A/N: had this story buzzing round me head for a while now, been writing a bit more every now and again. I'm not known for my updating so I'm sorry if it takes ages for me to update but I won't forget about it and reviews will spur me on t write more, especially seeing as my days are filled with watching my bf playing the xbox lol enjoy!

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Howard scratched his cheek gingerly as him and his fellow dustbin men walked down the dark street towards the hottest new club in town. Howard didn't like clubbing, he never had, but he decided he'd go this once as it was his best friends 30th birthday. Granted the man was a bit - alright a lot - younger than he was but they'd been through a lot together and he had made a promise. Yep, Jeffrey Thompson was a good friend and had helped him through many a tricky situation. The 6ft African American ex-wrestler was a far cry from his previous best friend, but times change and they'd taken separate paths a long time ago.

Seven years had passed since the last time he saw Vince Noir. He supposed that they began to move their separate ways after they left the zoo, nothing was quite the same once they left and Howard quietly hated himself for leaving even if that place, and his boss had driven him to the brink of mass murder, but life back then had been simple, routine, and dare he think it, fun. But as time passed he and Vince grew further apart and argued more often. And after the television advert of him dressed as a crab, living with Vince became impossible as insults and snide comments were thrown his way almost constantly. Eventually he'd packed his bags and left whilst Naboo and Bollo were off doing Shaman work and Vince was at The Velvet Onion. He'd left a note on the side that simply read "I won't be back" and that was that.

He hadn't really given his leaving much thought, he just packed a bag and left and after walking for half an hour he realised he had nowhere to go. Walking aimlessly for a further half an hour it began to rain and calling it a night he dropped to the floor of a shop entrance and used his bag as a pillow. In the early hours of the morning he was awoken by someone calling his name, a distant but familiar voice. Upon opening his eyes he was greeted by the grubby, smiling faces of his old work colleagues back from when he used to be a dustbin man. After going to the pub for a drink and some food and a hearty chat Howard began to work as a dustbin man again and moved into the spare room at Jeffrey Thompson's flat where he'd been for the past seven years.

His life now was far different than what it had been at the Nabootique. There was no shaman, no gorilla's, no potions and none of the other weird stuff that he used to take for granted as being a part of his life. He didn't get harassed by nymphomaniac transvestite's, crack fox's, coconuts, nothing. In the last 7 years the most exiting thing that had happened to him had been the time he and Jeffrey had broken down in the work truck down a country lane and spent the next 4 hours playing uno. He didn't miss the excitement as much as he thought he would, he was kind of relieved for it actually, a break from his hectic life, well that's how it started. Now it was his life, its not like he could just stroll back into the Nabootique after all this time and go back to how things used to be. He wasn't even sure if the shop was still there, if they all still lived in the flat. They probably didn't, HE probably didn't. Howard wondered what he was doing with himself these days, he found himself thinking about this a lot recently. It seemed that the longer he spent away from Vince the more he thought about him, and after 7 years he spent almost every moment of the day thinking about him, scrolling through old memories, thinking about what happened to him, how he'd have reacted to Howard's letter. He probably didn't even care, probably forgot completely about him by now. Something Howard could never do.

"Earth to Howard!" Howard jumped slightly when he felt a large fist knocking on his head like a door. "We're here mate so snap out of it before you walk into someone." Jeffrey beamed at him from behind his rough beard and turned into the club followed closely by Howard and a small group of Jeffrey's friends Howard didn't know very well. As awkward as he felt dressed in a beige roll neck jumper and nutmeg corduroy trousers, he sheepishly followed his friends into the over crowded club and winced slightly at the sheer volume of the place. It was going to be one of those nights.

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So what do you think? More of an introductory chapter to get the story rolling but there will be more content in chapters to come, promise! More angst too, muahaha! Sorry, I love being evil to these guys, although mush and a happy ending is sure to follow. Reviews appreciated, cookies to all!