"We can’t do this, Mikey," Geoff says, and Mikey hates him for making it so simple.
Hates him, and the way his basement smells like dust and sweat and blood, but also inexplicably raspberry jam and coffee. Hates how passionate Geoff is about politics that Mikey used to not give a shit about. Hates that he had to go and introduce Geoff to Gerard.
"Well. Thanks for letting me know. Good to be updated." Mikey knows he’s acting childish, and even maybe a little cruel, but right now he feels the way he did the first time he heard 'This Side of Brightness'. Like Geoff’s not talking about him or anything he did (but then why does his chest feel like someone has cracked it open to examine his heart, pounding and aching and breathless?).
"Mikey," Geoff says, and his eyes are a painful grey. "Please, it’s just. You know." He doesn’t finish, and Mikey does know.
He knows things that Geoff probably doesn’t even mean. Mikey knows that Geoff is closer to his brother’s age than his own and is, in fact, quickly becoming Gerard’s closest friend. Knows how weird it is to watch them sitting together, in rapt discussion about the disappearing meaning of words or artistic movements; seeing Gerard come home with a weird elated light in his eyes, talking about bands and changing the world. Mikey knows exactly what that feels like (and what Geoff feels like, and that somewhere between those places is a linear equation that doesn’t always exist).
It feels like stealing, but it’s receiving, isn’t it? Mikey gave this to him.
Mikey knows that Geoff never meant for this. None of it, not even a tipsy kiss in a crowded basement, the ensuing what if.
Mikey misses his smile. Wants it back. Wants anything but this. "I know," he finally replies, "but maybe we could pretend for another day or two." He stares at black Converse and waits. Geoff takes a breath, furrows his brow, and pauses. Then he pulls Mikey into a sudden hug (tight, the way all his hugs are, his hands gripped in Mikey’s shirt) and Mikey can feel his sigh shake.
He doesn’t let go.