A/N: Hey there, fellow Gorillaz fans. Welcome to my second Gorillaz fic. This is the longest One-Shot I've ever written, and to be completely honest I'm pretty proud of it. It starts out a bit boring, but then comes the dreams and flashbacks (all italicized) and some angsty thoughts.
Just a few quick notes: It takes place a couple months into phase three. It's rated for language and a tiny bit of blood. This is not an intended 2DxNoodle story, but feel free to interpret it that way if you'd like to. Oh, and in my other Gorillaz fic I wrote out 2D's accent, but I'm not doing it in this one. Sorry.
Please enjoy! And I encourage you not to stop reading because the beginning is boring… I promise it gets better.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gorillaz.
~Ensnared In Memories~
If I asked someone what a jail cell looks like, I'd probably get an answer that anyone else would expect: a gray, dreary, small room with a metal bunk bed, no windows, and one wall completely covered in bars designed to keep the captured, well, captured. I'm no mind reader, but that's what I'd imagine people thinking of when they hear 'jail cell'. I admit it; that's what I used to think, too. Sure, I'm not the smartest guy on the planet. But the same image still comes to mind: that same jail cell. Or, that's what used to come to mind. Lately, my views on jail cells have changed dramatically.
In only a few months, my vision of a cell has changed from the standard, to the complete opposite. The image that now comes to mind? A rather colorful room, complete with a good-sized bed, pictures on the wall, (which is painted a bright shade of light red- not pink), a computer that only worked occasionally, a TV, Blu-Ray DVDs and a Blue-Ray player, and plenty of other random knickknacks lying around the room. And it's even underwater! An underwater room! So, the catch? Well, imagine being kept there against your will after being gassed out of your flat and brought to the point farthest away from any other landmass, where you're forced to use your magnificent vocals for some album you really don't want to be a part of. And there's no one there to keep you company but an evil robot who's a replacement for a former best friend, a Satanist who is probably the most evil sod you will ever meet, a mechanic who really needs to pull up his pants, and a few other people who were also brought here against their will. Now, imagine all of that, then add a freaking whale to the mix; a whale that guards your little underwater cell twenty-four-seven, keeping you from leaving. Still not convinced? Imagine you have a very intense case of cetaphobia.
Yeah, that's the life I've been living for the past few months.
To put it nicely, this place is the most terrible, horrific, revolting, smelly, stupid, dumbest place on the entire planet. I hate it here. Plastic Beach has got to be, without a doubt, the closest thing to hell that Earth has to offer. Maybe that's why Murdoc likes it so much.
I'm positive I must be losing my mind. That whale is slowly driving me bonkers. It wants my blood. It wants to kill me. The only thing that's holding it back is the deal it made with Murdoc. How the bassist even managed to negotiate with that insane, bloodthirsty beast is well beyond me, but it doesn't matter so long as it's still out there. That eye. That eye is always there, always watching. Even if I draw the blinds to the only window in the room, an underwater window, and block it out, I can still feel it staring at me. It's always there.
The nightmares have been getting worse lately, too. Even an especially heavy dosage of my meds, which Murdoc was so kind as to let me keep, isn't enough to block out the horrific images that pop into my head every night. Believe it or not, I don't think it's from the horror films I watch before bed, because the nightmares never really have anything to do with that kind of stuff. Part of it is defiantly what I'm beginning to call 'Whale Anxiety'. Really, who wouldn't begin to have nightmares with that monster guarding your prison cell every hour of every day? But I think another part of it is just because I'm beginning to think too much.
I bet you'd never expect to hear that, eh? Stuart Pot, thinking too much? Or, let alone, thinking? The mere idea was slightly absurd; even I'll admit it. I never liked thinking. It made my brain hurt. It provoked migraines. It never really seemed worth it, either, since someone else can just do the thinking for you. So I'd never really do too much of this 'thinking' before now. However, being trapped in an underwater prison guarded by a ferocious giant with nothing to do all day but re-watch zombie films really gives you a lot of unnecessary time to think. So, as much as I don't want to, that's just what I've been doing. I've been trying to prevent it, but it's getting harder and harder to keep thoughts out of my usually thick skull. I've begun to think about lots of things that didn't even pass my mind before hand. Has Murdoc finally been driven over the edge? What will he do to me after this is all over? How much it that whale being paid, anyway, and is it enough to stop him from eating me? How much do our fans know? Is there even a chance that I may be rescued? How're my parents doing? And, Russel? What ever happened to him? Is he all right? What about Nood-
But that's where I would always draw the line. No. No, I can't think about that. I can't. If I started thinking about her, then I don't know how much more of this I could take. I can't stand the thought of her being dead. I've had to live with the thought for four years. I don't want to feel any more guilt. I don't want to feel anymore hurt. And I feel terrible saying it, but I don't want to even remember her anymore.
But that cyborg. That damn cyborg. That fucking piece of shit that Murdoc even dares to call 'Noodle'. That thing is not Noodle. That thing never was, is not, and will never be Noodle. It won't even come close.
And Murdoc dares to call it a replacement.
And every time I see it, the first thing that comes to mind is Noodle. Noodle in the FedEx package, Noodle on stage, Noodle playing her guitar, Noodle kicking zombie ass, Noodle laughing, Noodle dancing, Noodle on that goddamn windmill…
But that cyborg isn't Noodle. No matter how many times a day I may mistake it for the girl, that piece of scrap will never, ever be Noodle.
I know for a fact that thinking is what's causing the nightmares.
Noodle is alive.
She's on the beach. The plastic beach. And so am I. We're outside. The air smells fresh. The sun is bright and warm. And there she is. And here I am.
I yell her name and run towards her, ecstatic. She's alive, she's alive! I knew Murdoc was wrong! I knew it all along! I feel tears of joy run down my face as I run to meet her, calling her name desperately.
She sees me. She smiles. And now she's running towards me, too. She yells my name back.
Noodle is alive.
We're almost there. We're almost together again. Both of our arms are already outstretched, preparing to be leapt into. I knew it all along. I knew she couldn't be gone. More tears slip down my pale face. If this isn't pure happiness, then I don't know what the hell is.
Noodle is alive.
Then we're together, and I throw my arms around her, and she does the same. I missed her. I missed her so much. I want to tell her absolutely everything. Noodle is alive, Noodle is alive!
Then everything falls.
Noodle is cold. Noodle is hard and cold. When we ran into each other, there was a hollow sounding 'clunk' from her. When her arms hook around my neck, I can hear gears turning. I can hear metallic joints moving.
Noodle is… alive…
I try to push away, but the cyborg has me in a death grip. It turns its head up to me, as it is several inches shorter, and flashes one of those terrifying, evil grins. It's horrible. I want to scream. I want to get away. I want the real Noodle, I need the real Noodle…
That's when I notice the blood. There's blood on my shirt. The cyborg has it on its arms and hands.
There's a machine gun on the ground. The cyborg's gun.
There's a trail of blood. The red liquid has stamped the plastic beach.
And, about ten feet away from where I remain in the robot's metal arms, there is Noodle.
Noodle is dead.
The cyborg smiles.
I woke up screaming and sat bolt upright, drenched in cold sweat. I was panting heavily, black eyes darting around the room in panic.
I numbly brought my thin arm up to my face, wiping away tears that managed to escape. It was just a nightmare… just a dream…
Blood… Noodle… Dead…
I frantically reached for my meds, lying on the bedside table next to my bed. As quickly as possible, I swallowed down a few more than necessary, hoping to rid myself of the images that the dream stuck into my head. Just a dream… just a dream…
I hugged my knees close to my chest, trying to steady my breathing. It wasn't real. Noodle wouldn't be here. The cyborg wouldn't kill her. It wouldn't happen. It was just a dream…
Well, here's a fine example of how sucky my life is while living on Plastic Beach. I had finally calmed down enough to stop thinking about Dream-Noodle's bloodied figure, when guess who decides to pay me a little visit? That's right, by little whale friend decided to come check if I was ok. Isn't he polite?
That damn eye floated by the circular window, as huge as a watermelon, followed by whatever sound whales make, (I dunno how to describe it). It's giant pupil dilated. It looked at me.
Instantly I let out a terrified squeal like some frightened swine, and I pushed myself to the very far corner of the bed, burying my head in my knees and shaking. My heart felt like it was pounding on my chest so hard it was going to break right through. I could swear I heard that freaking whale laughing. I guess I could have just closed the blinds, but I didn't even want to put my hand near that porthole window. So I just sat there in the corner, shivering violently, scared out of my wit. I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. All I could do was cower, hands covering my eyes. I didn't want to be eaten. I didn't want to die.
After a few minutes I heard the water moving around the outside wall of my prison, signifying the giant had lost interest in me and swam away. However, I didn't move for a while longer. I needed to regain feeling in… well, everything. I thought my heart might never slow down to its normal rhythm again. It was still pounding so hard that it hurt, and it had gone from feeling like it would pop out of my chest to feeling like it would fly up into my throat. Then I'd be choking on my own heart. What a depressing thought.
Finally, after what must have been a good ten minutes, I stopped shaking, though my breath was still short and hitched, and my chest still hurt. I slowly unraveled from my little ball, looking warily at the window. Nothing. I slowly crawled over my bed to the window, squinting my eyes out into the blue ocean. Nothing.
I was about to close the blinds when I thought I saw something outside move. Instantly on alert, I put my hands on the glass and pressed my face close, desperately trying to listen for any sounds that might alert me to when the beast would be visiting me next. I sat there for a few more seconds. Soon my breath was fogging up the glass of the window, and I could barely see anymore. Giving up, I let my fingers slide down the glass back to my sides. As they slid, they made narrow trails down the fogged-up window, leaving me with ten small stripes to see through.
Before I could stop it, a memory surfaced.
I'm trapped in here.
Trapped in Feel Good, Inc.
I drag myself over to the huge, dirty windows that encircle the narrow tower. My throat hurts. I don't know how long I've been singing for. It must have been the millionth time this day that I've sang this same song, over and over. I don't think anyone's even listening anymore. All the sluts lying on the ground are too caught up with Murdoc to pay attention, and the same goes for the bassist. The only thing Russel seems to be conscious of is his arms moving, beating on his drums. No one can hear me. So why do I keep singing?
Maybe it's because if I keep singing, Noodle may come back. I might see her again. I haven't seen her since we got to Feel Good, Inc.
Now I press my face against the dirty windows, barely conscious of my mouth still moving and the song continuing on. I search for her. I search the sky for any signs of her.
And then, there she is. Out through the clouds floats a giant windmill, on top of a piece of flying land. And there, sitting on the edge of the floating island, is Noodle. She's playing her guitar. She's smiling.
I want to yell her name. I want to scream. But I can't stop singing. And I still can't utter a word while the windmill flies by, leaving. She doesn't even spare this tower of despair a glance. Then she's gone. Gone. I don't even notice the helicopters flying after the windmill as I sink down onto my knees, my fingers leaving trails down the fogged, dirty windows…
I sucked in a huge gasp of air as I came back to consciousness, blinking rapidly. This time I didn't try to wipe away the tears that ran down my cheeks. I wasn't in Feel Good, Inc. I was on Plastic Beach. But Noodle was still gone.
I never wanted to remember that day. I hastily wiped the porthole clean with my arm, forcing the memory out of my head.
I didn't draw the blinds as I intended to before. Instead, I just sat there lamely, an immense sadness settling on my shoulders. I wasn't used to all these feelings, whirling around inside of me, bumping into one another, colliding, intertwining, creating new feelings. I didn't like the way all these feelings wanted out. I guess it just went hand-in-hand with the whole 'thinking too much' thing.
I let my head fall into my hands, and I slowly ran my long hands through my blue hair. I didn't want Noodle to be gone. I didn't want Noodle to be dead.
"Noodle… where are you?" I whispered.
I surprised myself there. Even though I had been trapped in this room for months on end, a giant fish driving me slowly insane, I had been proud to say that I hadn't talked to myself once. Not once. I had taken pride in that, since the first sign of craziness in movies was always talking to yourself. I thought that when I did start talking to myself, I might as well be dead. But I was surprised to find that it felt slightly… relieving. I felt a little but of all those jumbled feelings escape from the pit of my stomach, leaving me. They wanted out; they got it.
I sniffled, sitting up straighter and lifting up my head slightly. I spoke again. My voice was hoarse. "I… I miss you, Noods. I-I dunno if I can keep going without you… I want you here. I need you here. Not some damn cyborg that looks like you…"
The image of that fake Noodle grinning up at me came to mind. A swelling rage built up inside me, wanting out. "How could Murdoc even think about replacing you? How could he? He always liked you. I'm the one he always hated. Why didn't he replace me instead?" My head sank back into my hands, more tears leaking through vacant eyes. "Why couldn't it have been me? Why'd I have to be stuck in that damn tower? Why am I stuck on this damn island?"
Sadness once again turned into rage. Unbearable rage. Noodle was dead. She was dead, dammit! She didn't deserve it! It should have been me! Me!
Forgetting fear, forgetting everything, I once again crawled to the window. It was the first time I hadn't felt afraid while approaching it. I yelled, "You hear that, you damn whale? Come and kill me! Kill me now! I don't care! I'll be with Noodle! You hear that, you fucking monster? I DON'T FREAKING CARE! I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!" I pounded the window with my two fists with all my might, letting out an angry cry. The water outside stayed quiet.
I was still angry. I was angry at Murdoc for even thinking he could replace Noodle. I was angry at that stupid cyborg for looking so much like her. I was angry at this stupid island, and all the stupid people on this stupid album. But it was mostly Murdoc. It was mostly him I was mad at. He was the one whose idea it was to go to Feel Good, Inc. for that gig. He was the one who was drinking all day when he was supposed to be searching for Noodle. He was the one who burnt down Kong, who gave those phony weapons to the pirates. He was the one who gassed me and trapped me here. He was the one who built the robot. He was the one who was keeping me here, and who was paying that whale to guard me. It was all his fault.
Anger turned into a drug. I was drunk on anger. My legs had minds of their own as I jumped off the bed and stormed over to the thick metal door of my prison. There were no windows on the door, and it looked very heavy. I was sure no one would be able to hear me. I could yell I wanted. Excellent.
I could hear the water stirring outside. The whale probably somehow saw that I was approaching the door and, thinking I was planning an escape, swam over to check it out. But I paid no notice. I didn't care anymore.
Another memory surfaced.
We've been back at Kong for a few days, now. I barely even remember how we managed to escape Feel Good, Inc. All I remember is Noodle flying away on that windmill.
It was yesterday when the news arrived. The windmill, which had been declared missing after the day I saw it, was found. Crashed. It was nothing but smoldered ruins. And Noodle was nowhere to be found. There was no trace of her.
I'm gazing out the window of Kong, unseeing eyes staring out over the landfill. If Noodle were here with us, I would have said I was glad to be back. But this place is nothing without her.
It's three in the morning. Russel went off to bed a few hours ago. I'm still up, waiting for him to get back. I probably wouldn't be able to sleep if I tried, anyways.
Then I hear a car roaring into the car park in the basement, tires screeching loudly as it comes to a halt. He's here.
I run down a crooked flight of stairs into the car park. Murdoc jumps out of his Buggy and hits the cement ground with unsteady feet. Under the bright lights, I can see his face is flushed. He's giggling like an idiot. But I can't get my hopes down. I can't.
"Well, did you find anything?" I ask him desperately, approaching him hastily and not even bothering to keep hysteria out of my high voice.
He just seems to notice that I'm here. He looks at me with fogged-over, confused eyes. "Whah?"
I take a calming breath, trying not to get angry. Stay calm, stay calm. "Did you find anything? Did you go looking for Noo-"
"Ahhhh! Ah ah ah!" He suddenly declares, waving one of his hands around. "Yeah…. Yeaaah of course I did! Whodya think I am, eh Dullard?"
His words are slurred and merged together, and he wobbles slightly where he stands. I know he is drunk. I know he's been out drinking all his troubles away this entire time when he should have been searching. But I can't get my hopes down yet. They're all I have left.
"And?" I press on, eyes anxious.
Murdoc smiles a huge grin full of pointy teeth, and lets out a small giggle again. "I- I knew there was only…" he hiccups, ", one thing to do! I ventured into the… into the underworld! Armed only with a… with an ancient spell book!" He starts laughing hysterically, wiping unshed tears out of his eyes. Still he continues on, trying hard to speak through laughter. "B-But I couldn't… couldn't find… ANYTHING! Anything at all! The underworld is… it's DARK, yeh know!" And with that he falls onto the hard ground, laughing so hard that some tears fell down his green face.
I've had enough. I've had it. Does he even care about finding Noodle? Is this all just a joke to him? I can't control the hate that consumes me. The hate for this awful, awful man.
"You're a fucking bastard, Murdoc! You've been fucking drinking the whole day, while we've all been searching, worried sick. Do you even care about her? You're a sick, cold-blooded, heartless JERK!" My voice rose so high that it rings around the huge garage, echoing off the walls and creating a spooky affect.
Before the drunken man has time to reply, I run into my room and lock the door.
Noodle is dead. Am I the only one who seems to get that?
When I came back to reality, I didn't try to push the images from the flashback away. I wanted them there. I wanted them to fuel my anger. He didn't do anything for her… he doesn't care about anyone but himself… he's a heartless monster…
But instead of angry words, sad words were what came out of my mouth next as I rested my forehead on the cold metal door.
"Murdoc… what happened? What happened to the Gorillaz? What happened to the good old days, when we'd play video games, or kill eels, or joke about swan-shaped scones? What happened, Muds?" Even memories as small as those mentioned made me feel even sadder. "Now all we are is enemies. Russel's gone. Noodle's gone. Now it's just us two and that metal stranger. We aren't the Gorillaz anymore, mate." I sunk to my knees, head still pressed to the door, and let more tears fall.
What happened? When did this all go so wrong?
Then the door flew open, hitting me hard on the head and sending me flying backwards. In stormed Murdoc, looking pissed off and dangerous. He was dressed in captain's attire, complete with a pipe and all. When he saw me lying on the ground in front of him in a tangle of arms and legs, his eyes narrowed.
"That bloody whale's been moving around an awful lot. You better not be trying anything, faceache, or-"
As I sat up against the side of my bed, he caught sight of my face.
If I didn't know him any better, I would have said that I saw something flash in those bleak eyes of his, but then his gaze was hard once again as he drawled, "What are you crying about, Dullard? Man up."
I looked into his face with my dented eyes. I wanted to be angry. I wanted to explode. I wanted to tell him off for all the terrible things he's done. I wanted to voice every single angry thought that had gone through my head at this early hour. But all I could mumble was, "N-Noodle…"
Now I knew for a fact that something flashed in his eyes, and it took a second longer for them to return to their hard stare than before. When they did get back to normal, though, they looked slightly more… expressive.
I was expecting him to kick me in the stomach, say something rude, and then leave me again. But instead he said, "Go to bed, faceache. I'm too tired to deal with you…" and he turned to the door and began to leave. When he was almost out of the doorframe, he stopped. Without facing me, I heard him mumble, "Damn cyborg's been malfunctioning lately… the real Noodle sure is missed, mind you…" then he left, shutting and locking the door behind him.
Not knowing what else to do, I listened what the Satanist had told me and climbed back into bed, making sure to draw the blinds on the window before I settled in. Then I lay awake in bed for a while, doing anything but thinking. It felt nice.
"The real Noodle sure is missed, mind you…"
I let out a sleepy sigh right before I drifted back into darkness. "You sure are, Noods."
A/N: I wanted a sort of happy ending… so that's as good as it's going to get. Sorry about that.
Time for a random story! Ok, well first off I know that the Feel Good Inc. music video was staged and all, but I wanted to change that slightly in this story. Hope no one minded that. Also, regarding that song, just as I began writing the flashback to the music video, my ipod, (which was on shuffle with over 300 songs on it), played Feel Good Inc. for me. It was pretty darn magical. xD
On a less random note, please please please review! Reviews are just great, whether they're compliments, advice, or helpful criticism! (Just nothing too mean, por favor).
Thanks so much for reading! I have about three other Gorillaz fics planned right now that are just begging to be writen… so stay tuned!