The Mighty Boosh and all of its affiliated characters etc belong to Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt and Babycow Productions. No copyright infringement is intended and I'm not making any money from this. Don't sue me, I'm skint.
Author's Ramblings: Just wanted to explain a few things before I get going. Feel free to skip ahead, but be warned that there will be spoilers for all episodes of the Mighty Boosh.
'Threads' is basically just a series of missing scenes and epilogues for all twenty episodes of the three seasons of the Mighty Boosh released to date. Each chapter will relate to a different episode, and there will be a recap of that episode at the start of that chapter, in case anyone's forgotten what it was about. The chapters do follow on from each other, as it's sort of my way of trying to link all the episodes together. They tend to focus on the developing relationship between Howard and Vince, and how that relationship (in my eyes, anyway) changes over time to become something more. Needless to say, it is heavy on the Vince/Howard UST, and later on, out-and-out slash, so if that's not your thing, you might wanna try something else. Basically, if you don't like the idea of the two of them being in a romantic relationship, you probably won't like this. Other than that, thanks for reading, and enjoy!
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'Killeroo' episode recap: Bob Fossil, manager of the Zooniverse, attempts to blackmail keeper Howard Moon into taking part in a shady and highly illegal boxing match by telling him he has pictures of Howard naked. At first, Howard refuses, stating that he has nothing to be ashamed of, but when he shows the pictures to his assistant Vince Noir, it becomes apparent that he has some kind of deformity on his chest. Howard's self confidence is shattered when Vince reacts badly to the photos, running away from him and branding him a freak. Vince eventually persuades Howard to take part in the boxing match, telling him that it will impress fellow keeper Mrs Gideon, with whom Howard is deeply infatuated. Howard is sceptical at first, but Vince assures him that he is an expert at boxing, having come from a whole family of pros, and Howard reluctantly agrees.
After several botched attempts to train his friend up with some 'educational' kangaroo videos, Vince takes Howard to his uncle's gym, where he tries to get himself in shape for the big fight with a training montage. The uncle deems him to be a lost cause, and states that there is only one thing left to try - letting him beat a weaker opponent. The trick works a little too well, as - after knocking out a schoolboy with a single punch - Howard is now certain that he can win the fight. Vince is less confident however, and goes to Naboo - a shaman who works at the zoo - for advice. Unfortunately, Naboo's idea of help is to blow dust in his face.
Vince's guilty conscience catches up with him as he realises the seriousness of the situation, and he tries to talk Howard out of the fight. By this stage, however, Howard is determined to go through with it, believing himself to be a boxing champ. Vince eventually falls into an uneasy sleep in which he is plagued by disturbing dreams that ask the question 'How do you get to Killeroo' over and over again in song format. When he wakes, he shares this with Howard, who tells him not to worry - dreams don't mean anything. Vince is less than reassured by this though, as signs from the dream continue to haunt him throughout the day.
When the time of the fight finally arrives, Howard gets beaten to a pulp by the kangaroo. Vince tells him that there has been a terrible mistake; he doesn't know anything about boxing at all - in fact, he is a French duke. After only a few minutes, Howard is knocked down to the floor. Vince urges him to stay down, but Mrs Gideon's timely arrival gives him the courage to continue. Just as the Killeroo is about to finish Howard off, Vince has a flashback from his dream and realizes that the only way to defeat a kangaroo is to grab its balls. He does so, and Howard finishes it off with a punch to the face. The crowd go wild, not expecting Howard to have won at all, and Howard celebrates by taking off his shirt and throwing it into the audience, exposing his hideous deformity for all to see.
Vince wasn't sure how it had happened, but one minute, he and Howard had been dancing around the ring on a euphoric high, ecstatic over their victory, and the next, Howard was shouting at Gideon like a deranged banshee and preparing to take off his top. Vince darted forwards, desperate to stop his friend from making what could possibly be the worst mistake of his life.
"No!" He screamed hoarsely, frantically signalling with his arms for Howard to stop. "NOOO!!"
It was too late, however. Howard pulled the sweat-stained garment over his head and threw it out into the crowd, still cheering and whooping. The crowd stopped the racket they were making all at once, shocked into silence by what they were seeing. Vince backed away into the corner of the ring, both horrified and full of pity for the other man. Somewhere, he was dimly aware of Fossil dropping his microphone, every bit as stunned as the rest of them. Mrs Gideon quickly left the room with her hand over her mouth, averting her eyes. Vince felt a kind of perverse pleasure, watching her go. It served Howard right, in a way. He had gotten up for her, after all. He had gotten up for her, despite Vince warning him to the contrary. Who did he think had his best interests at heart, Vince or Gideon? Gideon didn't give a shit about him, she couldn't even remember his name most days. But that didn't matter to Howard in the slightest. He was obsessed with her. At the end of the day, Howard cared more about that cold-hearted bitch than he ever would about Vince, his best friend. And it hurt. Vince never would have thought that it could hurt so much, but it did.
Pushing his irrational jealousy aside for the moment, Vince forced himself into action out of sheer pity for his friend. Howard was looking more and more mortified by the second, shifting uncomfortably, apparently having realized the error of his ways. Despite how much the older man might drive him up the wall sometimes, Vince would never truly want to see Howard get hurt. Besides, this whole situation was kind of his fault. If only he hadn't pushed Howard into doing the fight under false pretences. If only he hadn't reacted so badly when he saw those photos. They weren't that bad... well, okay, they were, but - and everyone was still staring! What were they all staring at, the useless toadstools? Hadn't Howard suffered enough? Vince stepped up to his friend, placing a steadying hand on his shoulder.
"Oi!" He shouted out at the crowd. "What are you lot lookin' at?! There's nothing to see here! Clear off, yeah?"
And they did. Pointing and laughing and muttering amongst themselves, but they did, filing out of the door in twos and threes until there was only Fossil and Joey Moose left in their little box, and Naboo still standing uncertainly by the ropes.
"Yeah, well," Fossil was saying, "I've got a cat that needs hanging, so... I want you back at work tomorrow, Moon! No excuses, or I'll fire your ass! And get something done about that... thing, you disgusting freakshow!"
Howard didn't say anything, still reeling with shock. Vince would have been sorely tempted to march over and punch Fossil's revolting flabby face in, had his job not been on the line. He watched as his boss left the room, closely followed by Joey Moose. Naboo turned to Vince and raised his eyebrows meaningfully, before following suit. And then there was just Howard and Vince, alone together the way they should be. Vince put a comforting arm around Howard's shoulders, shaking the other man slightly.
"Howard?" He probed gently. "Come on, Howard."
He was surprised and a little hurt when Howard shook him off, pushing him gently but firmly to the side and backing away a couple of paces. The distance between them was no more than ten feet, but it might as well have been ten miles. Vince felt isolated and alone, and Howard seemed distant and unreachable to him.
"Howard, come on, talk to me." He tried again.
"Just leave it, Vince." Howard replied in a quiet voice.
Vince bit his lip and closed the gap between them, reaching out to touch Howard's arm again. Howard pulled it out of his grasp roughly and walked away once more, like they were doing some kind of bizarre dance.
"I said just leave it, Vince!" He repeated, looking anywhere but at Vince. "I've got stuff to do. I'll see you later, yeah?"
Not waiting for a reply, he walked out, leaving Vince standing alone in the deserted room. The younger man sighed and pulled out the compact mirror he always carried with him, absently fluffing his hair. Eyeing up his reflection, he grinned in spite of himself - he knew he looked good in this hat.
- - - - - X - - - - -
Howard was moping on the sofa feeling sorry for himself when Vince entered the hut, looking contrite and a little nervous.
"All right?" He asked, looking at Howard as if he was a bomb that was about to go off. For some reason, this irritated Howard no end.
"No, I'm not bloody all right, am I?" He snapped, taking even himself by surprise with the vehemence he displayed. "I can never show my face in public again! I"m going to be a laughingstock! Gideon will never want to look at me again."
Not that she looked at you in the first place, a tiny voice in the back of his mind whispered. He mentally gagged the voice with some Sellotape he had lying around. "I'll only be able to go out at night... I'll have to creep about in the shadows. The Shadow Man, they'll call me. And if there's no shadows handy, I'll have to wear a paper bag over my face."
"It's not really your face that's the problem, is it?" Vince replied helpfully, struggling not to laugh. Howard gave him one of his worst looks. He always had something to say, didn't he? He just couldn't resist.
"Oh, come on, Howard." He tried again, sobering. He took up his place perched on the edge of the sofa, arms wrapped loosely around his knees. "It's not as bad as all that, is it? I mean, sure, people might be enjoying themselves, talking about how disgusting and repulsive you are right now -"
"- But give them a few weeks, and they'll find something far more interesting to fixate on. You'll see, the whole thing will just blow over."
Howard hardly dared hope. "Well, it's easy for you to say that, isn't it? You're Vince Noir - everything's sunshine and roses for you, life's just a walk in the park. I bet you've never been embarrassed in your life."
"'Course I have!"
Howard was intrigued, despite himself. "Really?"
"Yeah! I'm not perfect, you know. I do come pretty close, mind, but still... I've been embarrassed loads of times!"
"Yeah? Name one."
"Oh, umm... I know! There was that one time when I went out wearing green Chelsea boots and a purple cape." He shook his head, laughing at the memory. "Total nightmare! Don't know what I was thinking. I ended up on the front cover of Heat and everything!"
Howard looked at him in disbelief. He was so... simple. For some reason, he found it quite endearing. Not that he was going to admit that. "I think this goes a little deeper than wearing the wrong colour combo, Vince."
"What do you mean?"
Howard sighed dramatically. "I exposed a part of myself today, a dark, intimate part that I've never shown to anyone else before. I bared my soul before the congregations, and they just mocked me."
"They just didn't understand you, Howard. Your soul was so rich and vibrant that it scared them, and they ran away, like headless chickens at an eighties electro rave." Vince's eyes widened, a dim light bulb going off somewhere in his head as he talked. "Don't you see? You've got edge now!"
Howard could tell that Vince didn't have the faintest idea what he was talking about, but for some reason, he was beginning to feel better anyway. As though Vince simply wanting him to be happy was enough to make it happen. "Really?"
"Yeah!" The smaller man bobbed his head enthusiastically, warming to his theme. "You're like Phantom of the Opera, or - or that other guy who creeps around in a mask. There's a darkness to you that intrigues people, Howard."
"Hmm... you think so?"
"Yeah. I mean, you may be hideously scarred and ugly -"
"Okay, I think that's enough now -"
"- But that's just part of your charm. It just draws people in even more. Everyone loves a tragic hero. Gideon'll be all over you like a rash tomorrow."
"Here's hoping." Howard muttered.
Vince sighed abruptly. "Howard... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have made you do the fight."
Howard shook his head. "It's not your fault. I should have known better. I shouldn't have let Fossil get to me. I shouldn't have dragged you into it in the first place."
Vince slid from his perch on the arm of the sofa to the seat next to Howard, until they were so close that their thighs were touching. "I just... I wanted you to be happy. I thought that if you did the fight and you won, you'd get with Gideon and people would like you, and then you would be. Happy, I mean."
Vince's quiet admission took Howard by surprise, and he looked at his friend - really looked at him - for the first time in a while. Vince was a lot of things, not all of them good, but whatever else, it was painfully obvious that he really did care for Howard, even if he didn't always show it. What was less obvious was that Howard cared for Vince just as much - even if he never showed it. Acting on impulse, he put his arm around Vince's skinny frame, pulling him close. It was only intended to be a friendly gesture of gratitude, but it felt good - really good. More than that, it felt right. The longer the moment went on for, the more Howard became aware of this fact, and the more uncomfortable he felt, until, eventually, he moved away, clearing his throat awkwardly.
"So... erm... what shall we do now?"
Vince looked just as confused as Howard felt. "I dunno... Cuppa tea?"
"Oh, go on then. Why not?"
As the younger man got up to boil the kettle, their eyes met, and Vince's face broke into one of his trademark grins. Howard couldn't help but smile back. No matter what else happened, they had each other, and for now, that would be enough. As long as they stuck together, everything else would be okay.
As long as they stuck together, it always was.
A/N: So what did ya think? Love it, hate it? Let me know! 'Mutants' is up next, and should be posted sometime tomorrow, although I can't make any guarantees. You know how it is.
All reviews are HUGELY appreciated. I've even written 'hugely' in HUGE letters to demonstrate.