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The White Room

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Gerard stared down at the blank sheet of paper and the colorful array of crayons in front of him on one of the rec room tables. Oh, how he wanted to pick one up, move it across that smooth untouched white, draw again like he used to even if it was just for fun. He missed it, missed being creative and designing worlds from his imagination. But after he was kidnapped- seemed stupid to even call it that, he wasn't a kid, but adult-napped sounded even more stupid- after he was held hostage, rather, he just didn't have it in him anymore. He wanted to do it again, wanted to create, but there was nothing there. It was such an odd feeling. It's not like his mind had shut off, quite the opposite, he couldn't shut it off. But what he saw in his head anymore was much darker than before. Before any of the dark shit was just out of the sci-fi or horror genre, it wasn't supposed to be real. But he had now lived actual horror, and now it was all too real.

He could create a superhero to fight bad guys in a comic. He used to dream of superheroes seeking vengeance. But he wasn't the superhero, and he hated that he had become a damsel in distress. At least they had been looking for him, and found him. Got him out of that hell. He wasn't thrilled about this place, but it was the lesser of the two hells. They probably wouldn't have found him though if not for his brother Mikey's persistence and his parents. He had heard that they refused to give up until he was found. He doubts Jordan had any hand in it. Whatever, it didn't matter anymore.

He's so ashamed to admit that he had dreamed of a hero saving him when he was being raped or laying for hours, starving and freezing in that dark room. At least it was the police, because he had no hero, no white-knight. He wasn't sure he could even create one.

He had stared at the sheet of paper so long he began to see patterns, his eyes playing tricks on him. It was mocking him. Or the exhaustion was just getting to him. Probably that. He always knew he needed glasses, seeing far away was kinda hard, up close was fine. But in here he guessed it was kind of a blessing to not see around him clearly, but rather than like looking at it behind a blurry film. There wasn't much to look at here.. maybe other than Frank. Frank wasn't around right now though, he was busy with other patients.

Gerard sighed and picked up a black crayon and started moving it across the paper, trying to make an outline. He wasn't happy with it, but continued to scribble and doodle for awhile before getting frustrated on a particular line and making the rash decision to scribble most of the picture out, squeezing the crayon so tightly between his fingers it almost completely snapped before throwing it across the table and glaring at it in irritation. He huffed and ran his hands through his messy hair, twisting his fingers in the dark locks and tugging a bit to feel just a bit of pain, not too much and not unbearable, just as an expression of his agitation.

Frank had been watching him from afar, Gerard had sat on the couch, muttering to himself. He didn't think Gerard was even aware he was doing it. It wasn't like some of the other patients who muttered and were kind of off their rockers anyway. Gerard wasn't crazy, he was just trying to process the shit in his head, probably shit he couldn't express yet.

"They're coming. They're coming, man." The voice brought Frank's attention back to Turner Jones, also known as Ribbit, a psych patient who believed he had been abducted by aliens or some shit. It was more of a psychological cover for what had really happened to him, he had been kept bound to a chair, was psychically and mentally tortured and force fed hallucinogenics by some pissed off drug dealers. He was fine now physically, but somewhere he had snapped mentally and wasn't too sure of reality anymore. It was okay, he wasn't a danger at all, just lost in his own world, like his brain protecting him from what happened in reality.

Frank turned from watching Gerard to the man they called Ribbit, for whatever reason, that was a whole different story involving a frog. Not that he was licking toads, but that he had swallowed one and allegedly people could see it bouncing around in his stomach. Frank thought that was bullshit and that he could have been indeed abducted by aliens was more probable. The man was fidgety, biting on his nails as he stared at Frank with blue eyes blown wide. He was a strange little man that just screamed stoner and talked like a California surfer cliche who liked to wear the pajama-like clothes they issued big and too baggy on his scrawny frame. His were also blue, while Gerard's were white. Ribbit also wore a blue and white striped beanie on his head, covering his blond hair.

Frank sighed. "I don't know, dude, but I don't think they're coming today at least."

"Why? What do you know? You know about them, don't you? You're in on it." Ribbit had grabbed a confused Frank by his shoulders and shook him a little. "You can't steal my brain!"

"Whoa, Rib, buddy, no. I'm not one of them. No one is going to steal your brain. I promise it's safe here. That's all I meant, okay. Okay?" Frank reached up to take hold of Ribbit's hands and lower them from his shoulders without an altercation that would leave the poor man drugged some more if he got too hard to handle. "Just breathe, okay? Breathe, it's fine." Frank instructed, breathing with Ribbit to calm him down.

He did, however, catch Gerard out of the corner of his eye and see him scribbling furiously on a sheet of paper with a crayon before throwing it down. Frank thought maybe he'd end up drugged, but no one bothered him and Gerard was left alone to tug his hair, eyes squeezed shut tight, lips pulled back in a grimace and adorable tiny crooked teeth clinched together. More muttering followed.

Later while Gerard was gone to group, Frank picked up the drawing Gerard had left behind. There was a little outline of what looked like Wolverine and another that looked like a robot. The doodles really weren't that bad. Frank picked up a green crayon- it was the first one within reach- and wrote something on the paper.

--xx--

Gerard hated group, hated hearing the others drone on about their problems, some were pretty bad and the person genuinely seemed to want to get better and were trying and it made him sad to hear. He felt bad for them. But then other jackasses were rude and made fun of them and tried to belittle their problems. The doctor tried to keep them from it, but in a way it was also like it helped them work through their own frustrations. Gerard didn't like to talk and they had stopped trying to make him for now. They said he'd open up when he was ready. Well, he didn't want to open up. He didn't want to talk about his problems in front of others anymore. He had did that enough, in front of doctors, therapists, and a whole courtroom. They knew the story. There wasn't much else to say. Besides he didn't want the ruder patients mocking him, and compared to some of the others they did mock, their shit was much worse than his, he thought.

--xx--

It was night again, he was in his room, soon he'd be locked in and put back in the dark. But then a sheet of paper slid under his door. Curiously he picked it up. It was his bad scribbles he had done earlier in the rec room, but now on it was a note.

'Please try harder. XoFrank.'

If it'd been from anyone else, Gerard would have considered crumbling it up and throwing it against the wall. But there was something about Frank that amused him. Maybe it was his persistence not to give up when Gerard told him to go away at first, or would ignore him. Gerard wasn't trying to be mean, he had just rather be by himself and not risk getting hurt by someone pretending to be his friend. He couldn't figure out if Frank was genuine or not, but he didn't seem like he wanted to purposely hurt or tease him.

--xx--

It was visitor day, Frank enjoyed watching some of the patients with their loved ones. Some not so much, like this Ken Doll looking dude whose redheaded girlfriend was currently straddling his lap as he sat in a chair, while they made out obscenely. No one seemed to want to stop them, but instead decided to stay back and watch like perverts while the girl ground against her boyfriend's lap. It was lewd, and secretly made Frank jealous. He didn't have some pretty little thing to grind in his lap and hadn't for awhile.

"Good lord, look at the tits on her. And that ass. Fuck what I'd give for-" Lenny drooled on as Frank tuned him out. Lenny would fuck anything. Frank's pretty sure he'd fuck Ken Doll.

The dude's name was Roman Wexler and he was here under winning an insanity plea for robbing a gas station in which he shot and wounded- but not killed- the cashier. Frank didn't like dealing with him and didn't trust him, he was sort of an asshole, and one of those that thought his shit didn't stink. Frank's not sure he'd be lucky enough to get a mere few months in a cushy mental institution for robbing and shooting a man, not with his luck. Frank figured the dude must have had a damn good lawyer. He couldn't be too awful dangerous though, this wasn't a place for hardcore criminals. No one here that was considered any sort of threat was let roam free in this particular area.

Frank turned his attention to Gerard, who was being visited by his younger brother. They didn't even look like brothers, and Mikey didn't look or act like the younger brother on first impression. He was taller and kind of lanky, had much lighter hair and wore glasses. He wasn't a bad looking guy, not at all, but Frank preferred Gerard.

Their conversation was pretty mundane compared to Ken Doll and the redhead. Just how everyone was doing- Mikey was okay, Gerard said he was fine- was Mom and Dad okay- yeah- when were they going to visit- next week maybe- was Mikey still dating that girl- no, it didn't work out- that was a shame, Mikey deserved happiness.

"You do too, you know. You can get out of here, Gee, I know you can, you're stronger than this." Mikey laid his hand on top of Gerard's as it lay on the table. When Mikey touched him, he never flinched. Mikey would never hurt him and Gerard knew that. Frank decided he liked Mikey.

Gerard looked up, and for a second looked like he was about to comment on what Mikey had told him. But instead shook his head and looked back down at their hands. "Mom still talking to that woman? Tracie?"

"Not lately." Mikey sighed, as if knowing where his brother's train of thought was going.

"Tell her not to. She always mentions you-know-who. It's never good."

"You mean Joan?" Mikey said matter-of-factly.

Gerard looked up sharply. "I've told you not to even say her name. It's bad luck, every time that woman is mentioned, bad shit happens."

Mikey leaned back in his chair. "She's not a witch, Gerard. Just a really strange woman. Not all strange women are witches, that kind of thinking lead to the witch trials. We don't want them being brought back."

Gerard shook his head. "No, I don't either. But those women were not real witches, and if they were, they weren't hurting anybody. You can be a witch and not hurt anyone. Most witches heal and help. She's not a good witch, she's evil, Mikey, why don't you believe me? Since Mom started with her, bad shit started happening."

"Do you blame her for this?" Mikey gestured toward Gerard, meaning being here, being held hostage, without saying it.

Gerard shook his head again and pouted. "No. That was my fault. I-" He trailed off and put his head in his hands.

"Oh, Gerard, how could you think that? You didn't deserve what happened to you. No one does. Those.." Mikey paused to grit his teeth. "Those men are responsible, not you. You put them away. They can't hurt you, or anyone else anymore."

"I still ended up back here. I still-" Gerard looked down at his wrist, at the scar.

"Yeah, you made a mistake and it was bad, but you're getting better. They don't think you're a threat to yourself or others, they don't strap you down or take sharp things from you anymore. You've not done it again, have you?"

Gerard shook his head. "No. I didn't want to die, Mikey. I promise. I just-"

"You had a break down, no one can blame you. But you've been here too long, you need to let go, start working toward getting out."

Gerard didn't respond to that. Instead: "Promise me you'll tell Mom not to talk to that woman."

The younger Way brother sighed. "Dammit, Gee, you keep talking about witches, they'll keep your ass in here." Mikey gave a wry smile, teasing his brother in good-nature.

"My belief in witchcraft or the paranormal has nothing to do with why I'm in here. I'm ashamed of you, Michael." Gerard folded his arms and pretended to glare. "Especially since it doesn't hurt anyone, it's not like I want to hunt witches and burn them at the stake. I don't. I just wish them to leave my family alone."

"Yeah yeah, and I can so see you as a witch hunter." Mikey snickered. "I remember how scared you got when you tried to use that Ouija board because you thought your room was haunted."

"My room was haunted. It was the basement, basements are always haunted. I thought you knew that." He waved him off in a prissy way that made Mikey laugh and Frank smile. It felt good to see him talking and teasing since he usually wouldn't utter two words a day. "Hey, Mikey, next time you come, could you bring my sketchbook?"

Frank watched as the younger brother's eyes lit up. "You gonna try to draw again? That's great, I mean, it could help."

"They think it could be good for me. I think it could be good for me." Gerard didn't say anything about Frank's note, but that was okay, Frank had gotten through. It was a mini victory.

"Me too, Gee, me too."

--xx--

Another visitor day passed, thankfully without complication. Frank was distributing the night meds, finding Gerard asleep on the couch when he got to the rec room. Poor guy must have tired himself out. He knows he wasn't getting much sleep, it's not like Frank couldn't see why. Frank sighed, putting a small blanket over him and lightly petting his hair. He'd let him snooze a bit and then wake him to give him his meds.

Frank turned and started making his way down the hall when he nearly bumped into a sneering Lenny. "Hey, watch out, man."

"You better watch out, Iero. Don't think I don't see the way you look at that little freak. I don't know what you even see in that psychopath."

Frank choked back a growl. "He's not a freak, okay. And he's not a psychopath. You leave him and me alone." With that he stalked away from the insufferable bastard.

"And just what if I don't?" Lenny said to himself, more of a rhetorical statement than a question. He didn't get that midget, being nice to the mental cases. They were all just psychos.

--xx--

Gerard was floating, and warm, so warm and wet. He was in a bathtub, laying back with his eyes closed. He was comfortable and relaxed and he had not a care in the world. But then he felt fingers lightly caress up his chest and back down his stomach. Who was touching him? He opened his eyes and tried to scream, but a hand covered his mouth. Cameron stared back down at him with a sadistic grin.

"Awe, looky who's awake." He groped between his legs and Gerard tried to close them, but that didn't stop him from fondling him. He laughed when Gerard whimpered and squeeze him hard to make him wince. "You filthy cunt, gotta get you all clean."

Gerard then found himself being lifted up and manhandled to all fours in the tub. Cameron's fingers ghosted between his cheeks before two fingers we're being shoved roughly inside him. He cried out at the pain of not being lubed, feeling the burn run up his spine. "No.. no.. please.. no more.." He began to sob and felt ashamed of his weakness.

Cameron started wiggling his fingers apart before fucking them in and out of him harshly.

--xx--

Frank was checking Ribbit's room for aliens like he did every night. "There you go, no aliens. Now take your medication."

Ribbit nodded and took his pills. "Thanks, dude. Don't know what I'd do without you."

"It's no problem, man." Frank was about to leave when he heard a panicked scream. Gerard's scream. He raced out of the room and headed for the rec room.

Gerard was on his back, struggling with someone who held him down. "No! No! Stop! Let me go! Nooo.." He whined, kicking and scratching at the man who held him.

Frank's heart sank when he saw it was Lenny. "Hold still, dammit. Here." He held his hand out to a nurse, she handed him a prepped needle.

The poor thing's eyes got as huge as Ribbit's flying saucers. "No, no, wait.. please.. I'll stop.." He squirmed some more, trying to get out of his grasp.

Frank had finally got his feet to move to go over and stop it, but by time he got there, it was too late, Lenny had stabbed him with the needle, resulting in the most pitiful sound he had ever heard any creature make. Gerard's eyes immediately were too heavy and he felt himself blacking out. He didn't want to sleep, he didn't want to be stabbed with a fucking needle.

Frank yanked Lenny back. "What the fuck, man?! What is your problem?"

"What is my problem? He woke up throwing a fucking fit and when I came over to try and calm him down, he started attacking me. He wouldn't calm down, so I had no choice." Lenny said calmly.

Frank seethed. "Yeah, I bet you didn't." He shoved Lenny away and bent down to pick up the sleeping man off the couch.

"You should watch it, Iero. I can make sure you lose this damn job." Lenny spat.

"I can also make sure you lose yours too." Frank glared and carried Gerard on to his room to put him in bed.