"You're gonna fall asleep."
"Yer dozin' off." 2D grinned, gaps and all.
"No I'm not, ass." she playfully shoved his shoulder away.
2D smiled and sat back on the couch, watching whatever romantic comedy was on TV at the time.
"What the hell are we watching anyway?" Noodle asked, pushing some fringe out of her eyes.
"I was, uh, just about to ask you that." 2D scratched the back of his head.
"Yeah let's change the channel." Noodle picked up the remote and flipped through the channels.
After a minute of silence between them, Noodle spoke up.
"You know, you don't have to stay here and hang out with me Toochi. I'll be fine. You go."
"Huh? Oh...no, I'm fine love. Really." he smiled.
"But you were invited to a bunch of parties tonight. Why don't you go have fun?"
"Cuz' maybe I wanna stay in tonight too."
Noodle raised an eyebrow and gave him a look.
"What?? I mean, I, well, I uh, don't want you to be home alone n' stuffs....Murdoc will be out all night and Russ had to go on that trip so...I guess I don't..." 2D stumbled over his words.
"Really? You don't want to leave me here alone?" she tried to hide a smile. "You know I can take care of myself."
"I know, I know..." he shied away.
"But...I'm happy you're here." she smiled sweetly at him.
2D's cheeks flushed a light red as he scratched the back of his head.
"As long as you don't mind being bored." she laughed.
"Aw c'mon. Hanging out wif 'you ain't borin'....Besides, I really don't feel like bein' out tonight either. I'm gettin' too old for the party scene." he shrugged.
"You aren't old."
"Whatever." Noodle shook her head.
"So, you like, want some champagne?"
"Oh, champagne?" she asked raising her eyebrows playfully.
"I um, I mean..." 2D stumbled over his words again, a little embarrassed. "You know, cuz' it's New Year's Eve?"
"Sure, I'd like some." she hopped up from the couch and followed him to the kitchen.
2D popped the cork and poured them both a glass. Noodle was busy by the fridge putting something in a bowl.
"Whatcha got there?" 2D asked looking over her shoulder. Noodle turned and looked up at him, her head only reaching his chest in height.
"Strawberries." she smiled and held up the bowl.
"Strawberries? What for?"
"It makes the champagne taste really good. Try." she held out the bowl. 2D took a strawberry and handed Noodle her glass.
They clinked their glasses together and drank, 2D then taking a bite of the strawberry and taking another sip.
"Hey, that's really good."
Noodle dropped a strawberry into her glass and took another drink. "I thought you'd like it." she leaned against the kitchen counter.
Even in her sneakers and t-shirt, Noodle still seemed so pretty. She seemed so grown up ever since she came back. 2D swallowed hard. Why was he thinking that way?
He cleared his throat.
"Okay, so uh, what do you wanna do?"
"Just hang out." she smiled, looking straight at him, while taking another sip of her drink.
"Kay'..."he smiled shyly again.
The rest of the night was simple, consisting of movies and checkers, two bottles of champagne and strawberries. It's been a while since 2D had felt so relaxed, it was nice to just sit at home some nights with a good friend, rather then get smashed with random strangers. And waking up to chicks he didn't even remember the night before and trying to avoid them later. No, hanging with Noodle was nice. Maybe simple wasn't bad after all.
An hour before midnight, 2D sat on the couch with his arm around Noodle as she sat curled up next to him, her champagne glass nearly empty again. They were sitting in the dark, with the only light being the light from the TV.
"They're herrreeee....." Noodle copied the little girl from the TV screen.
"I fink' you've had enough." he gently took the glass from her hand.
"No, I'll tell you when I've had enough." she rolled on her back and looked up at 2D. She stuck her tongue out at him, making a face.
"Nyeh." 2D stuck his tongue out right back at her.
Noodle giggled, clearly buzzed. She was so cute when she laughed. She had pretty eyes; they reminded 2D of emeralds or some cool crayon color, one or the other. Her bruise was nearly fully healed at this point, and he was glad that she was nearly back to her old self again; smiling and laughing.
"How much longer until midnight?" she asked.
"One more hour princess.
"Really?? A whole hour?"
"It's not that far away."
"But I'm getting sleepy."
"I told ya'."
"Nooo, champagne makes me sleepy, I forgot." she protested.
"Hm, okay." 2D teased.
"Stop that. Jerk." she smiled as her eyes closed.
"Don't fall asleep now."
"I'm not...just resting my eyes."
2D watched her as she lay mumbling with her eyes closed. 2D was feeling some affects of the alcohol too, but he didn't drink nearly as much as Noodle, knowing he couldn't hold his alcohol very well. He continued to watch the movie as Noodle rested.
The hour went by fast, and as midnight drew closer, 2D gently nudged Noodle.
"Hey Noods, 15 minutes."
Noodle mumbled something unrecognizable and barely moved.
"Noods." he shook her a little bit. Still no budge.
2D shrugged and continued to watch the telly; watching the party continue in London, with people standing around and waiting for the fire works.
2D's face lit up.
"Hey wake up!" he shook her a bit harder this time, startling her a bit.
"Huh? What? What is it?" she rubbed her eyes.
"Come on, get up. We're goin' out."
"Huh? Where?" she asked, a bit confused.
"It's a surprise. Can't tell you yet." he smiled mischievously. "But we gotta hurry."
"Okay..." Noodle stood up, a bit wobbly.
2D gently put his jacket around her and took her hand.
The two hurried down the steps of 212 Wobble Street, avoiding the icy patches on the sidewalks. 2D caught a taxi at the end of the street and helped Noodle into the car.
"Westminster Bridge please."
"Westminster Bridge?" Noodle looked at him.
"You gotta wait and see." he winked.
Noodle only smiled and giggled a bit. "Okay, Mr. Secretive."
It was two minutes before midnight when they arrived at the bridge, crowded with people as expected. 2D paid the cab driver and went to the other side of the car to help Noodle out. As she stood up, 2D scooped her up in his arms and hurried down the bridge.
"2D! Where are we going?" Noodle laughed as 2D hurried through the crowd on the side of the road, still holding her. People were laughing and having fun, and she could hear music from the city party playing. After pushing by a few tourists he stopped, and plopped Noodle onto the ledge, her feet dangling over the water.
"Don't fall now!" he yelled over the crowd, stepping over and sitting next to her. Before she could get a word out, the whole crowd began to count down.
"10! 9! 8! 7....!"
Noodle looked over at 2D who was excitedly counting down with the crowd. Noodle smiled and chanted along.
"3! 2! 1!"
The crowd went crazy as fireworks burst into the sky over the London Eye, as Big Ben chimed the first "bong". Noodle looked at the beautiful view over the river. It really was amazing. She must have been very small the last time her and the guys came to the city for New Years. 2D was mesmerized by the pretty lights as the bells continued to chime. He was almost startled when he felt Noodle's hand in his. He looked down at her, her face looking beautiful in the lighting.
"2D...wow...thank you." was all she said before leaning her head onto his shoulder. They continued to hold hands as the fireworks continued, not saying a word, just enjoying each other's company.
After the fireworks ended, the crowd began to disband, with people either heading home or to more parties. Noodle stayed slumped on 2D's shoulder.
"You really are sleepy tonight huh?" he asked softly, despite the loud crowd.
"Yeah. I'm sorry."
"No need to say sorry love."
"Are we walking home?"
"Sure, why not?" 2D didn't want to tell Noodle that he clumsily left his wallet at home and only had enough money to get here by cab but not enough to get back home.
Without warning he scooped her up and began to carry her, startling her again.
"You don't have to carry me." she protested.
"I'd better, I can tell yer still buzzin' a bit."
"I'm really not, but okay." she laughed a little, and let him carry her home.
By the time they reached the house, Noodle really had passed out again. 2D didn't blame her for being so exhausted. She hadn't been home for too long, and all the exhaustion from her travels must have caught up to her. She lay fast asleep in his arms as he carried her up to her room, his jacket draped over her. He gently laid her onto her bed, letting her keep his jacket for the night. He looked down at her for a second, happy that they spent the holiday together. He smiled a little and turned to leave the room, when he heard a small peep from behind him.
2D turned and looked back at Noodle, who was sitting up slowly.
"Hey...you fell asleep on the way home."
"I see that," she smiled, his jacket sliding off of her.
2D walked back over and sat on the side of her bed.
"How you feelin'?"
"Good. Really good actually." she looked up at him. "Thank you for staying with me tonight...and the fireworks....that was really sweet of you."
Red crept across 2D's face as he coughed nervously. "Well I jus' thought, well, we live here, it would be a waste not to watch the London fireworks in person ya' know?"
Noodle only smiled, and an awkward silence fell between them.
"Um, well, I should let you get back ta' sleep...so..."
"Oh...yeah....well, good-night 2D. Thanks again..." Noodle played with a strand of her hair while looking off to the side.
2D turned and began to walk out, when he stopped. He inhaled quickly through his nose and shut his eyes tight before doing an about face and walking back over to Noodle's bed, kneeling down beside it.
"I stayed at home tonight cuz' I wanted ta' spend time wif' you! Because I fink' I might...I might like you!" he blurted out.
Noodle only blinked a couple of times, a bit surprised at his outburst.
Silence fell between them, with 2D's heart feeling like it was going to burst from his chest any minute. His mouth was dry as hell itself. Why wasn't Noodle saying anything? He blew it. He blew it big time. He probably looked like a creeper.
"I-I'm sorry..." he closed up and was about to stand up and leave, when Noodle quickly reached out and grabbed his wrist. 2D whipped his head back around to see Noodle staring up at him...almost longingly.
"How much?" she asked.
"How much do you....'like' me?"
2D could swear he could hear his heart with how hard it was thumping away. He sat near her, extremely close at this point.
"...A...whole...lot." he said softly.
Noodle moved closer to him, only about an inch away from his face now.
"Then...show me." she looked straight into his eyes.
2D didn't think twice before nearly slamming his mouth onto hers, kissing her passionately.
The shyness and nervousness just left. Noodle clutched the front of his sweater, kissing him back with almost equal force. Noodle felt like she was going to fall backwards onto to the bed, before 2D put his hand behind her head and propped her up. They continued to kiss passionately for another minute, until they had to break apart for air. Noodle looked at him, her lips raw.
"Are you sure you just 'like' me?" she laughed softly.
2D laid down on her bed and pulled her down next to him, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close.
"Maybe a little bit more then that..." he said softly.
"Good...because I might feel the same." she whispered.
A healthy red glow crossed 2D's cheeks. Nothing more was said, because nothing else really needed to be.
The two continued to hold one another as the new year commenced. Noodle fell fast asleep in his arms, snuggled against him with her head on his chest.
"Good night sleepy head." 2D kissed her head.
"I love you."