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Madhouse

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P.o.V.: Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance)

"What do you mean, I can't go home? Why not?"

The doctor shot me a quick, pitiful look, checking my vitals one more time and scribbling something down on the mysterious notepad. It was pretty obvious that she was simply avoiding to answer my question, because the vitals were the same as an hour ago, so there was nothing to note.

After a minute or two she finally looked at me again and sighed, realizing that I was still waiting for the answer.

"I am very sorry, Frank, but there is no way we could ignore the fact that you have tried to kill yourself. You aren't safe on your own and need professional help."

Shaking my head, I sat up on the hospital bed, pushing my covers away.

"Look, I see that you think I am unstable, but I want to go home - it's the safest I can be."

Slowly the doctor walked over to me, placing a soft hand on my shoulder.

"I understand that you feel safest there, because you know the place, you know your mother and you know that there's no harm for you. But I really do believe that you are better off in the hands of professionals who know how you can battle the depression while not being able to try something like that again."

"Well, I think that you don't know me well enough to judge that."

She sighed, sitting down next to me.

"Let me guess, you are mostly scared of the other teenagers in the psychiatry, right?"

I looked down on my folded hands, embarrassed that she could read me that easily.

"Kinda ..."

"That's alright. That's understandable. Nobody is expecting you to look forwards to going there, but you should really give this a try."

"But why? I already know how this story is gonna end: they'll kick the shit out of me and the only way for me to get out, is coming here again to let you treat my injuries."

"Frank ..."

"I know this story from every single school I've been to", I interrupted her.

"Frank. I personally know some of the patients and the doctors. If I can promise you anything, then that there are at least three people in there who are always willing to help you, no matter why, no matter what time, no matter what reason, because they know what you've been through."

"Don't promise me something you can't keep."

She smiled sadly.

"Kids with serious mental issues who get mocked in school or got treated wrong their whole life come in the psychiatry, assholes burn in hell. After they are done with their school's football team and their stupid classes. They won't be allowed near any psychiatric institution."

•••

So here I was now, in my mum's car on the way to the Youngblood Hospital, a psychiatry for adolescents in particular. It was the longest car ride ever and the closer we came to the institution, the more nervous I got. When we past the gates to the residence, I felt seriously sick. What was going to happen in here? Were the patients as nice as the doctor promised me or were they the same idiots as in high school? Would they like me? Stupid! How could they? Why should they be so different from all the teenagers or kids that I'd ever known? Would I be able to protect myself? Probably not. Would I be able to find a spot to hide? Maybe. That was probably my only chance. But what could I do to defend myself at night? Would I die in here? Would they kill me? Would I just have a mental breakdown after one day and hang myself somehow?

"Frankie!", my mum shouted quietly, ripping me out of my thoughts.

Only now I realized that my breathing had sped up a lot while I was zoned out and that my heart was beating so crazy I felt like throwing up. My mum parked the car in front of the entrance and looked over to me while I was staring out of the window, trying to control my breathing and calm the fuck down.

"What's wrong, do you need something? Water?", my mum asked immediately, holding out a bottle to me. I took a sip and leaned back, trying to relax a little.

"Wanna tell me what's going on in this pretty head of yours?"

"J-just scared. That n-normal?"

"Frank, nobody should tell you what is normal to think. This is about your mind, nobody can change that. If you are scared, you are scared and that's okay, but it doesn't have to be normal. Although in your current situation it is very normal, yes. But it never matters what others think about what you feel, it's not like you could just change it anyways. Try not to worry so much about your reputation, just take a deep breath and relax. Try to focus on something calming, think of the latest Misfits album."

But I couldn't stop thinking of my reputation. Until now I never understood what I did wrong all the time to be the first victim to bullying wherever I got.

-

Here I was again, in this hell called high school. It was my third week here and my nerves were already done with it. Like in all of my old middle schools before, I was the small kid that only sat in the corner, without any friends. It was surprising how quick you could become the victim choice number one for all other classes. Somehow they always picked me. Not just the jocks, but almost everybody. The weak ones could easily beat me up, I had nothing to defend myself with and nobody to watch my back. The students who didn't bully me, ignored me completely. When I was down on the ground, the only people helping me up were the teachers. Some of them, mostly my music teacher, let me stay inside the classroom for the breaks, because they knew what was happening otherwise. But whenever they asked to consult with my mum, I disagreed, begging them not to. After my dad left my mum had enough struggle with just earning enough money for the two of us, she really didn't need to know about my school problems. Today wasn't my day, even though I made it to the classroom door unharmed. But of course just before I could enter the safety of the room, a harsh hand pulled me back and made me turn around. Bert McCracken. School bully number one and my personal worst enemy. If everybody would become tired of beating me up, he wouldn't. I didn't understand what was his problem with me, but somehow he was angry at me since the first second we saw each other. And right now, he seemed even more pissed off than usual.

"See what I've got here ... not being very careful today, are we?"

I looked down on the floor again, trying to avoid him and quietly hoping he would just let me go and walk away. But of course that didn't happen.

"Hey, my eyes are up here, faggot!"

He pushed my head up and stared directly into my eyes, until I closed them.

"You really that weak? Too emo to stand up? You're disgusting!"

I didn't dare to start a fight with him on my own, so I didn't say anything and begged that a teacher would come by. Other students were standing around us, but they were all just watching us, without interacting. Not that I would expect them to help me, I'd given up on that.

"Don't scream, or it'll get worse ...", Bert threatened.

Not really understanding why I would scream, I looked at him, raising an eyebrow, but then his fist collided with my jar and sent me flying backwards, knocking against the wall. While I was trying to stand up again, Bert grabbed me and pulled me close, so that his face was an inch away from mine.

"Wanna kiss me?", I asked quietly, but regretted it as soon as he knocked me down with his head again.

This time I couldn't stand up immediately and he used it, to keep kicking my stomach and ribcage. Others joined in and I was left to lay on the floor, trying to protect my head and stomach with my hands. I could already feel the blood running down my nose and forehead. Black spots danced through my vision and I had to pull myself together not to pass out right there and now.

Luckily not a minute later after I went down to the ground and got the soccer ball to a group of teenagers, I heard a teacher's voice calling out. Immediately most of the students just disappeared, they ran away from the place, but Bert seemed to be too angry to just stop. Suddenly the painful kicks stopped and I could hear my English teacher yell at Bert, then Bert stumped away angrily.

"Frank ... can you open your eyes?"

Slowly I uncurled myself and looked up at my elderly teacher who crouched down next to me.

"Okay, let me help you sit up ..."

Carefully I leaned against the walls once I could sit up and looked at the ground. My fingers touched the wound on the forehead and I tried to put some pressure on it. Immediately my teacher gave me a tissue that I could stop the bleeding wound as well as my bloody nose. Everything hurt like hell, especially my stomach. Slowly I pulled my shirt up a little to take a look at the damage and flinched when I saw the bruised skin. My teacher gasped at the blue and red skin.

"Alright, you need to get to the nurse's office ... but first, let's get you in the bathroom to get rid of the blood stains ..."

With that he helped me up and lead me towards the men's room where he sat me down on one of the closed toilet seats, giving me another tissue.

"You know what, I'll just get some nurse, you stay here and wait till the bleeding stops, okay?"

-

"Frank! C'mon, snap out of it!", my mum shook me out of my flashback, checking my forehead.

I leaned against her cool hand, trying to forget about the horrible memories that were haunting me for about two weeks. Slowly I closed my eyes, breathing in deeply to calm myself down.

"Same flashback?"

"Yeah ..."

"Are you alright?"

"I'm fine."

My mum nodded and smiled, stepping outside, then opening my door.

"Okay, then come with me. You can't stay in this car forever. We need to get in there."

"Do we really need to? Can't we just go home ...?"

"I'm sorry, Frankie."

She carefully lead me towards the entry, keeping her hand on my back until we had reached the door, where she let go of me and already put her hands on the handles to open it.

"Mum, stop!" Sighing she turned around, wrapping her arms around me again and kissing my forehead.

"Frank, we have to go in there. You can't stay outside forever."

"Watch me."

She chuckled and pushed some hair off my forehead.

"I don't wanna watch you freeze. Then you get sick again and do you really wanna go back in the hospital for a lung infection?"

"I don't get sick easily."

"Honey, there are more days in the year where you are sick than where you're healthy."

"Mum!", I whined.

She grinned over her victory and hugged me a little tighter.

"Come inside, now. I'm sure that in the entrance there's no teenager, but it's warmer than outside."

"No teenager?"

"In the entrance, yes."

"Are you sure?"

"80 percent."

"That's not enough."

"Frankie, please. Don't put up that much of a fight, nobody in there will kill you."

"But ..."

"She's right, you know", a man commented.

My mum and I turned around to see a guy with red hair and beard standing in the entrance, leaning against the door frame. He smiled politely and held open the door.

"I know that this is scary as hell, kid, but I promise you that it's totally safe."

"It's probably not. Not for me."

"That's what every second patient who comes here says. Do you see a pattern? There are too many kids here who are scared of other teenagers, because of what they experienced in school or at home. Believe me, you are safe here. Especially now, Zach has the later shift and is home right now."

I froze.

"Who is Zach?"

"My colleague and best friend. Don't worry about him, if you're not me he won't annoy you as much. He's just a child in his head."

My mum smiled at me and pushed me forwards to the door very lightly, but the man didn't seem to mind waiting. Hesitantly I stepped in the entrance hall, followed directly by my mum and him, closing the door behind. While the adults went on to a desk, probably to check my file and fill out personal information, I stopped to take a look around.

The high windows were secured by iron bars, but let a lot of light in the room. The walls on the sides were covered in paintings that all looked kinda alike. They all showed a man with a similar body figure, but different styles, hair and surroundings. When I walked up to two paintings I saw that they all were signed with the same name: Gerard. Whoever that was, he had a lot of talent to draw that detailed, but when I stood directly in front of a picture I saw that the soft lines on the borders turned into harsh lines in the center, probably because the artist got bored or annoyed with his drawings. They looked incredibly though and brought some color in the light brown floored room with the otherwise plain white walls. I started to wonder if that Gerard was a patient, had been a patient or was one of the doctors or nurses. It was impossible to say in what age you could draw in this comic style.

"You like them?", the man asked behind me as I turned around quickly, nodding.

"A patient drew them, too bad he stopped."

"Stopped?"

"He says that it makes him crazy. He loses control when he's drawing."

I looked back at the paintings. Now the harsh lines made even more sense.

"By the way, I'm Rian. I think I forgot to introduce myself to you."

He held out his hand to shake which I slowly accepted.

"Frank."

"Well, it's nice to meet you. I wish it was somewhere else, though. Anyways, do you want me to show you your room now?"

I looked down and glanced at my mother, who was studying some papers on the desk.

"She can tag along of course."

Hesitantly, I nodded and Rian smiled, waving my mum over and walking over to a glass door, unlocking it.

"If you'd follow me."

Slowly I walked through the door behind him.

"Okay, let me start with the rules: no drugs, no alcohol, nothing sharp, but I think that is clear. Also no bracelets or necklaces."

Without bracelets would be a challenge, but the other stuff didn't affect me anyways. Except for cigarettes, but I didn't smoke regularly, so I should be fine without them.

"C-can I play guitar somewhere?"

Rian smiled.

"Yes. We have two music teachers here, they aren't always around, but when they are, they have two rooms with instruments, one of them is for lessons, the other one is just for jamming. DJ and James want everybody to play something or sing, but they don't force anyone. If you want to play guitar, you should ask DJ, he's the guitarist. James is mostly focused on singing and piano. Maybe you can join some others here, jamming is always more fun together."

I nodded, smiling to myself. No matter what happened here, I could play the guitar. That was most important to me. It didn't matter that I couldn't use my own, at least I had one.

"In case of an emergency, you can knock on any door, no patient will make fun of you, they will help you. Except for Pete if you wake him up."

"Who's Pete?"

"Dark hair, brown eyes, pretty emo ... he'll introduce himself when you see him. He's a nice kid, just needs his sleep. But don't worry, there are name tags on the doors."

I breathed out slowly, relieved.

"Nothing to worry about, kid. But anyways, in the end of the hallway are the doctors' offices. They are marked with a bright red writing on the door. If nobody is there, the nurses' offices are opposite to them, marked with white writing. The first glass door we walked past was the lounge, there are always some patients in there. Opposite to it is the cafeteria for the three meals a day, breakfast from 6 to 10a.m., lunch from 12 to 3p.m. and dinner from 6 to 9p.m.. Next to that is the bathroom. There are like ten stalls in it, with five opposite stalls for the showers."

Ah fuck, public bathrooms.

"I know that single bathrooms would be nicer, but there's a security issue with that."

We stopped in front of a wooden door that had my name written on a tag besides it.

"One more thing: don't block the door. We will break it open."

He unlocked it and offered me to go in first. I hesitantly looked around in the room, taking in the plain white walls and the wooden furniture, a bed, a closet and a desk with a chair. Nothing special, but nothing too bad either. Just a little boring and desolate.

"If you want to, you can tape some posters to the wall, just don't pin them. It doesn't have to be that plain."

That was finally some good news.

"I can bring you some from your room when I visit you the next time", my mum offered, smiling softly.

"Yes, about visiting, the only restriction is that it shouldn't be a time like midnight. Otherwise, come whenever you like."

My mum smiled at him.

"Great. Thank you a lot."

"Nothing to thank me for", Rian grinned.

"I will leave you two to it. If you need something, I'll be in the hallway, otherwise you won't get out, Ms Iero."

With that, Rian left the room, closing the door quietly and I could hear him start talking to someone, probably another patient or nurse. I looked at my mother who wiped her eyes, careful not to ruin her mascara. She looked hurt, betrayed. I know that with my try to help her, I ruined her life once again. Slowly, I wrapped my arms around her and buried my face in her shoulder, starting to cry as well. I clung to her shirt, not wanting to let her go.

"I'll visit as soon and as often as possible, I promise", my mum whispered, stroking my hair.

My knees gave in and I sunk to the floor, pulling my mum down with me and not letting go, grabbing onto her tightly. Tears ran over my cheeks, unstoppable, as choked up sobs escaped my lips. I was shaking worse than I had in years, knowing that now, my mum had to leave me just like my dad. She left me alone in a pit of teenagers that would probably ruin my life even more.

"Frankie ..."

Carefully, my mum helped me stand up and walked me over to my bed, sitting me down on the mattress and stroking my cheek, keeping my hand in hers.

"I'm sorry that I have to leave, but I need to work."

She kissed my forehead softly, then she turned around, letting my hand go and left out the door, without looking back one last time. The door closed quietly behind her as she started talking to Rian outside, then their footsteps vanished again. Now I was all alone.

"Why'd you leave me, too?", I whispered into thin air, to nobody in particular.

-

After some minutes of just sitting on the bed, the tears finally stopped and I could breathe again. I pulled my legs up to rest my head on them. But just after I got comfy again, someone knocked to my door. Slowly I stood up to open, thinking that it could be Rian again, or some other nurse. When I opened, though, I was greeted with a young teenager, probably a little older than me, but not much, with dark brown hair that was styled neatly and dark glasses that were a little too big which framed his eyes perfectly. His full lips were formed in a smile.

"Hey, I'm Brendon."

"Frank ..." I hated how raw and quiet my voice sounded, making me the perfect victim already. Luckily, Brendon didn't seem to mind and just smiled on.

"Rian told me that you might need a tour around."

I shook my head.

"You don't have to keep up with me. I'll find my way."

Slowly I walked back to my bed, expecting him to leave. Why would he stay anyways? But Brendon followed me, sitting down next to me, though still leaving some space for me.

"I'm sorry if I sound kinda rude, but may I ask, why are you here?"

Should I tell him or would he just make fun of me? Maybe I could just tell him a part.

"Borderline. Suicidal."

-

I was still sitting in that stupid stall on the closed toilet, pressing a wet tissue to my nose. In my other hand were the anti-depressants. I couldn't help but stare at them. Of course this sounded like a stupid idea, but what else was I supposed to do? If I would go, my mum would miss me, but have an easier life, so I would help her. And all the other people in the world didn't give a shit about me anyways. I could escape the endless bullying forever. It was my way out. Without hesitating any further, I swallowed the first pill ...

-

Suddenly Brendon wrapped an arm around my shoulders, looking more serious than before, with a sympathetic expression in his dark eyes. I was really surprised, the last time somebody had hugged other than my mum was years ago and it definitely wasn't another teenager. Teenagers only hugged me to keep me in place so that others could beat me up.

"Relax, I'm not gonna hurt you", Brendon promised.

"Not used to it", I whispered, still kinda scared.

"Also bullied in school, huh?"

"Yeah ..."

"Almost everybody in here was. Teenagers can be little shits if they don't understand something. You can't help it that you're too cool for them."

Brendon pulled me closer, so that my shoulder was basically touching his.

"They just couldn't live with your cuteness."

"What?"

"You're cute."

I shook my head, feeling tears threaten to spill again, but I didn't want that to happen. Not as long as Brendon was sitting next to me. Still one tear escaped and ran down my cheek, followed by another. Brendon didn't say anything, just pulled me onto his lap to hold me close. I didn't know what to do, but hid my face in his shoulder, trying to stop the tears.

"It'll get better here, I promise."

I didn't dare to answer, but just stayed in my position. He softly placed a hand in my neck, holding me a little closer and kept whispering comforting words in my ear. Slowly I calmed down again, drying my tears with my sleeve and trying to catch my breath. After a minute or so, Brendon stood up and pulled me along with him, keeping one arm around my shoulder and grinning.

"Finally I'm not the smallest!"

I managed to crack a little smile and he beamed at me, obviously proud of himself.

"Now, do you want the tour or do you really want me to leave you alone? I promise you that I'm not bothered by a simple tour, I would love to show you around and tell you about all the embarrassing stories I know."

Slowly, I nodded and let him lead me out of my room in the hallway, still keeping his arm around me. We weren't walking for long, Brendon just talking about some stupid nicknames or how he'd screwed one other patient. I had to remember not to make him angry ... I didn't want to be pranked once again. But whatever that patient did, Brendon looked like he'd forgiven him already, because I couldn't see any anger in his eyes. They sparked rather happily. Just as I was about to ask what kind of a prank Brendon pulled, a tall guy caught up to us. He was at least one head taller than Brendon and grinned down at him.

"Hey shortie!", he chuckled and leaned down to pull Brendon in a hug that the smaller lad returned one armed, keeping the other one on my shoulders.

"Hey Gabanti!" The taller one smiled at me.

"I see you found another hobbit for your eye level, B, what's your name?"

The air stuck in my throat and I couldn't get a sound out. Luckily, Brendon responded quickly for me: "That's Frank. The new kid."

"Does that mean I can't call Dallon newbie anymore?"

"Yes. Stop calling him any stupid nickname. Why do I have to tell you every day?"

"It's just nicknames. And they aren't even offensive."

"They are stupid."

"Ouch, what crawled up your ass, mate?"

"You don't wanna know ..."

"Image in my head! I hate you, B!"

Brendon started laughing, as well as the tall guy. He didn't seem to mind that I hadn't answered him.

"Anyways, I'm Gabe. Mind if I tag along?"

He looked at me again, smiling brightly and briefly eyeing me. Brendon agreed with a quick glance at me, as if checking for my reaction. I nodded as well.

"Sweet! Let's make this hallway unsafe!", Gabe yelled, jumping up and down like a small child.

"Yes, he is crazy", Brendon chuckled in my direction only to be hit against the head by Gabe.

"So are you!" I raised my eyebrows at them, but Gabe seemed to calm down again, because he just walked on my other side, ignoring the grimaces Brendon made at him.

"Alright, Frank, you came here today?", Gabe asked.

I just nodded, not trusting my voice.

"It's always cool to meet new kids here. Although I hate that you have to be here. Did Rian already tell you about the offices and the location of cafeteria?"

I nodded again.

"Why did he think you need a tour then? Do you want us to show you the exact rooms?"

I shook my head as an answer. Gabe shrugged.

"Then how about we go in the lounge? Meet some idiots?"

I hesitated, but Brendon smiled.

"It shouldn't be many kids there right now, don't worry. I think Pete's with Patrick and so on outside anyways. So you'll only meet the calm kids."

Gabe shook his head.

"You already met us two. It doesn't really get worse."

"Pete."

"Only if he's hungry."

I smiled a little at the thought of someone being weirder than they were.

"How old are you, Frank?", Gabe asked on.

"16."

"Sweet 16 ... still so young. B's 17 and I'm 18. Everybody is between 15 and 19. I mean, the patients are. The nurses and docs are older of course."

"What, Rian isn't 12?", I asked in a sad attempt to make a joke. Gabe burst out laughing instantly, shaking his head.

"Wait till you met Zach. If you think Rian's behaving like a 12 year old ... Zach's way worse."

"Should I be worried?"

"Yes!", they both answered in unison, making me chuckle again.

"Sooo, can I ask you one more question?"

I nodded.

"Are you straight?"

I froze instantly, making the two of them stop as well. Both looked at me expectantly. In all the schools I always was called "faggot" and they couldn't even know. What would happen if I really outed myself?

"Just so you know, if you're not homophobic, everything is fine", Brendon said calmly.

Gabe nodded.

"I mean, I'm pan. I fuck everything", Gabe explained, chuckling in the end.

"And I'm hella bi", Brendon added.

Obviously it wouldn't matter here, if they told the truth. Or were they just saying it to make me come out to use it against me? Whatever, it wasn't like it could become worse than school ...

"I'm gay", I mumbled, kinda hoping they hadn't heard it.

"A unicorn! That's cute! I like unicorns ...", Gabe exclaimed, beaming.

"You sound like Mikey", Brendon chuckled.

"Nah, I'm not stuck in the closet."

"Maybe he is straight, you know."

Gabe shook his head.

"Dude, that guy is obsessed with unicorns. No way he's straight."

"Who's Mikey?", I asked.

"You'll meet him soon. Nerd, bassist and obsessed with unicorns."

I nodded slowly.

"So, Frank, do you know how gay gangsters do a drive by?"

"No ..."

Brendon already started grinning as Gabe answered laughing:

"They throw skittles at you and shout: 'Taste the rainbow, bitches!'"

Gabe bent over to catch his breath as Brendon and I cracked up laughing. Just as we calmed down again, Brendon opened a glass door and stepped in the room.

"The lounge! Heya fellas! This is Frank."

It was a big room with two couches, a TV, a bookshelf, a table with multiple chairs and a refrigerator with many drinks. Everybody in there looked at Brendon with raised eyebrows, obviously used to his entrances, while Gabe slowly walked over to a guy with long brown hair who was sitting at a table reading a book.

"Hey, Bilvy, how's shit going?", he asked while kissing his cheek.

"Ugh, stop that shit, Gabe", the boy complained halfheartedly, wiping his cheek.

Brendon chuckled next to me and pointed to at the different people:

"Gabe's Romeo who's constantly annoyed by our childish behavior and therefor definitely the mum of this group, is William, or Bilvy."

William turned around at the sound of his name and smiled at me, flipping Brendon off who grinned back.

"Mister emo over there who's watching ... I bet it's X-Men again ... that's Gerard. You might have seen the drawings in the entrance hall ..."

So this was the artist ... my inner voice screamed 'hothothothothothothothothot', but I forced it to stay quiet. Gerard just raised his arm, not turning around.

"Hi! I can't turn away right now, that scene is important!"

"Not like you've seen it a million times already, the blonde guy next to him scoffed, only to be flipped off by Gerard.

"Yeah, this is Mikey, unicorn freak and nerd. Gerard's little brother."

Mikey looked at me.

"Welcome to the madhouse!"

The guy Mikey had been talking to before turned towards me as well, flashing me a bright smile. His brown afro made him look even happier.

"That's Ray. He's mostly talking about guitars so ... do you play any instrument?"

"Guitar and drums."

"Hell yeah, then you can talk to Ray."

"What kind of a guitar do you have?", Ray asked across the room, looking like a curious child.

"Gibson Les Paul custom."

"Nice! Gibson Les Paul Junior 1956."

"Les Paul are the best."

"Always."

Brendon shook his head.

"I might tell you that nobody else in this room understands what you are talking about ..."

Ray laughed.

"Just because you don't understand."

Ignoring the last comment, Brendon moved on to the last person in the room, a sleeping guy on the second couch.

"That's Tyler. He's mostly sleeping so don't worry about waking him. He's a deep sleeper."

With that Brendon left me standing there and placed himself in Mikey's lap who instantly shoved him off. Without complaining Brendon stood up and sat down on Mikey again. This time, Mikey didn't say anything, but turned back to Ray to continue talking to him. The only security I had in here was gone now. Suddenly Gerard turned around and hell, his face screamed 'kiss me'.

'Don't', I told myself before looking back to the ground.

"Hey, Frankie, come over here and sit down! I'm sure you don't wanna stand there!"

He flashed me a breathtaking grin and scooted over a little. Slowly I made my way to the couch and sat down next to him, looking at the TV.

"You like X-Men?"

"Yeah ...", I answered quietly.

"Good answer, it's the best!", Gerard explained happily.

Then he looked over where Brendon sat who bent forwards to say something in Gerard's ear. I couldn't make out the words, but I was sure it was something bad about me. Here we go again. Gerard simply nodded and turned back to me, leaning in a little closer.

"B told me you're not a fan of many people ... do you wanna go outside?"

I nodded instantly and Gerard smiled, pausing the movie and standing up, helping me as well, before leaving the room, pulling me along with him, not letting go of my hand.

"Look at that! Gerard got a new boyfriend!", Gabe chuckled only to be flipped off by Gerard, while my mind was going crazy.

-

He pulled me outside in a small park. I couldn't get rid of the feeling that he wanted to hurt me in some way. Carefully, I left my gaze on the ground, keeping my head hung low.

"Social Anxiety?", Gerard suddenly asked. I shook my head.

"Borderline. Depression. Anorexia Nervosa."

"That sucks, man. Let me guess, suicidal?"

I nodded slowly.

"Can I hug you?", Gerard asked on.

Surprised I looked at him. I wasn't used to people hugging me, even less used to them asking me about it. I just shrugged, not wanting to seem clingy, but in my head I begged that he would hug me. I really needed it, I guessed. Gerard smiled and came closer, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me in a tight hug. My muscles slowly relaxed and I hid my face in his shoulder, enjoying the warmth and comfort he offered.

"You know, the psychiatry is a good place, actually. Nobody here will bully you or anything in that direction, almost everybody has experienced that in high school. The doctors are chill, as well as the nurses. There's no need to put yourself down all the time. I know that you can't help it, everybody here thinks low of themselves, but you should know that the most important point here is that we don't exclude others. Not because of their sexual orientation, not because of their origins, or their religion. It doesn't matter how they look or what they believe in. The only people who will suffer here are arrogant, homophobic bitches."

That sounded promising, but I couldn't allow myself to feel safe here. I had been hurt too many times to believe in something a teenager said.

"The hardest part is leaving your family, I know. I mean, I don't, because my brother is here and my parents are assholes, but I know that others here think about that a lot. For me, this is a better home than I ever had, for Dallon and some others as well. But many think otherwise. Pete is happy to be here, but at the same time, he thinks a lot about his siblings and parents. I don't know about you, but you seem to be someone who doesn't have a lot of family, but therefor is very close with the family members he has."

I swallowed my tears as I thought of my mum and nodded.

"Just my mum and I. Dad left years ago."

Gerard nodded.

"I'm sorry."

I shook my head and clung closer to him as I felt tears overwhelm me again. Shit. This was the third or fourth time on the first day, the second time in front of a patient. What the fuck was wrong with me now? Couldn't I just ... I dunno, keep myself together.

"It's gonna be okay", he whispered quietly, pulling me closer and letting me cry into his shoulder, rubbing my back comfortingly.

"D-don't leave ...", I begged, not caring if I sounded clingy or childish.

"I won't. I promise you that I won't."