A/N: Another one-shot from moi. I can't help it – these things just keep popping into my head!
Disclaimer: Barratt and Fielding own The Mighty Boosh, I just play with it occasionally.
Funnily enough, it started right after Howard's birthday. The little click of change. That girl he copped off with... what was her name? Rachel? Anyway, he kissed her eventually, he told me the next morning while he was trying to navigate the kettle over his coffee mug and stop the room from spinning at the same time. He had one hell of a hangover. I'd smiled at him, waiting for him to tell me more. I waited, and waited. But he never said. I suppose he didn't really need too. I know he lost his virginity that night. I heard them. I had nothing to distract me – the girl I had been talking to, as pretty as she was, had actually turned out to be quite boring, which I was quite shocked about really, considering she was dressed so brightly. So, I'd buried my head under my pillow – I didn't want to hear that, especially when it was someone's first time. All the same though, my chest swelled with pride, much like a mother's does on her child's first day at school, and I smiled into the bed sheet, eventually falling asleep.
A few days later, when we'd both been contemplating silently (yes, I can do that sometimes) during a quiet period in the shop, Howard had suddenly, out of nowhere, said;
"I didn't actually enjoy it that much."
My head had snapped round to look at him then, only to find him staring at the floor, his cheeks slightly reddened. Even though he couldn't see me, I'd smiled all the same.
"Don't worry about it, hardly anyone has a good first time."
He'd looked at me then, a frown on his face. "Let me guess, you don't fall into that category?"
"I do – it was bloody awful."
I could understand why he might not believe me, but it was true. "Seriously. Practice makes perfect, Howard."
He'd nodded, but I could tell that wasn't all. But before I could open my mouth again, he'd got there first.
"Anyway, I didn't mean it like that. It's just..."
I heard him sigh and scooted over to him, sitting next to him on the counter.
"What?" I'd asked, giving him a gentle nudge.
"I dunno," he'd shrugged. "I think maybe in the end she wasn't right for me. I didn't expect my first time to be amazing or anything, but I didn't think I'd suddenly hate being with a girl I thought I'd fancied."
That was when it first happened. I think it was me who started it, although I can't really be sure now. I just remember having this desperate, overwhelming urge to comfort him and make him feel better. And then we were suddenly kissing quite furiously, falling into the stock room and... well, I suppose you can guess. It all passed in a blur – a pleasurable blur, but a blur all the same. The next thing I remember, we were both laying there against some boxes, breathless and sweaty. Then the bell above the shop door had tinkled, and we both jumped up, dressing hastily, Howard, quite obviously, beating me back out as I dawdled over sorting out my hair. Afterwards, we never mentioned it. Everything went back to normal and we carried on like we'd always done. Until a few weeks later, because then it happened again. Eventually, it became just that – something which just happened. Sometimes it would happen once a week, and sometimes only a couple of times a month. And it was always the same – it always happened when we needed some sort of reassurance – mostly on his part, but occasionally mine. It was never discussed first – one of us would be upset or angry and before we knew it, we would be writhing against each other again. It was never discussed afterwards either, but we were content with that.
Or so I thought.
Right now, we've just closed up – neither one of us has said much to each other all day, and I'm not quite sure why. We walk round the side of the building to the door that leads into the flat, and as soon as we go through, as soon as that door is closed, just as I'm about to lead the way up the stairs, I find myself rooted to the spot, or rather, held to the spot. Howard has his hands on my shoulders and I suddenly find that my breathing has started to quicken. He kisses the back of my neck, the feel of his lips and the heat of his breath making my head spin, and it's all I can do to not let my knees buckle there and then. I do, however, waver slightly, but Howard holds me up, and now he's gently biting down on my skin, nipping the flesh in-between his teeth softly. I moan, and he trails his lips round the side of my neck, turning me as he does so, finding my mouth and kissing it hotly. I'm wearing a jump-suit today, slashed to the navel, so it's easy for him to push it down over my shoulders until I'm naked from the waist up. His hands roam over me, and I jump at how cold they are, but I actually quite like it. We stumble up the stairs, pulling at clothes until there is not a scrap left on either of us, and then he does something he's never done before – he leads me to the bedroom. Now, I know that probably doesn't sound weird in the slightest, but it is, because one: he never leads me, we just fall about, and two: we've never had sex in the bedroom before. It's usually up against walls, in the stock room, behind the counter, half on the sofa and half off, and, come to think of it, it's usually a lot more wild than this. Our normal way is to trip over and crash into things – we broke the coffee table once, just because it was directly in our path of destruction, and it got violently shoved to one side, falling hard against the wall, causing the top part to split. Now, though, it's... different. I don't know if that's just on my part or his as well – I can't explain it. Anyway, now we're on his bed (mine is covered in clothes), and he's leaning over me, kissing me everywhere, and although it's not as wild, it's just as exciting. The lust/passion divide has changed too – more passion, less lust. It's as if we really want it – well, obviously we do, otherwise it wouldn't happen in the first place – but I mean really want it. He's making love to me in a way he never has before, and... wait a minute, making love? When did it go from sex to making love? But it's true, I can't deny it to myself anymore. I love him, and not just in a 'best friend' way. I really love him. I'm in love with him. The sudden realisation of this scares me, and I freeze, making Howard pause mid-thrust. He looks at me, and I can tell by his eyes that he thinks he's hurt me. He hasn't. You see, the thing about Howard is that he's a very fast learner (I know what you're thinking, but yes, he is), and these times with him are the best I've ever had it. Who would have though I'd prefer sex with him to sex with girls? But, I do. He's the only man I've ever been with – I'm not gay. Well, I guess I must be now, but it's just Howard – just him. I've never looked at another man that way before, and I won't do so now. It's just him. So, I look back at him affectionately and smile to let him know he's done nothing wrong, before pushing against him to let him know he can continue.
Now, I'm going to disappear for a bit, because, you know, I really should be giving Howard my full attention – sometimes I hate the way my brain wanders.
Right, where was I?
When it was over we lay there, catching our breath. Normally, we only give it a minute or so before dressing and acting like nothing happened, so I don't know if it was because the bed was too comfortable or we were just too tired, but we didn't move. Recently, I've found myself starting to want a little something afterwards – just another kiss, one more before the spell inevitably breaks again, just to have it as a little piece of closure, in case what we're doing never happens again. I never get it though and didn't this time, and after a while, the silence began to make me feel awkward. In the heat of the moment, you generally don't care that you're naked, but afterwards, especially in our situation, it makes me feel a bit bashful, which is odd, because I'm hardly a wall-flower. So, I sat up, clutching the duvet to me, and then found that I wouldn't be able to get out of bed with it as it would then leave Howard completely exposed, and I wasn't sure how he would react to that – so I just sat there, and before long, to my complete amazement, I felt the tips of his fingers brush against my hand and without looking, I grabbed hold of it, my whole arm tingling. I could feel the goose-bumps spreading over my skin, the little hairs standing on end.
I've never heard him say my name like that before. It came out on a whisper, sounding like a prayer. I wish he'd said it when we were making love – yes, that's what I'm calling it now – but we don't talk, it's just moaning and gasping. I don't look at him when I reply.
I feel him sit up, hear the bed-cover rustling. He's right behind me – I can feel the heat radiating off his body, warming my back.
I can't seem to talk then, and he must have sensed this because he removed his hand from mine and shuffled closer, placing his chin on my shoulder and his arms round my waist. I lean into him and close my eyes, trembling all the more, so he squeezes me tight.
"It's changed, hasn't it?" he asks, and for some reason I can't comprehend, I feel like crying.
I can almost hear Howard thinking, I know he's got that look on his face, the one he gets when he's concentrating where he chews his lower lip slightly and stares off into the distance.
"Are you all right with that, then?"
What's he saying?
I take a deep breath, my heart pounding in my chest and I know he can feel it. I'm so nervous now that I can't even remember how to speak, which is strange, because I don't get nervous. But it's him, and I am. He wants me? He actually wants me? Then he says something that completely throws me.
Sorry? I remember how to work my limbs and turn in his embrace, just enough so that I can see his face.
"What're you sorry for?"
He sighs and actually looks quite sad. He removes his arms from my waist.
"For thinking for a second that we could be..."
I realise that I'd left a longer pause than I thought I had when he asked me, so I do what I do best -I smile at him. He looks confused – adorably so.
"You mean, you..?"
"Why do you think I'm shaking so much, you nut-box." But, I'm still smiling, and now, so is he, and he takes hold of me again, pulling me back to lie against him. I pull the duvet up and we cuddle together, shifting until we're comfortable. I want to explode like a party popper – you know, that feeling you get when you're just so happy, you could burst. I like to think at this moment, in some part of the world, there are fireworks going off just for us.
Neither of us needs to say anything else, but I get my longed for, post-coital kiss, and many more besides.
I later found out that Howard was having pretty much the same internal struggles as I was. How was I to know though, that after that very first time, waiting for the next window of opportunity was killing him as much as it was me? And that we both never said anything about it because we both thought that it was what the other wanted?
We laughed – there wasn't much else we could do really.
Stupid, aren't we?
Actually, don't answer that.
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