Authors Notes: Just a little oneshot thing I wrote after getting inspired from a Phase Three image of 2D playing guitar, and Blur's 'Out' of Time'.

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to it's respectful owners.


The World Spins Gently

She couldn't remember what had woken her up. Dreams maybe, or zombies. Regardless, she'd sat in her room, reading a book for nearly an hour before a sound, barely there, echoed into her room. It was a sound she knew well, especially considering the sound was being produced by the instrument she was best at.

A guitar.

Noodle stood, laying the book gently down on her messy bed. Who would be playing a guitar this late at night? Certainly not Murdoc; he had been drinking before having gone to bed and would likely not wake up till noon tomorrow. She knew Russel wouldn't be the one playing the instrument; she'd seen the man handle a guitar, and he was very bad at it. That only left Stuart. Truth be told, she'd never really seen 2D play anything other than his keyboards. The only time she'd seen him with a guitar in his hands was when he was getting hers for her.

"But... 2D-san can't play guitar... Can he?" She asked herself. Slowly, she walked over to her door, and slipped out into the hallway. The sound was quiet, but loud enough that she could hear it's tone; gentle, and a bit mournful. Quietly following the chords, she could hear a voice; what Murdoc had described as 'angelic'. 2D's voice.

"...And you've been so busy lately..." She stood, ambling around and trying to discern the direction from which his voice came from. "that you haven't found the time..." It was on this floor, she knew. He was too close to be on any other. "to open up your mind..." Noodle turned a final circle before deciding that his voice was loudest when she was aimed in the direction of the kitchen. But why would he be singing in the kitchen? No, he was more likely to be on the balcony. That made much more sense than him singing in their grimy kitchen. "and watch the world spinning, gently out of time..."

Noodle was almost holding her breath as she ambled toward the kitchen with silent, careful steps. She didn't want him to notice her; she'd never seen Stuart in his true elements. His true self was a mystery to her, as he always held himself back when somebody else was around him. His confidence was at it's peak when he was by himself, she knew this. But she'd never actually seen him alone; the most similar thing she could possibly compare it to was when he was on stage. Ignorant of anything else but his music.

"Feel the sunshine, on your face... It's in a computer, now. Gone to the future, way out in space..." She didn't recognize this song. It wasn't one of theirs, not one of the songs on their albums. It didn't sound as though he was making it on the fly, though. Most likely it was somebody else's.

Noodle gazed carefully through their kitchen, eyes scanning the windows that displayed the balcony. Yes, there he was. Leaning back in the balcony chair with his legs on the table, as if it was a footrest. But what was in his hands? Not the guitar she'd heard? But as she neared, her view of him became clearer: He was holding a guitar. But not just holding it, he was playing it. With his eyes closed. Standing silently at the 'island' counter that sat in the center of their kitchen, she listened as he began to sing again, heading back into what she assumed must have been the chorus. "And you've been so busy lately, that you haven't found the time... To open up your mind, and watch the world spinning gently out of time..." She took a step forward, holding her breath when his ever-bruised eyes opened, his careful fingers missing a chord and stopping the song dead.

"'Allo? Ooh's dere?" He asked the dark quietly. She saw his eyes pass over her, then stop. His twin black pits narrowed, obviously he saw somebody was there, but could not make out who it was. "Too small fer a Zombie... Not tha guys..." He muttered, taking his legs off the table and sitting normally. "Noods?" His eyes widened, and a grin split his face. "C'mon Noods, ah know it's yew." Noodle debated staying where she was, or going back to bed, but instead moved closer to him. She wasn't tired anyway. All she'd end up doing was staring at her ceiling.

"I did not scare you?" She asked, closing the balcony door behind her as she moved outside. 2D gazed out over the landfill as he strummed out a few random chords.

"Naw... Muh-doc scares me. Some o' me fans scare me. Cortez scares me." He turned to her, ruffling her hair as he spoke. "Yew don't scare me, love." She grinned back, but as 2D went back to strumming the tune from the song he'd been playing before, it faded.

"Why are you out here, 2D-san?" Stuart lowered his guitar a bit.

"Couldn't sleep. Migrane. Thought some music'd calm it down, and sor'a lost meself after a bit." He turned to her. "Why you out 'ere, love?" She smiled sheepishly.

"Couldn't sleep." The blue-haired man in front of her chuckled, motioning for her to come closer, which she did, deciding to lean on the railing next to him. He had gone back to his guitar again, eyes closed as he played the song from before.

"Tell me I'm not dreaming, but are we out of time...? We're out of time... Out of time..." Noodle gazed at him. He seemed so in tune with himself right now, despite her presence.

"Where did you learn to play, 2D?" She asked carefully. He continued the tune for a bit before stopping and turning to look at her, a smile on his pale face.

"This?" He pointed at the guitar in his hands. "High-school. Had a band meself then. Jus' me an' a few friends. We weren't nothing good, one o' dem 'garage bands', y'know? I played guitar... Mick played drums... I fink Holly did tha singin'. Ernie played keyboard pretty good, but he thought 'e sucked arse."(1) He chuckled at a memory. "Mick got us a gig, once. We did pretty well at first. But then, in tha' middle o' the song, y'know wot 'appened?" Noodle, grinning, shook her head. This was all new to her. Stuart had been in a high-school band? He'd been the guitarist? She couldn't imagine it. He was a keyboard man, through and through, yet he'd learned guitar, and had been obviously playing it for a while before moving to keyboards.

"What happened, 2D?" He chuckled.

"Right in tha middle o' the song, Holly forgot the lyrics! It woz at the end of a verse, so we all played it off as summink that was supposed to 'appen, but when she didn't pick up, we though we woz dead!" He was gesturing wildly as he explained it all. "I had memorized the lyrics so me timing would be better or summink, so I took up the mic in front o me-" He paused. "They'd put mics in front 'o all of us, summink to do wiv making our instruments louder... But anyway, I took the mic in front o' me, and jus' started beltin' out tha lyrics." Noodle giggled, and 2D laughed for a bit before beginning again.

"But the fing woz, y'see, nobody had ever heard me sing before! None o' me band knew I could sing. But there ah woz, beltin' out lyrics like a pro! Holly recovered an' joined in real quick, an' man... We made 'at song a brilliant duet." He grinned at the night sky, sighing at the memory.

"What happened afterwards, 2d-san?" Noodle asked him. 2D began another tune on his guitar before continuing.

"We could'a been summink, Noods." He looked at her. "We could'a been tha next big fing." Could have. Meaning they hadn't made it big, after all. She scoffed internally. Obviously 2D's high-school band hadn't made it big, otherwise he wouldn't be here at KONG.

"Did something happen?" She asked. They hadn't made it big, she knew that now. But why was the question. Why hadn't they become something?

2D nodded.

"Me an' Mick woz just kids, we didn't 'ave nuffink else to do. Thats why we started the band. But Ernie wound up movin, an' Holly jus' went missin' one day. Left wif'out a word to anybody an' never came back. Me an Mick couldn't keep up by ourselves, so we junked tha band an' moved on. Guitar woz me passion at the time, but after the band's split, it didn't draw me so much anymore." He gazed at the instrument in his hands. "Tha's why ah'm so dedicated to Gorillaz, luv. Gorillaz made it where Me and Mick and the guys never could." Noodle cocked her head to one side.

"You said 'Ernie' moved, and 'Holly' vanished... but what about 'Mick'?" 2D grinned and laughed.

"Mick made it big, I s'pose... Became a big author" Noodle grinned.

"Then, technically, you two did 'become something'. Maybe not how you'd intended, but you did." 2D looked thoughtful for a moment before grinning happily.

"Ah guess we did Noods." His smile faded a bit. "Y'know... I 'aven't actually talked to 'im in ages...Last time ah spoke to 'im woz before ah got me job in Uncle Norms..." 2D opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off by an involuntary yawn from Noodle. "Looks like somebody's sleepy." He said, tickling her in the side and grinning when she recoiled, laughing.

"Don't stay up too late, 2D-san..." Noodle said through her grin as she opened the door to the kitchen. "You know we have practice tomorrow." He nodded, and followed her inside. However, as she headed to her room, she noticed he'd stopped by the phone. She paused by her door.

"... Oi, Mick?" A soft voice was heard, responding. "S'me, mate. Stuart Pot." Noodle could hear the previously quiet voice light up with excitement; she could make out a few fragments now, including 'thought you were dead', 'why didn't you contact me', and one that 2D lit up at hearing; 'found Holly'.

"Calm down mate, me roommates are sleeping." Noodle entered her room, yawning. She'd let 2D reminisce alone. Besides, he was most confidant when he was by himself. "Oi, Mick. You feel like gettin' tha guys back together?" She heard him say as she climbed underneath her covers.

"Cause your gonna flip when ya hear this."


(1) Mick, Ernie and Holly are all fictitious people; the three are OC's built to fit into this story.