A/N: I know, a real life fic, they're not right, they're not proper, blah blah blah. Sorry and all that. I had the urge to write it, so I did. This chapter is just an introduction really, cause I wanted to try and show what Noel and Julian are like on their own. Not that I'm entirely sure, but I did some research and... Yeah, scratch that, I guessed. Hopefully you like it! :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Noel or Julian or DAve or Mike or Rich or anyone else I mention or write about. I wish I did own them, but that would be slavery, so I'm not allowed. :(
Noel was bored. The time seemed to pass so slowly nowadays. Maybe he was getting old. He really didn't want that. Unless he was a cool old person, like Mick Jagger or Keith Richards. He could probably pull that off. Yeah. He brightened up for a second, then remembered his utter lack of anything to do. He had read nearly every book on the shelves. His computer was fucked up again thanks to his leaky ceiling. He hadn't dared go into the attic where he kept his guitars and music since he'd spotted the bat three weeks ago. He supposed he could paint. But actually, he was running out of acrylics, he needed to get more. And he only had one clean canvas left. He sighed and looked up at the faintly dripping ceiling.
"I need to sort this place out." he muttered. He got up as fast as his skin tight jeans would let him, and stretched. It felt like he had been sitting still for hours. He looked at the clock. Oh. He had been sitting still for hours. He shook his head. It never used to be like this. He had his little brother once. Mike, eight years his junior. He'd always tried to keep him safe, which was a bit difficult when he was so small, had such a lisp. Bullies used to target him at school. That always kept Noel busy. But as he got older, it was clear he was also a brilliant actor. And then there was Dave Brown. He'd always been a good mate, a brilliant choreographer, mad as a polecat and several times bigger. He'd been happy when they gave him a proper part as Bollo in the Boosh, but never showed it. That was just the way he was. Noel had had a lot of fun working with him; never a dull moment. Rich Fulcher was a mental case, of course. An American one at that. He was the loudest person Noel had ever met. The things they'd done on the show verged on pornographic, but that was all part of Rich's humour. Even if he couldn't do as he was told. And of course, there'd been Julian. Julian Barratt, his best mate. The Boosh had been theirs, the best thing they'd come up with together. And now it was over. He hadn't seen Julian since the Wuthering Heights incident of 2010. That'd been a laugh. But Noel had gone on to make his solo show, and he was happy with it, he was proud. But it wasn't quite the same without Julian. Mike was in it, Dave was in it, Rich was in it, nearly everyone he knew was in it. But no Julian. And that was what was missing from it, why it was having such mixed reactions. He knew some people loved it, but the critics were slagging it off left right and centre. Yeah, he had Sergio to do the music for him, and he was great, what they were making was fab. But it wasn't quite the same. There was none of Julian's insane guitar playing. And he missed it. He missed the Boosh. But Julian hadn't really shown any sign he wanted to carry on with it. And if Howard Moon was missing, the show wouldn't be half as good. It was a gloomy thought, but Noel tried to shake it off. He decided that he needed to go out and get some art supplies before he ran out completely. So he picked up his wallet from the coffee table, his fur coat from the hook and his keys from the phone table. He unlocked the door and left his home behind, wondering what the day would bring.
Julian put down his guitar and sighed. He had migraine. He went into the kitchen and checked the cupboard where he kept his medicine. No painkillers. Fuck. He sighed in frustration and shook his head. He walked back to the living room and put away his guitar in the cupboard his mate had lent him in his place, leaving his plectrum on the sideboard by mistake. He had been playing the same things over and over for the past three days. He couldn't write anything new. Every time he came up with a new riff, he would play it over and over, not realising it was evolving into one of the things he kept playing until he started to pay attention. Usually he would let his mind wander as he played, but his mind didn't go to different places anymore. His train of thought normally branched off with the track, but lately it had been stopping at the same station over and over. He couldn't stop remembering the Boosh. It had been a good time for him. The only time he'd ever really been popular. He remembered working with Mike, and Dave, and Rich. And Noel. Noel had always been good to him. A real friend. He'd worked with him a couple of times since the Boosh. The live tour, and the simply genius dance to Wuthering Heights. He'd enjoyed doing that. Noel in that dress and wig… Well. But the Boosh had always been foremost to them. Vince Noir. Noel had chosen the name, he recalled. It suited him. But then, everything seemed to suit Noel. The outrageously weird clothes, the heeled boots, that hat with ears attached. It was odd how fondly he remembered all this. He sat down on the sofa, but immediately spotted his plectrum lying on the sideboard. He stood up again and picked it up. He smiled at the memory it brought back:
Noel and Julian had just finished performing their last show of the latest tour. They were in Noel's dressing rooms, still in their costumes, the exhilaration of performing beginning to fade. They knew this could be the last time the Boosh saw the light of day. They were quiet, sitting across the room from one another. They barely even shared an occasional glance; each was almost drowning in their own thoughts. Noel had broken the silence first. He said:
"Julian? You're gonna stay in touch with me, aren't you?"
"Yeah, course I will. We're mates, you know that." Julian had replied.
"Yeah. Yeah, I know. It's just… this might be the end of the Boosh, right?"
"Well… it could be."
"So we might not see each other for ages. We might forget."
"All this. All the times we've had. The Boosh."
"Who could forget the Boosh? I'll never forget it."
"No. Me neither."
"So what are you worried about?"
"I just… I don't know."
"It's alright, Noel. I get it. I'm bricking it over here too." Noel smiled and brought his chair closer to Julian.
"Listen, I got something for you. It's been mine for ages. It doesn't look like much, but look after it, right? Don't break it."
"I won't. What is it?" He reached into a pocket and pulled out a purple plastic triangle. Julian turned it over to find a picture of Jimi Hendrix, the musician on whom they had based the character Rudi. He laughed, and Noel's face fell.
"Don't you like it?" he said.
"No, no, that's not it. I love it. I was just thinking about Rudi."
"Oh, yeah." Noel grinned. "That was a cool character."
"Yes it was. Cause he was played by me." Julian teased.
"You aren't cool, Julian."
"I know. You are."
"I know." They laughed together, and the stage director had come in and said:
"You ought to get ready to go. There are loads of fans waiting outside. They keep shouting up at the window. Mike and Dave are entertaining them. Last time I looked they were singing Love Games."
"Yeah, cool. We'll be ten minutes." Noel replied. The stage director left, and they patted each other on the back, hugged, and Julian had returned to his own dressing room to change.
Julian remembered that night so vividly. It had been happy and sad at the same time, calm but frenzied too. He missed that time, missed his friend, missed the fun they had had doing the Boosh. But he knew he couldn't sit and ponder on it all day. So he got up, took the key to his acquaintance's London flat where he was staying, and left, going for a walk, trying to clear his head.
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