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Title:  Christmas Special of Glitter Chapter 3
Author:  Concupid
Pairing:  Howard/Vince
Rating:  PG-13
Summary:  Who can possibly help Howard and Vince with their new dilema?  Doesn't matter, they're just going to call Naboo as usual.
Author's note:  I don't know who I am any more, but thanks to Bluey for helping me keep the two Christmas eve body swap Howince stories straight.  Well, straight probably isn't the word...


One moment, Howard was riding the jazz train to jazzy town, and the next, he was in the bedroom he shared with Vince.  It wasn’t the first time a jazz trance had led to kind of sleepwalking, but something was different.  Everything around him was familiar, but somehow off.  Howard reached out to compulsively check that Vince’s gift was still in its hiding place (as he did twenty or thirty times a day), but he was stopped short by the sight of his hand.  Everything about his hand was wrong, but the chipped green nail polish especially so.

Howard looked down and saw he was wearing drainpipes and a kind of sequined top.

There were no lack of mirrors in their bedroom, but Howard’s eyes could not be trusted.  He was dreaming.  Or high.  Just because he couldn’t smell Naboo’s herbal remedies in the air didn’t mean they weren’t there.  Just the other week, Howard and Vince had eaten half a pound of what Vince called “choco-spaghetti tacos” before they’d realized they were under the influence.

He had to be high.  Why else would he be looking into a mirror and seeing Vince’s face?

The presentation box was not in its hiding spot.  It was out in the open.  And it was open.  And empty.

“Vince!” Howard screamed.

Xxx

“I just wanted to see,” Vince explained before Howard could speak.  Howard staggered towards Vince, his delicate ankles clearly unable to handle even a modest heel. “I wasn’t trying to be sneaky! I just needed to know, so I’d be ready…”

“Ready for what? What are you talking about?” Howard asked, his Howardy expression bizarre on Vince’s face.

“The gift.  I just wanted to see it so I could react properly,” Vince explained.  “I didn’t want to let you down.  I’m sorry, Howard.”

Howard looked baffled, but then he followed Vince’s gaze to his own chest.  Vince saw understanding dawn.

“This was in the box?” Howard asked as he held up the amulet.

Vince ducked his head, avoiding Howard’s eyes, and nodded.

“How did you find it?”  Howard still seemed too confused and worried to be properly angry.  If Vince could just gloss over the betrayal of trust, they might not have to have a fight at all.

“Well, I was in our room, and I sort of tripped and…”

“Fell face-first in my secret hiding spot?”

Vince was familiar with the meaning of every twitch of Howard’s face and inflection in his voice, but all those years of study were worthless with Howard in another body.  Howard could be furious, scared, or gassy.  Vince had no clue.

“It was an accident?” Vince offered weakly.  He wanted to sound naïve and daft, a go-to when trying to get out of trouble with Howard, but it all sounded a bit desperate in Howard’s voice.

Howard rolled his eyes and harrumphed, but then his shoulders sagged and he seemed to shrink inside of Vince’s clothing, making the form-fitting clothing somehow look baggy.  Howard’s ability to destroy an outfit was clearly not limited to his body.

“So it was just another stupid ritual.  I’m sorry, Vince.”

Vince was thrown off by the apology.  He was still in defensive mode and had no idea how to respond.  He felt like a cartoon character that had run off of a cliff, but still hadn’t surrendered to the inevitability of gravity.  He was ready for Howard to yell, not to look all sad and lost.

“I thought it would be something nice and special,” Howard continued, looking forlorn.  “I should have known better.  Everything is a ritual with occultists.  Every bleeding thing you do, there has to be some kind of potion, lotion, amulet, hooded cloak, ring forged by the fires of hell, time-traveling slippers…”

“Did you say ‘time-traveling slippers’?”

“Those slippers ruined my sixteenth birthday!” Howard cried.  Vince had always known the ‘eccentricities’ of Howard’s upbringing had been upsetting, but he’d never guessed at just how strange things could get in Leeds.  “What good is going back to the fifties to learn about dating?  All I learned was to wash under my nails, keep my mustache neatly trimmed, and put toilet paper on the toilet seat so I don’t get ‘the clap.’  I wore a cardigan, bow tie, and freshly laundered chinos, but no one wanted to go steady with me.  No one!  It was all a lie!  I have listened to jazz for years and I haven’t met a loose woman or been offered heroin.  All lies!”

Howard’s hysteria helped.  Vince knew what to do when Howard fell apart.

Vince took Howard’s hands in his own.  It felt strange and backwards for Howard’s hand to disappear in Vince’s, but Howard immediately relaxed.

“So this is just a sort of… family tradition?” Vince asked.  “Maybe we should call your mum…”

“No!  She’s been…  She’s still in touch with Old Gregg and I think he… they?  I think Old Gregg has been trying to soften her up.  Mum always wanted monster grandbabies.  She was always so keen to be special and show Nan Moon that she was a real occultist.”

Vince pulled Howard into his arms.  Even in their proper bodies, it was still strange to be able to hold Howard and not have him squirm away or kick up a fuss, but having to reach down to hold Howard was absolutely bizarre.   

“Let’s go talk to Naboo, yeah?  He’ll know what to do.  Naboo is genius.”

Xxx

Naboo inhaled deeply and savored the burning in his lungs.  The marijuana had a lovely, fresh scent to it.  It was like smoking a fresh-cut lawn.

“This is some good shit, Bollo,” the shaman observed.  “How long until those ballbags come ruin this high with some unlikely adventure?”

“Bollo sense something wrong with Vince.  Something cause him to feel great fear.”

“Sounds like a normal response to dating Howard,” Naboo deadpanned before he and his companion descended into giggles.  They were in their private, enchanted tent.  It was good to take a break from the other shamans and just relax with his beloved companion.  And the ounce they’d scored from Tony Harrison.

“I’ll wager they’re calling before… never mind,” Naboo sighed as the Peacock Dreams theme song blasted from his mobile phone.  “That will be them.”

It was undeniably Vince on the phone, but his voice was wrong.  It was too deep, for one.

“Naboo,” Vince cried, his voice utterly failing to break with emotion.  “Howard and I have switched bodies!  You have to help us!”

Naboo sighed and took another hit.  Vince and Howard never called to say ‘hi’ or give Naboo a lead on a cool party.   It was always some adventure gone wrong that somehow required Naboo’s intervention.

“I know, I know.  Santa Yankee Swapped you.  It only lasts a week.  Relax, will you?”

“What are you talking about, Naboo?” Howard asked, his pompous tone sounding strange filtered through Vince’s voice.  Naboo’s pleasant buzz was starting to fade.

“Did you say Santa?  What are you on about?  Santa won’t be here for hours!” Vince nearly yelled.  He was sounding rather panicky.  It was too bad he was too far away to be soothed by Naboo’s herbal remedies.  This particular strain would probably have knocked the human on his arse, but at least he wouldn’t be yelling in Naboo’s ear.  “I put on this necklace Howard was going to give me, and it switched our bodies.  It’s some kind of ritual or test or something from his family.  We need your help.”

Naboo took another drag and closed his eyes.  He gave the world a few moments to reassemble itself for opening his eyes again.

“So the two of you switched bodies on Christmas Eve, but it’s not because of Santa?”

“We’ve already established that,” Howard squawked in Vince’s voice.  It would have been funny if it weren’t ruining Naboo’s well-deserved relaxation.

“Bollo, in this dimension, Howard and Vince have switched bodies due to a magical device rather than a potion.  Do you know what this means?” Naboo asked his companion.

“What it mean?” Bollo asked.

“That this is some seriously good shit. This is some shifting dimensions shit.  You usually have to pay extra for that.”

“Excuse me, Cheech and Chong, but Howard and I could use some support right about now,” Vince huffed.  “The box said some rubbish about ardor and paramours.  What are we supposed to do?”

“It sounds like a traditional threshold body swap amulet,” Naboo explained. “Accomplish the goal of the amulet, and you’ll go back to yourselves.  Are there instructions?”

“What did the box say?” Howard asked Vince.

“It said, ‘This is a test of outlets for the furtherance of ardor understanding paramours… more’,” Vince stated firmly.

“I think you might have missed a few words there, Little Man.  Or maybe gotten them a bit jumbled,” Howard suggested gently.

 “Go get the box,” Naboo sighed.  “We need to get the two of you sorted before you ruin my whole holiday.”







Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
bluestocking79
Jan. 8th, 2016 08:17 am (UTC)
This is some shifting dimensions shit. You usually have to pay extra for that.

This whole bit just made me *grin*, because that is exactly the way the Boosh would address such a circumstance, and I could genuinely hear them saying it. It's a perfect bit of meta humor to acknowledge the similarities--and differences--of the two setups, and it was very much in the Booshy spirit of the thing.

But beyond that, I love that this chapter introduces a more defined objective or at least a place to start looking for one (Naboo is good at sorting that stuff out; that's why he gets those calls!), and also that Naboo and Bollo are in the mix, as well as all that excellent backstory we get about Howard's upbringing, especially the bit about the time-traveling slippers, which is simultaneously very Booshy and very funny. Poor Howard! He's been following the advice--and then going against it, hoping to find the loose women and drugged-up lifestyle he was warned against, and he hasn't had any luck! I adore the idea that him getting into jazz was a rebellion, rather than something old-fashioned. It's all about context!

And as always, you have included all these little, thoughtful details that I love, because they're so perfect for the characters and their relationships. I love Howard checking on Vince's gift 20-30 times a day (because he would, and still think he's being sly about it), I love Vince's observation that Howard can't handle even a moderate heel and of the fact that Howard's ability to make clothes look unflattering on him is something about HIM and the way he holds himself and not his actual body, I love Vince realizing that trying to play daft only sounds desperate in Howard's voice (it would! I can hear it), and I adore the gentleness of Howard's response to Vince's mangled remembrance of the instructions with the locket, knowing something's clearly not right there but not wanting to embarrass Vince or make him feel stupid. (Which he would have. He was already feeling insecure about not understanding the old-fashioned wording of the instructions!)

But the two bits that get me the most are Vince's not-quite-explanation of why he was snooping (conveniently leaving out the kind of stuff he should be sharing with Howard, of course) and poor Howard's unexpected reaction to realizing that his special gift for Vince turned out to be yet another in a long line of magical artifacts. The first is about Vince's fear of finally disappointing Howard (which is inevitable, right?) and so needing to know how he can properly respond to perform the way he thinks Howard will want/expect him to. The second one is about Howard's fear of his unusual family and past putting Vince in danger, or at least making life more difficult for him. Both things are about the two of them being afraid of disappointing each other, and certain that they ultimately will! Maybe that amulet kind of has the right idea, come to think of it...
hobbit_feets
Jan. 10th, 2016 12:25 am (UTC)
I am loving this! You always write Naboo and Bollo's MASSIVE EXASPERATION with Vince and Howard's shenanigans so well, and this is no exception. All they want to do is hang out and get stoned in peace! (I... am also pretty sure I have heard people opine things like, 'Man, man, it's like smoking a freshly mown lawn', so points for realism!) I loved the cheeky nod to Yankee Swap; very Booshy in its fourth wall breaking.

The idea that Howard, as a teenager, got into jazz because he'd time travelled back to the 50's and thought it would get him hard drugs and loose women is SO HILARIOUS AND PERFECT, poor baby. Thinking he's a crazy dangerous jazzer of the old school, when... notsamuch.

And there are so many great details of what the swap changes in how they both come off; Howard managing to make Vince's clothes look ill-fitting, Vince's attempt at sounding silly and daft just coming out... kind of desperate, the weirdness of Vince having Howard's HUGE HANDS that just envelop his when he goes to comfort him. I am a sucker for bodyswap for precisely reasons like that; it's such a cool way to illuminate things about characters.

And Howard's reaction-- skipping almost entirely over the betrayal of trust that Vince's snooping constituted to just be sad and disappointed in his family, ruining what he'd wanted to be a special gesture. Oh, Howard. I want to give him a hug.
garrideb
Feb. 4th, 2016 11:38 pm (UTC)
Whenever I read your Boosh fic, I have a huge grin on my face the whole time, because you slip in so many funny, bizarre, and just so Boosh-like details. My favorite here was the idea that Howard learned dating tips while time-traveling in the fifties. It explains so much! And the way he got sad when he realized the gift was "just" a magic ritual was heartbreaking, especially how you showed the scene though Vince's eyes. Vince was hoping to avoid a fight, and here he's getting just what he wanted, but in the worst way possible.

I loved how Vince was comfortable with Howard's hysteria, and calmed him down while noting how strange it felt to have the larger hand.

Your Bollo and Naboo are the best. <3

Just so you know, I spent about a minute trying to visualize what "choco-spaghetti tacos" would look like. That's a minute I'll never get back.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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