"Dude," Ray said in a half-whisper as he poked Gerard's cheek. "Dude. Dude. Gee. Wake up."
Gerard barely raised his head from the pillow. Didn't Ray know not to wake him up at the ass crack of dawn? Especially when it was a hotel night- and wait, usually Frank was the first one awake, what was this? He groaned when Ray prodded his face again, finally opened his eyes halfway to glare at what he could see of Ray's face.
"Frank's a fairy," Ray hissed.
Gerard blinked. "I haven't heard anyone call gay people that in years. You fuck your entire band. We literally have sex every day, Ray, we're both fairies. I'm a fairy, you're a fairy, Mikey's a fairy. Don't single Frank out."
"No," Ray said slowly. "Gerard. Frank is a fairy."
Gerard sat up. "That's actually kind of rude, Ray, don't tell me you're turning into one of those guys."
"Gerard!" Ray's voice became shrill. "You're not-"
"Shoosh, you're gonna wake Frank up with your weird complaining," Gerard muttered, rolling over so he could look at said man who was currently curled up against Gerard's back, snoring softly. Cute. He could see Mikey's hand around Frank's thigh under the covers.
"Oh," Gerard said. "Oh."
"I wasn't kidding," Ray hissed.
"Okay, maybe you weren't," Gerard agreed without taking his eyes off of Frank. Off of Frank's wings. Fairy wings, iridescent like a butterfly's. Because they were definitely there, or an extremely realistic hallucination, light, shiny things protruding from Frank's back and faintly glowing in the morning light. They were a weird colour, sort of all the colours he could think of and none of them at once. It hurt his eyes a little to look at them.
Frank let out a particularly loud snore and the wings flicked, fluttered a little. Gerard jumped back with a startled giggle, Ray catching him when he nearly fell off the bed. Gerard allowed himself the privilege of staring some more and then looked up at Ray, seeing the same shocked but kind of interested look he himself was probably wearing.
"Frank's a fairy," Gerard commented.
"Frank's a fairy," Ray agreed.
"That's rude," Mikey grumbled from Frank's other side. Gerard looked at him and eyed the way Mikey was sprawled on his back, blond hair sticking up and one of Frank's wings (wings!) fluttering lightly on his face. His face scrunched up after a few seconds and he opened his eyes, squinted at the wing as it batted him in the face again. There were a few silent moments as Mikey debated over this new situation, before shrugging.
"Kay," Mikey mumbled before rolling so his face was smushed against the lower part of Frank's spine so the wings couldn't get him. They fluttered for a moment and Gerard swore he could see sparkles on the slim side of Frank's ribs. He wondered if Mikey would sparkle if he cuddled Frank too much. That'd be interesting.
"Should we...wake him up?"
"I dunno," Gerard said. "I mean, Mikey seems okay with it, and Frank's still asleep. It's not like he's a werewolf or something."
"I think we need to ask ourselves," Ray replied, "whether Frank was a fairy before this or whether this is one of those weird things that happens to us. Like that time Mikey and Pete turned into girls."
At that moment, Frank cracked open his eyes and blinked up at them sleepily, muttering something before snuggling back into Mikey. He seemed to realise something was off, though, because after a few seconds he opened his eyes again and sat up. The movement dislodged Mikey, who grumbled and rolled into Frank's lap instead, rubbing his head against Frank's dick. Gerard tried to focus on the problem here.
"Why do you guys look like you've seen a ghost?"
Frank yawned and sat back against the headboard, brushing a tattooed hand through Mikey's hair. Mikey snuggled closer, laying his cheek on one exposed hip. Gerard looked at the ceiling determinedly. Ray settled his chin on top of Gerard's mess of hair, and his hesitance was almost palpable.
"Frank, you're a fairy," Gerard blurted out.
Frank blinked. "That's kind of rude, we're all gay here. Full homo."
"He means you have wings. Pretty ones," Mikey mumbled into Frank's pelvis.
Frank blinked again. "I have...oh, fuck. Fuck."
There was a moment where Gerard waited eagerly for an explanation, but Frank wasn't interested in elaborating on his cursing. He got up abruptly, shoving Mikey off his lap, and stalked over to the bathroom, shutting it with a decisive click.
Mikey rolled onto his back. "There go my hopes of a blowjob," he said.
Gerard threw a pillow at him.
Frank returned eventually, when Ray had gone for coffee and Gerard had put on clothes. Mikey was still passed out on the bed, but when Frank emerged Gerard smiled tentatively and held out a pair of jeans. The smile he got back was more or less the same smile he normally got. Frank pulled up his pants and then sighed, dropping down into Gerard's lap. Gerard stroked down his spine comfortingly.
Ray returned a few minutes later, hair bouncing like it had collected all the stress in his brain and absorbed it. Ray noticed Frank curled up on Gerard, but sensing this was a conversation they'd all have to participate in, waved a coffee under Mikey's nose. Immediately Mikey's eyes blinked open and he took ahold of the paper cup, sitting up. He didn't seem interested in the pants he was offered, though.
Frank's wings fluttered against Gerard's arm.
"I, um," Frank started. "I haven't been exactly honest with you guys."
It turned out that this wasn't like the genderswap thing at all.
"I'm actually a literal fae. From the Unseelie court. I'm one of the royalty there, actually," Frank explained, although he didn't sound very impressed by his own status. "I left twenty years ago because I was sick of all their weird shit, pretended to be human so I could fuck around. Join a band, play music that didn't lead mortals to their doom and stuff."
"So you're immortal. You don't fuck around, do you," Mikey said. "How old are you?"
"In human years?" Frank let out a depreciating laugh. "About seven hundred and something."
"Are the wings...are they normal?"
The question was tentative, unsure. Ray seemed to be taking this the worst, mostly because Mikey was largely unfazed by everything except his dwindling coffee supply and Gerard was more worried about the way Frank seemed to be trying to hide against his chest.
"They're not meant to be out," Frank answered hesitantly. "It happens sometimes, during the summer solstice. Usually I just use a spell to bind them to my body, but I kind of... forgot."
Gerard patted a hand through Frank's hair. The long hair suited him, he liked it. Gerard had the sudden odd inpulse to braid it. That'd look nice. Maybe they could all braid their hair together. They'd all have to put in a group effort to do Ray's, though.
Frank shifted. "It...uh. I can't reverse this until a week after, so we're going to have to cancel our shows," he said, hesitant. It must have killed him to admit that, and sympathy was reflected in all their faces.
"I'm going to look...less human, for a while. It's okay if you want to go...do something else then."
Gerard frowned and wrapped his arms around Frank tightly, pulling him even closer in tandem with the frightened clench of his heart. "No," Gerard said firmly. "I'm not going anywhere, Frankie, I don't care what you look like. You're you."
Mikey shuffled closer and nudged Frank with his toes. It wouldn't be very reassuring if it was anyone but Mikey doing it. "As long as you don't grow like, a tentacle dick, we're cool," he said.
Frank let out a startled laugh, too loud, and Gerard felt him relax incrementally.
Then they all looked at Ray.
He was drawn, pale except for the reddish shadows under his eyes that betrayed his stress and lack of sleep. Gerard pulled Frank tight against him, feeling his pulse pick up with something close to fear. If Ray left them...
"You're still you, Gerard's right. Wings or not," Ray said finally, with a small smile.
Gerard could feel the magnitude of Frank's smile even if he couldn't see it.
"Now, about that blowjob," Mikey said, and this time Ray threw the pillow at him.
The changes weren't obvious at first.
They called a week's break because Frank 'was sick again' and that went down well enough because Frank was sick literally all the time. Ray voted for them to just keep renting out the hotel rooms they had (they got two just in case but never used the second). Mikey spent the first day sleeping and fiddling around with Frank's guitar, Ray watching over it and occasionally intervening to offer help. Gerard got out his sketchbook and sat on the bed, scribbling, until he realised he was just drawing Frank over and over again. Namely, Frank's wings. He tapped his fingers on Frank's hand idly to get his attention.
"Do all the fae have them?"
Frank tucked his chin over Gerard's shoulder and hummed at the drawings. "Not really. Some of them have like, bat-like ones. It's hard to explain. Every fae is completely different. And they're all bad news."
"Cool," Gerard replied cheerfully.
Frank snorted. "It really isn't."
Gerard turned so he could see Frank's face and could've sworn his eyes were a different colour than they normally were. Probably just his eyes. He kissed Frank's nose, making it wrinkle as its owner squawked indignantly and shifted out of reach. Gerard giggled and poked a wing instead, and it flapped against his finger. Cute.
The problem came on the third day.
Gerard glanced at Frank as he pulled away to grab the pack of cigarettes by the window, and he could have sworn he could see his tattoos moving. He squinted closer and found that they were. Not like, moving with his body, but slithering fluidly across his bare arms and neck like snakes glittering with thousands of colours and noises and there was a buzzing in his ears and-
"Gee? Hello? Earth to Gerard," Mikey said, waving a hand in front of his face. The guitar was somewhere else, and from this close Gerard could count his freckles.
He blinked and the colours were gone, replaced by Mikey's face, their noses nearly touching. There wasn't any concern in Mikey's expression, not really, but Gerard could still feel it. He shook his head to clear it and tried to bite Mikey's lip when he got closer. Mikey rolled away with a displeased noise and Gerard followed, pinning him down onto the bed.
Mikey went with it easier than he could have, going limp in Gerard's tight grip, eyes darkening visibly as his wrists were trapped against the sheets. Gerard settled on top of him, thighs bracketing Mikey's slim hips. Keeping him there, by force if necessary.
"Uh...this is new," Gerard heard Ray say, at the edge of his hearing.
Gerard ground his hips down teasingly slowly, but still hard, and he heard Mikey's breath hitch loudly. He could feel Mikey's boner pushing at those tight jeans insistently. Fuck, that was hot. He was hot; was the temperature up or something? It felt like there wasn't enough oxygen in the room even as he leaned down to capture Mikey's mouth, slack with arousal. He bit down again, hard, tasting blood and a sharp pulse of arousal shot down his spine.
Mikey broke it off before the air ran out completely and tilted his face up to the ceiling to gasp brokenly, and Gerard took this as an invitation to start nipping at his jawline, down his pale neck. He bit down again at one stark collarbone, licked at the taste of sweat and Mikey, wondered how hard he'd have to bite to break the skin again and get a taste of that blood again.
He was blocked from going further by Mikey's shirt, pushed at it irritably and, when that didn't work, simply ripped it down the middle so he could bite at a nipple. Mikey was shaking under him uncontrollably, twitching. Submissive. Gerard liked it.
"Gee, stop it," Frank barked, his voice clear as he grabbed the collar of Gerard's shirt and yanked back.
Gerard snarled at him and ground his hips down harder, got a hard shake from Frank in return. He turned to look at Frank with anger bubbling up his spine, willing to fight for the-
Stopped. "What the fuck?"
Mikey shuddered under him, hips jerking up helplessly. "Fuck," he moaned out.
Gerard was more concerned with the way Frank's eyes were luminous green, and glaring at him cautiously. "Hands off of Mikey, Gee," he ordered flatly, and Gerard rolled off of his brother. Frank flicked him on the nose. Hard.
"Ow," he whined.
Frank folded his arms, looked extremely worried. "You're back to you? Do you feel okay? Is anything- different?"
"What just happened?" Gerard felt a thread of panic slip up his spine, seeping into his voice.
Frank blinked and his eyes were back to their normal green-orange-brown colour, even though Gerard could still see that lime green in his head. "I...I didn't think it would actually work after so long," he said, distraught and barely audible.
"Frank." Ray drew closer. "That...was that you?"
Frank smiled wryly. "Kind of. Fae aren't intended to be...safe, for mortals. It's about coercing them into doing things they wouldn't do normally."
"I was going to..." Gerard touched his mouth, fingers coming away sticky with blood. Mikey's blood. "What the fuck?"
"I'm so sorry," Frank mumbled into his hands, curling up into a ball. Ray looked worried.
Gerard turned his head to eye Mikey nervously. Even if it hadn't technically been him, Gerard hadn't done anything like that before and he hadn't wanted to. Especially the blood kink, especially that. Mikey had his eyes closed tightly, fingers twisted in the sheets as he dragged in a painful-sounding breath.
"Mikes? Are you-"
Mikey opened his eyes, stared blankly at the ceiling. "I just came in my pants. Like a teenager. Fuck you, Gerard Arthur Way."
"I swear to God if we were on a tv show, Mikey would be the fucking comic relief," Ray said in an exasperated voice, pulling a still distraught-looking Frank into his lap. Frank himself let out a laugh that sounded more like a sob than anything and Gerard crawled over to them, hugged both of them close and tried to slow his heart down. There was rustling and a displeased grunt from behind them and then Mikey flopped on top of them all. They stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.
None of them said anything about Frank wearing about five layers of clothes after that, despite it being the middle of summer.
"Gerard, we need to do something," Ray said, hands cupped around his coffee. They were sitting in a random vintage shop that smelled kind of like weed, and Gerard smiled at the cashier as he accepted his own coffee. Ray had dragged him along, leaving Mikey and Frank curled up together with Frank drooling on Mikey's hair a little. Gerard had wanted to join in, but he couldn't deny he was worried about Frank as well.
"I think he's feeling insecure about this whole situation," Gerard agreed.
"Wouldn't you?" Ray raised both eyebrows. "Yesterday his boyfriend, the one with absolutely no dominant characteristics in bed, pinned his brother down on the bed and turned him into a map of bruises."
"I'm worried about that, too. What if it had been Mikey? He already has a habit of biting, what if it had turned into something...worse?"
Gerard wanted to argue, but he remembered biting Mikey, wanting to smear his blood all over him, and sat back, taking a large gulp of coffee. His eyes found a poster above the door, something appropriately motivational for a coffee shop, and he stared at it without actually reading it.
"Maybe we should've just gone somewhere for the week," Ray said hesitantly. "Maybe we still should."
"No way," Gerard answered, aghast. "We can't just abandon him. He's scared, Ray. There's a reason he's been hiding this for this long."
"He'll feel worse if something happens," Ray replied.
"No," Gerard said firmly. "He's fine. This is just...a learning curve."
Ray's expression changed for a second, something completely unreadable, but Gerard brushed it off. Ray was just a worrywart, was all. It'd all be fine, leaving Frank by himself would be far worse. In the end, it wasn't like Mikey hadn't enjoyed himself anyway.
"It's okay, we love him. That's worth a bit of weird, I think. Especially since you all had to deal with me and Mikes, when we were..."
"That's really not the same situation."
"Isn't it? If anything Frank's is better because he doesn't actually want to do anything bad," Gerard argued, thumb brushing against the scar on his wrist.
Ray sighed. "Alright."
"Tell me a story," Gerard said to Frank as he flopped in between Mikey and the dozing fae. Frank blinked open his eyes sleepily (their normal colour, thankfully) and Gerard could have sworn he saw Frank's hair shimmer in the light in the way he'd seen the wings do. The wings themselves fluttered gently when Gerard brushed a finger against one.
"What kind of a story?"
"You've lived for like, so long. Tell me about it," Gerard whispered. "What's it like?"
Frank exhaled against his hair. "Different. But kind of the same too, you know? I've spent as long here as you have, pretty much. Faery is...harsh."
"What does it look like?"
"Fucking beautiful. But so, so dangerous. Humans are like a separate entity from nature, but there you're part of it. The nature is you and you're the nature. The...it's split into two factions, mostly, the Seelie and the Unseelie."
"Mm. The Seelie are the so-called good fae, everyone thinks they're hot shit, but they're just as bad as everyone else. Honestly, they're worse. At least no Unseelie pretends to be mortal rights advocates and then takes, like, an entire town of children."
Gerard blinked at the venom in his voice, kissed the side of Frank's neck. "And...yours?"
"They're straightforward, at least. The Unseelie are the evil ones. Apparently. But all fae are bad news. It's...nice, in the courts, all black and red and gold. You'd like it."
"Well, apart from all the mortal torture and stuff."
"For them? Yeah. Fae aren't...it's really rough. Humans are basically less than dirt to them, playthings for sex or emotion or body..."
Frank trailed off, distress evident in his voice, and Mikey rolled over Gerard to lay on top of him. "We're not your playthings," Mikey said firmly. "We're your boyfriends."
"Mikey's right. Your- wherever you come from, you're our Frankie."
Frank gave them a fragile smile.
When they woke up, Mikey and Ray were missing from the room. Gerard woke up to Frank looking out the open window absently, wings catching the light and refracting shadows all over the room. He sat up in bed, looking around and realising no one else was even here. Which was kind of weird, considering. Ray, well...he might have a reason. But Mikey?
"Ray's been...he doesn't like me anymore, does he?"
Gerard frowned. "Ray's just...he's not acting like himself. Maybe he's got some kind of problem."
"I hope he's okay," Frank said in a small voice.
"Where is he, anyway? And...where's Mikey?"
Mikey not being here was far more strange than Ray disappearing. He hadn't shown any interest in leaving the hotel room except for going to the vending machine down the hall. Gerard would've assumed that was where he was now, except he could see Mikey's pants on the floor and he wouldn't have gone anywhere without those.
"Maybe they went out?"
Gerard shook his head. "Frank, Mikey's clothes are still here, what the fuck."
Frank turned away from the window, blood draining out of his face as he scanned the floor, seeing what Gerard saw. Black shirt with a hole in the armpit near the bathroom, grey skinny jeans by the bed, yellow boxer-briefs hanging from the lamp.
"Tell me he has other clothes," Frank said.
"He has other clothes, but they're in the van and he'd need these ones to get them," Gerard answered.
Frank was scanning the room, looking from left to right frantically around. Gerard slipped out of the bed, still clothed, luckily, and watched as Frank stopped in front of the door. Even from this angle he could tell Frank had gone completely white.
Frank turned, and there was pure, honest-to-God fear on his face. Gerard's heart sped up and he looked at what Frank was holding in one hand. It didn't look like something dangerous, but he really didn't know at this point. It must have been something to put that expression on Frank's face, the one he'd only ever seen that time he'd...he'd...
It was a pale silver, not quite white, and as Frank held it the petals began to wilt slowly and turn grey. Frank didn't move, was frozen with his eyes wide and fixed on it as the flower shrivelled into a black dust, flickers of red in it.
"Frank, what's going on," Gerard asked urgently.
"The fae. They've...taken Mikey and Ray," Frank said emptily, staring at the dust on his hand as it started to blow away despite the lack of wind.
"Because they can, because of me," Frank snapped. "Because they want their fucking dark prince back for the balance to be right again."
"The- the balance? What-"
Frank's eyes had become luminous again, but as Gerard watched, the green in his irises smoothed out into an angry yellow and then a dark orange. He dumped what was left of the dust on his hand and stalked over to the dresser, pulling his shoes out from underneath it. Gerard blinked as his form flickered like a television error. He looked up at Gerard, eyes hard and determined. Ready for war.
"Put your fucking boots on, Gerard," Frank said, and his voice didn't even sound the same.
Gerard put his boots on.
"What is this place?"
"A strip club," Frank answered plainly as they walked into the Spicy Llama.
"It's not a very good one," Gerard said doubtfully.
People were wandering around, but there were no dancers. One smiled at him briefly and nodded in greeting before swirling away. Gerard clutched Frank's hand and Frank squeezed back, hard. He didn't look at Gerard, didn't even try. Gerard watched nervously as they approached the bar, looked back at the rusted metal of the poles and the dark shadows and saw something other.
"Saporta," Frank called out sharply, sounding unimpressed.
Gerard turned back to the counter and Gabriel fucking Saporta popped up from the counter and grinned at them. "Boys," he crowed. "What's good in your hood? How'd you find my little hiding hole?"
Then he took a proper look at Frank, went white. "Iero? The f- oh, fuck."
"Saporta," Frank repeated, through gritted teeth this time.
"Uh. My, er...my lord, what the fuck are you doing here and if you're going to kill me, let me send my familiars back first," Gabe said.
"I'm not here on that bullshit," Frank snapped. "Open the fucking portal. And I want a pair of those glasses you're hoarding."
Gabe sighed, slumped on the counter. "As you wish." His fingers clicked once, loud in the silence. A woman ran to him, presented him with a pair of normal-looking spectacles. Gabe sighed and handed them over reluctantly, holding them out to Gerard, who took them tentatively.
He slipped them on. "What do these-"
Never fucking mind.
Gerard nearly swallowed his tongue. "Frank," he said, fear creeping into his voice.
Because he'd blinked and everything had changed, just like his entire life story. He'd blinked and suddenly he was in a spiralling wonderland.
His eyes first went to Gabe, and he realised with a shock that Gabe, Gabe Saporta from fucking Cobra Starship was one of the fae. His hair had become alive, swirls of black serpents in its depths, spilling down onto his face. And hisface. His face was a mess of blood and paint and red, with a faint glimpse of white bone and silver metal underneath. It was grotesque and horrifying and beautiful all at once and Gerard couldn't breathe.
"Frank," he repeated, weakly.
"Just breathe," Frank said, not unkindly, just sharp.
Gerard sucked in a breath and it got caught in his throat and stuck there. He couldn't turn around, couldn't look at Frank if this was what Faery was like. Because as much as he loved horror, he was scared. So scared, and he was just a tiny human in all of this and he didn't want to look-
"Gee," Frank said, hand squeezing his again. He was gentle and warm, and Gerard snapped back to him almost immediately, looked over at him without even thinking about what he was wearing or the consequences of it.
He looked at Frank, and Frank looked back, and Gerard realised it was just that.
Even though those iridescent wings had solidified into metallic grey shards that caught the light like oil spills. Even though his human tattoos had vanished, leaving behind a myriad of rainbows crawling across his skin instead, making shapes and numbers and words that made no sense and didn't need to. Even though his eyes were brighter than before, pupils catlike slits and bright orange. Even though his hair glittered like it was made of threads of gemstones, it was still Frank.
"Frank," Gerard breathed.
"I know I'm not- I mean, you- I'm just," Frank started, and Gerard realised with a panicked jolt that Frank was crying. Not loud sobs or wails or anything dramatic, just tears tracking down his face like he expected, no, he knew Gerard was going to hate him after this.
"Frank, you're fucking beautiful," Gerard finally managed to choke out, pulling him close. Frank squeaked out a startled noise as their chests collided, and Gerard couldn't help cupping Frank's face in his and kissing him. Frank's hands slid up his chest and he let out a pained-sounding sob against Gerard's lips.
"No, no, it's fine, you're okay," Gerard muttered back. "We're gonna go get Mikey and we're gonna get Ray and then we're gonna come back and play some shows, yeah? We're gonna tear it up and Mikey's gonna get hard onstage and you'll probably lick me and it'll be great and we're gonna be happy, okay?"
"Okay," Frank said thickly.
"Alright," he said, brushing a hand through Frank's hair and kissing his forehead. "Let's go."
"This isn't so bad," Gerard said, looking up at the tree canopy.
"The scenery's okay," Frank agreed quietly.
"How...how do you know who took them?"
"The flower. It's a Seelie royalty mark. Someone must have recognised me," Frank said dismally.
"It's not your fault," Gerard replied firmly.
A woman with a raincloud attached to her head like it was hair and white, white eyes stood in front of them the minute they tried to approach the biggest tree there. It was covered in fireflies and so was the fae standing there. Gerard took a tiny step back, but Frank lifted his chin at her in greeting and she bowed to him respectfully.
"My lord," she acknowledged. "Do you desire audience with the Queen?"
"As you wish. Right this way."
The fae walked them down a golden tunnel-like hedge and Gerard wanted to reach out and touch the flowers, but ad he reached Frank slapped his hand away. "Don't touch anything."
"I already warned you. No trusting."
"...my lord, is this your...consort?"
Frank glanced at the fae, who had turned to wait for them while they argued about the plants. Gerard's breath caught. Consort?
"Yes, he is," Frank answered.
"He is a beauty befitting of you, my lord. However, you may wish to visibly stake your claim, as it is, before we enter the Court."
Frank made a noncommital noise in the back of his throat and Gerard looked back at him, raised an eyebrow. Visibly stake a claim? Frank rolled his eyes and turned to Gerard, placing a hand on his neck.
"Close your eyes," Frank said quietly.
When Gerard opened his eyes, his neck stung lightly.
"You have a tattoo now," Frank said with a tiny smile.
"Okay," Gerard said agreeably.
Frank snorted. "Come on."
"Stay here," Frank ordered when they stopped in front of a giant door made entirely out of what looked like fingernails. Gerard nodded jerkily and took another step away from the door, nervous. He could hear screaming and music behind the door, melodic but terrifying, and the fae that had accompanied them bowed her head and left.
"I'm not kidding. Don't move a fucking inch, Way," Frank warned.
"Okay, jeez," Gerard replied. "Staying. Go get our boyfriends."
Frank gave him another tiny smile and then squared his shoulders, pushing open the door. From this angle, he looked far thinner- far smaller- than usual, and Gerard wondered if that was his fae form or not. Gerard sat down to wait, fiddled with the mark on his neck. He could feel raised lines like it was a scar, and attempted to follow it with his fingers to figure out what it was, exactly.
Gerard looked up and nearly fainted. "Mikey?"
Mikey's hands were locked tightly behind his back, but he still fought the fae holding him like he would die if he didn't get to his brother. A bruise was blooming high up on his cheek, and a few on his bare knees. He was wearing what looked like a robe of some sort, the white stark against the shadows under his eyes.
"Gee, where's Frank?"
The fae yanked him back. "No talking."
Gerard stood up. "He's talking to the Queen, what's going o- Ray!"
Ray turned the corner and regarded him flatly. He was wearing a suit that looked like it was made of spiderwebs, and if Gerard squinted he could see tiny golden spiders crawling over the material. Ray didn't seem to have any guards at all, obviously he wasn't as much trouble as Mikey had been. In fact, Ray looked much better off than Mikey.
"Gerard, get the fuck out! Run," Mikey shouted.
"Gerard," Ray said, but his voice echoed all in Gerard's head like a drum and he had to hold his hands over his ears. What the fuck?
"Ray, what's going-"
"Seize him," Ray ordered, and Gerard saw pointed horns of bone in his hair and Ray met his eyes and they were black, black as space.
Everything was black, in fact. He barely felt himself hit the ground. He hear Mikey screaming but it was all background music to the static in his head, his own muffled shouts of pain.
Then it went silent.
Gerard awoke to a very cold splash of water on his face.
"Fuck," he spluttered, spitting it out.
He opened his eyes and noticed with worry that he was tied to a post. Then he looked down and saw a monumental amount of firewood. He sniffed and couldn't smell gasoline, but that was the only comfort he had.
"Gerard," Ray said in his normal voice, and Gerard turned to look at him.
He hadn't taken anything; Ray was definitely something other. The horns were similar to that of a ram's, except pure white and sharp as fuck. They curled into his hair, which had gone so black that there wasn't even a shine to it. His eyes were the same, rimmed with what could have been gold eyeliner. He tapped one hand against his leg gently and Gerard looked at it to find stark gold fingernails curling in on themselves.
"I don't get it," he said.
"No, you wouldn't," Ray said coldly. "I told you not to stay with the Prince of the Dark, Gerard."
"-Frank? What's going on?"
"I should've guessed when I first saw him," Ray said to himself. "Little shit."
"I led a happy life here, you know. And then your precious little fae decided to run away. The Courts told me a truant Prince of Dark meant the Prince of Light was exiled too as fairness, and he was. Well, I should've known. He's quite good at hiding."
"What," Gerard said.
"I should introduce myself. I'm the Seelie Prince of Light, Gerard Way, and I'm going to murder you to get my status back," Ray said.
"Oh," Gerard said. "Wait. Why?"
Ray sighed and the breath came out white. Gerard tried to inch away from it, but he was tied pretty securely. "Originally, I was just going to take both you and Mikey and make you my consorts, because the Prince would return for you but would not be able to take you, so he'd stay here. But you ruined things, Gerard. Like you do."
"Instead, because the Unseelie have laid their filthy hands on you and claimed you, I'm going to kill you. And take Mikey as a consort. Frank will still stay, because he'll be too distraught to leave. He can't do anything without his 'boys,' especially if one's dead."
"Ray," Gerard breathed. "You don't...what about us? Was it all just a fucking joke to you?"
Ray shrugged. "It was nice enough. But would you take a van full of mortals with strings when you could be a Prince of Faery?"
"...yes," Gerard replied, because that was the dumbest question he'd ever heard. "Of course I would, fucking hell, Ray! What's wrong with you?!"
"Nothing at all," came the answer, as Ray flicked on a lighter and set the wood at Gerard's feet on fire. Gerard pulled at his bonds, but they seemed tighter than before, and he wriggled hard. Ray's nails traced down where part of his shirt had ripped, grazing a nipple, and Gerard kicked him in the nose.
Ray reared back out of reach,and Gerard swore he saw black blood seeping past those fingers. The fingers that he still felt on his skin, tickling his ribs, shredding guitar, Ray's laugh and the way he always asked before he kissed you like it was some sort of effort-
"You're not Ray," Gerard said firmly. The fire crackled underneath him.
"Nope. Even if you are," here he had to stop to blink back tears, "even if you're sharing his body or whatever, you're not Ray Toro."
"You're delusional, Gerard."
Gerard closed his eyes, brought up an image of the last time they went to the beach. Mikey had nearly been abducted by the waves, Frank had somehow buried himself in the sand, Ray was trying to dig him out, and Gerard was watching them all from the safety of the umbrella. Once Frank had been freed, he'd flopped on top of Ray, giggling his head off, kissed him and then ran into the ocean to rescue Mikey. They'd both been soaked and then they'd decided to pull him into the surf too, and Ray had followed with some persuasion. He remembered splashing Mikey, getting hoisted up onto Ray's shoulders.
The flames were licking at his feet. He could kind of feel the burning, but it was distant. He wanted Frank, he wanted Mikey, he wanted Ray.
"Fuck you, Toro!"
Gerard opened his eyes, expecting some kind of superhero to come flashing in but what he saw instead was his brother, bloody and bruised, brandishing a pipe. Mikey's weird robe-things were torn all over, and one side of his face was matted with blood, but his eyes were alive with anger as he swung the pipe down on Ray's head again.
"Mikes, what are you- Ray?"
Frank had arrived.
Mikey's attention diverted for just a second and Ray tore the pipe out of his hands with a clatter, and Mikey looked down in time for Ray to grab him by the knee and yank. Mikey's knees hit the ground with an audible crack and he crumpled sideways.
"Mikey," Gerard screamed over the roar of the flames.
Ray stood up. Gerard could see black blood spilling down his face, from his lips and his nose and even his eyes. He coughed, spat a lump of the viscous fluid onto the ground by the younger Way brother.
"Ah, Prince of the Dark," Ray greeted. "I've been waiting."
"Toro- you? You're a fucking-"
"And to think, this whole time, the reason for my exile was right under my nose. There are so many things we could have been doing, my sworn enemy. But I'm just going to take away your most precious possessions from the mortal world, and then I'm going to take your crown."
"Fucking hell, Toro," Frank said. "You were part of this relationship too, fucknuts."
"Yes," Frank shot back. "And you liked it. How's it feel, killing two of your beloved consorts and losing the other?"
Gerard blinked and he was back in his own body and it was burning. He could feel the flames licking up his jeans and catching onto the stiff fabric and he could feel his skin bubbling under it and it hurt, it hurt so much. He didn't understand where those pained whines were coming from until the smoke choked past his lungs and he couldn't breathe, let alone speak.
"They're not my...three?"
"Technically we are each others' consorts, too."
"Did you ever love any of us or were you just pretending?"
"...I think that'll be my secret to keep, Prince."
"Hah," Frank's painful-sounding laugh was muffled by the crackle of the flames. "You do, don't you? You love us, Ray Toro, and this kind of shit is what makes that love shrivel up and die."
From behind a veil of smoke and burning leaves Gerard saw a black mass erupt from behind Frank like a flood.
The last thing he saw before his heart stopped was the shine of a scythe and bright, moving tattoos.
Mikey opened his eyes to darkness.
It wasn't dark as in he couldn't see, there was just no light because he could see Gerard in a crumpled heap next to him, burns across his cheek and neck and his clothes scorched into his skin. He wasn't breathing, his chest wasn't moving at all and his eyes were closed and he was far too pale and Mikey tried to jerk away from his brother's dead body but he couldn't-
A hand touched his hair and he flinched, one hand curling into a weak fist. He was next, wasn't he?
"Hey, no, Mikes, it's just me," Frank said softly and Mikey turned to see a glimpse of black hair and shining wings and let out the first pained sob into Frank's warm chest, clutching him tight.
"Why's it just us?! Fucking, fucking- I-" he couldn't even get a full sentence out, just sobbed harder into Frank's shirt. He smelled like fire and Mikey had to look blearily around for Ray. He couldn't see anything but a weird white plant by Gerard's hair that hadn't been there before. He blinked at it as it slowly bloomed into a silvery white flower in a matter of seconds, petals touching Gerard's forehead gently.
"He's gone, I'm so sorry, Mikes," Frank choked out and Mikey realised with a jolt that Frank was crying too.
"It's not fair, why does it- I want my brother," Mikey whispered in an agonized voice, barely audible.
"I want him too, so bad," Frank sobbed against his hair, and Mikey could feel the tears soaking into his skin.
Gerard opened his eyes and Ray Toro was standing there. Ray Toro. He stared at the leather jacket, the worn Metallica shirt with a hole in it and the large guitar case slung over his back and frowned. Where were they? What was going on? He looked around, but everything was white and he couldn't make out even a wall. He turned around and saw more of the same, then turned back to Ray.
"Ray," he said cautiously.
Ray met his gaze and there was no black at all, just Ray Toro in all his anxious glory. His hair was a mess, his boots were scuffed, and looked like...he looked like Ray. He smiled at Gerard, but there was no real happiness in it but it was his Ray Toro, no doubt about it, so Gerard launched himself into those arms with next to no trepidation. Ray caught him easily and shifted him gently before laughing and Gerard laughed too, high and free.
"Where are we?"
"Nowhere and everywhere," Ray answered, hands securing around Gerard. He pressed their foreheads together, wound his fingers into Ray's curls.
"Hmm," Gerard answered.
"What's wrong, Gee?"
"Something's...missing. Something important."
And sure, he couldn't remember what it was, but that didn't make it less significant. Gerard closed his eyes, tried to reach for the things flickering in his mind. It hurt to try, but he got the feeling he needed to do this. There was...something, -dark eyes staring at him, a lazy smile, HALLOWEEN, pale thighs on black sheets, coffee stains, art is the-
"-Frank and Mikey, where are they?"
Ray looked away, smiled faintly. "I knew you'd remember that first."
"I need to get back. They're gonna- they need me, Ray-"
"I know, I know, shh," Ray soothed, brushing a hand through his hair. "I'm working on it."
"What do you mean? I-" -fire, the stink of burning flesh, black blood, Ray- "-I'm dead, aren't I? Motherfucker."
"I'm so sorry, Gee, I'm gonna fix it, I'll make it right, I swear to God," Ray said in a rush and all Gerard could see in his eyes was pain.
"I can give you back to them," Ray whispered.
"What about you?"
"It's too late. Just...close your eyes."
Gerard closed his eyes, felt cold lips touch his forehead, and said, "I forgive you."
He woke up choking on air.
Gerard hacked, wheezed, rolled onto his stomach and proceeded to throw up what looked like most of his internal organs. He couldn't see much, just the dark red on the dirt in front of him and the blurry outlines of his hands. He wheezed, retched again and there was a loud gasp from behind him and hands were on him. One rubbed at his back gently and one pulled at his collar, yanked him up to face them and Mikey was staring at him with wide, scared eyes.
"Hey," he coughed out, feeling blood drip down his chin.
"You fucker," Mikey said flatly, pulling him in for a kiss. "You absolute wanker, Gee, you were fucking dead."
"Yeah," Gerard croaked back. "I know."
"Fuck," he heard Frank breathe, and there was a forehead pressed against the knob of his spine, panicked breathing against his back.
"Ray," Gerard said, and heard Frank suck in a sharp breath and he turned with some difficulty to look at him, see the blood and charcoal staining his face and those brilliant orange eyes.
"I'm so fucking sorry," Frank sobbed.
Gerard pulled him close, and Mikey pushed at them until he was in there as well. They breathed in together, frightened, and a tiny flower popped up by Gerard's knee. He stared at it suspiciously, and it opened up in a sparkle of white, letting out a few melodic notes of guitar.
"Fuck," Frank said.
"Fuck," Mikey agreed.
The girl was swathed in blankets, her face barely visible underall the cloth. Her hair was dark, curly and an echo of someone else, someone from another time and another place. The stars glittered outside her room and reflected onto objects within the room, from the guitar on the floor to the plants littered everywhere.
"Dad," the young girl started. "You can't go to bed until you wake him up."
"The thing," Mikey Way answered, unimpressed.
"Come on, Dad, then I'll fucking go to sleep. Promise," the girl insisted in that way only kids did, and Mikey looked even more unimpressed.
"Has Papa Frank been teaching you bad words again?"
The girl gave him a shifty look.
Mikey sighed. "Don't do it in front of Gerard, he'll burst a lung."
"Wake him up," she insisted again.
"Fine. Wake up, asshole," Mikey huffed, and retrieved a potted plant from the windowsill. A single, silvery white flower opened up as he touched it and a gentle melody started playing.
"Say hi to Daddy Ray," Mikey said.
"Hi," she chirped at the flower.
The flower chimed back a series of quick G notes. Mikey set it on the dresser table as the girl continued to converse with it about her day, what she'd had for lunch, how well her music lessons were going.
"Don't stay up too long," Mikey ordered as he left the room, and got a defiant chiming noise in return. He sighed and went down the hall. Honestly, Ray was the best parent out of all of them anyway.
"Hey," he greeted. Frank was sprawled out on Gerard's lap while Gerard tried to sketch. "Are you ever worried that we pretty much let a plant teach our kid?"
"No," Frank said.
"No," Gerard said.
"Okay," and here Mikey sat on Frank, earning himself a squawk of indignation. He was pushed off unceremoniously and stared up at the ceiling, wondering what exactly was going to happen when this kid grew up.
Eh, it'd be fine.
Half her family were faeries anyway.
"But not like that," Mikey muttered to himself.