Hiya! This is probably not very good 'cause I'm tired and hungry lol. After this I'm having cheese on toast! ^_^ Oh yeah, the names of the paramedics and nurses, doctors etc are all stolen from Casualty, I was just way to lazy to make up my own. And there probably isn't a 'Dalston ED', but oh well ;)

Vince trudged along the road, grumbling at the fact that Howard had made him go and get his own hula-hoops and lucozade, and smiled. To be honest, he wasn't entirely sure why he smiled, because he was pissed off. Or was he? He had moaned to Howard to try and persuade him to go, or at least come with him, but the other man had refused. Apparently some trombone player was on telly, and had a five hour recital that was being broadcast everywhere.

He rolled his eyes. There really was no hope for Howard, even after spending more than ten years with Vince he hadn't picked up one useful bit of style information. Not that Vince really minded anymore. He was really just glad when Howard was around, which was something he'd never tell him, but he was sure Howard knew, in his own way.

Lost in his musings, he hadn't been paying attention to what was happening around him, and walked right into a small child, who had been bouncing a football from hand to hand,

"Jeez, watch where you're going!" Vince said angrily, but felt guilty at the kid's anguished face, "Sorry, I'm just kinda rattled, y'know?"

The child shook his head, a mop of curls bouncing all over,

"What are you doing out here anyway? You shouldn't be on your own, this is quite a busy road" He said, indicating the road next to them. The boy looked up at him and grinned cheekily,

"Thanks, but I'm alright, we had a road safety assembly in school last week. Stop, look, listen," Vince nodded and smiled, "I don't suppose you wanna play a game do you?" The boy asked, bouncing his football, "There isn't really anyone my age living round here".

Vince grinned, quite tempted, never having managed to persuade Howard to play a game, but remembered what he'd come down for, and he wasn't really in the mood when he thought about it, he'd just got his hair perfect before he came out. The child saw he was wavering and said,

"There's a park just over there. You can be goalie if you want" He bribed, sure it was everyone's dream position. Vince smiled and nodded,

"Yeah ok, I just need to go into the shop and get something", the child nodded as well,

"I'll be in the park. My name's Adam by the way"

"I'm Vince" Vince answered and grinned at Adam before heading into the shop, waving as the boy walked off, sure to glance both ways before crossing.


After paying, Vince headed out of the shop, remembering Adam mentioned the park, so he headed in that direction, a soft breeze lazily playing across his face, making him breathe deeply and slowly. He jumped as a ball thudded into his feet.

"Vince! Ball!" Adam shouted from the other side of the road as his football thwacked into Vince's toes. Without waiting to see what his new friend would do, Adam ran across the road, to retrieve his ball. Vince's small smile of cheeriness soon turned to a look of absolute horror as a car rounded the corner, going way too fast on a 30 mph road and sped straight into the child, making his small figure crack off the windscreen and roll right over the car. Vince's mouth hung open as the car sped up and continued on it's way. How could anyone do that? To a small child as well.

Vince knew he should have written down the number plate of the car, but all he could do was gaze at the small body in front of him, a pool of blood growing steadily bigger around him and all he could think of was the thud and sickening crack that was emitted from both car and boy at impact. Finally, as other people started to emerge, curious and wanting to know what had made that crash, Vince managed to run over to Adam, lying unnaturally still in the middle of the road. In his haste, he tripped, and with his speed, he flew quite a way, grazing his hands all the way down the road. Ignoring the stabbing pain in them, he got back up.

Getting over to Adam, Vince's heart was beating so much he was surprised other people couldn't hear it. He surveyed the boy with a horror-struck expression, not knowing what to do. He bet Howard would know, but Howard wasn't here, was he? He breathed in heavily, trying to get into a clearer state of mind. There was so much blood.....god how could a small child contain that much? Finally, after the mutterings of the spectators reached his shocked ear drums, something got through and, with shaking hands, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialled 999,

"Hello, you've reached the emergency services, do you require fire service, police officers or paramedics?"

"Am...ambulance please"

"Certainly Sir, one moment," Vince started biting his nails anxiously as he was connected to the ambulance. What if it was too late? What if Adam was already?....

"Hello Sir? What is you emergency?"

"Erm, yeah, there's... a little kid was hit by a car...I, there's so much blood, I..." Vince was getting hysterical, hyperventilating,

"Sir, calm down, where are you?" Vince looked around wildly for a street sign, even though he already knew what the street was, but in his confused mind, it didn't register until after he found the sign,

"Tal...Taliskar Road, out-outside the shop on the corner" He could hear the faint sound of someone tapping out this information on the computer,

"Ok Sir, the paramedics will be with you in about five minutes, there are some stationed quite near you, keep the injured still, don't try and move them" Vince nodded, even though they wouldn't be able to see him and thanked them, before hanging up.

He gazed down at Adam. He wanted to listen to his heart, feel his pulse, find some indication of the boy still breathing, but he didn't dare go near him, just in case he did something that might have made it any worse. He didn't even want to hold Adam's hand in case he broke something, or storke his mop of curls, to reassure him. Still, he did what he could, and bent over so his breath tickled the child's ear,

"It's gonna be ok Adam, I swear. I phoned for an ambulance, and they said they'd be here soon. I promise I'll come with you, make sure they call your mum," He spyed the football that caused all of this lying at the side of the road, "I'll bring your ball as well, so when you get better we can have that game I promised". His eyes welled up, staring at this small person, bleeding onto the tarmac, legs bent in awkward angles, making Vince want to heave, but he couldn't take his eyes away.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, he heard the sound of sirens in the distance, and soon they had parked next to the two on the road and the paramedics got out.

"Ok love, what happened?" A short podgy woman with blond hair addressed Vince, while doing various medical looking stuff to Adam,

"He... a car sped round the corner, he went... he went right over it I... I couldn't do anything, I..." He was whispering by this point, and the blonde paramedic nodded over to him to her partner,

"Ok my love, this is my partner, Jeff, he's gonna get you into the ambulance as well, get you checked out at the hospital" Vince looked up at her,

"But... but I'm fine, Adam was... he was the one... he..." Jeff patted him on the back and halled him to his feet,

"I know mate, but you're obviously in shock, and I'd worry about you all day if we let you walk away. Also, those hands look pretty nasty, we'd better check them as well" He said, indicating Vince's cut hands, bleeding and slightly burnt from the friction.

"I'm- you can do it later though yeah? You're gonna concentrate on Adam?" Jeff nodded but gave him an oxygen mask,

"Just have a few breaths on that while we sort your mate out. Or is he your son?" Vince shook his head, breathing heavily into the mask,

"I only met him just now, he said he was... said he was bored and asked if I wanted to play football with him, but when I... when I got out the shop, he ran over the road, 'cause his ball..." He remebered his promise to Adam, "I've gotta get him his ball! I promised him I'd take it to hospital for him, I was... I talked to him when we were waiting for you, tried to keep him company..." He looked up at the paramedic, as if begging him to say he'd done the right thing,

"Well done mate, you did good. Tell you what, I'll get that ball while you keep breathing ok?" Vince nodded and put the mask back on with shaking hands. Soon, both he and Adam were in the ambulance as it sped past cars, sirens blaring. All Vince could do was hold Adam's football and stare fixedly on the floor, while the blonde paramedic continued checking the child's 'vitals'.

"You ok pet?" She asked Vince, who nodded and said,

"Fine thanks Miss...." He trailed off. How do you adress a paramedic?

"Dixie," She answered, "Do you know where we can contact his parents at all?" Vince shokk his head, still refusing to make eye contact with anyone,

"I only...I only knew him for a few minutes, we met outside the shop... I just, there was....I couldn't have done anything...." He broke off, tears running down his face, his lungs threatening to work too much again, "There was so much blood!" He eventually finished, and started sobbing into his bleeding hands, ignoring the sting of salty tears in his open wounds as he felt like he was going to pass out. Dixie turned briefly from what she was doing and said to him,

"You couldn't have done anything else sweetheart, you did fine. Now when we get in, you get those hands seen ok? We'll check on you later" Vince nodded morosely, but just couldn't stop the flow of tears as he surveyed his shaking hands and the football in them. Suddenly, the ambulance swerved to a halt and Jeff (Who was driving) said,

"Ok mate, we're here, you go and get checked into A and E, we'll catch you later" Vince nodded, but the paramedics had to gently guide him over there, as he was still stunned and couldn't focus on anything apart from the shaking of his hands.

Once in there was so much commotion Vince didn't know what was going on. He had to try and keep up with Dixie and Jeff who were pushing the trolley that had Adam on it at a phenominal rate whilst speaking very quickly about various rates and drugs. Once they had pushed him through the doors of 'Resuss' (Which Vince later found out was short for resussitation) Dixie said,

"This is Vince Noir, he was with Adam when it happened, he was the one who called us. He's in severe shock and has some pretty bad cuts on his hands" A kind looking nurse nodded to them and said,

Thanks Dixie. Ok Vince, I'm Jessica, if you go and sit in a cubicle I'll admit you in and then come back and sort those cuts out," She paused, seeing the extreme shaking, "Is there anyone I can call for you? Family? Friends?" Vince paled, realising Howard would have been waiting for him for ages,

"Erm, yeah, I think... I think that my friend Howard...he should be on the list of who to call, y'know, on the records..." He stopped, tears cascading down his face. Jessica nodded slowly and steered him towards an empty cubicle, motioned towards the tissues on the side and pulled the curtains aside before walking off to call this Howard.


Howard paced the flat anxiously, both home phone and his own clutched in each hand. He would never admit to Vince that he got worried every time he went out drinking, but he reasoned he shouldn't have to worry when he went to the shop. He'd only gone for hula-hoops and lucozade, so he should have been back ages ago. Plus, the sirens that went past about twenty minutes ago did nothing to ease his tension. Little did he know his friend was in that very ambulance. In the quietness of the flat the sudden ring of the phone made Howard jump, before pressing the button quickly and saying,


"Hello, this is Jessica Harrison, I'm a nurse at Dalston ED, is this Howard Moon?" Howard started shaking. He was only listed as being 'next of kin' to one person in their flat,

"Yes, this is, is something wrong? Has something happened to Vince?! Oh god, is he ok?"

"Don't worry Mr Moon, he's just got a few cuts on his hands, but he's in severe shock, actually the worst case I've seen. Is he normally quite, well, fragile, for want of a better word?"

"Not really, but it depends what 's happened. What did happen nurse? Can I come down?"

"Of course, and I'll discuss it with you when you come down, I just think it'll help Vince, he's quite hysterical at the moment, we might need to give him a mild sedative". Howard's eyes almost popped,

"Can you wait until I get there? He isn't too fond of needles"

"It depends, but I'll tell him you're coming. If you could get here soon?..." Howard nodded,

"I'm leaving now"

Howard leapt up from where he had sat down in shock. He wanted to cry. What could have happened to Vince that would have required a sedative? Even after all their adventures he hadn't been in shock, Howard was usually the one panicking. Quickly, he scribbled out a note for Naboo and stuck his coat on, before running out the door.


"Vince?" Jessica appeared from behind the curtains, and frowned, seeing him sitting curled up at the foot of the hospital bed, shaking like a washing machine, "Vince, I've called Howard..." She stopped as his head jerked up,

"What did he say? Is he coming?" His voice sounded scared, as though he thought his best friend wasn't bothering to come, "Did you tell him what happened?" Jessica shook her head,

"No, I'm going to do that when he gets here."

"So he is coming?"

"Yes, he said he was setting off as soon as he put the phone down" Vince exhaled shakily, a huge weight off his chest as he was told Howard was coming. However, the weight suddenly appeared once more, as his gaze fell upon the ball opposite him, on the chair usually sat upon by visitors,

"What about Adam? Is he gonna be ok?" Jessica smiled at him, trying to calm him down,

"I don't know, but I might be able to find out after I've sorted your hands out" Vince nodded, and allowed her to start cleaning the cuts carefully and gently with a cotton bud.


Howard practically ran down the hospital corridors before getting to the front desk and finding a nurse sitting there, sifting through folders,

"Excuse me, my friend, Vince Noir was admitted about half an hour ago, d'you know where he is?" The nurse smiled at him and typed something in on her computer,

"He's in cubicle 3, just that one there" She said, pointing at the only cubicle with it's curtains closed. Oh god, what had happened? What if the shock had been too much for him, what if he'd had a heart attack? Maybe he was lying in there with a cover over him? Howard's heart was beating ten times faster than it should, as he approached the curtain and finally managed to pull together the strength to go in.

He breathed out as he saw Vince having his hand getting stitches put in. He stayed quiet, not wanting to make Vince jump and make the nurse lose concentration. He simply stood there, worried about the very white complexion in his friend's skin, and the shaking that wouldn't stop.

"There we go, you're all done" Jessica smiled at him, this being Howard's cue to announce himself. Coughing, he said hesitantly,

"Er, hi, I..."

"Howard!!" He was stopped by a speeding blur of colour crash into him, throwing it's arms around his neck and clutching at him weakly,

"Careful of your hand there little man" Howard murmered to him. The nurse smiled at him

"I'm guessing you're Howard. I'm Jessica, the nurse who called you?" Howard nodded and smiled at her, merely relieved that Vince was ok. However, his heart plummeted as Jessica said,

"Do you mind if I could have a quiet word with you outside?" She said, which Howard agreed to, but didn't want to pull away from Vince, who was clutching at him as though his life depended on it. Plus, his shaking seemed so much more pronounced as he stood so close to Howard. Running his fingers through his friend's hair, Howard said,

"I've got to speak to the nurse for a moment Vince, just stay here, I won't be long" He soothed, as though he was speaking to a small child or puppy.

"No, please Howard, I need... I..." He started hyperventilating again, making Jessica gently move him out of Howard's grasp and sit him back on the bed, putting an oxygen mask on him,

"Just breathe Vince, I promise we won't be very long" She patted Howard's arm, who smiled once more at Vince and followed her out of the cubicle,

"What's wrong?" Howard asked, a hundred possibilties flying through his head,

"Well as you can see, he's in extreme shock, so I'm going to get him some very sweet tea. Also, the police need to speak to him" As if on cue, two police officers walked round the corner and stood by them, after asking the nurse if it was the right cubicle

"What happened? I'd ask him, but I think he'd just..." He trailed off, remembering how Vince had been shaking,

"He saw a child get hit by a car, which is why his hands were bleeding; he'd ran towards the boy and fell, so he had quite a bit of gravel in there before I could stitch it. Apparently he'd just met the boy, and was about to have a game of football with him". Howard nodded affectionately,

"That's just like Vince. He needs to have some kind of social boost every minute, even if that meant resorting to playing football with a child". The police seemed to be noting this down, and the male officer asked,

"Is it ok if we go in and ask him some questions?" Howard was about to protest before Jessica said,

"I'd appreciate it if you'd wait, he still in shock, so I don't think he'd give you any particularly useful information" The officers nodded,

"We'll wait out here" Jessica nodded as well and said,

"Howard, you can go in and see him, maybe calm him down a bit, I'll get his tea". Howard smiled at her and went back in.

"Hey little man, how are you?" Vince looked up and nodded, at least Howard thought he did, it was hard to tell with the shaking, "Jessica's getting you some tea, with loads of sugar in it" He said, trying to get Vince to smile, but to no avail. Vince made an odd little sob sound as he sat there, and looked so pathetic Howard couldn't help sitting next to him an saying,

"Come here" And offering his arms out for a hug, which Vince fell into, absolutely shattered with the shock, but was unable to relax, the adrenaline still working it's way round his system. Howard started rubbing his back and storking his hair, whilst whispering,

"It's ok Vince, you're fine, it'll all be ok" Vince looked up at him, aghast,

"How can it be Howard?" He asked, his voice cracking with emotion, "I should've done more, I... why did I wait so long before...I could've..." He dissolved into sobs and snuggled into Howard as the older man tried to calm him down. He was horrified that this should happen to Vince of all people, the sunshine kid. How would he ever be able to get the image out of his head, of the child being ran over? All Howard could do was continue to cradle him, as he sobbed and shook in Howard's arms.

A head peeped through the curtain, making Howard look up, to see an unkown face looking back at him,

"Alright mate, name's Jeff, I'm the paramedic who picked your friend up, we came to see how he was" Howard nodded and said,

"He's, well..." he gestured at Vince who was still shaking and bawling into Howard's jacket, Dixie, the blonde paramedic came in as well,

"Have they given him anything?"

"The nurse went to get him some sweet tea, and they said they might have to get him a mild sedative" He said this last bit quieter, so as not to scare Vince even more. Jeff nodded and said,

"Hi Vince, we told you we'd check in on ya, thought you'd like to know how Adam's doing" Vince's gaze shot up and he stared at Jeff, hiccoughing,

"How i...is he?"

"We just checked on him and it seems they got him stable, but he crashed a few times in theatre" Vince cocked his head to the side like a dog,

"Crashed?" Howard bit his lip, wondering how Vince would react,

"His heart stopped for a while before they managed to restart it, but he's back now and that's what counts"

"So he... so he died?" Jeff got a sharp slap round the side from Dixie,

"Not really mate, he's fine at the mo, he's a fighter that one, any longer and he might have, but you called us just in time" He said it hoping to make Vince feel better, but he paled even more so and said,

"B...but it would have helped if I'd called you sooner though right? I, I mean, if I called you sooner he might not have cr-crashed at all" Howard hugged him closer to his body and sighed,

"Vince, you shouldn't focus on what might have happened. Didn't you hear? He's fine now, that's the main thing" He jumped as Vince suddenly exploded,

"But I should have called sooner! All I could do was st...stare at him, and then when I went over, h-he was just lying there, I couldn't...couldn't do anything, I...I didn't even hold his hand to help him, I just, just talked to him! I didn't even...even keep my promise! I told him I'd get them to call his mum, and look at what happened! I didn't even do that! I only managed to get them to call you!" Dixie broke in,

"Sweetheart, you did everything you should have done, you didn't move him, you kept him company, you called us,"

"But.." Vince interrupted, before Dixie interrupted him,

"You called us at exactly the right time, and they've called his mother, she's coming in"

"He might even wake up soon," Jeff chipped in, "You made a good call anyway mate, he was lucky to have you" Vince glowed and stopped sniffing, but was still shaking, and Howard wondered whether it would ever go away. The paramedics went out after thanking Vince for staying with their patient, just as Jessica came back in,

"Well, you're certainly popular aren't you?" She said, smiling, "Here, drink it all" She offered the cup to Vince, who took it and started sipping, still leaning against Howard, who continued to stroke his hair and talk to him about anything while the younger man continued to drink. When he was done, the shaking had subsided slightly, which Jessica thought was a good time to call the police in,

"Mr Noir, we just need to ask you a few questions about what you saw" Vince squeaked in fright and clung onto Howard, who wrapped his arm around his friend's waist and said,

"Vince, it needs to be done, you can't let whoever did it get away with it"

"But I'm useless Howard! I didn't even...didn't even get the number plate, or see the person in the car. I'm no use whatsoever" He hid his head in Howard's shoulder, sniffing every so often as the police jotted a few things down before asking,

"I know it's hard Vince, but you need to relax and tell us what happened, how about you tell us what happened when you and Adam met?" Vince clutched at Howard's hand, like a life line and began,

"I...I went to the shop to get some stuff, and I walked into...into him by accident, I said sorry and asked him if he was with anyone, and told him the road was dangerous, so he should watch out," He sniffed and carried on, "He said he'd...he'd just had a road safety assembly, and asked if I wanted to play football. I said ok, 'cause I never get to play it at home," He fixed Howard with an aprehensive glance before continuing, "And he said he'd meet me at the park, then when I came out, his ball had rolled out and it...it hit my foot, and he asked for it, but when I didn't do anything, he ran across, and then...then, the car....he crashed off the windscreen, and his body, and the sound, he cracked off it, and the car, it just kept going...I, it's all my fault!!" He howled into Howard's shirt, leaving the police officers bemused.

"Vince, it wasn't your fault. It was whoever was driving that car! Listen to me," He said, cupping Vince's face in his hands, "You did everything perfectly, you called the ambulance, stayed with him. You were perfect, like always. I'm so proud of you" He practically whispered this last part, but Vince heard and stopped crying, believing him. Looking up at the police officers, he asked with a shaky voice,

"Can, can I go and see...go and see Adam now?" His watery blue eyes won the police over and they nodded, letting him and Howard out of the cubicle,

"We'll need a statement from Adam as well," They said to Jessica, "When he's strong enough", Jessica nodded,

"You should go and ask his doctor, he'll be in the ED" They both turned to go, leaving Jessica to tidy the bed a little, and smile at the two friends who were walking towards the ED, Howard's arm wrapped around Vince's waist, and Vince's head resting on Howard's shoulder.

I know, I shouldn't be writing a new story when I'm in the middle of one already, but this had to be written. I think it's gonna be two chapters, so watch out for it ;)
Please review, I'm bored and lonely, so they'd make me feel better ;P