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Fan Fiction Post #41 {Howince Part 5/5}

Author's Note: This is the fifth and final part of the Howince fic I've been working on. Read the other parts first. And, although there's nothing too intense in this last bit, read at your own risk. x

The night in the alley seemed to be only a distant memory. It had been six months and Vince was back to his old, bubbly self, just in time for his birthday.

"Howard!" Vince called from the loo, "Have you seen my white go go boots?"

"Under your bed," Howard laughed to himself, spooning sugar into one of the two cups of tea he'd just poured. He walked down the hall to the bathroom and knocked softly with his foot, "tea?" he asked.

Vince opened the door, grinning. His hair was straight and he was wearing his new blue, sequined, leopard-print onesie. He hadn't done his makeup yet, but Howard already knew that it would amazing, "thanks Howard," he let Howard in and took his cup.

"You look," Howard weighed his words before he spoke, "stunning."

"I ain't even done my makeup," Vince took a sip of his tea, leaning against the counter.

"You don't need it," Howard set his cup down, "you're naturally beautiful."

"Old charmer," Vince put his cup next to Howard's, "I need to look extra nice cos it's my birthday."

"Oh, is it your birthday?" Howard smirked, "I'd nearly forgotten," he said sarcastically. Vince had mentioned his birthday at least twenty times a day for the past month. Howard had been planning Vince's birthday for even longer. Naboo and Bollo were in on the surprise, and to Howard's own surprise, neither had yapped off to Vince. It was going to be perfect.

"I've been thinking, Naboo," Howard said softly, taking a seat next to Bollo on the sofa, "Vince's birthday is in a couple of months and I want to do something special for him."

"Define special," Naboo took a long hit off his hookah, handing the hose to Bollo. He blew a few smoke rings, watching them drift toward the ceiling.

"I don't know," Howard twisted his hands together, twiddling his thumbs, "just something to show him how much he means to me."

Naboo laughed, "you're such a cheesy wanker. You know that, right?"

"Harold make Bollo laugh," Bollo blew some smoke toward Howard.

"I'm not cheesy. I'm romantic," Howard said proudly.

"Cheesy," Naboo and Bollo chorused.

"Instead of making fun of me, how about you give me some ideas on what to get Vince?"

"He likes jewelry," Naboo said, poking at the coal on top of his hookah, "why don't you get him some Topshop jewelry."

"Vince like rings," Bollo offered, taking another hit.

"A ring," Howard stood up, "that's it!"

"What's it?" Naboo raised an eyebrow.

"I know what I'm going to get Vince," Howard grabbed his coat and ran down the stairs out of the flat.

Naboo looked at Bollo, "You don't think he's going to get Vince a diamond, do you?" he took the hose from Bollo, inhaling more of the less-than-legal smoke.

Bollo coughed, "I gotta bad feeling about this."

"You wouldn't forget my birthday, Howard," Vince narrowed his eyes, "you never forgot before. If I know you like I think I do, you've got something ace planned."

"Maybe," Howard smiled, "you never know. I could have just gotten you a Topshop gift certificate."

Vince's eyes widened, "did you get me one?" he asked, excitedly.

"No," Howard chuckled, "I'm glad you're so easily pleased though."

"You had me all excited," Vince stuck his bottom lip out, faux pouting.

"If you pout, you won't get your real present."

"Oh fine," Vince laced his fingers with Howard's, "now why don't you go get ready. People are going to get here in an hour or so," he pressed a kiss on Howard's cheek.

Howard squeezed Vince's hand before leaving the bathroom to change. His cheek burned from the kiss; it didn't matter how many times Vince kissed him, he couldn't stop himself from blushing.

The outfit Howard finally decided on was one that Vince picked out while shopping one day. A pair of denim trousers that apparently made his arse look "unbelievable" along with a black blazer that made him look slim and youthful. After a moment of debate, Howard pulled out the horrible Gary Numan t-shirt Vince had gotten for him. He quickly dressed and peeked in the full-length mirror. He looked like a trendy modern wanker, but he knew Vince would love it so he sucked it up.

Several minutes later, Vince opened the door to the bedroom, his makeup done, and beamed when he caught sight of Howard, "You're wearing the outfit I got you," he said softly.

"Only because it's your birthday," Howard pulled on his favorite black socks.

"I think you look well sexy," Vince sat down next to him, "if I didn't just put lip gloss on, I'd want to snog you right now," he added, winking.

Howard laughed, putting his arm around Vince, "lip gloss?"

"Strawberry flavored!"

"I love strawberry," Howard whispered, "hope I'll get a taste later."

Vince giggled, playing with Howard's hand, "we'll see about that."

"You tease," Howard kissed the top of Vince's head.

"You love it."

"No, I love you," Howard corrected.

"Are you ballbags almost ready? There's about a dozen people here already," Naboo yelled, knocking on the door.

"Go out there, Howard. I need to be fashionably late," Vince got up and stood in front of the mirror, making sure he looked perfect.

Rolling his eyes, Howard left the room. Bollo was already playing some electro and the room already smelled illegal. A few people were dancing and chatting. Howard recognized a few people, but decided to avoid conversation and make his way to the wall. He preferred watching people over anything. Especially when most of the people here were part of Camden's finest. He would have looked like a berk trying to strike up a conversation with any of them.

About ten minutes had passed when Bollo's voice boomed from the speakers, "you all here for Vince's birthday?" he asked. Everyone there cheered.

Naboo grabbed the microphone, "get your ass out here, Vince. We're all waiting for you."

Howard looked toward the hallway in time to see Vince step into the party. The room went mental. Some people screamed happy birthday, while others just screamed. He truly was the mayor of Camden.

Vince made his rounds, hugging and kissing everyone in the room, before making his way to Howard, "alright?" he asked, giving him a quick peck on the lips.

Howard nodded, "quite a party," he said, smiling.

"It's brilliant," Vince beamed, "I'm going to go talk to Neville, I'll catch up with you in a bit," he said hugging Howard before disappearing into the crowd once again.

Howard sighed happily, getting excited to give Vince his present. The tiny box was in his coat pocket, wrapped in pink zebra print wrapping paper. Only a couple more hours to go.

The music seemed to be getting louder as people got drunker. Naboo stumbled over to Howard, leaning against the wall, "you never told me what you got Vince."

"That's a surprise," Howard half-smiled, "I'm only giving him his card now," he said, pulling out a pale blue envelope with 'Vince' scrawled across the front.

"If you got him a diamond, I'll personally kick your ass," Naboo looked at him, frowning, "Bollo said he had a bad feeling."

"I did no such thing," Howard laughed, "and besides, Bollo always has a bad feeling."

"Thank God," Naboo sighed, relieved, before walking off again.

Howard was enjoying watching everyone have a marvelous time. He'd always been more of a wallflower than a socialite, and he was alright with it. Vince did enough socializing for the both of them anyway. Glancing at his watch, he noticed that it was after eleven. Getting up his courage to face the crowd, Howard made his way over to Vince, who was chatting with Seamus, who'd they'd both met at Black Lake.

"Hey, Vince," Howard touched Vince's arm.

"Howard!" Vince smiled, "Having fun?"

"Sure," Howard returned the smile, "I wanted to give you your birthday card now," he pulled out the blue envelope and handed it to him.

Vince took it, "can I open it?" Howard had barely nodded before Vince was tearing it open, "Dear Vince, I'm rubbish at saying how I feel but I hope your present will say everything I can't. Meet me on the roof at ten of midnight. Love, Howard," Vince read aloud, "what time is it now?"

"Half eleven," Howard said glancing at the wall clock, "I'm actually going up to get some air now, so I'll see you in a bit, yeah?"

"Of course," Vince said, watching Howard walk away.

It didn't take long for Naboo, Bollo and Vince to usher everyone out of the flat. Once the last person was out, Vince checked the time. Quarter to midnight.

Howard sat on the roof, leaning against he chimney, watching everyone leave the party. He held the tiny, wrapped box in his hands, starting to feel nervous for the first time all night. Although he'd been rehearsing what he wanted to say for the past few months, he was drawing a blank now that the moment was here. He closed his eyes, trying to relax, when he heard the door to the roof open. Quickly, he stuffed the box back in his pocket.

"Alright, Howard?" Vince asked, climbing out onto the shingles. He scooted up to Howard and smiled.

"Hope you had a nice night," Howard said, pulling Vince closer.

"It was brilliant," Vince was grinning, "sorry you had a shit time."

"I'm just not a party person," Howard shrugged, "I had fun watching you have fun."

"You're too sweet," Vince hugged him.

"So," Howard said after a minute, "do you want your present?"

Vince sat up, his eyes wide as he nodded eagerly.

Howard reached into his coat pocket, "it's not much," he took out the box and handed it to Vince.

Vince turned the present around in his hands before carefully slipping his finger under the tape to open it, "the paper is genius," he mused, taking off the rest of the paper and pacing it next to him. He stared at the small, black, velvet box for a moment before looking at Howard, "um, Howard..."

"Just open it," Howard said, smiling.

Vince bit his lip as he slowly opened the box. He gasped, "Howard, I, what?"

"It's a promise ring," Howard was blushing, "you know, just to let you know that I promise to be here for you for as long as you want me," he took the box and pulled the ring out of the foam. The ring was silver and had the word "promise" etched into it. Taking Vince's left hand, Howard spoke softly, "you still want me, right?"

"I," a single tear trickled down Vince's cheek, "I don't know what to say, Howard."

"Yes?" Howard asked, feeling his heart racing.

Vince nodded, "yes," he mouthed, watching Howard slide the ring onto his finger, "it's beautiful."

"Just like you," Howard murmured, stroking Vince's hand with his thumb.

Vince leaned forward and kissed Howard. The last time this had happened on the roof, it was awkward and rushed. Tonight was different. Vince pressed against Howard, draping his arms around his neck, kissing him passionate and slow. Howard wrapped his arms around Vince's waist, feeling goosebumps all over his body as Vince slipped his tongue into the mix. Howard hoped the kiss would never end.

It seemed like hours had passed before Vince broke the kiss, to rest his head on Howard's chest. His breathing had gone all wonky, but Howard didn't say anything because his breathing was just as hitched. They sat together for a long time before either spoke.

"What're you thinking, little man?" Howard asked, massaging the nape of Vince's neck with his thumb.

"That you've screwed yourself," Vince said bluntly.

"What?" Howard laughed.

"You gave me a ring. You ain't ever getting rid of me now," Vince pressed a kiss on Howard's neck.

"It's a good thing that I was planning on keeping you then," Howard smiled to himself.

"Forever?" Vince whispered.

"You think that's long enough?" Howard asked.

"For now," Vince said, turning to look at the moon.


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