So many words! Ha ha it took me a while to figure out exactly where I was going with this. Enjoy!

The hotel was a lovely place. It even had a little fountain with little bitty fishes in it. They sort of reminded me of the fish that swam by my window… until the whale got them. I looked away when Murdoc yelled rather rudely for me to, 'get my arse in the lift'. No respect.

Noodle and I were to be sharing a room, a fact I was probably more excited about than I should have been. When we walked in, Noodle swung her bag on the double bed and unzipped the side.

"This is lucky, I wanted to try an outfit for going to this club. I ordered it special for my birthday." I raised an eyebrow. I liked any sentence with the words 'special outfit'. I was honestly excited about getting to parade her around as my girlfriend. It wasn't something I got to do everyday and certainly not something I had done in a very long time. Noodle commandeered the bathroom to change into her mysterious outfit while I took over the sofa near the telly. I flipped through the channels, not really watching anything in particular, damn language barrier. My stomach started to feel sort of strange. I grimaced slightly and shifted in the sofa, trying to get comfortable. The strange feeling was creeping northward. Uh oh. I knew this feeling and I didn't like it. Why did this have to come on Noodle's birthday? I started sweating though the room must have been about seventy degrees. My mouth felt very dry and raw. I stood up slowly trying to get to… I don't even know what my plan was. It certainly wasn't to vomit on the floor as soon as Noodle stepped out of the bathroom looking very fine indeed in her short black dress and low strappy heels. Such is life. I have to admit, some part of me, while I was heaving on the ground, noticed that she had put some makeup on and it suited her well not that she needed it, and don't ever insinuate that I said anything to the contrary, but she just looked different. I heard her sigh and felt her hands grip my arm and pull me up.

"You aren't going anywhere tonight. I'll stay here with you." I shook my head and tried to wave her off. If I was going to be here miserable, the least I could do was make sure she still enjoyed her birthday. And I was definitely going to be miserable. Figures I'd get sick from the ONLY thing I recognized on the menu.

"Naw, go out and party. I'll stay here, I promise. Jist, 'ave a good time, awright? It's yeh'r birthday!" She looked at me with a measured expression. She was trying to figure out what I wanted. I put on my best convincing face. "Really. Yew know yeh wont teh go. Jist be careful wiv Muds round, awright?" She still didn't look convinced. Murdoc came bursting in the room. He scrunched his nose at the smell of vomit.

"Ugh. I'll call the maid service. Yew lot ready yet?"

"2D's not allowed to go. He's ill."

"Apparently." I sneered at him. "Are yew still goin', doll?" She rubbed the back of her neck with her hand.

"I don't know…"

"Yeh really think the dullard's never had a hangover before? He'll be fine, love. Honest." She glanced at me and I nodded. I wanted her to enjoy herself.

"… Alright." I smiled and led her to the door. I planned on seeing them off before coming back to the room and collapsing. We passed a maid cart on the way to the lift. Murdoc tapped the maid's shoulder and spoke in her ear.

"Someone's gone and left a puddle of sick on the floor in that room. I'd clean it up before we report it to the manager." Noodle rolled her eyes as Murdoc laughed at the maid's panicked expression.

It seemed we were always waiting for a cab in this town. We stood near the front doors of the lobby near a group of shady looking youths. My stomach was rebelling again, I could feel it. One of the braver looking youths approached us. With his hands stuck in his pockets and a grin on his stupid face, he started chatting up Noodle. She didn't seem to notice him at first, but the more persistent he was, the more she opened up. I stood close to her and glared at the native Rio inhabitant, but he didn't notice or care. Luckily, he spoke English so I didn't have to wallow in my uncultured-ness. She slipped her hand into mine and I noticed her glance sideways at me with a small grin on her face. She knew what she was doing and how I was feeling. I just didn't like the gleam in that punk's eye. Stupid git. Probably only spoke English because that's what the drug dealers spoke. He laughed at her dry humor and causally asked her where she was going. She replied with the name of the club and I tried not to appear too annoyed by him. Sure, I figured that some guy would probably try to dance with her at the club, heck, if she got to enjoy herself, I endorsed it, but I didn't like how some guy was trying to move in right in front of me.

Stupid git.

Murdoc hailed a cab and herded Noodle inside, telling the driver the name of the club. He gave a half-salute to me as they drove off, glancing at the boy with a smirk. I nodded and waved to Noodle. I stuck my hands in my pockets as they drove away and I was left outside the lobby with the group of snotrag kids. The attempted girlfriend snatcher, I learned his name was Juan, swaggered back to his group of friends and started speaking to them in rapid English. Because of where I was standing, I only heard bits and pieces of their conversation.

"- del Rio. Let's go and chill with her." One of his companions shook his head.

"Naw, man. You want her so bad, you go get her. 'Sides, I think her boyfriend's staring at you." He haughtily looked around and waved to me by wiggling his fingers with a smug grin.

Stupid git.

The crowd took off in the direction of the club. I sighed and walked back into the lobby. I shuffled towards the elevator feeling very sorry for myself. My stomach had calmed for a moment, but my chest hurt because I didn't get to celebrate wit Noodle on her big day. In the lift, the only other occupant was a batty old woman with an oversized handbag. She grinned at me toothlessly and I grimaced in a poor attempt at a smile. She continued staring at me the entire way up. I hate people that do that. The gawkers. Now, granted, once you've had your face on a tabloid once or seven times, you tend to get them. But I sure as heck didn't have to like it. I gratefully edged out of the lift when we hit my floor. I unlocked the room and sat on the bed. Housekeeping had been in to clean so my pool of sick was no longer occupying the floor. I laid back on the bed and put my arms behind my head. Noodle would have been just getting to the club right now if Murdoc's scrap of an itinerary was of any value. I wondered if anybody had tried to pick her up yet. Hell, if I'd been in full capacity and unattached, I would have gone after her, no questions asked. Young thing like her? Too desirable for her own good. Or my mental well being. What if that Juan kid did show up like he said he would? Would he find her? The pain in my gut started again. It wasn't that I doubted our relationship meant something to her, I hoped it did. I just didn't like the idea of all those guys pressing up on my girlfriend. It's a guy thing, I guess. I pulled myself up. I could still go to the club. To check on her, I reasoned. Just to make sure she's alright. She is only twenty one after all. I hopped up to find some Pepto and dress accordingly, knowing all the while what shitty reasoning I had.

I stepped out of the cab some forty minutes later or so. I was feeling pretty lousy but I looked good. I had remembered to bring my nice jeans so I didn't have any holes in the knees and I was wearing my favorite shirt. I slipped a pair of sunglasses over my eyes, even though it was nighttime, and strolled into the club. Behind my slightly redundant sunglasses, I could look around the club without anyone noticing. I spied Murdoc, at the bar of course, and walked over to him. He currently had a shot glass in front of him but many more surrounding.

"Muds. Where did Noodle get off to?" Murdoc looked up blearily. He must've drank more than I thought at the restaurant, the tiny amount in front of him, and by tiny, I mean enough to drown a horse, did not usually make him look so incoherent.

"Siddown, mate… Lemme tell yeh a story." I raised an eyebrow and sat on the stool beside me. I ordered a beer from the attendant. "Noodle… she's such a nice girl, isn't she? 'Er… an' some bloke wen' whirlin' round the floor when I sat down. Now… tell me, if she can get a date, why can't I? I mean, she's got a boyfrien' an' everythin'! You should see 'im. 'E's a lovely bloke too, buh… e's not 'ere at the moment," He was so drunk, poor bugger. He didn't even recognize me, "An' yeh wanna know why? … Because 'e's a tosser and threw his stomach off some chicken… Tha's wot I 'eard." He was swaying slightly and he threw back another shot. I looked at the bottle. It looked like he was doing straight tequila. I sighed and pulled him off the stool and away from the bar. I had to get him away from here before he drowned himself. Look at me, I am such a good friend. Even when he's mean to me and pushes me around, here I am looking out for him.

"'Ere yeh go, mate. Go burn off awl tha' alcohol." I gave him a light push on the back and sent him on his way to the dance floor. Some bird immediately latched onto him and pulled him in to dance with her and her friends. Well, alright, I was more foisting him off on someone else, but at least he wasn't drinking. I began my search for Noodle. At my height, it's pretty easy to see above crowds. But, it turns rather difficult when the person you're looking for is under six feet and you're still feeling sort of woozy. I whipped my shades off to search for the purple head of hair I knew so well. Miraculously, a spot opened up on the floor and I spotted her. She and some guy, thankfully not the boy from the hotel, were dancing rather… well, it wasn't a sort of dancing I would let my mother see. I glanced back at Murdoc with his hands on some girl's hips and turned back. I took a deep breath and started towards them. Noodle twirled around once more before laughingly bidding the boy goodbye. He smiled and kissed her hand and walked away. Noodle ran her hand through her hair and grinned breathlessly. I walked to stand close to her. She was simply standing there, swaying to the music and not really noticing anything. I bent over and whispered in her ear, startling her.

"Wot's a pretty fing like yew doin' in a place like this?" She whirled and grinned at me.

"You… are supposed to be in bed. What are you doing out?" I shrugged. Her expression changed, twisting into a knowing smirk. She grabbed my hand and pulled me close. Her arms wound around my neck and my hands went to her waist. We danced like this for a while, feeling the beat and just casually swaying. I was surveying the crowd over her head and humming along to the music. Yeah, my stomach was still in knots, but I could deal with it like this.

If I hadn't already been so attuned to the sound of her voice, I might not have heard what she said next.

"He showed up, you know." I knew exactly who she was talking about though I played dumb. Yes, ha ha. Make all the jokes you want, I do know how to PLAY dumb.

"'Oo showed up, love?"

"Juan… he and his group of friends came asking to dance with me. Got kind of grabby too." My hand contracted involuntarily on her hip, making her giggle.

"Don't worry, Murdoc took good care of them." I relaxed. The DJ started up a good slow song so we didn't have to look strange slow dancing to Miike Snow's warbling. Dear God, please don't let me vomit.

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