Gerard can feel the rough wood of the wall scraping against his cheek, ripping like nails into his skin, and he can’t tell whether he wants to cry, to laugh or to scream. Not that it matters; he’s pretty sure whichever one he chooses is going to come out sounding garbled and fucked up.
Fitting really, considering the source.
There’s a warm body pressed against his back, holding him up and pinning him in place. Kobra’s breath is damp against his ear, his fingers iron-tight around Gerard’s wrists, biting in a way that Gerard knows will leave bruises and Gerard can’t hold back his whimper.
“Fuckin’ idiot,” Kobra mutters and Gerard twists half-heartedly, pulling against a grip he already knows he’s not going to be able to break free of.
“Lemme go,” It comes out slurred and broken and he bites down on his bottom lip hard enough to flood his mouth with a coppery warmth that’s depressingly familiar.
“D’you really think it’d be that easy?” Kobra breathes, as though Gerard hadn’t said a word, “I fucking told you; your blood’ll sing for that battery acid no matter how far you run.”
Gerard knows; fuck, does he know. He’s shaking with how much he wants, can feel it everywhere Kobra’s touching him. His blood’s trip-hopping through his veins, his heart racing and his breath stuttering with the need and that, just that second of self-awareness, is enough to having him choking back a sob.
Running hasn’t done one damn thing to change any of that but Gerard never expected it to. That’s not why. “Fuck you. Leave me ‘lone.”
“Hmmmm,” It’s non-committal and Gerard doesn’t know Kobra well enough to put a meaning to it, can’t read him the way he reads Mikey. Not until Kobra bites down, his teeth a brightly sharp threat-promise that’s enough to break through the maddening buzz that’s humming under Gerard’s skin. “Not today, tweak-freak.”
Gerard’s wince has nothing to do with the scrapes on his face or the burn in his wrists. That’s why. There’s a history to that name; one that Gerard’s pieced together from fragmented whispers over dark nights and dust-dark days, but it’s not his story. It’s not his name and that right there? That’s the fucking problem.
“I’m not him,” he manages to choke out before his voice breaks and Kobra hums in agreement, his lips tingling against Gerard’s jaw.
“I know,” he says simply, “S’why I keep chasing you.”
It’s a fucking lie and they both know it.
“I can’t-” Gerard starts brokenly before he lets the words trail away. There’s no point; they’ve already been as close to this conversation as Kobra’s ever going to let them and Gerard knows from bitter experience that everything he says – every argument, every rationale, every outright, bald-faced accusation – might as well be dust in the wind for all the difference it makes.
“What do you want from me?” he asks instead, twisting round as far as he can against Kobra’s grasp to try and catch a glimpse of his face. It’s a dangerous question, following a line he knows he shouldn’t walk, and it’s not like he doesn’t already know the answer but, well, Gerard’s never been all that good at looking out for his own best interests.
No point starting now. It’s not like there’s anything left for him to gain from it.
Kobra smiles humourlessly; his mouth a bloodied red smear in the dim light and, for the first time in daysweeksmonths, Gerard’s shiver has nothing to do with his cravings, “Stop running.”