Gerard never intended to go with Mikey.
He planned to stay in him mom's basement reading comics and doodling while dramatically bemoaning his sorry existence, but his younger brother had other plans.
Mikey Way, the bony fucker, had stared at him with eyebrows raised and mouth stretched into a thin line until Gerard relented.
So here he was, shoving his way past all the moving bodies to reach the bar while he waited for the band to come on. Pencey Prep, what the hell. But, Mikey showed an interest, so they must be good. Gerard had lived with Mikey long enough to trust his taste in music; they had similar enough preferences that they could share pretty much anything.
Gerard ordered up a strong drink, he wasn’t too sure what was in it, but he would need this to get through the night.
Suddenly, screams erupted from the crowd as the band was apparently about to enter. “Good Lord,” he murmured as the cries became louder and the band members made their appearance.
There was a drummer and two guitarists, who winked at the crowd and made various gestures of the crude type. The last person to enter was short. Really short. His hair was a faded red and his eyes were wide and wild. As sudden as the screams began, the small man erupted, sound pouring forth as he whirled across the stage. He was a force of nature, wreaking havoc on anything in his path. Gerard grinned, he could see the appeal.
Gerard had invited Ray and Matt over for band practice, very much determined to make this band good (so help me Mikey it will happen!) but his younger brother could not be found. Which was really problematic. Gerard could sing (arguably) but he could not play bass. And he sure as hell could not play bass and sing at the same time, it was practically suicide.
Ray was plinking out a small tune while Matt twirled his sticks when Mikey finally appeared. Gerard was about ready to chew him out, and his argument was half out of his mouth when he took notice of the company. It was the singer, the short guy from a couple months ago. His hair was brown and a little bit longer, but it was the same guy.
Gerard gaped a bit and flapped his hands uselessly, “What the hell?” He croaked.
As it turned out, Pencey Prep had broken up and the tiney dude (Frank, his name is Frank) was apparently a good player. Mikey thought he would be a good edition, Gerard was dubious. That was, until Mikey pulled his aside and explained that he really like Frank, and to please trust him (for me please?)(you trusted Ray, why not him?). Frank was inducted into My Chemical Romance with a pack of smokes and a few bottles of beer. (sucker for your fuckin’ eyes)
My Chem had an album out (a fucking album Mikey!) and they were already touring! At first the shows were small in tiny theaters under churches or in shitty bars, but soon, they got a little better and so did the venues. For a while they were traveling in a van all over the east coast.
The whole band was ecstatic about the news.
Frank was wound up with energy after each show, grinning and giggling and bouncing around. Clinging to whichever bandmate had the unfortunate task of not helping to break down, which was usually Mikey. Mikey was loose and had a faint air of satisfaction (however the former probably had to do with the alcohol and the later had to do with getting laid) that could make it fairly easy to work with him. He didn’t have much reservations about gender, it got in the way of him scoring.
Ray would smile and stand taller with his jaw straight, allowing himself the feeling of pride. It looked good on him, muscles developing from hours of playing combined with sweat, mmmmh, he was looking really good.
Gerard himself was happy and confident, feeling better than his past self had ever felt. He felt powerful on stage, like no one could ever break him down.
But with the van tours, changes occurred. The boys had to become physically close, as if they weren’t already. Gerard and Mikey had been living together for quite some time now, and when Ray joined the band he practically moved in with them.
When the hours got late enough that no one could drive without a wale’s dose of coffee that no one could afford, everyone would pile up in the back, often having to snuggle to get warmth. Some pretty awkward moments had occurred during those times.
No one in the band was an asshole, at least, enough that they wouldn’t make fun of you for getting hard when cuddled up. The physical intimacy both scared and emboldened Gerard. Scared him because this went against all he was comfortable with, all that he had restrained himself from, all that he taught himself to avoid. Emboldened him because it meant that the others couldn’t care less.
Another change was alcohol consumption. Gerard may have felt unstoppable on stage, but once he got off of it? He was paralyzed by feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. Any questions he had about himself would come forward, make him unsure, weak. Gerard hated feeling weak.
So what did Gerard do? He drank. Drank his sorrows away. Drowned them in golden and red liquids that poisoned his body and wrapped layers of cotton around his head and tongue.
It was during these times that Frank became really appealing. His soft cheeks, the cute asshole-ish giggle, his strong hands, blinding grin, it all morphed into something for Gerard. Something that meant weird flutterings in his stomach and whispers of “I love you” when he was really smashed. Frank always returned them.
After a while Frank seemed to react differently around Gerard. His whole band was already pretty full of tactile cuddly fuckers, but Frank took it up to a new level. Random kisses on the cheek while drunk, a quick grab at his hips when he reached around Gerard to grab a bottle of Jack from Mikey, or the odd time they were in the hallway and he blew smoke against Gerard’s neck. He really hoped Frank didn’t notice the goosebumps that rose along the flesh.
It confused Gerard. He couldn’t tell the difference between teasing touches, casual touches, or intentional-i-wanna-fuck-you touches; especially when drunk.
Then came the time Gerard got in a fight. Fights weren’t uncommon amongst their band, hell, Frank probably got into one everynight, or, he looked like it once he stepped out of the pit. Above all else, it was imperative that no one would get taken to the hospital (and for God’s sake do nothing that would get our tires slashed again!). This fight, no one really knew what started it, Gerard was too drunk to remember and Frank never told him; Ray and Mikey were too far away to hear the exchange. Gerard just knows that he got punched a few times and that Frank had to be restrained by Ray.
The next few days Frank held a watered down ice pack to his left eye while muttering under his breath about “motherfuckers” and “no respect”. Gerard thought Frank was very brave.
The year Revenge dropped was a fuckin’ mess for MCR and everyone in the music scene knew it. Gerard was drunk beyond coherency 3 out of 4 times while Mikey was often high and drunk and on some other band’s bus. Frank was smoking violently while he and Ray split the Way Protection Duty (capitalization was necessary).
During those times Frank had gotten several tattoos of questionable origin. He wouldn’t show them to Gerard, the man in question was often too out of it to even really care, so all was well that ended well.
Until it didn’t end well.
Before Revenge happened, Gerard went missing. No one really knew why. Not even Mikey knew.
He went hiking, supposedly, and had not been seen since. At this time, Gerard was 27. Frank had read the statistics, he knew the odds, he was scared of the possibilities. Mikey knew them too, and he fell apart. There was several times that Ray had to drag Mikey out of a bar or bus, because the man was too out of it to fight against anybody. There were times that Ray had to call Frank in, because while Ray could defend Mikey he couldn’t in good conscience punch someone. So Frank had to beat up whatever asshole was trying to take advantage of Mikey while Ray dragged the unconscious bassist of My Chem away.
Soon, Frank broke down. He posted an audio clip asking for any possible information about Gerard, if anyone had seen him, if anyone knew where he was. Mikey sat by him the entire time, knuckles white from how hard he was gripping Frank’s hand. After Frank finished, Mikey let out a wet sob, a sound he would never make unless tragically drunk (and he was). Frank and Ray held him until he cried himself to sleep, then Frank went out and smoked a whole pack a cigarettes, thinking about life.
12 days later Gerard came back.
There was a knock at the door of their bus and Ray was the one to open the door. On the steps, was Gerard. Greasy haired, pale, and smiling.
Mikey cried, Frank punched Gerard in the stomach then stormed off to the bunks, Ray just held Mikey. It confused Gerard; their reactions.
The next day Frank posted a poem, “27 Club,” on his blog. He didn’t speak to Gerard for a week.
During Warped Tour Gerard began hanging out with Bert, which Ray and Frank and Mikey didn’t like; but Mikey was scared to loose Gerard again (so he drowned himself in alcohol and pills), Ray was trying to look after Mikey, and Frank...Frank had met a girl named Jamia.
Jamia was awesome. She was sweet and pretty, but could stand up to guys twice her size. She was fierce and possessive, but understood the bad dynamics almost to the point of being apart of them. She didn’t mess with what unsteady legs MCR was walking on, and she didn’t try to take Frank away from them. She rolled with the punches, laughed with the jokes, joined Ray on Way Protection Duty (capitalization was still necessary), and slept with Frank in the bunks.
To Mikey and Ray, Jamia was like a breath of fresh air. To Frank, Jamia was a life-saver. He had fallen hard for Gerard, he was willing to admit it. He told Jamia so when she asked him, tentatively, at a gas-station McDonalds, their third date. Frank had sighed, squeezed her hand, and told her yes. Jamia smiled.
After Bert and Gerard “broke off” whatever their thing was, something happened to Gerard. It seemed to be a midnight revelation of sorts.
Ray had brought back Mikey from a hard party, dragging him up the steps of the tour bus. Frank had gone to bed in a brooding silence, but the reading light was on so Gerard knew he was still up.
Gerard had been sitting in the “breakfast nook” on the bus drinking coffee and playing with his fingers, coming down from a particularly bad Rum binge. Ray stumbled suddenly onto the bus, and man-handled Mikey through the narrow confines. Gerard stared at his younger brother as if seeing him through new eyes.
Mikey was pale, everyone knew that, hell, Pete called them “the Vampire Way Bros” on a daily basis. But this pale, that was not good, even Gerard, the clueless motherfucker he is, could see it. Mikey’s hair was sweaty and limp, plastered to his forehead. His eyes were open, but they were distant, unseeing. High as fuck.
In an instant, the two were gone, and Gerard was left in the dark, pondering. He realized that Mikey was doing all this shit; taking drugs, drinking, smoking, sleeping around, etc., because it distracted him. Gerard knew very well about Mikey’s stage fright, how scared he was of messing up, of being rejected, of being alone. He was there, for Mikey’s panic-attacks and anxiety, for his ups and downs, highs and lows.
If asked, Mikey would deny, that Gerard had a part in why he was drowning himself in substances. But Gerard knew. And he knew, that he absolutely had to get better.
Going sober sucks. It sucks a lot. But, Frank seems to appreciate the effort and Ray has been getting more sleep now that he has only one Way to look after.
They have also produced a new album, Welcome to the Black Parade, and it fucking kicks-ass. Every song seems to be a fan favorite. Their fan base has expanded across the globe!
Gerard would tell anyone he could, “I’m sober,” “no I haven’t drank anything” “not partying, just eating” “no officer, haven’t had anything to drink tonight.” He was proud of this change.
But the change has its downsides. Now that he doesn’t have booze to distract him, Gerard is plagued by thoughts. Questions about his masculinity, his future, his sexuality, haunt him. He tries to incorporate his thoughts into his lyrics, but he couldn’t show the guys; it was too personal.
Ray and Frank seemed to think that Gerard was in a “drama-queen” funk, and would work himself out of it eventually, but he knows that those questions have been postponed for too long. So he makes the rash decision to bring the band to Paramor Mansion. It has a creepy vibe, mysterious and old that intrigued Gerard. He thought it would be a great place to get new material.
But Paramore turned out to be the end of the line for Mikey.
There was a pretty bad storm a couple of nights after they arrived at the Mansion. Gerard slept like a baby, sparing a thought for Mikey and hoping he would actually get some sleep. The kid had barely slept at all and it was messing up his concentration. He couldn’t play or even talk coherently due to his lack of sleep. Dark, bruise-like shadows seemed to be permanently under his eyes, hands shaking from exhaustion.
Gerard was startled from his sleep by something, he didn’t know what it was. If it was a sound, it was lost in the howl of the wind. Straining his ears, he thought he could hear someone pacing around in the room next to his, but he chalked it up to an active imagination, and went back to sleep.
The next morning Gerard was on the couch writing. He had planned to compose a song or two that somehow involved the storm from last night, but now he was just staring out the window.
Out of the corner of his eye he notices Mikey shuffling in, but doesn’t pay it much mind. Mikey has always been quiet, if Mikey’s in the room there is a Mikey shaped black-hole of silence, somehow charming everyone else in to being quiet.
He was wringing his hands, cracking his knuckles as he twisted his fingers. This was not normal Mikey behavior. Mikey would bite his nails, go quiet, naw on his bottom lip, or fidget with his shirt when he was nervous or anxious, but he would not crack his knuckles. He would when he was younger, but Ma said that Mikey would get bad hands, and Mikey wouldn’t risk not being able to play. So this development was new, and odd.
Gerard turned to Mikey and eyed him for a moment. His skin was pale, ridiciously so, and stretched tight around fragile bones. Mikey hadn’t been eating. His body seemed to shake with every unstable inhale and exhale, expanding the narrow confines of his chest. Mikey’s hair was limp and damp, apparently he tried to wash it, dripping tiny droplets against the semi-clean Iron Maiden shirt. There were angry red scratches against his neck, livid and red, and while that was concerning, nothing scared Gerard more than the look in Mikey’s eyes. He didn’t have his glasses on, and his eyes were wide and red, like he had been rubbing them. However, the swollen, puffy, skin betrayed him, Mikey had been crying.
“Can you feel it?” A croaky rasp came from Mikey’s throat, but it wasn’t Mikey’s voice. Mikey had a low, monotonous, voice. Slow and often punctuated with pauses, Gerard was very familiar with Mikey’s voice, it was one of the things he loved about his younger brother. This voice was hard, scratchy, like he had been screaming for hours. For a second, Gerard wondered if that was what woke him up last night, the sound of his brother screaming.
“Can I feel what? Mikey?” Gerard was steadily getting worried.
“The air, this place,...it, it’s breathing...it’s alive.” Mikey’s hands shook as he gestured vaguely around the room.
“Mikes, I don’t-” “I know you don’t. Nobody does. I tried to hide from it, from them, but I can’t. It’s everywhere!” Mikey’s gestures were getting more erratic, practically shaking his whole body from the force of it. His voice was rising.
“What is everywhere?” Gerard thought it would be better just to ask simple questions.
“This place! Gerard we’re not safe! We need to go, need to leave, now!” Mikey was outright yelling, something he rarely ever did. If Mikey was frustrated, he would smoke or play super hard, or jack-off.
Mikey was swaying in place now. “Mikey?”
With a sob, Mikey crumpled, knees hitting the floor with a sound that had Gerard wincing in sympathy. Only then did Gerard notice the stains on Mikey’s jeans, scarlet and faint, but there. Little dots, and more of them were showing up now that Mikey’s muscles had constricted.
In a flash, Gerard was by Mikey’s side, holding him as he cried.
It turned out that Mikey had tried to kill himself. Once Gerard and Frank wrestled off Mikey’s jeans, they saw the extent of the damage. Criss-crossed lines, red, angry, and bloody, littered Mikey’s thighs. They must have been made earlier that day, because he cried out in pain whenever the slightest pressure was applied.
For a while Mikey would fight against his band mate’s grips, clawing at his thighs, sobbing from the pain as he tried to draw more blood. Eventually Ray and Bob had to hold Mikey’s arms and legs down while Frank sat on Mikey’s hips, helping Gerard clean Mikey’s wounds.
After Mikey’s cuts were cleaned and bandaged Ray and Bob gripped Mikey tight as he continued to cry, mostly just hiccuping sounds, full body shakes, and a runny nose, while Frank called their lawyer and Gerard called Brian.
Two hours, three physical fights, and one panic-attack later, Mikey was being packed into Stacy’s car. Frank and Ray grimley watched the car pull out of the gates, while Bob clenched his fists and swore. Gerard was nowhere to be seen.
Frank and Ray found him in Mikey’s room, sitting on the bed. Clothes and bottles of alcohol littered the floor, containers of medicine where strewn across dresser and bedside table. Some bottles still had contents in it. Ray gingerly crossed the room, avoiding clothes probably several days past needing a wash, and sat next to Gerard.
“It’s not your-” “Yes it is.” Gerard cut Ray off before he could finish his sentence.
“Gerard,” Frank sighed, already anticipating the argument.
“Yes it is! I should have known, should have seen that he was just getting worse. Did you know that I woke up last night? I didn’t know what it was, but I think it was Mikey, screaming. He is terrified of storms, always has been. And I didn’t try to see if he was okay. I just went back to sleep. What sort of brother does that make me?” Gerard looked up at Frank, eyes bloodshot, tears streaming down his face.
“I have always tried to protect him. From the neighborhood, mom and dad’s fights, girls and boys at school, myself...I couldn’t protect him from himself. He was fucking self-destructing. Exactly what I was doing a few months ago!” Gerard was now standing and pacing the width of the room.
“I should have known!” This was shouted and Gerard punched to wall. Instantly, Ray stood and grabbed Gerard’s arm, to prevent him from punching the wall again. Frank came up behind Gerard and hugged him, pressing his face into the space between Gerard’s shoulder blades.
“We can’t alway help people. It’s bull, I know, but it’s true. We couldn’t always help you. We couldn’t tell you to fuckin’ stop drowning yourself, I mean, we could, but you wouldn’t have done it. You had to see it. Had to know what you were doing. And now, shit, now we’re gonna’ have to hope that Mikey knows.” Ray spoke softly, but his words packed a lot of meaning.
“I hope your right, I hope your fuckin’ right.” Gerard whispered, continuing to mouth words, prayers and wishes for his little brother.
It took several weeks, nearly a month, before Gerard could visit Mikey. Not because he didn’t want to, or because he was busy, but because Stacy said Mikey didn’t want to see him.
“He’s working through some stuff Gerard, he doesn’t was to be seen,” She told him over the phone a couple of weeks ago.
Each of the band members had called, each with their own message for Mikey, but eventually they had one large group call, each saying their own thing. They wished Mikey would get better soon, that they missed him, that he was loved, and they were waiting for him, would alway wait for him. At the end of the call they heard some faint shuffling and the light sound of someone crying. They could only hope it was happy tears.
When Gerard finally visited Mikey it was Stacy that opened the door. Mikey was in her sitting room, staring out the clear bay windows, watching the kids play in the street. He turned his head at the sound of Gerard’s boots clomping on the floor. His mouth fell open, and closed, and then he burst into tears. Mikey curled up, knees to his chest and skinny arms around his legs, trying to hide himself from his brother. Gerard quickly wrapped his arms around Mikey’s shaking frame, pressing kisses into his hair, and rocking him side to side.
“It’s okay Mikes, I’m here for you.”
It took Mikey a while to calm down, by then the sun was dipping behind the houses, turning the room into a mellow-yellow. In the light of the sun, in full view of the road and the kids playing in the street, Mikey kissed Gerard. A simple press to the mouth, salty from tears. A thank you, for not giving up on him, for coming back, for believing.
Gerard pulled back and look Mikey in the eyes, Mikey stared back, eyes wide and open behind his glasses, red slightly from crying. Gerard saw everything in Mikey, laid bare before him in his eyes. Gerard kissed Mikey, in the light of a setting sun, against the bay windows, in full view of the kids in the street.
MORE COMING SOON! THIS IS A ROUGH DRAFT!!!