"Just trust me, 2D."
"I-It's not that I don't trust you-I do, really! B-but, it just sounds so weird..."
"I know. That is what makes it so exciting!"
"Why did I agree to do this again?"
"Because I am bored, you are the only one in the house, and you are a good friend."
Noodle giggled when 2D didn't say anything more. It was so cute how an answer like that could satisfy the simple minded singer of their band.
On 212 Wobblestreet, Noodle had quickly grown restless. Of course she was ecstatic that she was reunited with her fantastically flaky family, but after escaping hell, being hunted by pirates, and destroying a malfunctioning copy of herself, it felt so alien to relax in a dingy apartment after all that adventure. It was like Kong Studios with less rooms and no zombies trying to thump the door down in hopes of getting some tasty flesh for a meal. At least there she had some form of excitement, smashing those creatures brains in, and exploring over twenty four seemingly empty rooms.
The Gorillaz had also kind of died down since Plastic Beach. 2D was still dimwitted and sweet, but he grew disoriented and tired more often and rarely had the time to hang out with Noodle anymore. He always said it was because his job as a driving teacher was mind numbing, but the barely restrained hateful glances he sent toward Murdoc told her otherwise.
Russel was out of the question. He was too big to fit in the house, so there was no way he could hang out with her, much less play music with her.
Murdoc always left the house claiming he had some important business to take care of. Noodle decided it was best not to question him considering she already knew it meant screwing a woman for money. Even 2D, thick as he was, could see through the bassist's casual facade. Whenever Murdoc did come home, he would drink himself to sleep, or host a radio show that played old Gorillaz songs in his dark room.
Noodle knew that they just wanted money so they could get out of this place, and she was fine with that. But couldn't they see how lonely she was getting? There was no one to talk to. No one to play video games with. No one to make her laugh or cry...If only she was ten again, she'd be back in Kong Studios beating 2D's ass off in video games, playfully scolding Murdoc for cursing off the wall, or thanking Russel for his decently cooked meal. Dysfunctional as the band was, they were still a family. Even being separated shouldn't have changed that fact.
The combination of loneliness and boredom finally drove Noodle over the edge. She started to spend half of her day kicking and jabbing a punching bag, and the other half hanging around the internet. Just because she was alone didn't mean she had no right to enjoy herself none the less. It wasn't as fun as having her band mates cheer for her or even challenge her to a fight, but she kept reassuring herself that it was fine. Soon they would move away from Wobblestreet, and things would be normal again.
But she didn't like to wait. She wanted to do something with her friends, damn it! They were a band, meaning they had to be together whether they liked it or not. So one day when she was surfing the internet for random stuff as usual, she decided to look up an activity she could do with 2D. If he wasn't going to volunteer to play with her because he was busy every hour of the day, then she would take matters into her own hands. Then maybe when the other band members see how much fun they were having, they would join in and the band would be laughing and yelling and messing with each other just like old times.
Besides, she'd always been very fond of the black eyed vocalist. Why couldn't she get some alone time with him after all these years?
One of the activities she came across sent a thrill through her body.
"Hypnotism?" 2D had asked her curiously.
"Hai. Have you heard of it?"
"Sure I have. That doesn't mean I want to do it."
"Come on, 2D. We have not been together since I went missing. You are always working, and when you do come back, you are too exhausted to even speak. You have got the whole day off now! Murdoc is not even around to hurt you. The least you could do is spend time with me." Noodle had pleaded, hoping it would work. Back in Kong Studios, 2D would jump at the chance to play with her. Noodle and him loved to tease each other, or play games with each other, or just be in the same room together. Even before she could speak proper english, they both somehow knew what the other felt.
Noodle had prayed that 2D retained some of the closeness they once shared. And sure enough...
"Well...I guess it wouldn't hurt-!"
"Oh, thank you so much!" Noodle didn't know what had come over her, but suddenly she had wrapped her skinny arms around 2D's even thinner waist, hugging him so tight that it was a wonder his ribs didn't crack. Seconds later, he returned her gesture, albeit more gently.
Noodle grinned as she thought back on it. He had missed her too.
Something about the subject of hypnotism intrigued her. Maybe it was because the idea of 2D half asleep and willing to do whatever he was told just seemed interesting. Of course the painkillers he took always left him dazed, but in this case, it would be because Noodle had relaxed him. Maybe she just wanted him to not stress over anything for once. Being held prisoner on a plastic beach while being watched by a whale could bring out the worst in anyone. 2D had never been the same since.
2D himself didn't care for the subject. He did think it would be cool to watch someone act all zombie like because he waved a watch in their face, but...him being under someone's control? Well, that's a different story. The thought of being told by someone like Murdoc to punch himself in the balls sent terrifying chills down his spine. He did NOT want to be taken advantage of...well, okay, he had been taken advantage of many times because he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that's beside the point! This was...hypnotism! Forced control! Completely different.
...But Noodle was different too. She was sweet, gentle and...well, his best friend. He could trust her. She wouldn't make him do anything he'd regret. If it had been anyone else that asked him, he would've rejected them wholeheartedly.
They made way into Noodle's room, still littered with red, black, and white toys that 2D didn't recall buying. Noodle brought out a cushiony chair and patted her hand on it, offering 2D a seat. He obeyed and sat down, leaning into its soft surface.
"So, uh, how is this gonna work?" He asked, half nervous, half curious.
"I am getting to that." Noodle murmured, diving under her bed to search for something. 2D averted his gaze so that he was looking at anything except Noodle's rump poking out from underneath the bed. Since when did he suddenly think of her as more than his cute little sister figure? God, he was such a pervert...She was twenty, and he was thirty three. Wasn't that a little...strange?
"Ah, here it is." 2D silently thanked God that she was facing him from the front now. But this time, she had something in her hand.
"What's that, Noodle?" He eyed it suspiciously.
"Just a watch I used to carry around. I read that this is the most common and effective form of hypnosis." She informed him.
"Really? How so?" His fear was being ebbed away by curiosity.
"Well, do you know what subconscious means?"
"I'm not THAT dumb, you know..." 2D grimaced.
She stifled a giggle. "Just making sure. You see, hypnotism is actually a form of hyperattentiveness."
"You mean like you can understand things better?"
"No, it is a bit more complicated than that. Most people think it is like a sleep state because the subject is relaxed when they are entranced. In reality, it is nothing more than daydreaming. The person in the trance is awake, but the world is tuned out from them so that they focus on one thing."
"But why do people always tell the victims to sleep in the movies with hypnotism?"
"That is because they are simply relaxing them. They still know what's going on, but relaxation brings out the subconscious mind and shuts down the conscious. This part of the mind is what gives you dreams. Have you ever wondered why dreams feel real to you? That is because the subconscious houses your creativity, so if you were to feel something even though it isn't there, you would feel it. This part of the mind is only available when you are asleep or relaxed, like when watching a movie or reading a book. In this state, you're also very suggestible because all of your worries and fears only exist in your conscious mind. If I asked you to cluck like a chicken, you would do it because you would have no embarrasment left to control you."
Wow, somebody's been doing their research. "But what does swinging a watch in front of my face have to do with any of this?" 2D never did understand what was so fascinating about watching those things swing back and forth. Unless it just bored them to sleep.
"The point of it is that focusing on the object will cause you to tune out the rest of the world. And I will speak to you in a soothing voice to lull you into a state of deep relaxation." Noodle explained. She held up the watch in front of his face, but before she could start, 2D shut his eyes tightly, biting his lip.
"What is wrong, 2D?" She asked, wondering what could've made him so reluctant all of a sudden.
"It's not that I don't trust you Noodle...it's just so weird...what if it doesn't work? What if I don't wake up?" He didn't know why he suddenly felt so doubtful. Maybe being so vulnerable in front of his Noodle was just too embarrasing, or maybe he worried that he'd be too dimwitted to fall for it. He didn't want to embarrass her either...
Noodle took back the watch and smiled at him warmly. "2D, you do not have to worry. I will not make you do anything particularly weird, and I'm sure you'll be a great subject." She comforted.
He still didn't open his eyes.
Noodle inwardly sighed. She was afraid something like this would happen. Maybe they should just play a video game or go for a walk...no, she was in too deep now. She wanted to do this. 2D being sleepy...was it wrong that she thought that sounded kind of cute? Well, maybe he'd like to see her vulnerable like that too.
An imaginary lightbulb lit up.
"After this...you can hypnotize me if you want..." Noodle pretended to cough, hoping her hair would hide her red face.
2D perked up. His Noodle asleep and awaiting any command she would give him?...God, there go the perverted thoughts again. No he wouldn't make her do anything stupid, but seeing her like that before him...maybe one little session wouldn't hurt.
He opened his eyes with a sigh. "Okay...I'll do it."
Noodle grinned victoriously and raised her watch again. 2D flinched, but kept his eyes focused...at least, she thought that was what he was doing. It was hard to tell when the blackness in his eyes covered his pupils.
She began to swing it, left, right, left, right...2D followed it, swaying his head with each turn it took. He was doing it so Noodle would know that he really was following it, and not just taking advantage of his black eyed state. Okay, he was looking at it...now what?
"Listen to my voice, 2D..."
Well, she was right when she said her voice would be soothing. Her voice had always been kind of soothing to 2D. It always sounded so charismatic and friendly. Sometimes he wondered why she wasn't the singer of Gorillaz. She would be great.
"Focus, 2D. Focus."
Focusing. Right. Focus on the watch, that's what Noodle wanted. At least he was making her happy this way. It was true that he had barely spent any time with her since the El Manana video. He'd been moved to tears when she arrived, slightly bruised but alive, on Plastic Beach. It took Russel's gigantic hand to pull him away from her after five minutes of hugging. After all that time away from her, he'd do anything to make her happy...Finally, he had time alone with her. He may not have been doing a fun subject with her, but at least they were interacting.
"Can you feel it, 2D? Your eyes..."
What about his eyes? Were they tearing up from his lack of blinking? It was getting kind of hard to blink, considering he was still focused on the watch. The longer he stared at it, the more he came to realize how pretty it was. It was purple and shiny...like Noodle's hair. How could he never have noticed it before? She always kept it so wavy and refined. Maybe he could reach out to stroke it, feel its smooth texture... He almost did it right then, but the watch kept invading his vision, forcing him to focus on it again. Oh, well. Maybe afterwards. He just knew the hair would live up to its looks. Just like Noodle herself, pretty inside and out.
"They are getting heavy..."
Mm...Maybe it didn't matter that he couldn't see Noodle right now. The watch...it was so hard to look away. He couldn't look away. His head kept swinging along with it, his focused gaze melting into curiosity. What was it about this object that drew him to it? Why did it compel him so? It was pretty, yes, but...so pretty...no, it didn't matter that he couldn't look away. He didn't want to anyway. So why should he?
Noodle's hand shook with anticipation when she saw 2D's eyes. They were still focused on the watch, but they were glazed, and his eyelids were slowly falling. They only covered a third of his dreamy eyes, but at least she knew she was making progress.
"You are feeling sleepy..."
A voice. There was a voice in the background. It was so smooth and quiet. 2D hummed with pleasure. The sound was even more soothing and beguiling than the watch before him, like a lullaby meant only for him. The gleaming object and calm sound guided all of his mixed thoughts away. Tranquility coarsed through his body, starting with his head, where all of his stress took place, and treading down to his feet, leaving him with a pleasant tingling sensation in place of his troubles. It didn't matter where he was anymore. All of his previous worries, his job, handling Murdoc's abuse, they all just faded away, as if they had no right to be there. And they didn't. All that was left was warmth and relaxation...so relaxing...
"So sleepy...so relaxed...Sleep..."
2D's eyelids weighed down like anvils. He could barely even keep them trained on the watch anymore. He couldn't remember that Noodle was watching him. He couldn't remember who was speaking to him so softly. He just knew that whatever he was sitting on felt infinitely cozier than it started off. He sank into it, letting himself fall into a black abyss. It was so tempting to just sail through darkness, letting the weightlessness carry him through his dreams. No more fear, no more pain...just serenity...
"That's right...no more fear...sleep..."
The darkness called to him like a siren. He couldn't resist even if he wanted to.
Noodle grinned. 2D's eyelids were so low she could barely make out any black in them. The corners of his mouth were slightly up. She felt a surge of relief that he could experience peace like this.
2D's eyelids finally slid shut, his head lolled into his lap as his arms fell limply to his sides. Sleep welcomed him with open arms.
Noodle sighed with satisfaction, placing her pocket watch back under her bed as she observed her work. Yup, he was asleep alright. No one could fake an obnoxious snore like that.
She knew that she had only completed phase one. The fun part was just about to come.
"2D..." She spoke in a soft, low voice so she wouldn't startle him out of the trance. "Can you hear me?"
...Someone...was calling him...he heard it...a voice...it asked him a question. A simple one. He could answer that.
"Yes..." His voice was muffled and riddled with sleep. Noodle sighed with relief.
"Stand up, please." She ordered, adding sternness to her calm voice.
Stand up...he could do that...
2D's head was the first to rise, then his feet gradually lifted his body off of the chair, though a part of him wished he could stay in the cushiony surface for a little longer. He had to listen to the voice. Had to.
"You are feeling very relaxed, 2D. You don't feel any form of stress, worry, or fear." Noodle whispered to his suggestible mind.
2D's eyes were still closed, and his posture grew very limp. He almost felt like falling over, he was so relaxed. The voice didn't even need to ask for that. He was already feeling peaceful. His mouth formed a small, crooked smile. He couldn't remember when he'd ever felt so good.
Noodle tried not to coo at how adorable he looked. At this moment, she didn't care if 2D hypnotized her to sleep with Murdoc-it was worth it just to see him in this tranquil state.
"Now, listen to me."
Listen...he had to listen...
"Whenever I tell you to act like something, you will obey the command and act. And when I snap my fingers, you will go back to your relaxed state of mind. Do you understand?"
Obey...he would obey.
"Yes..." 2D mumbled, still with that sleepy smile.
Noodle thought about what she could do. Maybe making him act like a certain animal would be kind of funny...oh, listen to her. She had 2D right before her, perfectly willing to do whatever she asked him to, and she was thinking of the oldest trick in the book! Maybe she could make him do something more complicated...she knew that she couldn't make him do anything dangerous. Not even his calm subconscious would allow him to do that, according to her research.
Fine, fine, animal immitation it was. She'd think of something more clever later.
"2D, you are a kitten, and I am your owner. You love curling up with your owner to sleep, and love to play with tiny objects. When you hear the word cat, you will follow that command."
Kitten...he was a kitten when he heard the word cat.
The suspense was killing Noodle. Animal imitations didn't seem so bad anymore. "Cat."
2D's eyes snapped open, wide and curious. Somewhere in the back of his empty mind, he felt a little itch. It was irritating and stubborn, growing the longer he just stood there, not doing anything. It was getting bigger, consuming him, nagging him no matter what he tried. The sensation just wouldn't stop bothering him unless he acted like a kitten. Yes...that's what would get rid of the itch. He had to be a kitten.
Noodle gasped when 2D knelt down on all fours, gazing up at her with childlike innocence. "Mew..." He spoke in a high pitched, pitiful voice.
As soon as the sound escaped his mouth, a surge of pleasure shot through 2D's body. The itch was gone, leaving only a sense of relief and peace. Of course he was a kitten, it all made so much sense. Noodle was the nice owner that adopted him when he was out on the street, cold and alone. She pet him and fed him and treated him with love. 2D was so lucky to have someone that made him happy.
Noodle almost went into a mad giggling fit. This was just too precious for words! The best part was that 2D didn't even like cats- he was more of a dog person. So to see him acting like one...oh, God, she was not going to let this opportunity pass.
"Here, 2D..." She called quietly. 2D stared at her lovingly before waddling over to her on all fours, nuzzling her with his cheek. Noodle cooed and scratched the back of his head, making 2D emit a strange sound from his throat...was he purring?
He was! Or at least, he was trying to. As far as she knew, no one could purr like an actual cat.
2D continued to nuzzle her, tingling with happiness. His owner was always so sweet, making him feel like this. He only hoped that he made her happy too. She deserved it for taking him in.
Growing even more curious, Noodle stared at one of her stray socks on the floor. If she remembered correctly...She picked it up and tossed it to the other side of the bed.
2D's head snapped up, ending his affectionate gesture much to Noodle's dissapointment. He saw it fly by him. It was right behind the bed. He peered over it curiously and meowed with delight. It was a sock! He excitedly poked it, feeling its soft texture with his palm. Then he bit into it, happily tearing at it with his crooked teeth and chewed nails. It had the same sweet scent as his owner.
Man, this was unbelievable. She had truly succeeded to hypnotize him! Noodle briefly wondered how it must've felt for 2D. He looked happy enough, so of course his subconscious didn't register any of this as despicable. At least he was more content than she remembered him being. Ever since they'd lived in this apartment, Noodle and 2D would make eye contact, and his eyes would never match his plastic smile. They always imprisoned some form of fear or anger or sadness...poor thing. What was going through that thick head of his to cause him to worry?
The cat like man peered at her curiously, dropping the sock and placing his hands near her legs.
Noodle snapped her fingers. 2D's eyes drooped.
Sleepy...he suddenly felt so...
2D's head slumped into Noodle's lap before he could finish the thought.
"If you do not mind, I am going to ask you some questions."
Of course he didn't mind...he could do that easily...
Noodle bit her lip, wondering if even his subconscious felt comfortable with the questions she'd be asking. It was worth a shot, but she didn't want to scar him or anything. He didn't deserve to go through any more pain.
"Why are you so stressed nowadays, 2D?"
Stressed...What was stressed?..Oh, right, that uncomfortable feeling that tugged at his brain...it would take over him...consume him until he was nothing but a bundle of nerves, scared of what would happen the next day. Scared that he would lose his job, his keyboard, his friends...
Noodle tensed when she felt 2D shiver in her lap, making distressed noises that sounded similar to whimpers. Oh, no, she knew it was a bad idea.
"It's okay, 2D, it's okay...you're okay...everything is fine..." She whispered into his ear and stroked his hair, hoping the soothing gesture would calm him down even a little.
2D felt his tension ebb away with each circle Noodle's hand made on his skin. He was alright. There wasn't anything to worry about. He was at peace...all he had to do was answer the question, that was all.
She sighed with relief when 2D stopped fidgeting and his breathing became relaxed and slow again.
Noodle froze. She hadn't been expecting him to answer still.
"I was stressed...didn't want to lose Noodle...or Russel...or Murdoc again...need job to...get us out of here...we will go to a better place...like Kong..." 2D sighed, feeling better now that he got the confession off his chest.
Noodle just continued to caress 2D, making sure that he was still comfortable. She kind of figured it had to do with that. Of course they were all worried, even Murdoc wanted a better place for himself and his bandmates. Living in a clutter filled apartment with severed ears and strangers in the cupboard wasn't an ideal home. Even zombies sounded more comforting.
But that wasn't all she wanted to know. There was one thought she wasn't so sure about, and it had bugged her since she arrived on Plastic Beach.
"2D...how do you feel about me?"
"...Who are you...?" He asked dazedly. The only thing he knew about the voice was that it was almost siren like, lulling him into a sense of security. He just knew that he could trust the owner of it. No one else could make him feel this nice.
Noodle giggled. She'd almost forgotten that she never revealed herself to his subconscious. "How do you feel about Noodle?"
Noodle...he knew that name. It sounded vaguely familiar to his sleep addled mind...where had he heard it?
Oh...it was coming back to him. She was always there with him. Always laughing, always smiling, always talking and comforting him...she was beautiful, inside and out. Her purple hair was shiny and wavy. Her emerald eyes were mesmerizing and endless. That beautiful girl...to think he once thought of her as a little sister when she was ten and he was twenty three. Now she was an adult, and he slowly began to think of her as something...more. Was it possible? He often hoped it was okay to be in a relationship with her.
"Noodle...Little love...My Noodle...I love her." 2D clung onto the owner of the voice. Funny, they felt kind of like Noodle. Warm and soft, he could pretend it was her.
Noodle almost felt like crying as 2D held her with a certain desperation. He loved her. He truly, honestly, loved her, and not just as a little sister. She had never heard him refer to her as "My Noodle" before. Now she knew that she still had a chance, that her crush which lasted since he first helped her out of the crate was returned wholeheartedly.
She could make him happy again. She would do everything in her power to make him stress free, as he would do the same for her.
"When I snap my fingers, you will awake from your trance, feeling refreshed, like you just had a good night sleep. But when you hear the words ocean bacon, you will fall back into this relaxed state."
Noodle took one last long look at his sleeping form, almost reluctant to disturb his peace. But she had made a promise, and she knew it would make him happy, so she snapped her fingers.
"...Ah..." He felt warm and cozy, like a thick blanket was wrapped around him. It was tempting to fall back asleep, but he knew he had to get up. His head didn't hurt like it normally did. Strange. Normally the pain killers that brought him into a comatose state in the night would wear off in the morning...and he felt really good. That was the best sleep he'd had in ages, if he ever had a good sleep at all. For once, he didn't feel grumpy about getting up to go to work.
Wait...that didn't feel like his bed. It felt a lot softer and smaller. Did he fall asleep on the couch again? No, this was even more comfortable. What was going on?
Noodle heard him groan and mumble something, lifting his heavy head up to gaze at his unfamiliar surroundings. She smiled gently at him when his languid eyes locked with hers.
2D's black eyes widened, losing all trace of sleepiness when he figured out where he was.
Noodle...he had fallen asleep on Noodle's lap...
Oh, God, did he get drunk or something?
"I'm sorry! I'm s-so sorry! I didn't mean-!" His tongue had trouble working as he tried to remember what had happened. She didn't seem angry at least, so his face would live another day. But what if he had...? Why were his clothes still on? Normally he only slept in underwear.
"Do not worry, 2D. You did nothing wrong. I hypnotized you, remember?" Noodle said calmly.
2D paused his ramblings, trying to recall any previous events. His thick head felt even foggier than usual, like cigarette smoke had invaded his memories. What had happened before? He remembered Noodle coming up to him, asking him about doing something because they hadn't had the chance to hang out in a while. What did she ask to do...?
Noticing 2D's dazed look, Noodle filled him in. "We made an agreement. After I hypnotize you, you get to do it to me."
That DID sound familiar...oh, yeah! Noodle had asked if she could hypnotize him, then starting swinging the watch in front of his face, then...what happened next? He remembered having a strange dream and feeling weightless, but other than that, dizzying darkness.
"Um...I remember bits and pieces..." 2D muttered, scratching his head awkwardly. Noodle smiled reassuringly.
"As promised, I did not make you do anything dangerous."
2D returned the smile. "Since I'm still alive, I believe you. Now uh, what's this about me hypnotizing you?" The intriguing feeling from before was back. The image of Noodle vulnerable...no, no, don't think of anything stupid.
Noodle blushed. "H-Hai." Her calm composure was getting harder to hide. She only hoped that he was as gentle to her as she was to him. "If you would like, that is."
2D picked up the watch from under her bed. "Eh...if you don't mind, I won't be swinging this in your face. I might hit you with it." She giggled and he smiled. "Is there any other form of hypnosis that you know about?"
"Well, there is also progressive relaxation."
"It's when the hypnotist simply sends the person into a trance by speaking in a calm and soothing voice."
"Oh, well I can't do that then." 2D sighed dejectedly.
"Huh? Why?" Noodle asked curiously.
"Have you heard my voice? It always cracks and it's too high pitched to sound calm anyway. I mean, the only time people say my voice is even close to smooth is when I sing." He facepalmed himself.
"That is not true!" Noodle protested passionately. "Your voice can be very soothing. Do you remember when I would come into your room when I was scared as a child?"
Oh...he did remember that. When she was ten years old and only just being recognized by the public as the new guitarist of Gorillaz, Noodle had been scared of the zombies. On those dark nights when the only sound that could be heard were the moaning and groaning of the undead, Noodle would sneak into 2D's room, waking him up and asking if he could accompany her in her own room for a little while. He couldn't sleep in her bed with her for obvious reasons, so instead he would just talk to her.
It didn't even matter when she didn't understand english. The sound of his voice was always enough to calm the young Noodle into a sleepy state, her world fading into dreams as he smiled at her gently. Something about the familiarity and warmth in his tone just gave her peace and drowned out the unpleasant sounds of the zombies. Who cared if it was high pitched and cockney accented? His voice was her favorite lullaby.
2D smiled down at her warmly. "You actually make me feel important, you know that?"
Noodle blushed, remembering what his hypnotized self had confessed. She sure hoped that he didn't ask her any personal questions...
But even if he did, she wouldn't get angry. She knew she could trust the singer since she was young. All of her secrets were kept between those two.
Besides, Noodle was getting curious. What was it like to be hypnotized? Did it feel good? 2D had looked so content when he was entranced. Maybe she would feel the same thing, or maybe it would be like a dream state of mind.
"Well, then, why don't you get comfortable?" 2D patted her bed, and Noodle leaned into her pillow, trying to relax her body. It was a little hard to do with butterflies in her stomach.
"Uh...What should I say?" 2D asked hopelessly. Noodle giggled. "The key is to speak in a slow, calm voice. I recommend stating stuff like 'you are getting sleepy' or 'feel relaxed'."
"Um...You are getting sleepy." 2D deepened his voice dramatically, earning another giggle from the japanese guitarist. 2D groaned. "You see? It's no use!"
Noodle gave him a pat on his arm. "It's okay. Remember how you used to speak to me when I was a kid?"
"Well, speak like that again."
2D sighed, leaning onto his knees and placing his arms on Noodle's bed, a few inches away from her body. He was starting to have doubts again. Noodle was right when she said that he was a good patient-it was being the hypnotist that was the hard part. How did she do it? Her presence had been enough to soothe him...was that how she felt?
He dived back into his memories, trying to recall how he spoke to her. He remembered being quiet, almost whispering to her. Whispering all sorts of nonsense into her ear. Okay, he knew how to sound. But what to say?
"Hey, Noodle," 2D's voice was much softer this time, so similar to how it was when she was young. "How are you feeling?"
"Pretty good, thanks for asking." She responded, clasping her hands onto her stomach, leaning back into her pillow.
"I guess you feel pretty relaxed then."
Noodle smiled inwardly. He was getting the hang of it. "Mm-hm."
"Right. Uh...very relaxed. When was the last time you slept anyway?"
She quirked an eyebrow, thinking back. "Um...I woke up at nine A.M."
"And when did you fall asleep?" Noodle noticed an edge of calm creeping into his tone. He sounded like he did when he was about to sing: confident and relaxed.
"I...fell asleep at one A.M." She shifted guiltily. Surprisingly, 2D kept his calm. Unknown to her, he was trying to re-imagine the whole scene. It was like practicing before a concert. He was told he had a great voice, and he would use it for the good of the music. In this case, he would use his voice to soothe his little love. She deserved peace after all she'd been through.
"Eight hours of sleep...that never seemed like enough to me." Almost involuntarily, his hand lifted itself onto her arm, tracing rhythmic circles into her skin. Noodle hoped he didn't feel the temperature rising in her body. She knew he was trying to relax her, but her crush doing something so platonic was too much.
"I always feel a strong desire to sleep in, even if it's only for a few minutes. The bed just feels so much softer in the morning..." His other hand began to caress the bed.
Noodle yawned before her eyes widened in shock. 2D's attempt was actually working! He was doing really well, too. After the heat from 2D's touch had died down, she had enough bravery to lean into his touch, hoping that he wouldn't stop anytime soon. His fingers were rough and scratchy, yet surprisingly soothing to her senses. It left slightly ticklish spots on her arm, and when he'd trace the spot again it would relieve the sensation and cool it down like aloe applied to a sunburn.
His voice was just as calm as she remembered it being, maybe even more so. The tone of confidence that swayed in his voice was frighteningly placid, sending shivers down her spine. He just seemed more laid back and sure that he'd be able to send Noodle into a trance, like he knew that she truly desired to know what it was like to experience such relaxation.
2D noticed the yawn and tried not to grin. He had to keep speaking, he had to hypnotize her. The more he spoke, the stronger the desire to see her vulnerable became. He almost felt like a monster now, but even the guilty part of him was getting curious. What was it like for Noodle to be helpless and willing? She was always so strong and stubborn, nothing would get her down. Even when she cried she'd be holding something back. Had she ever let her guard down? Even in her dreams?
"Your bed must feel comfortable, Noodle. Almost like floating on a cloud..."
Noodle would've laughed at his cliche line if she wasn't so focused on his voice. He was right, now that she thought about it. The bed did feel softer than usual. She felt like she was sinking into it, drowning in its silkiness...and not even caring. Her eyelids flickered without her realizing it.
"Do you remember what it's like to float?"
He was practically singing to her now...remember what?
"That island in the sky...do you remember what it felt like?"
Oh, the windmill island she would ride. Yes, she remembered. She didn't feel the need to focus on her memories though. She was too mesmerized by 2D's voice to care about anything else.
"It must've been so relaxing, floating in the air...not a care in the world..."
A really weird tingle spread from her head to her toes. It was far from unpleasant. In fact it felt kind of nice. It was like a numbing technique, as her brain started to buzz with dizzyness that flowed through her body the longer 2D spoke.
Was that her voice? Why did her tongue feel so heavy? Why did she sound so groggy? She'd only meant to ask him to keep speaking because she didn't want the tingle to stop, but her trouble with speaking caused a surge of alarm to shoot through her body, nearly breaking her trance like state.
Seeming to sense her distress, 2D gazed at her with his pit like eyes, smiling gently. "Shhh...You don't have to talk Noodle...You're here to relax..." By now he was almost whispering to her, pacifying any sort of rational thought in her head.
He sounded so sincere and kind...Noodle immediately relaxed back into her bed, forgetting why she had been worried in the first place. His voice made her realize that it couldn't have been important anyway. He just kept speaking and tracing her skin, and the tingling became overwhelmingly possessive. It was like a gentle hand holding her and rocking her, emptying her of all defenses and worries. It caressed her body like a mother lovingly holding a child, singing it to sleep. She didn't even know where or who she was anymore. All she knew was the melodic sound that came from the darkness. It soothed her, promised her happiness, offered her tranquility... she would follow it to the end of the earth if she had to. Nothing else made her feel this blissful.
"Relax, Noodle...You must be feeling sleepy..."
Sleepy...Yes, she was. There wasn't any other way to describe her now. The once passionate woman who could kick anyone's ass was reduced to a vulnerable girl who only wanted to experience peace. She fully embraced the voice, drank it in hungrily, not bothering to remember its source. She knew she could trust it. Her eyes began to roll back into her head, feeling the need to obey the voice. She was so sleepy she couldn't even think straight. Only the voice served as her guide into peace.
"Deep relaxation...deep relaxation..."
The voice was purring in her ear now, massaging her mind. Noodle moaned sleepily, inwardly begging for the voice to not stop.
A black abyss invitingly beckoned her in its depths, allowing her misty mind to float to the dreamless realm.
She exhaled blissfully as sleep finally spirited her away.
2D grinned ear to ear when her emerald eyes rolled back into her head and her clasped hands hung loosely on her stomach. She breathed deeply and rhythmically, almost fooling 2D into thinking she had truly fallen asleep. But he still remembered what Noodle had told him, something about actually letting the subconscious take over her because she was so calm. So she was technically just in a deeply relaxed state of mind.
And he could make her do anything.
...God, he was digusting. Why should any of those perverted thoughts come to mind? He couldn't take advantage of his little Noodle like this. If she wanted to do anything...suggestive with him, she should do it out of her own free will.
Still, the thought was tempting...And it didn't help that Noodle looked positively adorable now.
She inhaled and exhaled slowly and deeply, her hands limp and lifeless. Her mouth formed a small "o" whenever she breathed in, and she let out a high pitched moan whenever she breathed out. Her whole body had sunk into her blanket covered mattress, desperately absorbing all of the warmth she had to offer. Her gently closed eyelids flickered like she was dreaming, when really her subconscious was patiently waiting for a suggestion as her body remained still and placid.
Damn his hormones-he needed some kind of closure! Okay, okay, nothing inappropriate, 2D. Just...something simple. Maybe a kiss would do. Not even an open mouthed kiss. Just a peck. Yeah, there was nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.
...So how was he supposed to get her to do that? Just ask her politely?
"Um, Noodle?" He called hesitantly.
Someone was calling her...the beautiful voice...
2D held back a snicker. She had absolutely no idea how adorable she sounded, did she? He cleared his throat and spoke in a clear voice. "I want you to, um...uh...k-kiss me...n-not open mouthed! Just a peck! O-On the cheek even! Yeah..."
The voice...wanted her to kiss the owner...she wouldn't mind that. Right now, it was all that mattered to her...
Noodle's eyes slowly opened, but 2D could immediately tell she wasn't all there. Her emerald eyes were dreamy and placid, like she was sleeping with her eyes open. It looked like she was trying to focus on something, but her heavy eyelids kept fighting with her desire to obey the order she was given. How badly she just wanted to close her eyes, sink back into the pillow and rest forever...no, she had to obey.
2D watched her, entranced by her inner battle. Though Noodle's eyes were still glazed, he could just barely make out a trace of determination, burning like a weak ember. Wow, even when she was hypnotized, she retained her strength. He felt himself backing away a few centimeters on his knees. Something about the look she was giving him both intrigued and terrified him. It was a hungry look, like following his commands was her nourishment needed to survive. His pulse sped up, and he backed away further still. Why was he so scared now? She wasn't gonna have sex with him...though that would be kinda- Goddamn his perverted brain!
She was getting closer. Now she was climbing off the bed, crawling across her toy littered floor so she could reach 2D's current height. 2D's back was against the blue painted wall, perched upon his rump as he eyed her wearily. With each step she took, his heart would speed up tenfold. She was really going to do it. She was really going to kiss him. He knew even a peck on the cheek would satisfy him.
Noodle was getting closer...closer...her hand touched 2D's leg, flaring that part of his skin. She stared at him, still with that lustful look that scared 2D shitless...and gently pecked him on the cheek.
2D's mind was going haywire. The kiss mark on his skin burned hotter than a volcano on the sun. His eyes were wide and staring in space. His heart had stopped. His mouth was hanging so wide open that drool threatened to fall.
That kiss...that was...Oh, God, if a peck could drive him this wild, how about a real kiss from her?...But he couldn't do that...well, she wouldn't remember any of this...but she might not even love him back...well, if she didn't, at least he'd have the chance to kiss her anyway.
Feeling like a heartless monster, and sadly getting desperate, he spoke again. "Noodle."
She had been sitting on the floor, eyes closed and patiently waiting for another order. Upon hearing the familiar angelic voice call her name, she lifted her head up at him, still keeping her eyes closed.
"Um...I-I'd like you to...well, if you don't mind...uh, kiss me...on the lips..." He wondered if his nervous stuttering would effect the way she took orders.
She had to...kiss him on the lips? Simple.
Once again, Noodle's eyes slowly opened and rested on 2D's own black voids. He gulped and smiled nervously, not exactly sure what to expect anymore. Would she be so repulsed by his snogging that it would snap her out of the trance? What if her subconscious became her conscious mind and woke her up while they were kissing? Would she never talk to him again? Why was he getting closer to her face-oh, right, kiss.
One eternity later, her lips were planted on his. 2D's body slackened and he leaned into it, his tongue threatening to poke out and invade her mouth. No, he couldn't do that. She was too sweet...maybe she'd taste sweet...ugh. He was a horrible person. He didn't even notice when his tongue slid into her mouth, nor did he notice that she just as desperately was entering his own. However, he did notice that she tasted like peaches and cherries, and that her lips were so soft that he wondered if she was wearing lip gloss...wow, it was natural!
Noodle moaned quietly, not minding how dry and chapped 2D's lips were. She dove her tongue into him more, practically driving it down his throat. She needed to kiss him. She was ordered to. And it felt really good...he tasted like butterscotch...and his tongue was long enough to trace all across the inside of her mouth like a slithering snake. Her subconscious mind eased her fears of being a bad kisser, or the fact that she was kissing the man that she crushed on.
All too soon, 2D reluctantly broke the kiss, his head spinning. This hypnotism thing...was awesome! Maybe he could get her to do it again. Or even better, have se-! What the hell? He couldn't do that! Kissing is one thing, but taking advantage of her like when she was so relaxed and happy and...adorable...
He sighed, violently pushing the thoughts away as he felt a familiar headache erupting. She was probably going through enough trauma for one day, and she didn't deserve to be taken advantage of anyway. Why should he risk ruining their friendship just to satisfy his own needs? If she found out and got pissed at him...he'd never be able to live with himself. Especially since she'd chosen this moment just so that they could be together for old time's sake. Someone as pure as her deserved more than a horny, scrawny bastard like him.
Crap. Time to wake her out of her peaceful mode.
"Okay, uh, how does this work...uh, Noodle?"
She lifted her head up again. "Yes...?" She whispered.
"Uh...wake up when I, uh...clap my hands. Yeah." 2D clapped once and flinched like he expected her to strike him for doing such inappropriate actions to her.
Noodle felt funny, like she was running through a dark and endless tunnel before unexpectedly bursting into a world of light. Where was she? Had she fallen asleep? What was going on? Why did she feel so disoriented?
Her filmy gaze finally focused on a color. Blue. The color was sticking outward like spikes, comfortingly familiar to her. The fog on her mind lifted as she made out two black holes, and finally a peachy skin tone.
"2...D?" She looked around, feeling more awake the longer she sat there. "What happened?"
"Y-You don't remember?" 2D quirked an eyebrow. This hypnotism thing was weirder than he thought. He would've thought she'd at least remember up to the point of him speaking to her. Then again, it had taken him a while to recollect his thoughts too. Maybe she just needed a reminder.
"I, uh...hypnotized you. Remember?"
Noodle's eyes lit up with recognition. "Oh, that is right. That explains why I feel so tired. You did great, 2D!"
2D blushed. "You really think so? I didn't mess up?" He asked hopefully.
"Hai. I can not remember the last time I felt so relaxed. At the very least you must have done something right." She hugged him, taking the singer by surprise. Soon enough though, he melted into her embrace.
Noodle rubbed his back, wondering what he had told her to do while she was out of it. She didn't feel any different than usual, aside from relaxed of course. But what if he asked her how she felt and...why did her mouth taste like butterscotch? Did he make her eat candy? Well, knowing 2D, he would make her do the most simple things, either out of fear or because he just couldn't think of anything better.
Gathering up courage, she looked up at him. "2D?"
"Hm?" He was still holding her contentedly.
"Did you...make me do something stupid?"
His grip on her tightened, and beads of sweat started to appear on his forehead. "I, um...l-like what?"
She tried to remain calm, not wanting him to feel that she didn't trust him. In fact, she did trust him. She knew he would never do something terrible to her, or make her do something she'd regret. He cared for her too much.
Besides, 2D didn't ask Noodle what she had made him do. It wouldn't be fair of her to keep her own secrets yet demand he share his.
"Oh, nothing. I guess I just forgot who you were for a minute. It felt so weird."
Noodle saw him sigh with relief, tempting her to ask again, but she composed himself. "Yeah, I know. I've been hypnotized by an expert after all." He grinned.
She smiled and nodded. "You are not so bad yourself. Do you want to grab some lunch? I need something to wake me up."
2D stood up, stretched, and offered his hand out to her. "Lunch is on me today."
She gratefully grasped it and pulled herself up, stretching a little herself.
"Say, Noodle," 2D murmured awkwardly as they made their way down the many flights of spray painted stairs.
"Yes?" She responded.
"Um...is it okay if, er, maybe some other time you could...um...do that to me...again?"
Noodle paused, staring at him in surprise. "You'd really like that?"
2D waved his hands in front of him frantically. "Y-You don't have to do it if you don't want to! I mean I can understand, it's just that I felt really good and I liked making you feel good and you were so cute and...uh, whaddaya say?" He deflated and avoided her eyes.
Noodle smirked, then she gave him a warm pat on the head-a challenge considering he was quite a few feet taller than her. "It is okay, 2D. I did not mean to make you nervous. Whenever you have free time, I will be by your side. And I can hypnotize you again whenever you'd like...and me with my permission." She winked.
2D sighed with relief for the nth time that day. "Thank you, Noodle. Just nearly lost my head, there."
"SON OF A BITCH!"
"Speak of the devil..." 2D facepalmed himself. He hadn't been expecting Murdoc to be home until midnight. There go his evening plans of quality time with Noodle. Murdoc would make sure he was too bruised to even speak right.
"DULLARD! GET DOWN HERE!"
2D winced and smiled at Noodle apologetically. Noodle squeezed his arm and nodded, silently promising to stay by his side. He pat her hand appreciatively and trudged down the stairs, into his own personal hell.
"What's all this junk doing round here?" Murdoc slurred, holding a bottle of beer in one hand and swinging a bent broom with the other as he stomped through the kitchen.
"It's always been there, Murdoc. Ever since we moved in." 2D said, praying his voice wasn't squeaking. Another beat down was just what he needed after his day had started off so well. Sometimes the world just hated him.
"Yeah, right. Are you sure it ain't just cuz SOME people like to mess around with shit they have no idea how to use, therefore breaking EVERY thing in the house, and-!" The rest of his words were so slurred that they weren't intelligible.
Noodle pulled on his arm. "We should really go..."
"Oh, no, you don't, ya piece of shit. Someone capable of f***ing up everything he touches ought to be punished...Do you believe in karma?" Murdoc grinned, and 2D whimpered when it looked like the devil himself was looking at him, scanning his soul, contemplating all the ways he could suffer a slow and agonizingly painful death-
"OCEAN BACON!" Noodle cried.
2D's head felt fuzzy as the world around him suddenly became distorted. He vaguely heard Murdoc yell something else, before all of his cares left him and he was welcomed into merciful sleep.
Noodle winced when 2D's head hit the tiled floor. He'd be feeling that in the morning.
"What the bloody f-!"
"Oh, I am so sorry Murdoc but 2D hasn't been getting much sleep and you treating like a punching bag will not help the situation so I will just take him to his room so he can rest goodbye." The whole time, Noodle had been dragging 2D's long body up the stairs, not even pausing to breathe, or see Murdoc's stunned reaction.
"Well who the hell's gonna clean up this mess?"
Finally she reached his room, placing him on the bed and covering him with a blanket. She finally took a gulp of generous air, pleased that she had prevented 2D from getting another dent in his face.
She just leaned on his bed, watching him tenderly as he slept on, unaware of the events taking place downstairs. Good. He was relaxed again and that's what mattered.
"2D...sleep and have pleasant dreams." She whispered. Than she slowly bent down and kissed his forehead.
And maybe she had imagined it, but Noodle could've sworn she saw him smile.