A/N: HEY! soo... sorry i haven't updated in an eternity. In all honesty, it's because I'm lazy. So! I've tried to make this chapter much longer than the rest! Hope it leaves you satisfied. OH! and i would just like to apologize. I'm sooooooooo sorry if my stories ever end up sounding similar to other authors fics! I guess I'm drawing too much inspiration...:S But yeah. GAH! ONE MORE THING! I've now introduced the flashback! When you see "~~~" it starts the flashback. it also ends with "~~~" Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do (not) own Gorillaz.
2D sat on his bedroom floor, waiting for RoboNoodle. The chore of sitting and keeping her company had become the best part of the week. And he hated it. He mildly enjoyed being able to talk to someone, but the fact that the "someone" in question was a crappy copy of Noodle made him feel like kicking someone's head off. It felt like receiving a chocolate bar, biting into it, then realizing that it's made of cardboard. Very unpleasant.
The PA system Murdoc had recently installed buzzed.
"Alright, two-dents. Noodle's legs have completely shut down, so you'll have to go down to get her today." Murdoc said. 2D shuddered. He hated that little cupboard. Which was why he had decided that their little sit-downs would now take place in his room. He meandered into the lift and pressed the button for the boiler room. The lift was running slower than usual today, the handsome young man who was their new mechanical engineer was encountering numerous problems with most of the machines on Plastic Beach. 2D stood motionlessly in the lift, quietly humming Starshine from Gorillaz first album. That album was fun to make… he thought. He remembered Murdoc, always coming up with crazy ways to add a cooler sound to a track. Russel, hitting his drums with a peaceful smile on his face. Noodle… playing and singing her heart out with the most adorable look on her face. 2D felt the tears coming on again. He missed those days. Those were simpler times. No chloroform, no kidnapping, just music. Music that made people happy. Music that had a message. The tears were falling full-force now, and the lift had stopped. 2D wiped his eyes on his shirt as he passed the topless boy working on the boiler. He reached the door of RoboNoodle's cupboard and knocked.
"Come… innnnnn." RoboNoodle said. 2D pushed the door open and looked down at the android. She sat on the floor with the multicoloured tubes sticking out from her body, and her legs contorted in a disgusting way. 2D winced as he looked at her legs. RoboNoodle pushed a small button on the back of her neck to disconnect the tubes. With a loud sizzling sound, the tubes popped out of her head and back and hung limply from the ceiling. 2D reached down and picked up the cyborg like a sack of potatoes. He kicked the cupboard door open and walked back up to the lift.
When they arrived in 2D's bedroom, he plopped the robot down on his bed and sat next to her.
"What would you like to do?" he asked her. RoboNoode cocked her head to the side a bit and pondered.
"Want to get fixed." she replied. 2D chuckled. The previous week, a short, stout man arrived at the beach to fix her. It hadn't gone over very well, though.
2D and RoboNoodle had been sitting in the studio, talking to the gigantic Russel through the window, when the intercom buzzed.
"Dullard, bring Noodle downstairs, there's someone here to look at her." Murdoc's voice crackled. RoboNoodle smiled up at him. 2D looked sadly out the window towards Russel. He mouthed the word visitor and Russel stood up and walked around to the other side of the island. Seeing a giant man sitting beside someone's house was a bit unsettling for most people.
2D stepped into the lift with RoboNoodle stumbling behind him. They reached the entrance way where Murdoc and the small, grubby man waited.
"Hello, there!" he said cheerfully in a thick British accent. "I'm here to fix a… what's this say… a complicated piece of machinery. I'm always up for a challenge!" he read off his clipboard. Murdoc looked about ready to rip this man's face off, but not until he fixed his robot.
"Uh.. Yeah. Well, I have an android I need you to fix as quickly as possible." Murdoc replied. The man looked at him, confused.
"An android? Like, a robot?" he asked. Murdoc nodded. "Well, that's incredible!" he cheered. 2D crinkled his nose up at the man's cheerfulness as well. Murdoc put his hand on RoboNoodle's back and gently pushed her over to face the mechanic.
"Well, here she is. I want her finished by noon or so. Alright?" Murdoc looked down at the little man. He stared at the android for a moment, then looked back up at the tall, green-skinned bassist.
"Umm… this is a little girl." he said. Murdoc rolled his eyes.
"She's made to look like a little girl. Now get fixing." he replied, now getting agitated. The little mechanic stared wide-eyed at Murdoc, a sick thought entering his head.
"You made a robot… of a teenage Japanese girl…" he didn't want to finish his thought. Murdoc got wide-eyed as well, as he realized what this man was implying.
"NO! That's just- hey, wait!" he shouted. The small man was already running off towards his boat. 2D covered his mouth so he wouldn't burst out laughing, while RoboNoodle pulled a small gun out of her belt and aimed it at the mechanic. "No, no. Just let him go." Murdoc said. "You'll just have to wait a while longer to get fixed." RoboNoodle frowned and fired the gun, aiming far to the left of the man, who jumped and broke into a full-on sprint. Murdoc cracked a small smile then sent the two of them back upstairs.
2D smiled at the silly memory. RoboNoodle was now looking through his DVDs, trying to find something to watch. She pulled out an old zombie flick that 2D used to watch with Noodle all the time. He had a feeling that watching that particular film would bring back some sad memories, but agreed to watch it anyway.
Halfway through the movie, RoboNoodle tugged on 2D's sleeve, stating she was tired and had to go back to her room. 2D sighed as he swung her over his shoulder again and walked back to the lift. Once they had reached the boiler room, 2D walked down to the robot's cupboard and pathetically attempted to plug all her tubes back in. All of a sudden, the tubes all stretched out and plugged themselves in. 2D turned around to see the young mechanical engineer standing next to a switch labelled "PLUGS". The young man smiled.
"Er- hello. I don't believe we've been properly introduced. My name's Demitri. I've been working on your boiler." he held out his hand. 2D cautiously shook it. "Ahem. Well, I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I've noticed you need someone to fix up the robot." 2D looked at Demitri, wondering if he had ever spoken to him before. "Uh… Mr. 2D?" Demitri asked, snapping his fingers.
"Huh? Oh, yeah. The robot. Go on." 2D replied quickly. Demitri chuckled.
"Well, I think I'd be able to fix her. I've had lot's of training, and I've been waiting for a challenge like this for a while and-" 2D held his hand up for him to stop.
"Okay, okay. Hang on a sec. I'm really not the one to ask about this kind of thing. I think Murdoc is upstairs or something. You could buzz him on the PA too." he offered. The younger man lit up and dashed out of the cupboard to find Murdoc. RoboNoodle looked up at 2D with a confused expression on her face.
"What… happening?" she asked.
"I-uh- I'm not 100% sure, but I think you're getting fixed."
Noodle sat on the deck of Johann Phillips' boat and stared up at the night sky. The beauty of it all. She was glad she had successfully coaxed Johann into taking her to Plastic Beach. Although it wasn't easy.
Noodle had just pulled out her flare gun, hoping that Johann would recognize it for the real deal. The old man threw his hands up, and began to sweat like a pig.
"Oh, god. Please don't shoot me! I-I have a family!" he cried in his heavy polish accent. Noodle looked at him and snorted.
"You liar! You don't have a family."
"Uh- yes I do. They just… um… wait… is that a flare gun?" Noodle cursed under her breath. Johann scoffed. "Ha! You didn't even think to bring a real gun!"
"Shut up! I'll bet it still hurts like hell to be shot with a flare gun." she snapped at him. Johann pondered this a moment.
"Well… I-I don't even have a boat." he stammered. Now it was Noodle's turn to scoff.
"You are a terrible liar. You bought a new one the day after Murdoc had yours destroyed. I know more about you then your mother does." She spat. Johann looked at her a moment, then made a wild jump towards his small phone that rested on a short end table. Noodle quickly delivered a light (but still hard enough to knock the wind out of him) kick to his stomach. While he huffed on the floor, she smashed the phone with her flare gun. "I'm sorry, Mr. Phillips, but I really need you to take me to Plastic Beach. I can't leave until you agree." she said.
"I can't go back there. That man. The green man. With the long tongue. He'll have that robot thing kill me!" Johann wheezed. Noodle sighed.
"Mr. Phillips, trust me. You have nothing to worry about." Johann looked up at her with his sad eyes.
"You won't let him hurt me?" he asked. Noodle shook her head. She helped him up off the floor.
"Now why don't you show me your boat?"
As she stared into the sky, Noodle wondered what 2D was doing right now. She wondered if he was wondering what she was doing right now. She giggled a little. She looked over at Johann, driving the boat away from the docks where it was parked. Then she heard a gunshot.
"What the…" she heard another shot ring out. "JOHANN! WE'RE BEING SHOT AT!" she yelled.
"Oh, no… oh, no no no. This is just like last time!" he whimpered as he ducked down and covered his head. Noodle looked at the controls and steering wheel. She couldn't drive this thing! She had to act quickly to avoid being shot. She ran over to her suitcase and dug until she found her flare gun. She ran over to the side of the boat, covering her head, then leaned over, aimed, and fired. The bright red flare shot across the water and hit the man with the gun square in the chest. She listened to him scream for a moment then looked over at Johann with a smug smile.
"I told you it would hurt like hell."
As the days turned into weeks, Noodle became insufferably bored. She dug through her suitcase until she found the first Gorillaz album. She walked over to Johann's old CD player and popped it in. She sat on the deck for a while until the song Sound Check came on. A big smile spread across her face as she sang along at the top of her lungs. Johann's nose crinkled in disgust.
"Must you sing so loud? And turn that hippy shit off." he whined. Noodle stopped singing and quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Hippy shit?" she asked. This didn't sound at all "hippyish" to her. She wondered how Murdoc would take that comment. She giggled as she imagined his face turning red with anger and screaming in Johann's face about how Gorillaz was the best band in the world and there was absolutely nothing shitty about them. She sighed. Murdoc. That bastard. He better hope that robot is in good shape. she thought. She was soon interrupted in her thoughts.
"Er- Miss Noodles?" Johann asked.
"It's just Noodle." she replied. "What is it?"
"How did you get that bruise?" he asked again. Noodle touched the bruise under her left eye. Was it really still there? Persistent little bugger. she thought.
"I uh… fell." she lied.
"Fell where?" he pried.
"Er- down the stairs."
"And you landed on your eye?" he asked with a raised eyebrow. Noodle sighed.
"I got hit in the face." she said heavily, recalling her battle with the guards of hell. She wanted nothing more than to forget the whole experience, to purge herself of the awful memories of sitting in that tiny room, staring at that TV which taunted her with images of her life. Noodle snapped out of her hateful pondering once she realized that Johann had been speaking. "Uh.. I'm sorry, what?" she stammered.
"I said, could you wear some sunglasses or something to cover it? I'm a bit squeamish." he said. Noodle rolled her eyes.
"I don't have any, I left them in your crappy little apartment." she replied with a scowl. Johann furrowed his brow.
"That's no way to talk to the man who's risking his life to sail you out to the place where he almost got shot to death by some psychotic Satanist and his robot killing machine." he said with a wince. Noodle rolled her eyes again.
"Well, I don't have anything to cover it with. Just don't look at me!" she yelled. It was Johann's turn to roll his eyes.
"You have no respect, young lady!" he shouted back. "I should just throw you overboard…" he muttered under his breath. He walked over to the cabin where he took the boat off autopilot and began to steer himself. He looked over to see Noodle sitting on the deck, with her knees pulled up to her face, and she seemed to be crying. Johann sighed heavily. That bruise really is gross. he thought. He looked around for something she could cover it with. He put the boat back on autopilot so he could move about. He dug through boxes and containers (all moved from his apartment) for a pair of glasses or a banana or… "A mask…" he whispered quietly as he picked up the old cat mask he had been given when he was a young man, travelling the sea. He walked past Noodle and casually dropped the mask beside her, as he went below deck for some sleep. Noodle cocked her head. Ass. Doesn't he realize at all that this is offensive? Well, it is pretty… NO! HE'S BEING A JERK! Or is he really just squeamish? Should I take it? Maybe 2D will think this bruise is disgusting too… she continued pondering the situation until she finally gave up and strapped the mask onto her face.
Noodle woke the next morning with the mask still on her face. She looked up to dark storm clouds circling overhead. Johann was at the wheel, looking up at the sky nervously. She ran over to the edge railing and looked into the water. Dark shapes floated past beneath the waves. Her stomach started doing flip-flops. This could not be good.
"Johann, what's going on? Where are we?" she asked a bit frantically. Johann shook his head.
"It's Tabitha's storm. It surrounds a specific deep part of the ocean where a young woman, who had been kidnapped by a group of angry village men, was thrown into the sea as punishment for her father's wrongdoings. They say the storm rolled in immediately and rocked the waves so much that it killed the men and sank their ship. And it's never left." Johann shook his head sadly. "We have to sail through." Noodle shook her head in disbelief.
"Can't we just go around?" she asked.
"Nope. We're too close now. We'd end up going through anyway. This way is quickest and most direct." he replied. Noodle looked down, shocked. Surely no one could believe such a story. But he did seem pretty scared. she thought. Johann has sailed these oceans for years… she shook her head. " She had to be strong. They would be at Plastic Beach soon. She would be back in 2D's arms. This was a minor bump in the road. She turned to Johann.
"What should I do?" she asked.
"Get everything loose below deck. We'll be entering the storm in about 10 minutes." he replied with a sombre expression. She grabbed her suitcases, the CD player, some of Johann's boxes and a handful of framed pictures of Johann at sea. She struggled down the stairs and tossed everything onto the floor of the lower cabin. She thought for a moment and threw the cat mask on the floor too. She ran back up to the deck to see if there was anything else she could grab, then heard a rumbling noise. She looked up from the deck and her eyes widened. Above her stood the tallest wave she had ever seen. The gigantic wall of water approached the ship as Johann started screaming for everyone to hit the deck and grab onto something. Noodle ran and dove into the upper cabin with Johann and huddled onto the floor. Noodle had he eyes scrunched up as she waited for the wave to hit. She still heard the rumbling, but she felt no rush of water. She opened her eyes the slightest bit, and just saw the wave as it crashed onto the small boat with suck force, it almost capsized. Noodle grabbed the stand for the steering wheel as the water rushed around and pounded in her ears. The boat resurfaced and Noodle sat up, gasping for breath as she watched Johann navigate the storm. She never saw him look so… determined. He had his brow furrowed in concentration as he spun the wheel. She only had a moment to admire his bravery, though, because another wave hit. This one was smaller than the first, but still pounded the boat with mighty power. Again, she grabbed the stand and scrunched her eyes. The water seemed to be screaming at the top of it's lungs as it washed angrily around Noodle. But all of a sudden, the noise stopped. She opened her eyes, but noticed that the water was still rushing around her. Time seemed to slow as she felt herself floating, moving with the water. She saw everyone from her past swim by with big grins on their faces. Am.. Am I dead? she wondered. The water caressed her face gently, but she felt a strange sensation. Where the water brushed against her body, she felt a faint rip. She looked at her arms to see the slow water cutting them right open. She looked at them, confused. All of a sudden, she felt a jerking at her right arm that pulled her out of the dream-like state. She stood, gasping and heaving for breath, as Johann yelled at her.
"We're almost out of this! You've gotta stay with me here! Don't let your head go under the water again!" he screamed over the thunder. Noodle nodded her head slowly. What was that? she thought. She ducked beneath the steering wheel and looked at her arms. The force of the water had indeed cut them open, and the salt water wasn't making it any better. The third wave was fast approaching, and Noodle had to focus on keeping her head above the water. She concentrated hard as she watched the wave rise… then fall. She grabbed the stand and pushed herself upward, latching her legs around the stand and keeping her head above the murderous water. As the water washed away, Noodle hopped down from the stand and looked at Johann.
"Is it almost over?" she screamed. He smiled gruffly and pointed towards the bow. Noodle looked over and could see where the dark clouds ended and a lightly coloured sky began. She smiled and huffed happily.
"But we're not out yet, kid." he reminded her. Noodle's smile faded and became replaced with the look of concentration. The smaller waves rocked the boat across the water, towards the opening to smooth sailing. More waves, smaller than the first three, splashed over the sides of the boat. Noodle held the steering wheel stand, in case another wave hit. And she was right to. She looked up to see another wave. Maybe twice the size of the first. She stared at it like a deer in headlights. Seemingly distant, she heard Johann's voice again. Something about holding on? She saw the wave begin to descend, and she grabbed the stand with all her might. The water pounded down on her body, cutting it again. Only this time, she felt it. She let out an underwater scream. It felt as if every salt crystal in the water was a tiny hunting knife, and thousands were digging into her back. The rush of the liquid continued to rip her flesh open. She wondered if this was one of the torturous methods they used in hell. Well, I guess this is it. I'm dead. I'll never see 2D again. I'll just get dragged back to hell and get be tortured for eternity. If you can hear me, 2D, I love you with all my heart. she tried to send her telepathic message to 2D. She squeezed her eyes shut, ready to be carried back to the place she had been held prisoner for four years, when she felt another tug on the arm. She was pulled out of the pool of water that now covered the entire deck by Johann. He smiled down at her.
"We're out." he said. Noodle smiled faintly, looked to the horizon, and passed out.
Noodle's eyes snapped open the next day to a bright, sunny sky. She found the cat mask back on her face, which made her sceptical about whether the events she remembered had actually happened or not. But, sure enough, the scars from the pounding water were still on her arms and back. She winced. She looked down at her body. She rolled her eyes. The water had also ripped her clothes clean off, so the ever-crafty Johann had draped an oversized towel over her unconscious body. She wrapped and tied the towel around her little figure and walked over to the upper cabin where Johann was standing.
"Oh. You're awake. Thought you might've died." he said nonchalantly.
"Why do you always leave me to huddle up and sleep on the deck? You couldn't have carried me down below?" she asked.
"Because that's where I sleep. And you were… less than clothed." He looked away from her at the last part. Noodle sighed heavily as she walked over to the hatch that lead below deck. She sulked down the stairs to treat her wounds and clothe herself. She rubbed the cuts with alcohol and threw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. All of a sudden, she felt the boat jerk to a halt. She looked around. Why had they stopped?
"Noodle, bring your stuff up." she heard Johann call from above. Her eyes widened with excitement. Were they really here? Was she really going to see her bandmates again? She grabbed her suitcases and ran up the steps as fast as she could. Johann was pulling the boat into the dock. "Now, it's about 6:15 am, and no one should be up yet. As soon as you get out of the boat, I'm leaving. You've got all your stuff, yeah?" Noodle nodded. "Good. It was a nice little trip. See you later, kid." he said as a final goodbye. Noodle grabbed her belongings tight, and jumped off the boat. She stumbled onto the dock. She watched as Johann's boat jetted out of the harbour, towards the horizon. Noodle made a 180 degree turn. She looked at the massive pile of rubbish the Gorillaz were now living in. She was here. She had finally made it to Plastic Beach.
A/N: Yay! I was originally going to make Johann more of a jackass when he gave Noodle the mask, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. He's just bitter :( I'll probably update soon?