By: a.mild.groove

Summary: Everyone kept saying 'no'.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything associated with Gorillaz. Gorillaz Copyright Damon Albarn/Jamie Hewlett.

A/N: I did the best I could with the Japanese in this story in the beginning but I decided to borrow a method I've seen several other authors use when they had a character speak a different language. "(Anything like this can be understood as another language)." And of course Noodle only speaks Japanese…enjoy!

A/N: Also…if you find that Noodle's age (which I use to mark the time period) isn't quite matching up with the settings, don't worry. For the sake of making her seem a bit older, I warped it by about two years.

Small, bare feet padded lightly through a corridor. The tiny figure wrapped in a giant comforter blindly navigated herself through the maze of corridors, doors, and stairs that were the architectural makeup of Kong Studios. The young Japanese girl sniffled loudly, fresh tears streaming down her already tear-stained cheeks as she roamed the dark halls in the middle of the night. It'd been a week since the lid had been lifted, since she opened her eyes to a new life…since she opened her eyes to the nightmare that never went away. Did everyone live under these same conditions like? It seemed unreal that this was what life was like outside of her simple FedEx crate. The building was so big she'd already forgotten where everything was outside of her own room. Weary from the fog that clouded her mind, she couldn't remember where anything was and she felt like she was going in circles; all of the corridors looked the same and each one had the same amount of doors.

The ten-year old guitarist had awoken with a harsh realization, too harsh for a young child.

She was alone.

She didn't speak any English, but she was smart enough to realize that kids her age typically had parents and siblings, not three grown men with zero parenting skills that lived in a haunted house. The dark-skinned one scared her, he didn't have any eyes and he was at least twenty times her size. However, despite his haunted persona and massive size, she'd managed to trust him since he made sure she was fed and bathed; at least she could be grateful he was taking care of her. The one with two different colored eyes was even scarier. He smelled of something awful and overall just looked atrocious, so she stayed away from him as much as possible. The third, he probably looked stranger than the first two combined, but it was that innocent smile that convinced her he could be trusted…but still. She knew she must have come from a place where people spoke her language and looked like her. Now she was an orphan stuck in a place she was unfamiliar with and alone.

This realization disturbed her from sleep and her bed. Grabbing only her comforter, she braved the dark corridors of Kong in search of the only friend she was sure she had. However, after what seemed like hours she couldn't for the life of her remember where his bedroom was. She wasn't even sure what floor she was on, only that whichever one she was on her bedroom wasn't there, so there was no going back at this point. The floor directory wasn't any help to her since she couldn't speak English, she couldn't read it either. The little Japanese girl sniffled again, looking around the dark corridor again, a long list of horrible possibilities going through her mind. If she ran into the big man, he'd put her back in her room which is definitely not where she wanted to be. If she ran into the dirty one...

The small child stifled a cry, shaking her head of the horrid thought. She didn't want to think what he'd do. Probably shove her in a cupboard for crying and being annoying. The guitarist shook her head again, pushing another door open and gasping when it led her into the car park. This she definitely recognized; the singer had brought her through here to get to his room. Glancing to her left, the young guitarist winced upon seeing the bassists' mobile home mere feet away from where she stood. She could see lights coming from the windows and several voices could be heard from inside. The Japanese girl swallowed the lump forming in her throat; she did not want to be caught by that crazy man. However, a glance to her right strengthened her resolve when she saw another door. This door must have led to his room, she was sure of it.

Using skills she was unaware of, the Japanese guitarist moved stealthily to her right, quietly shutting the door so no noise was heard. The door to the singer's room was only a few feet away from her. She closed the distance between the door and her quietly and quickly. Glancing back at the mobile home to make sure no one was watching, the guitarist slowly pulled the door knob down, backing into the room and watching the bassists' home shake as she quietly closed the door.

Sighing with relief, the young Japanese girl smiled happily despite her tear-stained cheeks and spun around quickly to greet her friend. She took a quick step forward and instantly regretted it, tripping over the large blanket wrapped around her and tumbling down the first flight of stairs that led to the singer's room. The guitarist came to a stop on the first landing of the stairs, facedown.

After a moment laying there with her face on the cement, the young girl shakily lifted herself with both arms. Fresh tears fell from her eyes, blurring her vision. Lifting a shaky hand to wipe the tears away, she gasped when she saw her tears mixing with a puddle of blood on the floor. Gently touching her face, she winced when a sharp pain came from her nose. The young girl quickly pulled her fingers away to see them covered in blood. This only caused more tears to stream down her face as she looked up and saw the singer's door at the bottom of the stairs. She was so close, she wasn't about to give up.

Her body trembling from the impact the young guitarist stood, gently picking the blanket up off the floor and taking slow steps forward, she quietly walked down each step until she came to his door. Sniffling, she released one of her hands from the blanket and raised it above her head to knock on the door. After a moment, when there was no answer, the young girl sobbed in frustration and started to bang on the door with her tiny fists. After another moment she heard footsteps coming towards the door and she stopped banging on the door, taking a step backwards with relief.

2D stumbled groggily towards the door rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Fumbling with the doorknob for a moment the boxer-clad singer managed to open the door a crack and leaned sleepily against the open doorframe with his eyes closed, "Hmm?" he mumbled, waiting for the inevitable shouts that were sure to come from the angry bassist who lived mere feet away from him or from the nagging drummer because of some midnight emergency.

There was a moment of silence and then a quivering voice mumbled, "2D-san?"

Both the singer's eyes popped open and he looked down at the young guitarist staring up at him. His first instinct upon seeing the young girl in front of him was to greet her with a smile, however, that smile quickly faded when he saw her bloody nose and tear-stained cheeks. The tall man knelt down in front of the sniffling girl, worry etched over his features. He grabbed both her shoulders, rubbing them gently, "Noodle love…wot 'appened?"

Even though his exact words were not understood she knew what he was asking. Slightly embarrassed, the small guitarist's cheeks blushed red as she fiddled with the blanket wrapped around her shoulders, avoiding eye contact with him, "(Forgive me, 2D-san. I could not sleep and I got lost trying to find your room. Then I fell down the stairs and hurt my nose because I forgot the stairs were there)."

The singer shook his head, not understanding what she said. He lifted her chin gently so she was looking at him, "Wot 'appened 'ere," he said slowly, pointing to her bleeding nose. Sniffling again, Noodle pointed to the top of the second set of stairs at the landing where she fell. Standing to his full height, the blue-haired man could see a small puddle of blood right in front of the bottom step. He winced at the blood, his stomach churning obnoxiously as he began to understand what happened. Kneeling down in front of her again, the singer offered her a gentle smile, leaning forward to wipe the tears away from her eyes, "Let's get yeh cleaned up, love. Russ'll 'ave meh 'ead if 'e sees yeh like 'is."

Upon hearing the drummer's name Noodle paled, glancing around them frantically before questioning the singer, "Russel-san?" The last thing she wanted was for the drummer to find her and take her away from her friend.

2D shook his head, "Nah, not 'ere. Come on," he said, opening his arms to her with another warm smile. Smiling despite herself, the young guitarist allowed 2D to wrap her in a hug. He picked her up gently in his arms, the young guitarist immediately curling herself against his chest with her cheek resting against his collarbone. Carrying her into his room, the tall singer kicked his door shut with his foot before taking the injured girl into his bathroom. Sitting her down on the toilet lid, the singer offered her another smile; rubbing her cheek with his thumb affectionately before rummaging through his cabinets for something clean to use to wipe off the dried blood. After successfully finding an unused face cloth under his sink, the singer drenched it in cold water; squeezing out the excess water. The little guitarist swung her short legs back and forth as she watched the singer do this. When he finished, 2D kneeled down in front of her again and smiled, holding up his hand that was wrapped in the cold, wet face cloth. Careful to be as gentle as possible, 2D began to wipe the dried blood away from the girl's nose. While he worked on cleaning her bloody face, Noodle stared at 2D's face that was mere inches away from hers. He really was remarkable looking, especially to her. Never in her life had she ever seen someone with no eyes—

Noodle blinked, mentally correcting herself. He did have eyes, as she found out the hard way once by trying to shove her finger in the hole she thought existed in the socket; only to discover that there was indeed something along the lines of an eye there…it was just black. Even still, she couldn't imagine him having eyes like hers…a bright green or blue, but not brown. She didn't see him as the type of man to have brown eyes. In fact, the only person she knew with brown eyes only had one brown eye and she didn't like the way it looked on him so she couldn't imagine liking brown eyes on the singer.

The tall man leaned in closer, causing the small guitarist's gaze to move upward towards his bright, azure locks. This was her favorite thing about him. This was one human characteristic she was sure was not of the norm and that it was his and his alone. One day, when she could understand and speak English better, she was going to find out how and why his hair was such a beautiful blue. Forgetting his ministrations on her face the young guitarist reached her hand towards one of his spiky blue locks, grabbing it gently. 2D felt his hair being grabbed and stiffened, glancing up to see Noodle in a daze as she felt the soft texture of his hair. The singer smiled, grateful for some positive attention towards his hair for once and continued cleaning the young girl's face. Noodle continued running her hand through the blue spikes, the scent of 2D's shampoo wafting to the girl's nose even through the attention the singer was giving it, "(So beautiful…)" she muttered absently. 2D glanced up at her again for a moment before continuing to clean her nose. He was torn between wishing he spoke her language and wishing she spoke his; it was slightly frustrating not knowing what she was saying. He grinned to himself despite his frustrating thoughts. He was smart enough to know that whatever she said it'd been directed towards his hair…and probably a compliment. 2D gently grabbed the young guitarist's hand that was still running through his hair and gently removed it, kissing her fingers with a wink as he stood to rinse off the blood that had accumulated on the wash cloth. When the singer stood to his full height, Noodle noticed that his chest and belly hair was blue as well. The blue strands tracing from the top of his belly button led her line of sight down to the waist line of his boxers before the blue hair disappeared. The young Japanese girl glanced back at the singer's face, not giving his belly hair another thought. Having none of her own and too young to understand what pubic hair was let alone have any of her own, she didn't spare a single thought as to what the hair below the singer's belly button led to.

2D wrung the face cloth of its excess water before tossing it on his counter and kneeling back in front of the guitarist. He smiled at her again and Noodle smiled back, watching as the singer lifted one of his hands toward her face. The girl watched the singer's brow knit together in concentration as his fingers slowly and gently pinch the bridge of her nose. The young guitarist wrinkled her sore nose from his touch as he patiently worked his fingers up and down the cartilage of her nose. Once he was satisfied that her fall hadn't broken her tiny nose, the blue-haired singer smiled again and nodded reassuringly to her, "S'not broken, love, thank goodness for tha'," he said, opening his arms for another hug. Noodle hopped off the toilet into his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his ribs. Although the entirety of his sentence escaped her, the guitarist caught on that he had checked her nose and whether it was broken or not, concluding that it wasn't. 2D grabbed the forgotten comforter off the toilet with one hand and holding Noodle with the other walked out of his bathroom towards his bed. He leaned his face towards her ear, "Do yeh wana sleep wit' meh t'night, lil' love?" he asked with confidence, knowing well that the young girl would understand that sentence. And understand it she did; Noodle had made every attempt to be with the singer every moment since she arrived. In fact, the very first night she spent at Kong was in 2D's room since a few zombies had conveniently invaded her room. Noodle faced the singer in his arms and nodded happily, "Yes!" she said, using one of the English words she learned.

The singer smiled back at her, ruffling her hair before bending down to deposit her where he'd been sleeping only moments ago. Noodle laid down happily in the singer's bed while he arranged her comforter on top of his for extra warmth; October was a chilly month in Essex and sleeping in the basement was not the best of places to be when one wanted to stay warm. The young guitarist watched 2D finish laying her comforter down before jogging around to the other side of his bed. When her head was turned and almost stuffed into the pillow, Noodle caught the scent of the singer's shampoo again and sighed contently; the aroma lulling her like an aphrodisiac. 2D climbed into his bed and scooted towards the middle, Noodle doing the same until she was back in his open arms and her head was resting on his shoulder. 2D smiled down as the young guitarist snuggled closer into his side and, as was a routine for the two of them whenever he tucked her into bed, the singer reached down and kissed the top of her head, "G'night, lil' love."

Her eyes already closed, the guitarist smiled, already accustomed to that sentence as well, "Goodnight, 2D-san."

2D smiled, and closed his eyes to the abyss that he was ready and willing to fall into if it meant a good night's sleep. But right as he felt himself starting to doze, the singer felt something small and moist lightly touching his cheek. Opening his eyes the blue-haired man glanced down to see Noodle staring up at him with her hand on his cheek. He quirked his brow at her questioningly and even through the darkness noticed a small blush gracing the young girl's cheeks. She stared back at him, swallowing the lump in her throat, "S-Speshaaalll…" she stammered, the foreign word coming out of her mouth awkwardly. 2D frowned, trying to determine what she was trying to say, but this only frustrated the Japanese girl even more. Frowning as well, she tried again, "S-Spe-Spec-cial. Special t-to me," she said finally with a smile, patting 2D on the cheek. The singer's frown faded into a smile when he finally grasped what she was trying to say. He nodded at her, "And yo' special to meh, lil' love," he said with a gentle tap on the tip of her nose. The young guitarist smiled back at him, excited that he understood what she was trying to say and that the feeling was returned. Finally the singer and the young guitarist both snuggled together and fell asleep against a backdrop of gentle noises that surrounded them from 2D's room.

The next morning, Noodle was stirred from her slumber by a war of harsh voices that sounded like they were right above her. Peeking an eye open, the guitarist saw her beloved friend leaning against the wall next to his door, still in his boxers with his arms crossed and an angry glare gracing his features. The large drummer stood a few feet away from where she lay with his back to her, arguing with the blue-haired singer.

"Man, I don't know why I have to keep telling you this…she can't sleep in here with you!" he snarled at the singer with a glare, motioning towards the sleeping girl. 2D said nothing, just continued to glare back at Russel from where he stood. Noodle bit her lip to keep from gasping, but the pain in her lips didn't stop the tears that began to fall. She understood the last part of what Russel had said, and she understood it well. He'd protested her spending the night with him from day one and continued to argue with the singer on the topic so much that the young girl was very fluent with that particular sentence.

"Besides, look at you!" the big drummer said emphasizing the singer's current state of dress, "It's inappropriate for her to be exposed to that."

2D's glare deepened at the large man's last statement. Before he could respond with his own harsh words, the singer caught a movement behind the drummer. Using his appearance to his advantage, 2D moved his gaze from the drummer to the shaking form curled underneath a blanket on his bed without ever moving his head, thus giving off the impression that his eyes never moved due to their blackened state. The tall man mentally sighed, moving his line of sight back to the angry drummer. He should have known the young girl would be awake; she had the senses of a warrior and she didn't even realize it. 2D shook his head, "I can't 'elp it if she feels the need to find meh when she gets scared," he said with a shrug. Behind the drummer, Noodle shook her head in frustration as the tears continued to flow. For the life of her she wished she could speak his language fluently.

Russel rolled his eyes, furious with the situation, "I don't care, man. From now on, take her back upstairs and put her in her damn room! She cannot sleep with you!"

Underneath the blankets, the ten-year old guitarist's teeth bit down harder on her bottom lip in an effort to control her urge to stand up and scream, blood seeping into her teeth and down her chin.

It was spring in Essex, the sun shining over everything with a warm and pure glow. Even at Kong the dark, ominous clouds would push aside every once in a while, exposing the sunlight over Kong in a peaceful kind of way. The birds would chirp and the wind would blow across the landfill that surrounded Kong. Tombs, both empty and full, cast an eerie shadow from the sunlight; a simple reminder of what was or had resided underneath the towering stones.

On the inside, Kong glowed wherever a window was present. The rare display of sunlight from outside filled the usually dark home with a brighter atmosphere that had an uplifting effect on its residents. On the first floor, the large drummer sat at his desk with his bedroom door open, allowing the light to brighten his room from the windows in the hallways. He had a satisfied smile across his face as he surfed the internet for random additions to the bands already broad collection of instruments. Every now and then he would glance up at his recently cleaned room and the smile would become wider. Sometimes all one needed to cheer up their entire day was a clean and neat atmosphere. Russel pulled back one of his headphones for a moment to listen for any sounds coming from the young guitarist's room. Hearing nothing, the big man's brow puckered in concern. What could the young Japanese girl be doing at noon if she wasn't in her room?

Down the hallway on the balcony lay the band's leader and bassist in a rickety lawn chair. Murdoc was completely nude, save the sunglasses and flip flops he wore. Cradled in his left arm was a half-empty bottle of tequila and in the other, the newspaper. Falling in and out of pleasant unconsciousness, even the typically evil bass slayer was affected by the beautiful, spring weather. A slight grin tugged his lips as he dozed contently in the sun on the building's balcony, safe from the danger that typically lurked below in the landfill.

However, despite the positive energy that flowed through the central nervous system of Kong Studios and affected its inhabitants, there were two in the belly of Kong that were completely unaware of the electrifying effects of the weather upstairs. No windows or outside doors allowed any natural light inside the dank room, only the dullness from the electricity-provided light in the ceiling and a constant flash of light on the wall came from the telly centered in the room. Sitting on the edge of the queen size bed in the middle room were two figures, so focused on the telly that everything around them was unimportant and ignored. Fingers flew across the buttons of the game controller in each hand, the occasional tongue hooked on the side of the mouth when a moment of intense concentration was needed.

Noodle, twelve now, and 2D had been sitting cross-legged on the end of his bed for the past four hours since they'd both left the breakfast table. Hour after hour was spent in his room, a constant war waging between one player and the other, and the shorter of the two beating the taller one shamefully. Although her English had improved in the year she'd been with the band, the guitarist's knack for understanding operation thrived in situations like the one she was in now. She had been taught how to use a game controller with minor amounts of English involved months ago and now demonstrated daily her superior gaming skills against the shamed sore loser that was 2D. Granted it was all in good fun and in the name of video game playing, but the singer couldn't help but blush at the fact that the young girl he'd befriended over a year ago had such a keen sense of understanding how to do something after being showed only once.

Currently they were fighting combat against each other in a tournament style video game. Noodle, educated on her roots, stuck with a samurai-type warrior while 2D chose a girl with the blondest hair and the biggest breasts. Individual character specs aside, Noodle time and time again kicked 2D's ass in one on one combat. After what seemed like the thousandth bloody battle between the two, 2D paused the game and fell backwards on his bed with an exhausted sigh. The young guitarist giggled next to him, gently putting the controller on the ground and turning around to face the tall singer. The blue-haired man smiled at her, "Yeh tired of beatin' meh ova' and ova' again, lil' love?" he asked with a wink.

Another giggle and the young girl shook her head, brown hair flying around her face, "Nope. I can do this a long time!" she said bouncing happily where she sat. The singer smiled back at her mischievously, his long arms rising towards her slowly. The young girl reeled back slightly, an excited grin spreading across her face for what she knew was coming. She could have hopped up and run away from him, or put on her best puppy eyes look and plead for him not to…but getting tickled by her favorite person in the entire world wasn't so bad compared to getting tickled, period. Despite leaning away from the tall man, 2D's long arms were still able to reach her and he quickly snatched her off the bed. Straining his abdomen due to the extra weight carried on his upper body, the singer rolled over and plopped the young guitarist on the bed; kneeling over her and pinpointing her ticklish spots with his hands with devilish accuracy. Noodle squirmed and squealed, making purposely fruitless attempts to get away from the singer while he tickled the mess out of her. The Japanese girl's own abdomen began to stiffen between constant movement, screaming, and her muscles tensing under the singer's attention to her ticklish spots.

Suddenly the young guitarist's movements halted and her face flashed into a painful expression before morphing into a curiously confused one. Catching on to his friend's discomfort, the singer stopped the war he waged on her sides and frowned, staring at the girl's expressions as she visibly tried to figure out what was amiss. 2D raised his brow at the sudden change in his friend's façade, "Lil' love…yeh awright?" he asked slowly.

Noodle glanced to her left absently before muttering, "Bathroom." The singer lifted himself away from the girl without question and watched her back as she sprinted across his room into the adjoining bathroom. He scratched his head curiously; unsure of what could have disturbed the young guitarist.

On the other side of the door, young Noodle was doubled over on her hands and knees, one hand clutching her stomach. The pain was unlike any pain she'd ever felt before, rooted in the lower realms of her stomach and settling into a heavy type of pressure at the bottom of her groin. The young guitarist realized this wasn't an ordinary stomach ache. Granted she was becoming increasingly nauseas by the second…the pain she felt came from someplace in between her hips, but the young girl didn't know what other body part sat below her stomach and intestines. The guitarist turned a pale shade of green from a sudden wave of nausea and was about to lift the singer's toilet lid to vomit when an unexpected wetness pooling in between her legs distracted her original intentions. Her eyes widened as she felt her crotch area get warm and wet. Did…did she just pee on herself? The young guitarist blushed at the sheer thought of it. Surely she couldn't feel that ill that she'd lose control of her bladder! Standing shakily, the guitarist took baby steps to get to the toilet and reluctantly began to unbutton her shorts. Afraid of what she'd see when she pulled her shorts down, but more afraid of what could happen if she didn't, the young guitarist took a deep breath and dropped her shorts to the floor.

A sudden scream erupting from the bathroom shook 2D from the daze he'd been in sitting on his bed. Paling immediately and assuming the worst, the singer bolted towards the bathroom and ripped open the door without a second thought of what he might be walking in to. Unfortunately for the blue-haired man, the young guitarist had grown a nasty habit of chucking blunt objects towards anyone that invaded her privacy without first asking permission. None of them understood how the hell her aim had ever been that good, but all three men quickly learned to knock on the young girl's door. Fortunately for the singer, the closest thing for her to throw was an individually wrapped roll of toilet paper. The toilet paper roll bounced off the singer's face with a soft thud and landed on the floor at his feet as he stared at the shivering guitarist.

Noodle hadn't meant to throw anything at him. The jacket she wore covered her girl parts, but it was just a habit by now to throw something when someone didn't knock. More to the point, she was just scared. Her tear-filled gaze went from the singer to her shorts around her ankles. 2D's eyes followed hers, and when his eyes fell on her blood-stained panties he swore under his breath. Noodle sobbed aloud, her hands gripping where her uterus continued to contract, "It hurt!" she wept, glancing back up at the singer helplessly.

2D almost made it obvious that he was at a lost of what to do by shaking his head in dismay. He kept still though; he needed to keep control so she wouldn't panic. But what was he supposed to do? His mother, though a nurse, never detailed the process of a girl's menstrual cycle and he had no sisters to grow up with. Any girlfriends he had that included him into that aspect of their bodies only did it for the sake of making him run an emergency errand to the grocery store. 2D paled suddenly, what if this wasn't her period? What if it was something worse?

Thinking as quickly as he could, the singer resolved that he needed daddy Russel for this kind of thing. The big drummer would know what to do about this. In the meantime, he needed to get her clean. The tall man knelt down on one knee and grabbed the girl's chin gently, forcing her to look at him, "Use the toilet, lil' love. 'en get in the shower. I'll get yeh some clean clothes. Ok?" he asked with a weak smile. Blood made him squeamish and the fact that she was still dripping blood was making him feel worse.

Noodle whimpered, her face scrunching in pain, "What is happening?" she whined.

"I'm not sure, lil' love," he lied quickly, knowing he was not capable of explaining what was going on nor knowledgeable; "I'll get Russel, darlin'. He'll fix yeh up good as new," he said with another smile, standing to his full height and backing out of the bathroom slowly. The young girl nodded at what he said and watched him shut the door to the bathroom before turning around and vomiting neatly into the toilet. When she finished, the young girl rested her cheek against the cool porcelain of the bowl, her fevered skin soothed by the coolness. She wasn't sure she wanted everyone in on her problem, but she didn't even know what was wrong so she knew she didn't have a choice. Usually when people bled this much they were rushed to the hospital. Another wave of pain distracted the guitarist's thoughts and she winced from the continuous cramps. Flushing the toilet, the young girl stripped herself of the rest of her clothes and deposited them in the singer's hamper. Using the toilet, the young girl made a futile attempt to clean herself before getting into the shower. Flushing the toilet again, the Japanese girl frowned in thought. Where was the blood coming from? The pressure seemed to stem from right in between her legs, but she was sure it wasn't coming from where she peed from. The young guitarist turned the water on, sighing happily when the cool spray hit her feverish skin, cooling her almost immediately. Hopefully the singer was right; Russel would know what to do.

2D didn't wait for the lift, but instead bounded up two flights of stairs until reaching the large drummer's bedroom. The door was open when the singer burst through the room screaming, "Russ! Russ, Noodle's bleedin'!"

Even with his headphones on and his music blaring Russel couldn't miss what 2D had said. Quickly ripping off the headphones and standing in the same motion, the large drummer scowled at the singer, "What happened, 'D?"

The singer was still doubled-over with both hands on his knees, panting from exerting himself up the stairs and he gasped out, "Pe…period…"

Russel's frowning features instantly softened into a confused, blank stare. The large man quirked a skeptical eyebrow at the singer, "Period? Noodle got her period? Are you sure?"

2D nodded, "I'm pretty sho, mate. She's bleedin' pretty bad down 'ere."

The black man's frown returned, "Down where."

"My bathroom," the singer said, unaware of why he was receiving a glare from the percussionist. Russel rolled his white eyes, Figures. His original speculation on the girl's location was wrong, but should have been obvious. Where there was 2D, Noodle wasn't far behind and vice versa. Sighing, the big man stomped towards 2D and out his bedroom. The singer stumbled after him as the drummer walked towards the young girl's room.

"Russ, Russ don't we need to get 'er some…yeh know stuff? Like, tampons or something?" he asked, following the drummer. The large man stopped in front of Noodle's room and turned to the lanky singer.

"I have some stuff for her in the food store in the bunker. Go down there and get it for her while I get some clean clothes," 2D stared at the drummer in silent amazement. It was like he had some kind of precognitive sense concerning the occupants of Kong. He just always knew. The singer nodded at his instructions and was about to press the button for the lift at the end of the corridor when Russel turned to him again.

"'D, she's probably in a lot of pain. Do you have anything that's a small dosage she could take for pain?" 2D nodded again and made a mental note to grab something from his overwhelming pill stash before seeing Noodle again. The singer watched the large drummer slip into the young girl's room while the lift came up to retrieve him. The blue-haired man tapped his foot while he waited. This wasn't a typical tapping motion that was common of him; usually 2D tapped his feet to a song or beat playing in his head during a drug induced stupor. However, this time it was a nervous tapping. Part of his conscience was telling him not to worry, periods were normal for girls her age and this was just one of those phases in her life that she had to go through to become a woman. On the other hand, the nervous side of his conscience kept trying to fill his mind with gory scenarios involving his young friend and a whole lot more blood. 2D shook his head of the thoughts when a soft pinging sound told him the lift was there.

The blue-haired singer whistled softly despite himself on the way down to the floor that would lead him to the car park. Stepping out of the lift, another horrid image of young Noodle bleeding to death filled his head, and the singer decided to walk a little faster. Walking across the car park to the recently discovered bunker behind a hole in the wall, the tall man stepped on to the platform and pushed the button that would lower him deeper into the depths of Kong. 2D looked above him and around as the mechanical floor brought him into the bunker; he was still getting used to the lower regions of Kong they'd discovered only months ago.

The garbage and debris was easy to explain. Sort of. No matter where the Gorillaz members went, the four of them brought a hurricane of shit with them; which was an easy way of saying that garbage and crap they didn't need or want was thrown everywhere, real or fake blood stains were going to appear, and all of it was going sit there and rot without ever being cleaned. On the other hand, the stuff that was already there could not be explained. Nazi corpses that had turned into zombies; yet they didn't roam Kong like the rest of the undead, instead they stayed at their assigned post for all eternity. This wasn't much of a surprise to them, anything that died in Kong was turned into the walking dead; the place just had that effect on corpses. Then there was the stuff they found in the Room of Brians and Store Room. Gold, statues, bomb, hummers, planes, boats, and more stuff that just could not be explained.

2D stepped over the debris into the food store, sighing at the endless amounts of food in the tiny room. He was still trying to figure out why Russel would put something so vital so far away; weren't these the type of things needed at hand? The singer shook his head from the distracting thoughts and tried to locate anything that looked like it was successfully assist in a girl's period. The tall man scratched at his blue locks, his features scrunching together in confusion. He didn't see anything that wasn't food. Stepping a little closer to the shelves, the tall man noticed that a bowl shape had been created by the many cans stacked on one shelf. In the middle of the bowl sat several boxes of woman related sanitary products. The singer sighed with relief, angry that he'd already wasted so much time trying to find them. Grabbing all of the boxes in his arms, the singer dashed to the platform and rode the device up into the car park.

The singer walked through his bedroom and deposited all of the boxes onto his bed except for one, before rummaging through his pill stash for something suitable that the young guitarist could take. 2D frowned at his collection of medication, everything he had was a high enough dosage that it would knock her out even if he split it in half. The blue-haired man shrugged; better to be knocked out then walking around in pain. Cracking one of the white pills in half with a satisfied smile, the singer strode with the box of necessities and the pill in hand towards the bathroom. The door was closed, undoubtedly locked, and he could hear the water of the shower running. The tall man knocked on the door a couple of times, opting to respect the young girl's privacy rather than risk having a shampoo bottle thrown at his head. While he waited for a sign that the young guitarist had heard him, the singer suddenly realized with a glance around his room that Russel hadn't made it downstairs yet. 2D frowned, how long would it have taken him to grab some clothes? Shrugging the thought off, the young man absently knocked on the door again, "Lil' love?" he called. Nothing.

The dark-eyed man frowned at the closed door. Surely she could hear his knocking over the door? Forgetting about the possibility of projectile shampoo, the singer grabbed the door knob, slightly shocked to see that it wasn't locked. The man slowly opened the door, steam immediately billowing out of the room. The tall man stepped inside the bathroom, "Noodle?" he called again, but there was still no answer. The possibility that she'd gone upstairs in a hurry and left the shower on crossed his mind and the lanky man crossed the space between the door and the shower in two steps, pulling the curtain back slowly.


At that moment, the singer felt as if someone had just walked up and sucker punched him in the gut. He doubled over from shock at the sight of the young guitarist lying naked on the shower floor, unconscious. A trail of blood mixing with the running water traveled from the junction of her legs, spiraling down into the shower drain. Time slowed down as he stared at her comatose form, slowly sinking to his knees. Noodle, his Noodle, how could this have happened? Never in his life had he heard of girls passing out from their periods, so it had to be something else. 2D reached out gently to pick up the unconscious Noodle, never realizing that the water falling onto his arm came from his tears instead of the shower. After finally maneuvering her into a cradled position in his arms, the singer stood. Forgetting about the running water and grabbing two towels the man exited his bathroom with the naked, slump form of the guitarist cradled close to his body. Walking across his room, the singer gently deposited the passed out girl onto his bed, covering her body with a towel for modesty's sake before sitting down next to her head and whipping out his cell phone.

Russel glared at the stubborn bassist before him, the latter of the two still standing in the nude. The large drummer had stumbled upon the naked, sunbathing man while exiting Noodle's room with her clothes and demanded that the Satanist dress himself and come downstairs, "to be a part of an important time in Noodle's life." Murdoc had merely sneered at the drummer, ignoring him while the big man dealt threat after threat against the bassists' already deformed nose.

"I am not going to argue with you anymore, man. Get your nasty ass dressed and come downstairs!" the large man shouted.

Murdoc rolled his eyes, leaning his naked rear against the railing of the balcony, "Yeh still 'aven't told me why I'm supposed to get excited over a bitch startin' to bleed outa 'er 'ole," the older man sneered with a growl. The large drummer's teeth grinded together; his fists clenching tightly as he stared at the bassist. Mere seconds away from keeping his word to his threats, the drummer's rising fist was interrupted by the sudden ringing of his phone. The large man's body twitched in frustration from missing the opportunity to release pent up energy; but with an angry grunt the percussionist whipped out his cell phone from his pocket, rolling his eyes with an irritated sigh at the caller.

"What now, 'D?" the big man asked, pointing to the bassist and signaling for him to dress himself; instead he received the middle finger in response.

Suddenly there were shouts coming from the big man's cell phone and his expression turned cold as he listened to the frantic words coming from the singer. Suddenly he paled, and the bassist frowned at the younger man's response. Russel nodded his head curtly to no one in particular, "Meet me at the Geep in two minutes," and then he snapped his phone shut.

With an angry glare that forced the older man to shiver, Russel growled, "Noodle fainted in the shower and she won't wake up. We're taking her to the hospital," he said briskly, stressing the fact that the bassist was not included in that solution. Murdoc paled as well, his cigarette falling out of his hand as his body stiffened in shock while Russel walked away from him towards the lift. The large man walked through the kitchen quickly to the lift at the end of the corridor, his large finger pushing the button for the ground floor. Hours seemed to go by as the drummer waited for the lift to come to his level. After more agonizing seconds of waiting, the customary ding signaling the arrival of the lift went off and the doors opened. Russel stomped into the lift, turning around to press the button for the ground floor and nearly had a heart attack when a half naked bassist careened into the wall next to Noodle's door after running full speed through the kitchen with no other alternative for stopping. Stumbling into the lift with one boot on and the other half way on, the older man grunted when the lift door's closed, and bent down to fix the other boot. Russel smirked at the back of the bassist's head, already knowing that the effort would have been made on Noodle's behalf by the bassist.

Murdoc stood to his full height again and glared at the drummer, "She's my guitarist, lards. I am involved by default no matter what the fuck yeh say."

Russel smirked again, quirking his brow, "Alright then," he said after the ding from the doors, and shoving the bassist out of the lift towards the Geep, "you can pay the co-pay for the hospital."

Murdoc bit the inside of his cheek in an attempt to keep himself from starting another argument with the drummer and just walked quickly to the already running Geep. When Murdoc walked to the driver's side, and Russel to the passenger side, both of them glanced at the back seat where they knew 2D would be with the guitarist.

Had neither of them had stronger will power, both would have broken down into sobs at the sight before them. The lanky singer sat in the back seat, his legs cramped up from the lack of leg room in the back, cradling an unconscious Noodle. He rocked her back and forth in his arms, his own sobs overpowering any other sound. Murdoc shook the flood of emotions from his head and got into the driver's seat; Russel, however, paused for another second upon seeing what the young girl was wearing. 2D had wrapped a towel in between and around her legs to catch the flow of blood and prevent a mess while another larger towel was wrapped several times around her small frame. The large man frowned at the young girl's indecency, but said nothing as he climbed into the vehicle, silently grateful that he had the young guitarist's clothes fisted in his hands.

The ride to the local hospital was nerve-wracking and heartbreaking. Hearing 2D's never-ending sobs as he held Noodle in his arms, the young guitarist still unable to wake up. Murdoc went through every cigarette present on his person, in the Geep and then the pack the lanky singer had on him in a futile effort to calm his nerves. Despite his cruelty and hatred towards everything, the bassist was not ready to lose the best guitarist he'd ever had; that ever existed in the world. As was the same with all his band members, she tied the songs and the bands together; if there was no Noodle, there was no Gorillaz.

Russel was dealing with his own inner-turmoil at the potential loss of the young girl. Never before had someone depended on him like the child had, and the big drummer wasn't sure he was ready to give her up; she was his surrogate daughter in a sense, and he her surrogate father. A voice inside his head spoke to him, the usual joking tone cast away for a more comforting one, "Don't worry man, if we lose Noodle-girl, I'll make sure to take good care of her."

Russel scowled at the voice of Del, the ghost's words more disturbing than depressing. He almost spoke aloud in response but decided against it, despite the fact that his band mates were used to the big man talking to the extra soul he carried along in his bulk. Instead the drummer used his thoughts to speak to his dead friend, "She is not going to die you fool. She just got her period, this shouldn't be a life or death situation!" he hissed in thought.

He felt the ghost man shrug inside him, "I'm just sayin'. Should somethin' happen to her, you know I will take care to keep her out of shit."

The large man shook his head curtly, a silent demand to end the conversation. Despite the fact that he knew what Del was saying was true, he didn't want to think about losing Noodle.

In the backseat, 2D continued to sob quietly. His hand traced along the cheek of the young guitarist, cradling her face close to his torso. He stared down at her seemingly peaceful expression, his own scrunched and confused. He felt like such a failure to her; protecting her and keeping her safe and out of trouble had been his job in the band. It was a silent assignment, an unspoken agreement between the three men when Noodle began to cling to 2D. Now, the young girl in his arms was unable to wake up and probably still in pain…and it was entirely his fault. If he could have prepared her somehow…

The lanky man shook his head, cradling the girl closer to his body. His arguments were going in circles and he knew it. He couldn't help blaming himself no matter how unpredictable this had been.

Within minutes the four were at the hospital, the blue-haired singer and the drummer hopping out of the car into the emergency entrance while the bassist parked the car. The duo burst through the emergency doors of the hospital, the lighter of the two running full speed up to the receptionist's desk, "She's bleeding!" the singer shouted, the unconscious Noodle cradled in his arms garbed in only a large while towel. The blonde receptionist stared up at the blue-haired singer with a frown, a little shocked by what he said and a little more by how he looked. Shaking her head to keep from staring the woman cleared her throat and glanced at the girl in 2D's arms.

"Where is she bleeding?" she asked, her frown deepening upon seeing what the young girl was wearing.

"Her va—" 2D responded quickly, but stopped himself with a blush, unable to talk about such a private area of his young friend. He glanced down at her nether regions, still wrapped in a towel. The woman followed his glance, but frowned when she still didn't catch on.

At this point, the drummer stumbled to the desk out of breath, "We think she got her period for the first time," he explained, "but she fainted in the shower and she hasn't woken up since."

The young woman responded immediately to the more detailed insight given regarding the young girl and directed them to a vacant examination room that was down the hall. After the door was closed and the trio was alone in privacy, the weeping singer sat down on the bed with the young girl in his arms. Russel sighed, realizing the blue-haired man was slightly traumatized by this and probably not capable of rational thinking. The large man spoke gently so as not to upset the lanky man even more, "'D," he said softly. The weeping man sniffled, glancing up at the drummer and absently pulling the sleeping guitarist closer to his body in a defensive manner. Russel sighed again, "Lay her on the bed, man," he said, picking up a large, yellow blanket that was folded neatly on a table next to him.

Staying silent, the tall singer stood and carefully laid the unconscious girl on the bed, Russel coming in on the other side of the bed with the blanket and covering the girl with it. 2D sat down again, this time next to the girl's head. His trembling hand gently touched her forehead as the tears began to fall again. All he wanted was for her to wake up, to smile at him like she always did, as if he was the greatest person in the world. The singer felt a little selfish that way, but Noodle was the only person who looked at him like he was important…like he was worthwhile in the world. The singer sighed to himself, watching the large drummer try to fit himself into one of the chairs the room offered. The young man lowered his eyes towards the innocent face in between his arm and his body. His ice cold fingers traced her forehead gently, the friction of his hand against her head pulling her skin gently along with his finger.

Then, as if the heavens saw fit for the singer to witness a miracle, the guitarist's head turned inward towards the lanky man's body; her nose and cheek resting on his chest. The singer gasped aloud as he watched the young girl stir. Russel's head perked up, having seen the guitarist's head flop over as well. 2D watched with relief as the young girl's eyelids fluttered open, the emerald green pools meeting his endless black orbs. The pair stared at each other for a moment, a brief moment where it was just Noodle and 2D, the young guitarist cradled comfortably in the crook of the older man's arm. Noodle smiled up at him, as she always did, and 2D couldn't help but smile back down at her. However, the Japanese girl started to notice her surroundings and frowned, her eyes darting from one part of the room to the other, meeting Russel's relieved expression then turning back to the singer's. The girl's brow was furrowed in confusion and her mouth opened to ask the obvious question when the shirtless, pompous bassist burst through the door; the angry receptionist walking away after being violated via ass-grabbing. All eyes fell on the older man as he walked towards the foot of the bed where the singer and guitarist lay. He crossed his arms over his naked chest and glared between the two, his mismatched eyes finally falling on the singer's.

"She's awake," it was more of an agitated statement than a curious question. The two younger men knew what was coming afterwards; for the sake of saving himself a few pounds, the bassist would pack everyone up in the Geep and haul them back to Kong without a second thought towards the guitarist's present problem. Russel stood from where he sat, lifting his bulk to his full height and glaring at the back of the bassist's head. The singer glanced nervously between Murdoc and Russel, sensing the argument that was about to erupt while Noodle continued to glance around in confusion.

"Noodle needs to be educated on what's going on, Muds. None of us know enough to help her out with this so she needs to speak to a doctor," the big man stressed walking towards the Satanist's back.

Murdoc rolled his eyes and turned around to face the drummer, sneering at the larger man, "What's 'ere to educate, lards?! She's bleeding out of her hol—" his sentence was never finished.

Russel had a theory that any more fractures to the bassist's nose and the pieces would eventually get shoved into the evil man's brain, killing him. At times, this seemed like a positive solution to their problems, but in the end the drummer knew he couldn't be the one responsible for killing the man, even if he did despise him. Besides, it wasn't his fault Murdoc wouldn't spend the money he had to fix his afflicted nose. Anyway, instead of silencing the viper-tongued bassist via nose punching, the larger man fisted his big hand around the Satanist's neck and squeezed.

Murdoc's eyes widened, the pupils flashing with anger as he was slowly lifted by the neck. Russel's teeth clenched together in a snarl as his fat digits curled around the half-naked man's neck. He'd had enough of the bassist for one day and for a brief moment the drummer forgot where he was, what was happening and the two people surrounding him; at that moment it was just him and the arrogant bassist.

The extra soul within him was spurred to action by the percussionist's angry demeanor, however in order for Del to leave the larger man's body Russel had to be in a comatose state; which would probably not trigger the larger man to release his hold on the older man's neck. So Del used his voice and his words to try and persuade the drummer, "Russ, yo Russ! Enough man, we've got bigger issues on our hands now!"

Russel ignored the voice inside of his head and continued to glare at the suffocating bassist. Inside his body, Del began to panic; his own senses very aware of the bassist's lack of air.



Russel flinched at the loud hiss that came from the young voice of Noodle. Turning his head to glance at her through guilty, white eyes, he flinched again to see her sitting up in the bed scowling at him; 2D sitting next to her with his own frightened glare. When Murdoc managed to gurgle out a choking noise, Noodle's eyes flashed angrily and she hissed again at the large drummer, "(Russel-san, I will not ask you again! Put him down now!)"

During Noodle's development of the English language, the three men quickly noticed that the young girl quickly reverted back to her primary language when she became angry. Unfortunately, the fact that the young girl was pissed and they couldn't understand her didn't help the situation.

Despite the fact that she screamed at him in Japanese, the drummer still knew what she'd said to him and immediately the drummer's grip loosened and the red-faced bassist fell to his knees, his hands immediately closing around his own throat as he coughed for air.

The silent tension in the room was unbearable as the three watched the recovering bassist on the floor. The two younger men watched with painful anticipation while the young girl sitting in the bed redirected her glare from the drummer to the bassist. For a moment, Noodle's façade changed from one of anger to one of pain as her lower abdomen clenched obnoxiously, causing her to wince.

After his coughing subsided, the older man's head rose slowly; his scowl almost capable of killing the percussionist on the spot. Right as his mouth opened to spew the onslaught of death threats that he had lined up, another hiss came from the direction of the guitarist.


If it had been any other situation, in any other place that did not include the suddenly scowling drummer in front of him, Murdoc would have immediately told the young girl to 'fuck off' before impaling the big man with the closest pointy object within reach. However, the Satanist wasn't willing to take the chance that Russel would tolerate another insult directed towards Noodle, let alone listen to anyone's pleas for him to stop killing the man, so the dark man kept silent regarding the interruption and instead glared at the very angry guitarist.

"Leave," she said with a jut of her chin towards the door. Without a second's hesitation, the two men turned away from the duo on the bed and walked out the door. Murdoc was a shit-starter in everyday, but he knew when to cease the battle; specifically where Noodle was concerned. Russel was at a breaking point as it was and would probably pound the bassist in the face at the first insult out of his mouth and all three men were starting to discover that Noodle was in fact very capable of taking care of herself in a fight, even with Murdoc.

After the door closed behind the two older men Noodle slumped back against the pillow behind her, her hands clutched her abdomen as she turned her head away from the singer with a wince. Sitting in an upright position with no support behind her back killed her abdomen and the fact that her uterus was fighting with her from the start didn't help matters. 2D's arm under her shoulders pulled her towards him as the other wrapped around her body in a gentle embrace. He whispered quietly next to her head, still unsure of the young girl's reactions or if he was safe from her wrath, "Are yeh awright, lil' love?"

The young girl didn't answer; instead she rolled over in the singer's embrace and curled herself against his chest. Her cheek rested against his chest as she sighed into his shirt. The pain was a bearable pulse now, nothing to groan about anymore even though she felt like she wanted to vomit again. 2D sighed as well, leaning his cheek against the guitarist's head; the migraine that had started during the fight between Murdoc and Russel obnoxiously pulsating in his head, demanding to be medicated. He refused to give in, for once; he knew he needed to be a strong example for the young girl next to him.

Noodle's eyes drooped slowly as the rhythmic beat of 2D's heart began to lull her to sleep. The guitarist rubbed her cheek against his chest, inhaling deeply as 2D's masculine scent invaded her nostrils and sent an unexpected shiver through her body. The young girl's eyes popped open suddenly when the singer's arms tightened around her towel-clad body in response to her affections. Noodle blushed, her feelings that she'd kept locked away from everyone, including herself, unfolding in her mind like a flood. She'd always felt something special for the singer; from the day she arrived and saw him the two immediately had a special connection. However, due to her age and lack of education in that field, the young girl never saw it coming when her feelings suddenly deepened for the singer. Unsure of why she constantly wanted to be with him, no matter where he went or what he did, the young girl refused to seek assistance from her other band mates; fearful that maybe her feelings for him might be taboo.

Despite her mental war with herself for having a crush on 2D, Noodle relaxed; content to lay in his arms for however long she—

The door burst open abruptly, a wide-eyed, spectacled man in a white jacket grinning ear to ear stood in the doorway with a clipboard, "Well now! Someone got their period today?"

So through the course of about three hours, Noodle was thoroughly and ridiculously educated on how and why her body rebelled against her: monthly. Despite the horrors the goofy doctor spoke of to her, Noodle had remained calm; if only because of the long, lanky arms that had been wrapped around her the entire time.

The thick, nauseating tension that filled the room like a flood was enough to take someone's breath away. The three stood there, motionless save for the singer's convulsing chest as his lungs recovered from the lack of oxygen. All three of them stared at the quivering mass on the floor as it regained its composure, all of them unsure and anxious about what was about to happen next.

Despite the fact that all four of them were on edge and a mere hair's breath away from strangling themselves or one another, none of them expected it to get this out of hand. A serious line had been crossed and it was sure to have long term consequences. In the back of the their minds, all of them knew that sitting in a hotel for hours upon hours doing anything other than music was not their calling as a band. But they let people in high places who were supposedly paid to take care of them and guide them towards success veer them in the most insane direction.

And now, now the stress weighing heavily on each of them finally collapsed the individual's will and all of them snapped.

The thirteen-year-old guitarist glanced nervously back and forth between the dizzy Satanist and the quivering singer. She bit her lip, her mind indecisive about what to do. Her heart and her feelings were 2D's; whether he knew it or not and all she wanted to do was run over and comfort him and calm his fear. However, her loyalty was with the band and therefore with Murdoc. Comforting 2D instead of sympathizing with their leader would only cause more turbulence. So Noodle did what seemed like the most difficult thing to do at the time, and stood still as she watched Murdoc recover dizzily from the blow he received to the head from a still angry Russel.

It all went bad when Murdoc's nonexistent patience with the goofy singer finally hit its peak. 2D had only been making suggestions, be them legitimate or not, but after days of being cooped up in a hotel with three other people with no progress coming forth from their work, Murdoc finally snapped. He started to strangle the singer, which wasn't unusual to the other two band members, but typically Murdoc knew better than to strangle 2D to death. The first to always intervene stood to his full height, his bulk presenting more to fear as his blank eyes glared down the bassist as he choked 2D.

After threats and shouts being tossed at the bassist, and Noodle jumping up and biting on the bass slayer's hand without any success, Russel finally snapped as well and brought his large fist down on Murdoc's head, hard.

It was the official breaking point for the band.

Murdoc never asked much of his band that he wouldn't himself be willing to do. The only thing he demanded was complete respect, as their leader and the band's creator. As such, he refused to tolerate any kind of humiliation and usually escaped to the Winnebago before Russel could properly reprimand him in front of the rest of the band. But this…this was total disrespect, embarrassing and humiliating. The four of them knew what was about to happen next before it even happened; they knew it would happen before the trigger had been pulled. It was like a silent threat Murdoc sent all of them when the band was started.

He left.

When the stars stopped floating around the bassist's head and he could stand up straight without wobbling, he gave a sarcastic salute to them, a half-assed good bye and then he left.

The situation wasn't taken seriously at first. In their history together, the band had several arguments and fights that resulted in one of them storming out the door with the threat of never returning; usually Murdoc or Russel since 2D and the younger girl both tended to have higher breaking points. So instead of panicking after the door slammed behind the bassist, the three remaining members began to clean up the mess made in the hotel room from their "argument". In addition to the fact that they'd been in the same hotel for months, the damaged property was going to add to the already expensive bill.

After a few minutes from when Murdoc left, Noodle took the opportunity to tip toe her way over to where 2D was cleaning up the broken splinters of a wooden chest that had gotten in the way of the argument. She had been dying to see if he was ok from their leader's violent attempts to strangle him.

Coming up behind him slowly, her dormant ninja skills seeping from the depths of her conscience as she stealthily snuck up on the singer and gently grabbed his shoulder, startling him. Both jumped back in shock from the singer's abrupt scare, but he quickly recovered and chuckled lightly at his younger companion standing before him. She smiled up at him, but bit her lip nervously, her confidence and words greatly lacking as of late since the discovery of her crush on the blue-haired singer. Her English was still limited to where she couldn't ask how his neck was, so instead she shyly reached as far as her height would allow and pointed to the purple bruise that had begun to form shortly after the incident. Despite the situation the tall singer still smiled warmly and shook his head, "I'm okay, lil' love," he said hoarsely, rubbing his neck reassuringly, "Just a bit sore 'at's all."

Noodle nodded after a minute of concentrated comprehension. Then there was an awkward moment of silence after neither of them spoke, just stared at each other. 2D smiled down at her again, causing a slight blush to erupt on the young girl's pale cheeks. He glanced up towards the large drummer over the top of Noodle's head and sighed to himself, reluctantly reaching a hand up with a forced smile and ruffling her hair. Noodle pouted for a moment, her expression giving away what she really wanted. When they were alone, 2D was more affectionate to her and tended to show more physical affection to her in Russel or Murdoc's absence. So much in fact that the young guitarist had become accustomed to the kisses she received on her cheek or forehead, however both of them knew it wasn't appropriate in front of their other band mates; specifically Russel.

Suddenly the two band members heard a groan of agony from across the room and both turned their attention to see Russel with hand clutching his heart while the other supported his weight against the wall. His white eyes were filled with sorrow as he stared off into space in shock, "He's gone…he's gone forever. Gorillaz…"

Noodle and 2D shared a confused glance before the tall singer took the initiative and walked over to the saddened percussionist, gently resting his thin hand on the big man's shoulder, "'ey mate, it'll be alright. Yeh know 'ow Muds is; 'e just needs some time to get over 'is mess," he said with a reassuring smile. But the large drummer was not to be swayed so easily from his gut feeling.

The larger man shook his head resolutely, "He's gone. He ain't comin' back this time."

The gravity of what had happened hit the singer and guitarist like a freight train into a concrete wall. The three of them had been so absorbed into themselves that they didn't even realize a crucial factor in the incident that had happened what seemed like mere seconds ago.

Murdoc was it. Their leader, their creator…their god in a sense. He wanted total cooperation and respect out of everyone, but more specifically, he expected it from his band mates. None of them realized until now that Murdoc being humiliated in front of them wasn't as bad as Murdoc being humiliated by them. They'd dealt him the highest card of disrespect without a second thought and in response he turned his back on them.

A knock on the door shook the three of them out of their reveries with a violent shudder. The three of them stared at the door with nauseating reluctance; it could be Murdoc demanding his wallet or something since he probably forgot his key. With a painful swallow the young guitarist squared her shoulders and slowly stepped towards the door, her fingers shaking as she gripped the door handle and gently pulled it downward, releasing the lock and opening the door.

An irritated sigh escaped the three remaining band members as a receptionist stared back at them nervously instead of their rogue bassist. Her eyes darted around the wreckage of the room over Noodle's three feet before she swallowed the lump in her throat and nervously stuttered, "Um…y-your f-f-friend has checked out of y-your room."

The three of them blinked at her, not quite catching what she was putting down. Sensing that she wasn't being understood, the lady swallowed nervously again before saying, "I'm sorry, b-but I must ask you to pack your…things a-and leave."

Russel closed his eyes with a sigh while 2D turned away, swearing under his breath. Noodle continued to stare up at the woman, still unsure of what she'd said. The drummer nodded in acknowledgement to the woman, "Alright."

She nodded back, her spine straightening with resolve as she determined that she wasn't going to be undermined, "You have twenty minutes before the maids come in and…clean," she said before nodding again to the three of them and leaving.

The room was silent for a long while as the three of them let reality sink in. Murdoc was gone, and replacing him was out of the question. They soon started to realize that the band couldn't function whilst being incomplete. Almost as if a body lost a limb, a person could manage but nothing would ever be the same.

Noodle lowered her head, still standing next to the door of the room. She wished for the life of her that they hadn't come to Los Angeles in the first place. They were musicians, not actors or script writers. Her passion spoke in notes, not lines. The emptiness inside of her started to build again and an overwhelming sense of mysterious incompletion ran through her body. She didn't know who she really was, let alone her true purpose. She hadn't always been with Gorillaz; she had a family some where and a life in Japan that she had no knowledge of. A deep yearning to discover herself built speed but never moved her. She didn't know where to start her quest of rediscovery.

A breeze carrying a familiar scent roused the young guitarist from her inner turmoil and she looked up to see Russel's back walking down the hallway away from their room. The guitarist's initial assumption was that he was getting something from the vending machine, but when she noticed the large white sack slung over the drummer's shoulder, the young girl realized with a cry what he was doing.

He was leaving.

She stood in the doorway with her mouth gaping open, her voice unable to function even though she wanted to call out to him and stop him. She wanted what was left of their family to stay together despite the loss of one. But something sparked within her body she watched her surrogate father walk out of the band as Murdoc had done. Maybe…maybe that was where she should start. Leaving the band and getting out of Los Angeles and America as soon as possible.

Another realization hit the girl with full force; this one putting a smile on her face. She was left alone with 2D; it was only the two of them now! The short girl spun around quickly with a smile spread across her face to tell the singer of her plan. He could come with her to Japan!

The sight that greeted the young girl was not what she expected, but probably should have.

It didn't take the tall singer too long to realize what Russel was doing when he walked out the door; shortly after the realizations started to hit him so hard the beginning pulses of a monstrous migraine began in his head. Too confused to think about the current situation and with a large migraine on the rise, the lanky, blue-haired man did what he did best: drugged himself into a comatose state. Noodle stared at him in disbelief as he sat on the couch slack-jawed and distant. Hope rose within her briefly and she stepped toward him silently, but after waving her fingers in front of his face and then slapping him gently in the face, it was pretty obvious that 2D wasn't coming back to orbit for a while.

The young Japanese guitarist sighed sadly, absently plopping down next to the singer and leaning against his arm. She was alone now. Murdoc was probably on a plane to nowhere by now and Russel was too pissed to care that he'd left the young girl alone with 2D; assuming the singer would have taken care of her. She realized that she was truly on her own now. She couldn't wait for 2D to get over his problems and cater to her; she had to take care of herself this time.

Her initial feelings of emptiness returned and the former Gorillaz guitarist realized she would start her quest by following suit with the drummer; she would leave. Somehow she would get to Japan and she would find out who she was and what her purpose was…

Her body straightening with resolve the young girl was brought back to reality briefly when she realized with a broken heart that 2D hadn't moved even when she leaned against him. Noodle stood from the couch and positioned herself in front of the singer; staring at him. She wasn't selfish by nature; she tended to be more concerned about her band mates then herself at times, but she was 11 years old…she had to have someone help her out.

She wasn't sure how she was going to manage, but she knew deep down that something good would come of this. The young girl bit back the tears that threatened to fall as she stared at 2D for what might be the last time. Who knew if this was just a break or if they would actually see each other again? She climbed on the couch again and stood next to him; her full height still shorter than the length of his torso.

It wasn't fair. Life had brought them together and now it was those same conditions that were tearing them apart. She didn't have a choice really…regardless of how much she wanted to complete her life with him she couldn't as long as she was in complete. Noodle finally relented to her body's mourning and allowed the tears to fall freely down her pale cheeks. Standing on her toes, the young girl planted a kiss on the older man's bottom lip. She leaned back to stare at him, silently hoping that would get a reaction out of him and silently hoping it wouldn't.

After several seconds with no movement from the singer, Noodle sighed and hopped down from the couch. She glanced around the room, unsure of what to bring. She didn't have much that would do her any good, most of her clothes were destroyed along with the room. However a small object on a coffee table caught the young girl's eye. She recognized what it was immediately since it was Murdoc's favorite object.

She walked up to it and realized that it was indeed a credit card. She quickly realized that this is exactly what she needed to help her along the way in her quest, but she quickly amended her thoughts by realizing this credit card wasn't hers to begin with. She was about to turn away from the piece of plastic when curiosity got the better of her and she glanced at the name on the card.

Noodle Hobbs

Her mouth fell open slightly as she picked up the card, staring at the name. She didn't remember ever having this, let alone asking for one. However another glance at the last name made her realize that it was Russel's handy work that she should have the card. Noodle smiled despite herself, so he was taking care of her even when he was gone.

The former Gorillaz guitarist pulled out her miniature wallet that had her identification card from England, a few pounds, and some American money. She slid the credit card into one of the empty card slots and put the wallet back in her pocket. After sliding on her shoes and straightening her outfit, the young girl walked out of the door without glancing back. Her quest ahead of her held many answers for her, all of which she was apprehensive and excited about.

The clouds that loomed over the hilltop in an eerie dance had not changed in the two years that had gone by, as Kong Studios seemed forever cursed with gloomy weather even despite the fact that it was March. The outside of Kong still looked the same; it had been neglected in the first place so it wasn't surprising that it would have changed in the residents' absence. However, the sight of the freshly polished gates of Kong Studios did spark the curiosity of the blue-haired man lingering outside. He raised a speculative brow at the shining black gates, wondering who or what saw fit to clean the metal entrance to his home. The gates had been pure rust when the Studio had been purchased and it seemed a pointless endeavor to repair one minor flaw upon the outside of the Studio; the outside being one major flaw in the first place.

2D glanced down at the large, elegant key in his hand. 'KS' was inscribed upon the base of the key and the singer bit his lip in apprehension, hoping it still worked to the gates. He glanced up at Kong in the distance; despite the obvious neglect of the landfill, the outside of Kong looked as if it had maintenance recently. 2D silently worried that maybe someone had invaded his home and claimed it as there own. The gravel crunching beneath his converse-clad feet, the tall man walked towards the towering gates with a mixture of fear and excitement. Maybe someone was home...maybe someone was home and not supposed to be there.

Despite his fears, the singer hoisted his pack across his shoulder in a more secure position and pushed the key through the hole; relieved to find that the locks still responded to the key. Much to the blue-haired, lanky man, the gates opened silently and allowed him entrance. Instinct and habit kicked in and the singer was immediately on alert, his black eyes scanning the area in search of any movement whilst his switchblade was flicked open and ready in his hand. 2D walked briskly up the path that led to the entrance of Kong Studios, his heart racing at the thought of reuniting with his family and the potential threat that may surround him in the landfill.

After the harrowing minutes that passed from the gate to the front door of Kong, 2D allowed a relieved breath to escape him. Glancing backwards again as the singer used his key again to open the front door; he quickly slipped inside the house, closing the door as he took one last glance outside at any possible danger that may have followed him. For a moment the former Gorillaz singer just stared at the door of his home. He was home…at last. He'd waited two years for this day…thoughts and dreams of his former family occupied his mind and distracted him from his surroundings in Eastbourne. He missed them…all of them, even Murdoc. He started to feel incomplete without the music flowing in and out of him and his mates completing the quartet that formed a beautiful symphony that was their music. But now he was home and hopefully they soon would be too.

2D blinked himself out his thoughts and realized the door he was staring at was a clean shade of white. This caused the singer to frown as he contemplated the odd color; white was a hard shade to find in its purity at Kong Studios. It was next to impossible to keep anything perfectly clean and white was the hardest to keep clean of all. Furthermore, the singer never remembered the door being white in the first place. Hadn't it been blue…or a shade of it? After a moment of staring at the door, a strange smell invaded the tall man's nostrils. He realized that the entire time he'd been standing in front of the door, instead of the rank smell of abandonment and neglect that he'd anticipated since the train ride from Eastbourne invading his sense of smell, a fresh smell of clean air and cleaning solution filled his nostrils. The keyboardist closed his blackened eyes and shook his head. It's impossible. It's been two years since…

His impatience rushed the imminent arrival of what was about to happen, and with gusto the singer hadn't felt in years, he spun around to find the first floor lobby immaculate. Clean was taboo in Kong Studios since "as-much-crap-as-possible" seemed to be their trademark to the public, but in his absence that tradition had been thrown away and replaced by a cleanliness 2D hadn't ever seen in his entire life. A goofy smile spread across the man's face as a feeling spawned from clean surroundings began to fill his being and physically relax him.

This feeling was shattered by the nostalgic sound of the lift coming to the floor he was currently on. 2D began to panic, unsure who would be coming out of the lift once the door's opened. The odds of it being one of his band mates were slim…but the odds of it being a stranger seemed more plausible.

The doors opened and a beautiful, young woman armed with a scythe and a scowl stormed out of the lift. 2D took a defensive step back, thinking that his worst fear had been realized until the woman gasped, her face delivering an expression of utter shock as she stared at him.

Both of them flinched as the weapon she held was forgotten and dropped to the floor, but all other movement had been halted. She continued to stare at him, an apparent emotion of disbelief visible by her gaping mouth since the rest of her face from her noise up could not be seen due to her bangs. 2D frowned then, confusion starting to set in. Something about him sparked this reaction from her, but what it was he didn't know. He couldn't tell what her face looked like due to her bangs, but the tall man was sure he didn't know the woman. At that point the singer glanced around the room and silently wondered who this woman was and why she bothered to come into his house and clean everything in his and the band's absence. Suddenly, a movement from the dark-haired woman ignited something inside of him. The movement was so miniscule, had he not seen it before he probably would have never taken notice. The young woman had been staring at him when she'd suddenly cocked her head to the side at him. 2D had seen that before and for some reason its meaning defined confusion and wonder of a situation. Noodle had done that as a child whenever she—

2D shook his head suddenly and opened his eyes wider as he stared at the woman before him as if it would help solve the mystery he'd just begun within himself. It was impossible. He hadn't seen her in two years…

2D took in the features of the woman before him, hoping to find some evidence to back up his suspicions. She seemed about five foot five inches; her hair was choppy around her shoulders and tinted purple. She was tan, as he noticed from her lack of dress which consisted of nothing more than a blue tank top and a pair of black shorts. A blush graced the man's cheeks as he also noticed a large pair of breasts peeking out of her top. He mentally cursed himself for his lack of resistance as his eyes raked down her slender form to her long, toned legs. His distracting thoughts were interrupted by a voice that confirmed every suspicion he had.


His eyes snapped back up to her face just as she quickly tossed her bangs away from her eyes, revealing dark, emerald pools that ignited his memory and his soul. The singer's breath escaped him as he gaped at her, Noodle. He hadn't expected…her…or anything. She'd changed so much in just two years; grown into a young woman.

He smiled, a gasp escaping him as he shook his head in disbelief, "Noodle."

A beautiful smile spread across her face as she heard her name from his lips. Instantly she launched herself at him, her body colliding into his with full force as she jumped on him, wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist in a tight hug. 2D had dropped his bag the moment he felt her weight on him and found himself supporting her body in a hug equal to her own as he wrapped his arms around her middle. After the initial shock of her gentle attack subsided, the singer lost him in happiness and buried his face in her shoulder. The two of them stayed in that position for a long while, both of them lost in the moment of the reunion.

Noodle wanted to scream for joy as she hugged her friend, her band mate, her crush. After three months of living by herself in Kong Studios, not to mention the two years alone in Japan, she honestly believed that the band was over for good and she would never see any of them again. This thought broke her heart, but the thought of never seeing 2D again shattered it. However, despite her doubts and fears, Noodle had decided to return to their home where she belonged. But now he was here…he was really here.

Noodle was the first to pull away and did so by very awkward means for the poor singer as she arched away from him and pushed her groin against his abdomen. A permanent blush tainted the singer's cheeks, but he smiled despite the beautiful woman he had in his arms. She smiled down at him, her small hands cupping his face as she sighed, "I can't believe it's you!" she exclaimed breathlessly. She stared at his face in awe as she fought to resist biting her lip. If it was possible, 2D had definitely become a more handsome man than he'd been when she'd last seen him. Two years later, he'd filled out some and seemed to carry himself as was appropriate for his age. He also seemed taller, which seemed a feat in itself considering the singer's tendency for being tall in the first place. She smiled down at him, drawing closer to him in another hug. He squeezed her closer to him as she sighed again, "I thought I'd never see you again…I…I never said goodbye…"

It was then that 2D realized with a frown that Noodle had spoken a couple of sentences in perfect English. Her accent was still there, something he was grateful for, but she didn't seem to struggle in the least with her English. The singer shook the thought from his head; despite his curiosity for her newly acquired perfection in English, something which he was sure came with two years of practice, he was more interested in discovering what happened from the start and he knew that answer would come in time. For now…he was content holding her close to him for as long as he could.

"I missed yeh too, lil' love," he murmured against her bare shoulder. This sent an unexpected shiver through the guitarist's body as she remembered who it was holding her and the feelings she still possessed for him. Not trusting whether or not she'd make a fool of herself, Noodle gently wiggled her legs away from him and planted herself to the ground. She smiled reassuringly up at the singer, giving in a little to her indulgences and combing her fingers through his blue locks. 2D's eyes closed with a pleased sigh as he leaned in her hand as it founds its way to cupping his cheek again. Noodle bit her lip as she felt the inevitable blush stain her cheeks.

"Yeh changed so much, love. I can't believe 'ow beautiful yeh are. …" 2D muttered, opening his eyes with a smile. The blush turned crimson under the tall man's scrutiny and Noodle's hand dropped away from his face as she looked away, a little embarrassed. Her feelings for him made his observation all the more difficult to bear, as she wasn't of his feelings for her. She knew he considered her special to him, especially out of the rest of the band members, but as a woman…she didn't know if she even had a fighting chance in that arena.

"I wana know everythin'," she heard him say. She resisted the urge to sigh; she knew what he wanted to know, but she didn't want to tell him.

Feigning innocence, she glanced up at him and whispered, "Know what?"

He smiled down at her, this time cupping her cheeks with both of his hands and leaning close so their foreheads touched. Noodle's breath hitched in her throat at the proximity that had just been closed. It would be so easy…it wouldn't take hardly any movement at all to lean in and kiss him. The guitarist's eyes remained focused on his lips and little did she know that his eyes were staring at hers. He chuckled, catching her attention as she glanced up at him with her wide, emerald eyes.

"I want to know what happened from the moment yeh walked out tha' door in Los Angeles to the moment I walked through 'is one," he said, rubbing his thumb underneath her eye. Noodle's head swam from his affections and questions. She never expected he'd have this kind of effect on her when they were reunited. She'd figured herself to be a stronger person after her journey to Japan; living on her own for two years and fending for herself. But it seemed the tall, lanky, blue-haired singer was still capable of reducing her to an emotional, craving, lovesick teen.

Her lips suddenly seemed chapped and dry; Noodle ran her tongue over them absently, but the motion did not go undetected to the singer who watched the pink appendage dart over her lips. She sighed, feeling exhausted, "That is a long story, 2D."

He smiled again, "I'm not goin' anywhere, love," he whispered.

Noodle swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat and shakily said, "W-We should probably sit down somewhere," she said glancing up at him through her lashes. She chuckled half-heartedly, "My story is not for the faint of heart."

2D grabbed one of her hands and placed her palm against his chest, leaning towards her with a dramatic sigh, "Meh 'eart is a delicate one, lil' love. I 'ope yeh 'ave a means to resuscitate meh should yeh story be too much for meh to take and I faint," he said with a wink. Noodle was slightly affected by his wink but was suppressing a laugh at the fact that 2D said "resuscitate" in correct enunciation and context.

The singer glanced around the lobby again with a content sigh before glancing back at her again with a smile, "I'd kind of like to see meh room, lil' love," he said, bending down to pick up his bag, "and get settled while yeh talk to meh."

His room…

Noodle was extremely tempted to scream 'NO' at the singer. She felt as if he was teasing her on purpose…but how could he? Surely he didn't know anything her feelings for him. Silently she nodded her head and allowed him to lead her down into the depths of Kong towards his bedroom. When he opened the door she heard his shocked gasp to find the room in the same condition as the lobby he'd entered. He gave her a hug in gratitude for his clean room that she numbly reciprocated and wordlessly followed him as he led her to his bed in the center of the room. At this point, Noodle wouldn't have been surprised if he stripped off her clothes and made love to her right then and there judging by the way he was acting.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) 2D just tossed his bag onto the chair he had and sat down next to her on the bed. He leaned back against the wall with his eyes closed and sighed happily as he stretched his legs out, while Noodle sat there stiffly on the edge of the bed. After another moment of silence, the singer peeked open an eye to glance at the nervous teen. He nudged her with his knee, causing her jump with a start. She turned her head towards him shyly and he smiled warmly at her and once again the guitarist couldn't help but smile back at him. He jerked his head to the empty side of his bed, "Come 'ere, lil' love. Relax and tell meh everything."

The young woman stood and walked around to the other side of the bed rather than crawling over the singer and risking closer proximity than she could handle at the moment. She sat down with her rear against the wall with less than a foot in between them. She closed her eyes before she began so she could sort out her thoughts, but to no avail would her mind let her forget the handsome singer next to her. The young guitarist was absolutely clueless about what to do or if there was anything to do. He was acting a certain way…a way which made her want to believe that he felt something more for her. But…it could just be that he was excited to see her and in reality she was crazy.

She smiled to herself, deciding to abandon her strategy of sorting her thoughts and opted to just wing it. She turned her head towards him and smiled sadly, "I'm sorry I left you there…in the hotel."

For the first time since Noodle stormed into the lobby holding a scythe 2D's face fell into a sad frown. He turned his head away from her and stared at his hands in his lap, remembering that day as if it'd happened only moments ago. Initially he'd been angry when he recovered from his overdose and realized Noodle had left him as well, but he quickly realized that he was the one to blame. 2D sighed at the memory, "Don't apologize, lil' love," he said glancing at her before focusing on his hands again, "I didn't exactly 'andle the situation well and I was too selfish to think of yeh when I took those pills. I should 'ave taken care of yeh but all I could do was think of mehself."

Noodle didn't respond, just thought about what he said. She brought her knees up to her chest and rested her cheek against them, studying the troubled singer. She silently knew that 2D hadn't handled the situation in the best way considering her, but none of them had handled it well. She couldn't blame him for reacting the way he did and she already knew that she'd forgiven him a long time ago. The guitarist shrugged, "I got over it already, 'D. That whole day was just a mess…I couldn't expect you to act on my behalf after what you went through," she said with a sad smile.

He shrugged as well, returning her sad smile with one of his own. He knew she was right and grateful that she'd forgiven him, but he hadn't forgiven himself yet and probably never would. Pills were his Achilles heel and as much as he hated himself for it, it was an addiction he wasn't strong enough to break.

"I went to Japan."

His thoughts were interrupted by the four words that explained the largest part of the mystery. The singer stared at Noodle in awe. She'd been thirteen years old then and yet somehow she'd managed to secure a way to Japan and take care of herself for two years without him or the band.

Noodle smiled at him, "I'd been having nightmares while we were in California…and even before that," she whispered softly, "I was having something of an identity crisis and it really bothered me that I didn't know anything about my past; who I really was, where I came from…my purpose. For a long time I'd been longing for an answer…an opportunity to find out who I really was and that opportunity came when I watched Murdoc and Russel leave."

The young guitarist's eyes lowered, her lashes concealing the shame in her eyes as she looked away from the singer, "I never wanted to leave you 2D. But I realized I couldn't stay after I saw you lose yourself in your own problems. I would have distracted you from those problems, yes, had I stayed; but you couldn't run from them and neither could I anymore," she said looking back up at him.

2D thought about what she said and realized with little surprise that she was right. Being alone had done wonders for him; his backbone had returned and he'd finally become the man he'd always wanted to be and not the sniveling coward that he'd been. If Noodle had stayed, he would have been so caught up in caring for her that he would have forgotten himself. The singer smiled at her, "Thanks for 'at, lil' love."

She shrugged again, "It had to be done."

He nodded for her to continue, "Where did yeh go in Japan?"

She sighed, recounting the places in her head, "I searched everywhere for answers…first in Osaka then Kyoto and Tokyo. A capsule hotel in Tokyo served as my base while I searched for any clues to who I was. Walking the streets I would hear rumors of secret army bases and miniature military troops. These rumors stirred something within me, but they proved to be fruitless," the guitarist sighed again, "I did this for over a year; searching and searching only to come to a dead end at every single lead."

"Finally, one day while I was in an opened steam fish shop, a waitress walked by me with a tray of food. Distracted by the mysteries surrounding me, I hadn't been paying attention when I finished my meal and stood to leave. I knocked over the tray she'd been holding of Ocean Bacon," Noodle smiled at the look of utter confusion that crossed 2D's face at the name of the food. While the band toured Japan several years ago, 2D had become weary of all the strange names the natives had for the foods there since none of the names adequately described the food; thus resulting the poor singer to eat something of meat when he'd thought he was eating something strictly vegetable.

2D shook his head, "I don't even want to know what Ocean Bacon really was, love," he said with a shake of his head.

Noodle smiled, "Well, it's not what it was that was significant. It was just the name. Those two words paired together are very rare; Ocean-Bacon, you can imagine the odds of those ever being said."

2D nodded, wondering what she was getting at. Noodle sighed, leaning her head back against the wall, "Those two words, 2D, they're passwords. The phrase 'Ocean Bacon' is the password used to revive my memory. Instantly I remembered everything; who I was, my purpose, where I came from, the military base, the other 22 children I was trained with, my ability to speak English…all of it."

The singer opened and closed his mouth, resisting the urge to say something but knowing it probably would have sounded stupid. The young guitarist smiled at him, having already anticipated his inner turmoil with what to say and whether he should or not. At this point, the poor singer was pretty predictable in his behavior…specifically where confusion is concerned.

Not waiting for him to think of a response, Noodle continued, "Hearing the commotion outside in the restaurant, the chef came out of the kitchen and he turned out to be my trainer and mentor, Mr. Kyuzo. He was my former caretaker and army officer of the elite team I was a part of," Noodle chuckled then as she thought to herself of the moment when she met her mentor, "I think he was more surprised to see me than I was him. The last time he saw me, he'd wiped my memory clean and shipped me to Kong Studios."

2D made a mental note to thank this man if he ever met him. However, one thing troubled the blue-haired singer. If Noodle was in fact part of a secret elite military army of children, why was she sent to Kong? The tall man cleared his throat, rolling his head to the side to face Noodle; his brow puckered in confusion, "Why did 'is Mr. Kuuzo send yeh to us, love?"

Noodle's expression went grave and the keyboardist realized he'd asked a question that had been troubling the guitarist for a long time. She sighed thoughtfully, "The Japanese Government deemed the 23 children too dangerous before we'd ever been used in battle. Mr. Kyuzo was ordered to de-commission all evidence of the operation, which included the children," Noodle dropped her eyes, but not before 2D noticed the tears that began to form, "He was ordered to kill us."

2D inhaled sharply, his hand instinctively grabbing hers in a comforting gesture. Thinking of the danger that Noodle hadn't even realized she was in sent a cold shiver down the singer's spine. After a moment of silence, Noodle silently crying and 2D thinking to himself how close he'd been to never meeting her in the first place. He glanced back at her, her body wracking with silent sobs as she realized what her fate had almost been after being determined by a select group of people that didn't even knew who she was.

"'ey," she heard him whisper softly. The guitarist felt a squeeze on her hand; she quickly ran her palm across her eyes to wipe away any remaining tears that she had before glancing up at him.

A pang of guilt shot through as she stared at the singer next to her. He was afraid for her; sad for her. Noodle looked away from him, suddenly feeling cold, "Forgive me, 2D. I didn't mean to…" she went to pull away from him.

"No, no, love," he said pulling her closer to him. Before the young guitarist could object, she found herself seated in between the singer's legs, his lanky arms wrapping around her middle. Noodle stiffened as she was pulled back against his chest and she felt his cheek rest against the back of her neck. He squeezed the arms around her middle with a sigh, which caused the guitarist to visibly relax and lean back against the singer with her own content sigh. When her back connected with his chest, the singer repositioned his head on her shoulder and his nose rested against her jaw bone; his lips dangerously close to her neck.

Noodle's eyes rolled into the back of her head as a low purr escaped her throat from the pure ecstasy flowing through her body. Her mind was scrambling her thoughts in a frenzy as her body reacted to where she had always dreamt of being. For years she'd longed to be in his arms like this, to feel his touch.

2D became very aware of a certain someone's bust rest on his arms that he had wrapped around her middle. A faint blush stained his cheeks and he thanked whatever unknown force had situated him behind her. However, said unknown force deemed it appropriate to remind 2D exactly where Noodle's rear was positioned when she shifted her body and rubbed her backside against 2D's already active groin. The poor singer paled when he felt the pressure of Noodle's behind against his growing arousal and it was then that he realized his error in sitting her in his lap.

The singer loudly cleared his throat in hopes of distracting the guitarist in his lap from realizing what was pressing into her lower back, "Um…I-I'm sorry yeh 'ad to go through tha', lil' love," he said softly, his breath warm against the Japanese guitarist's neck, sending a chill through her body.

Despite the fog in her head, Noodle was able to shake her head in response, "No…it was necessary. Now I know who I am…and…my purpose," she said with difficulty as 2D's lips seemed to get closer to the skin on her neck. 2D hummed in response, causing Noodle to practically scream at the vibrations on her neck.

"Was tha' all, love?" he whispered.

Noodle shook her head in response, whispering, "No…"

"Wot else," he whispered again, encouraging her in more ways than one.

Noodle's head fell to the side so she was temple to temple with the singer and their faces so close together, "My name," she whispered into the silence of the room, "I found out my real name."

This sparked a genuine interest for the singer since he remembered clearly the conflict over naming the girl they'd found in a FedEx crate on their doorstep. He nuzzled her neck affectionately, "Wot's yo' name, lil' love?"

The question itself was ironic and sad at the same time. Ironic because for 2D he felt like a dirty old man asking a girl he never knew what her name was and saddening for Noodle because, in essence, none of them ever knew her real name to begin with. She'd been prancing around under a false identity, or at least that's what it felt like.

Noodle swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat from the thousands of sensations rampaging through her body before whispering, "23."

Both of them were silent after she said it…Noodle waiting for a response from the singer and 2D thinking in stunned shock. To him, it was a bit perverse, but a reality blow none the less. He realized that she hadn't been kidnapped from a family as a young girl; she'd been given away at birth. Instead of assigning something creative, they labeled her for exactly what she was: a number. Another addition to an army of kids just like her; made into a tool not meant to have a soul. She'd been created, trained, used, and then discarded and assumed to be dead.

2D shuddered at the thought, his arms curling around her middle in an attempt to comfort her, but more or less, himself. An almost inaudible moan escaped Noodle's lips as a result of the contact between the singer and her. Unfortunately, 2D heard this and it did little good for him than it had for her; his body reacting in the same way. Both of them sat on his bed, cuddled close together so that no space was left between them.

Noodle's emerald eyes slowly opened, her sight focused on the ceiling of 2D's bedroom. She felt as if she was floating on a cloud, 2D wrapped around her, holding her, wanting her. It all seemed unreal, hadn't she been alone a few minutes ago? Had there been any signs that today would be the day that 2D would walk back into her life, harnessing the same feelings for her as she had for him? She wanted to know for sure, but her body was screaming for more, wanting to feel more than her mind wanted to know.

His lips pressed against her pulse on her neck, eliciting another quiet moan from her. The singer was furiously kicking himself in his mind. He'd just walked into Kong and mere minutes later he was all over Noodle like reuniting lovers. His body tensed with the pulsating ecstasy that was silently encouraging him to go on; he didn't want to wait for propriety to catch up with him. He knew what he wanted—he'd known what he wanted for so long and he had never grabbed the opportunity when it was there for him years ago.

He exhaled warm breath against her neck, "Noodle…" he whispered her name, her real name against her already hot skin.

Gently, 2D grabbed her chin between his fingers and moved her head so she faced him. Their faces were mere inches apart when Noodle stared back into the singer's eyes. He stared back into hers for a long moment, searching for anything that might be read as fear or regret. However, Noodle was looking for a sign, anything that would clue her in on his feelings.

Her sign came in unexpected form when 2D cupped either side of her face with his hands, his thumb rubbing soft circles under her left eye. He glanced back and forth between her eyes and her lips, his reluctance disappearing when he saw her do the same as she bit her bottom lip.

His lips descended upon hers even as she tilted her chin up to receive his. The first contact was no more than a feathery brush, both of them pausing for the moment, breathing heavily. After what had happened and was about to happen settled in, both realized the first contact was not enough for either of them. Noodle's arms were around his neck in a heartbeat and the kiss was deepened into a dance of sensation with both of them fighting to lead. Years of restrained passion threatened to consume 2D as he pulled his guitarist closer into his lap until she was straddling him with nothing separating their bodies except the few layers of clothes covering their heated flesh.

Noodle gave in to the sensation that raged within her small frame, her body taking over and guiding her where she was unsure and encouraging her when she went in the right direction. 2D's hands fell from her cheeks and traveled down her body in a gentle caress until they finally rested on her hips, gently pushing her down on top of his lap. Noodle got the hint and grinded her hips against his, both of them breaking away from their kiss to gasp in pleasure.

Noodle was the first to recover from the wave of ecstasy that seized her body from the close contact between their hips, and she clutched his face desperately with her hands, bringing their lips together once again. Her lips parted invitingly and 2D took the opportunity to slink his tongue within her mouth to play with hers.

The guitarist ground her hips down against his arousal once more, eliciting a moan from him that resonated in her mouth and down her throat. His hands began to slide underneath her tank top against her bare skin as hers rose into his spiky blue locks; meanwhile their tongues continued the never ending massage that bound them together.

Suddenly a loud crash resonated from the floor above them and the entire room shook, tearing them apart and from their moment as the two of them darted their eyes around the room to see where the noise had come from.



Both occupants in 2D's room stared at each other in amazement. Noodle looked elated, the grin spreading across her face one of complete happiness and gratification. 2D didn't look so convinced. It didn't take long for Noodle to realize what the consequences were of Murdoc's return. For one…if Murdoc of all people had returned to Kong…Russel wasn't far beyond. Secondly…Murdoc and Russel returning meant the band could continue on its quest for musical glory. And thirdly…

Noodle's face fell when she realized exactly what this meant. 2D's did the same and he clunked his head back against the wall in frustration.

The rest of the band returning meant 2D and Noodle would have to keep their newest development in their feelings a secret. After all…

It was forbidden.

The ground floor of Kong pulsated with the steady vibrations resonating from the Studio Room. If one were to casually walk through the halls of Kong, they would see that the faithful residence that is Kong Studios had definitely become a livelier place since all of its inhabitants returned. May weather did the haunted residence justice as the sun shone through the windows and lightened the atmosphere of the building.

Reunited for the past two months, the four band members were inseparable; doing everything together short of sleeping in the same bedroom. Murdoc and 2D had been quick to make amends, much to the singer's delight and the friendship between the two Brits hadn't shown any sign of strain since the older Brits return. Noodle and Murdoc talked for a long while after his return, the bassist extremely curious about her English skills and what she'd been up to for the past two years. The rift that had formed between them in the former years of the band being together closed at their reunion, and Murdoc even hugged the young guitarist genuinely and let it slip that he'd missed her. The three spent a week together, constantly in each other's presence and spending every waking moment together.

A week after 2D and Murdoc's return, Russel walked through the front door of Kong and was welcomed with open arms by his three band mates and family. Still recovering from his mental breakdown, seeing his family together and greeting him had helped lift the large drummer into higher spirits and once again the four of them were together again, and reunited once again at Kong.

Two months being together as a band and a family, the four found themselves holed up in the Studio Room, fervently working with the demos Noodle created in their absence in an attempt to make an album.

At the peak of Dirty Harry, Murdoc struck a loud bass cord and signaled the four of them to stop, a devilish grin plastered on his features. Russel, the only one not in the sound booth, stopped recording and turned the intercom on between the two rooms, "What's up, Muds?"

"Tha's as far as we can go without tha'…uh…Bootie Brown fellow. 'e'll be 'ere in an 'our so we'll stop 'ere and take a break until then," he said with a nod towards the three of them. Noodle placed her guitar in the stand next to the stool she'd been sitting on and stretched her arms over her head; her mouth opening wide with an exhausted yawn. They'd been in the Studio Room for…four hours? Five? A lot longer then was usual for them when they recorded the first album…even if they each meandered there way into the Studio Room and played something just for the hell of it, none of them had ever recorded or played for so long. The young guitarist brought her fingers down to her face for a closer inspection; her stomach immediately churning at the sight of her raw fingertips. Pursing her lips in frustration, the younger band member made a mental note to tell Murdoc and the others she couldn't play that long for a while under her fingers healed.

Across the room, a tall, blue-haired man watched the young girl inspecting her bloodied fingertips. Unbeknownst to his band mates, the singer's blackened eyes had been trained on the Japanese girl the entire time they'd been in the Studio, watching her with longing.

2D sighed to himself, unplugging his keyboard from the wall before cracking his long fingers. The past two months had been golden for the band, and in all honesty, he couldn't be happier that the four of them were together again. But there was a definite strain between the guitarist and himself. Confessing their feelings for one another to the other band members was out of the question, at least for now. A thirteen year age difference was sure to cause some controversy under the roof of Kong and would be an absolute scandal to the media. If there relationship went out into the limelight with them, the singer wasn't confident that the two of them could handle the pressure they would receive from angles.

2D frowned as he leaned against the wall of the Studio, a cigarette between his long fingers. Could they even label what they had as a relationship? Stolen kisses behind the backs of their band mates and cuddling on the couch in each others arms when no one was home. That wasn't a relationship. There was no structure to what they had; it was more like a love affair waiting to be exposed.

The blue-haired keyboardist shook the frustrating thoughts from his head, but the scowl remained on his face. No matter how much he wanted to sit Russel and Murdoc down and explain the situation to them like adults, he knew it would be pointless. Murdoc was fiercely protective of his guitarist and Russel was even fiercer when it came to his surrogate daughter. It wouldn't matter how convincing the two of them made the argument; their band mates would forbid it one way or another and the public would have a conniption at the scandal.

"'ey, Face Ache."

2D was brought out of his reverie by the voice of Murdoc and looked up to see the bassist jerk his head in his direction. The other nickname was just used as a tribute to their friendship, it was something shared between the two Brits thanks to 2D being at the right place at the wrong time and Murdoc's horrible driving. The singer reached into his pocket, already knowing what the older man wanted and tossed the darker Brit his pack of cigarettes and a lighter. The bassist pulled a cigarette out of the pack and lit it by the time the taller man had pushed himself off the wall and was walking past him towards the door.

"Yeh want 'em back, mate?" Murdoc turned with a frown towards the singer's back.

2D didn't stop walking towards the door as he shook his head, pulling out his keys, "Gotta pick up some more anyway."

"Score a pack for meh."

"Right, mate."

"Hey Murdoc?"

The dark Brit turned his attention to the younger band member behind him and regarded her with a much gentler expression, nodding to her in acknowledgement as he pulled a drag off his smoke, "Yea, love?"

2D had slipped against the wall on the other side of the wall into the Studio Room so he couldn't be seen, but listened for what the young girl had to say.

"I need to take the rest of the day off, possibly tomorrow as well," she said with confidence as she stared up at the bassist. Murdoc frowned, wondering what she was up to or if she was starting to get lazy.

"What for?" he growled. Outside the Studio Room, 2D frowned at the Satanist's attitude towards the youngest member. Inside Noodle smiled sheepishly and brought her hands out from behind her back, exposing her bloodied fingers to the band's leader.

"Bloody fuck, love!" he sputtered, bending over to examine her fingers closely, "Yeh practically lost yeh fingertips!"

Outside 2D snorted to himself as he glanced down at his own blistered fingertips from the keyboard.

Noodle nodded, giggling at the bassist's reaction, "I need to get some gloves so I can protect them."

Murdoc stood back to his full height, taking another drag off the cigarette, "I'll say love. Tell 2D to take yeh to get some gloves, 'e's 'eadin' to the store right now. Meantime…take some time off til 'ose 'eal."

The young guitarist hid the excitement that fluttered in her stomach at the prospect of being alone with the singer and smiled sweetly at the bassist, "Thanks, Murdoc!" before walking out of the Studio Room into the adjoining kitchen.

"Wash yo' 'ands before yeh leave!" she heard the bassist yell after her; rolling her eyes with a chuckle as she turned the faucet to the sink on. She winced lightly as the water stung her raw fingers but clenched her jaw against the burn until the blood washed away. The young guitarist sighed to herself as she shut off the water and grabbed a towel off the counter. One might think she'd have felt her fingers start to blister in the first place…but apparently not. The young girl turned around with the towel in her hands to protect her fingers and began to head towards the door when she looked up with a gasp.

2D was leaning against the door to the adjoining corridor, a smug grin plastered across his face at catching the typically alert guitarist off guard. Noodle quirked a brow at him in annoyance, but she couldn't suppress the thrill that fluttered to life in her stomach at the sight of him, knowing that he watching her.

"You've taken to the shadows now, Mr. Pot?"

His lips spread in a toothless grin, shrugging as he replied, "I do wot I 'ave to love. Come on," he said, jerking his head towards the door out of the Studio. Noodle smiled, a light pink blush staining her cheeks as she followed him down the corridor.

Despite being far away from watching eyes, the pair kept their distance from one another. Noodle watched the tall man walk in front of her as they navigated the corridors of Kong to get to the car park, her eyes raking hungrily over the back of the tall man. Her eyes fell on the pink boxers he wore peeking over the top of his already tight blue jeans, her body visibly shuddering in delight. The young girl's cheeks stained pink at the continuing thought of being alone with 2D; but just as quickly as it had began, the blush faded with the harsh realization of the past month. How long had it been since they'd been able to just cuddle with one another affectionately? Days? Weeks? Kissing had been out of the question for over a week since Russel started having mental instability issues again; requiring all of their presence's to keep the large man secure.

The pair entered the car park and Noodle followed the tall singer to what she presumed would be his car, but frowned when he suddenly stopped short at the Geep. The singer turned around to her with a smile when Noodle quirked her brow in question and looked around for his car, noticing for the first time that it wasn't where it was typically parked. She frowned again, "2D, where is your car?"

His smile never faded as he regarded her question with a shrug, "Sold it," he said, climbing into the driver's seat of the famous Geep. Noodle did a double take on what the singer said, staring at the empty spot where his car had been before hurriedly walking to the passenger side and climbing into the seat next to the singer.

"Why did you sell your car?" she asked, her brow puckered in concern.

He shrugged again, "Didn't want it anymore," he said with a wink that instantly manifested another blush upon the young girl's cheeks before he stuck the key in the ignition and started the Geep.

Aside from the playful wink in the car park, the drive to the store was as uneventful and lackluster as the walk through the corridors; and with a heavy sigh, the young guitarist realized this was the end result from the strain the two of them had to face. Paranoia is what kept them apart, even when they were safely away from the eyes of the leader and surrogate father. Noodle glanced over at 2D as he drove, her shoulders sagging with disappointment when he never glanced her way for even a moment.

Sighing again, the Gorillaz guitarist turned away from the singer towards the passenger door, the window already open, and stared at the traffic that went by them. On more than one occasion a car would drive by them, the occupants screaming madly at the two Gorillaz members. Noodle would plaster a fake smile on her face and nod with a laugh towards the car. Next to her, however, 2D would shift uncomfortably in his seat every time the pair was recognized.

Their first destination was a local guitar store for the gloves Noodle would need to protect her fingers from anymore five hour recording sessions. 2D parked the Geep in front of the small store and hopped out of the car. Noodle did the same and shut the door, smiling at the singer as he walked around to the passenger side of the vehicle. He walked up to her with his own goofy grin, but the young girl immediately caught on that it was forced. Shaking the thought from her head, she held her hand out towards his, waiting for him to grab it with his. Instead, the singer stared back and forth between her hand and her face, sweat beginning to form on his brow as he fidgeted nervously, never moving.

Noodle frowned, "2D…?"

He swallowed nervously at the lump in his throat, "Um…N-Noods maybe we shouldn't…'ere in—"



Noodle stared blankly at the car that had just sped past them, the eccentric fan still hanging out the passenger window waving at them. All at once the young girl realized that the bane of her existence was also going to destroy any chance for the thing she wanted the most. Now everything made sense; of course 2D couldn't show any kind of affection outside Kong. The young girl chuckled to herself at the irony of it all.

Out of the fire…into the frying pan…

The question she wanted someone to answer the most was on the tip of her tongue, but spoken or unspoken, she knew it was rhetorical. She knew the answer, 2D knew the answer…everyone knew the answer.

The Gorillaz singer and guitarist would never have time for themselves. It was like she was planting a seed in the ground and cutting off the roots, then expecting it to grow.

Nodding silently to the singer, the two of them walked into the store; the only thing forming between them being distance and more distance.

Two years. That was how long it took for the Gorillaz to recover from there short breakup before making another album from Noodle's demos, top the charts and indulge in the feeling of being famous worldwide.

Each of them conformed to the busy lifestyle of being a famous celebrity pretty well, having had a taste of it beforehand. The four of them missed the music industry and kept themselves constantly busy with more music, music videos, interviews, concerts, promos, and the like. Being back on top was a great feeling for all of them, as a band and as a family.

Unfortunately, despite the success of the band and the happiness that seemed to exude from the four of them wherever they went, one particular band member was stewing in her own self-loathing.

Noodle had suffered for two years with a relationship that was budding and nothing else; just budding. The space between Noodle and the singer grew with their fame and Noodle kicked herself every night for being so foolish. She wasn't one to care what anybody thought, let them say what they want and think what they think; what could they possibly do to hurt them?

Stop liking Gorillaz and then the destruction pans out from there.

Noodle wanted to be selfish, but no matter how much she stewed in her own desires it always boiled down to the fact that she wasn't selfish. She wouldn't sacrifice her career and her families career for her own selfish desires. But certainly there had to be another avenue in which they could expand their relationship right?


On the rare occasion that the Gorillaz were home when there wasn't an interview to do, a promo for a song or video or anything of that nature…or on the even rarer occasion where 2D and Noodle were home at the same time, the two managed to find some privacy away from the other band members.

It didn't take long for either of them to figure that they had exactly two hours alone before Russel would coming looking for Noodle; his mentality being that Noodle would run into him in the house every so often or enough for him to keep an eye on her and that if she was in one spot for more than two hours (that wasn't her room) than there might be trouble (with a zombie).

Murdoc on the other hand only came looking for Noodle when there was a recording session. However, the bassist constantly hunted the singer down for cigarettes on a daily basis and would come at random times of the day.

So as long as Murdoc was freshly satisfied with a pack of cigarettes, the pair had two hours to play with before Russel hunted Noodle down and made sure she wasn't dead (or alone with 2D although this accusation was unspoken between father and daughter). The singer and guitarist found interesting places in Kong to get their fix of one another. 2D's room was usually an option, but used on rare occasions. When Murdoc was nicking or Russel was hunting, the singer's room was the first place to look.

Of the many nooks and crannies the pair found, the bunker proved to be the most useful. It was rarely used except for when Russel went to the food storage; and thankfully he had a set date every month when he went down there.

With secret places to see each other alone secured, the ever uncomfortable subject of what to do always popped into both of their heads, but never out of their mouths. For the past two years, Noodle never experienced anything more than heated kisses and intimate caresses…through her clothes. 2D seemed happy to receive the same from her, but after two years of nothing but rubbing on each other fully clothed, Noodle started to grow irritable. She couldn't grasp why the singer was so settled with a dead-end relationship…if that's even what it was. He never said anything to object otherwise…in fact, he never spoke of it at all. Never had he approached her, troubled with how their relationship never started and never went anyway or how unfair it was that they hid from everyone. Never.

Noodle never mentioned her thoughts to the singer, but when she started growing weary of the situation they'd gotten themselves into she stopped making attempts to be alone with him.

She never counted on him ceasing his.

So this is where Noodle found herself two years after her first kiss with the singer. Fed up with the world, fed up with fame, and fed up with him. She wanted nothing more than to get away from everything and never look back…even if it was only for a little while. Until she figured her situation out and got some answers.

The seventeen-year-old guitarist knocked on the rickety door of the Winnebago, a snarl immediately following from the occupant inside. She rolled her eyes, shifting her weight from one leg to the other, "Murdoc, it's me," she yelled to the door. A symphony of sounds erupted from the mobile, most of which consisted of something breaking or getting pushed out of the way until she heard a large form stumble to the door and it was pushed open by a shirtless and bleary-eyed Murdoc.

He glanced at her curiously, "Wot yeh want?" he mumbled.

Noodle smirked, her precognitive senses already telling her that from this point on things were going to fall into place exactly how she planned them. She whipped her hair out of her face and smiled sweetly at the bassist, "I have an idea for the El Manana video that I wanted you to run by Jamie."

Murdoc quirked his brow, regarding her suspiciously, "Do yeh now?"

She nodded with a smirk, "Oh yeah…it's killer."

Murdoc's lips spread in a feral grin, his sharp teeth exposing and giving him a more sinister look than he already had. The older Brit took a step back, allowing her inside his mobile home, "I'm listening, love."

In March of 2006, the world panicked at the loss of their beloved Gorillaz guitarist. Letters, flowers, gifts, etc. were sent to the gates of Kong out of respect for the supposed death of Noodle. Even the crew working with the band on the set of the music video went into lockdown for hours searching for the young girl in the windmill. 2D and Russel were frantic at the mere thought of losing their beloved band mate.

Only one knew of the underlying plan behind the whole thing.

Murdoc stared at his band mates in the living room of Kong Studios, a pensive sigh escaping him. They'd just returned home from the set of the video only hours ago after police convinced the singer and drummer there was nothing more they could do except pray and wait. Currently, Russel and 2D were doing little of praying and a lot of panicking. Russel was back on the phone with the band's record company, trying his best to convince them to finance a major search and rescue for young Noodle. 2D was on the phone with the police that were at the scene of the video, hoping to get more information out of them.

The bassist sighed, feeling a pang of guilt stab at his cold heart. He understood what he'd done and he understood why. She'd asked for time; that was it. Time to get her life back in order so she could relax and figure a few things out, that simple. But the Satanist never took into account the fact that he would have to watch his band mates suffer at their supposed "loss".

Murdoc put his hand in his back pocket, his fingers touching his wallet before he stopped. He closed his eyes, his thoughts raging in his head. Two weeks…

In his wallet was a letter from Noodle to Russel and 2D, explaining her whereabouts and her reasoning. She'd asked him to give it to them two weeks after her disappearance; enough time to get settled where she was. Murdoc shook his head, turning away from the pair before him and heading down the stairs towards the car park to his Winnie. He was in dire need of a stiff drink after today's events and the weight that'd been thrust upon his shoulders.

Over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) away from England, on an island nestled off the southwestern tip of India; a young Japanese woman lay in a beach chair under the beautiful summer sun. Behind where she lay stood the only resort situated on the very tip of the island, conveniently placed for those seeking privacy away from the rest of the world within its fenced boundaries.

It was the perfect place to escape; a place so secluded, no one but a tourist would recognize her and much to her advantage, those tourists didn't stay at her resort. Nearly a month after her supposed death, Noodle, guitarist of Gorillaz, had been granted an amiable amount of time to think about everything under the sun that was her life. Most of those thoughts, however, always rested on a certain blue-haired singer.

Noodle sighed, her eyes opening behind her large sunglasses to stare at the clear blue sky above her. She missed him terribly and even now she could admit that faking her death and running off to the Maldives was a bit extreme. A frown puckered the Japanese woman's brow as her thoughts continued to anger and disturb her. What was she missing? Futile attempts for privacy just for physical relief? There wasn't a future there and that's exactly what the guitarist wanted…a future with him.

Noodle sighed, her back arching as she situated herself in the chair, her thoughts finally settling in her mind as well. A future and a relationship with 2D was impossible and forbidden thanks to the loving public and a protective Russel.

So be it…she'd just stew here until someone demanded her presence back in England.

A shadow was cast over her followed by a heavily accented voice speaking in English, "Anything from the bar, madam?"

Noodle looked up at the smiling waiter, dressed in a tuxedo with a towel over his arm and a tray filled with empty glasses in his hands. She looked away from him shaking her head, "No thank you. But please, see to it that I'm not disturbed for the remainder of the day."

He bowed to her, "Yes, madam," and then he walked away from her towards the tiki bar located on the beach.

Noodle sighed again, her loneliness starting to settle in again as she noticed nothing but couples surrounding her on the beach, most of them newlyweds. The guitarist shook her head, reaching down next to her chair into the beach bag she brought for the sun screen her fair skin desperately needed. She knew it was pointless to lay in the sun when all she would achieve is a sunburn and even more redundant when she didn't even want a tan, but despite that she enjoyed the warmth of the sun seeping into her skin and the fresh breeze from the ocean that blew past her.

Squirting a generous amount into her hands, the pale woman lathered both her arms and chest around what her bikini did not expose. After another handful of sunscreen, she worked on her stomach, spreading the white lotion in until it disappeared and absorbed into her skin completely. More lotion was needed for each leg until the guitarist felt satisfied she was adequately protected from the sun. Depositing the sunscreen back in her beach bag, the young woman nestled herself back into the beach chair comfortably, her eyes closing blissfully as an ocean breeze caressed her sun-kissed skin.

Mere minutes later, after the guitarist had started to drift off into a nap, she heard footsteps crunching in the sand somewhere behind her in the distance. Noodle frowned, slightly irritated by the tourist that disturbed her slumber. After a few more irritating footsteps, the young woman realized that the footsteps were coming closer to her and she rolled her eyes behind her sunglasses, silently cursing the waiter that couldn't take a hint and leave her alone. Noodle frowned at the prospect of the footsteps being the waiter. One of the few things she'd observed her first week at the resort had been that the waiters that served the beachgoers outside walked around on the beach barefoot—probably so they didn't disturb the visitors.

Suddenly the loud footsteps stopped right next to her and a large silhouette was cast over her, cutting off the heat from the sun and enveloping her in shadow. Noodle grit her teeth at the idea of it being a tourist that recognized her or someone else coming to bother her. Snatching her sunglasses off her face, Noodle growled, "Can I help you?" before looking up at the idiot intruding on her privacy.

Noodle gasped in shock, her sunglasses slipping from her hands and dropping into the sand. Towering above her was the one person she'd run away from in the first place—2D. The guitarist jumped out of the chair, standing so that the beach chair was the only thing between them as she gawked at him in shock. The singer stared back at her, his expression betraying his true emotions which made the guitarist shiver; he was pissed.

His shoes had been what gave him away; the singer came to the beach dressed like he always did—blue jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers. He didn't even have a pair of sunglasses and the guitarist silently wondered if he even needed them; his eyes were black anyway.

Her thoughts were interrupted when the singer snorted, shaking his head, "The Maldives?" he questioned, spreading his arms in regard to their location, "Was 'is really necessary?" he sneered at her with a glare.

Noodle cowered slightly at his tone, realizing that she should have expected him to be angry the next time she saw him. Her mind searched for a defense and a floodgate of her reasons for escape filled her mind. The guitarist stood a little straighter and her chin jutted to strengthen her own resolve, "You read my letter—"

"Yea…and so did Russ," he growled, the scowl deepening with every word, "I guess yeh didn't take into account tha' 'e'd give meh a four day lecture after discovering exactly wot we'd been 'idin' fo' two years, did yeh?"

Noodle rolled her eyes, her hands flying in exasperation, "We were hiding a two year fling, 2D! The feelings were there, but neither of us ever bothered to progress the "relationship" because we were both afraid of the supposed scandal it would cause."

2D looked away from her at the word "fling", his face painted with anger, "Is tha' wot it was to yeh? A fuckin' fling?" he growled.

It was Noodle's turn to growl in frustration as her fists clenched together, "Look me in the eye and tell me exactly what it was supposed to be!" she shouted through her teeth.

2D shook his head, still not looking at her, "Yeh know 'ow I feel about yeh…"

Noodle's muscles visibly relaxed as her shoulders slumped in defeat at the singer's words. She shook her head at him, "No, 2D, I don't," his head snapped in her direction, the scowl returning back to his features, "How could you feel something special for me if I wasn't even important enough to a part of every aspect of your life?"

2D shook his head wordlessly, not understanding her point.

Noodle sighed, "The public eye is what drove me away from you in the first place," she mumbled, looking away from him.

The singer clenched his teeth, the anger flowing through his veins like a poison. He'd been fighting the same inner conflict had and his solutions had been as fruitless as hers. However, he tried to be optimistic and hope for the best, that one day they could finally expose themselves to the world…and to each other. Instead, the girl he loved gave up and ran away to an island to sort herself out because she couldn't tolerate the world anymore.

With a single stride, 2D crossed over the beach chair and stood in front of Noodle, grabbing her shoulders and bringing her close to him as he descended his lips down upon hers in a bruising kiss. Noodle's heart fluttered wildly when his lips came into contact with hers. She wanted to object or push him away, hadn't they been arguing a point? The guitarist's anger dissolved when his tongue separated her lips and he deepened their kiss, her body melting against his in bliss. Oh, how long had it been since she'd kissed him like this?

2D broke away from her, both of them breathing heavily as he leaned his forehead against hers, nuzzling her gently, "I don't care about the damn public, or Russ and Muds. I care about yeh, lil' love."

Noodle bit her lip nervously, "Russel...he'll—"

"Raise 'eaven and 'ell in attempting to keep us apart," 2D interrupted with a smirk, "But tha' doesn't matter as long as we 'ave each other."

The guitarist closed her eyes, melting into his arms. The singer wrapped his arms around her, holding her close to his body and resting his cheek against her forehead. He sighed into her hair, "I love yeh, Noods. I always 'ave. And I'm not going to let a silly thing like paparazzi, scandal or Russ stop meh from being wit' yeh."

A violent tremor surged through Noodle's body, a gasp erupting from her lips. He loved her. Everything that had happened to her in her life, from Japan to England to California to where she stood in the Maldives…all of it had been worth it just to hear those words come from the man she adored the most.

Noodle tilted her head back, looking up at the blue-haired man and into his black eyes. She smiled wide for him, her arms squeezing tighter around him, "I love you, 2D. More than anything."

His smile matched hers when she said the words he'd been waiting to hear for a long time. Their lips came together again; the passion and emotion that was pent up inside each of them for many years was released in that kiss, her arms encircling around his neck as his slinked around her waist, pulling her closer to his body. Noodle stood on her tip toes to deepen the kiss, her hips sliding against the singer's aroused groin, a moan escaping the tall man at the contact.

Pulling away from her lips once again, the singer scooped the guitarist up in his arms bridal style, a girlish squeal erupting from her as he walked towards the resort.

Noodle giggled as she wrapped her arms around his neck, "Now what are they going to say when they see two Gorillaz in the Maldives in such a precarious position?"

2D pecked a kiss on her lips with a smile, "'opefully somethin' scandalous," he said with a wink, "If they're gona try to destroy our reputations, 'ey might as well make it good."

Noodle leaned her head back dreamily, "Yeah…besides, lover or mistress sounds so much sexier than girlfriend," she said with a snicker.

2D snorted, "Makes meh wonder wot they'll say when I make yeh my wife."

Before Noodle could even gasp or contort her face into a look of shock, his lips were upon hers, this time never breaking until he shut the door of her room behind them.

He set her down on her feet once inside her room, his hands sliding up her arms that were wrapped around his neck. Grabbing her hands, he brought them in front of them and placed a kiss on each knuckle.

"Are yeh sure about meh, lil' love?" he asked, glancing up and searching her eyes for any sign of doubt. She smirked at him, bringing his hands to the back of her neck and putting the ties of her bathing suit in his long fingers.

Standing on her toes, she kissed his lips again, "My only regret is we waited this long. I love you, 2D."

He smiled, surrendering to her desires as well as his own as he descended his lips on hers again, "I love yeh, too, lil' love."

A/N: Wow…I hope you enjoyed!