"And for fucks sake, don't sleep with each other!" the label President warned.

At the time, the warning had been very comical. The time being the beginning and Russell looking at Noodle; Noodle looking at Murdoc; Murdoc looking at 2D; and 2D completing the circle, looking at Russ in amusement.

They weren't going to sleep with each other.

"Fucking fucking fuck!" Murdoc growled, snatching a shotgun from the floor and firing it relentlessly at the brainless creature outside the door. Now, the idea of snatching a shotgun from the floor may seem quite cheesy, and to authors the term 'convenient' may spring to mind. But there was nothing convenient about it. Since returning to Kong Studios and finding the zombie problem worse than ever, a large arsenal of weapons had sprung up everywhere throughout the building. Most notably near the doors, windows, vents, and toilets.

Well, zombie problem temporarily taken care of. There was a new splash of gore on the wall, but the undead was no longer moving. So, Muds kicked the door shut, there was a rather sickly crunching snap as the poor monsters neck and shoulder were squished under the force of the heavy door. Arm and head lay there...and Murdoc was walking off. Someone else could clean it. He'd had enough activity for the day.

He passed Noodle on his way to the car park. Didn't even bother to look at her. He heard her say hello, but ignored it. Went straight to the 'Bago, and locked the rickety door.

"FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING FUCK!" Murdoc raged, storming out of the garage and making his way to the lift. The electricity had just gone out, and all of Murdoc's heat along with it. The zombie problem had been so bad lately, he hadn't been able to go out and get gas for the Winnebago. Thus, he'd been temporarily forced to wire his baby in with the rest of the Studio. Now he didn't even have that and it was fucking freezing out there!

It was 2D's fault somehow. He was sure of it.

Murdoc ground his teeth in irritation, listening to the damnable 'it's coming up, it's coming up, it's coming up, it's there'. He hated listening to Shaun! He was going to kill Noodle if she didn't get rid of the noisy bastard very, very soon.

He stomped into the lift. Then jabbed ferociously at the button, several more times than necessary, until the doors shut and the lift moved. Then it was just a matter of waiting impatiently for the doors to open again.

Funny, as he'd just been so anxious for them to close.

Then the Satanist immerged into 2D's darkened...pit. No electricity, no light. Murdoc wasn't entirely sure why he had expected otherwise. Perhaps it was because he'd never before seen 2D's room without the iridescent lighting of multiple televisions and fixtures. Muds picked his way slowly towards where he thought the bed was. The absence of light didn't change the location of the furniture. He almost made it without tripping over anything, but one of the worker Devils, who all happened to hate him for some reason, scurried purposefully under his feet. Oh, he stumbled and cursed but righted himself. He did wake the occupants of the room though.

"Murdoc-san?" it was Noodle's sleepy, piping, charming, fucking little voice. The lack of irritation in her tone grated on the vile man's nerves. 2D suddenly flashing a light in his eyes certainly didn't help anything.

"Ya fucking dullard! Get that the fuck out of my face!" He swatted at the flashlight and silly D almost dropped it.

"What is it, Muds?" the singer managed to get out.

"The fucking power is out what do you think."

"Well, yeah," D agreed. "Why are you down here though?"

"I'm banking that it's your fault," Murdoc clarified dryly, giving 2D one of the most evil looks he could muster in his current state of agitation.

"Hey, that's not fair," the poor moron began to protest, but was cut off.

Murdoc had a quite fascinated look on his face. "Since when do you sleep with Noodle?"

"Since the power went out and it's freezing," 2D flustered.

"Yeah, yeah, sure," Muds obviously thought that explanation was shit, but it seemed it was Noodle's turn to interrupt the conversation.

"Murdoc-san, you're cold?" she wondered flatly. "Then shut up and get in bed." She grabbed his wrist and yanked. A normal 14-year-old girl would not have managed to feat, as the 39-year-old Satanist was quite strong. Noodle was not normal, and Murdoc plopped down on the other side of her without a word.

A normal little girl would have been suddenly struck with death, via Murdoc's teeth, by this point.

If Murdoc being introduced to his bed displeased 2D, he made no sign, just turned off the flashlight again and lay down. He and Noodle warped around each other, her small curled-up body fitting well against his long torso as he also coiled around her. Her little face pressed against his chest…It was so cute Murdoc thought he might be sick. But he was cold. So he laid against the girl's back, intent on sleeping and tomorrow wiping the memory from his brain.

And of course, physically threatening to do the same to 2D and Noodle, with a spoon, should they ever mention it again.


When Murdoc awoke, he was no longer spooned against Noodles back. No, instead, he was laying facing 2D, who was still asleep. Muds thanked Satan he hadn't rolled over in his sleep or he would have been touching the stupid muppet. He blinked at his singer's face for a moment before rolling onto his back. Stu's clock said it was about noon, and the flickering trio of screens conveyed that the power had returned.

It was still too early to be awake, he decided, and promptly fell back asleep. D's bed was more comfortable than the one in the 'Winnie. He attempted to make a mental note to get a new mattress…

Or he could just sleep on 2D's for a couple more hours.


The Great Murdoc Niccals stirred again when 2D did. He heard when the idiot rolled gracelessly from his bed and made his way blearily across the room. Muds could hear it more than see it as the mentally challenged boy fumbled about at his dresser for his pills. 2D practically worshipped Vicodin.

Murdoc remember, quite distinctly, one point when D had run out. There were no painkillers to be had anywhere. No OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Methadone, Stadol, LAAM, Lortab, Percocet, Dilaudid, Darvocet, Percodan, Lorcet, or MSContin. Not even a shot of Heroin hiding somewhere.

Russel had threatened to take the Winnebago out to get the drugs for D, if Murdoc wouldn't do it himself. And the Satanist would be blessed before he allowed Russ and Del to drive his baby around anywhere without him.

So he'd driven out to town, waited about an hour for the medicine…Then driven back through a horde of zombies and promptly smashed the 'Bago into the wall of the car park.

He was pissed, to say the least, and had informed his band mates he was never being so generous again. They could fucking walk to town, next time, for all he cared.

2D had been grateful though. He'd told Murdoc he could have kissed him, but refrained from the actual action, as kissing Murdoc Niccals was not something that appealed to him. What with the sharp nicotine stained teeth, exceedingly long tongue, bristling skank-stash and the other general unpleasantries involved with coming within ten feet of Muds.

Now 2D was practically upturning all the contents of the little orange bottle into his mouth and swallowing roughly.

"Another exciting morning in the life of Brain-ache," Muds grumbled around a grating yawn and got up. D blinked at him dully before just turning around and plowing around his room for some clean clothes.

"Morning, Muds," he called when he heard the other's footsteps begin to retreat.

It was somewhat like a picnic. Of course, only if your definition of a picnic is running away very quickly from a rather large pack of zombie dogs.

"This is your fucking fault you dullard!" Murdoc accused breathlessly.

"That's not fair!" 2D cried, stumbling over a branch. "It looked nice out! And I had a gun."

"Had, moron, had!" the other growled. The implication being that D no longer had said weapon. "Fuck! What was I thinking coming out here to save your ass?"

"That you couldn't live without me?" 2D began to suggest weakly, but it was cut off by a startled yell of surprise as he staggered forward into a large body of water.

"Swim, you stupid fuck!" Murdoc yelled at him, already diving into the frigid water. 2D followed reluctantly. He could hear the wet snarls of the zombies somewhere close behind them…Maybe they wouldn't be able to swim?

That would have been just too good for the two of them. What they were granted was the creatures' poor eyesight. The dogs paused at the edge of the dark waters, searching, sniffing. They couldn't find even Murdoc's pungent ordure in the water. They turned away sulkily and the two musicians clambered up onto the mound of sand that was nowhere near the center of the lake. It was much closer to the far side.

Muds looked around angrily. He didn't know where they were, but if there was a lake they must have been a very fucking long way from the Studio. Fucking 2D. This was his damn fault! They were soaked, lost, miles away from Kong, and those zombies could still be anywhere. They had no weapons; Murdoc just hoped there weren't any undead in the lake.

"Where are we?" Stu wondered softly, squinting, trying to look off into the distance with his damaged eyes.

"I don't fucking know, Brain-ache," the bassist snarled, hitting the other most ungraciously right in the toast, almost sending D toppling back into the water.

"Geeze, what was that for?" the sad little fool asked, rubbing his stinging face.

"For being such a moron and getting yourself in this situation. Now I'm going to have to be the one to get you out of it." Mr. Niccals grasped his sacrilegious necklace tightly as he tried to think of a course of action. 2D was oddly silent at his side…until, of course, he wasn't.

"I'm sorry, Muds," D quietly murmured. "It really had just been nice out and Russ and Noodle were busy and I thought…"

"Nah, you didn't think," Murdoc snorted, looking around before slipping in, to tread water again, heading for the shore. "Dead from the neck up…"

"Hey! Wait!" 2D called after him fearfully, then hurried to follow.


They made it back to the studios mostly in two pieces and many hours later. They'd wandered through the forest until they'd come out on a road. They'd hitched a ride (read: Murdoc stole the bloke's car) and then drove back to the Studio without too much more fuss. Just a few extraneous bruises on 2D's end of Murdoc's fist.

Russel and Noodle looked at them in concern when they walked past them on their way to their respective corridors.

"Thank you, Muds," D called weakly, but Murdoc made no reply.


That night the ever-meek Stu-Pot was not enticed out of his room by the smell of pizza. Noodle had gone out earlier in the day and gotten the ingredients, the girl had even thought of Murdoc and purchased some frog meat. They each put their desired ingredients onto the dough, well, all except 2D as he didn't feel like moving.

Murdoc and Russel happily fought over his portion, but when it was all said and done…2D hadn't come out. Russ and Noodle were about to take the lift down, but Muds assured them that he 'could handle the naffing duffer'.

He rolled his eyes as Shaun once again did his routine. Noodle still had him, because Murdoc still hadn't told her to get rid of him. He would remember to do that soon; he was entirely sure he wouldn't.

The lift was, as usual, too slow for his taste and the doors didn't open and close quite as fast as he would have liked. But he did make it down to 2D's basement room, the whole two minutes it took.

Most of the excessive lights had been turned off, the first sign that something was amiss. The two TVs and the computer were on, as they always were unless they had no power. And 2D…2D was lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling with a grim look on his face.

Muds came to loom over him. He scowled down expectantly at the singer. "Well?"

"Meh?" D replied, quite unintelligently.

"What are you doing, idiot."

"Lying on my back, see, I tried on my stomach, but that didn't help and I tried curling up in a little ball, but that really hurt…so now I'm on my back and it doesn't seem to be helping either," the blue hair began to babble off.

"Help what, Brain-ache?" Murdoc interrupted.

"Well…it's this pain…but it happens a lot and it usually goes away after a while so I was just going to,"

Murdoc cut in again. "Where?"

"Where what?" 2D stammered, looking up at the Satanist like a kicked puppy. A kicked puppy with big abyss holes for eyes.

"Where are you hurt, moron!"

"Oh, it's just…kind of…my back, you see,"

"No! I cannot see as you are lying on your back. Roll the fuck over!" Murdoc was impressed with himself for not hitting 2D yet. But, he did have a few ethics; you didn't hit someone who was already hurt. You laughed at their pain. Well, perhaps 'ethics' wasn't a good word for it.

The little fool did as he was told, glancing back uncertainly at the other. Muds pushed the shirt up but only saw a few scratches on 2D's pale skin. "Where?" he snorted in disgust. D must have exaggerated the pain the tiny scratches were causing him.

"It's kind of…down, at the tail," the lyricist tried to explain, and failed, for the most part, as Murdoc looked at him in disgust.

"What?" He was not going to look at D's ass.

"The…the bottom," Yeah, Muds thought, definitely not looking at that.

2D seemed very frustrated and he tried rephrasing it one more time. "Lower…the lower part…on the back," he reached and placed his fingertips at a spot just above the waist of his pants. When he moved it, Murdoc put his own hand there tentatively.

It was hard, the skin and muscle were drawn, tight like a bowstring. He could feel the disconcerting swell under his fingers.

"What did you do?"

"Well…I…don't know, I mean, nothing, it just happens sometimes and if I hold real still…"

Murdoc pressed down on the swell experimentally. Compression was good for those kinds of things, wasn't it? And it was nasty, he wondered how much it was really hurting 2D? Stu cried out at the pressure and Muds looked to see if he'd hurt him even more.

That wasn't the case at all; D arched against his hand and his face was entirely relaxed. The bassist sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed and leaned most of his weight on the other.

"This happens a lot?" he wondered curiously. He'd lived in the Studio with D for a couple years now and he'd never heard him complain about it before.

"Yeah…it's kinda off and on," 2D murmured, "sometimes it's there for months…sometimes it just starts in the middle of the night and it's gone by morning…"

"And your fucking doctors haven't given you anything for it? What the fuck do you pay them for?"

"I haven't mentioned it to them," the silly boy shrugged. "Sometimes I've just taken my pills and it's just this little pain, that I'm not even really aware of. It's the worst when I'm between doses."

"Yeah, well, this helps?" Muds inquired, shifting on the bed minutely.

"Yeah…" 2D purred, then he looked back at Murdoc. "Thanks, Muds,"

He smiled his charming little gap tooth smile.

Murdoc traced the familiar path down to 2D's room. They'd returned from a concert a few days prior and D hadn't come back up since. Murdoc had come to learn this was a sign that something was up. It made him angry, honestly. 2D refused to say when something hurt him, mentally or physically. Even if Murdoc hit him, he never said 'Gods, Murdoc, that hurt' he would just ask why he'd been hit. Murdoc had come down on him for this. Several times. D was no good to him at only 50. He needed the singer of his band to be in top condition at all times.

He frowned to himself as he finally stepped out into Stu's room.

"You still alive in here, dullard?"

"Yeah?" 2D called back from where he was sprawled in front of the old TV, on the rug. Murdoc approached, crouching down beside the other.

"What are you doing?"

"Lying here?"

"Russel and Noodle want to know where the fuck you are, you haven't made your way up the blasted lift for days." Hmm, angrier than I thought, Muds mused.

"I've been right here?" 2D defended himself, feeling rather confused.

"What is wrong with you?" Murdoc finally demanded.


"D, I am about a hairs breadth away from beating you bloody. I suggest you stop fucking around, you brain-ache, and confess." The Satanist held up a threatening fist.

It seemed the get the message across because 2D started talking, slow and haltingly. "Well, uh…it's just that…I got an e-mail…thing from uh…Sheryl, yeah? And…well, the uh…kid…got, uh, hit by a truck…you see…hit dead, yeah?" 2D looked away in attempt to hide his distress. "And it's like…so? I don't care about the kids…I mean, I don't even pay most of the child support…and it's…it's like I still got like seven more…" He sorely regretted most of the 'crop sowing' he had done before returning to Kong Studios. "I mean…I never met the kid…I haven't met any of my kids and…it just hurt. It hurts, Murdoc." Now D was staring down at his laps where he was wringing his hands anxiously.

"Well, was obviously your kid if it got itself run down…but I can assure you it wasn't me who did it."

The insensitivity award goes to…Murdoc Niccals. Murdoc had asked for it, he just hadn't been expecting that answer. He didn't know what to do with that answer once he had it. He didn't care about people's feelings and never really had. He'd expected something unimportant, an ache or some self-doubt. He had not expected something as significant as the death of one of 2D's children.

Stu-Pot looked up at him blankly, as if not quite believing that the bassist had said what he'd just said.

"Yeah, I guess," he whispered, but he didn't truly feel that way.

Muds frowned, thinking over what he wanted to say. "Shit happens, D."

Then he turned to give 2D a little peace. If the singer didn't come out soon, he'd forcibly drag him, but right now…he needed his time.

The pitiable melodica player watched after him and an undersized smile came to his face. Murdoc's words were an funny kind of comfort.

More often than not, Murdoc was in his Winnebago. It was dirty and it smelled and it was home. Murdoc loved his baby, and his baby rather wished he would get out of her innards. They were like a married couple, with Mrs. Niccals considering an affair with that randy looking young motorbike.

It would be quite easy, as Murdoc had been working more and more and going out for drinks with the guys. Calling in every Thursday night to say the boss had asked him to stay late…Even now he was making his way to 2D's room. He had his bass with him, because D had asked him to come down so they could work on a song.

Mrs. Niccals thought it was crap and would be sure to inform him of such when he returned. For now she just sulked, while elsewhere, Murdoc entered D's lair and came to sit beside him on the bed. 2D had a small ring of papers spread out around him that he picked up randomly, crossed something out on it, then erased, then wrote something. He looked up when Murdoc played a short chord.

"Oh, you're here…yeah…well…just…uh…play. I need to figure this out…" 2D said absent mindedly. Murdoc obeyed and began to play what had been agreed on thus far. He could just barely hear D's mumbling. "Change in atmosphere…he wears no longer a sneer…Just must persevere…drown in a bit more Munich beer…Feel the pain…miss the gain…Bow before the thane…He drives you down, he drives you down…and brings you up again…" Murdoc watched the way the singer narrowed his eyes, sifting through papers, unhappy with the way that sounded. "Muds, that fifth note…higher…uh…you know?" Stu requested. Murdoc nodded silently and adjusted the tone. He listened as 2D sang it quietly to himself. "Yeah, like that…"

A series of tweaks to the sounds and changes to the words. Good rhymes, bad rhymes, no rhymes at all, flat notes, discord…A process that Murdoc and 2D had gone through many times before. A moment where 2D wasn't a fucking dullard, he was a fucking genius.

The twining hum of voice and bass…and it was really working until Murdoc put down his guitar. Murdoc just watched D continue to sing for a moment, and then the dark eyes turned to face him.

"That alright?" he wondered nervously.


"You're sure? Cause I mean that bit about the octopus…I'm not sure about it…cause I was just lookin' at your arm, cause I can see it," he pointed out the red ink that marked Murdoc's right forearm.


"Right, right, thanks, Muds."

"Yeah, I know you can't do it on your own, Brain-ache."

2D smiled a little. "Yeah, we can give it to Russ and Noodle tomorrow…s'already past midnight…shit." Time had flown!

The Satanist shrugged, gathering up his instrument and standing. A few papers floated unhappily to the floor and D had to go after them.

When he looked up Murdoc hadn't left and never did.

Mrs. Niccals, the Winnebago, felt rather insulted by her husband. Murdoc was so brazen as to have his affair in their bed! How dare he! She glared at 2D as he lay there looking thoughtfully at Murdoc's Black Sabbath poster.

"Murdoc?" he called dully. "Is there a word for your necklace? Cause, you know, upside down cross thingy is rather tedious to roll over the tongue…"

Murdoc's exited the bathroom and rolled his eyes. "Only you would waffle on about something daft like that, D."

"No really!" the singer complained, sitting up as the other approached and took hold of the necklace.

"It's not what it's called that's important, Brain-ache," Muds pointed out dryly. "But, if upside down cross is too long for your tiny brain, try inverted."

2D hunted down and lit a cigarette as he nodded. "Right. Inverted. Gotcha." Murdoc snatched the thing from his hands and put it to his own lips. Only grinning evilly in response to D's whines.

"I need to go change," Stu finally said making a rather sulky face as he looked down at his rumpled appearance. "I'll see you later, Muds."


He made his way through the corridors, walking through the Studio Common to get to the lift. Noodle was up in a flash, coming to give him a 'running hug' and greet him good morning even though it was much closer to the afternoon.

"2D-san!" she chirped, and he had to smile back at her.

"Hey, Noodle-girl," he waved wearily. He needed to get back to his room to take his meds and clean up.

"Everything is okay?" the girl wondered, taking in his mussed-up facade. "Murdoc-san was not…hurting you?"

"Nah, nah, just lost track of the time with some Acapulco Gold that Muds' Mexican buddies sent." 2D waved it off truthfully. There indeed had been some potent marijuana involved, in the beginning. "Look, I gotta change, I'll be back up…you know, in a bit." He pressed the button for the lift and stepped in.


The singer reappeared an hour later, looking as groomed as he ever did and they all convened to the Studio to fiddle around with one of their in-the-works songs. Noodle and Murdoc tuned up their guitars; 2D his voice, and Russ batted thoughtfully at his cymbals.

"Hey, D, would you run and grab that little African drum off the synth-organ?" the drummer asked. Good little 2D nodded and went off to do that. As soon as he was out of the room, the black man's haunted gaze went to Murdoc.

"You weren't roughing him up this morning, were you?" he growled.

"Fuck no," Muds snorted.

"I don't believe you."

"Check if you like, I bet he hasn't got a single bruise on him," Murdoc sneered. He knew perfectly well the state of 2D's body, thank you very much.

"He better not."

"Here, Russ!" Stu called as he came back and promptly tripped over the empty guitar stands by the door. Murdoc just barely caught him before his face crashed into the soundboard.

"Crack-handed today are we?" the bassist leered.

"Y-yeah…I guess," 2D breathed out, righting himself and carefully handing the little drum to Russel. "There you go…"

A trip in the Vauxhall Astra was never exactly an exciting thing. It was a rather small car, so fitting Russel in comfortably was a pain. On top of that, it was the same car that Murdoc had run Stu-Pot over with. Twice.

Well, now 2D and Muds sat in the front seats, while Russel and Noodle slept in the back, as they made their way into town for some interviews and other various media hype.

They made the long drive to Essex with relative ease. Murdoc 'somehow' managed to keep his temper and not hit 2D across the face for babbling. It was a miracle…or more…2D babbled slightly less as he had finally discovered other areas that he and Murdoc had in common. Thus, what he said seemed much less like babble.

They both had an extreme dislike of cats for one thing. It was one of the reasons Murdoc enjoyed being a Satanist so much. He had a good excuse to light them on fire.

Either way, Essex, Colchester to be exact. They made it, found their way somehow to London Road and immerged from their long drive in front of the Marks Tey Hotel.

The band stepped out of the GM and stretched for a moment before shambling towards the front. They'd left early and sadly arrived late. They were tired and so very glad their interview wasn't until the morning…

2D completely missed the step up to the curb and landed on his face.

He cursed under his breath and got back to his feet. The others were staring at him; Muds had a nearly obscene grin on his face.

"Eh, the dullard's got sissy legs," he snorted before turning to head inside.

"You alright, D?" Russel wondered, shooting a glare of pure venom after Murdoc.

"Yeah, yeah, it isn't bad. Muds is right, my legs are asleep after the trip." 2D dismissed it and together the trio went in after their bassist.


They got their room numbers and trooped upstairs. Murdoc was pleased by not only the silence of the lift, but the speed. Soon they were splitting up to go into adjacent rooms. The three men shared a large one and they gave the little lady her own.

Inside, 2D went into the bathroom and leaned close to the mirror, inspecting the nice red abrasion mark on his nose. He heard shuffling behind him and soon Murdoc was holding out a bandage and some first-aid cream.

"That was quite the feat of gracelessness, Brain-ache."

"Am just tired," D grumbled, spreading the stuff onto his nose and practically slapping the bandage down.

"Yeah? Well go get some sleep then. Russel is already out. I'm gonna stay up a while," Murdoc instructed.

"Remember, we do have to pay for the cable porn, and they will know that you've watched it, so try not to be such a horny cheap-skate?" 2D requested hopelessly.

"Yeah, yeah," the Satanist frowned at him. "Go sleep."


The next morning Russel woke up Murdoc and 2D in order to get ready for the interview. He forced Murdoc to clean himself thoroughly. There was some arguing about it, but D was too busy looking at his abused nose to pay much attention. He eventually decided the bandage looked better than the bright red friction burn that was his skin. Noodle came over, and they ended up waiting on the bed for Russel to finish being the cleanliness Nazi.

At last they were able to head downstairs. The interview was going to be at the poolside. Little Noodle, as well as 2D were feeling a bit pressed not to just jump in, but they figured as soon as the interview was over they could go for a swim.

For now they sat down at the circular table facing the man from GQ. There were the obligatory questions concerning their success, but they all knew that wasn't why he was here. He wanted to put his nose into their personal life because that was what people liked to hear about. They wanted to know about all the obsessive little details so they could feel like they really knew The Gorillaz. When they really, truly didn't.

Q - Favorite Food?
Russel: Oysters
Noodle: Takoyaki
Murdoc: Scorpions
2D: Jello

Q - Favorite alcohol?
Russel: Bourbon
Noodle: Mister, I'm 14
Murdoc: Gin
2D: Vodka

Q - Are there any romantic attachments within the group?
Russel: Mister, Noodle is 14.
Noodle: They would squish me.
Murdoc: 2D and I are like Mongoose.

The colored lights of 2D's room did queer things to lyricist's pale skin, Murdoc noted. D was currently, mostly asleep in his bed. Naked but a sheet lay across his lower body because he'd been cold. Murdoc sat beside him idly rubbing that spot that had become inflamed--and was causing the singer great pain--while he smoked. Muds knew, by now, 2D loved it, by the by. The weight on the sensitive area made the other's skin tingle. The stupid blue hair made an appreciative noise and shifted, almost completely asleep now.

Murdoc was glad; he needed the chance to think, as he'd been bothered lately. 2D was most definitely hiding something from him. Normally, he wouldn't mind since every man had his secrets. But this seemed important and D was putting so much effort into hiding it from him. He didn't even have concrete proof that there was something.

He made a note to find out and hoped he remembered it by the next day.


In the morning, he awoke to the feeling of 2D rolling gracelessly from the bed. He watched blearily as the idiot shuffled very slowly across the room to his dresser. Pills…he must have been hurting if he was up at…the clock said six in the morning.

He must have been hurting if he had to get up that early to get his meds.

Murdoc had no room to complain about it. It was his fault for hitting Stu with a car twice and then beating him up for a few years afterwards. He just closed his eyes and fell back asleep soon after 2D returned to the bed.


In the afternoon, he woke up to the feeling of 2D's mouth nuzzling his bristled jaw.

"Hey…" he murmured gruffly.

"It's about three in the afternoon," D informed him.

"Ah, the day is wasted, no point in getting up."

"I'm hungry," his companion chuckled and disentangled himself from Muds to get up and find clothes. He crouched over a basket of 'supposedly' clean garments and examined each of them very carefully. Murdoc had no such cares and pulled on the clothes from the previous day. They went up to the Studio Kitchen together. Together they sat on the couch, the TV babbling away happily in the background while they ate toast…and…

"How are your kids?" Murdoc asked around a mouthful of bread.

"The kids?" D repeated, stopping mid-bite and giving the Satanist an incredulous look.

"Yeah, you know, your bloody hell spawn."

Murdoc had never, ever, asked before, and 2D was concerned that he was starting to now.

"Well, uh, I talked to Elaine the other night and Mathew is apparently doing very well. And I think Marcy is the one who has the twins…Well, whoever has the twins said they're getting along again finally…cause apparently they hadn't been and…why do you ask?"

"Morning small talk, you muppet."

"Right, right, sorry."

Murdoc watched for zombies from up on the hill. Well, only half watched. The rest of him was watching 2D and Noodle act like fools under a sprinkler.

The day had been disgustingly beautiful; Murdoc had caught 2D and Noodle about to go out on their own with only one small handgun for protection. Noodle was capable, Murdoc would admit to himself, but 2D was the worst shot he had ever seen. Muds had attempted to show him how to aim, but D was really horrible and all the touching involved with that was very distracting.

Now Murdoc didn't mind so much, gave him an excuse to watch…and acquire a rampant erection.

When the usual clouds began to fill in, and Murdoc was sure he saw zombies on the horizon, he made his band mates go inside. Noodle hopped off excitedly to take a nice warm bath while Murdoc shoved 2D roughly up against a wall and stuck his tongue down his throat.

"Muds…hey…hey…" 2D moaned, "not in the hall?"

He was pretty much dragged to the lift.

In 2D's room, clothes were thrown off and the only delay was the search for lubrication. D's room was cleaner than Murdoc's 'Bago, but he could not, for the life of him, find it. Well, after he bumbled past it for the fifth time, Murdoc just picked it up from where it was sitting by D's Satan statue and pulled the singer onto the bed without further adieu.

"D, look at this," Muds called from where he was sitting on the Studio couch. 2D glanced up for a second, but frowned and brought his gaze back down to where he had been cleaning the dust off some the lesser-used keyboards.

"What is it?"

"It's an article about us."

"Lots of those, aren't there?"

"Well yeah, but I mean me and you." Murdoc snorted. He got up and crouched down by the singer, holding out the magazine. "See,"

"Ah, yeah…" D nodded, staying very concentrated on cleaning those keyboards and not looking at it. "What's it say?"

Murdoc raised an eyebrow but told him. "It's an article discussing all the ways they can interpret the comment '2D and I are like mongoose'."

2D chuckled weakly. "I suppose you could have meant that literally."

"Ah, they've even got pictures of us in supposedly compromising positions on the next page!"

When he held it up for his idiot companion, 2D picked up the keyboard and put it onto the table, out of the way so he could move onto the next one. The keyboard knocked over an old bowl of cereal that had even older milk in it. 2D heard the clink as it fell to the floor.

"Fuck…I didn't even see it…" he grumbled and crawled over on hands and knees to pick it up. "That's gonna smell awful…" He was then so busy cleaning that Murdoc let him be and went back to chuckling over the article.

'Murdoc Niccals and 2D, secretly space mongooses?'

Murdoc still felt in his gut that there was something amiss with 2D. He didn't know what, and he had no ideas. He wasn't really looking forward to when he found out. He tried being blunt with D, but that really got him nowhere. Even threats only had the blue hair gibbering about how Murdoc had no reason to be pissed, why would he think anything was wrong, could he even give a reason? The answer was still no. He could not.

That didn't stop his gut wrenching feeling though.


It was a strange circumstance that finally had it snap into Murdoc's head, just what might be going on. It all fit…He was right to have been feeling the trepidation, and should he be correct…he was going to be fucking mad at 2D for hiding it this long.

Russel counted off the count silently with his fingers. One, pointer, two, middle, three, ring…and…2D began off beat for about the seventeenth time. D was looking rather distraught about the whole thing by now. Russel noticed and suggested they try again the next day. Stu should rest cause he wasn't looking too good. So, the skinny lyricist nodded and shuffled towards the lift. Murdoc followed behind a little bit later.

"D, what's up?" he asked plainly, he was not in the mood for any of 2D's bullshit.

"I don't know, just feeling off…"

"Maybe you're sick," Muds sneered he held up some fingers, "Maybe dizzy, how many fingers am I holding up?"

"What?" Stu blinked at him for a moment before turning away and picking his way slowly across the room, feeling with his foot before he stepped…

"I'm serious, Brain-ache," Murdoc growled. "There could be something really wrong with you. Come on, just to appease me, how many fingers?"

2D bent to pick something up and chuckled nervously. "I don't know," he laughed, not looking.

"You really don't, do you," the bassist accused. "How long has it been like this?"

"Like what?" 2D cried.

"Don't fuck around with me, D," he nearly hissed, taking hold of the front of 2D's shirt. "You can't tell me can you? You've got no idea if it's one fucking finger or two, do you?"


"Don't start to tell me 'no', you stupid fuck."

"Yes…" the singer finally admitted. The simplicity of it all almost stunned Murdoc for a moment.

He was too angry to be stopped now though.

"You didn't tell me. You didn't tell anyone! Why. The Fuck. NOT!" Muds roared, shaking the other just for good measure.

"Cause I couldn't," 2D gasped, pulling away swiftly, "What…what was I supposed to do? Just…just come up one day 'Oh, by the way Muds, I'm going blind'?"

"Why not!"

"Cause…cause…I can't…be that weak." The dark circles that were his eyes, he turned them towards Murdoc and the Satanist had to wonder just how much of himself 2D could actually see. "I wanted to prove...to…you…to everybody, the whole bloody world…that I was worth something. I'm a pop icon…and…and I was finally somethin' to you…I got that by working hard and being strong…Not…not crying every time you hit me…or made fun of me…or…That would've just proved I was really nothing." He titled his head to one side; he wondered if Murdoc could even understand how it felt. He didn't imagine so. "Then…you paid attention to me, you were you…still…but it wasn't so…full of contempt…it wasn't hating me anymore…I couldn't lose it, Murdoc."

"What about you, damn it?" Murdoc demanded. "What was going to happen to you? How did you plan on hiding it forever? Did you really fucking think you could keep playing the keyboards blind, fuck, do you think you can walk like that?"

"You don't need to be able to see to play the keyboards and I can make out enough so that I don't trip!" 2D objected.

Muds grunted angrily. "No you can't. I've watched you trip more times than I can count. You can't even read anything, D. We're fucking rich! Any doctor would have clamored to help you."

"But what would you have thought of me then?" 2D choked. He chin was trembling, but he wasn't going to cry in front of Murdoc, ever. He would die first.

"Nothing less, you dumbass. But right now I think you're an even bigger moron than before," the bassist shook his head. "I'm taking you to a doctor."


"Shut up, D. It's my band and I don't want one of my fucking members blind, I'm taking you to a doctor, or you're fucking fired."

2D's face was downcast; he was plainly ashamed of himself, for whatever reason, whether it was still feeling weak, as if his own body were betraying him, or if it was for acting so foolish. Murdoc forced his face up and leaned in, kissing him and then giving his lower lip a painful bite.

"Lie to me and hide things from me like this again and I'm gonna kill you," Murdoc warned. "I can't believe I have to help you out of a tough spot again, you fucking dullard."

2D looked nervously at Murdoc as they entered the hospital. He was apprehensive, and had a bit of a headache. He was here for his the Lasik surgery, and for the last six-week he had been forced to reduce the amount of painkillers he took systematically.

He had been informed quite bluntly that the high dosage of narcotics was responsible for speeding up the deterioration of his already damaged eyes.

He still wasn't sure he liked this surgery thing though.

"Muds, I don't,"

"Shut up, D," the bassist commanded tiredly. "You're going to just sit there the whole time, you got nothing to worry about."

All the worrying fell onto Murdoc, Russel, and Noodle. For once 2D was allowed to be completely worry free.


"No. Just go with that nurse, you muppet," Murdoc watched the distress play on Stu's face. "I'll take you home when you come out," he added flatly. It didn't sound affectionate at all, in any way shape or form, but 2D still smiled. He hesitantly followed the young lady down the hallway.

They gave him some relaxant and numbed his eyes. He wasn't entirely aware of what happened after that, as he was pleasantly light headed. All he could recall was when they put the protective shields over his eyes and walked him back out to Murdoc. Supposedly, somewhere thereafter, he was taken back to the Studio.


That's where he woke up at least, or he thought he did. He couldn't see, as there was something over his eyes. He grumbled and reached to pull it off, but hands stopped him.

"Gotta leave the bandages on, D," Murdoc said.

"Right…" 2D burbled drowsily.

"How do you feel?"

"Dizzy and m'eyes itch,"

"Yeah, doctor said that would happen. Don't touch."

"So's…everything alright?"

"We'll see."


The mentally challenged Stu-Pot looked out over the landfill thoughtfully. He leaned over the balcony rail as he watched his first sunset since his vision had been cleared. It hadn't been a cosmetic surgery, his eyes looked the same, but function wise he saw it perfectly; golds and pinks playing themselves out over the mounds of garbage, zombies, and scavenger birds.

"You're an overly sentimental fuck." Murdoc decided from where he sat in a deck chair, drinking gin from a glass.

"Aw, it's pretty, Muds."

"That's the problem with it, Brain-ache."

2D turned to look at him and smiled. "Right, sorry, forgot, you're a Satanist."

"You didn't forget," Murdoc scoffed. "You were just testing my faith."

"Yeah, sure," D laughed. He glanced back to the sun; he had a rather serious look on his face as a chill little wind blew over him. "Hey, Muds?"

"Yeah, what is it now?"

"Well…" the singer began, walking over leisurely to stand beside the other. "It's just…I'm sorry."

"For what?" Murdoc looked at him crossly.

"You were…so…upset…You know…when you figured…I was goin' blind…It's just…I didn't think…you would be," Stu confessed. He looked at Murdoc, not knowing what to think, even now. "I thought…you would…I don't know…laugh…or…or…something."

"It wasn't funny, D," Murdoc shook his head. "It hurt."

"Muds, I am sorry," 2D repeated, holding out his hands in supplication.

"You're generally an idiot," the bassist said, looking up at the unfortunate fool. "You thought you could handle something like that on your own? I mean, a few weeks on your own and you got yourself near to ten kids and an ass-load of child support. Even before that you were just a moron in an organ store."

2D smiled. "You're right. I couldn't have done that on my own. Thank you." He took a step forward and brushed Murdoc's arm with his fingertips. The Satanist watched the motion impassively before he grabbed him and pulled D down into his lap by the waist.

"Yeah, well, you're my buddy…and…I…"

2D stopped him with a kiss. "It's getting dark…let's go inside, yeah?"

They stood together for a moment and looked out over the darkened waste. Secret thoughts and secret feelings all their own…

And they lived 'happily' ever after

Standard Disclaimers