Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life - TORCHWOOD/BOOSH fic (PG)

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January 14th, 2009

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05:14 pm - TORCHWOOD/BOOSH fic (PG)
Title: Bongos in the Hub part 1 of 4
Fandom: Torchwood/Boosh crossover
Author: accio_arse
Rating: PG-13 (this bit PG)
Word Count: total about 10,000 plus some artefacts
Pairing: Ianto Jones/Howard Moon (Ianto/Capn Jack Harkness, Howard/Vince Noir)
Spoilers: Ties in with Boosh Series 3/Torchwood Series 2/Doctor Who Series 4 (Journey’s End). But no major spoilers.
DISCLAIMER: Neither The Boosh nor Torchwood is mine. But wheeee! Loadsa fun!

Unusually for me, this is all complete and written. No unfinished stories this time!


He’d called it ‘just business’, but there’d been no mistaking the way he perked up - the sudden interest, his predatory gleam.

The way he’d grabbed onto Ianto’s shoulder and whispered, “Ah… There’s something I have to take care of… just business. You get the drinks in. I’ll be back.”

He looked into Ianto’s eyes. “You have to promise me. Stay right here. Okay? I need to handle this myself.”

He didn’t wait for a response, just another, “Okay?” and was off, like a dog catching hold of a scent.

The crowd parted and melted, and Ianto saw that Jack had already hit his mark all the way down at the other end of the bar. The man was tall, with blonde hair and a jaw like a punch target. He was also in a dark, tailored uniform. Ianto knew that Jack had a bit of a thing for uniforms. In three seconds flat, Jack’s hand was on the stranger’s arm. The stranger didn’t seem to mind.

Ianto solidly turned his back and ordered in the drinks, leaning over to the barman and shouting, “Twice!” as if that would make any difference at all.

Two glasses arrived. After a while, Ianto traced the edge of the second glass with his finger, still refusing to look over.

Eventually, he gave up and drank Jack’s as well. Water. Double water. What had he been thinking of? Of course, Ianto knew what he’d been thinking of. And look where that had got him. So how long he was going to wait here, the last resort, the tin can on the dog’s tail, the spare wheel in the corner? From the cold twist inside himself, Ianto realised probably a good deal longer yet.

If only this merely required a simple action on his part. The disappearing of alien carcasses, for instance. The correction of a few high-placed memories. The disposal of a few thousand tonnes of extra-terrestrial meat – that kind of stuff was much more in Ianto’s line. Run of the mill. Could do it in his sleep.

Like only last Tuesday, when that giant sentient bubble had found the rift. Intent on spreading its seed across the earth, slowly, one tentacle at a time, it had squished its way through several dimensions, then shot up into the Earth’s thermosphere, to enfold the planet in its many-flagellaed embrace, suffocating the atmosphere. Or as Ianto had put it, “Here we go. Six and a half billion people, and all of us being dry-humped to death.”

But see, that was the kind of problem Ianto could handle.

He’d just dug out a bit of alien body part that had fallen through the rift the year before (he always knew the old Quiver Finger would come in handy), and used it as a pointing device to determine the most pleasurable and sensitive of the bubble’s convulsions. Jack had unearthed a vintage biplane (Ianto didn’t even ask where), loaded the bomb bay with stimulants, and then bombed the hell out of the alien’s nodes with a complicated cocktail of aphrodisiacs.

With a contented post-seeding sigh, the bubble had shed a truckload of spores and drifted back out into space, via seven or eight, luckily harmless, dimensions. Everyone had cheered - another job well done. Though when Jack had returned to the hub, Ianto had taken in the long gloopy alien trails of spores all over his face and coat, and noted, “So… next time, perhaps some tissues?”

So, possible universal annihilation, fine. End of the human race; no problem at all. But faced with Jack behaving like Jack, or more precisely, with Jack behaving like Jack while under the dubious cover of work – that was something else. Ianto still hadn’t worked out how to handle that one. Or even whether he had a right to.

Leaning over, Ianto ordered in two more drinks - his a vodka this time - and knowing he was probably nursing a dying hope, when a scuffle behind made him turn.

Two men were behind him, both of them looking like they’d come in fancy dress. They were also having an argument.

The shorter one was balancing in high-heeled golden boots with an ease born of experience. A ray of feathers swept down from his collar, revealing fine, elegant collarbones, and some strangely incongruous tufts of dark chest hair beneath. One side of his face there had been scribbled with a big silver star, as if by a child. This man was rolling his eyes in exasperation.

The other man was altogether less colourful, yet still odd. Slightly barrel-chested, he was sporting a bushy, seventies-style moustache, and was all over in khaki army green except for a pair of large, scuffed brown boots which he seemed to have very little control over. As he grabbed his smaller companion by the arm, the boots zipped out and to the side, and Ianto received a kick in the shins.

“Hey!” said Ianto, but they were far too engrossed to notice.

“Don’t go!” begged moustache-man. “Not here! Don’t leave me in the middle of nowhere, hundreds of miles from civilisation!” He sent a frightened glance around the bar, as if the slick, stainless steel Cardiff Bay interior were some kind of dangerous jungle in which any moment tigers might leap out and start attacking punters.

The slighter man removed the hands grabbing his shoulders. He raised a brow; there was metallic green eyeshadow. “Yeah, well, tough,” he said. “I didn’t ask you to go mental and stowaway and burrow under the drum kit like a mongoose, did I?”

“But I heard you talking,” begged moustache-man. “About me, at band practice. You said you needed someone on guitar. I thought you were dropping a hint. After all, I am the best in Leeds.”

His companion fluffed up the feathers round his collar. “Yeah, sure, I did say we’re a player short. But Stumpy also said if you ever came near him again he’d vomit on your face. So, you know, no, it wasn’t.”

Moustache-man hopped from one foot to another. Ianto flattened out of way of the big, dancing boots. “Aw, come on,” begged moustache-man. “After all, I’m here now…”

“No,” said the other man. He folded his arms. This flattened some feathers so it then entailed more fluffing up.

“But I brought my own set of trumpets!”


“And a pair of brown corduroy lounging suits! I brought one each, so can unwind together after the gig. We’ll be matching!”

His companion gave a shudder. “Are you serious?”

“Ah, now you’re tempted!” Moustache-man raised his eyebrows. “Imagine it. The luxury feel of jumbo cord on skin. Ah! So brown. So nice.”

Feather-man recoiled in disbelief. “Are you mental?”

“Uh… don’t think so…no?”

“Well, apart from the hideous image you just left me with... urgh.” Feather-man shook himself. “There’s the matter of Stumpy. And Stumpy runs the band.”

Moustache man grinned hopefully. “Hey. But I know you. You can get round Stumpy.”

“Well, yeah I could have. Before, perhaps. But then Stumpy was looking for his harmonica…”

Suddenly, Moustache-man’s eyes went shifty. They twitched from side to side, as if conducting some internal process involving ping pong. “Oh yeah… The harmonica...”

“Yeah, Stumpy told me all about it. How he found you with Mr Mouthy…”

“Well, we don’t need to go into that…”

“Apparently it was just you and Mr Mouthy, nice and quiet, alone in a darkened room, you with your trousers and… Yeah, what is it with you, Howard? Why are you always doing this? Why can’t you just get on with everyone like I do?”

Moustache-man shuffled on the spot. “You weren’t there. Stumpy was mean to me. You didn’t see it. He was mean. You were at the shop getting sweets.”

“Yeah, but Howard, for Chrissake! Why?”

“Then Stumpy took my saxophone. And he laughed. He threw it to Donald, and both of them were making fun. They kept throwing it to each other, over my head where I couldn’t get it. Even when I asked they still wouldn’t give it back.”

Feathered-man rolled his eyes. “Yeah, but that’s still no excuse, is it? Not for nicking Mr Mouthy the Harmonica, pulling your trousers down and doing a dirty protest on it while whistling ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

“I didn’t! That’s a lie! Come on Vince, how could I whistle ‘Smiles Ten Spur Lights’ when I don’t even know what it is? For your information, I was humming ‘Cucumber Slumber’ by Weather Report. And it wasn’t a dirty protest - I just sort of meant to … I mean, Vince, come on! I didn’t! Who are you going to believe? Me or a guy whose name is the remainder of a tree after a lumberjack’s been?”

“Well him, I reckon. Seeing as how you still have the imprint of the harmonica’s name on it from where he kicked you through the mouth organ and up into the….”

“Hey! Show some respect! That’s my personal equipment you’re talking about!”

“Yeah, stamped like a living pink library ticket. So Stumpy says stay away from him and his harmonica or he’ll take out an injunction.”

Moustache man groaned and put his head in his hands.

“Yeah, Howard. What would the injunction be - like, your fifth now? Oh, and he says stay away from his band. Forever. As in, at all times.”

Moustache-man looked up. “What? Not the gig? I’ve got to be able to play at the gig!”

Feathered man tilted his hip and surveyed at his companion up and down. “Yeah, right! Stumpy says if you even think about us play, even while we’re tuning up, even when we’re setting up the drum kit, even if you breathe within a mile of us during our encore, say bye bye to your fingers. He’ll get the band to cut them off, one by one.”

Moustache-man shoved his hands behind his back. “Vince! No! You wouldn’t!”

“Well, no,” admitted Vince.

Moustache-man breathed in relief.

“I’m the one who has to hold you down.”


“Well, it is his band. So if I want to stay in it, I have to.”

“But Vince! I need these fingers! For playing guitar! And… personal activities!”

“I’m just saying what Stumpy said, that’s all.”

Moustache-man kept his hands firmly behind his back. He held up his chin. “Actually, now I come to think of it, I was going to be busy tonight anyway. So, you know. I couldn’t have made it to your ridiculous concert.”

“Yeah. Good plan, Howard.”

“It wasn’t a plan. It was a prior engagement.”

“Yeah. Whatever you say.”

“So, Vince… what time are you finished? What time do I meet you at the van?”

“Nuh-huh,” said feathered-man. “I don’t think you’ve got it yet. You’re not allowed near us. You’re not allowed to breathe our air, touch our shadows or smell our farts. Not even the nice ones, the ones I get after eating strawberry bootlaces. You’re definitely not allowed to home with us.”

Moustache-man forgot his precious fingers and used them to grab his companion again. “No way! You’re not going really to abandon me? Not here? Not with all these natives! I don’t know their funny foreign ways - I don’t speak their lingo!”

“Howard, you dingbat! Gerroff! This is Cardiff, not Timbuktu! They’re not going to eat you!”

Moustache-man let out a frightened yelp and clung on all the more.

“I mean it, Howard! Anyways, aren’t you this big well-travelled man of the world?”

Moustache-man recollected himself and stood back slowly. “That’s right,” he said, twizzling one end of his moustache. “Why yes, I am.”

“There you go. Weren’t you even in Spain that one time?”

Moustache-man puffed his chest out a little. “Ah. Yes, indeed I was. A long and rewarding journey along the southern coast, sir. They called it my Costa Questa. I had varied and wonderful adventures, then bought myself a hat. It was very fine and made of straw.”

“See? There you go, Howard, you’ll be fine. See you later… whenever that is...”

Moustache-man crumpled. “Vince, no! You’re not really going?”

“Aw, Howard, the band’s on in five minutes! Come on, get a bus or something. Ask someone in the bar for directions…”

Ianto immediately turned round and studied the bottom of his glass, thinking inconspicuous thoughts.

He needn’t have bothered. “Huh,” scoffed moustache-man, striking up a pose. “That, my friend, is not my style. You, my friend, are talking to a man alone. Yes sir, a man apart. Some even say a legend.”

“Yeah,” came the reply. Feathered-man looked up from his nails, which were dark blue. “Oh sorry, were you saying something?”

Time came for their final goodbyes. Moustache-man frowned and sulked and stared at the ground. Then the feathered one leant in close and whispered something in his ear, and reluctantly, moustache-man’s mouth twitched into a smile. Both smiled; their bodies pulled together like magnets. They stared deeply into each other’s eyes.

Clearly, they only existed in their own world. Ianto turned away, uncomfortable.

When he looked back, feathered-man had disappeared. All that remained was a lone figure, which although over six foot tall, thickly moustached, and with a certain solidity of middle, was making a fairly good impression of a Christmas pet who’d been abandoned on the side of a road just two weeks into the New Year and didn’t at all understand why.

Ianto turned away again. This was too embarrassing. This man was reminding himself of how he’d been feeling only about two minutes ago. He really hoped he hadn’t let it show as badly as this guy was doing.

Down the far end of the bar, a movement caught Ianto’s eye…. Jack, of course. It was always Jack.

Jack was already engaged face-wise with the stranger in uniform, and so fiercely that Ianto could imagine the grunts. Jack’s hands were on the back of the stranger’s neck. Then Jack’s hands were along the side of the stranger’s face – a detail that Ianto caught with a particularly sickening lurch. A few hours ago, that had been him having his face held by Jack, but gently, as he and Jack shared a kiss.

Ianto watched as both heads moved, tilted, and mouths opened up wider. That presumably, was to help Jack edge his tongue yet further down the stranger’s throat.

On the spur of the moment, Ianto swivelled around. “Hey there,” he said to the man with the moustache. “How are you doing? Fancy a drink?”

Instantly, he knew he was going to regret it.


Part 2


(Indulge your wild theories here)


[User Picture]
Date:January 15th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Everybody's miserable. But in such an in-character, gloomy way.

I saw the header, it was like the sprinkles of frosty crack upon a cake of wtf. Very cool idea indeed. Go you!
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
Everybody's miserable? But it's a comedy! I wrote it as a comedy! Oh dear my life must be bleak indeed.

On the other hand, I did have to put them all in a bit of a pickle at the start so I could have them get into all kinds of japes. Tragedy is the essence of comedy.

Yeah, I can't believe there's not loads of Torchwood/Boosh! I did a search for it and nothing. There's a little tiny bit of Who/Boosh, but not even much of that. Mostly art. Torchwood is much more adult and cracktastic and ripe for it, I think.

Thank you for saying it's in character. I win! <3
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Everybody's miserable? But it's a comedy!

Nah, it's just this lit-analysis mood I'm in. No fault of yours. Howard's life is a comedy to everyone but Howard. And the guy who insists on realistic analysis of everything.

Tragedy is the essence of comedy.

Exactly! And most readers will take the comedy, but I am cursed with seeing the tragedy.
[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
Howard's life is a comedy to everyone but Howard.

I know! He can say the most ridiculous things with a straight face. Oh I love him so much.

I'm cursed with seeing the opposite, I think. I keep seeing the comedy in the most inappropriately horrible things, even when they're happening to myself or people I know.

After all, you might as well enjoy life now. The most terrifying thing about it is that it can always get worse.
[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2009 10:20 am (UTC)
There's life, and then there's lit/media...
Date:January 21st, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Mmm jumbo cords. I love your booshy dialogue, I can always believe it. I'm looking forward to the next part. (Poor Ianto!)
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
I love cords so much it's unreal. My favourite black cords are dead now, I killed them from wearing. So many holes. I have to get some more.

Ianto is easily my favourite character in Torchwood. He has so much backstory, plus killer sarcasm. He's tough and heartwrending in turn. All the way through the last series I had my fingers crossed he wouldn't be killed (please not Ianto!) Of course, it helps that he's played by an amazing actor (Torchwood has some quality cast that raises the script beyond what it deserves to be honest).

Oh, and thanks!
Date:January 22nd, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
So this is what you've been up to lately!? :D Will save and read then comment! xxx *saves to memories*
[User Picture]
Date:January 22nd, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
The next part of this is up now. 'Bongos in the Hub' is pretty much a harmless comedy. I've also almost written the sequel to this, which is a hugely porny threesome and longer than this and finishes it all off.

The whole thing just sprang to my head, fully formed. Dang those fanfic mindworms!
Date:December 27th, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)

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Date:February 1st, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
Corking lines:
“Ah, now you’re tempted, aren’t you?” Moustache-man raised his eyebrows. “Ahhh. The luxury feel of jumbo cord on skin. So brown. So nice.”
“Well, seeing as how one of your bollocks still has the imprint of the maker’s name on it, from where he kicked you through the mouth organ and in the nuts….”

“Hey! Show some respect! That’s my Mr Hohner Extreme Note Bender you’re talking about!”

“That’s your left dangler, you mean. Anyway, so Stumpy says no. And, also, he says stay away from him - for the rest of your life, if not longer.”

Love it! I really like how you're building Howard and Ianto into similarly forlorn characters. *moves swiftly on to the next part*

[User Picture]
Date:February 3rd, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)

I just had a proper read through of this, and there were about 20 typos. Oops, that's quite a lot, even for me. Fixeroo! That's what I get for not using a beta. Also, I don't think this is going to be one of my best, even though I loved writing it a lot. I think I'm trying to say far too much in it. Too much thought, not enough action.

Yeah, it was the similarity of Ianto and Howard that sparked this whole thing off. Both are always getting the raw deal from their other halves. Although I don't think Jack actually cheats on Ianto in Torchwood, beyond the odd kiss. But he's always rubbing Ianto's nose in his exes, and holding up the possibility. As for Vince, in series 3 he's a nightmare.

Of course, Howard and Ianto are both completely gorgeous, though very different types. There is that too. Put them together and my mind would blow.

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