Vince was unsure if the night he had spent with Howard had been a dream. The pair, who almost never spoke in matters of the heart, had been pouring out their souls to Iggy records all night. Though he'd listened to the big man's Northern drawl, he focused less on the words. He took his time, basking in the trust he always doubted was there. Like grains of sand through his fingers, Vince had to hold on to this memory or he'd lose his only real moment of utter serenity.

Softly, a gentle brush of skin caressed him out of sleep. He looked to his waist, feeling hands entwined around it. Howard's hands. He stifled a giggle, a giddy feeling pulsing around his body, daring him to relax back into Howard. Slowly, he shuffled back, drawing the two closer together. A warmth shot through the bed as Howard stirred slightly. Suddenly unsure of his surroundings, he woke with a start.

'Vince?' he called.

'I'm here, you nonce. Way to kill a moment.' He coughed the sleepiness from his voice, but it hung in the air like a perfect chord.

'A moment?' Howard was obviously ill at-ease. An awkward flail was all he could manage to untangle himself from the little man. 'What moment?'

'Chill out.' Vince chuckled, 'Nothing too dirty, you animal.'

Though Howard's scarlet cheeks may have sought to tell a different story, this situation wasn't unpleasant. Not at all. The tension holding him began to settle. He stole a glance at the clock.


'Shit!' Howard yelled, sitting bolt upright.

'What?' Vince looked round to his fretful big spoon, his blue eyes filling with concern.

'The shop! We're eighteen minutes late opening!' Without saying a word, Vince picked up a pillow and smacked Howard with it. 'What was that for?'

'I thought you'd had some kind of life-affirming epiphany.'

'I have; if we don't open the shop, Naboo'll kill us, sir.' Dropping the pillow and snaking his hand to Howard's, Vince drew himself closer in. He placed his lips against Howard's neck, and planted kisses up to his ear lobe. They blossomed like red roses in the man's quivering heart.

'I'm not gonna tell him,' he whispered, 'are you?' The husk of Vince's morning voice had returned, with a new, harsh edge that thrilled Howard.

'I suppose we could leave it five minutes.'

With his parting statement lingering fiercely on his lips, Howard took Vince's face in his hands and kissed him with all the passion he could muster. Though the other would never know, both silently considered the same thing. There may have been a magical world outside, but what could be more perfect; more poetic; more artistic, than lying next to the most faultless, loving, beautiful man they had ever met?