Written for a prompt on the GenderQueer Fanworks Fest: "Noodle wants people to stop treating them like a girl, because they're not a girl." I am fairly sure I am not genderfluid, so if anyone who is reads this and sees anything horrifically wrong, please understand that I meant no disrespect and tell me so I can fix it. If anyone who doesn't get it has any questions, Google "genderfluid" and don't ask me to explain because I can't do any better than I am doing in the fic.

You hate boxes.

A box took you from your home. You don't remember anything before the box. You remember being in the crate for what felt like days. Later you calculated it was only twelve hours, give or take a little, but that was long enough to be crammed in a crate with only a water bottle and a guitar.

Finally the box breaks open, and you leap out, desperate for movement and daylight, and three figures surround you, looking shocked. They scare you, but they're better than the box. The dark-haired one stinks of alcohol and sour sweat, and looks at you in baffled disgust. The fat one has eyes like pools of milk, and seems horrified at seeing you; you can't blame him, he can't have been expecting you. You settle on the third; tall, blue-haired, and pretty, clad in a pink bunny T-shirt. Eyes blank and black, but smiling. The person coos and reaches out to you, saying something you don't understand in a high voice.

"Aw, she's so cute!"

It takes you several days to figure out 2D is a man. When you look back at this in later years, you'll wonder if you were drawn to him because you subconsciously thought he was like you.

The others seem reluctant to greet you. Perhaps a song will warm them up? You pick up your guitar, and play.

By the time you're done they're awestruck. They talk among themselves. You beam. They like you. The dark-haired one says something to you.

"You got a name, kid?"

You remember one word. Just one. You don't know why it's important. Perhaps it's a codeword. It's worth a try.


They look confused. You repeat it.


The name sticks. When you learn more English, months later, you smile, realising it's perfect.

The first day or two, you wear clothes borrowed from 2D. His shirts drag on the ground when you wear them. You like them. They smell like butterscotch, like he does. One day you tuck up the hem and knot it at the sides, to keep it at a reasonable length for a shirt, and wear his old shorts under it. Next day you untie the knots and let it drag, wear it as a dress.

The day of the concert comes, and from the first note the audience are struck dumb. You're eight years old and in a strange place with no memories left, but you know your guitar better than yourself, and they love you.

You rise up and up, together, and your bandmates hug you and praise you in a language you're becoming slowly more familiar with, but you don't need to understand to appreciate it anyway. Money rolls in steadily, and they buy you anything you want; 2D with a toothless grin and an announcement of "Love ya, Noods!", Russell ruffling your hair and saying "Just felt like treating you, baby girl", Murdoc with a scowl and muttering "Don't fucking break it, kid". Murdoc only calls you "kid", not "baby girl" or "sweetie", and you find you like that. Sometimes you do like what Russell and 2D call you, but sometimes you don't. Sometimes it feels wrong, not fitting. You don't try to stop them, though; it makes them happy.

One day you steal Murdoc's electric razor and shave large patches off your head. You wanted a less girly haircut, but your attempts didn't turn out well. Russell shouts and 2D hides giggles, and Murdoc refuses to let them take you for a "proper" haircut, declaring your efforts "totally fucking punk rock, kiddo". You giggle, and suppose the haircut works for you for now.

2D hands you another box, and you open it to find a shiny new keyboard, a smaller copy of his. It's beautiful.

Boxes are okay when it's not you that's in them.