K, I wanted to wait until after I finished 'Too small for his boots' to write this, and I think this author's note may be a long one, so buckle up ;)
I did get a few replies on that poll, so I though "What the hell, let's do this" :) AU to the extent of I don't think Vince would ever make it to a policeman, but it's the only way I could get the story to work. I didn't know what genre thing to put it under, cause it is romance, but only for a while, then at the end. I guess it's mostly drama, and I'm gonna add adventure to that, but if anyone thinks its something different, tell me by all means :) Plus, it's a T cause, if anyone has watched Life on Mars, they know what a foul mouth Gene Hunt has ;) One more thing, I was originally gonna have a chapter an episode, but that would be too long and complicated (For me) so I think I may just have the episodes from the first series, with some different ones possibly from series 2. Oh yeah, I don't know how old Howard and Vince are, so for the sake of argument, and assuming my maths is right, they are both 35, so they were born in 1973.
Disclaimer: Don't own the Boosh or LoM, happy?
This chapter is dedicated to David Bowie, cause I was listening to his songs while writing :)

"Colin Rhaymes, open the door please".

Howard thumped on the front door of the suspect's house. Despite the seriousness of the situation, he still had time to turn and wink at his boyfriend, and was pleased to see him blush and smile coyly back. After a few seconds of silence, Howars was forced to bang again,

"Colin Rhaymes, we have a warrant to search your house, and remove property in compliance with..."

His small speech was broken with a crash as presumably the back door was crashed open. At once, a few officers helped Howard break the door down and Vince, the lightest and speediest of them all, ran through the house and managed to climb the back wall in less than a minute and run after the ginger haired man they had been sent to arrest. Soon, he got Rhaymes trapped down an alleyway, but the man picked up a dustbin lid and approached Vince.

However much he hated it, Vince was a born fighter. All those years as being a cockney ragamuffin from the streets had given him a strong right hook and he could block attacks like nobodie's business. However, he couldn't stand fighting. Not that he was a pacifist, but he visibly paled when he thought what it would do to his clothes and hair. Instead, he got out a stick that looked like a cattle prode and said, lightly,

"Y'know, this isn't gonna look good on your arrest report". With that he struck Rhaymes' leg with it. The man fell down and Vince heard sirens as he turned and and saw his boyfriend's car speeding towards him. As it pulled up, an officer got out and immediately slapped some cuffs on Rhaymes. From the driver's side, Howard got out and went over to Vince, smiling fondly at the proud glow he had. That was one of the many brilliant things about Vince. He never got bored with his job. He always acted like it was the first arrest, still smiling proudly as he managed to stop the suspect and arrest him.

"Alright?" Howard asked lovingly, smiling at Vince as he pushed his fringe away from his eyes.

"Never better babe, you?" Howard smiled again, and pressed a soft kiss to the other man's mouth.

"All the better for seeing you, alive and well" He answered, when they were finished. This was one of the thing about Howard that made Vince love him even more than he thought was possible. Howard was worried about him whenever they went on an arrest. Not that Vince didn't worry about him, of course he id, but Howard worried even if Vince was putting the cuffs on an eighty year old woman.

"Come on, we need to interview him" Howard said, taking Vince's hand and leading him towards the car.

"Yes sir" Vince grinned and gave his superior a mock salute.

Naboo had decided to close the Nabootique ages ago, and had refurbished the downstairs which had once been the shop so it looked like an ordinary home. This meant Vince was out of a job, and even though he was Naboo's favourite, he still need to pay his rent. Howard was safe. After the whole Hitcher incident he decided to become a police officer, to protect them all, and had quickly risen through the ranks, mostly because of the awe he saw in Vince's face, which spurred him on, to become DCI. When the shop closed, Vince (Who by this time was already going out with Howard), inspired by Howard's example, trained up. He almost failed on the written exam, but promised to make it worth Howard's while if he gave him a few extra marks. Well, he couldn't really have refused him, could he? He was soon star pupil, being the best at undercover work and (Much to everyone's surprise) working things out using the evidence they had. Pretty soon, he was made DI, which was only one rank below DCI. He had his own office with a huge desk, drawers stuffed with sweets, magazines (Training to be a poilce officer hadn't exactly made him any wiser) and, yes, in one drawer there was a pot of lubricant, given the fact that his and Howard's offices were next door to each other, and sometimes Vince got him daring enough to do it in there, even though once or twice they were nearly caught.

Sitting in the car on the way back to the station, Vince ran his hand over Howard's leg, slowly. Howard swerved slightly, making Vince smile evily, and making the journey a long one.


"Interview commenced at 10:15am. Present are DCI Moon, DI Noir, the suspect's lawyer, social worker and psychologist," Howard spoke into the tape recorder, "The suspect will state his name".

Vince shuddered as Rhaymes glanced at him, raising an eyebrow and baring his teeth. Under the table, Howard reached for his hand and squeezed it gently, making Vince blush prettily, and he looked back at Rhaymes with more courage.

"Colin Rhaymes" He said, heavy manchester accent filtering through the room.

"Take a look at these photos Colin," Vince took over and opened a file containing photos of a younf woman, dead in the mortuary, having been garroted with some kind of thin cord, "Her name was Melissa Townshend. Kidnapped on May 3rd, held for one day, not fed and then strangled. Then, another woman, Amy Smith, kidnapped on May 7th, not fed then strangled. Apparently, you squared up to Amy and said, 'Fight me, and you will end up like Melissa'". Vince continued to feed the photos to Rhaymes, who looked away for a while.

"You're upsetting him" His lawyer argued, but Howard continued from where Vince left off,

"We have your diary here Colin," Howard said, and produced some peices of paper, "Here are some extracts," He said, motioning to them, "'May 7th, I killed her, she's been killed. I'm a killer, an ace killer'. That particular entry is not awash with ambiguity" Howard remarked, and although he didn't know what that meant, Vince smirked, knowing Rhaymes had been put in his place.

Rhaymes continued to stay silent as his psychologist argued,

"Colin is a first rate fantasist..."

"Lets talk about the night in question, eh?" Vince interrupted, "May 7th" There was a rustle of paper to his right as Rhaymes' social worker said,

"Hang on, May 7th?" Vinc felt a sinking feeling in his stomach,

"Yeah" He answered, glancing over at Howard.

"He was at our drop in centre," She said, almost smugly, "Some kids had thrown fireworks at him, he was distressed"

"I think we're done here" The lawyer said, leaving Vince to slump down in his chair, barely noticing Howard reaching for his hand, slipping his fingers through the small ones.


Walking back to Howard's office, Vince ranted,

"How can he get away with it?! I'm sure it was him! Why else did he put that in his diary?" Howard rubbed his arm,

"I know little man, but they have evidence that was somewhere else at the time" He soothed, and Vince, although still extremely angry, felt less rattled and smiled up at Howard, lacing his fingers into the older man's.

While walking to the office, Howard got quite a few jealous looks, as always, from various women (And some men) in the department. This always made him swell with pride as he glanced at the smaller man walking beside him, bobbing along, quite unaware of how much Howard actually loved him at this point. Vince had been so happy to be working with Howard again that he had gone back to his ways at the zoo. Of course he still wore the jumpsuits and mirrorball suits etc, but he was more, mod/electro now. He seemed to have gotten even more innocent, and was once or twice found to be dressing in ponchos. He had customised his suit that he had been told in a heated argument with his boss (Howard) that was mandatory, so while it was just a white shirt, black jacket, tie and trousers, he had rolled the sleeves up and untied the tie, like a schoolboy would do, and put badges and pins on it. He had even written 'Noir' on the front in glitter glue.

They got to Howard's office, Vince slamming the door behind them, and sat down on his sofa.

"Now we've got nothing" Vince moaned, like a small child who had their christmas present stolen.

"I wouldn't say we've got nothing sweetheart," Howard said, arm around Vince, "We've still got that synthetic hair under the victim's nails" Vince nodded morosely and settled against Howard, not wanted to go just yet. But the peaceful scene was shattered when Howard's radio went off,

"Alpha 2-4-7 report. Alpha 2-4-7. Over" Howard managed to wriggle out of Vince's grasp and answer it,

"This is Alpha 2-4-7. Yeah?"

"We've got a report of another kidnapping, over on Satchmore Road. An Eliza Dorris, friends saw her being pulled away by a tall man, apparently her top is bloodstained and was left on the swing in a play park".

"Ok, we're on it". Howard said, slipping the radio into his pocket, and pulling Vince out of the office by his hand. Just before going out of the door, he turned and swept Vince into a kiss that took his breath away (In both respects). When they were finished, Howard smiled at Vince and said,

"For luck".


They got to Satchmore road and stepped out of the car, Vince stepping closer to Howard in the cold. Walking under the yellow police tape, they approached the swing and Howard said to a nearby officer,

"Corner off the scene completely, and get this dusted for prints" The officer nodded and walked away, saying something into his radio. Howard saw Vince blushing and knew why, the younger man loved watching Howard being all assertive and giving orders, but at the moment, he wasn't in the mood.

"I'm going to go round the corner, see if there's anything round there," He said to Vince, and noticing that the DI was about to follow, "Stay here and see if there were any other witnesses". Vince nodded and walked off. Any other person would think that Howard was angry with them, but Vince knew him so well that he knew Howard was angry at anything but him, and that he didn't want to be with Vince right now in case he let his anger out on him.

He had walked less than twenty paces when he heard a yell that he instantly recognized as Howard's, and a crash that sounded like a dustbin falling over. He ran to where Howard had gone, heart thumping in worry, and gasped as Howard was nowhere to be seen. All that was there was some dustbins on the floor, and Howard's hat (That Vince had bought him for his last birthday, insisting he looked sexy in it) was all that remained.

"H-Howard?!" Vince yelped down the alley, while more officers appeared, all talking at once, only one noticing a very pale man sinking to the floor, breath coming out in sobs,

"Guys, give the DI some space" Vince neither knew nor cared what they were saying, and fell further until he was sat on the floor, sobbing weakly into his hands. If Howard had been taken by the same person who had taken Melissa, Amy and Eliza, then it was unlikely Vince would ever see him again.


Later, someone had sat Vince on the front chair of their car and given him some incredibly sweet tea.

"Sir?" A young woman came up to him, "I know you want to help, but we're insisting you go home" A sob caught in Vince's throat. Home. He and Howard had moved into their own little flat together. Not too far away from where they lived with Naboo, and not too far away from the station. The policewoman wasn't sure what to do. Of course she knew Vince and Howard were together, everyone knew, they were so cute together, but she had no idea what to say to her DI. Thankfully, he sighed, and got up.

"Yeah, I'll....I'll go home and wait for a-any news"

"Would you like a lift?" She asked, concerned. He shook his head,

"No, I'll...I'll be fine, I'm gonna..." He trailed off and walked away, millions of thoughts buzzing through his head. He couldn't believe it. Howard. His one true love. His soul mate. He had never imagined they would ever be separated. He always assumed they would just be together for...well, ever. His eyes started to prick up with tears as he walked down the pavement, deciding to go and live at Naboo's for a while. He couldn't go back to his and Howard's flat. There would be too many happy memories there. He smiled as he remembered his last birthday. Howard had managed to get them tickets to see the Lion King in the theatre, and when Vince's eyes were streaming when Mufasa died, he had put his arm around him and nuzzled his cheek, staying that way the whole way through the performance. At the end, Vince hadn't realized it had finished, he was so caught up in Howard's face. Those features. Those gorgeous, chocolate coloured eyes, however small, were so warm Vince could never lie when looking into them. And that sexy, dishevelled hair of his. However much Vince teased him for it, Howard had known how much he loved it.

To distract himself, he turned his phone off silent and put some music on. Tapping the down button, he kept going until he found a good song. David Bowie. Fine.

It's a god-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling "No"
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks
through her sunken dream...

Vince sniffed and crossed the road, not noticing the speeding car coming towards him.... He might just have avoided it if he was bouncing along in his normal, happy state, but he felt so lost he walked at a snail's pace. He heard a screech of tyres and finally looked to the side, just in time to see the driver's horrified face as his small, thin body made impact with the windscreen.


Shocking with 200 volts. Clear!


Beep Beep Beep

Ok he's stable, let's get some saline in.

Beep Beep Beeeeeeeeeeep

Wait, he's going into arrest again, ready! Ok, shocking with 250 volts, Clear!


"Hhhhh!" Vince sat up, taking a huge gasp as he felt the ground below him and gave a huge thank-you to whoever was up there. However, he looked around, extremely puzzled. This was not where he was hit. He had been hit by a car underneath a bridge somewhere in London, while walking to Naboo's, but he looked to be in some kind of construction sight. Looking around, he spotted a car near him, so he managed to stand up and stumble over, still quite woozy from the crash.

Looking through the window, he heard a song playing on the radio,

It's on Amerika's tortured brow
That Mickey Mouse
has grown up a cow
Now the workers
have struck for fame
'Cause Lennon's on sale again...

"What happened?" Vince fell over in shock as a man looked at him from the other car window. Sitting up, he realised it was another officer, but he looked like one of those really old-timey ones. With the police hat that had a chin strap.

"Did you see what happened?" Vince looked blankly at him, "Sir, can you tell me, what happened?" Vince was thinking, something slowly starting to dawn on him,

"Hang on..." He whispered, as the officer searched through the files on the passenger seat of the car,

"Says here you're on transfer from Hyde. Detective Inspector" Vince looked up at him, confused,

"What? Where's Hyde?" The officer went into his pocket and pulled out a radio,

"8-7-6-0 to Control, we've got a..." Vince was already walking off, extremely scared by now, and still desperately worried about Howard, "Hang on Sir come back! 8-7-6, Sir, come back!" But Vince had already started running, out of the construction sight and into the street.

He gasped. There were barely any cars, it didn't look like London at all, and all the cars that wereon the street were really old, retro ones, like the ones he had always been bugging Howard to buy. His throat tightened again, but he was side-tracked by the clothes everyone was wearing. Down near Naboo's, it was more electro and nu-ravers, but everyone he passed were dressed in the kind of clothes you'd buy in charity shops. Now panicking, alot, he ran across the road, but tripped on the kerb and had to grab onto a parked car to remain vertical.

A jolt of shock ran through him as he stared at himself in the wing mirror of the car. His clothes had completely changed. He was no longer wearing his customized suit, but he had a leather jacket on, with a shirt that had flared arms and had stripes going down it, in red, white and blue. His trousers were simply black skinnies, and on his feet were some white cowboy boots. Feeling something in his pocket, he threw his shaking fingers in and drew a wallet out. Inside, there was a police badge, and a small piece of paper saying,

"It is hereby certified that (And 'Vince Noir' was typed on from a typewriter) holds the rank of Detective Inspector, and is lawfully allowed to carry out any tasks under Her Royal Majesty"

Vince shook as he read it. He didn't have a badge like this before. There was no alternative, however, to just go to the police station and see what was what.


He lost his breath as he walked into CID. The floor was tiled in horrible green and white squares, faded with age. There were desks in the middle of the room, trays on them piled high with files and papers, ashtrays and whisky bottles. It seemed as though time had slown down. Everyone in the room (And Vince noted there were no women there) turned to look at him. Most were smoking (Which Vince couldn't stand and had once told Howard that he'd be dumped if he ever started to smoke) and were dressed in really horrible, boring suits, much like hispolicestation. As he walked in, slowly, he accidently knocked over a tray of files from a desk. Time suddenly sped up to real time, but he continued to walk forwards, not awfully sure where he was going, and could barely register a man with short brown hair wearing a sweater vest, holding out his hand,

"DC Chris Skelton," He said, and noting the dazed look on Vince's face, he added, "Plod's bringin' in your stuff, and one of the girls'll sort out your RTA," Vince still looked around blankly, trying to work out what the hell was going on, "Hey, don't sweat it if you've had a few too many. Blimey," He said to the room, "You look like you've gone ten rounds with Big 'Enry! Someone needs to 'ave a look at you Boss! You're whiter than a ginger bird's arse!"

Vince stared around in shock as they all laughed at this. No-one in hisoffice was sexist. Howard had prided himself on having the best team in the country, not one racist, sexist, homophobe etc in there.

"Hey theres that nice little plonk down in the women's department. Cartwright" Another man spoke up, with a moustache, a checkered shirt and tie.

"Oh aye," DC Chris Skelton piped up, "She could kiss it better".

"Shut up" Vince suddenly found his voice. "I don't know who the hell any of you think you are, but this is Howard's office! Look, this is where the door was, and...and over here is where the PC Terminal was"

"Who?" The one with the moustache said, "You want a constable up here?" Vince opened and closed his mouth. How thick was everybody here?

"I...I need my mobile"

"Your mobile what?" DC Chris Skelton asked, puzzled,

"Phone?" Vince's face made it all too clear what he thought of everyone here, "What have you done with Howard's department?!"

"Shh, keep it down Boss" The DC said, his eyes flickering nervously toward the door. A hacking cough sounded behind an office door, and the one with the moustache sighed,

"Too late". With that, the door flew open and a slightly overweight man walked out, wearing a light green shirt and dark green tie. His trousers were just ordinary grey ones, and from Vince could see, he was wearing white loafers. A cigarette hung from his mouth and he stood like a superhero or something.

"Alright," Vince walked slowly over to him, "Ok. I get it. Surprise me. What year, is it supposed to be?" The man took his cigarette out of his mouth and scuffed it out on the floor,

"Why don't you step into my office pal?" With that he grabbed Vince by the scruff of the neck (Who squeaked in an incredibly girlish way) and dragged him into his office. Slamming him into a file cabinet, he held him tightly, until Vince, determined not to let this guy bully him, pushed his hands away,

"Big mistake" He snarled, and went to punch him,

"Yeah? How about this?" With that, the man punched him in the stomach, making Vince double over in pain, now slamming him against the file cabinet once again, he said,

"They reckon you've got concussion. Well I couldn't give a stuff whether your brains are falling out, Don't you ever waltz into my kingdom, acting king of the jungle" His grip loosened ever so slightly as Vince's big, scared blue eyes stared into his dark brown ones,

"Who are you?" Vince asked, scared,

"Gene Hunt, your DCI, and it's 1973, almost lunctime. I'm 'aving hoops"


Vince sat with his head in his hands and tried to breathe deeply. Surely this couldn't be real? It must be some guys from work having a laugh? But that didn't explain the bad dress sense everyone had, and the fact that he distinctly remembered being hit by a car. And his clothes changed. But, to be fair, his clothes were genius, better than anyone in here.

"Guv?" DC Skelton burst through the door, Gene looked up from his lunch, "Y'know that bird who went missing yesterday?"

"Susie Tripper?" He asked, a grim look on his face,

"Yeah, she's only been done in down Satchmore Road" Vince leapt out of his seat, getting a curious look from everyone as he did so,

"Satchmore road?" He whimpered, but Gene cut across him,


"Yep, wrung her neck like a christmas turkey" At this Vince gave an odd moan and fainted.

"Blimey, you're in the wrong profession aren't ya Dorothy?" Gene asked in disdain, but proceeded to drag his new DI onto a chair and sent DS Ray Carling (The one with the moustache) to get a plonk.


"Sir? Can you hear me?" Vince's bright blue eyes flickered open and he was face to face with a pretty young policewoman. She smiled and helped him up, "Y'alright?" Vince nodded uncertainly, "Do you feel like you're gonna 'eave up?" He shook his head and asked,

"Are you a doctor?" She laughed,

"I'm about as qualified as Doctor Kildaire. I'm part of the women's department," Vince nodded, not really taking this in, "Well, I'd say that you're fine. Go on Sir, off you jolly well trot" He stayed however, looking at her with a strange look on his face,

"What's your name?"

"WPC Cartwright", Vince shook his head,

"No, first name"


"I was born in 1973 Annie," He stood up, "Hit me," She hung back, looking worried, "Go on, hit me" She didn't so he just sighed and walked away. Suddenly, he got a burst of pain in his side as she swooped in a punched him there,


"I'm sorry Sir..." She bent over him, asking if he was alright, just as Gene walked in,

"Good girl! Prostate probe and no jelly!" He looked at them both, a smug look on his face,

"Go 'ome Noir. Chris'll drive you to your place" Vince blanched,

"My place?"

"Yeah they gave us an adress" With that he strolled off, leaving a nervous looking Chris behind him.


"...is that why I'm here? 'Cause that's when he first struck? Cause he'll keep them for a day then strangle them, and there's that synthetic hair underneath her nails. Maybe, maybe Rhaymes knew the killer... Colin Rhaymes!! Nah, he'd still be in nappies..." Chris was looking as though he'd much rather be somewhere else as they passed Annie,

"I can take him home for you" Chris cocked his head towards Vince,

"Take him, he's yours" Annie grinned and motioned towards someone behind her,

"This is Neil" Vince nodded at him, not really listening,

"Hello Vince. Can you hear me?" He talked in a very dream-like way, making Vince pay attention. Maybe he wasn't really here? Like Vince?

"Do you want me to take you home?" Vince looked up to see a very impatient Annie in front of him. He nodded uneasily and continued staring at Neil.


They were stood in Vinces 'flat'. It was barely two rooms, with a biggish one containing a bed, kitchen, sofa and telly, and a small one off to the right where the bathroom was.

"I'm not mad," Vince said, partly to himself and partly to Annie, who looked quite unnerved. He sighed, "I had an accident, and I woke up 35 years in the past. Now, I'm either a...a time-traveller, or-or a lunatic, or...I'm in a hospital in 2008 and none of this is real" Annie laughed,

"Get stuffed, you've been in an accident, couple of days, you'll be right as rain" Vince shook his head,

"No, I need to get back! See Howard, he's my boyfriend..." He said it proudly, but hear a sharp intake of breath from Annie, "Sorry," He said, looking downtrodden and child-like,

"No, I don't mind at all," She said cheerily, "But I wouldn't mention it in front of the Guv, or any of 'em" Vince nodded and continued,

"Thanks. Well, he was taken, by the same person who strangled Susie Tripper! She was held for a day and then..." He stopped, knowing she was just humoring him.

"You're gonna have to work this out on your own," She joked, and made to go, but Vince stopped her,

"Thanks. Y'know, for listening and, not calling the men in the white coats" She smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek.


Vince crept into the policestation early next morning, dressed in the same clothes, but a different shirt. His eyes were red, and you could tell he'd been crying. Although he'd confided into Annie that this was because he couldn't find any straighteners. Still, he'd found some gel and kept his hair as straight as he could.

"Oh you made it then" He turned to see where the obnoxious voice was coming from, and saw Gene and Chris walking down the corridor,

"We didn't think you were gonna show Boss" Chris said, cheerily.

"Where else could I go?" Vince answered dully, making both Gene and Chris glance at each other uneasily. Gene recovered first and clapped a hand to Vince's shoulder,

"Well we're honoured. Right, we've pulled in a bird, Dora Keynes. She was the last person to see the victim alive" Vince nodded, and saw that they had stopped outside the lost and found,

"So, what? You handed her into lost property?"

"Thick walls" Gene announced, "Interview can't be done in the cafeteria". Vince rolled his eyes, but decided to go along with it all, for Howard's sake. Maybe if he did this, found the killer, he could get back. He decided to gather all his strength up and be normal Vince. Pretended that he could still go see Howard whenever he wanted. So he bounced in, grinning like he didn't have a care in the world,

"Blimey, PMSing or what?" He heard from behind, but just ignored it,

"Alright Dora" He said, and flung himself down onto the chair opposite her. She smiled at him, but glared as Gene walked in, "I want you to call me Vince" She grinned,

"Are you really a copper?"

"Dunno. Do I look like one?" She shrugged,

"Well, you're too handsome to be one for a start. And you dress better than any of them, and your hair is amazing". Vince smiled broadly,

"Cheers, do you like my boots?" With that he swung his legs around to put them on the table.

"Nice" She said, and Gene burst in,

"Right, let's get down to business, shall we DI Noir?" He asked. Vince nodded meekly and gave him a cheeky grin.

"Ok Dora, when did you last see Suzie?" She leant forward,

"Last night, in me dreams" She giggled, but it was short lived as Gene came forward and threw the table out of the way with one vicious push,

"You gonna give us answers or not?!" Dora stood up,

"I want a lawyer"

"I wanna hump Britt Eklund, what are we gonna do?" Vince snorted but got a death glare from Gene who was now restraining himself from punching Dora. Deciding it would be for the best, he simply walked out of the room.


After sitting in the canteen with a cold cup of tea in his hands, he shakily made his way towards the cells, getting many a 'Morning Boss' as he went.

Gene was there, opening a cell and giving the person in there a filthy look,

"Your Dad's waiting to take you home" Ah, it must have been Dora. Raising an eyebrow, he wandered over,

"Why is she in a cell? She's a witness isn't she?"

"No shit Sherlock! We banged her up for obstruction".

"Right. Y'know, back in... wait, where did you say I'd transfered from?" Gene gave him an odd look, but answered cautiously,


"Huh. Anyway, in Hyde I think you could have been suspended! Mind you, Howard's never suspended anyone yet, so...." He tailed off, now talking more to himself than the DCI, "Anyway!" He continued bouncily, "I need a drink" With that he made to walk off but Gene grabbed his arm,

"That's the first sensible thing you've said since you got here"


They entered the pub to find a man with a dreadlocks and a heavy jamaican accent behind the bar.

"Ah, DCI Hunt! And..." He looked at Vince quizzically and Gene said,

"This is DI Noir, my esteemed colleague from Hyde" Where the hell is Hyde? Vince thought, before focusing back on the guy behind the bar,

"I'll have a pint of bitter Nelson. Vince?" Gene looked over to him

"Er... I'll have a flirtini please" Both Nelson and Gene wore similar looks of non-comprehension before Vince shook himself, "I'm er, I'm just kidding, I'll have a... pint of bitter". He wasn't too keen on beer to be honest, but it was better than no alcohol at all. Plus, it looked to be like a 'manly' drink, and he remembered what Annie had said about the others not finding out he was going out with another man. Gene looked over and said,

"It's obvious you know something about this investigation, so give it up" Vince's mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water, but finally said,

"Erm, with what I know...I could probably catch the killer" And save Howard He thought, with a pang.

"Right then," Gene said, downing his beer in one, "Prove it".


He gathered Chris into the collator's office.

"Look for any of these names in all the files" Vince said, handing Chris a notepad that had a few names on it, complete with Vince scribblings down the sides.

"Can do Boss" Chris said, giving Vince a smile. The DI smiled back and bounded away, trying to make a good impression, trying to be the old Vince. However, that didn't make an impact with everyone, as Gene proved the following day,

"I'm gonna pull Chris out of the collator's office. It's a waste of time"

"No it isn't!" Vince yelped, indignantly

"Er, sorry, did that sound like a question?" You could tell he was wanting a fight, making Vince smirk,

"You don't scare me. Hunt". Gene appeared to be thinking for a moment before leaning over and growling,

"That's an interesting point you raise. Allow me to retort" With that he grabbed Vince's arm and twisted it around his back, making him cry out in pain. This only spurred the DCI on to do further damage by punching him in the side.

"Better?" He asked sarcastically, clapped him on the back and walked off, leaving Vince to gather his breath, and blink away the tears of pain and shock in his eyes.


"Where're you goin'?" Vince looked up to see Annie looking at him, as he walked down the street, away from the station,

"I've had it, I'm sick of it here. Somewhere out there, Howard needs me" He said, blinking back more tears, "So I'm gonna keep walking, until I get back to reali..." He stopped and gazed at the shop front at the side of him. It was a vinyl shop, stocked full of all the 'new' hits. Vince, entranced, bounded up the steps and went in, almost laughing in delight at all the music there, Bowie, The Who, Blondie, T-Rex, all the greats were in this shop. Annie smiled at Vince's gobsmacked face as he went from box to box, flicking through the at lightning speed. He gasped in delight as he saw a sound proofed box where you could listen to music,

"Vince, what are you doing?" Annie asked, amused as Vince dragged her by her hand over to it and put on a record.

"How good is this?" She smiled,

"Anything makes you happy doesn't it?" Vince's smile drooped slightly, as he remembered Howard saying exactly the same thing, back at the zoo.

"Let's put another one on!" He said, trying to take his mind off it. However, it was quite crowded in there as both him and Annie stood there, and his hand dragged against the side of the box. He cringed as he pulled his hand away.

"I hate this stuff," He explained to Annie, "It gets right under your nails..." He stopped and gazed at Annie, mouth hanging open as he realized what he had said, "C'mon!" He yelled, dragging her out and running back to the station.


"I know where the fibre comes from!" Vince shouted as he ran through the halls, "It's sound proofing! The killer's trying to stop them shouting!" However, Gene's face was grim, and Vince hung back when he saw it, for some reason scared he was going to be shouted at.

"Dora Keyne's coat was found on rough ground about an hour ago," He said, as Vince groaned, and as Chris ran up shouting,

"DI Noir! Boss!" Vince turned, getting used to people calling him 'Boss' and raised an eyebrow, "I found a name from your list!" Vince's face lit up in a smile as he looked at the file Chris had in his hand, "It's Rhaymes," Chris explained, "Beryl. You gave the name Colin, I thought there could be a..."

"Yeah, she's his grandmother" Vince said absentmindedly, "The statement's smudged," He whined, his childlike demeanour being noticed by everyone, who either smiled affectionately or just glared (Gene), "I need to know what she came in for!"


Half an hour later they were all gathered round an elderly looking woman, who was sipping tea from a cup one of the WPC's had brought in.

"Mrs Rhaymes, you came to see us 2 months ago about something. Unfortunately, our copy of that got smudged, so you need to tell us what was in it."

"I forget stuff," She said, sipping the tea some more,

"C'mon Mrs Rhaymes, think back, it could be vital that you remember exactly why you came". She did look like she was thinking hard, and eventually said,

"The last from, next door..."

"Oh yeah?" Gene said casually, pouring out more tea, "What about him my love?"

"Well he was playing his record player all day. Bang, crash, all night"

"So you came to complain about his stereo?" Vince asked, feeling slightly guilty, as his had gone 'bang, crash' more than once at night.

"It did the trick pet! He still lives there," She took another sip of tea, "But you can't hear a thing" At once a lightbulb went on in both Vince and Gene's heads as they ran out at the same time, Gene only pausing to shout,

"Backup to 20 Kennel Road. Now!"


Vince crept into the house, at once noticing all of the sound proofing around the place. A sob came from a corner, which Vince hastily made his way to,

"Dora!! Dora, it's alright, it's the police, it's me, Vince! The one with the genius boots!" Gene rolled his eyes at his DI's femininity but felt someone walking into the room. Turning around he saw the killer, who's eyes widened and who tried to run out, but Gene grabbed hold of him and punched until he was semi-conscious.

They were coming out of the house, when Vince noticed the killer (An Edward Cramer, they found out) waving from the back of a police car to a small ginger boy on a door step.

"Get inside Colin!" Mrs Rhaymes scolded as she came up the pavement. Vince could hardly breathe for a while as he looked at the small boy turn and go back into the house after being scolded. He couldn't believe it. They had been one house away. Him and Howard.


Sat in the canteen, Vince rubbed his hands together as he thought about Howard. Sighing, he wondered if he would ever get back to him. They had found the killer, wasn't that enough?

"Hello Vince" Vince jumped and almost spilt his tea as he looked up, to find Neil, sitting on the same table as him, "Vince, if you can hear me, then I know you can wake up" Vince's eyes widened. Swallowing, he asked,


"I am speaking directly to your subconsious. I'm a psychologist at the hospital. I'm afraid you're in a coma because of the accident. But at this moment you are surrounded by all of your family and friends. Howard's here" Vince looked up, properly,

"Howard" He croaked, tears forming in his eyes

"If you can hear me, I know that will give you strength. I must say that whatever you may be experiencing now isn't real. I know you can wake up. All you need to do is make that definitive step". Vince stood up, a mad idea coming to him, out of the blue. It would definately be a step, but would it be enough to get back? To Howard?

He leapt up and raced toward the door, pounded up the stairs to the roof, his heart racing. Stepping slowly onto the side of the building, he looked down. Surely throwing himself off here was a definitive enough step? He would do anything for Howard. Even kill himself. But you wouldn't be killing yourself He thought, 'Cause none of this is real.

"Vince!!" He turned to see Annie running up the steps, "Vince, come away from the edge! What are you doing?" She sounded almost desperate.

"It's ok Annie! I'm in a coma! I'm gonna take the definitive step I need to wake up!"

"Vince....Vince, look over the edge!" He did so and saw Neil stood at the bottom,

"Sorry! I'm sorry! Bad joke!"

"I told him all about you! We studied psychology together at University"

"No," Vince said, tears falling down his face, "He said Howard was ok..." He prepared to jump once more, but Annie came closer,

"We all feel like jumping sometimes Vince. Only we don't, me and you, 'cause we're not cowards! Take my hand!" She reached out to him and he thought hard. It wouldn't be like him to jump off a building. And what if this was real? How would Howard cope if his boyfriend threw himself off a building? And was he really brave enough to do that? He was a coward at the best of times, but suicide?

Slowly, he reached his hand out and it was grasped by Annie. Tears were now falling think and fast, as he choked out,

"What should I do Annie?" He looked deep into her eyes, as she looked back into his, face kind and sad,

"Stay" She whispered.

If you've got this far, god bless you Xxxxx
The chapters might take longer than any other stories I've done, because of the length, so stay with me here! Although I think this one was so long cause of all the introduicing and what not. Ok, a few notes, with police radios, I have no idea about the numbers, so they're just made up. And I haven't got a clue about road names in London, so I'm using the ones I either made up or heard on Life on Mars :) Reviews please!Oh, and just in case you don't know, DCI stands for Detective Chief Inspector, DI is Detective Inspector, DS is Detective Sergeant and DC is Detective Constable. And sorry, but I have no idea what CID means. Any ideas? One more thing, after that I promise I'll shut up ;) I actually felt really sorry for Vince in this, and I was writing it! Lol