You sit there in your heartache

Waiting on some beautiful boy to

To save you from your old ways

2AM

Howard was pulled from his revere by a scratching noise that informed him the record had finished. He was right knackered, but his mind had no respect for the hard day's work he'd put in and refused to let him sleep. Leaving his spot on the couch, he got up and flipped the jazz record over. Naboo and Bollo had gone to party with the shamans or something, and Vince wouldn't be home for at least another two hours, if he came home at all so there was no one to complain about being allergic to jazz or to deliver any of the other insults usually associated with the maverick's choice in music. Howard was alone in the flat. He might have been alone was, but he wasn't lonely. No, sir. Howard TJ Moon was never lonely, as long as there was jazz. That's what he told himself, anyway. He convinced himself that he wasn't hurt by the brisk manner his best mate had left with earlier or the distinct feeling that Vince was pulling away from him. That he had no one. But Howard wasn't a very good liar. Try as he might, he recognized the truth. He hadn't felt so alone since before he met the futuristic prostitute.

Years Ago...

A young boy dressed in drab colors sits on a swing alone watching the other children play. He sees two bigger kids corner a pretty girl with long raven hair and sparkly boots. They begin throwing the girl's rucksack around. In an act completely unlike himself, Howard starts toward the commotion. Half way there, he realizes he has no plan and hesitates, scared. He gave himself a pep-talk "You're he boy of action! You come at them like a barrel full of monkeys. You're not scared, no sir. Howard TJ Moon is never scared!" With that, he ran into the thick of the action.

"Give it back!" the young maverick said, in what he hoped sounded like a brave and commanding voice.

"Oh, yeah? Or what? You'll whimper all over us?" the older boys sneered.

"I'll come at you...like...like a-" Before Howard could think of something clever the teacher came over, demanding to know what was going on. The older bullies looked at the ground sheepishly, one giving a quite 'Nothing, miss.' They gave the pack back and shuffled off after issuing a silent threat to Howard and the dark haired girl. Satisfied, the teacher turned and walked away.

Howard helped the girl to her feet. The girl looked up and thanked him. At the sight of the girl's face, Howard had a revelation..

"You're a boy!" He shouted, incredulous.

Vince, instead of being upset by his hero's mistake, replied amusedly "Well, yeah. I'm Vince."

"Howard TJ Moon, at your service, sir."

"You don't look a thing like Jesus."

"What?"

"Nothing. Would you like to be my best friend?"

From then on, they were inseparable, making up nonsensical folky rap songs and going on adventures. Vince was loud and he dressed differently than other kids. Howard was quite and mature for his age. They were polar opposites, but somehow they made a wonderful pair. Howard protected Vince, and Vince brought Howard out of his shell.

They were at school together, and then they got jobs as zookeepers together. Vince, because he had a way with animals; Howard because Vince had a way with him as well. After the zoo closed, they moved into a flat with Naboo and Bollo and they started a band. After that didn't work out, the started working in the shop. Soon though, Vince was asked to join another band. He started going to gigs and parties and Howard became more and more reclusive.

Howard poured himself a cup of tea, and tried to ignore his thoughts of the beautiful boy that saved him from his old ways.

Suddenly, his phone rang. The screen lit up, Vince.

"Little man, why are you calling me at this time of night? I was trying to sleep!" Howard lied.

"Howard…fight...The Velvet...Onion…I need…to tell you."

-

Watch him now, here he come
He doesn't look a thing like Jesus

But he talks like a gentleman

Like you imagined when you were young

Vince's life was a hurricane. It had always been turning, since he was young. But now, instead of a happy hurricane of love and color and light, his hurricane was alcohol and clubs and terrible music people claimed to like because he was pretty. The only person that had ever been able to ride the whirlwind with him had been Howard. Howard. His freaky, jazz obsessed best friend. The man he loved. Not that he could ever admit that to himself or anyone else, ever. He just couldn't be around him anymore. Howard made him feel like a silly school girl. He couldn't stand it. When they were in the same room, things were never easy like they used to be in school or back at the zoo when they were crimping, or pulling their sleeping bags together when it was cold in the trailer. Vince threw himself into the music scene in an attempt to escape his feelings. Drowning them in alcohol, and numbing them with drugs. Going through girls and boys, just to prove his heart wrong and playing music loud enough to drown out his brain cell telling him he wasn't proving anything to anyone.

Tonight was no different. He left the flat without so much of a goodbye to his once best mate wearing his new sparkly Chelsea boots that reminded him of childhood, off to do things that had none of the same innocent charm. He got to The Velvet Onion, greeted by his band mates and their bimbo's of the night, and led the way in. The game was the usual. Points for every girl or guy pulled, double if they didn't usually swing his way. Vince, his once soft innocent ways stripped, put on the tough, bad boy act no one could see through. "No one but Howard." His brain cell reminded him.

"Shut it, you." He ordered tequila and flirtini to drown the sound of his own thoughts.

He was unconquerable. He was king. He felt no pain, no guilt, and no remorse. He was dancing with pretty people at the shrine of alcohol, a shrine even grander and more wonderful than his one to Jagger. But he rubbed the wrong girl the right way and suddenly he felt two big, meaty hands connect with his shoulders.

"Whoa there, big boy. All you have to do is ask to dance." Vince mocked, taking on a very campy voice.

"That's my girlfriend you're putting your hands on, fairy freak!" Big and meaty said, pushing him again.

Fueled by alcohol and feeling invincible, Vince retorted, "Hey, handsome, she seemed to be enjoying it. Maybe you just can't satisfy a woman any better than a poof." And the nephew of a French duke shoved back.

"Out front, now." The large man demanded. The rock star obeyed, trailed by his eager entourage and the cheering crowd. The roar of the mass fueled him. Punches were landed, shoves exchanged. Vince was out beefed, but holding his own the best he could. Suddenly though, the larger man had him cornered

"Pretty boy, let's make some adjustments." The man bully sneered. All of Vince's "mates" backed away from the scene, scared. Vince closed his eyes and saw the zoo. He saw the places he used to live when he was young. Noises, colors, memories. Everything flashed. He saw everything change, but the only constant was Howard.

He'd never been religious, but then Vince started praying. Not to be saved, but to get the chance to tell Howard exactly how he felt.

Suddenly, sirens. In his head? He couldn't tell.

When it seemed like the crowd had gone, leaving him bleeding on the street corner Vince attempted to push himself up. When he finally got to his feet, the prince of the Mod's collapsed again. He needed to talk to Howard. He needed to tell him how he felt. Clumsy fingers worked the mobile from his overly tight drainpipes. He prayed the maverick hadn't gone to sleep. Hearing Howard's voice on the other line, Vince almost started crying. He spoke in what he hoped was an intelligible sentence. He kept praying.

Finding Vince's body covered in blood collapsed on the ground outside the club was the worst, most terrifying experience of Howard's life. He suddenly was shrouded in guilt. Wasn't that what he was supposed to do? Protect Vince? Be the man of action? Where had he been when this happened? Why hadn't he saved the man he loved? Gingerly, he picked up the battered and bruised figure and walked him over to the van, laying him inside like a rose on a casket.

He drove the short distance to the flat in record time, and carried Vince up the stairs of Nabootique and into the flat, setting him on the couch. He cleaned the smaller man's wounds and wiped the blood from off his face, while looking for one of Naboo's healing potions. His searches upstairs were unfruitful, but he knew there had to be some well marked bottles down in the shop. He'd made his way halfway down the stairs when Vince's faint voice called him back.

"What is it, Little Man?" Howard asked, practically sprinting back to the couch.

"I…need to tell you." Vince replied, still shaky. He made an attempt to sit up, but couldn't do it on his own. Howard helped him, propping him up with pillows.

"You don't need to tell me anything, Vince. It's all going to be okay now." Howard said, very gently.

"No, Howard. I need to tell you. I need to tell you...I love you."

Howard was shocked. He'd felt that way about his best mate for a very long time, but he'd never felt like it was or ever could ever be mutual. "Little man, you're delirious. You don't know what you're saying. Just have a lie down and we'll talk about it in the morning."

"No Howard. You need to listen to me. Everything changes, and I ain't got anyone who is constantly there for me like you. You're the only person who's ever been there for me. I love you, Howard Moon." Vince was determined not to cry as he let the truth flow from his lips, unable to stop the spew of words. He felt the world's weight free his shoulders and he dared a look up at Howard.

Before he could say anything more, Howard was kissing him. Vince saw every clichéd firework, every pop, flash, and noise. Everything was beautiful and wonderful. When Howard finally broke the kiss, the pulled back and looked at each other in the eyes.

"Vince Noir, you're the most beautiful man I've ever met and I love you, sir."

Vince finally felt whole again. His hurricane returned to the color it had once been. They were burning down the highway skyline. Pulling away again, Vince whispered "You don't look a thing like Jesus, but you talk like gentleman. You saved me, again. You're me own personal savior."

Howard just smiled and kissed his best mate, his mind full of memories of sparkly boots and raven hair and when they were young.

A/N: Okay, first time writing in awhile starting under a new name. It's a bit rubbish, but reviews would be genius.