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Revolving Doors

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Based off of a Skype with Noodle: “I’m like the big sister of the group. I comfort 2D when he has a bad dream, Murdoc when he has a bad trip, and I calm Russel down when he gets paranoid about the world’s problems.”

 PERIOD: PHASE 4

LOCATION OF HOUSING: CURRENTLY UNKOWN

 “Yes!” Noodle quickly jotted down the final star coordinate into her logbook. Smiling with delight, she reviewed her work, revealing various celestial bodies that she had been plotting over the course of a few weeks. And now she had finally finished her extensive project. She looked one last time through her telescope, gazing at the many stars swimming in a sea of darkness. Then, she moved the scope to the side and curled up close to her window.

 Perched inches away from the glass while laying her head down on her arms and looking up toward the massive black, but exquisitely illuminated sky, she watched in awe as the world around her seemed to spin endlessly. She could feel her chest clench with overwhelming admiration for the sky above, for the millions of light-years of emptiness and the every-once-in-a-million-light-years of glowing stars.

 Noodle had always felt as though a part of her wasn’t meant for this world, that maybe a part of her wasn’t even from this world. Her constant wonder for things not associated with tweets, selfies, celebrities, attention, insignificant and dreary affairs, as well as the glorification of self-interest and self-loathing, false happiness and articulated despair, was what made her feel distant from most others. Well, that or maybe the fact that she slayed demons and zombies on multiple occasions, something of which also isn’t very common throughout the populace.

 It didn’t matter what it was, Noodle just felt a little…different. That’s not to say that being different was a bad thing, in fact it’s a wonderful thing. It’s the natural flow of uniqueness and greatness among individuals that has produced some of the most influential movements throughout history. There’s never been a revolutionist of any kind that hasn’t ever been deemed as “different.”

 And Noodle was no exception. Built with multiple talents -rocking a guitar being a major one- she could conquer anything she set her heart and mind to. If she wanted to ditch her window and blast off in a rocket headed for the stars then, hell, nothing would stop her.

 Noodle thought all of this over, finally breaking her gaze with the mesmerizing sky. She knew she was different from other girls and other individuals. That’s not really what bothered her.

 What bothered her was the feeling of difference.

 And that feeling of difference spurred from the undeniable truth that she wasn’t the type of girl you’d normally see jumping from guy to guy or even connecting with one guy. Of course she’d been with men in the past, but it wasn’t something she found herself doing often, nor was it something she’d put at the top her “to-do” list. Part of her didn’t care, but the other part of her felt somewhat unfulfilled.

 She had never really made any kind of deep connection with someone. She’d met hundreds of wonderful people along her journey with Gorillaz, but had never felt a deep personal connection with another person.

 She glanced up at the stars once more and wondered if the stars ever felt the same- crowded among millions of others across a vast, never ending space, but yet alone, light years away from other stars whose light stretched millions of miles but never reached another. She looked down at her hands now.

 I wonder if the guys have ever felt this way. I wonder if Murdoc’s ever connected with any of the hundreds of women he’s slept with or even seduced. Or Russ. I wonder if he’s ever been in love with someone as passionate and as kind as him.

 Then she turned to her doorway, which was right across from 2D’s. She watched his door for a while, looking past all the horror movie posters crumpled up on top of each other, and the various locks installed to keep Murdoc away.

 I wonder if 2D can even have a connection, with all the blows that have gone to his head and all the screws missing from his brain. Has he ever loved anyone? He’s had to. He’s been with plenty of women, some of which who eventually fell for Murdoc’s psychotic sexual taunts. And that always hurt him. So if he’s felt the pains of losing someone then he must have felt the affection of having someone.

 She nodded her head, admitting that this had to be true.

 But she couldn’t stop staring at his door. She stood up, letting her blanket fall to the floor as she glided over to her doorway, which was only a few feet across from his. She wasn’t wearing much except a long shirt that covered the loose shorts that she was wearing underneath. She stopped when she reached the edge of her room, before the hallway created a bridge to his room. She just looked at his door, curiously, just wondering what it was like to have a connection that she was sure 2D had certainly had at some point in his life.

 Suddenly, the many locks on his door began to rattle and bustle until the doorknob had turned and 2D began to emerge. Noodle quickly closed her door, careful not to make even the slightest noise, not that 2D would even hear, being so off guard due to the endless flow of booze and pills in his body. She leaned her back against her door and rolled her eyes up at the ceiling. Ugh, what is wrong with you? You’re acting as creepy as Murdoc. She scolded herself.

 Then, she turned her head so that her ear was close enough to hear a giggle just outside, only it wasn’t 2D, although his voice is high enough. But no, it was definitely a woman’s giggle.

 She heard them both talking until Noodle could sense the woman retreat back into 2D’s room while he disappeared down the hall and into the kitchen downstairs. Carefully, Noodle crept out from behind her hiding spot and poked her head out of her room, looking both ways. She laid a palm on her face.

 Pathetic. My love life is so dry that I’m feeding off of a black-eyed, blue-haired band mate. Just pathetic. She shook her head again as she began to turn herself back towards her room.

 “Oi Noodz!” Noodle whipped around, wide-eyed to see 2D just a few feet down the hall from her, wearing nothing but jeans, which were somehow oddly put on backwards. Wouldn’t you be able to tell? Noodle asked rhetorically.

 “Oh hey 2D,” she said casually, hoping he hadn’t caught her right outside his door.

 “Aye you got any clue where Murdoc’s kept any of ‘is condoms? I’ve seemed to have run out and I’ve got a girl in there waiting for me and I wouldn’t want to ruin her night… or mine for that matter.”

 “Oh actually I’m pretty sure he keeps them all piled into that hollowed-out gargoyle in the game room.” She was slightly shocked at herself for knowing this, but then remembered she knew about a lot of strange things that went on in the Gorillaz house, and shrugged it off.

 “Oh thanks, love. I sure owe you one. Oi, maybe I could interest you in all the gory details of my lay tonight once I grab these condoms and get going.”

 “Oh Stu, as enticing as that sounds, I think I’ll pass. You see, I’ve kind of got this weird thing against listening to the sex lives of my band mates.”

 “Well, I’ll fink of somefing, don’t you worry, love.”

 “Ok, 2D, I’ll be waiting here in my fun and exciting room of all things fun and exciting.” She laughed as she began moving back into her room.

 “Aye what you been doing in there up every night anyway? Plotting your next move on getting back at Murdoc for that incident under the bridge?”

 Oh yes, that.

 At a recent show, Noodle had gotten into a slight argument with the hardheaded and heavily wasted Murdoc. In retaliation for being bested in front of the rest of the band, Murdoc had locked Noodle into a closet and replaced her with cyborg Noodle. This of course only lasted for one song, as Noodle was easily able to escape just in enough time to snatch the cyborg off the stage, separate her head from the rest of her body, shove each piece into two separate crates and ship them off to an eBay buyer in Hawaii.

 Noodle had actually forgotten all about the whole incident up until now. After the show she had been so caught up in partying with Russ and 2D while Murdoc ditched them to bring a few fans back to his room. Besides the whole ordeal with the android and its psychotic creator, Noodle looked back on that night as one to remember surrounded by her best friends, Russ and 2D.

 “Oh I’m not too worried about that whole thing. When the time is right, I’ll be able to get him back.” She laughed. “But, no I’ve actually been working on this project on the side.”

 “Oh, like a new track. I’d love to hear it if its anything like-”

 “No, no. It’s not a song, its just something- it’s nothing really. Nothing that would really interest you or anyone really. It’s just- it’s just nothing.”

 “Noodz, you’ve been locked away in yo' room night after night with the light on for a good few weeks. It’s definitely somefing. Come on. Quit being ridiculous and jus let me take a look.”

 2D nudged the door open and held Noodle’s waist, pushing her forward to show him what all the fuss was about. Even though he was only touching her shirt and not actually touching her skin, she still felt his warmth circulate throughout her body, while at the same time, chills made her hair stick up. She felt ashamed and slightly embarrassed while she quietly scolded herself and forced herself to calm down- neither of which 2D noticed.

 Instead, he was completely ensnared in the hundreds of pictures and pages covered in dots and straight lines, floating about her room as he headed toward the window that she had just been looking out of. She stopped in the middle of her room as 2D turned himself- still gazing up at the hanging pictures- toward Noodle. His wide eyes and open mouth shifted into a smile that revealed his missing and completely ruined, yet somehow alluring, teeth.

 “Noodle! Why wouldn’t you share this with us? Why wouldn’t you share it wif me? You know that’s my door right across from yours right? Wait. That is my door innit?”

 “Yes, Stu,” Noodle giggled.

 “Yeah, thas what I thought. Then why didn’t you show me this before! This is incredible. It’s- it’s- well actually… What exactly in the bloody hell is this?”

 “It’s a collection of star constellations, other celestial body plots, pictures of planets and stars, and I’ve even got a few shots of far-off galaxies that NASA personally delivered to me.”

 “Wow,” 2D turned around again to face the window. Noodle walked over until she was standing right next to him, leaving space between them.

 “Cool, right? I don’t even think I could count how many hours I’ve spent looking out this window, just watching the stars.”

 “It’s beautiful.”

 Noodle smiled and blinked slowly, lost in the sky once again.

 “Noodle?”

 “Yeah?”

 “Do you ever think that there could ever be other people far out somewhere else, standing together looking out a window in a room full of pictures of stars while also looking up at the stars?” He looked from the window to Noodle, studying her face, which was dimly lit by the sky outside. She looked just as pretty as the stars themselves. Then he looked back out the window. “Or do you fink we’re jus all alone in the universe? No aliens or none of that.”

 Noodle was slightly shocked at 2D’s question and turned to look at him before looking back out at the sky. “I don’t know. I like to think that maybe we’re not alone and we just feel alone because we can’t see what’s out there.”

 She turned toward 2D, smiling. He turned toward her now, returning the smile. They stared at each other for a few seconds. Then, 2D pulled Noodle into a one-arm hug and gave her a friendly peck on the cheek, the same way he used to when she was younger. She smiled as he squished her face with his gooey kiss then pulled away like a boy getting caught receiving a kiss from his mom. But she couldn’t resist her continuous smile.

 2D finally released her from his grasp and began walking back out of her room to retrieve the condoms and return to his woman who was probably pissed off and wondering where the hell he could be taking so long. But before he stepped out, he turned to look back at Noodle who had shifted slightly to watch him leave.

 “Oh, and Noodle?”

 “Yes, 2D?”

 “I think you’re right.”

 “About what exactly? I happen to be right about a lot of things,” she joked.

 “About not really being alone, just feeling alone.”

 “Oh. Yeah.”

 “Well, night Noodz. See you in the morning. And get some sleep, would you?”

 “Goodnight 2D.”

 Then, he closed Noodle’s door, once again leaving her alone. He fetched the condoms and returned to a grouchy curvy chick waiting naked in his bed. He’d wondered why he even bothered at this point but still couldn’t resist the urge to jump in her pants. The rest of the night 2D spent wrestling naked with the dimwit miss, but he couldn’t seem to get his mind off of Noodle and the glorious pictures of stars that circled her room, but he also couldn’t get his mind off of what Noodle said about being alone.

 …

 The next morning, the guitarist was up and in the main room looking over some prints spread out across the table. 2D had just woken up and was wearing nothing but his jeans, except this time they were actually turned the right way.

 “Oh hey Noodle! What’s up! Aye did you see a blonde chick this morning? At least I think she was blonde. Either way, did you see a girl this morning who wasn’t you or anyone else that lives in this house?”

 “Don’t worry 2D. She’s up and out, carrying her heels and possibly even a bit of stolen cash with her.”

 2D rubbed his face. His eyes were still slightly shut and his head was spinning. He groaned.

 “Oh, well, I guess thas good. Wouldn’t really want her hanging around too long anyway. Whatchu got going on there? More pictures of stars? That actually happened last night, right? I didn’t make any of that up about roaming into your room and being attacked by hundreds of photos and drawings of the sky.”

 “Well I wouldn’t say you were attacked necessarily but yes, all of that did happen last night.”

 “Oh good. So anyway, what’s all this then?” 2D walked over to her side of the table and saw all the various pictures of Noodle from various photo-shoots. There was even the occasional picture of a featured artist smiling right next to the guitarist herself.

 “Yeah, as you can tell I’m kind of sorting through all these photos. I would kinda like to store them in my photo album. Ya know, just to keep the memories, but” she sighed. “I don’t really have enough room to keep all of them. Some of them I’ll just have to save digitally to my laptop, which is fine it’s just…I like looking at actual photographs more than a computer screen- feels more real.”

 2D understood and scanned the table, looking at all the adorable and sometimes goofy pictures of Noodle. Some of them, he had to admit, were even quite intriguing. He couldn’t deny the fact that Noodle had definitely grown up into a beautiful woman. No one could.

 “I remember this one,” 2D pointed out.

 It was the Cracked magazine photo. Russ and Murdoc were wearing dark leather jackets while 2D and Noodle were in between them, wearing more beach-y clothes: 2D was shirtless (as usual) while Noodle was wearing a bikini top with a hip Japanese print. She was hugging 2D and Russel, while being caught giving Murdoc a pissed off look. She was upset that the magazine had decided to use that picture. She would’ve much rather the magazine use one without Murdoc.

 “Yeah. That day was pretty hectic but at least it ended well,” Noodle said as she recalled that after the shoot, the four of them went for ice cream and drinks. She also recalls how Murdoc got into a fight with a dog on the street. Her and 2D sat on the curb, watching while licking their cones and rooting for the dog. Russel, on the other hand, was actually trying to pull the hairy beast off of the horribly losing Murdoc.

 “Well, see now, look at this one.” 2D picked up the photo of Noodle riding a jaguar for her Jaguar Racing campaign. She looked totally badass but insanely wild and wildly insane. “I’m keeping this.”

 “Oh no! Put that back, 2D! Here! Put it back!” She reached for the photo that 2D was waving around with his extremely long arms.

 “Oh I don’t think so, Miss Noodle!” He laughed and pretended to be Noodle riding the Jaguar as he sat down and leaned out of his chair.

 “Oh come on, Toochi!” She started laughing, but tried to remain serious as to intimidate 2D into giving the photo back.

 “Don’t even, Noodz! I know you’re not as tough as you fink! I can see you smiling, you old wanker! You can’t pull nuffing over on me!” He pulled the photo further away from her reach as he stood up to make sure there was almost no chance of her getting the picture back.

 “Toochi! Ugh!” She had now jumped up on his back and tried to reach for the photo, but his long ass arms still made it too far for her.

 “Oh look now you’re riding me! Seems like I’m the jaguar now!” He laughed uncontrollably until he fell to the floor, dragging Noodle down on top of him. Now she had him. She sat on top of a laughing 2D and forced his hands down on the floor above him. Then, she grabbed the photo and waved it in the air victoriously.

 “Aha!” She exclaimed. But her rejoice was quickly interrupted as 2D sat up and began tickling her, causing her to duck her arms and bring the picture right into 2D’s reach. He grabbed the photo once more and held it in the air. She leaned in close to 2D, still straining to reach the photo, their faces only a few awkward inches apart. Then, she did the same thing to 2D that he did to her. She tickled his stomach and his arms came falling down, allowing her to quickly snatch the photo and hastily stand up from 2D’s lap as he laughed wildly.

“Don’t think you’re going to be holding on to that for very long!” and he quickly got up and started toward Noodle.

 “Eep!” Noodle let out a short yelp while smiling and laughing loudly before 2D came from behind and snatched her up off the ground. He held her tight as her shirt began to rise up a little more than she would’ve preferred. She kicked her legs while 2D transferred all her weight to his one arm to use to other to reach for the photo. He almost had it; he was only a short distance away from, once again, making the photo his.

 Then, suddenly, the fun was interrupted by a hellish voice.

 “Oh what in the bloody hell is goin' on in ‘er?! Can’t we have one morning of peace and quiet so I can deal with this god-damned hangover! Jesus Satan’s dick!” scolded Murdoc.

 Noodle quickly nudged her way out of 2D’s grasp and took the picture back to her covered table, and sat down. She rapidly fixed her outfit and hair, straightened her face, glanced shortly at 2D and looked back down at her jumble of photos. 2D, on the other hand, just stood there awkwardly looking at Noodle before meeting Murdoc’s eyes.

 “We was jus lookin at some pictures of Noodle and the gang. This one’s real funny, innit?” He picked up the jaguar photo and held it up for Murdoc. Murdoc growled and turned back to head toward his room. Once he was out of sight, 2D looked over at Noodle with a cheerful smile but she never lifted her head so much as even to look his way. His smile faded.

 However, he still had the photo in his hand as he started to walk out of the room, taunting Noodle who was trying to avoid paying attention. He was finally at the edge of the doorway when he took one last look at Noodle, who wasn’t going to even try to get the picture back, and scurried upstairs back to his room. Once he was gone, Noodle finally lifted her head and looked up to where 2D had left and let out a sigh before turning her head back down to the photos.

 …

 Maybe that was a little weird.

 2D thought.

 And it was definitely weird when that green monster walked in. Yeah. Maybe it was a little weird either way though. But she was laughing. She was ‘aving fun… at least I thought she was. I ‘ad fun. I ‘ad a good laugh too!

 2D chuckled to himself, remembering Noodle struggle to reach the photo while on top of him.

 She was so light too, like that fur-ball, Katsu, just resting on your stomach. But yeah. Still. Maybe a little weird. A little awkward. I mean, the only time a girl is really ever on top of me like that is when I’m balls deep inside her.

 2D shook his head.

 What the hell? Who finks stuff like that? Ugh get a hold of yourself, you creep. I definitely made it weird now. Ugh.

 2D rubbed his eyes and sat up in his bed. He looked toward his keyboard, which was tossed on the ground beneath dirty laundry and used condoms. He shuffled through the muck and grabbed his keyboard. Laying on his bed, he began playing to the tune of Momentz. It was a little too silly for his taste at the moment (get it?) so he started playing On Melancholy Hill. Then, he began to sing along.

 Well you can’t get what you want

But you can get me

So let’s set out to sea

‘Cause you are my medicine

When you’re close to me

When you’re close to me

 He continued to play right into DARE: a song he didn’t even write and didn’t really even perform either- a song that was still one of his favorites that Gorillaz had ever produced. Then, he heard Noodle walk by his door. He quickly sprung off his bed and whipped open his door, but Noodle had already shut hers behind her.

 …

 Oh my god! That was so unbelievably embarrassing.

 Noodle shut the door and leaned her back against it as she lifted her head toward the ceiling and scrunched up her face.

 I mean, what was I even thinking in the first place?! Being on top of 2D like that is unlike me! I mean, it was fine when I was like 10, but I’m now well into my twenties. That was so wrong! We’re in the same band. We work together! We live together! I won’t be able to really avoid him after this. Ugh… I hope this doesn’t make things super awkward now.

 Noodle closed her eyes and replayed the scene in her head, each time cringing but also refusing to stop thinking about it. She sighed.

 I hate that it happened, but it happened. What’s done is done. I just won’t ever do it again.

 But Noodle kept thinking about it over and over: sitting on top of 2D, laughing with him, being tickled by him, being held by him.

 Even though it was all just harmless, but stupid, fun, it was kind of nice. It was just kinda nice to be held by someone and to be so close to someone.

 Noodle had been close to 2D before. And she’d definitely been touched, hugged, and for god’s sake kissed by him before. He was like a best friend though. He was like family. But now it seemed different. It was almost as though she hoped it would happen again. Although, she wouldn’t want to get caught again. But really, all it was was just a little goofing off and messing around. They’d done that plenty of times before, but it was just different this time.

 And that’s what Noodle hated: feeling different. She’d always felt different but this time it was on a whole new level of difference. She wanted to hang out with 2D again and things not be awkward. If that meant no more horsing around like today then fine, so be it. She just wanted things to go back to normal between her and 2D, like nothing had ever happened that morning.

 She was sitting on her bed now, looking over her pictures- not the pictures that had caused this whole awkward mess, but the pictures that were hanging from her room, covered with planetary systems and constellations. Suddenly, she heard something slide under her door.

 She walked over to the source of the sound and bent down to pick up the message. It was a small piece of paper with a sticky note on it.

 “Sorry if today was awkward. I thought you’d like this in return for helping me out the other night with the condoms. Thanks again, love.”

 Noodle blushed as she rolled her eyes, reading over 2D's scribbled handwriting.

 “P.S. I’m still not giving back the photo.”

 Noodle let out a growl, but continued to smile. She removed the sticky note to reveal a photo of Noodle riding a cow instead of a jaguar, while flying over the moon, surrounded by numerous stars. Noodle giggled at the photo and walked toward her other hanging pictures. She took one of the clips and attached it to a string, while snapping 2D’s photo into the mouth of the clip. She smiled and jumped into bed.

 Meanwhile in 2D’s room, Noodle’s Jaguar Racing photo was pinned to a wall, next to his other photos from Gorillaz adventures, as well as a signed Pulp Fiction poster from Bruce Willis.