“Gerard, do you know where you are?”
He lies in the dark, motionless. He thinks he has to. Because if he moves one finger, he’s gonna do something: Most probably something stupid. He doesn’t want to. He really doesn’t. He’s just scared. Scared of… well scared of practically everything, right now.
He knew it was gonna be hard from the moment he decided to do this. The moment he decided that he wasn’t gonna let this band, his everything, collapse because of him. He didn’t want that. He never did. But then, somehow, he was too ass-deep in shit that he suddenly didn’t care, or he simply wasn’t sober enough to care. Neither did his band mates for a very long time, doing their own shit and getting wasted themselves.
Then they tried to talk to him, make him understand that it couldn’t go on like this. He wouldn’t listen, he wouldn’t care. He’s ashamed of all of it, right now. As ashamed as he can be only a few days after he decided to take his own life. He has no idea why the pills or the booze or the cocaine made him suicidal. It just did. And he’s only grateful to be alive. He’s only thankful for picking up the phone and waking Brian at such an ungodly hour. He does, no, he used to do, pretty dumb shit when he is, was, wasted. He’s thankful for that too, right now. Because if he was in his right mind, he’d just go off and kill himself instead of wanting to chat about it with Brian, first.
Brian… that poor guy couldn’t get a good night’s sleep for weeks because of him. But talking to him made Gerard feel strangely better, somehow. He doesn’t know why he chose to talk to a person far far away from where he was instead of just opening up to Mikey – his kid brother whom he’s always been so close. He thinks Mikey might just be a touch upset with him for not coming to talk to him, first. But Mikey doesn’t know that the first couple times he talked to their manager on the phone, it had been so fucking hard to open up his soul, let Brian see what’s inside his twisted head and admit that he had a problem. Mikey doesn’t know after that, he went into denial mode and sank deeper into his beloved drugs and cocaine. Mikey doesn’t know about the cocaine at all and Gerard thinks he better not. His friends better not know, either. He doesn’t want them to. At least not now. Not right now. But Jerry knows. Jerry, their tour manager. He knows because Brian made Gerard wake him right after he talked him out of committing suicide. Then Jerry erased the last lingering traces of thoughts of killing himself as they walked and walked and talked in the middle of the night. The next thing he knows, he was awake in his bunk with yet another hangover. But he was alive.
Now, three days later, he is lying on a hotel bed with the bed side lamp turned off, listening to the sounds coming from the bathroom and desperately trying to stay on his bed until Frank comes out. He has his legs drawn in towards his torso, his knees about to touch his chest. His hands are clasped under his chin. He has curled himself into a perfect human-ball and he intends to stay like that until Frank comes out of the shower. Then he can’t do anything stupid even if he tries to; he knows the guitarist will stop him. Because Frank knows Gerard wants him to. Needs him to. Trusts him to… to keep him safe and sane until he figures out how to overcome his addictions. How to get clean and sober for once and for all.
The harsh sound of water hitting the shower floor deadens and another, softer sound is heard: Water droplets hitting a body. Gerard shivers uncontrollably. He can’t believe it has only been a few minutes since Frank left him by himself in the room and went into the bathroom to take a shower. It seems like hours have passed and yet apparently Frank has only just disrobed and stepped into the shower. Gerard has assured him that he’d be fine on his own for such a little while but now, he’s starting to regret opening his goddamn mouth to form those words in the first place.
He doesn’t trust himself with the mini bar present in the room. Because it’s calling him, beckoning him to come closer. Gerard shakes his head. That’s why he’s turned off the lights; he doesn’t want to see the mini bar. But it’s like he can hear it; whispering. And at this point, he’s pretty sure that he has lost his mind, basically.
Sweat has started to form on his forehead, dripping down the bridge of his nose and ending on the soft pillow under his head. And now he’s trembling, trying to keep his hands under his chin. He knows no one wants him to just say “I’m gonna be clean and sober from now on,” and actually go through with it. But still he has given away his pills to them and tries to stay away from at least vodka, for the time being. He knows his friends and his brother all believe in him and thus disappointing them is the last thing he wants to do. He can practically hear the emotionless voice saying “And then everything collapsed…” Like a fucking VH1 Behind The Music scenario. And that will be real if he fails. He doesn’t want that to happen. He doesn’t. But he doesn’t know how to pull himself through the hole he has kept digging deep into the ground for almost a year.
He listens to the soft splashing sounds coming from the closed door in front of him. He knows Frank likes his showers. Likes them very much because although all of them are stinky, none of them are stinky as Gerard Way, himself, and Frank actually, likes to keep himself clean. There. That word again. And Gerard has his little cocaine stash hidden away deep inside one of his suitcases. He’s given away the pills but the guys don’t know about the coke. And since he doesn’t want them to know and since they won’t leave him alone, he can’t get rid of it. Or at least, that’s what he keeps telling himself. He tries not to think of it as something to fall back on and he’s managed to stay away from it for three fucking days. He feels like he can do even better than that. But not right now. Right now, sobriety hurts. It hurts his eyes. It stings his muscles. And he tries to sleep but he can’t. Insomnia has apparently kicked in once again because he can’t pass out from alcohol or drugs.
Gerard knows what he needs. Vodka would be perfect, right now. It would be better than perfect. And he could possibly go to sleep.
They have these really tiny bottles in mini bars, anyway, right? He can drink down a whole giant bottle of Smirnoff and still stand – well, he can usually only remember trying to stand, actually. One tiny bottle wouldn’t do any harm, he thinks. He just needs it to fall asleep.
He clumsily gets up and walks towards the mini bar, he doesn’t turn on the lights. It makes what he’s about to do less real, somehow. He kneels before it and opens the little door, taking a look at the contents: there’s chocolate, Mars bars actually, beer, some scotch and vodka, too. His eyes roam over the little Stolichnaya bottles then the Absolut bottles and then they move onto Smirnoff, finally. But his hand shoots up to claim a blue label Absolut and he immediately closes the mini bar door. He doesn’t need more.
His breathing has quickened, by now. He knows if he wanted the softer taste like usual, he’d get a Smirnoff but apparently, he doesn’t. He wants his throat to burn and it doesn’t burn when his vodka is triple distilled. He needs the bitter taste to remind him that he’s doing something wrong. Something he shouldn’t. But Absolut has its own magic despite the stinging feeling it leaves in his throat. And he wants it. He’s sick. Really.
He gulps down the clear liquid in one swift motion before he gives himself time to think then dumps the bottle on the night stand. He feels better immediately. He can feel the strong liquor burning him as it travels down his esophagus and finally settles down in his stomach.
Slowly, he lies back on the bed and turns on his side, tucking one hand under his pillow and curling his legs close to his stomach. He closes his eyes to the sound of running water.
Gerard wakes up, still tired. He blinks up at the white ceiling but his vision is still blurred. He brings his hands up to rub the sleep off his eyes – but they won’t comply. He shakes his head slightly and tries to move his hands once again. He can’t lift them off the bed. He blinks furiously and panics. He’s paralyzed! But then he tries to move his head to the side and finds out that he can. However, he panics even more at the sight in front of him: His arms and hands are held down by brown leather restraints strapped to the bed. Breathing heavily, he notices his legs are also strapped down onto the bed.
He doesn’t understand.
His eyes desperately wander around the room and he realizes he’s not in the hotel, anymore. The walls in front of him are a sickly shade of white, so is the mattress he’s lying on. Craning his neck downwards, he sees the white hospital gown he’s wearing and he can’t breathe. His eyes get bigger and bigger as they crazily roam around his surroundings. He starts struggling against his restraints mindlessly. He wants to scream. He finds that he can. But his voice is hoarse because of lack of use or maybe because of overuse. His bitter, piercing screeches seem to resonate through the whole building but he doesn’t stop.
He can’t think reasonably. He can’t get away. He doesn’t know what else to do.
He doesn’t know where he is. What the fuck is happening? He’s confused. Scared.
He freaks out.
The door to the eerie white room bursts open and two orderlies enter, shouting things Gerard’s ears can’t hear because of his own screaming. His torso arches back from the bed as the two men approach him and he flails his restrained limbs, struggles more violently.
One of the orderlies exposes a hypodermic needle and Gerard’s eyeballs roll back into his head as he desperately tries to break free. No! Not that! Not needles!
“Hold him still!” the man with the needle yells at the other.
The other man tries to suppress Gerard’s movements to no effect. Gerard thrashes around in his restraints helplessly, uses every bit of strength he has to free his arms. His torso keeps shooting off the bed. He can still see the man with the needle coming closer. He gives an urgent cry and his right arm breaks free from the straps finally.
“Strap him down!” booms the orderly’s voice.
Gerard is undoing the strap on his other arm when suddenly one of the men jumps on him. He holds Gerard down with his whole body weight and Gerard tries to kick him off of him to little avail. He feels the other man’s hand on his right wrist, exposing the soft flesh of his upper arm for the needle and he snatches his arm back violently, screaming in pure terror.
The orderly holding him down grabs his arm and forces it back down on the bed with both his hands.
“Stop struggling Gerard!” he yells as he finally manages to strap Gerard’s arm back down on the bed. He tightens the strap mercilessly but this time one of Gerard’s legs break free and he starts kicking out. The man lifts himself up and jumps on his leg, using his body weight to place it back down on the bed.
Then Gerard feels the other’s hand on his arm again and screeches as loud as he can.
The orderly sticks the needle in his arm and he snaps his head in the other direction, knowing that he can’t look at it. He lets out a spine-chilling shriek as he feels the needle piercing his skin; then comes the unbearable stinging in his muscles. He’s still struggling.
“He’s gonna break the needle,” says the man who has just strapped his leg back down.
The other looks down at Gerard’s still convulsing arm and addresses him.
“Gerard! Gerard, calm down! Stop fighting! You’re gonna hurt yourself!”
Gerard takes a shaky breath as the tranquilizer runs through his veins, forcing him to calm down. His head sags to the side as his eyes slowly drift closed. A single tear trails down the edge of his eye. He feels the wetness on his cheek.
He doesn’t move. He doesn’t think. He’s blissfully sedated. He doesn’t know how long he has been lying like that. The orderlies have long left him by himself when the door creaks open slowly and he finds the strength to turn his head in the opposite direction to see the newcomer.
He takes in the white coat and the sympathetic expression, his breathing immediately escalating with fear and panic. Adrenaline helps clear his head from the powerful medication and he can think. Now he knows he is in a hospital or a clinic of some sort. But why? How? He doesn’t understand.
The doctor approaches slowly and leans towards him, a faint trace of curiosity in his face.
“Gerard? Can you hear me?”
He examines the doctor’s face, wondering if he’d stick a needle in his arm, too. Then he asks in a hoarse whisper:
“What… the hell?”
The doctor blinks and sighs audibly. It looks like he’s trying to keep himself from shaking his head.
“Gerard, do you know where you are?”
Gerard tries to remember. He knows they did a show in Grand Rapids. Michigan. He knows because that night Brian had to talk him out of killing himself. But that was three days ago. He frowns and tries to remember. But fails. He still thinks they’re somewhere in Michigan, though.
“Michigan...” he mutters.
The doctor raises his brow and asks the next question as if he’s talking to a mentally troubled person.
“And why are you in Michigan, exactly?”
Gerard looks at him with empty eyes.
“The band… Well, we’re on tour…”
The doctor puts his hand on Gerard’s shoulder gently and Gerard jumps involuntarily, trying to get away from him. The doctor takes his hand away and looks at him with a twinge of sadness in his eyes.
“None of that is real, Gerard. None of it. You’re not in a band…”
Gerard frowns deeper and shakes his head.
“No. No, I am. You… you don’t understand…” But he can’t find anything else to say. It’s impossible to focus his thoughts on something. He feels his vision blurring and starts blinking hysterically.
“No, Gerard. It’s not real. You’re in New Jersey and you’re in a mental institution. You’re ill. You’ve been with us for three years now, do you remember?”
A/N: Okay, now... A few days ago the Buffy episode Normal Again kinda like appeared in my head even though I haven't been watching Buffy for a long time. But that's one of my favorite episodes and I guess I'm a touch affected by the horrific-ness of it. So, this storyline came to my mind and after much inner discussion I decided to write it. Actually it was gonna be a long one-shot like my previous one-shot but then I kinda calculated it'd be too long and decided to make this a short chaptered story. Since it's mostly going to be about those 17 days, I think it'll be short for a chaptered fic.
And, yes, it's going to shape into a Frerard. Eventually. I hope. A rather twisted one perhaps. And yes, one of my biggest sources on Gerard's troubles is LOTMS along with lots of interviews. And I actually looked up the past tour dates and went back 17 days from August 11th, which is the day Gerard says he got completely clean and sober, and found out that they were in Michigan then.
And the next chapter of Soul Purpose... will be coming soon, I guess. If I don't get attached to this story line, too much.
Finally, I absolutely love feedback. I need it like the air I breathe. So rate and/or review please =)