A/N I know I know, I haven't updated my longer story and here I am with a one-shot that's longer than my actual chapters, I do apologise. But I was listening to this song and it just reminded me of Howard thinking about Vince. Check the song out, it's beautiful. She's always a woman to me – Billy Joel. I know the gender is all wrong – we all know Vince isn't actually a woman … but we all know that he doesn't mind being a bit of an 'electro-girl' teehee.

Disclaimer I don't own the Mighty Boosh. I don't own Julian and I definitely don't own Noel. Nor do I own this song. (What a depressing thought).


She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes.

Sometimes when Vince smiled at Howard, he felt his knees turn to jelly and he had to look away before his bright red, blushing, and oh-so-obviously in love condition became obvious. Sometimes it would backfire – and Vince thought he'd done something to upset Howard, or why else would he turn away so suddenly? And then Vince would get that sad look in his eyes, and that sadness stabbed into Howard like a physical injury.

She can ruin your faith with her casual lies.

Howard had always loved Vince. He had only recently had this epiphany- but he knew it was true. He had let his guard slip down that drunken night on the roof, and Vince's protests had only proved to Howard that his love was unrequited. Vince had afterwards told Howard that he would 'never love again' after Howard had tried to cover up his true feelings by flirting with a random girl. The simple pleasure that Vince's statement bought him was ruined by his own doubts as to whether it was a lie, or whether the time on the roof had been. He was still trying to answer that question.

She only reveals what she wants you to see.

Howard knew there was more to Vince then met the eye. He was a beautiful man, but he wasn't as vain and shallow as he liked to pretend he was. Howard smiled. He remembered the time Vince had got him an old Jazz LP for his birthday – he had almost come up in a rash just trying to wrap it. No – Vince was just as beautiful on the inside as he was on the outside.

She hides like a child, but she's always a woman to me.

Sure, Vince could be childish, they both could. You only had to see one of their petty arguments to notice that. But Howard knew that Vince mainly acted childish to hide from things he didn't understand, or choices he couldn't make; like the time he had sold Howard out for a cape. Howard knew these faults, and yet he also loved Vince despite all the flaws he had. And he reckoned that had to be worth something.

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you.

Howard knew he needed Vince. Without him he felt empty. The question that tormented him was whether Vince needed him as well.

She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe.

"Do I look ok?" A question that was asked by Vince every time he was going to meet Howards family again, or just go out with Howard for a lazy day in the park. It was the only time he seemed unsure about his appearance, and Howard could never work out why.

Vince always looked great, but no amount of reassurance could stop him pulling at the fabric and chewing worriedly at his bottom lip.

She takes what you give her as long as it's free, she steals like a thief but she's always a woman to me.

Howard couldn't remember a single time Vince had helped out in the shop without some form of threat or bribe involved. Howard himself was, (according to Vince), very much in debt – favour wise. But Vince insisted he was debt free. And as for stealing, well. He had stolen Howard's heart.

Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants. She's ahead of her time.

Vince insists that he can look after himself, but Howard knows that until he learns how to iron clothes he'll stick around. Or at least until the 'crumpled effect' look is back in. Vince was always ahead of the fashion game. The others didn't have anything on him. Howard didn't know anyone else who could get away with wearing the outlandish things Vince wore – but he always managed to pull it off. Howard bet he could make a bin bag look good if he chose to.

Oh, and she never gives out, and she never gives in. She just changes her mind.

According to Vince, he'd never lost an argument in his life. Howard could think of several occasions where Vince had sidetracked him in order to avoid being proved wrong. Like the time he had argued with Howard that Stephen Hawking was in 'the Darkness'. When he'd realise he was wrong he had screamed in mock horror, pointed at the shop window and then sprinted upstairs before Howard had had time to recover. He chuckled at the memory.

She'll promise you more than the Garden of Eden. Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding.

Howard wasn't going to pretend that Vince was perfect, he knew he had faults. Drinking being one of the main ones. When drunk, Vince tended to make a scene – usually poking fun at Howard and getting his friends to join in his raucous laughter. But Howard knew it was the drink talking, not Vince – and besides, Vince always apologised the next morning.

But she'll bring out the best and the worst you can be. Blame it all on yourself 'cause she's always a woman to me.

Howard knew this was true. With Vince you could never have halfway feelings – he was a bit like marmite really. Howard smiled at the thought of Vince's reaction if someone told him he was like marmite. He'd probably storm out of the shop, or throw a nearby copy of Cheekbone at them.

Howard always felt his best when he was around Vince, their talks in the shop were the only things that really got him out of bed in the mornings. But it was also true that if they were having one of their rare, actual fights then Howard usually became quite depressed and withdrawn – like a daisy when the sun disappears behind a cloud for too long. Calling Vince the sunshine kid meant more than just having a term of endearment for him to Howard. It meant that he physically felt he couldn't live without him.

She's frequently kind, then she's suddenly cruel. She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool.

Vince could be the nicest person in the world to be with – or he could be the flatmate from hell. But Howard was prepared to forgive the hellish stuff in return for some more time with the nice Vince.

And she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree. And the most she will do is throw shadows at you

Despite the amount of times Howard had complained to Vince about the time it takes him to do his hair in the mornings, or about how he never really did that much work, he knew that if Vince found something he enjoyed, he would work harder than any other human being could. When he had been studying fashion for his degree – he was like a different Vince; a very determined, hard – working Vince. And the thing that worried Howard was that one day an opportunity like this would arrive, and Vince would leave him behind without a moment's notice.

Howard knew that Vince would never purposefully hurt him. He could be quite mean or spiteful when he was upset – but he had never actually hit him - or come vaguely close to wanting to do so. Howard knew that he would never be able to hit Vince – not even in self defence. He would never forgive himself if he hurt him.

But she's always a woman to me.

And Howard loved him.

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