Chapter thirty: James Blunt
Disclaimer: do not own Gorillaz or James Blunt
Stuart Pot ran down the hall as fast as he could, his face red with embarrassment. Murdoc was going to fucking kill him this time for sure.
He was absolutely positive it was Murdoc in shower. After all, his clothes were laying out on the bed and Angela's dress was hanging up on a chair. He hadn't heard Angela's SUV in the car park. He SWORE he thought it was Murdoc in the shower when he went in to remind him he asked for condoms just in case anything transpired with any ladies at the party. Nope, when he went into the bassist's room inside Kong and opened the bathroom door and opened the shower curtain to ask if he had any rubbers, he was expecting a naked Satanist to throw a shampoo bottle at him. He did not expect to see a naked Angela. He froze at the sight, completely taken by surprise.
"Murdoc, god, can you go an hour without being horn-ARGH STU WHAT THE FUCK?" She had screamed while covering up.
"SORRY!" He had screamed as he tore out of the room, eyes shut and banging into things.
He finally got into the safety of his room in the car park, locked and barricaded the door. He slid down the door and began banging his head back against it and groaned. Of course it was only natural for him, as a male, to be aroused by seeing an attractive female naked in the shower washing herself. He felt as if he had violated their friendship and now made it impure by seeing her naked. He buried his head in his hands as he attempted without much luck to shake the images from his mind of his friend. Her curves, her tattoos…he felt his pants grow tighter and immediately hated himself. Yes, Murdoc was going to kill him.
Angela huddled herself in the shower as she frantically rinsed the conditioner out of her hair. Holy hell. It was an accident, just an accident. She kept repeating it to herself over and over again. He had probably expected it to be Murdoc and not her. After all, she was early. She had dropped off the boys at their grandfathers' house for the weekend and headed up to Kong an hour early.
She jumped as she heard the door open.
"Who else would it be?" Murdoc grunted back. She heard his clothes hit the floor before the shower curtain opened and Murdoc stepped in. "Ouch! What the hell, this water is boiling." He reached over and adjusted the knob. "Ah better." He pulled her under the stream and kissed her roughly, warm metal from his St. Peter's cross pressed against her abdomen.
"No shower sex." She managed to mumble as his tongue invaded her mouth and hand that wasn't holding the back her head wandered farther south. She felt his hand freeze and return to the back of her head. He pinned her against the shower wall and began kissing and biting her neck.
"I said no, Murdoc." She snapped as she wrenched herself away from the bassist. She pushed him away and stepped out of the shower.
"Oh come on, Angela! I wasn't." He groaned as she wrapped a towel around her. "Come on, come back in, I'm lonely."
"Tough shit." She snapped as she shut the door behind her. She felt so…weird. She had been seen naked by one of her guy friends, one she considered one of her closer friends. She felt slightly dirty as the knew exactly how long Stu had been standing there and what all he had seen. Needless to say, she was not in the mood for sex right now.
She toweled off and unzipped the dress. The stylist had chosen a dark red. She scowled as she looked at the ruching on it. But this is what they picked and felt would look best. As she zipped it up, she hated to admit they were right.
She knew Murdoc was probably taking care of himself in the shower after that. She rolled her eyes and pulled on her pair of flats. She was going to go talk to Stu before finishing getting dressed.
She journeyed through Kong, down the lift to the carpark and down the stairs.
"Stu?" She gently knocked on the door. "Stu, it's Angie, we need to talk, open up."
She heard things shifted, scraping and finally the door unlocking before she saw Stu peek his head out.
"Come in then." He squeaked and backed up. She shut the door behind him. The man in front of her was shirtless, his undershirt and shirt on the bed.
"Angie, I'm so sorry, I fought you were Murdoc." He looked down at the floor, arms crossed, completely unable to look her in the face. "You hate me now, don't you?"
"Stu. Look at me." Stu shook his head. She walked up to him and grabbed his chin and looked directly into his blacked eyes. "It was an accident. Accidents happen."
"Please don't tell Murdoc, darling." He pleaded. "He'll kill me. He'll rip my eyes from their sockets, slit my stomach open."
"I'm not going to tell him if you don't tell him." No, she knew honesty would be best, but honesty would get the singer killed for sure.
2D nearly cried from relief as he pulled her in for a bone crushing hug.
"Fanks. You saved my life. It won't happen again, I swear me life on it." He kissed the top of her head.
"What won't happen again." Stu jumped back a foot as he turned and saw the surly bassist glaring from the doorway, nearly breathing fire. Shit.
Stu knew it was looking bad, here he was, half naked and hugging Murdoc's girlfriend with his clothes on the bed, swearing they wouldn't say anything to him.
"Tell me what?" He snarled.
"Nothing Murdoc. Did you follow me down here?" Angela snapped.
"No, I came down here because this idiot asked me for condoms this morning, so I'm giving them to him so he doesn't create any more fucking sprogs running around." Murdoc chucked the box at 2D's head. "Now TELL ME WHAT YOU GIT?"
Noodle admired the back of her dress in the mirror. Black with bow cut outs in the back. She grinned at Kevin who was laying on the bed, already dressed.
"What do you think?"
"Stunning. Gorgeous." Kevin rolled over and grinned. He got up, walked behind her and kissed her cheek before embracing her. "I am truly privileged to see you first in this. For I am the east and you are the Sun."
As promised, she had stayed out of the gym and when she was in, she was heavily supervised by Murdoc or Russel. The men had kept a very close watch on her since she had been discharged from the hospital. They had made sure she was constantly around them or Kevin. They even made her go see a therapist to talk about the night Paula broke in which was what Noodle was displeased about the most. She didn't know what to say to the lady in front of her, blinking with big, round glasses and staring. Regardless, the guys were still making her go.
"Tonight is going to be fun. One hundred percent fun. No drama, no nothing. Just you and me and the dance floor." Kevin pushed the bangs out of Noodle's eyes. The flashback started before she could even stop it.
"SUZU-CHAN DANCE WITH ME?" The little boy grinned up at her. Haru was training for horticulture, but had discovered the wonders of music and dancing. "One, two three?" That was his way of saying a six-year old's version of waltzing. He was number fifteen. She had looked at Kyuzo.
"Go ahead, Suzuki." He pushed her forward.
"Noodle, are you alright?"
"Yes." She shook her head.
They both jumped when Russel knocked on the door.
"Are you two ready to go?"
"Then let's go."
The ride up was mostly silent. Russel had arranged for a limo. Angela sat between 2D and Murdoc. She eventually caved in and lied. Murdoc now thought that Stu had walked in on her on the toilet. 2D's date scowled on the other side of him. Shame, Angela thought. She'd look awful pretty if she smiled. All she knew was that she was some underwear model.
Russel smiled on the inside watching Noodle and Kevin exchanging nervous smiles and glances. Kevin leaned over and whispered something in her ear. The silence was shattered by Noodle laughing hysterically.
"What are you two laughing about then?" The woman next to Stu snapped. "What's so funny?"
"Nothing, Tiffany." The redhead sniffed and looked away as she made a disgruntled noise.
Murdoc grunted, stretched and put his arm around Angela.
"Are we bloody well there yet?" He whined.
"Almost, calm down, Muds."
Murdoc scowled and took a swig of a beer he had found in the bar of the car.
"So what do you do?" Tiffany turned her attention to Angela. "Are you in the industry?"
"The MUSIC industry." Tiffany rolled her eyes as if Angela couldn't be more stupid.
"I work in a dinner theater."
"Oh." Tiffany wrinkled her nose. "I mean there's nothing wrong with that but don't you want a real job or something?"
"You mean like laying around in your underwear in front of cameras? No, I'm fine thanks." Angela raised her eyebrow.
Noodle and Kevin giggled.
"Shut it." Tiffany snapped.
Angela took Murdoc's beer and chugged it before handing him the empty bottle.
Stu's eyes darted back and forth between the two women.
Tiffany sneered at her and stretched, letting out a distinctly sexual moan and almost falling out the top of her dress. Stu squirmed in his seat and Murdoc smirked in her direction. Kevin looked distinctly uncomfortable as he covered his lap with his jacket and looking incredibly guilty. Russel merely rolled his white eyes, not that anyone could tell.
Angela gave a fake smile before placing her hand on Murdoc's inner thigh, instantly snapping his attention back. Tiffany merely swung her legs up on 2D's lap and adjusted her boobs.
"Stu, is my necklace straight?" Tiffany asked with a pout.
Russel turned his attention from the silent aggression and sexual competition radiating from the two women back to his crossword.
"Hmm…four letters, to look narrowly."
Noodle looked over his arm.
"Yeah, that fits. Thanks, baby girl."
Kevin looked out he window, leg jiggling. He was going to be very happy when this ride was over because he felt it went much longer, three of the four men would be in very deep shit with the rest of the car.
He put his arm around Noodle to distract himself. Noodle in turn snuggled up to him as best she could without ruining her hair and makeup. She laced her fingers in between his and gently kissed him on the cheek.
The car started to slow down in front of the venue behind two other cars and Kevin felt as if his heart had leapt up into his throat. Noodle squeezed his hand.
"Ready?" She whispered.
He swallowed hard as he looked at the cameras flashing cameras, paparazzi desperate to catch a photo of someone famous. He glanced over, Tiffany was adjusting her boobs again and Murdoc was muttering something in Angela's ear. She looked just as nervous as he did.
"Okay love, we're going to go down the runway thing with these sodding photographers, we're going to pose for the bloodsuckers and then we're going inside. In as quick as possible." Murdoc stroked her hand. "You'll be fine. Just remember, you're here with Gorillaz, greatest band in the bloody fucking world."
The car had barely stopped before Tiffany swung open the door and stepped out. Stu scrambled after her. Tiffany grabbed him and began posing immediately. Murdoc climbed out over Angela and helped her out.
"Kevin, help Noodle out." Russel grunted. Kevin climbed out and was met with flashes and yelling. He felt dizzy for a second before remembering Noodle. He turned and grabbed her hand as she slid out of the limo. She slid her hand in the crook of his elbow and offered a small wave to the photographers.
Kevin could barely keep his eyes focused on what was in front of him with all the yelling going on around him. The next thing he knew, Murdoc's arm was around him.
"Pay attention. You're going to run into someone." He grunted under his breath. "Look that way and smile. Now that way. Good, now get your ass up to the backdrop so we can go inside." He gave Kevin a shove and Noodle threw him a filthy look.
Kevin, Angela and Tiffany waited on the side while the band did some shots together in front of the backdrop covered with logos.
It wasn't too long before they were inside. Kevin took a deep breath as he looked around the dimly lit entrance. It was very warm inside. Once more, Noodle had attached herself to his arm.
Various musicians and celebrities milled around with drinks in hand. Music pulsated from speakers hidden in the décor. A server instantly approached with a tray of wine. Noodle instantly held her hand up and declined. Kevin, however took one.
"Just one for tonight." He reassured her. "I'm not going to get drunk, I promise."
"It's going to get trashier." Russel sighed. "They always start off with the wine and music, then turn into cocktails, mixers, beer and tequila when the party gets going. Not many manage to stay sober. It's usually an open bar." The group migrated to a large booth and settled in.
"Glad to see you all could make it!" Damon Albarn strode up. "Mind if I sit?"
"Yes." Murdoc grunted, to receive an elbow from Russel.
"Noodle, it's good to see you." He opened his arms for a hug. Noodle stood up and was swooped up into Damon's arms. She laughed as he swung her around and set her back down.
"You're getting to be a little tall for that." Damon pouted. "I remember when I could just pick you up and swing you round and round."
"Isn't she just growing up though." Damon was quickly joined by Jamie. "Writing her own albums and everything." He wiped a fake tear from his eye as he grabbed her and rocked her back and forth.
It was true what Russel had said. An hours into the party, it had really started to become less formal and more of a booze free for all with pounding music from the hosting band's new album.
Noodle and Kevin rocked back and forth on the makeshift dance floor. Russel had been keeping an eye on them while he chatted with a group of women. Noodle turned and looked up at him. "Let's go." She mouthed and proceeded to dance out of the line of sight from Russel, taking Kevin with her.
"Where are we going?" Kevin laughed as they ran down the hall from the party.
Eventually they ended up in what appeared to be a lavish conference room. Overstuffed leather sofas and paintings surrounding a long table with many chairs set up.
Kevin plopped down on one of the sofas and pulled Noodle into his lap. He brushed her fringe out of her eyes before kissing her.
Angela stood in front of the bar. Murdoc had started discussing business with someone and told her to go wait at the bar for him before giving ass a light slap. The man in question was a very short and creepy looking American hippie. Her skin had crawled when he looked at her, not even bothering to hide the fact he was staring. Needless to say, she was relieved to be away from him.
The bartender had quickly thrown an appletini together for her and she wandered out to a deck behind the bar to escape. The cold wind whipped around her, although she had to admit it was nicer than being in the sweaty, hot room with everyone. She took a sip from her drink and made a face as she realized it was more gin than apple. She quickly tipped it into the plant next to her.
"Not your cup of tea then?" She jumped out of her skin and quickly turned around to see a man standing behind her with dark messy hair and green eyes.
"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you." He apologized. "I'm James. James Blunt. I haven't seen you around before."
"I'm Angela. It's actually my first time at one of these things." Angela admitted. "You know, being poked and prodded by stylists and the like."
"I see, well congratulations on this being your first launch party!" James smiled. "And can I say you look absolutely beautiful for being poked and prodded."
"How about we go get you a drink that you won't feed to the plants?" He offered his arm. She glanced inside and saw Murdoc still talking to the man.
"Sure. I must warn you, I'm here with someone."
"What kind of man would leave you alone on a balcony in this weather? Come along now, lets get you a good drink."
Ten minutes later, Angela was sitting on a barstool with a grasshopper in hand.
"Better? Not plant food?" James grinned.
"Much. Thank you." Angela laughed. She admitted it was very fun talking to James Blunt. After all, everyone else had vanished into the crowd. She hardly noticed the time slip by or the empty glass beside her.
"Now tell me Miss Angela, who would leave you here by yourself? I'm beginning to think this man is imaginary and you're trying to let me down easy." James joked as he rested his chin on his hand, leaning on the bar.
"He's around here somewhere."
"There you are!" Angela cringed slightly. "Thought I'd lost you."
"Nope, just sitting here, talking to my friend James." She turned at smiled at Murdoc, knowing full well this wasn't going to end pleasantly for James. After the two really did not like each other.
"Oy, didn't see you there. Heard your new single." Murdoc sneered as he put his arm around Angela. "Sounds like you slaughtered a pig and recorded your screeching over it."
James Blunt cringed. Really? Angela grimaced apologetically at him. He knew it had been way too good to be true.
"Niccals. I don't know how you managed to slither your filthy way in here, or what kind of blackmail you used on this woman."
"Blackmail? Mate, this is my girlfriend." Murdoc laughed.
James looked visibly disgusted.
"Well then, goodnight Angela, it was a pleasure. Look me up when you're done with this foul creature." James slapped a tenner down on the counter before adjusting his jacket and stalking off.
"You wish, now fuck off!" Murdoc yelled after him.
"Really Murdoc? You're unbelievable."
"Hey! I told you, I'd do almost anything for you except get along with that wanker, give up my guitar, Gorillaz and Satan."
"Who was that you were talking to?"
"Wee Jimmy. Don't worry about it." Murdoc's face darkened. "Where's Noodle?"
"Dunno. Haven't seen anyone." She answered coldly.
"Oh come on, don't be like that. I saved you from that wanker."
She rolled her eyes and got up and walked off.
"Hey, hey!" He caught up with her "Come on, let's go talk somewhere, not here."
Angela scowled as he led her down a hallway before pulling her into a closet and shutting the door behind him and pulling on a string to turn on the single light bulb.
"Why are we in a janitor's closet?" Angela asked through clenched teeth.
"Because I don't know where else we're going to get privacy here. Now look, James Blunt and many of the other men here are concerned with one thing only and that's a pretty face. They don't care about who you are."
Angela crossed her arms and glared at him.
"They only sees your pretty face, your shape."
"Oh yeah, and what exactly did you see again the first time we met? Was it my ass or my tits? Murdoc Niccals, you have no room to talk."
He grabbed her face in his hands.
"That doesn't matter. Right now, I see everything." He hissed. "Dammit! I see everything in you. The good, the bad. The past, present, future. I love the way your lip curls when you're pissed at me. I love the way you take care of everyone. I love it when you give me that look that absolutely makes me lose all control and I hate that even when you piss me off, I still love everything."
He took a breath and continued as Angela stared at him in stunned silence.
"I hate that you don't listen to me but I love that you have a fucking mind of your own. I hate it when you throw out all my porn but love that we have the most mind blowing sex that we don't have to do anything weird in order to get off like chain saws or some shit like that. I hate it when you talk to other men but I love that you're the one in my bed at the end of the day. I hate people and humans and the world and love very few things but Angela Branwen Colbourne, rest assured that I am in love with you and I am not just saying that to get in your pants. I loved you for years and hate that I haven't said it before when I should have."
"You just ripped that off from When Harry Met Sally, didn't you?"
Murdoc's face contorted.
"You may be a ridiculous, insane, jealous, asshole, but damn, you're my ridiculous, insane, jealous, asshole." And with that, she kissed him hard. "And only God knows why, but I love you too, Murdoc."
Kevin and Noodle re-emerged from the room, both clothes and hair disheveled.
"Where the hell have you two been?" Russel thundered from behind.
"Whatever, Theo checked us all in to the hotel. Kevin, you're bunking with me. We have an adjoined suite with Noodle but if I catch either of you in the others room, there is gonna be hell to pay."
Noodle muttered something.
"Murdoc and Angela are out front already. D already left. He got a migraine. We called the taxi fifteen minutes ago and have been waiting and looking for you two."
Russel practically frog marched them to the front. Russel wasn't stupid. He knew exactly what they had been up to, even though he prayed to GOD that they hadn't had gone as far as they looked like they had.
Angela had Murdoc's coat on and Murdoc was lounging halfway out the cab to keep it from driving off.
"Fucking finally." Murdoc grunted as he got up and let Angela in. "Get in you two, Russ, we're paying the cabbie double apparently."
Russel scowled. Sometimes he really hated raising a teenager. Noodle looked up at him and shivered and he felt all that fade away as he helped her climb in.