I'm Back! I've been having problems with my internet, and the fact that my mum refuses to sort it out because she reckons it's saving her money is not helping. I've not been able to get this up for a while, but it's here now. This was a very lovely chapter to write. I did wonder whether this might be the end of this fic, but then I noticed how many chapters there are and thought, well, might as well get it up to 20. So there'll be two more after this one, though I'm still writing this without a plan, so god knows what they'll contain. Actually, god probably doesn't know. Anyway, I hope you like it :)
Disclaimer: This chapter may be especially lovely, but that still doesn't mean I own the Boosh.
"Cut!" Paul shouted.
A bell rang twice, and Spencer Millman yelled:
"Alright, that's a wrap!"
"Is that it?" Julian asked. Noel nodded. "Already?"
"Yeah." Noel said. "Doesn't seem five minutes since we started, does it?"
"No, it's weird. It's been weird."
"It's always weird, Ju. Surprised you hadn't noticed that." Noel grinned, and they went over to the others. Paul was passing around champagne, and they took a glass each. After a couple of minutes' discussion, they all decided to take chairs outside into the late summer sunshine. They sat in several large clumps, with most people staying with whoever they worked with the most. Noel, Julian, Mike, Rich, Paul, and Spencer stayed near the doors. Dave went to change out of his Bollo costume before he came out. Noel moved his chair closer to Julian and shifted over to lean on him, narrowly avoiding spilling champagne everywhere. Julian just laughed.
"You haven't even drunk any of it yet, and you're already falling about." He said.
"I know. I must be drunk off the high spirits. No pun intended." Noel replied. He shifted and dug his elbow into Julian's ribs, causing him to wince and everyone else to laugh. "Oops. Sorry, Ju."
"So you should be." He said, rolling his eyes.
"I've got a better idea." Noel got up off of his chair and sat on Julian's lap. They both agreed it was much easier, and the conversation carried on as normal.
"It's really odd, isn't it?" Mike asked. "I mean, it was three years since we'd done this before, and now it's all over again."
"It's not quite over. We've still got editing to do, and a few behind the scenes bits for the DVDs." Paul said.
"And the audio commentaries." Rich put in.
"Oh, god, I forgot about them. They're an absolute farce, aren't they? You can't tell what you're on about half the time."
"And the other half you don't want to know." Rich said with a grin. "That's the whole point, though, right?"
"Yeah, we've gotta do 'em again, Paul!" Noel insisted.
"Have we got something sorted out for the advert? I assume there is gonna be an advert." Julian said.
"Yeah, we've got a couple of little things from some of the episodes, and the song from episode three."
"Nice. Any crimping?"
"Not in the advert, no."
"Shame. Our finest work is the crimping." Noel laughed.
"You're still in character, you are. You sound like the most stuck up person ever."
"I know. I've been possessed by Howard Moon, help me!" This got a laugh from everyone around, and a few funny looks from those further away who hadn't been following the conversation. They shrugged it off and carried on though. They were all in good spirits. Dave walked out a minute later and stole Noel's empty chair. He was back in normal clothes now, but he still had black paint around his eyes.
"You look like a bandit." Mike laughed. "Or maybe a raccoon."
"Stripy shirt doesn't help, does it?" Dave replied.
"Not really." Dave sighed and leaned back in the chair.
"It's been insane, hasn't it?" He said.
"It has. It's been a mad journey." Spencer replied.
"It's been a good one, though." Noel said. "I mean, we've done well."
"Yeah. We've made a good series, I reckon." Paul agreed. "Even if we've had a few mishaps."
"Like getting drunk together and falling off things." Noel remembered.
"Or blue vomit." Rich nodded. Mike grinned.
"Remember that time I dropped my turban in the toilet?"
"Or when I did an entire scene with my flies undone." Julian laughed.
"Remember when Bollo's head came loose in one scene?"
"When Rich punched the camera again."
"The dodgy fringe incident."
"You know when I got my tutu stuck on the doorknob and gave myself a wedgie?"
"When the Hitcher's polo fell off and stuck to the floor."
"That day when absolutely no one could get their lines right."
"When I facepalmed so hard I left a mark on my face."
"It was all good, though, wasn't it?" Noel asked. "We had a good laugh out of it."
"Yeah. We always do, though." Julian replied.
"We should call a toast."
"We should. Come on then." He held up his champagne flute and stood up. "The Boosh is not perfect. The Boosh isn't polished or unfaultable or unimprovable. But it's ours, and it's the fans'. And if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. So this is to the Boosh." The others echoed his last words, and he sat down again.
"That was remarkably poetic, you know." Julian said, slightly surprised.
"I know. It needed to be said though."
"It did." They were quiet for a minute, just listening to the conversations of the others. But after a moment, Julian continued. "Would you do it again? If we had the chance."
"Without a doubt." Noel didn't hesitate. "And why wouldn't we have the chance? It's not like we won't see each other anymore."
"True. I think we'll have all the chance we need." They grinned at one another, and Julian wrapped his arms around Noel's waist. He leant backwards.
"No, don't do that!" Julian exclaimed. But it was too late. The chair toppled backwards and they landed in a dazed heap on the floor. Like everything else that went wrong in the studio, they were laughed at before they were helped. But they picked themselves up in the end.
They walked home just as the sun was setting. Julian was limping a little due to where Noel had fallen on him, and Noel thought he'd sprained his wrist. But there was something in the air, some hint of perfection, that made them just not care. Noel walked on the wall again, but not to feel tall this time. Just because he could.
"Julian?" He said.
"What are we gonna do now we're finished?"
"We aren't finished, Paul said that."
"But when we are done, what then?" He jumped down from the wall, and Julian wrapped an arm around him.
"We can do whatever we want to do. We could go travelling, we could go and do all the things we've been meaning to do for years… we could just stay at home and relax."
"Yeah. We could even start writing series five if you like."
"That'd be good. But I think we should have some time off."
"Well, what do you think we should do?"
"We can just relax, for now."
"I think you're right. We can sort the rest out later, right?"
"Yeah. We've got the rest of our lives."
The days passed. Editing was scheduled to start next week, and Noel and Julian made the most of their time off by doing nothing at all. They lazed around, they watched TV, they drank copious amounts of coffee. But all the while, Noel's brain was working furiously. He knew he needed to do something, and he needed to do it soon. Not because he would miss his chance, but because it was playing on his mind. So one day, he left an under-slept Julian in bed and headed out the door.
Julian woke up at about ten, by which time Noel was back. When he went down to the kitchen, he found him already sat at the table, eating toast. There was a lit candle in the middle of the table. He frowned.
"Why is there a candle at breakfast?" Julian asked.
"Just is." Noel shrugged.
"Right…" Julian went to make his own toast. He buttered it and turned back to the table. But before he could sit down, Noel was on the floor, down on one knee. Julian couldn't say anything. He just stared as Noel pulled a small box out of his pocket.
"Will you marry me, Ju?" He was silent for a minute. He didn't know what to say. In the end, his confused brain came out with:
"I don't think we're allowed, strictly speaking."
"Well, saying 'will you have a civil partnership with me' doesn't have the same ring to it, really. Will you?"
"I… Yes. Yes." So that was what the candle was for, he thought as Noel slipped the simple gold ring onto his finger. They hugged each other tightly.
"I love you more than I've ever loved anyone or anything, Ju." Noel whispered.
"And I love you the same." They kissed, forgetting the outside world as Julian's toast lay cold on the table.