Disclaimer: I own NOTHING. D':

Author's Note: Hello again. ;D I would have posted this sooner, but I've had some unfortuate snags keep me at bay. STILL, here I am, and here is my little Murdoc/2D tale, inspired entirely by the poem [Wild Nights--Wild Nights!] by Emily Dickinson. Random tidbit of info, this didn't end the way I thought it would. XD ALSO, this time around, I managed to get them on Plastic Beach. Whoo me! :D

So enjoy! C:


Tonight In Thee

By K. L. Vest

The blue-haired singer found that he was alone one night—the whale's moaning had dissipated somewhere between the crashing of the waves above him—and so 2D decidedly slipped away from his room to do… something. Anything, really. It was better than being cooped up. And he had long since given up on the idea of escaping the dreaded shores of Plastic Beach. There were a million and one ways for that damned… codger to get him to come back, whether through force or… temptation, and so 2D wasn't about to toy with fate.

So, tonight, he would just let the sea take him wherever it would.

He tested his tongue as he went, trying some lyrics—a rhyme here or there, something witty or perhaps nonsensical, but everything was bland as he stepped onto the elevator and decided to head towards the study. He managed to conjure "Camaro" and "sombrero" once he got to the top, but what would that have to do with anything at all, really?

The doors opened and he hesitated to tread out and into the room; he was always frightful these days. This place always seemed to hold such a terrifying quality, and yet 2D couldn't quite place his finger upon it.

"…Muds?" he questioned haltingly, though he knew the other man was probably in his "secret lair" (or perhaps "not-so-secret lair," since he was aware of it) at the moment. Honestly, what did that man do all day, cooped up in there?

…Well, 2D didn't really want to dwell too long on the thought.

He managed to scoot near the bookcase and again, a little louder this time:

"…Muds?"

His voice hung there for a moment, then:

"…Are you down there?"

No response.

He sighed deeply and decided to search for that book that Murdoc had told him (in passing, of course) to press in case of emergency (he remembered the title had had "bastard" in it; that was about all). And, well, though this wasn't emergency, 2D simply wanted… company. The feel of another human being with him. And that bucket-of-bolts android wasn't exactly going to give him much conversation, and Russel wasn't around, so he would even stoop to begging to spend time with Murdoc.

He just wanted someone to fill the void of loneliness.

Was that so much to ask?

As his eyes scanned over the numerous and quite various titles, he came upon one that simply caught his attention: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. 2D didn't read all that much, and he especially didn't find poetry to be all that interesting. He knew that Frost was found on car windshields in the winter and that Shakespeare had a funny name, and that was all, really. He had decided long ago, back in the days of his youth, that though poetry was pretty, it was petty, and all but a waste of his time.

Still, something struck him as odd about this.

Why would Murdoc, of all the people in the world—no, the universe—have poetry on his bookshelf? Here was a man who dabbled in all things blasphemous; and yet, here, among all the deviltry, was this… poetry book. It was something appalling in 2D's mind, really. Something simply astoundingly startling.

Forgetting about the "bastards" book (for really, what could be more distracting than the thought of Murdoc reading poetry?) and taking down the flimsy paperback volume, 2D could see that the tome was quite love-worn and read-through; this was a book that Murdoc appreciated quite a lot. And as the singer glanced through a few pages, he could see that a few were marked with pencil in Murdoc's rushed, angular writing with shorthand notes that probably only the bassist himself could understand.

However, only one page had a bookmark, and after 2D flipped through for a while, the book finally flopped to that spot:

" 'Wild Nights—Wild Nights!'?" the singer flatly stated the title despite its exclamation point, and really, it didn't look like much as he read through it a first time. It was just some poem about love… or rowing. 2D really wasn't all that sure.

Yet here the page was marked, and Murdoc had notes scribbled all over and tiny squeezed footnotes wedged in at the bottom as though while he had been writing, he had been on the verge of a heart failure simply from the wonder of it all. And even then, most of it couldn't be read by 2D at all, which was quite upsetting. He wondered what the Hell Murdoc had been all up in arms about.

So again, 2D read it through, but this time he sat down at a chair and recited it aloud, in the most regal voice he could conjure.

"Wild Nights—Wild Nights!"

He read this blandly.

"All right, so she wants to… party?"

Once more, he attempted to look at Murdoc's fervent scrawling, but it was no use.

He rolled his deep coal-black eyes.

Really, why was he doing this? This was just a waste of his time.

But

Something tugged at him to continue, and so he did.

"Were I with thee / Wild Nights should be / Our luxury!"

2D twisted his mouth and thought about this, then, speaking to himself (or perhaps the squid on the desk), "So she's not with her beaux, but if she were, they would be… getting on all the time?"

He shrugged, then went on:

"Futile—the Winds— / To a Heart in port / Done with the Compass— / Done with the Chart!"

At this stanza, 2D actually leaned his eyes forward, and for a moment, something inexplicably clicked in his mind. Years of listening to music had taught him to be cautious with words and (though he was not the brightest star in the sky, by any means), there was something in this particular stanza that filled him with a sense of… familiarity.

He turned the words over in his thoughts, as though he were examining something precious, and when he looked over them again, and said slowly (this time to himself only), "It's like she's… saying there's no changing her. And since she's so… committed, she doesn't need a compass, or a… chart. But really, it doesn't mean that. It's something deeper than that…"

He bit his lip, looking back over the first stanza, then back again over the second.

As he continued to look at what had once appeared drivel, 2D understood it to be something less trivial. Murdoc had seen the same thing when he had read it, too; all those marks… Now that 2D was really looking at them, he could see that the man had spent a lot of time really pondering this piece.

Just what had he been thinking about when he had been reading this?

What had he been… feeling?

2D felt a wave of something inexplicable jolt through him, but then it passed just as quickly as it had come.

Well, on to the third stanza:

"Rowing in Eden— / Ah, the Sea!—"

Suddenly, the bookshelf swung open with a mighty sound, and the book that 2D had been holding dropped to the floor with a dull thud. A rough, growling voice smoothly and clearly recited the final line of the stanza—seductively, hungrily:

"…Might I but moor—Tonight— / In thee!"

With wide eyes, 2D stared at the figure standing in the gaping doorway made by the bookcase's secret passageway. He dared not move from his spot—dared not glance away. For some reason, his heart had become lodged in his ribcage and was fluttering against it as though it were some crazed, rabid animal obsessed with breaking free of its torment.

"One of my favorites," the rough voice went on, followed by a procession of footfalls as the figure moved from the bookcase toward the book that lay in the floor. "You like it?"

2D couldn't speak.

"Oh, come now, Emily wasn't all that bad, was she?" the voice questioned as the figure stooped to retrieve the book from its resting place gingerly, as though it were a small child and he its parent.

Finally, 2D found his voice. It was faltering, but it was still a voice.

"Oh, y—yeah, she's… great. Yeah."

A demeaning laugh.

"I'll let you borrow it, if you like. You know," said the figure, "it's probably boring down there, what with that whale being your only company," and added in another laugh.

2D didn't say anything. Normally, he would have. He was still thinking, and he usually didn't do that sort of thing. However, he numbly managed to say, "Oh, yeah, sure. I'll have it."

He felt the book slip into his hands—felt its smooth texture on his skin—though honestly, his hands didn't really feel like they were his at all. They felt like they were somebody else's entirely. He stared at the cover a good long while, and finally he said a "thanks."

"Don't mention it" was the short reply, then, "but make sure you don't damage it. I'll put your head on a pike if you do."

"O—Oh yeah. 'Course."

Getting to his feet unsteadily and placing the book under his arm, against his thigh, 2D turned toward the lift and began walking slowly, as though placed under some sort of hypnosis. The words swirled in his mind, and seemed to be transported from his thoughts to the immediate vicinity before his eyes. As he pressed the button on the lift panel that would take him to his room, he could hear the voice—menacing, yet beguiling; even in the wake of its sound, 2D was enthralled.

As the lift went down, he opened back to the page, dumbly, and read the final stanza.

Over and over and over…

--

…Somewhere in the back of his thoughts, he realized that the whale was outside his window, keeping watch over him. He also faintly realized that the power kept flickering on and off because of that man down in the boiler room.

However, the only thing that 2D was focused on as he moaned deeply into his pillow that night was the sound of that voice ringing in his mind:

'Might I but moor—Tonight— / In Thee!'

Vaguely—distantly—2D managed to recall the face of the figure that the voice belonged to, and in his passionate stupor, he realized that it was none other than Murdoc Niccals himself. Yet in the end, it only seemed to enhance the event—seemed to bring about its end so much more suddenly. And as it drew to its close, the subtleties of the events that had come to pass were lost to him in the gauzy haze, and he collapsed, listening to the whale outside, for once not minding its presence as he fell into slumber.

His last thought was that he felt as though he were in Eden, gazing at the faraway sea.