Yes, I really will finish What Doesn't Kill You. But in the meantime, let's have some fun with The Mighty Boosh. I've been really obsessed with this show lately.
This story may start out a bit sad-ish, but I guarantee it's totally tragedy-free otherwise.
For Harmony. (Because she got me into this and I still owe her a birthday fic)
Dennis plucked his moustache as he looked around the table of shamans.
"So, gentlemen, it looks as though our business here on earth is finished for the time being. Now that Xooberon is at war with Zyberon, our planet needs us", he concluded his speech.
Naboo quickly exchanged a glance with Bollo, who let out a dissatisfied growl.
"Awww, but I liked earth!" Tony called out, shaking himself aggressively with his tentacles. "There aren't any beaches on Xooberon! This is an outrage!"
"Why don't you go visit some beaches at the crunch while we put our arse on the line for our people!" Saboo snapped at him.
"Ahh, you wanker", Tony answered. "I would like to see you in a war. You wouldn't last a day! You don't know how to fight!"
"At least I have legs", Saboo said triumphantly.
"Come on then, I'll kick your head in!" Tony yelled, his tentacles now wiggling wildly.
"Silence!" Dennis shouted. "This is a serious matter. We'll be leaving in a three weeks".
And that was the end of it. The end of the discussion, and probably the end of Naboo's residence here on earth for at least a while. Naboo considered his options with a deep frown as he and Bollo flew back home on his magic carpet. He could choose to stay, of course, but that would mean his powers would be revoked for at least a few hundred years. He couldn't have that, not with Vince and Howard around. He was pretty sure that Vince and Howard without any shamanic supervision would be far more dangerous than fighting in a war on Xooberon. But whichever way he looked at it, that was probably what was going to happen. With his powers revoked, staying wouldn't do much. At least on Xooberon he could use his telepathic abilities to check in with them every once in a while. He sighed. It looked like he was going to be leaving.
"What you thinking?" Bollo asked.
"Just considering my options", Naboo said. "I think I should leave, but… what am I going to do with the shop? They're not going to be able to keep it are they?"
Bollo didn't need him to explain who he meant with 'they'. He nodded. "I see your point".
"I think I'm gonna have to close it down, Bollo". He felt sad saying it, and he could tell it made Bollo sad as well.
"What about me?" the gorilla asked.
"You could still come with me. You're my familiar, I'm still gonna need you".
Bollo nodded, obviously relieved. Still, they were in a sour mood, because they were both thinking of the same thing. Even the moon, who was usually quite talkative, just looked down upon them sadly.
"Uh-oh", he said, before turning around.
Vince flipped the page of his fashion magazine, revealing a guy on golden pumps and cow print leggings. He was leaning against the counter and tried to appear casual. Those leggings were something he would usually be absolutely exhilarated by, and he admitted his eyebrows had briefly shot up in approval at the sight of it. Still, he couldn't enjoy it completely. He could never quite enjoy things completely when Evangeline was around.
Her annoying giggling came from the other end of the counter. She was sitting on Howard's lap, smiling in that repulsive way of hers. They were staring into each other's eyes now, which was their favourite activity. They could keep this up for hours. It was absolutely revolting. And besides, the way Howard went that long without blinking was just creepy. Vince rolled his eyes and shook his head. He tried to focus on his magazine: on the pumps, leggings, scarfs and accessories that stared at him from the page and begged him to buy them. They always made him feel better.
It had been like this for a while now. Howard and Evangeline had been together for a few months. How it was possible Howard had gotten a girlfriend, he still didn't quite know. And not even one that was technically all that bad-looking. She looked a bit like Mrs Gideon, only the blonder, more boring version. She could be a real stunner if she'd had only the slightest bit of fashion sense, knew how to accessorize and got a trendy haircut. Needless to say she was as bland and lacking in style as Howard. She dressed in dull turtlenecks of only one colour and those kind of jeans old people wear: the kind you pull up to your navel and make your arse look really big. Her hair was exclusively tied up in a tight knot. In other words: a disaster. Not that Vince had expected any better from someone in a relationship with Howard, but it hurt his eyes.
In a lot of ways, she seemed to be Howard's perfect match. They'd met during some jazz concert of some shady jazz musician Howard had been talking about for weeks, but that Vince hadn't bothered to remember the name of. So they had that in common. For Howard, it had been a dream come true, really. He finally had someone to talk about his boring culture stuff. Vince wanted to be happy for Howard, he really did. But the truth was… he couldn't stand that woman. She was bossy and uptight and just generally got on his nerves. Besides, she came between them, and that was enough reason for Vince to dislike anyone. Him and Howard had had countless discussions about it. He remembered their very first fight about her. They were going to have a night out with the two of them, when Howard had cancelled at the last moment. The reason: Evangeline hadn't wanted him to go. That's when Vince had called her bossy for the first time.
"Evangeline isn't bossy, what are you saying?" Howard had defended her.
"Not bossy? She tied you to a chair once, so you couldn't come partying with me! She's well bossy! She's The Devil wears Prada without the Prada!"
"She's just strong-willed, Vince. She's a very strong-willed woman. You wouldn't understand. It takes a strong man to handle a woman like that".
"But you can't handle her. That's what I'm trying to say! We haven't done anything together in ages".
"Yes we have."
"Oh yeah? Like what?"
"Well, we… we had a nice moment under the night sky after sorting out the trash yesterday. That was good. Wasn't it?"
Vince had just shook his head. "I can't believe you".
He'd been about to leave, when Howard had said: "Look, I'll make it up to you".
"Will you?" Vince had turned around.
"Of course. You're my best friend. I'll tell Evangeline I'm going to spend more time with you. You know, we could work on our music material again. Prepare for another gig?"
That had made Vince smile. He'd nodded. "All right".
Of course, they still lived and ran a shop together, but that wasn't the same as having quality time. Howard and Evangeline were constantly sleeping over at each other's place, so Howard was either there or she was in their apartment. Vince wasn't sure what was worse. He hated having to listen to them making revolting noises in the spare bedroom when he was trying to sleep, but he equally hated the empty feeling in the house when Howard wasn't around. And running the shop, well, that was just work.
But Howard turned out to be a man of his word, surprisingly. Things had improved. From that moment on, they'd spent every Thursday night with the two of them, without interruptions from anyone else. Sometimes they went out, but usually it was just them in their apartment: smoking water pipe, listening to music, watching bad movies (on purpose) and staying up all night, talking and crimping away. Thursday night was Vince's favourite night of the week. If for any reason Howard had to cancel it, he felt down.
The other good thing was that they were doing gigs again, which gave them an excuse to be together a few times a week for rehearsals. Vince knew Evangeline didn't like it and wasn't a fan of their music, but it was hard for her to come up with a valid complaint against her boyfriend being in a band. Vince thought it was quite hilarious to see how uncomfortable she seemed in the midst of the electro crowd during their gigs. The sight of her standing there, in her straight coat and turtleneck with her arms folded and her mouth pressed tightly together as the people around her went nuts, always gave him a smile. They were small moments of victory. The moments when he felt like Howard was on his side, and no one could come between them.
"Well, I have to go now, sugar pie", Evangeline's voice interrupted his thoughts. She leaned over to kiss Howard goodbye while making obnoxious kissing noises. Vince sometimes wondered if she did that intentionally. When she stopped, Vince pulled his mock kissing face behind her back so only Howard could see it. Howard just shook his head, not amused. Vince laughed silently.
"You boys be good," she said, opening the door. Vince waved dryly.
Howard waved. "Bye pumpkin!"
"Finally", Vince said, as soon as she had closed the door behind her.
"Finally? That's my girlfriend you're talking about, sir".
"Oh, come on. I've had to watch you two for the whole afternoon. Have you seen yourself? I haven't seen you blink once!" He widened his eyes in an attempt to imitate Howard's creepy stare. "Now that's creepy."
"You know what your problem is, Vince?" Howard asked.
"It's that you can't handle the sight of true love".
Vince didn't even try to keep himself from laughing.
"The fire between us, the sparks flying around the room, the unconditional love..." Howard continued. "It's too much for you. You panic and run every time a relationship is starting to get serious."
Vince rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Whatever".
"Don't you ever get tired of it? Being single, just having the occasional one-night stand? It's not healthy, Vince".
Vince sat down in the chair behind the counter that Howard had taken up for the whole afternoon. "Yeah? Well if the alternative is staring at each other for 24 hours a day, I'll stick with the one-night stands, thanks".
He'd expected a clever retort or a frustrated sigh, but his friend just got that hazy look in his eyes he seemed to get every time they talked about sex. He didn't really know what that was about. Vince assumed Howard's sex life wasn't exactly the wildest, but he really didn't want to know about any of that.
"Anyway, I know it's not Thursday yet, but I thought maybe we could hang tonight? Watch a movie?" He asked, holding up a DVD of 'The Room'. "I got this from the video store today. The internet says it's the absolute worst movie ever made. It's got a 3,5 on IMDb, we've got to see this".
"Sorry, I can't", Howard said. "I'm hanging out with Evangeline. You know, having a romantic evening".
"You've already seen each other all afternoon!" He said, feeling slightly pissed off. "Seriously though. When is it ever enough with you guys?"
"Yeah well, Thursday night is our night, isn't it? Today's Tuesday".
"Yeah, so what?" He knew he was being unreasonable, but it didn't keep him from being annoyed about being rejected. Worse: rejected for a girl with no style whatsoever.
"So Evangeline wants me to be with her, you know how it works. We've been doing this routine for months".
Vince sighed yet again, but this time it was from feeling despondent. "So, what, are you going to watch a romantic movie again?"
"Yeah. She likes those. I do too. And you know what?"
"Maybe you should watch a few to educate yourself about romance".
"Yeah, right", Vince said, grinning again. "You mean those kind of old movies where the hero saves the girl and kisses her in the end? Those are rubbish. That's not romance, that's manipulative bullshit. It's not real, Howard".
"It is real. I've done things like that back in my day", Howard answered.
"Yeah. I'm a hero, Vince, I was made of that stuff".
"And when was that?" Vince asked.
"Just - some times. When you weren't watching".
"All right, don't believe me. But don't come crawling to me next you're in trouble".
"Oh, that does scare me", Vince teased. "Besides, I'm the one who always saves you".
Howard was just about to open his mouth, when he got interrupted by the ringing of the door. It was Naboo and Bollo, both looking so miserable it looked like they'd just swallowed poop. Vince could immediately tell something was up.
"Hi guys", Naboo said with a nod. Bollo nodded and grunted as they made their way to the stairs.
"What's happened to you?" Vince asked.
"Yeah, what's with the long faces?" Howard added.
"Not now, guys. Me and Bollo need to talk about some shop business", Naboo said.
"Hey now, if you're going to talk about something related to the shop, you can do it in front of me and Vince", Howard said, gesturing towards Vince. "We're all a part of this". Vince nodded fiercely.
Naboo sighed, exchanging looks with Bollo. "We're gonna have to close down".
"What?" Vince called out.
"There's a war back on Xooberon. My people need my help. I can't stay, all the Shamans are leaving".
"But what about us?" Vince asked. "You can't just throw us out on the streets! We can do this, we can run this shop. Isn't that right Howard?"
"Yes sir, we're a team!", Howard supported him. "Being a shopkeeper is in our blood".
Naboo just shook his head. "I'm sorry but I can't. This is a Shaman shop. Without a Shaman in charge, it will lose its purpose".
"Oh come on, Naboo".
Naboo just looked sad. "I'm very sorry", he said. "But we have some time left, yeah? I'm leaving in a few weeks. Maybe you should think about other jobs in the meantime? All right?"
With those words, Naboo and Bollo made their way upstairs, leaving Vince and Howard perplexed.
"Do you think they'll be all right?" Naboo asked Bollo.
"I think closing of shop will make harder for them", Bollo said.
"Harder to admit their feelings?"
"You're right", Naboo sighed. "They're idiots".
He peeked out of the window, just in time to see Vince make his way outside. His psychic powers sensed that he was probably off to buy those cow print leggings.