Prompt: Any, any, "Wait, you thought I was a woman?"
Notes: Comment_fic that once again got overly long. Hah. For a href=".?thread=49412115"straydog733's prompt/a. Timeline is Series 2-3 area. Thanks to a href="/users/Missy/pseuds/Missy"Missy/a for the beta!
Disclaimer: This is a work of fictional parody in no way intended to infringe upon the rights of any individual or corporate entity. Any and all characters or celebrity personae belong to their rightful owners. Absolutely no money has or will be gained from this work. Please do not publicly link, repost or redistribute without letting me know first.
"What're you having?" The bartender asked as Howard Moon occupied the end stool at the bar, "I aint seen you in a month, sorry sack – still lager?"
Howard shook his head, "Took m'self off the market to hone my skills. Only thirty days of training and I'll pull one tonight." He looked from the barman to his usual selection, "Scotch, please, double."
"Scotch it is." The bartender nodded with a smile, pouring out the drink. "You ain't pulled a girl here since I've known you, what makes you so sure you'll manage it tonight?"
"I got the touch, my friend. The mojo, the special something deep inside me that will lure them." He paused, swirling the amber liquid in his tumbler, "Tonight'll be the night, I promise you."
Two hours, six failed chat-ups, and an entire drink later Howard returned to his stool. "Another double, please." He muttered into his empty tumbler.
"What's the count, Moon?" The bartender flashed a grin, letting the bottle pour a little heavier than he normally would.
"Six." Howard sighed, once more glancing around the room. "But I really feel it tonight. It is the night. There will be a girl who comes through that door that will fall under my spell… I will make her mine."
"Right." The bartender looked up at the door, watching the long term patron go glazed in the eyes, his jaw hanging open as the door swung closed.
A tall, slender woman in a short black dress pressed past a small clutch of dancers before tossing the tail of an entirely too fluffy feather boa over her shoulder. She strolled across the small pub to the bar, sitting at the opposite end. With a subtle turn of her head and flick of her wrist, the feathers fell away from her face and around her shoulders – her delectable legs crossed at the knee, translucent black stockings tucked neatly into a pair of silver ankle boots.
"Who is that raven haired goddess?" Howard whispered to the barkeep, transfixed as the mysterious woman ran her fingers over the bar – collecting a stray drip of spilled booze.
The bartender chuckled under his breath, "Not your type, Moon. Trust me."
"I'll have her."
"Trust me, Howard – she's not your type."
"I adore her. Everything about her…"
"She only came in a minute ago."
"We have a connection, me and her. She may not know it yet, but she's under my spell – in a hypnotic trance…"
The bartender shook his head and approached the woman to get her drink order, leaving Howard to his rambling thoughts.
Howard sipped his drink slowly, making no effort to hide his stare as she was served a glass of red wine. Her hands were plain save for a thin silver band – middle finger, not a wedding band – not even nail varnish. It was fascinating, watching fingertips trace the thin glass – stroking over the stem teasingly. He cleared his throat, looking down into his tumbler once more in an attempt to muster the courage to approach her. A lady of distinction, she was… it would take more than a glib compliment or intelligent line to pull her.
"She is my destiny." Howard murmured to himself, somewhat surprised when the bartender replied.
"She's come in here twice this month already, sits at the end of the bar… buys one glass of wine before half the place is sending her more. Never leaves with anyone."
"She's aloof, lonely… nobody understands what she's like under the… the feathers and the make-up she's a woman with needs and desires."
"What would you know about a woman's needs? I've never even seen you with a woman."
"Women are mysterious, barman – their mystery is only exceeded by their beauty."
The bartender laughed and shook his head. "You want the first go, or are you gonna stare until another bloke does?"
Howard took a deep breath and nodded, "Yeah… yeah. I'll talk to her."
The bartender waited for him to approach her, shaking his head. "Careful, Moon."
"Destiny, destiny." Howard whispered, trailing his hand across the top of the stools in between them as he approached. "Has anyone ever told you that you're a goddess of unattainable beauty who should be on display in a place of worth and distinction, not the sort of seedy pub that reeks of desperation and Twiglets… I am Howard Moon, and it is your destiny to come home with me tonight." He continued, whispering until he heard the soft – dainty coo of a dove… her laughter. "I… what… I mean is… I like, your lovely… wine?"
She laughed again and shook her head slightly, a wave of soft black hair falling into her face as she accepted the glass.
"You are… the most beautiful creature I've ever seen." Howard sighed softly, reaching out as though he could touch her elbow – stopping short. "I'm sorry, I… I don't even know what I'm saying…"
Another chuckle, lower with a familiar tilt to it as the long, strong fingers curled around the stem, lifting the glass to heavily rouged lips. She turned towards him slowly, pushing aside a drape of hair to reveal a broad roman nose, thin lips… all too familiar eyes. "You're trying too hard."
"Please don't… I'm… Clearly." Howard rubbed his eyes. "Please, I must know your name…"
"Howard." Vince's came from behind the made-up face, "It's me."
"No… it can't be."
Vince shook his head slightly, laughing under his breath before whispering, "You thought I was a woman?"
"No… no, of course not…"
"You did! You actually thought I was a lady…"
"I knew." Howard forced back his shame, "I knew it the whole time. Just takin' the piss."
"You aren't." Vince giggled, taking a deep drink off his wine. "You had no idea."
Howard looked down and shook his head, turning away. "You're off it; you know that, don't you?"
"It's alright, good look though."
"What're you even doing here? You hate pubs. I go here to get away from you." Howard sighed, shaking his head. "And why've you dressed like… well, like that?"
Vince smiled and took another long sip off his glass, lipstick smudging the rim. "Flat skint, Naboo said it's a good place to pull free drinks. Sad old men come here to chat up girls and act like they aren't desperate."
"You're dressed as a woman to scam drinks?"
"It sounds awful when you say it like that." Vince shrugged, the boa draping lower on his shoulder to reveal a soft, pale curve. "You've pressed your trousers."
"So? I always press my trousers."
"You never press your trousers." Vince paused, a smile crossing his dark red lips before adding; "You're on the pull, aren't you? Thought you swore off women like a Buddhist…"
"I'm leaving, Vince."
"Thought you were takin' me home." Vince giggled again, reaching out to grasp Howard's arm.
"No, I was taking a girl home. Before I knew she was you."
"Come on, you said I was beautiful."
"She was. You're… well, just… goodnight, Vince."
"Howard…" He softened his voice, batting heavy lashes – the smallest slip of pink tongue sliding over dark red lips. "Have a dance, at least? It's a strange night, innit?"
"Let go." He tugged his hand away, catching Vince's eyes – still feeling the haunting effect of his own self assurance that he'd manage to meet someone.
Vince's fingers caught the fabric of Howard's shirt again, grazing his wrist. "Come on, won't hurt anything."
Howard pulled again, and then sighed in soft resignation. "Just once." He muttered quietly.
Vince refused to let go and tugged him towards the old jukebox, randomly poking at the buttons. "Not bad, right?"
"Shut up." Howard shook his head and pulled Vince towards him, sliding his hands over the soft fabric of the dress – chuckling unexpectedly when he curled the boa back around his neck. "This is a story, isn't it?"
"Sure." Vince nibbled his lower lip, a slow grin spreading as Howard began to guide him into a slow series of movements that may or may not have been actual dancing. "Can I come home with you, then?"
He didn't answer at first, letting himself drink in the unexpected moment. He felt an ease he didn't quite want to understand. "Yeah, right. We can go together. You're a rubbish woman though."
"You didn't think so a minute ago."
"Yeah, well that's when I didn't know you weren't then."
"I still can't believe you thought I was a woman."
"It's not my fault… you're in dress. Stockings." Howard leaned in, inhaling sharply. "You're wearing perfume."
Vince chuckled under his breath and murmured; "Works pretty good." He let himself push in closer, the rough rake of Howard's stubble burning his cheek slightly. "I won't tell, promise." He paused for a second and then added; "Thank you for saying I was beautiful." He dropped his voice to a soft purr against Howard's ear, following with a soft kiss on his cheek. "I'd like to go home now."
Howard's face warmed quickly, and he paused to collect himself before responding; "Alright, but let's walk a bit first… I need to sort myself out."
"I'm not in my walking boots." Vince pulled back slightly with a smirk, "We'll take a cab… I don't mind the erection."