Title: The Fool on Melancholy Hill
Rating: T for language and mild sexual content
Pairing: 2-D/Murdoc in the end
Warnings: Eventual slash, OC
Disclaimer: Guess what?I OWN THE GORILLAZ! (Tee-he. I kid.)
Err…would it be "Claimer"?: I do own Pretty Rita, her mother Rose-of-Sharon, her friend Morgan, Morgan's girlfriend Edie, and Wooder Mills, Massachusetts, which (fun fact!) is based off of the real-life city of Warren, Massachusetts.
"You're leaving." It was an already acknowledged fact, but it hung in the air like a question, a plea. Her cobalt eyes looked into his grey ones with their usual who-cares indifference, but there was something else there, too, something strange, unusual.
He tried to pass the moment by creating a diversion, sliding a rubber band off his wrist and using it to tie his hair back into a loose, low ponytail, but she wasn't having it. She kept looking at him, never stopped staring into his eyes even when he dropped his gaze, stared at his shoes and the dying grass beneath them.
He let out a breath, soft and anxious, and replied with a simple, "Yeah."
She swallowed hard, tried to force all of the turmoil she felt down her throat, tried to shove it down into her stomach where it could be destroyed by acid. The air was warm and soothing, but it seemed to bite her arms like a brutal winter wind. She ran her hands up and down them, but the bite was still there.
"You don't understand," he tried to say, but he knew the second it left his mouth that it was false. She understood. She always understood. They both felt betrayed by that, by the brutal mutual understanding of what was happening.
"You know I do," she replied coldly. "I never expected you to be so typical. Leaving the small town to be with the pretty girl and all. I have to say, I expected more of you, Morgan." She said his name in an effort to wound, but it only sounded endearing, a term of affection, a declaration of love shouted to the heavens.
"I love her," he insisted.
She shook her head. "You don't."
"I do," he insisted, "She's my world. Everything I've ever been looking for, I found in her. Sure, she's not perfect, but I can live with her flaws. I can love them. I love her. I can't let her go. I can't! You have to understand that!"
"No, Morgan, you don't love her. You don't even know what love is."
"What about you? Are you saying you do? You don't."
Her eyes seemed to burst into flame, her mouth opening in a wordless cry before she finally snapped, "As a matter of fact, I do. I love you."
He shook his head. "No. You can't just say that to make me stay. You can't make me choose. I love her. In a way I could never love you. I'm sorry, Pretty Rita, but you're just…you're not that. You're not what she is."
"Fine," she muttered, and finally dropped her gaze, staring down at her bare feet, looking so small and vulnerable next to his much larger, Converse-clad feet. Her head was spinning. This had more power to send her mind reeling than any amount of pills she'd ever swallowed. Her sight began to get blurry and her face felt suddenly warm and damp. She thought these were signs of fatigue before she realized with a start that she was crying.
"Please, don't do this to yourself," he pleaded, and then, with a sigh, he pulled her close in a tight hug. Her arms went around his waist, loose at first, then tightening until she found herself clinging to him with the vain notion that if she just held onto him tight enough, he wouldn't leave.
But he soon let her go, and, by instinct, she let him go, too, looking up at him with a broken expression he couldn't ever recall seeing on her.
"I'm not going away forever. This isn't death. There are phones. There's the internet. We'll see each other again," he insisted, and, despite herself, she nodded gently.
"Goodbye," she whispered. He wiped a tear from her cheek and then, as an afterthought, pressed his lips to her forehead softly. She breathed him in and then, with her heart in her throat, watched him go.
2 Years Later
He never used to absolutely despise waking up in the morning.
Before, waking up wasn't that much different than just fading into another dream. Warm, relaxing, gentle. A nice, even fog surrounding him to guide him into reality and sticking around just in case he needed to go back again.
Not this. This was a cruel jolt, like being suddenly submerged in ice water, like abruptly falling off a steep cliff. It was a sharp, painful shift from comfortable dream-land to harsh, cruel reality.
Letting out a soft, almost fully stifled groan, he rubbed his eye with a fist and inhaled sharply as the pressure on his eye caused an eruption of pain that he likened to what it would feel like to have his skull smashed with a hammer. He squeezed his eyes closed and begged for sleep to return.
The pain gradually ebbed away to a tolerable level, however, and he slowly pushed himself up into a sitting position, surveying his surroundings. Wires all over the floor. Pipes all along the ceiling. Sickly orange walls. Ink sketches on yellowing paper. Bucket of who-knows-what. Boating magazine. Blueprints he couldn't begin to understand. Spider-Man statue. Old record player.
Green-skinned demon leaning against the far wall and staring at him impatiently."Murdoc!" he gasped. "W-what are you doing here?"
Murdoc rolled his mismatched eyes and shrugged. "Who knows?" he callously replied, lethargy heavy in his tone. "Maybe I just wanted to see my favorite little dullard."
"Yeah, alright," 2-D cautiously agreed, eyes darting nervously to the closed purple curtains as though weighing which being was more frightening. "Eh…where's…?"
Murdoc presumably raised his eyebrows, though it was hard to tell through the heavy fringe of grey-tinted black hair that stopped just short of falling into his eyes. "Eh?" Understanding suddenly fell over his features. "Oh, Noodle? Off running a special mission for me."
"S-special mission?" 2-D stammered, eyes once again darting to the curtain-covered window, this time as though pondering jumping out of it. "What kind of…"
Murdoc waved a hand, cutting him off. "Hey, now, I don't get into your private business, now, do I?" 2-D opened his mouth as though to comment, but Murdoc cut him off. "Before you answer that with more of your mind-bogglingstupidity, why don't you listen to this?" The sickly green hand disappeared inside the pocket of his baggy white trousers.
"Aha!" Murdoc announced, tugging out some jumper cables. "Er…no, that's not it…um…" He continued his rummaging tossing a Beanie Baby oyster, a large plastic lobster, some tackle bait, a ball of bright green yarn, and a joystick from an old video game system onto the floor of 2-D's room before finally pulling out a cassette tape.
"There!" Murdoc triumphantly announced, holding it up in the air for a moment before grabbing a small cassette player out from under 2-D's bed (the fact that Murdoc knew what was underneath his bed unnerved 2D greatly) and sitting next to 2-D's feet on the bed. He fumbled with the cassette plaayer, struggling to get it open and then tossing it angrily onto the bed, at which point it promptly popped open.
"Damn infernal caveman contraption…" the green-skinned man muttered bitterly as he pressed the tape into it. A horrible, deafeningly loud screeching noise came from its speakers. Murdoc screamed obscenities at the device until 2-D nervously took it from his hands, opening it and turning the tape the other way around, at which point the screeching stopped and was replaced by a calmly speaking male voice, a bit fuzzy due to poor recording equipment.
"Could've done it if you just would've given me time…" Murdoc grumbled, and then brightened a bit as the male voice continued speaking. "Yeah, now, listen closely to this, faceache, and tell me what you think."
"…local band 'Tainted Class' performing live in our studio. What was the name of the song you said you were going to play for us, there, sweetheart?" The male voice queried.
A voice, so deep that, if it weren't for the particularly feminine lift, it could easily be mistaken as masculine, and rather heavily slurred, replied with a short string of complete gibberish.
"What'd she say, Muds?" 2-D queried, but Murdoc shook his head quickly.
A strange, discordant tune was played on a bass, shortly followed by someone rapping words that were either in a foreign language or completely indistinguishable, yet strangely familiar.
"You getting the picture yet, there, dullard?" Murdoc demanded.
"I can't even tell what he's saying," 2-D admitted.
Murdoc growled under his breath and grumbled, "Keep listening, then."
The gibberish rap continued, sounding more and more bizarre by the second. It took a few seconds, but something clicked in the taller man's head.
"I've heard this before!" 2-D announced. "Only…it was…different." He couldn't explain quite properly what he meant, but he managed to add, "It wasn't quite like this."
Murdoc grinned, nodding, egging 2D on. "Now you're getting it. Listen here."
A soft soprano sang a distantly melancholic melody. Each syllable was pronounced deliberately and clearly, but the words still didn't make a lick of sense, at least, not to someone who spoke standard English.
It took a moment, but then 2-D gasped, "It's backwards! They're singing the song backwards!"Murdoc slammed his fist down, causing 2-D to jump. "Not the song! Our song!"
"Ours?" 2-D replied, blinking uncertainly.
Murdoc growled. "Yes! Their drummer, the little sod, he calls me up on my personal line and wants to know if his band can do a live cover of Feel Good Inc."
2-D raised his eyebrows. "What'd you say?"
"I said 'no', of course! I don't want the one of our songs being played by some pug-nosed hippie brat! So he says fine, he won't do it, and I figure the matter's been settled. Then he asks if I'll give the radio show a listen. The nerve!"
"So you didn't listen to it?" 2-D gathered.
Murdoc rolled his eyes. "Of course I listened to it! And at first I'm thinking, this kid's insane, he's playing pure gibberish! But it was familiar gibberish, I knew that much right from the start, and when his little girlfriend started singing the chorus, I knew straight away! The little sod had the nerve to go against my word and sing the song backwards! Like he thought I wouldn't recognize it! But I did!"
Murdoc's eyes suddenly took on a dangerous shine. 2-D cringed. Whenever that particular shine got into his bandmate's mismatched eyes, there was trouble ahead.
A leer spread across Murdoc's face as he growled out, "Do you know what I'm going to do to that little sod?"
2-D gulped. "Beat him to a bloody pulp? Run him over with Stylo? Sic the android on him?"
Murdoc let out a disturbing cackle. "Hell no! I'm going to take his little girlfriend and have her be a guest on our album! That'll show him what happens when he messes with Murdoc Faust Niccals! Ha-ha-ha!"The ever-blank onyx orbs blinked slowly, uncomprehendingly. "How does that work?"
Murdoc rolled his eyes. "Clearly you don't understand the workings of a true evil mastermind, dullard, and I don't particularly feel like explaining it to you ten times until you get it."
Once again, 2-D opened his mouth to protest, but Murdoc cut him off, "Either way, I've got to go get the broad, so you'll be staying here by yourself for a couple of days."
"Y-you're leaving me here…alone?" the blunette gasped, his already quite round eyes growing even larger and rounder in shock.
"Not really. I've still got him watching you," Murdoc jerked a thumb in the direction of the window and 2-D flinched, "so I highly doubt you'll even have the bollocks to leave this room."
"No!" 2-D cried, leaping off the bed so suddenly that Murdoc was genuinely startled. "You can't do that! What if the window cracks? What if I run out of oxygen? What if that damned giant fish decides to eat me?"
Murdoc was about to counter with some snide comment, but was caught off guard when 2-D suddenly gasped, dropping to his knees and clutching his head. The sudden movement combined with the stress from his fear had caused another, more severe eruption of pain – a full-on migraine. The room went in and out of focus. He was certain he was going to throw up but he couldn't quite recall where his mouth was.
Murdoc's eyes darted nervously from the man on the floor to the door a few feet away from him. His mind fought a brutal battle over whether to tend to his bandmate's needs, which appeared to be the right thing to do, or leave him to figure it out for himself, as was in character for him.
Well, Murdoc decided, I can't lose my lead singer, can I? I'll do it for the band! …besides, I am the one who stole his headache pills…no! No! I'm doing it for the band! The band, damn it!
Shaking his head to clear his mind, Murdoc looked down at the lanky singer. Murdoc had no idea what to do for someone who was having a trauma-induced migraine, but he was pretty sure you weren't supposed to leave them curled up in a fetal position on the floor, so he scooped the taller, skinnier man up into his arms and carried him back to the bed. Satan, Murdoc mused, is it healthy for someone to be this light? By instinct, the blunette draped his arm over the bassist's neck. Murdoc nearly dropped him, startled by the sudden skin-on-skin contact after being staved off it for so long, but managed to regain his composure just in time and get him to the bed safely. He watched as the singer slowly came out of his pain-induced stupor with much groaning and whimpering.
"Geez, if it means that much to ya, you can have free run of the island," Murdoc stated without really thinking about it.
A heartbreaking, dazed smile came across the singer's pretty face. "Really? Oh, thank you, Muds!" He made to get up, presumably to hug the bassist, but Murdoc pushed him back down.
"Hey, now, don't go giving yourself another migraine. And by 'free run', I mean anywhere that's not my room. Or my secret lair. Or my study, for that matter," Murdoc insisted, quickly returning to his cold mode of operation. "Oh yeah," he added as an afterthought, "and I'm not telling the whale to completely sod off just yet, so don't try anything funny, got it?"
2-D gulped and nodded, trembling slightly.
"Good. And you'd better be ready to record a shitload of new tracks when I get back, or that whale's going to be having blue-headed pretty boy singer for an afternoon snack." Murdoc smirked in satisfaction as a look of horror came across the dullard's face and left the room, glancing over his shoulder to see that 2-D had rolled over to face the wall and either fallen asleep or passed out, judging by the way his shoulders moved with his deep, even breathing.
"Be back soon, sweetie, so don't miss me too much," the green-skinned demon muttered nearly inaudibly under his breath, and then chuckled softly to himself as he entered the lift.
Ending Thoughts: Yep, that's right – this one has an OC in it. *gasp!* After reading at least a dozen attempts to write a decent OC story (or, at least, that's what I assume was going on) that failed miserably at creating a good OC (i.e. a non-Mary Sue), I decided that I was up to the challenge.
Pretty Rita is my personal attempt at OC creation, and, thus far, I think she's actually a decently well-rounded character. I've got a character profile for her somewhere in my files, and I quite like it. However, if you see problems with her (y'know, other than her being an OC), please let me know so I can fix them. I won't try denying them or anything. I'm not vain enough to think I can't make mistakes.
I think Murdoc is a bit OOC here, but considering the fact that he definitely seems to be putting up a front in public appearances and interviews, nobody really knows how he acts when cameras and microphones aren't pointed at him, so honestly, practically any characterization of Muds is fair game.
The title, in case you were wondering, is a mash-up of a Beatles song ('Fool on the Hill') and a Gorillaz song ('On Melancholy Hill'). Why? Well, I feel 'Fool on the Hill' describes our friend 2D quite nicely. (And no, that's not an insult – go listen to the song. The 'fool' on the hill is actually the smart one, just nobody bothers to listen to him long enough to figure it out.) But I noticed that there was a trend in Gorillaz fic of naming fics after Gorillaz songs and lyrics, so I threw 'Melancholy' in there to fully make the connection.
(By the way, in case you're actually convoluted enough to believe otherwise, I do not own the Beatles, either. Duh.)
EDIT: So, apparently my page-breaks didn't come through. I've now replaced them with slashes, so hopefully they're better now.