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Frank was sure he wasn’t the only one to notice Mikey’s recent odd behavior. He shouldn’t have been he thought, Gerard was his brother he should know Mikey better than anyone but he didn’t seem even slightly concerned. In fact he seemed more ignorant of anything Mikey did lately than usual. The said man was fidgeting constantly, jumpy, and quiet, and he’d not even looked at his bass in days. So it was perfectly understandable for Frank to be concerned. This day in particular he was worse than usual, he avoided his bandmates, and quietly and stubbornly remained in Gerard’s general vicinity.

He was also visibly disturbed when Gerard had to step out for a bit. It wasn’t even going to be half an hour, he just had to go pick up dinner for the rest of them. Despite numerous quiet reassurances Mikey only seemed to grow worse as Gerard left. He’d gone into the bunk area and hadn’t made a sound since. Deciding enough was enough, Frank got up from his spot on the couch and shuffled hesitantly but with purpose towards the barely open door. He hesitated for a moment, debating on whether he should knock or not, but ultimately decided that if Mikey was going to act like this then he would just have to deal with his friends trying to help.

He pushed the door lightly, stepping in and looking around for his oddly behaving friend. It wasn’t hard to spot him, the lanky man was by the window, staring out impatiently and bouncing in place.

“Mikey?” he spoke quietly, trying not to startle him, his effort didn’t seem to matter though as, as soon as he’d made a sound Mikey was scrambling away from him. He was trembling and backing away, arms firmly around his chest. He stuttered out a breath but still wouldn’t meet Frank’s eyes.

“Look F-Frank, you need to leave.” He stated, the firm tone losing it’s effect as his voice broke. Frank only frowned and stepped closer. He took a deep breath to reign in his frustration and kept his voice calm as he spoke.

“Yeah, not gonna happen man. What’s up with you? I’m just trying to help.” But he wasn’t listening, the trembling had worsened and the only sound coming from him were continuous mumbles, he couldn’t quite make them out so he shuffled a little closer, hoping for the answer he was becoming so desperate for. Mikey was mumbling a sting of curses and pleads for Gerard to come back and for Frank to leave. This frustrated him to no end, he just wanted to fucking help. He threw his hands in the air, too upset to care when Mikey flinched into the wall.

“Well fuck you too then!” He grunted and turned his back, placing his hands on his hips. “I’m just trying to help! Fuck you Mikeyway you wanna sort your own shit out fine! Even though you sure as hell look like you could use the hel-“ His rant cut off when he heard a whimper. It was small and high-pitched. Far too high pitched for someone with Mikey’s range. Slowly he turned, expecting Mikey to be hiding a child or some small animal in the area, it would certainly explain his secrecy. But what he saw was not what he’d expected. Not at all. Mikey was gone, and in his place was a pair of boxers, socks and the jeans he’d been wearing.

“What the fuck?” he whispered unconsciously and jumped as he heard the little whimper once again. This time he looked down, around the bottom bunks and edges of bags he could see a foot. It was far too small to be Mikey, so he wandered closer in curiosity, momentarily distracted from Mikey’s vanishing act. Hidden in the corner, behind one of the Way’s bags was a child. He looked to be around six or seven, with downy brown hair and big green eyes, which shone out from his pale face, he was tiny, and Frank was sure some of it was because he was swamped in Mikey’s favourite hoodie, which he’d just realized both the kid and Mikey were wearing. He gasped in surprise and stepped back, ignoring the spike of pain in his hip from bumping the corner of the bunks.

The boy had the sleeves hanging far from his hands, resulting in massive sweater paws that were firmly pressed over his mouth. The sleeves soaking up crystalline tears flowing steadily from his big hazel eyes, as he struggled to contain his sobs in the soft material. Frank’s heart ached for the child and for a moment he ignored the niggling of frustration in the back of his mind at Mikey.

“Who are you?” he whispered, bending a little for once trying to seem smaller than he was. It didn’t calm the kid at all in fact he just seemed to get more upset, the sleeves no longer doing much to cover up the heartbreaking cries. And with one final hiccup, the boy curled up impossibly small and wailed, trying and failing to muffle it in the hoodie. Frank was frozen, staring at the unknown child, not knowing where to even begin. Luckily, for him he didn’t even have to try as the bunk door suddenly burst open and Gerard dashed into the room, barely sparing him a glance as he pushed past and scooped the child into his arms.

At first he struggled then seemed to catch on to Gerard’s gentle shushing and buried his little fists and face into Gerard’s sweater. Frank felt awkward, like he was intruding on something private, and looked towards the door where he was surprised to see Ray standing and shifting and looking just as confused as Frank felt. They shared a look before turning back to the others in the room. Gerard was swaying lightly, rocking the whimpering child and holding him close to his chest, one arm holding him up and the other caressing through his hair and rubbing the back of his neck. He was paying Frank and Ray no mind as he focused on calming the frightened boy, cooing and murmuring sweet things to him, he looked a little sad and much softer than they’d ever seen him before. They watched as he closed his eyes and held him closer, lulling him closer to sleep.

“You’re okay, You’re okay, I’ve got you now, I’ve always got you, I’m sorry I left you alone, You’re safe baby-“ He continued to coo.

“Gee?” The boy murmured softly, already half asleep from tiring himself out. Gerard hummed softly in reply.

“Yeah, little one?”  he slowed his swaying and let him bury his face in his neck. With eyes half open he gently started playing with Gerard’s hair.

“Are they gon’ take me ‘way? I don’ wan’ go ‘way Gee, I’ll miss ‘ou.” It was quiet and scared and it broke Frank’s heart. Gerard held him impossibly closer, and looked Ray and Frank dead in the eyes, looking both threatening and pleading at once.

“No one’ll ever take you away from me Mikes.” He said boldly still looking pointedly at the others. “And if they try I’ll make them go away kiddo, sorry but you’re stuck with me.” The child’s giggle, soft but hoarse filled the room. His words growing progressively more slurred as he drifted closer to sleep.

“ ‘M no’ stu’ wif’oo Gee-Gee, I luff you, you’re th’ best’ brother, ev’r.” Gerard looked close to tears. Brother? What? Is this kid their brother but, no wait Gerard had called him Mikes, he only ever calls Mikey that…

“No Mikey, I’m pretty sure that’s you” He murmured and kissed the top of his head. With eyes closed, the boy - Mikey? - cuddled closer with a small smile and drying tear tracks on his face.

“Nuh-uh”

“No?” Gerard teased lightly. His own small, affectionate smile gracing his face.

“No-“ he continued stubbornly “-‘ou loo’ affer’ me, an’ luff me, an’ care of me, ev’n wh’n ‘m bigger, wh’n I’m bigger you loo’ affer me too, so tha’ ma’es ‘ou the bestest ok Gee?” A few tears escaped down Gerard’s cheeks during the tiny speech, Frank looked over at Ray and saw he was just looking on in awe and cooing silently at the sweet scene, and Frank had to agree, if that wasn’t just the cutest thing he’d ever seen he didn’t know what was.

 

Chapter Text

Forty minutes later, they were all huddled in the common area, Frank, Ray, and Bob in various states around the room. All starting silently at Gerard who was curled up in the corner of the couch, leaning against the arm with his own folded over his chest. He’d just sat down after tucking Mikey into his own bunk, explaining that Mikey’s was too high up to be safe.

“So…” he began, drawing it out “what do you wanna know?” not meeting their eyes, just picking at a loose thread on his jeans. Frank ran a shaking hand through his hair, huffing in frustration before managing to rein himself in.

“How about you start at the beginning?” he hadn’t meant to make it sound like a question, but the lack of force seemed to reassure Gerard, even if just a little, so he deemed it okay. Said man heaved a tortured sigh and reluctantly nodded. Frank despite the situation felt his heart clench, Gerard really was beautiful, and the way the dying sunlight lit up his red hair made him look even more radiant than usual to him. He shook his head as if to physically dispel the thought and forced himself to pay attention as Gerard prepared himself to speak.

“Well… uh, It’s just been this way for so long I forgot how it started for a bit…” he trailed off, laughing awkwardly and ran a hand through his hair. “Our grandmother used to tell us about how this woman in our family a really long time ago was basically a bitch, and she hated kids with a passion and it made her kind of abusive? Long story short someone found out and cursed her so her first born, who when he’d grown up was her pride and joy, would turn into a child about twice a month or when he got too stressed. Anyway, it’s been passed down from first born to first born but for some fucking reason it skipped me this generation, and uh Mikey has to bare it. God I feel so bad all the time, it should have been me, I can see how much this hurts him.”

He cut himself off with a shaky inhale and a trembling hand over his mouth, it was reminiscent of Mikey just before as he tried to keep in his sobs. At least this one they knew how to comfort. Frank perched on the edge of the cushion as he wrapped Gerard in his arms. Ray settled on the arm he was leaning against to reach his hair, and Bob sat on the couch at his feet to silently place a hand on his knee.

“It’s not your fault Gerard.” Ray tried to reassure, but Gerard was having none of it.

“But what if it is!” he wailed hoarsely into Franks shoulder, who shushed him softly.

“Even if it is man, you didn’t know, and I’m sure Mikey doesn’t blame you, and now we know we’re gonna help you out.” He looked to the others for backup when Gerard looked at him hopefully. Thankfully, Bob was quick to answer.

“Anything man, you just say the word.”

.

An hour later they were stood around the table eating happily, when they heard the telltale squeak of the door. They turned, and there stood Mikey, still small and swathed in a set of soft-looking batman pajamas and fuzzy socks. He padded in sluggishly, one tiny fist rubbing gently at his eyes and the other trailing a fluffy, worn rabbit. The black fluff wearing rough in patches and the bright red ribbon on it’s neck, frayed at the edges, but it’s eyes were two shiny green buttons, stitched on recently, by the looks of it, with brown thread, making them seem almost hazel.

He shuffled over to Gerard, and raised his arms, making grabby hands and whining softly in the back of his throat. Gerard smiled, and easily lifted him into his hip. While Mikey yawned, he reached into his hoodie pocket with his free hand, and pulled out a pair of glasses, they looked like a miniature version of Mikey’s usual ones, and gently set them on his nose.

“Hungry, kiddo?” he inquired, already reaching to drag over, the plate he’d set aside earlier. Mikey nodded tiredly and remained compliant as Gerard situated himself on a chair, and put the plate in front of them. Only fussing as he made himself comfortable in his big brothers lap. The adults in the room continued to chat distractedly, watching in fascination and Gerard in fondness as Mikey began to eat the fried rice, picking out certain bits he liked and eating them first, then scooping up some peas he’d made into a pile, and trying to get his rabbit to eat them. Frank really couldn’t help himself when he cooed at the adorable view. Gerard laughed and flicked Mikey’s ear, not enough to hurt, but enough to get his attention.

“You know you gotta eat those, he doesn’t like peas, does he?” Mikey set the spoon down on his plate, making sure to not make a mess before twisting to look up at Gerard, pulling the rabbit to his chest.

“But I don’t like them either.” He whined, Gerard pulled the rabbit from Mikey’s arms and held it out, shaking it a little.

“Well yeah, but he really hates them, but he’s a good friend right? So I guess if you really don’t wanna eat them he’ll do it. Just for you.” The manipulating little shit took it just that little bit further by sighing and handing the rabbit back with a regretful look on his face. Mikey took it and stared wide-eyed at the stuffed toy.

“It’s okay Ger, I won’t make you eat the yucky greenies.” He whispered before taking a big mouthful of the small vegetables. Gerard smiled and ran a hand through his brown hair.

“That’s nice of you Mikes, I’m proud, y’know what? For being such a nice friend to Ger you can have my cookie.”  He offered. Mikey giggled excitedly and took another mouthful of his food.

Why’d you name him Ger Mikey?” Ray asked, pulling over his own chair across from the brothers. Mikey smiled but before he could begin speaking Gerard warned him sternly to swallow first. Mikey pat Gerard’s hand which was loosely around his stomach, as an apology.

“When Gee an’ me got a home with no mommy and daddy it was really nice. And, and, the firs’ time I was littler in the house Gee gave him to me. And I love him lot’s and Gee, and he looks like Gee so I wan’ded to name him Gee but Gee is Gee and Gerard but no one calls Gee Ger. So I named him Ger.” Despite the confusing way he said it, they all got the gist of what he was trying to say and frank couldn’t help but laugh and agree when Bob chuckled.

“Okay, that’s actually the sweetest thing I think I’ve ever seen.”

 

Chapter Text

Sorry the lighting, angle and shit aren't the best, but it's what I could do.

Also this is the first time I've attempted Gerard, I know it's bad and the angle's shit but please be nice. I'm proud of ^ that one not this next one.

Chapter Text

As the late day wore on into night the guys learned more and more about the Way’s routine and rules, how they’d hidden this from them for so long and were in awe of the bond the two shared. Frank felt like shit for all the times he’d joked or criticized the brothers co-dependency and silently vowed to himself to make it up to them, as long as it took.

They’d learnt that Mikey was a generally quiet child, preferring to speak minimally, bar from when talking about something he likes because then it’s like he’ll never shut up. He was also quite shy, hiding away behind Gerard or just generally staying close, only leaving his side when he absolutely had to. He was fucking adorable and Frank was determined that by the end of the day he would have at least one full conversation with Mikey.

He watched the brothers interact, attempting to pick up on the do’s and don’ts of playing with an, as they recently learned, five year old. After bringing his plan to Gerard during one of the rare moments Mikey wasn’t clinging to him, and gaining his approval, Frank shuffled into the common area with a cookie from his stash. A simple chocolate chip cookie, thankfully rather small and delicious. He paused for a moment, then sat next to his young friend sitting and colouring in an animal themed colouring book with his rabbit propped up against Gerard’s leg next to him.

“Hey Mikey!” he cheered happily. Mikey looked up with a calm but content smile on his face.

“Hello” he greeted, not quite as enthusiastically as Frank had, but still pleased to see him. Frank celebrated internally at the great start. Then his held out his hands in a way so no one could see what he was holding.

“You wanna play a game?” he prompted. Mikey sat up a little and giggled, before pausing and looking up at Gerard, who nodded with a gentle smile and a murmured ‘go on’. Mikey, content with Gerard’s approval leaned forward to curiously whisper.

“What game?” Frank sat up straight, straighter than he would ever be, he took a moment to snicker at his own joke before declaring.

“Here’s the game kiddo! In one of my hands is a surprise, you have three tries to guess which hand is holding it.” Mikey giggled and started bouncing a little where he sat, and pulled his rabbit to his chest.

“What is it!” he exclaimed, just on the wrong side of too loud, and only lowered his volume when Gerard nudged him with his foot. But it had gained the attention of Ray who was sitting at the table no too far away. Frank laughed and shrugged innocently.

“I guess you’ll have to find out” he just managed to stop himself from cooing when Mikey nodded seriously, which no one could take seriously when he looks so cute. He then pushed both hands out further, prompting him to pick one, and he did. Frank then brought his hands behind his back, pretending to switch the cookie between them. Whether Mikey chose wrong two out of three times or not didn’t matter, because either way Frank was going to give it to him.

And he was right, when Mikey chose all of them wrong, but he wasn’t going to tell him that. Instead he’d widened his eyes and grinned wide at him.

“Guess who won?” Mikey squealed, and not even Gerard had the heart to tell him to quiet down. Frank held out the cookie, and Mikey’s eyes widened. He took it tentatively and looked up earnestly into Frank’s eyes, which he’d been avoiding in his shyness before.

“F-for me?” he inquired softly, Frank chuckled softly.

“’course little man, you won didn’t you?” Mikey blushed.

“Yeah well, Gee says ‘at too many sweets in a day s’not good?” they both looked up at said man who was faking a look of contemplation. He hummed quietly and Mikey stared at him pleadingly.

“Oh alright” Mikey turned to Frank excitedly, a big bright smile splitting his cheeks. He scrambled forward and threw himself into his arms, after a brief pause of surprise Frank wrapped his arms around him. Mikey giggled and thanked him profusely before settling himself in his lap, happily chatting and eating his cookie, leaning against Frank’s chest and cradled comfortably on his crossed legs.

Frank positively beamed at Gerard who winked. Bob laughed quietly at him when he entered from the bunk area before turning to Gerard.

“Hey so I was thinking-“ he began, trailing off to check he had Gerard’s attention. “So like, are there any set rules we should know about? ‘Cause one time I looked after my little cousin and there were so many rules.” Gerard made a small noise of surprise before nodding.

“Uh yeah, there are a few actually, I’ll just… I guess Ill just write them down.” He suggested, reaching for his sketchbook when the others agreed. He tore a page out of the back and thanked Ray when he passed him the pen from next to him at the table.

Soon enough the list of rules was taped up on the inside of the cabinet in the kitchen.

Rules.

-No swearing
-No talking about sex or violence
-Try not to frighten him (He’s easy to scare)
-No yelling at or around him
-Try not to argue around him in general
-Too much sweet stuff makes him sick (Just ask me I’ll know if he’s had too much already)
-He is the biggest bullshitter, but he’s also a wimp so it’s pretty easy to manipulate the truth out of him
-Don’t let him think he can get away with shit
-If you don’t know something or what to do, just ask. Or when in doubt, don’t.

                                                                                   - Gerard

Chapter Text

I stood for a moment, a little disoriented, thoughts and connections firing through my consciousness until it slowed to a stop like midday traffic as I came to a conclusion. The man I was staring at was indeed Mikey. I’d just been giving him a piggyback ride until he’d started frantically squirming and demanding to be put down, a little unnerved I’d done so and he’d bolted off.

Now I understood, he’d run off to 'change' and now stood before me as the man I’d known for years rather than the child I'd known for days, I hid my mild disappointment well. Mikey looked afraid, almost timid as he stood before me, he seemed to curl into himself, making him look smaller as he smiled nervously.
"So..." he trailed off, and I took pity on my awkward friend, and smiled as though nothing had happened, at all.


"Hey man-" I greeted with my usual cheer, "-you want me to get Gee?" I questioned, he nodded sheepishly, he looked as though he were going to apologize but I merely offered him a wave and easy smile. It was probably a good idea to get Gerard because I had no idea if he needed special care after aging up and Mikey was starting to sway.

-That was my experimentation of first point of view, please let me know if you want more or if I should stick to third, or if you would like a mix, thanks.-

As Frank left in search of his brother, Mikey took a moment to steal himself and take control of the adult sie of his mind. He needed to be big now, and he needed to talk to the guys about this, and his boundaries, and- he tensed, how many shows had they missed because of him? That thought made him feel sick, and that combined with his already weak body, forced him to take a seat before he lost his footing and fell. It wouldn't be the first time, nevertheless, he didn't really care for a repeat.


The first thing he did when he was firmly seated, was bury his face in his hands, he was so embarrassed. It was okay to become a child around Gerard, obviously because he was his brother and he trusted him with his heart and soul, and its not that he doesn't trust their friends, but, well- no, he couldn't trust them with this, couldn't trust his child self with them either. That's why he'd freaked out when Gerard had left, there was no way he wanted to age down while with the guys, let alone on the same damn bus with them. What would they think of him now, would they still treat him like they used to, or would they start handling him with kid gloves, and walk on eggshells around him? Would they laugh?


The stress of his own thoughts awoke a nauseous feeling in his stomach, and he winced as he swallowed the bile crawling its way up his throat. And while he cleared his throat he could still feel the slight tremor in his lower lip signalling that if pushed, he would throw up. While distracted with trying to mentally talk down his stomach, he didn't notice Frank returning with Gerard hot on his heels, nor did he notice as his brother sent the smaller man away, and puttered around the kitchen for a few minutes. he did, however, notice the small tap on his right hand, and as he lowered them he started when he realized how oblivious he had been and cursed the surprised heat in is cheeks. And Gerard, his lovely, lovely brother, didn't comment, merely placing a small plate of crackers and a tall- plastic, the last time they had glass on the bus ended with a very guilty Ray, and a lot of blood for such small cuts- cup of water.


Mikey thanked him with his eyes, shooting him a thankful glance and shakily selected a cracker to nibble on until his appetite returned. Gerard shrugged slightly before turning to start setting up the coffee machine. Mikey huffed a snort at him because if his memory served him right-and it usually did- this was Gerard's second cup in the past three hours- his humour merely earned him an indulgent smile and an eye roll.