Therapy

By: a.mild.groove

Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with Gorillaz. All rights reserved to Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.

Summary: Several years after the publication of "Rise of the Ogre" the band begins to fall apart due to conflict with each other. For the mere sake of keeping his band together Murdoc, of all people, forces them to go to therapy together.

Chapter Nine

Ireland was quite a spectacle at dawn. Looking at a landscape full of emerald greens on the bottom that bled into bright yellows and oranges; it was stunning. One could lose themselves to such a scene; and the short time it takes for the sun to rise would seem like hours after staring at such beauty for so long. Ireland was a beautiful country no matter what time of the day it was, but watching the sun rise was simply cathartic.

However…

Such beauty can turn ugly when you glimpse on the inside. But is this not the folly of men? Such beauty and grandeur on the outside of it all to the point where one could get carried away with it, so much that it's all almost believable. But look on the inside and the beauty's sinister undertone shows through and one reels back in horror and disgust; shocked that something so horrendous could live within. Thus is society.

Of course, this is only the gory description. The small percentage of people whom aren't wicked underneath tend to be beautiful through and through, but occasionally their dirty laundry gets flung outside.

Which is exactly how Noodle felt right about now.

One of the hardships of living a celebrity life is that you forget. You forget how famous you are sometimes when you get caught up in a moment. Now it was all catching up to her, the horror of it all. Where she'd been, what she'd done, who she did it with; it all came crashing down on top of her as she lay bare in her bed, a disheveled mess. She'd awoken with a start from a reminiscent dream and with a scream she realized it wasn't just a dream.

She'd kissed Murdoc, her band mate and band leader…in public.

Not just somewhere public…but a heavily trafficked place where anyone with devious intentions could have seen them. How could she have been so stupid? She was supposed to be a lot smarter than that, but her secret desires took over and put her in this predicament. Had she used more common sense she would have realized that 99 of people with a cell phone have a camera phone, thus incriminating her even more.

She knew why she did it. Because she'd wanted to and given the opportunity she'd probably do it again. But that was just it. Her selfish wants and needs could cost the band its credibility and thus shun them from the music industry. Not to mention the fact that Murdoc's reputation clashed with hers like the waves at the bottom of the cliff where she resided, and the press and public would have an absolute seizure over this. Not to mention what Russel and 2D would think and…

Noodle knew she was overreacting. She wasn't one to usually care what people thought of her or her band, hence her kissing him in the first place. But there was something…some nagging feeling in the back of her mind that kept telling her that it couldn't be. She'd done some pretty outrageous things throughout her involvement in the band and she hadn't wasted a second thought on what the public might think so why worry now? And Russel could be persuaded to ignore some things…granted it might take a lot of persuading, but it could happen. And 2D…

2D would forget after five minutes anyway.

Noodle's frustrated groan was muffled underneath a large pile of an overstuffed comforter lying on top of her. She was actually making excuses as to why Murdoc and she should be together.

Suddenly the guitarist sat up, her eyes wide and a look of horror painted on her face. What if this had just been a one-time incident? A good-bye teaser?

Noodle's look of shock stayed frozen on her face for a moment while she thought. Would…would he do that? After fourteen years is that all she meant to him? It was a horrendous thought, and the idea of meaning so little to him brought tears to her eyes but also a boiling anger.

The guitarists potential fit of rage was interrupted by her phone violently ringing from her purse on the floor. The guitarist sighed in frustration, having been startled by the loud ring and ripped the comforter off her naked body. She threw her legs over the side of the bed and padded softly to where her purse had been discarded last night on route to her bed. Digging for a moment she finally found the device and sighed again when she noticed the caller was Russel. She flipped the phone open and smiled to no one patiently, "Hey, Russ."

"Hey baby girl. How was your flight, we never heard back from you?"

Shit!!

Noodle's eyes widened and she smacked herself in the forehead, that's what she'd forgotten to do last night. She winced, "Sorry, Russel, I guess I was more tired than I thought. I just collapsed in bed when I got home."

"Ah, that's alright. I know you were tired after yesterday."

You don't even know…

Russel, on the other end of the phone, rubbed the back of his neck nervously before continuing, "Hey, baby, I just wanted to give you an update on what's going on over here."

Noodle yawned, stretching herself before walking over to her dresser and rummaging for a pair of pajama pants, "Yea? What's up?"

Russel winced, "Um, well, we found some land."

Noodle's eyebrows shot up in surprise, but she didn't stop her movement in getting dressed, "Really? Where was it?"

Russel sighed, mentally preparing himself for what he was about to tell her as well as the fit of rage he knew was going to follow, "It was in the other direction of the doc's office; more towards Murdoc's place. 'D found it after we dropped you off."

Noodle smiled despite herself, "Nice. How big is the land? Big enough for us?" she asked with a chuckle.

Russel nodded as he watched a double-decker bus drive by, "Yea, it's, uhhh, it's about a hundred acres."

Noodle's mouth dropped open and her body froze, "No way! How much are they asking for it?"

Russel stayed silent for a moment, saying a silent prayer in his head. Noodle took this as he was checking his phone for the information so she took the opportunity to pull a hooded sweater over her head. Fully dressed now, she slipped on some slippers and padded into the kitchen, "Russ? Are you there?"

Russel nodded even though she couldn't see, "Um, yea, it's…uh…this old man demanded £50000."

Noodle stopped walking and frowned. She tried to do some math in her head before her eyes widened and her frown deepened, "Russel. What's wrong with it?"

He winced, "Um…he-he claimed it was haunted by ghosts."

Noodle clenched her teeth, her anger boiling, "I said: No. Graveyards," she hissed.

Russel sighed, "I know, I know. There isn't a graveyard there, baby girl. This old man just claimed that there were ghosts there. Personally, and this is coming from a host of the dead, I didn't feel anything there."

"Did you guys walk around the property so you could assess the damage?" she whispered, her voice giving away her anger.

"Yea, we did after Murdoc wrote a—" Russel stopped himself short of lighting the match and igniting her anger. But it was too late. Noodle's eyes widened in horror and her mouth dropped open.

"No! No, Russel don't tell me Murdoc bought it!" she exclaimed.

Russel sighed, "He did."

"Shit," she muttered. Noodle paced her kitchen as her frustration rose. Now they were £50000 out and all they had to say for it was worthless land. This was typical of Murdoc to do something so stupid.

Russel did his best to back pedal though, "Honestly, baby girl, I don't think it's going to be that bad. The old guy was senile so the ghost issue is out and the land looks awesome. We plan to have a contractor look at the land next Thursday if you're back by then."

Noodle exhaled sharply, but glanced at the calendar hanging next to her microwave; it was Wednesday. She sighed again, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose.

She heard Russel sigh as well, "Look, baby girl. 'D and I have already left Essex. I'm in London and he's back with his folks and we're gona start packing today and making arrangements. Muds wants us back before we have to see the contractor."

She snorted to herself. Apparently there wasn't much she could do since she was over four hundred miles away. She sighed, straightening her spine and rubbing the small of her back with her hand, "Alright, Russ. I'll get started today."

"How long do you think it will take for your place to sell?" he asked.

Noodle snorted again, "Russ, I live in a village of around two thousand people. We have double that amount in tourists and one local newspaper. I'll be out of this house soon enough."

He sighed again, a little worried, "Alright, baby girl. Just call me if you need anything."

"I will. Love you."

"Love you too, baby. Bye."

"Bye."

She hung up the phone with a sigh, stretching her neck back. She glanced at the clock on her wall and groaned; it was ten o'clock already. She had so much to do and barely enough time to do it. If she put a for sale sign on top of the cliff where surfers and beach walkers could see it, she'd get offers almost immediately.

Noodle sighed when suddenly there was a gentle knock at her door. Without a second thought, Noodle grabbed her teapot, already filled with water, and placed in on her stove and turned it on. It was proper to offer guests tea, or so she was told, and after several years of doing this it became common practice for her. She relaxed though as she walked to the door because it was more than likely to be her distant neighbor, Mary, checking in on her like she always did.

Her neighbor didn't think it was appropriate for a young girl to live in a house by herself let alone own it. She was a typical woman riddled with lessons of propriety.

Another gentle knock and Noodle put a fake smile on as she walked to the door and called out, "I'm coming Mary."

The guitarist opened the door and forced a smile again before gasping suddenly in horror and backing away from the open door, "Oh God…"

Standing before her was none other than Murdoc, in all his glory. The poor guitarist's emotions flooded her like a crashing wave and she quickly covered her flushing cheeks with her hands as she stared into his mismatched eyes. He stared back at her and looked as guilty as if he had handcuffs around his wrists. He was dressed inappropriately for beachside weather and she could see him shivering him in his simple shirt and jeans; Cuban boots still present as ever.

She couldn't frigging believe it. As if she hadn't tormented herself enough over what had happened in the airport; he picked then of all times to show up on her doorstep and surprise her.

Noodle regained some normal color in her cheeks with a deep inhale through her nostrils, rolling her eyes in the process at her luck. She licked her lips as they continued to stare at each other in silence. Suddenly a thought dawned on her. If he was here, in Ireland, that meant what happened wasn't a big fat nothing. Either that or he showed up just to apologize.

But Murdoc didn't apologize. Ever.

Noodle remembered again that he was shivering in the cold breeze and stepped aside as a silent invitation for him to come inside. Without a second's hesitation, the bassist stepped past her into her home and she closed the door behind him, following him as he navigated himself into her living room. The guitarist winced when she saw him ease himself down slowly onto her couch, his age showing through. He sat there for a moment, not looking in her direction as he huddled on the couch. Noodle sighed, grabbing a blanket off a chair and gently walking over to where he sat, kneeling down next to him on the couch and placing the blanket over his shoulders.

The guitarist watched Murdoc's shoulders tense from her touch before relaxing slightly. He avoided eye contact with her, looking at everything around her living room except her. Noodle sighed, running her tongue over her teeth with mild irritation. She really…really wanted to know what the hell he was doing here, but she didn't want to fight with him. Especially not after…

Noodle pouted, "Murdoc," she whispered glancing at him.

His eyes shot towards her direction, but he never faced her. The guitarist shook her head slightly, becoming more frustrated by the minute. Her hopes were bouncing possibilities around in her head and she dearly wanted one of them to come true but she was afraid of disappointment…again.

She cleared her throat gently about to speak when suddenly the tea pot whistled obnoxiously, sounding off it's presence in the kitchen. Noodle sighed, standing abruptly and walking away from him into her adjoining kitchen to remove the screaming pot from the stove; placing it onto a cold burner while she grabbed a cup and tea bag for herself.

Murdoc stared at the guitarist's back while she stood in the kitchen. He'd made a bold move flying to Ireland and he knew it, but this is where his plan ended. He'd ranted over and over again in his head about what he was going to say to her when he got there; the things he'd do to her after everything had been said. But now…all his original plans escaped him and he sat there, silent and contemplative, while Noodle's own mind raced.

The guitarist came back into the living room with a steaming cup of tea in her hands. She stood next to where he sat for a long, silent moment, staring at the top of his head before reluctantly sitting down next to him again. Noodle stared at the cup in her hands while the tea steeped. She wanted to ask the obvious question, but she didn't know how. She lifted her head and opened her mouth to speak before Murdoc interrupted her.

"I don't know."

Noodle frowned, "What?"

He shook his head, still not looking in her direction, "I don't know why I came 'ere," he said.

Noodle stared at him. It's not like she knew why either. She was still waiting for him to stop acting like someone from her dreams and start acting like the arrogant ass she was used to. Maybe then reality would set in and she could stop second-guessing everything.

The guitarist started to stare at her tea again when she frowned suddenly, remembering her conversation with the drummer only minutes ago. She raised her glare towards his head and pursed her lips, "I heard about the land."

As if he felt her glare burning a hole into the side of his head, Murdoc frowned facing the angry guitarist, "Don't argue wit' meh about this, Noodle."

Noodle quirked her brow at his heated response, but said nothing. His anger didn't spark hers, it extinguished it. After hours of feeling as if the bassist had turned into a completely different person, and none of the Murdoc she'd known before was left, she was relieved to see that therapy didn't wipe clean his "Murdoc" mentality. Not that a nicer Murdoc wouldn't be a pleasant change every now and then, but after living with someone for so long, she couldn't help but feel that she'd start to get annoyed from his new demeanor. Murdoc wasn't a nice guy. End of discussion. He was mean, nasty, rude, pushy, forceful and the most arrogant man in England. And ironically, that's the man the guitarist had missed. His acts of generosity and kindness definitely grabbed her attention, but at the same time rubbed her the wrong way. It was queer that the Satanist was trying so hard to get her attention that he'd so far just to change his own personality.

Either way, Noodle was glad that the old Murdoc hadn't completely disappeared and she smiled shyly at him, "Ok."

Now it was Murdoc's turn to raise his brow in question. The Satanist reared back, slightly confused, "Ok?" he questioned, "I know yeh better than tha', girl," he said with a frown, pointing an accusing finger at her, "Yo' pissed to hell about meh buyin' the land. Why no argument?" he said with a glare.

Noodle smirked at him, "Because I trust you…Mr. Niccals."

Murdoc frowned at her, extremely confused. The least he expected when he showed up on her doorstep was that she'd throw something at him, yell and scream at him to get out before slamming the door in his face. He wasn't expecting her to react like this.

Of all the people that knew Murdoc knew him to be many things, but one of the things he was not well known for being was thoughtful. He wasn't typically one to grant much thought to any of his actions, hence sitting in Noodle's living room in Ireland, and he usually didn't give much thought to the end results of his actions. But at this point, Murdoc decided to use that marvelous device in his head, one of the remaining few left in his body that still worked, and he thought about Noodle. He did care about her, a lot, and given a little more time he might actually start to love her. For a long time the bassist wanted nothing more than for his guitarist to be his alone and now…now he didn't know how to present such a question. In fact, he never had before. Women fell at his feet; rarely, if ever, had he been the one asking another woman out or for anything. Even approaching it as a mature adult was awkward for him; he was a forty-five year old man; well-seasoned in life, but apparently not in love. Noodle was twenty years old…young enough to be a daughter to him. Murdoc looked away from the young guitarist and scratched the back of his neck. The more silence filled the room, the more awkward this situation became for him.

Noodle frowned, tilting her head slightly so it was facing his, "Hey," she muttered gently.

He glanced at her briefly, mumbling something incoherent while he stared at everything around her room but her. Noodle rolled her eyes, he was doing it again. Murdoc wouldn't shy away from something like he was now.

"What's wrong?" she asked him, her brow puckering in a frown.

"Um…well, see, it's just tha' I'm…uh…I'm…"

Noodle stared at him expectantly, "Yea…"

He sighed, "I'm…I'm a bit…old."

Huh?

Noodle stared at him, a little confused, "O…k?"

"Older," he stressed.

"Oooh," she said, leaning back slightly, "So?"

The Satanist sighed at a complete loss for words. Whatever the hell he'd been trying to say, it definitely wasn't said. Noodle shook her head with a chuckle and patted his hand gently, "Hang on to that thought, old man; I'm going to get changed so I can start packing," and with that and a quick smile the guitarist walked away from the speechless bassist, walking through her kitchen towards her bedroom.

Murdoc growled in irritation. He was acting like a prepubescent boy with a crush. Scowling to himself, the Satanist stared at the floor by his feet until a remarkable idea came to his head.

Actions speak louder than words…

Well…he didn't like the reaction he got the first time he did it that way. However he was at a complete loss for words so…

Doing his best to strengthen his own resolve, Murdoc slowly stood and strode confidently in the direction where Noodle had just disappeared.

Meanwhile, Noodle was in her bedroom, standing in front of her closet pondering her most hated dilemma. She had so many clothes it was a wonder this problem ever occurred. Of course, her mind wasn't on clothes at the moment, at least not in the same sense. Rather, her mind was on the bassist in her living room. She was excited and nervous at the same time. The words were unspoken, but the meaning was hanging in the air between them. All that was needed was just that simple sentence and then both of them could share the same meaning in a blissful heaven.

There was a knock at her door for the second time that day; Noodle rolled her eyes again, turning around and stomping towards her door, "What Murdoc?" When there was no answer the guitarist sighed and grabbed the robe hanging on the back of her door, sliding her arms through and tying the sash quickly before slowly opening the door.

Before she could even open to mouth to say anything he covered her lips with his, pushing through the door and wrapping his arms around her. Noodle stumbled with him in shock, but recovered quickly and had her tongue massaging his soon after. This kiss spoke volumes between the bassist and the guitarist. What could not be said was with their lips and their bodies. Their desires, needs, wants, wishes…all of it was poured back and forth into each other through touch.

Now Noodle didn't have a doubt in her mind and suddenly…neither did Murdoc. She wanted him and he wanted her, and now it was understood between the two of them. Murdoc broke away from the kiss gently and extended his tongue past the guitarist's cheek to her ear, the tip caressing her outer lobe gently while eliciting soft moans from her.

Pulling his tongue away slowly so it traced across her cheek and back into his mouth where she was tempted to follow, the Satanist leaned his forehead against hers with a gentle caress, his hands gliding up her back until both of them found her face.

"So…?" he said with a gentle smirk.

Noodle smiled, nodding in response. This earned a deeper smile from the bassist, who opened his mouth again to speak but was interrupted by a hand being gently pressed against his lips.

"Don't speak, Murdoc. I got it," she said, removing her hand and pressing her lips against his again.

A/N: Well…I think that's a wrap. I lost inspiration for this one and I'm kind of eager to start a Oneshot that I've been thinking of. Sorry to end it quickly, but I hope you guys enjoyed it!