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You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison

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Gerard Way ~ Sentence: 25 years, possibility of parole in 10 ~ Charge: Aggravated Assault and Attempted Murder ~ Convicted: On all charges

People inside John Janick State Correctional Facility have reputations. It’s pretty much all they have, besides the few personal effects the guards allow through, and prison issue blues. Everyone’s are different, and there tend to be multiple types, depending on which group you talk to. But there are a few that stick out.

Ross is the D-Block whore; contraband makeup masking bruises, sores and hollow eyes. Saporta’s the Charlie Manson; the cold-case whackjob with a cult of kids who brand snakes on their skin. Wentz is the unofficial king of D-Block; the one with dirt on everyone and fucked with by no one. These big slots come with some kind of power, the kind that attracts followers. Granted Ross’ “followers” tend to want to follow him into a corner, slam him face first into the cinderblock and fuck him inside out, but still. Characters like them draw crowds.

Gerard Way’s a little bit different.

“I heard he fucking mauled a guy;” is the direction conversations tend to turn when Gerard walks past.

“I heard it was a Satanic ritual. Crazy fuck thinks he’s a demon or something.”

“No, man, fucker thinks he’s a goddamn vampire,” someone always corrects. Usually it’s one of the guys who was still on the outside when Gerard got arrested – a guy who saw the video clips sold by some witness at the same bar for a bachelor party to CNN. The clips of Gerard with his eyes drug-wild and his mouth smeared with blood. He’d been headline news on every 24-hour news channel in the country for almost two weeks. Cable news anchors love a monster.

Vampire or demon, what people know is that Gerard lost his shit one night and tried to rip a drinking partner’s throat out. Using only his teeth. And he almost succeeded.

For a slight guy, he generates an impressive amount of fear. That kind of violence isn’t standard and it’s unpredictable. There’s no good defense against an animal that could go for your throat at any second, then lick your blood off his lips when he’s done. Inmates and guards alike tend to give him a wide berth. Even guys who could and would beat him in a fair fight – guys six and a half feet tall with pronounced veins that stand out against thick chords of muscle – give him an extra inch or two when he walks by.

That works fine for Gerard. Most of his time out of his cell is spent in the prison chapel anyway. He burns hours on his knees, sliding rosary beads between his fingers as he says countless Hail Marys or drawing religious iconography dripping with gore with short stubby pencils. Everyone, from Warden Carter down to the trustee that cleans the toilets, just chalks it up to Gerard Way: Resident Psycho.

He went the first three months inside without having a conversation with anyone. Of course when it finally happened, it was with Pete Wentz.

If anyone knew Pete made first contact, it wouldn’t surprise them. People say he was dropped on his head as a child, because how the hell else do you get that crazy without actually being crazy? Of course they say it quietly, where he can’t hear them. But they say it.

Pete had strolled into the chapel and dropped down onto the bench next to Gerard. He’d flipped open a copy of the New American Catholic Bible and started paging through it. He’d stopped in Deuteronomy, snickered a little, and then said, apropos of nothing, “So, how’d it taste?”

Gerard had stopped cold at the “Blessed among women” part and turned to look at him. Wentz had sat there with his huge dumb grin full of big teeth that made him look like a braying ass. But he’s got connections with everyone, from the Aryans to Warden Knowles and beyond, out into the real world so Gerard had answered him. “How did what taste?”

“That guy’s blood. Was it like when a nosebleed goes the wrong way or was it different, better?”

Gerard had swallowed hard. He’d shivered and shrugged his shoulders as if, if he shook himself hard enough, he could get the memory off. “I don’t know.”

Pete had laughed, loud and jarring. It’d made Gerard smile back a little. “You’re a fucking liar on top of the whole nutjob thing.”

“I’m not. It was just… it was blood.” Hot. Sticky. Wet. Coppery thick. It had been fucking revolting and completely fascinating at the same time.

Pete’s knees had bounced a little. “Did you like it?”

What the fuck kind of question was that? Who said shit like that? It was a crazy, random fucking question. It’d also reminded Gerard enough of old conversations with his brother that he’d started to like Pete.

At the time he had liked it. At the time he’d been so far out of his head on whatever drug he’d been on that there’d been nothing but the screaming rage in his brain and the feel of Matt’s blood pouring down his throat. Gerard had shuddered again. “It’s not that simple.”

Pete had seemed to take that in, humming to himself. “You planning on biting me?”

Gerard had shaken his head. He wasn’t ever going to get that high again. And maybe - if he could say enough Hail Marys, pray hard enough, stay clean long enough - he’d stop wanting to. It’d been working so far and, as much as he wouldn’t have expected it to when he was a rebellious teenager, the prayers actually helped the alcohol cravings.

Pete had beamed at him and clapped him on the shoulder. “Good man. Right, I’m gonna see myself out, but do me a favor will you? I’ll owe you one. And believe me; you want me to owe you one.”

“What?”

“I see you around and I wave or nod to you, you nod back.”

“That’s it?” It’d seemed too easy. Gerard hadn’t had most of the problems other people seemed to have when adjusting to life in Janick but he watched and he listened. He’d known that things were never that simple.

“That’s it. People are freaked out by you, crazyface. You look like you like me, and it makes me scarier by proxy.”

“I can do that.”

“Awesome. Right. Have fun on the Decaydance, Gerard. It’s better if you make the best of it. Trust me.”

“Decaydance?” Gerard had asked. He’d heard the term tossed around but never defined.

“It’s the D-Block of our dear Janick State Correctional Facility, my new friend. We’re all just killing time in one big rotting, violent, fucked up party. The Decaydance,” Pete had said with a shrug and another of his big, mostly fake smiles at Gerard. “Don’t worry, you fit right in.”

That had been it. It’s been a year since that conversation. Since then his grandmother has died and his brother has gotten fucking married and he’s missed all of it. Instead, Gerard’s gone through a dozen cell mates, all of them scared of him, all bartering and begging to get away from the psycho vampire.

He feels like Cain, fucking marked, but it gets him left alone and that’s been fine by him. He doesn’t want to get near the drug dealers or the violence or any of it. He just wants to do his time, get better and go home. If he can manage to get forgiven while he’s at it – for what he did to his family and for Matt who still can’t fucking talk – then more’s the fucking better.