Doesn't Make a Difference
Disclaimer: Only in my dreams do I own the Gorillaz……I hope I can't get sued for that…o crap.
A/N: thoughts will be in italics, and everything else will be in quotes.
A lot of times when I think about my situation, several emotions come forth, one of the more common ones being gratitude. A ten year old girl once a part of a top secret military program in Japan then shipped to England to the doorstep of a rogue band in the hopes that they won't turn the FedEx crate away. Yes, I think I have a lot to be grateful for.
For eight years I have used my guitar skills to assist this band in reaching the top, and now we're there. We've done so well that now it's time for a small break from the music business…well…at least the public part of the music business. We still need to entertain ourselves somehow. The only difference is that this time we won't be going our separate ways all across the world. Well…maybe not all of us.
Geez…I've been here for eight years! How could this not have happened? Exactly…everyone knew this was going to happen…it was only a matter of time…
Noodle sat next to the heater in the guitar room of their studio, quietly strumming her guitar. With a little more than a week left until Christmas, Kong was on the brink of freezing over, inside and out. This was one of the few secluded places with a heater, so the Axe Princess took refuge away from her band mates. The door was open and she could here the melodic sound of Murdoc's bass in tandem with 2D's voice. Russel was softly tapping a beat on his drum set in sync with 2D singing. Noodle frowned, whatever they were playing was missing something…
Then she realized they were doing Feel Good Inc. and she was the one missing. The song sounded a little ridiculous with just a bass and drums. Even though 2D's voice was perfectly synced with the other two, it still sounded wrong.
Noodle sighed and put her guitar on a random stand to wrap herself tighter in the blanket she had around her body. She thunked her head back against a free space on the wall and sighed again. Why couldn't she have a minute away from him? She wished they hadn't come down to the studio in the first place. She had been trying to avoid him lately but couldn't when all of them were around. She shivered again, wishing she'd put more on than just pants, socks and a t-shirt. She closed her eyes against the cold to consider her grave conundrum.
She was 18 as of a few months ago…so she was considered somewhat legal to society but could drink with her band mates no problem. However ever since the crate lid was lifted she's had these feelings…these stupid, childish feelings that she knew were totally off base.
2D was eight years older than Noodle. He was the one to sign the release form and open her FedEx crate. And he was the one Noodle had feelings for. Ever since she first laid eyes on him she always felt something more special for him than her other band mates. They were the best of friends; however, lately Noodle had been pulling away due to the intensity of her feelings.
Her ears picked up the song again and she realized that it was soon coming to a close. Sighing with frustration she picked herself and the guitar up off the floor and wrapped herself tighter in the blanket. Slowly she crept out of the guitar room, putting a finger to her lips to silence the polar bear and the alligator as she stalked by. They both nodded, not that they would tell on her anyway, they were too fond of her.
Once she quietly closed the door she quickly made her way to the lift. She pushed the button for it and then cursed herself, remembering the voice of Shawn that sounded every time the lift was called. Glancing back nervously she saw that no one had heard it so far and quickly got in the ice cold elevator to take her up to her room. Once she reached her floor it was a only a few steps down a corridor, through the door and she was in the safety of her room. Absently placing her guitar in its proper stand she walked over to her closet to put on warmer clothes. She put on a thick hoodie and another pair of knee socks and her slide ins.
She sat down at the foot of her bed on the floor a little warmer than before and crossed her legs to meditate. It was close to eight o'clock and she wanted some relaxation before the rest of the band found her.
Back in the studio, Russel tapped the final beat to Feel Good Inc. on his drums as the others finished up their parts as well. Scratching his stomach he stood and removed himself from behind the drums.
"I think I'ma make myself somethin' to eat."
Murdoc giggled. He'd been drunk before he came into the studio and a scatter of empty beer bottles testified to his wasted state, "Do you really need to eat anymore fat lard? Ha HA!"
Russel stared blankly at the drunk bassist with his white eyes before he just ignored him and headed towards the lift with 2D in tow.
"Shouldn't we help him to his Winnie?" 2D asked with concern.
Russel shook his head and tapped his foot to the sound of Shawn's voice as the lift came down to them. Once the lift came down and the door opened, both band members got in and faced the direction in which they had just come.
"Let those two take care of him," Russel said indicating the indecent polar bear and the smoked up alligator.
"You're just jealous cuz I'm sexy!" shouted the polar bear, in which his thong came undone.
Russel and 2D both shook their heads at the grotesque sight as the doors began to close, "E'ry damn time 'e talks," 2D said in disbelief.
The lift groaned with age at the effort needed to lift both of them to the upper floor, in which a thought slowly occurred to 2D.
"Where's Noods? 'aven't seen 'er in a while."
Russel scratched his stomach again with hunger, "Not sure, check her room."
2D checked his watch, quarter to nine.
Once the lift reached the first floor, Russel took off towards the kitchen and 2D went on his way to Noodle's room. He smiled fondly at the sign on her door and gently knocked.
"'Ey love, i's me, 2D."
Inside the room, Noodle bit her lip in frustration. She'd been so concentrated on her meditation that the shock of 2D's voice actually gave her a headache. Nevertheless she called out, "You can come in, Stu."
Noodle was one of the few that still called 2D by his real name. It was part of that special bond that they had.
He opened the door but paused when he saw the way she was sitting, "Do ya wan' me ta come back lat'r, love?"
Noodle rubbed her head absently, "No Stu, it's ok. I'm done." She smiled at him and patted the space in front of her. 2D grinned his trademark toothless grin and walked over to sit down in front of her. She stretched and yawned before slouching in her upright position.
"So what's up, Stu?"
2D leaned back on his hands with his legs stretched out in front of him and yawned in response, "Not much. We was jus' in da studio and wer' wonderin' where ya wer'. We wer' playin ya favorite song…" he said in a sing song voice.
Noodle smiled at him, "Sorry I missed it, I was just taking a nap," she lied smoothly.
2D shrugged, "Oh well. I'm bored now though."
"So whatchu wanna do?"
2D thought to himself while Noodle tried her hardest not to pounce on him for looking so cute. Then a perfectly corny idea occurred to her.
"How 'bout a movie?"
He cocked his head to the side in thought, "Ain't it kinda cold for tha'?"
Noodle shook her head with a smile, "We'll stay warm."
After thinking it over, but missing what was implied, 2D smiled and nodded, "Tha's a great idea! What do ya wana see?"
Noodle thought about something that might actually have promising results. When an idea occurred to her she posed her cutest act and said, "Well Stu, you know you're the only one I can see a chick flick with so…"
"Then tha's what we'll do! If my little love wan's to see a chick flick then my little love will see a chick flick."
Noodle smiled again while wondering how she managed to survive eight years of his charm. Was it charm? Couldn't be…charm was conscious…and 2D was not aware that he was "charming" her.
Before he could speak again his phone rang from his hip. Glancing at the caller his eyes brightened for the second time that night.
He stood quickly unclipping the phone off his hip, "I got to take this call, love. Just get ready and knock on my door when ya ready to leave, k?" And with that he ran out her door, flipping his phone open in the process and shouting "Hey!" into the phone.
Noodle sighed in frustration and stood to shut her door so she could change and get ready. Did 2D even see her as a potential girlfriend? She knew he was slow but he couldn't have been that slow, although Murdoc would disagree with her.
She decided that even though she was hoping for this to be a date, dressing up was out of the question.
"Too damn cold for that," she said to herself.
Instead she kept on the double knee high socks and pulled on a pair of blue jeans, a blue top and her current hoodie with a Japanese puppy cartoon on it. She put her slide ins back on and began to comb her hair out. Glancing at the mirror she smiled at how much her appearance had changed since she'd arrived. Her height changed but not a lot for her age. Her chest was…endowed to say the least. That she was grateful for too. Noodle frowned at the mirror. Too many times in the beginning of the Gorillaz debut people had thought she was a boy…and then the horrified looks when they realized she was a girl.
Noodle rolled her eyes and walked into her bathroom to brush her teeth. Then the call 2D got on his phone ran through her mind. She frowned again. 2D never got calls; all he did was play games on his phone. Probably his parents or something, Noodle thought.
Finished brushing her teeth, Noodle checked herself over once more in the mirror before walking out of her room into the kitchen where Russel was standing over the stove tapping a beat on the counter with his hands. In front of him was a sizzling pan with something good coming out of it.
Walking in she plopped down on a bar stool, "Hey Russel."
Russel turned upon hearing her and smiled, "Hey baby girl. You hungry? I'm making omelets."
Noodle shook her head, "I'm going to the movies with 2D in a little bit."
Russel glanced up at her with a knowing look, making Noodle attempt to hide herself in her hoodie.
"Big night?" he asked, quirking an eyebrow. Noodle sighed. Russel was the only one whom she had confided her secret crush in. He knew of her frustration and felt her pain every time 2D walked by unaware.
"I hope so, but I don't have my hopes up. You know how it's been going."
Russel shrugged, flipping an omelet onto a plate and starting another one immediately.
"Maybe this time 'D will take notice."
It was Noodle's turn to shrug this time, "Who knows," she glanced at the clock on the wall and jumped out of her seat.
"I gotta go, Russ. The movie starts at 9:30."
"What movie?" he asked.
Noodle shrugged and smiled, "Don't know, but there's always one playing around that time. See ya."
"Have fun, baby girl. And good luck."
Noodle gritted her teeth when she stood outside 2D's door. He was still on the phone! And from the sound of it, he was on the phone with a girl. Noodle never heard him say "Darlin'" to a man before anyways.
Pinching the bridge of her nose from a headache she knew was going to foreshadow a migraine, she knocked on the door.
"Jus' one sec, love!"
"Ok, I'm gona be in the car park."
She rolled her eyes and smiled at his trademark phrase. She laughed at the thought of everything 2D did being copyrighted.
Turning around she walked the ten feet it took to get to Murdoc's Winnebago. Suddenly she stopped and cursed her stupidity. Of course she couldn't take the geep…it was way too cold for that. Tapping her pockets, Noodle groaned realizing she'd left her keys on her dresser upstairs.
Sighing, the Axe Princess walked past the Winnebago to 2D's Camry and stopped short.
A while ago 2D had been rear ended while getting breakfast one morning for the band. And of course, it had been by a fan who just so happened to be a tourist. A fan who was completely enamored by 2D. Feeling guilty he told her not to worry about the damage since her massive truck had no damage whatsoever. An autograph and a couple of photos later 2D was home listening to the snickering of his band mates…specifically Murdoc.
Anyway, at this point the bumper, which had been smashed almost completely into his trunk, fell off. And from the looks of it the entire backend was eager to follow.
Slumping in defeat, Noodle turned back around to head back up to her room to get her own keys. It was at that time that 2D decided to come careening out of his room into the car park at full speed. Seeing her standing there he skidded to a stop, panting heavily.
"'ey love! Ready to go?"
Noodle nodded, "I just gotta get the keys to the Envoy."
"Why? We'll just take my…car."
Noodle smiled, "I think it's about time to get that fixed, D. I'll be right back."
"Awright Darlin'. I'll wait 'ere for ya."
She turned to walk away before she noticed what 2D was wearing. A shirt with the number 88 on it and a messed up pair of jeans with his converse.
"What?" he asked, watching her stare at him.
Noodle giggled, "You might want a jacket 'D."
2D looked down at himself and grinned goofily, "Oh…right. Sure thing darlin'."
Noodle nodded and turned to go back up the lift into her room. Once she passed the kitchen she shouted a 'Forgot my keys' to Russel, who was still making omelets in the kitchen, before grabbing them from her room.
Running back down to the car park Noodle jogged up to her truck where 2D was leaning against it texting someone on his phone. Noodle stood in front of him for a minute before he noticed her and smiled, snapping his phone shut.
"Ready to go, love?"
Noodle nodded but arched a perfectly shaped eyebrow, "Who are you talking to so much 'D?"
2D shook his head, "Jus' a friend. Let's go, awright darlin'?"
Noodle giggled, "You keep saying that!"
2D opened her driver door and bowed, "'is what I do darlin'."
The Axe Princess shook her head with a laugh and got into her truck, starting it and immediately turning the heat up on high. After a minute, Noodle looked around confused as to where 2D had gone. Turning around she saw him out the rear window texting on his phone. Noodle sighed, knowing that he was talking to the girl from earlier. Who the hell was it!
Noodle tapped the horn to get his attention, which accomplished just that, but maybe was a little excessive since the singer nearly jumped out of his skin. He looked at her bewildered in which she pointed to her wrist and then the passenger seat. He grinned and nodded, texting something and then snapping his phone shut and got in the car.
Noodle rested her head on her steering wheel and looked at him helplessly while he buckled his seatbelt. He glanced at her, "What?"
"Please tell me you won't do that in the movie, Stu," she said with the best puppy-eyed look she could muster. He grinned and winked at her, "Of course I won't, love."
Noodle smiled and put the truck into drive and took off out of the car park into the snowy landfill that surrounded Kong Studios. Once at the gate, its iron doors opened automatically with a creak to let them out of Kong.
Noodle turned on the radio and nearly cried at what came on. 2D shared a smile with her and turned the volume up. It was both their favorite song. Title and Registration by Death Cab For Cutie.
Noodle had, by this time, nailed the guitar solo and 2D could sing in tune with the song. Since Noodle was driving, 2D began to sing to her.
…cause behind its door,
there's nothing to keep my fingers warm,
and all I find are souvenirs from better times,
before the gleam of your tail lights fading east
to find yourself a better life.
Noodle swayed in her seat to the beat of the guitarist and couldn't help but think to herself that this moment was perfect. 2D winked at her, as if reading her thoughts and agreeing. She blushed and turned her eyes to the road, hoping the darkness of the night would cover her flushed cheeks.
They pulled into the parking lot of the theater and quickly got their tickets to get out of the cold. Both had agreed on Memoirs of a Geisha, since neither had seen it or had the chance to see it. They avoided the concession stand and hurried to their theater to avoid fans or someone who might recognize them.
Once inside the theater, Noodle stopped short when she realized the theater was completely empty and the previews were already playing. She smiled to herself, this could definitely work to her advantage. 2D smiled at her, clueless, and grabbed her hand to pull her up to the top middle seats.
Once seated, 2D lifted the armrest between them and opened his arms wide.
"Snuggle wit' me, I might get scared," he said mocking fear.
Noodle giggled to hide her blush and curled herself into his arms. At that point the movie started, and 2D pulled her closer. Noodle grinned to herself. This is it! This is exactly what I wanted. I can't believe he took the first step!
Nothing else happened throughout the movie except for Noodle feeling 2D's phone vibrate several times in his pocket. Thankfully he ignored it and continued to hold her until the movie ended. When the credits began to roll, Noodle stood and stretched but suddenly screeched when 2D picked her up and ran down the stairs of the theater with her in his arms bridal style.
"2D! What the hell are you doing! Put me down!" Noodle shrieked.
"My…little love…shouldn't…'ave to…walk…anywhere!" 2D panted.
Noodle thought about it and rested her head against his collar as he burst through the theater doors out into the cold December night. This may be the night that she had been waiting for. 2D was being…loving. She'd never seen a side of him like this before and quite frankly she couldn't wait until they got home.
2D deposited Noodle next to her driver side door and slouched over with his hands on his knees, panting heavily.
He wheezed slightly as Noodle patted him on the back, giggling, "'D you didn't have to kill yourself over propriety."
2D waved his hand dismissively, "Nah…you're…darlin' 2D…is just a little old…tha's all."
"Hmm…well…ya look great for 26."
2D laughed, "Thanks darlin'."
"No problem. Get in, 'D it's freezing!"
After insisting on opening the door and a minute waiting for the heater to kick in, the two band mates were back on the road towards Kong.
Once they pulled into the car park and turned off the car, Noodle sat awkwardly in silence for a moment. Finally, she glanced at 2D and saw him smiling at her.
"Aw nothin'. I was just wonderin' if ya were too old to be tucked into bed."
Oh. My. God.
"Umm…n-no…I-I don't think so."
2D grinned, "Great! Well then let's get you into bed, little love!"
Unfortunately for Noodle, when 2D said, "tuck into bed," he literally meant "tucked into bed." Her heart rate stayed steady except for when he gave her a kiss on the cheek, good night. Other than that, it went no further.
"Thanks for tucking me in, Stu. It's been what…almost four years since you've done this?"
2D nodded, "Too long, little love. But, I promise to try to do it more from now on."
Is that cause for a glimmer of hope maybe?
2D leaned down to give her a hug, "G'night little love."
"Night 2D. Thank you for taking me to the movies."
"My pleasure. See ya tomorrow."
With that 2D stood to walk out of her room, when Noodle heard the continuous vibration of his phone, and him getting it out again for the second time and whispering, "Hey, love."