Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters associated with Gorillaz. All rights reserved to Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.
Noodle's eyes widened dangerously as she heard 2D swear. She heard him rummage through the room for a shirt before she remembered the role she was playing and quickly shut her eyes again, silently praying her sleeping façade would work until he left the room. On the outside, the young guitarist seemed peaceful in her slumber, but on the inside her mind was a raging war of emotions. A child? Why on earth would one of 2D's "women" bring her kid here?
Noodle made more effort to remain motionless as she heard Russel tip toe into the room and 2D squat next to her head, fiddling with his nightstand drawer. Noodle winced when he ripped open the top drawer and then slammed it shut with a loud bang. He was angry and she could practically feel the emotion exuding from his person as he huffed next to her.
Russel cleared his throat quietly and whispered, "'D…'D what are you doing?" he asked timidly. He already knew this news would probably anger the singer beyond all recognition and he hoped above all things 2D would contain his temper around this woman; especially considering how rude she'd been to him the moment the large drummer had opened the door and greeted her. 2D ripped open the bottom drawer with a loud curse before sighing and diving his hand into the drawer, pulling out his checkbook. Russel's white eyes widened when he saw this. The singer stood with a longing stare at the sleeping Noodle, who had oddly enough remained silent throughout the singer's entire fit, before frowning again and stomping past the drummer towards the bedroom door.
"Come on," he said gruffly over his shoulder to the drummer before exiting the room. Russel glanced at Noodle with a sad sigh before turning around and following the angry singer out the door and quietly shutting it behind him. The moment she heard the door click shut, the young guitarist's eyes popped open and she frowned, her temper beginning to flare. Glancing at the clock she scowled when she realized that she'd slept most of the day and it was almost five o'clock. Throwing off the covers, Noodle was pleased to see that she was a decent pair of pajama pants, black, with a white spaghetti strap tank top on even though she didn't have bra on. Noodle rolled her eyes as she walked to the bathroom, thank goodness for camisoles with sew-in bras, she thought to herself as she examined her chest in the mirror to make sure she was suitable enough to be seen. She grinned maliciously when she looked over her face in the mirror. Thankfully she didn't look as if she just woke up, but instead had a nice, healthy glow to her skin; no makeup required.
Good, she thought to herself, she was going to need to look decent to show up whoever the hell came to the door with 2D's child. Glancing at herself one last time in the mirror, Noodle lifted her chin defiantly and marched out of the bathroom towards the bedroom door that led to the car park. A deadly scowl fixed upon her face, Noodle stalked out of the bedroom and towards the stairs; best not to warn them of her arrival.
Murdoc sat in the living room of Kong with a cigarette between his fingers and his head resting against the palm of his hand. He had an angry, yet surprised, look on his face as he stared at the beautiful woman sitting in the chair across from him. He was surprised that 2D had actually managed to get a lay this pretty and was wondering when he'd missed this one walking in and out of 2D's room. She had glossy brown hair that reached her shoulders and deep brown eyes. Her face was mediocre, but her body was slender and curvy in all the right places. She was acceptable in Murdoc's view. However, his gaze settled onto the blue-haired brat sitting next to her who was trying his hardest to avoid the Satanist's gaze ever since he'd been ushered into the room. The bass slayer stared at the blue hair incredulously…he didn't realize the singer's hair was genetic. Murdoc sighed to himself and took a hit off his cigarette. He'd been dragged in here by Russel after the large drummer had answered the door and let this bitch in. After Russel had run downstairs, Murdoc had put the charm on and kindly offered her a cigarette after sidling up next to where she sat on the couch with her son. She'd glared at him and all but hissed at him until she stood and moved to the chair away from Murdoc. He'd shrugged to himself, apparently his presence irritated her and that was fine with him…he had to watch her anyway and if he couldn't have her at least he could piss her off.
Shaun's voice sounded off and then the bassist heard the lift door open; someone's footsteps stomping down the corridor followed by slow, heavy footsteps until 2D came through the door into the living room. He stopped abruptly upon seeing the woman sitting in the chair and the boy next to her and glared at her while she glared back.
The boy's mouth dropped open and his eyes went wide upon seeing 2D and his hair color; the child's hand automatically reaching up to his own hair and gripping one of the blue, spiky locks. 2D frowned even further upon seeing the boy and mentally cursed to himself. He wasn't about to act like an ass in front of a kid; his kid.
2D took a couple steps forward into the room; Russel almost bolting out from behind him onto the couch next to the confused bassist. The two sat there timidly, watching the woman and 2D. The singer fumed silently before growling, "'ow much?"
The woman frowned, slightly taken aback, "What?" she hissed out. 2D picked up a pen off the coffee table and opened the checkbook in his hand, "I said, 'ow much?" he growled out again. The woman's scowl deepened and she clenched her teeth, "I'm not here for money you prick, I'm—"
"Well 'en yeh 'ave no business 'ere, ma'am," he said condescendingly. Her temper flared more so than before and she was about to comment when another door that was directly across the room from her opened and out walked a young Asian woman the mother instantly knew to be Noodle. She swore under her breath as she glared at the girl that closed the door to the stairwell and leaned against it, glaring back at her.
2D's mouth dropped open when Noodle walked into the living room, "Noodle…" he whispered.
Russel and Murdoc also went wide eyed upon seeing Noodle. Russel mentally cursed himself for not knowing that Noodle would have been awake in the singer's room and Murdoc just swore to himself…sensing that there was about to be a major territory war in the middle of his living room between the mother and his guitarist.
Noodle didn't acknowledge 2D or the rest of her band mates, but instead continued to stare calmly at the woman who sat across the room in front of her. The guitarist was surprised to find that she actually wasn't as angry at the situation as she should be. What's the worst that could happen? 2D was probably right in assuming that the woman and her son had come here for money so what more could happen that would result in something dreadful? However, she was irritated at the fact that the woman was there in her home so she opted that an intimidating façade was better than acting like a pushover.
The woman's glare that was fixated on Noodle deepened, "Excuse me," she said harshly.
Noodle's expression didn't change, "You're excused," she said mockingly, knowing full and well what the woman wanted her to do. The mother inhaled sharply before saying again, "Excuse me, but this is a private conversation,"
"In my house," Noodle pointed out, the subliminal message screaming that she had the right to be there just as much as Murdoc or Russel. The woman got the message and was about to argue before she glanced at 2D and decided to stick to her initial mission. She cleared her throat and started again, "I'm here because I need a place to live," she said as though she were asking a favor of friends.
2D snorted loudly and stared at her incredulously, "'at's too bad. I have no obligation to yeh. My obligation is to 'im," the singer said, nodding towards the boy that continued to stare at him.
"Well he needs a place to live!" she screamed. 2D's expression didn't change as he continued to argue with the woman, "I didn't ask for custody of any of meh children and I probably wouldn't get it even if I wanted it! So wot makes yeh think I can supply a place for 'im to live?" he asked bitterly as he stared back at her, his gaze flicking over to Noodle every once and a while. It relaxed him slightly to see that she wasn't so angry as he thought she'd be even though she might throttle his ex-lover if left in a room alone with her. He was brought back to the woman in front of him by her outraged screams.
"Buy a flat for us to live in then and we'll be out of your hair!" she said pleadingly, trying to reason with the singer. 2D glared, "The only thing yeh will get out of meh today is a check with 'is name on it!" he said through clenched teeth.
The woman's face dropped into an expression of despair and Noodle suddenly realized what the woman was after and that 2D had caught on as well. If 2D was ever pushed to send a check for child support, he sent a check made out to the child, not the mother and he always sent it through Child Services; thus ensuring that the mother didn't squander his money. So this child was probably getting a check from 2D and was probably taken care of, but the mother needed money for whatever reason, not a place to stay like she had initially said.
Noodle disturbed the tension in the room by pushing off from the door and silently walked over and stood next to 2D, the singer immediately wrapping his arm around her shoulders, but his glare never leaving the face of the woman sitting before them. The woman's eyes widened, and her nostril's flared before she snorted, "One child for another? Is that your game?" she said, eyeing the couple.
Noodle spoke up before 2D could retort, "The only children in this room are sitting in that chair," she said, the insult stinging the woman to her core as she gaped at the eighteen year old next to 2D.
Russel and Murdoc's mouths both dropped open at the comment that came from Noodle. Russel was about to scold her before he came around and realized that the obnoxious woman had it coming the whole time. Murdoc on the other hand was wondering where Noodle had learned to deal such remarks. Hmm…
The tension in the room was extinguished by 2D snapping his checkbook shut and saying, "If yeh won't take a check, 'en leave and wait for Child Services to contact yeh."
2D plopped face down onto his bed an hour later with a relieved sigh. It had taken everything he had not to physically drag the woman out of his house by her hair and feed her to the zombies that were waiting outside. After a few shouts between the woman and himself and then between the woman, himself and Noodle, Murdoc finally stood and ordered her out of his house before he called the police. The Satanist and Russel escorted her out of Kong the safe way after 2D had tried to shove her out the door; the unsafe way.
The whole time, 2D's son never said a word. He remained silent the whole time until the mother had turned away from the front door and followed Russel and Murdoc down the corridor towards the lift. He hadn't followed her just yet; instead he walked up to where 2D and Noodle were exiting the living room via the stairwell and gently grabbed 2D's pant leg as the singer held the door open for Noodle. 2D glanced down at the boy, a little shocked at the encounter since this was in fact his son. The singer quirked an eyebrow at the boy, attempting to give off a gentle portico and not frighten him even though the boy already looked nervous. The boy wrung his hands together nervously before swallowing the lump in his throat and stuttering in a squeaky voice, "A-Are you the one taking care of me?" he asked.
Noodle had stopped midway down the first step and leaned back, peeking her head out the door and looking at the exchange between 2D and his son. It was strange hearing 2D's voice come from a young boy without the heavy accent. 2D stared at the boy, suddenly realizing the gravity of the situation. The boy's mother probably wasn't well off and couldn't afford many things for herself…and the boy probably put two and two together today and realized that someone else was taking care of his bare necessities since he figured out that his own mother couldn't. Today, the boy put a face to that someone who was taking care of him from a distance: 2D.
2D swallowed the lump in his throat and nodded, "Yea…I am."
His son nodded, understanding. He stood there for a while just staring at his feet before looking up at the man standing over four feet above his head and asked, "What's your name?"
2D's heart began to shatter into pieces and he suddenly felt like the most horrible person in the world. Noodle saw this and knew exactly what was happening in the singer's head; something she was afraid of happening.
2D thought he was doing something right by supporting his "accident" children; sending them money and sometimes clothes or a CD or something. He'd lived carefree and feeling good about himself, knowing that he was "taking care of" his "children" without the burden of having to meet them or deal with them personally.
But now? Now he was dealing with the fact that it was he who was the bastard and suddenly he wished that he was capable of being a real father…someone who was allowed to see his children despite the fact that the courts thought it best that he didn't.
He smiled gently down at his son, "Stuart," he said, deciding that he wanted to be remembered by his true identity and not by the celebrity one. The boy smiled and was about to open his mouth when his mother hissed from the doorway of the corridor.
"Harry!" she hissed, commanding him to follow her through her glare before disappearing into the corridor again. Harry looked from where his mother had stood back to 2D and smiled, "Thank you," he whispered before bounding off towards the corridor after his mother. 2D stared where Harry had been only moments ago before turning and facing a teary-eyed Noodle who stood smiling in the doorway.
"What?" he whispered, staring into her eyes with concern. She just shook her head and grabbed his hand, leading him downstairs, "You're a good man, Stu."
Back in his room, 2D listened from where he was on the bed as Noodle snorted from the doorway of his room and shut the door behind her, locking it.
"Emotional encounters can wear you out, can't they?" she said, lying next to where he was facedown on the bed. He rolled over onto his back and sighed, "Did yeh see the way 'e looked at meh, Noods? He looked at meh like I was some kind of savior or something," he said shaking his head. Noodle shrugged, "Maybe to him you are."
"How?" the singer asked, propping himself up on his elbows and staring into her eyes, "'e's never even met meh before and 'e didn't even act the slightest bit resentful!"
Noodle sighed and scooted closer to the singer, planting a kiss on his forehead and staring into his black eyes, "I think Harry knew who was responsible for the clothes on his back and the food on his plate and the roof over his head. I think he knew it was you, 'D."
2D nodded, when Noodle said it…it sounded like a good thing. He quirked an eyebrow, "So…what about the rest of 'em?" he asked. Noodle shrugged, "It's not going to be the same with each kid, 'D. The mothers of the rest of them are probably grateful that you're helping and don't feel the need to associate you with their child's life and the child may ever need to know about you, ya know?"
2D nodded again, understanding the situation a little better. He wasn't a father to these kids or to Harry; a father was always there and helped raise them. 2D was a provider. He was a provider of life and other means for the child to survive. He didn't like how that sounded and he realized it was because he did want to be a father. He glanced at Noodle and smiled, knowing that he wouldn't get a chance to be a father to any of his other children but he could start over with Noodle, eventually.
2D smiled and leaned in, kissing Noodle sound on the lips. She responded immediately to the kiss, her hand reaching up to his head, her fingers finding his hair and raking through the soft locks. Noodle sighed softly into the kiss, wondering if the singer even knew that he wore his emotions on his face and how obvious his thoughts were. She knew he wanted to be a father, a real father, and have a legitimate father-to-child association with anymore children that he had. She smiled at him gently when the kiss broke and he brought her close in a tight embrace, snuggling close to her and hiding his face in her neck.
"I love yeh," he whispered with sincerity that made the young guitarist's nerves dance happily. Noodle smiled and squeezed him tightly in the embrace.
"I love you, too…Stuart."
A/N: Thank you to all of you who have supported me throughout the entirety of this story. I'm very sorry it took so long to update. I hope you enjoyed! ♥