine, Howard."

"He's not," Vince insisted, just as he saw a flash of color from the corner of his eye. With a grin, he grabbed the handrail of the catwalk and swung his legs over the side.

"What are you doing?" The spirit demanded angrily, even as Howard's voice asked the same question inside their head, panicked.

"Getting Howard's soul away from you, you freak." Vince declared, and jumped.

They landed dead-center on Naboo's flying carpet, and instantly Bollo's big furry arms were steadying him. "Precious Vince okay?"

"Yeah," Vince said, somewhat breathlessly. "Cheers, Bollo. Cheers, Naboo."

Naboo nodded solemnly and guided the carpet towards the exit. The spirit's enraged ranting faded into the distance.

***

"I've put special protections around the shop and rooms. This is seriously bad juju. I'm going to visit the Shaman Council; I'll be back soon. Get some rest."

"Shouldn't we come with you?" Howard asked. Naboo just leveled a look at him and ushered Bollo out the door. It felt bizarrely quiet in the shop, until Howard realized that he was missing Vince's usual background noises. As long as Howard was in control of the body, Vince couldn't fidget, Couldn't hum or tap out a beat. Couldn't toy with the cash register or mimic severe weather conditions, either, for that matter. Maybe the quiet wasn't that bad.

Vince had given him control while they flew home with a glib, "Wanna take over? I'm knackered." But it was Vince's body, and Howard didn't want to monopolize it. He wanted his own body back.

Naboo will know what to do, Vince reassured him. Let's get some sleep.

They had been sharing a bed for quite a while, but sharing a body was different. It was twice as intimate but twice as lonely. Usually, in bed together, Howard felt Vince's warmth and smelled his conditioner as Vince's hair tickled Howard's nose. Now, he could feel Vince's stray thoughts and fishhook whims, but the bed was cold and much too large. Every time Howard blinked he was reminded that he was blinking Vince's eyes, not his own.

Yeah, your eyes are so small, you barely have to blink, right? You're probably not used to working out your blinking muscles.

Howard smiled. "Maybe you better take over for the night. You know how your body likes to sleep best." He could feel Vince's agreement -- and how strange was that, to know a person agreed with you without any visual or audible cues, or even something tactile like the squeeze of a hand -- and then Vince was back in control. Howard could feel their body sliding under the bedcovers and adjusting the pillows, but it was like watching someone else direct an orchestra. He had no input, no power.

Despite the gnat-swarm of anxiety buzzing through his thoughts, he fell into a doze. Vince tossed and turned however. After failing yet again to get comfortable, Vince muttered, "I suppose I'm used to having you close."

I'm right here, Howard replied, half-asleep. Couldn't get any closer than this.

"If that bastard hurts you, I'll stab him up."

Sure thing, Howard said, and then he dropped off for good.

***

Naboo and Bollo were still gone in the morning, and the body-sharing thing was still awkward. Do you have to spend so much time on your hair? Howard asked for the fifth time.

"I'm only doing my normal routine," Vince griped. He was back-combing or under-combing or who knows, maybe un-combing. "You don't usually care how long it takes."

Usually I can do something other than watch!

But Vince ignored him. Clearly this wasn't up for negotiation. And, as the minutes ticked by, Howard began to realize why. Every time Vince perceived an imperfection in his make-up or hairstyle and painstakingly corrected it, it reminded Howard more and more of how he himself backtracked over his own writing, second-guessing the clarity and cadence and rearranging the words in a sentence until finally he was satisfied. And then he would look at the clock and realize he'd only written three paragraphs in an hour. But they were three paragraphs he would be proud to show the world, yes sir.

Vince teased him for his glacial pace of writing, and Howard gently mocked Vince for being a budgie with a mirror, but crafting a good story took time. They both knew that.

"Did you say something?" Vince asked as he riffled through his eyeliners.

No, just passing the time with some mental stock-taking.

"Ugh, please don't." But Vince was smiling.

He let Howard take control for shop-opening duties. As a compromise, Howard let Vince pick the music. Gary Numan was singing away when the bell chimed, announcing an arrival.

Date: 2016-02-08 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gothikfaerie.livejournal.com
Just when I came by to catch up on five, here's a new one! Can't wait to get home & read it.

Date: 2016-02-09 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] concupiscence66.livejournal.com
What a lovely chapter! I love the shift from the fast-paced excitement and Vince trying to look cool thru it to them negotiating the shating of a body. there is so much tenderness there. I am not saying my thoughts drifted in an nc-17 direction when they were feeling lonely in bed but... Oh wait. I am saying that. Anyway, i really enjoyed this chapter!

I forgot to mention the spirit of jazz synchopated run! Great joke!
Edited Date: 2016-02-09 01:12 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-02-09 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sallysorrell.livejournal.com
This is so sweet and affectionate, I absolutely adore where you're taking this :) I especially enjoyed the idea that, while they're used to sharing a bed, it's not the same when they're sharing it like this. Of course it would feel lonely, poor things.
<3

Date: 2016-02-09 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ideserveyou.livejournal.com
This is lovely, great change of pace and mood and a very intriguing cliffhanger at the end. I do wonder who's at the door!

Date: 2016-02-09 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluestocking79.livejournal.com
I love what you're bringing out in this situation! The action in the first part of the chapter is cracking; I always admire authors who can write action well, and this is great, genuinely suspenseful and yet also always Booshy and very, very funny. I'm particularly fond of the bit of backstory about how Vince learned that particular escape trick (in my mind it looks suspiciously like a certain Bas Kosters fashion show...) and the contrast between how cool it looked when Vector did it and how terribly uncool and awkward it feels when he attempts it. I also grinned at Vince's explanation of the Hero line from Topshop (again: wonderfully Booshy). And the bit about the Spirit of Jazz having syncopated footfalls is brilliant!

But what I enjoy most this chapter is what you're pulling out of this body-sharing situation, all these wonderful little Howincey moments and bits of reflection and genuine revelation that come from this most intimate of intimacies. It's absolutely the perfect canvas for exploring and working on their issues. I adore that moment when Vince has to feel how intense Howard's affection is for him and knows that if he were any less preoccupied it would terrify him... but he can feel it for himself; he can't dispute that it's real. And as others have said, the fact that neither of them can get comfortable and sleep well without the other person physically there, even though they are about as close as any two people can be at the same time, highlights the aching paradox of this particular kind of intimacy.

But my very, very favorite part is Howard initially whining about having to sit there and watch through Vince's whole morning routine, only to get this insight into Vince that he hadn't had before, about how they're both really meticulous craftspeople when it comes to the things that matter to them, and realizing that the way Vince cultivates and crafts his looks and personas is no less a kind of storytelling than Howard's own writing. That's just a really gorgeous little moment, and I can feel the love in it--a little deeper and more mature love than that initial giddy rush of being in a new relationship, I think. Wonderful writing!

Date: 2016-02-10 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluestocking79.livejournal.com
Oh yes, I hope to see you at the Chicago show, too! I'd love to chat in person. :)

Action writing is not really a skill I have, so I am always especially appreciative when I see it written well, and this is! Suspenseful, crisp, but never loses clarity, AND it's funny. And I was delighted to see Vector make an appearance, because I also adore that list of Vince's acquaintances, because it paints SUCH a clear picture of the particular sort of trendies and performance artist types he's hanging out with.

I love what you did with the emotions; it works really well. They'll get there (I hope!) in terms of working it out and getting things out in the open, but the direction you took was perfect. In my mind, part of Vince's issue is that intense fear of vulnerability, of making himself vulnerable and having (he assumes) capital-E Expectations to live up to and inevitably failing miserably at that and just... not being able to handle the guilt and rejection that'll surely follow. So there is something especially wonderful about him being able to feel that affection from Howard and know it's really real. Still scary, but maybe a tiny bit reassuring, too...

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