So, Boosh origin stories are a favourite of mine and I've always had a theory in the back of my mind that if Vince's dad really was some sort of Rock'n'Roll star there's one person who would work really well. Although this isn't a particularly happy story, sorry. But at least it's short. Enjoy.
"Vince!" Howard yelled, banging his fist on the bathroom door and trying to be heard over the blaring music. "Vince, this is a shared space, you know! Other people need to use the bathroom too!"
"Other people being you and your weak bladder?" Vince's response was muffled but Howard could still hear the sneer in it and fought to keep down the blush that was already rising up his neck.
"Alright, alright, I'm coming."
Howard was fairly amazed that Vince had even heard him over the racket coming out of his tape deck and when he heard the click of the latch being unhooked he barely noticed Vince as he barged past him to use the loo. It wasn't until he was washing his hands and trying navigate his way around the blue black stains Vince had left around the sink that he actually listened to what music was playing.
Making a mental note to get some bleach onto the latest stains Vince's hair experiments had left before they permanently marked the porcelain, Howard ventured forth in search of Vince. This was not the sort of music a sunshine kid should be listening to, no sir, it was the sort of thing that would give the boy ideas and then it was only a short step to all out rebellion, and Howard did not need that. Again.
"Vince?" he called. "Why are you listening to Alice Cooper? Vince? Vin- woah!"
He didn't have to look far, Vince was sitting on the floor in the hallway, his face hidden under his thick mane of wet, unstyled, Black hair.
"Oh dear," he mumbled and crouched down as Vince looked up at him like the lost little woodland creature he was.
"What's the matter, Howard? You have an accident?" He asked, but without his usual infectious level of cheekiness. In fact if Howard had to put words to it, he'd say that Vince was looking decidedly morose.
"Nothing's the matter with me, sir. But what's going on with you? You look like you've been swimming in a sea of ink."
Vince cracked a smile but it was small and sickly looking on his usually animated face.
"Nah I just..." Vince sighed and Howard sat down properly beside him on the cold floor, leaning against the wall and letting his shoulder press gently against Vince's. He wasn't a fan of human contact but he knew how much Vince craved physical touch and always tried to give it when his friend was feeling down, in subtle ways so that he wouldn't actually catch on, he didn't want Vince taking liberties and using him as a human pillow after all.
Vince let out a sniff and leant his head against Howard's shoulder and Howard decided that his best course of action was probably to wait. Vince wasn't a fan of quiet and would probably start talking soon enough, if only to fill the silence. Howard only had to wait and soon enough he'd hear all about what was bothering his best mate.
"You know how I've been sort of, trying to, a little bit, sort of looking for my birth parents?" Vince mumbled against Howard's shirt, one finger idly twirling his newly dyed hair whilst the other hand began to sneak around Howard's waist.
"Yes, I am aware of that, Vince," Howard replied carefully. "If you'll recall I offered to help you set up a plan of action and flow chart-slash-graph of possible candidates based on age, location and their movements in 197- I mean," he backtracked as he felt Vince stiffen at the near mention of his birth date. "- the year of your birth. You turned me down"
"Yeah well, I wanted to do it on my own, didn't I?" Vince whined and Howard grunted. They'd all needed their hobbies since the zoo had closed. "But it's not..."
"Not going so well?" Howard provided and Vince nodded against him.
"You could say that. I mean, I'm pretty sure I know who they are now, I've been a right proper detective, Howard, sniffing out clues and following tails."
"I think you mean trails, Little Man," Howard cut in.
"Yeah, whatever," Vince huffed. "But fact is, I was getting close. Even my name fits. Imagine that, Howard! My name's a clue!"
Howard had to chuckle at that, Vince's enthusiasm was always contagious but he had a horrible feeling in the pit of his stomach which said that something rather sad was coming and that worried him. Vince wasn't meant to be sad. It went against their dynamic.
"I even wrote to 'im. My dad, I mean, and he basically confirmed it, but said there's no way to be sure without my mum's word on it cos he wasn't keen on giving a blood sample or nothing. Said he didn't want it getting out but that he's actually afraid of needles. Imagine that..."
Howard didn't want to ask, he felt sure that he knew what came next in this story, so he continued to sit mutely on the floor, except that he allowed his hand to creep up on his belly until it was resting over Vince's.
"So I wrote to my mum, yeah," Vince continued in a shaky voice. "Only she denied it. Every last bit of it. Said she didn't want to hear from me, said she had a family now, and a reputation an' all. She said she regretted giving me her name, changed it the year after I was born, to Black, though I don't know how that figures with anything. She lives in Somerset now, wherever that is, but she don't want to see me..."
"Vince, I'm so sorry-"
"So I wrote back to my dad," Vince continued, talking loudly over the top of Howard's words as his voice began to crack and tremble all the more. "And he said that was a shame and there wasn't much we could do, and that he was busy and all, cos he's got a proper family and a career too, and don't really want some accidental kid coming and expecting hand-outs... but that if I ever wanted... he could organise tickets for me to go to his show. If he's ever back in the UK..."
Vince sniffed loudly but when Howard snuck a glance at his friend his cheeks were dry, even if his eyes were glassy. The story had been a little confusing, but not in the way that Vince's stories were usually confusing - full of strange creatures and ludicrous plot holes - but rather because Vince was so carefully trying to avoid telling him who his supposed parents were, and because it all sounded rather real and believable.
"I am sorry, Vince," he said again, and this time Vince didn't interrupt. "That's all really... unfortunate."
"Unfortunate? It's the worst possible outcome," Vince replied with a crack in his voice. "And then, instead of just letting it go, like I should've done, I went and put on my d- I mean, my Alice Cooper tape and well, I've had this box of dye in the cupboard for months and well... I just thought..."
He sighed but it came out as a sob and Howard decided to take the plunge and put his arm around Vince in a manly half-hug. He was unprepared for how quickly Vince folded himself into Howard's side, slotting into place like it was precisely where he belonged, and he was equally unprepared for the tears that followed but stayed where he was, even when he felt the damp patch forming where Vince's tears were soaking his shirt. When Vince finally seemed to have calmed down Howard shifted his arm, trying to send a subtle hint, but Vince stayed firmly put. Instead he faked a yawn and when that didn't work, went for a more direct approach.
"So, you're going for a darker look then? With the new hair? Shock rock, or whatever it's called?"
"Yeah, 'spose so," Vince shuffled away, ruffling his new, dark mop of hair. "Glam rock to shock rock, it's a nice transition, right? And flares have gone right out of style anyway, skinny jeans are the thing now, might have to go on a diet to fit myself into 'em though."
"Right, well," Howard ambled awkwardly to his feet, hoping that the crisis was averted so that he could get on with scrubbing down the bathroom. "Just don't do anything silly, alright? You know how you get when your blood sugar drops. It's just a good thing you weren't wearing any mascara today, you know, or you'd look just like that Alice Cooper bloke."
Behind him Vince let out another small sob but when Howard looked around the other man was inspecting his cuticles with rather unwarranted concentration so he decided to pretend he hadn't heard anything and turned to head back to the bathroom.
"It's a funny thing you know," he called over his shoulder as he walked away. "Alice Cooper's real name is Vincent too. Did you know? I'm just full of facts, me. They call me Mr Fact."
"Yeah Howard," Vince whispered once Howard was out of earshot. "I did know that, actually."