The Thing About

Chapter: One.
Series: Gorillaz.
Warnings: Foul language, very light angst, and slash (Murdoc/2D) in future chapters.
Disclaimer: Albarn's and Hewlett's.

The thing about breakfast was that it was an easy meal to have a conversation over.

Not a very clear or intelligent conversation, but a conversation nonetheless. Breakfast was good for talking because if things came out jarbled or incoherent or just generally nonsensical, one could always blame the grogginess of having just woken up and having not kickstarted the brain yet. Or something to that effect.

That morning started off no differently than it normally did.

Of the four band members, 2D and Murdoc were the ones who tended to sleep in the longest. Noodle, growing up quickly and really beginning to find herself, seemed to have very little interest in sleep. She had too much inspiration and too much creative energy flowing through her young veins to stay hidden from the waking world for too long.

Russel just happened to become somewhat of an early bird, since his exorcism. He also seemed a lot less dazed and a lot more focused. A lot less grouchy and hostile, too.

2D had gotten up before Murdoc that morning, as he normally did. He was just dropping down onto the couch in the studio kitchen to have breakfast when Murdoc made his own grand, ever-unattractive entrance, shuffling into the kitchen in a pair of unfastened, unzipped pants and nothing else, with a most foul, squinting expression on his face.

He caught sight of 2D, who'd turned to watch him.

2D said, "Mornin." and smiled.

Murdoc grunted back. Turned away and started the morning ritual of rummaging for something edible. Fortunately, Russel had gone out to refill the studio's food supply earlier on in the morning. 2D was pleased to find cereal in the cabinets after expecting to find nothing.

Murdoc helped himself to the cereal as well and took a seat beside his singer. They sat in an odd silence, 2D eating slowly and Murdoc staring at the black television screen, blinking and trying to wake up.

Which he eventually did. Not all the way, but it was good enough.

But instead of delving straight into eating and leaving 2D's presence as soon as he could, he ate just as slowly as his band mate did and spent a good chunk of time quietly watching him out of the corner of his eye.

Halfway through his breakfast, he decided in his own foggy, just-woken-up-grogginess to be bold and ask 2D about the huge honking disease of love-suction on his neck.

What did he have to lose?

"Where'd y'get that, hey?"

2D paused, spoon in mouth, and glanced up at him. "Mmnn?"

Murdoc trailed a finger down along the side of his own neck. "That. The canc'rous mark'a sin on yer neck."

The singer's face blanched. Then it started to turn red. He pulled his eyes away and looked at nothing. Stirred his soggy cereal and milk with his spoon.

"Som'mun."

Interesting. Maybe he wasn't as boring as Murdoc always thought him to be.

"Looks like she kne'wot she was doin."

2D didn't say anything. He kept his eyes averted, and he kept eating.

Murdoc was intrigued. He wasn't going to press, but he couldn't help but wonder who the... er, lucky lady was. No, instead of prying, he took a different route.

Heckling.

"Aw, com'n now. Y'could'na expected no ones t'see that thing. Yer not even tryin t'cover it. Quit actin so embarrassed."

2D stopped blushing, but was obviously not in the mood to talk about it. It was none of Murdoc's business, anyway. "Piss off," he murmured, his embarrassment morphing into slight, sulky irritation as he brought his bowl to his mouth and sipped at the milk.

Murdoc watched. Very intently. An amused grin started to etch itself over his lips.

2D lowered the bowl and refused to look at his band mate as he rose to his feet. He passed by him, heading for the sink. "Stop starin at me. It's creepy."

The bassist chuckled.

"An' stop laughin. S'even creepier."

No sincerity. "Won'appen again, mate."

"Cig'rettes?"

"Desk room, last I saw'em."

Mismatched eyes followed 2D to the door, and lingered on the doorway even after the other man disappeared through it.

"Are we's doin any work t'day?" Murdoc heard him call from the other room a moment later.

Murdoc got up to put his own bowl in the sink, where it would inevitably stay for weeks until someone got sick of the mess and cleaned it. "I don't fuggin know," he grumbled back. "We'ad an in'nerview soon. I can't remember if'fit was t'day or t'morrow."

"Me reckons that was t'morrow," came the reply. "Ciggy?"

The Satanist moved to the door and peered into the desk room. 2D had already lit up and was lounging in one of the rolling chairs, waving his pack of cigarettes at him. A strong wave of craving came over him, and he agreed, pulling up another chair and sitting down.

They smoked in silence. Once in awhile, 2D would say something mundane; the weather was one topic. The 'zombie problem' was another. Thinking about cleaning up the mess in the room was yet another. And another was wanting to take some of the keyboards and see if anyone noticed. Murdoc replied and reacted with bored staring, the occasional disinterested grunt, and idly flicking ashes onto the floor.

The thing that caught Murdoc's attention full-on was when 2D looked straight at him and said, "You been actin funny lately."

That haunting gaze was on him directly. It was uncomfortable. "Wot?"

"Well, I mean..." he trailed off, trying to collect his regularly jumbled thoughts and make sense of them. "Y'been quiet. An y'aven't been pickin on me so much."

Murdoc still looked bored, but he seemed interested now. "Wot're you goin onnabout, dullard?"

"Well, I.. I..." It was well-known around Kong Studios that 2D had a hard time with words. He was better during the day, after he'd indulged himself in the massive amounts of painkillers that he took for his terrible, head-splitting, nagging migraines. "I no'iced that yeh've been thinkin a lot. Like y'got too much happ'nin in th'brain. Too much... too much doobry."

"Hey?"

2D exhaled loudly and frustratedly. "Y'just been actin weird is all."

Murdoc was still and silent for a moment. For 2D, it was a moment of simply waiting for a response. For Murdoc, however, it was a very awkward moment. Though he was quiet outright, his mind was suddenly moving a mile a minute. He showed signs of weakness? And 2D, of all people, noticed it? That would mean that the others were sure to notice it too, right?

Shit. Bugger.

He scoffed, snickered, and stood up, breaking eye contact completely. "'Weird'. 'Been actin weird', he says." He turned and started for the door. "Whiles he's out gettin bunked-up by random chicks at'is age..."

2D, offended, almost called him on his hypocrisy, but the man had already left the studio, lost in his own unintelligible murmuring.

The singer sighed, defeated again and brushed off again, and made a move to rise from his own seat, but not before noticing that the nicotine-addicted Murdoc - in his queer rush to leave - had carelessly dropped his cigarette, still burning and not even half finished, to the floor.