"You know I hate you, Michael. I hope you get an ass rash." Gerard's tone was teasing, but secretly he might have been urging his words to be carried to the ears of Fate, or whoever decided these things. The Way bros were cowering down in the basement (Gerard was cowering at least, Mikey seemed to have regained his grip on reality after the first few times Alicia had been around their mom), Gerard staring bullets and arrows and many other violent weapons that he didn't condone in the reality outside of his thoughts. While they were in his head, he could demean and violate and hurt anyone he wanted to with minimal guilt. It was still there, yes, he just couldn't have thoughts of mutilating his brother without feeling like a shit-face, but that didn't stop him. He would never REALLY kill Mikey, everyone in the world knew that. He'd sooner do in himself.
Mikey blinked at him. He fucking blinked. Gerard really wished that sometimes Mikey had emotions other than insane and unnatural love for cats and Alicia and, if he wanted to be a cliche little fangirl who wiki'd Mikey all the time, coffee and sushi. Gerard would really fucking appreciate his little brother more if, when he had an emotional crisis and wanted to talk, that Mikey would talk back and make the sympathetic faces and coos that Frank did.
"Really, and I also hope that it's so nasty that Alicia won't help you put medicine on it," was met with Mikey's 'I'm amused but I'm biting down on my smile because we cool people do not smile' expression. Bitch.
"Mom's going to love wiL. Didn't you see her and Alicia making goo-goo eyes at him right before we left."
Okay, Gerard might love his brother.
"I might love you, Mikes. Let's run away and start an Eskimo escort-service together. We never bond, you know?" Except over nerding out. Everyone can bond over that, and they did, and when it's three or ten other people in the room, it's not considered bonding. Just hanging out. Gerard stands firm on the fact that bonding's totally not a girl-thing. First off, that was completely sexist, and second, Frank agrees with him. That made it completely un-true.
"You know no one's going to be shocked that you married a boy." Mikey had a smirk. Eyes lidded, hand thrown over the back of his chair, completely comfortable smirk.
"Yes they will. Fuck, I'm surprised. I'm not even gay." That last part had slowly morphed into a well-known hymn. Not gay. Kissed a boy? Not gay. Had Frank lick his thigh? Not gay. Yank down his brother's shirt and lick his nipple? NOT GAY. It was really the hip thing to do nowadays, after all. Everyone was just a little gay, whether they wanted to admitt it, and Gerard just wanted to put it out there that, while he was completely into ladies, being gay was perfectly pc and whoever didn't like it could watch him make out with his band members, family members, drinking buddies and so forth.
"You know that I was just making a statement!" Gerard wailed.
"Yes, I know, that homophobia is sick and unjustly out-of-date and the cause of many pointless deaths, but--geez, you'd think with all the preaching you do about it that you wouldn't hide in the closet, Gerard. That's just as bad as gay-bashing. It's just your hypocritical mind playing tricks with you that eventually you'll find the perfect girl and fall madly in love while it's right in everyone else's face that you're way into cock."
Gerard winced at Mikey's choice of words. He hated that word. It was such a fucking turn off. He hoped that he'd never get into one of those situations where he was telling someone to suck his cock, because--yeah, after that word floated out of his mouth, he'd not get it up for a while.
"That was all your fault. Mikey! You're the one--"
Gerard shut up when Mikey flew out of his seat and got in his face. He didn't look pissed per se--unhappy and frustrated and very masculine, perhaps.
"Shut the fuck up about that, Gerard, geez! You really do know how to go on about things! I don't pity you anymore, because you're happy. You were sad and moping around my house, and I fixed it and made you happy. What else do you want? Can't you stop shitting youself for one minute and think about wiL--about how, fuck, he looks at you? How he attaches himself to you without a moment's hesitation?"
"That's his job." Gerard hated that part of the equation. WiL wasn't doing all of this because he liked Gerard. Gerard knew that some of it was that, he wasn't blind, but wiL wasn't riding off of pure emotion when he would listen to every word Gerard said like he was afraid of being kicked out if he did something wrong. He nearly had a breakdown in the kitchen the other day when he attempted to make cookies and burned them. Gerard had eaten a few anyway, hiding his face behind his hair when the taste got too much for him.
"You are retarded."
"Your face is retarded. And ugly," Gerard shot back. But--yeah, that insult didn't work anymore since Mikey had found out that girls hung all over him without the glasses and stupid spiked up hair.
"You're ugly. And fat."
Gerard watched as Mikey's face slowly formed into the 'oh fuck, I didn't just say that' face.
Because Gerard fucking knew that he was fat, and Mikey wasn't supposed to say something that was true. This was make-believe insult time.
"Shit. Gerard, you know I was just kidding. Don't. Don't you fucking dare start moping again. Gerard! Argh!" Mikey looked like he was about to rip his hair out. Gerard kinda wanted to see that. It really wasn't fair that Mikey got to be skinny and straight and have pretty hair. He watched his brother ascend the basement stairs three at a time on his stupid spindly, girly legs and the door slammed shut moments later.
Because yes, leaving the ex-junkie, existential crisis-having, overdramatic, depressed fat guy in a damp dark basement alone with only the memories of Ambien and Xanax floating off the walls was an excellent idea. Almost as good as Frank's idea to tackle him in the middle of a dirty lot with a burning Bob in the background.
Apparently, Mikey's not as iniquitous as Gerard pegged him, because within the time Gerard had pushed his fat self up off the creaky mattress, scuffed the floor all the way to one of the walls where his drawings used to be taped and reached out to stroke the wall like he'd heard some people do with missing limbs--albeit this one was a big, big appendage that caused nothing but grief and some dust on his fingertips--the door was swinging open again.
He didn't turn around to greet his brother, because he was still really mad and not willing to give Mikey the satisfaction of knowing that Gerard hasn't clawed off his own face yet, but he did swing around when he heard his name in that cute little accent.
"Gerard?" WiL stood in the middle of his basement biting his lip. The kid had almost as many nervous ticks as Gerard, but his were endearing while Gerard's just advertised that he didn't have acceptable-by-human-terms hygiene. "Are you good? Mikey leaved you."
Gerard tried not to smile, but it tugged at his lips unmercifully until his eyes squinted at the naive little boy that wiL always came off as. Sweet and constantly worried about Gerard, and it was uplifting to know that not all of that was fueled by his obligation. WiL generally worried about Gerard's well-being--but these days, almost everyone did.
"Yeah. He did." Gerard slumped back down onto the soiled sheets of his mattress, yelping and tugging a dust-covered remote out from under his ass moments later. But, he decided wiL's badly-hidden giggle was worth the pain. "Hey, c'mere," Gerard said, trying to sound at least a little indignant, just a little bit like wiL didn't have all the answers to making Gerard's mood swing from pissed to happy and cuddly. He patted his lap and made grabby hands that made wiL laugh again and settle himself down on Gerard's knees slowly.
"What happened?" WiL had the soothing caretaker schick down. He let his fingers curry through Gerard's hair and his lips rest against his ear, the whole shitty deal. Sympathetic look, check. Nosing into Gerard's jaw, check.
"Mikey called me fat..."
WiL's face was a blank for a moment, and Gerard had despairingly decided that the Mikey Syndrome had rubbed off on his husband, dammit, and he was going to have to kill his little brother.
When wiL's fingers found purchase on Gerard's fleshy hip and squeezed, Gerard winced. If even wiL wasn't going to take pity on him--he needed to call Frank and bitch about how everyone in his family hated him.
"Tu n'êtes pas gros. Tu êtes parfait."
Gerard didn't know what that meant, so, "Ce qui?" He could French right back at wiL.
"You are not fat." WiL poked again at Gerard's side, low on his hips where he carried all his fat. "Perfect. Cuddly," and to demonstrate he looped his arms right around the belt of fat Gerard was now wishing away and snuggled his face into Gerard's shirt. It didn't really help to make Gerard feel any better--now it was just so much easier for wiL to feel his fat rolls, and he was so sure that wiL was secretly disgusted but had to be sweet to Gerard because he's afraid of being kicked out.
Alicia flitted down the stairs, probably at a bad moment, but it was pretty transparent that she didn't care.
"Okay, cuties, time for dinner!" she announced, clapping her hands together and looking like she was torn between being starry-eyed at the cute, adorable, awkward couple and killing Gerard for being so close to her wiL.
Gerard decided after he had another agony of inner turmoil at dinner when he realized he knew which foods wiL didn't like without asking, that he was doomed.
He reached across the table to grab the bowl of guacamole (he hated guacamole with a passion however, so both Mikey and his mom looked flabbergasted when he picked up the dip) and set it in front of wiL's plate. He skipped on the olives and shredded cheese because wiL didn't like those, and went to work fixing up all the things he did like before going to fix his own plate. The stares fixed on him didn't slow him down either. He already knew he was doomed, duh, and he didn't need Mikey giving him the 'You are doomed' eyes from across the table.
"Stop staring," Gerard said to Mikey without looking over at him. He was really too busy crushing his nachos with his fork to avert his attention elsewhere.
"I never knew you could be so domestic."
"Shut up with your cat terms, Michael."
"...no, it can be applied to humans too."
"Nuh-uh, humans come domesticated at birth. Stupid," Gerard muttered around a mouthfull of taco salad. When he finally did look up at his brother, he wasn't met with the doomed, Apocalyptic look he was expecting. Mikey was smiling. He was smiling through the insults with warm eyes and one hand in his wife's.
So. The world wasn't ending?
He looked over at his mom as well, just in case they were all in on something he just wasn't getting. It seemed like his family did that alot. When one of their cousins spilled hot chocolate all over Gerard's sketchbook and RUINED it, his mom and his brother just glanced at each other over the table covertly while Gerard sat and stewed in his confusion until his brother finally broke the bad news to him after looking for his book for hours.
"What?" Gerard frowned and turned to wiL. "Is there something I don't know? Like...oh no, did Bunny die?"
Alicia sucked in her breath and looked like a stress-relief toy, eyes bugging out of her skull. Her answer was a squeaky 'no'. No, no, we do not even talk about such things.
WiL shrugged. "Je ne sais pas."
"Vous n'êtes aucune aide," Gerard sighed. The French thing was definitely...different. He never thought of himself as the type to actually learn a language, but he was steadily doing it, picking up on things when he sat in on wiL's tutoring sessions and from just wiL himself. It felt like he was bettering himself, doing more than he ever thought possible, and it caused a little swelling and popping in his chest when he could look at wiL's pleased smile when they could talk in French.
"What the hell? Gerard!" Mikey threw a nacho chip aimed at Gerard's direction, but no matter how pretty Mikey had become, he was still a fucking nerd who couldn't throw worth a shit. "You know French? When did this happen?"
Gerard leaned his head on his hands and sighed overdramatically. What? He liked to be dramatic. "Oh, I don't know, since I married someone from France?" He flung a diced tomato at his brother's face and it stuck to his cheek. With a cry of anguish--aka, brotherly competition and retaliation--Mikey flung a spoonful of onion pieces in Gerard's general direction--and got hit by Alicia when one of the tiny white pieces fell on wiL.
Gerard chuckled and threw the towel at wiL, shaking out his own hair freely. His mom had taken everyone outside and hosed them off after the food fight (and after ten whole minutes of her yelling at Gerard and Mikey), and now wiL and Gerard were downstairs in his bedroom toweling themselves dry and sharing laughs.
"My mom's kind of crazy," he explained with a little smile as he leaned forward to let his hair drip on the floor.
WiL gigged as he cleaned out his ears. "I like her."
Gerard, accompanied by a wistful sigh, clapped his hand down on wiL's shoulder. "Welcome to the family, wiL. "
WiL rolled over onto his side, winced at the loud creaks as the springs shifted under his weight after years and years without use, and hoped that he didn't wake up Gerard, who was nestled between his chest and the wall now.
Gerard really didn't sleep much. Ever. When wiL would go to bed, Gerard would still be in the middle of some important project and he told wiL not to wait up for him, and he didn't because they both knew Gerard wouldn't be in bed until around dawn. But wiL loved to sleep. The bed he shared with Gerard was amazing, a Queen size with clean sheets and a big blue Teen Titans blanket that didn't itch his face when he wanted to burrow down into the covers and hide from the sun when morning rolled around. Once upon a time in the dreary haze wiL used to live in he laid on hay and covered himself up with a burlap sack fashioned into a blanket.
It was always a frightening thing to sleep in the barracks with the rats and flies and maybe snakes--wiL hadn't ever seen one in there, but he thought they could be, and just thinking about that made his skin crawl. What if there was a snake hiding in the hay he slept on? What if it only slithered up and down his back at night when he didn't know it?
Worse than the creatures was when wiL was left to his own thoughts. He's always been imaginative, always. Stories could float through his brain in coherent forms, he could picture princes being rescued by much more handsome princes and imagine it was himself being rescued. His favorite was the one he made from the Cinderella tale. The stories could get him through so much--being placed on high walkways to be gawked at, being groped when he followed one of the administrators in bars, the much worse things that he hoped Gerard never found out about. All he had to do was get lost in thought and in beautiful lands of pastels and blurred edges. But sometimes in the dead of the night, among the nasal snores of his 'family' and the sweltering body heat and the miserable smells, his mind went to dark places, visiting the scenarios that could and probably would happen to him when he finally got sold.
Fat, bald old men groping him more forcefully than the slightly-interested men at the bars, whipping him when he did wrong, getting so frustrated at him that they locked him in a cellar or bomb shelter or even just tied him up to a tree and let him starve. That is what all the other boys told him could happen when he was taken away, so he didn't want to go. He was in hell, but he didn't want to die. He didn't want to belong to someone. He wanted to stay in his bed of straw and think happy thoughts about his prince arriving to save him on a unicorn that he named Percible with a pink mane. He wanted to think about what his mom looked like--a thin, small woman with fair hair and dark-rimmed eyes and too many debts for her own good. He didn't want the bad things to invade the only place he had that belonged to himself.
When the call had finally come in that it was wiL's turn, he screamed. He screamed until the back of his throat itched for aloe and someone to extricate the cotton lodged in his mouth. None of his friends helped him either. They stayed back in the shadows as wiL was dragged out of bed and taken away. That was probably the worst wiL had felt ever, that none of his friends, his comrades, were going to miss him or even give him another thought other than, 'Oh, that wiL kid? Yeah, he's gone, went yesterday'. Or four days ago, or now, two months ago.
It had been two months since the morning wiL was awoken to three men pulling him out of bed. Now his only worry was that Gerard wasn't getting enough sleep. The bad thoughts were gone, because Gerard was the best person in the world. WiL wanted to spend forever with him because there had never before been someone who cared like he did, who looked and spoke and acted like he did and who never once made wiL feel like he was being controlled.
Gerard had explained to him, somewhat, that he didn't actually want to be wiL's lover, but that was fine. He was a good cuddler and an even better conversationalist when the language barrier didn't inhibit them too badly, and he was sharing his family with wiL. His mom had welcomed him into the family while he, she, and Alicia were upstairs in the kitchen cooking and Alicia had cooed at him and hugged him and said she was about to cry from her heart being happy.
Yeah, wiL knew the feeling. Every fucking time he saw Gerard smiling or reading the newspaper or smoking his heart did summersaults on a wire suspended from the Eiffel Tower all the way to Maine, to their house. He wished he was back there now. Oh, he liked Gerard's old house just fine, but it wasn't home, and he wanted to be home with Gerard.
He had homesickness. He had a home to be homesick over. He tried not to wiggle too much.
WiL woke up in the middle of the night--early morning, twilight, the dark before the light, whatever the time no one should be awake is called, much much earlier than he ever woke up at home with his back aching and panic pounding behind his eyes. He winced into the dark and rolled over, squinting against the pain to see where he was. For a minute he laid still, letting his eyes adjust until Gerard's pale face popped up out of the dark. The shadows of his eyes shone and wiL knew he was awake like he always was when he needed sleep.
"Gerard?" There wasn't really any need to whisper down in the basement with both boys awake.
"Yeah, wiL?" Late-night talking was a common thing between the two. It shouldn't be, not to wiL because Gerard needed sleep, dammit, and he was just so hooked on all forms of caffiene and online games that he didn't notice he went through his days half-dead. He tugged greedily on Gerard's collar, pulling him on top of his stomach as his own little human blanket.
"Go to sleep, okay?" That won't really happen, and he knew it, and Gerard knew that he knew it but he didn't know why it was always the first thing out of his mouth when he woke up like this.
I know," wiL sighed. "You're not tired." He tucked his hand up under Gerard's shirt to rub his back. "Sleep." Like the very word would help somehow. He'd never known it to, not when it was commanded or just a suggestion, or, as he was putting it a plead because he just wanted Gerard to be alive in the morning and not--ergh, zombified with an IV drip full of caffiene the whole day.
Gerard just mumbled more of the usual excuses, he wasn't tired, he didn't need to sleep, he could just take a nap that he never really will. His head dipped down to supersede his pillow for wiL's chest, fingers tugging at his sleeves because he needed to always be doing something with his fingers and now wasn't the time for a cigarette or badly-humored comic about talking eyeballs who travel to a distant country to find the bodies they belong to.
Gerard really wasn't as heavy as wiL thought he might be. Just a warm weight settled over his heart and stomach and legs reminding him that he was with the amazing person he liked so much, that kind of really got him sometimes. His hair was soft and pliant between wiL's fingers as he found his own aberration, his breath warm as it soaked through wiL's shirt. Both of wiL's hands were on Gerard under the guise of lulling him back to sleep, but wiL was also a tyrant when it came to Gerard. He liked to touch the warm white skin and kiss and smell and taste and breathe. He liked when Gerard flooded his senses, filled all the places that the bad thoughts could hide and flushed them out.
And before he could stop himself--since Gerard didn't know that much French, right?--he mumbled a quiet "Je t'aime," against the crown of Gerard's head wrapped in a kiss. He felt Gerard freeze on top of him, and then he knew he fucked up, because of course Gerard would know what it meant, everyone knew those words in French and shit, he really really didn't mean to make things weird between them because it was all going so well, too well, and Gerard had already made it clear that they weren't crossing that line.
He squeezed his eyes shut as Gerard's head moved and his face popped into view. It was too much to look.
The voice that replied to him was hesitant, laced with something wiL couldn't work out but it wasn't really 'this has gone too far and I'm kicking you out'. "I--I love you too, wiL. 'Night."
He watched intently as the little circles of yellow....egg-ified? Congealed? As they did whatever the fuck it was they did to come out as edible. Around him, the sounds of life circulated through the house, Alicia and Gerard's mom at the dining room table talking in clipped tones about grandchildren, Gerard and Mikey in the living room both crying out in anguish as Mikey's on-screen character got obliterated time and time again. He heard Gerard exclaim that 'My brother is useless, Mom, why did you have to birth such a sorry excuse for a human being?' and his mom shout back, 'Gerard Arthur Way, apologize to your baby brother right now! What if he stepped outside this house in two minutes and died, huh, then you would be crushed that those were your last words to him!'
WiL smiled slightly at the argument and turned back to the stove. As much as Gerard's mom and Alicia insisted, he really wasn't part of this family. He appreciated them acting like it, but he never could be. He didn't grow up knowing all of them, didn't even grow up in the same country or hemisphere watching the same things or acting the same way as a child.
"Isn't my brother such a loser?" Gerard asked when he stepped into the kitchen, hopping up onto the counter beside wiL to watch him cook.
WiL smiled and batted at his leg. "That's not nice, Gerard," he told him with a growing smile.
"'s true, though." He bumped wiL's hip with his foot. "He sucks."
From the living room, wiL could hear Mikey protesting loudly to his mom how much of an asshole Gerard was and giggled.
"Hey, I'm not an asshole...I just tell the truth! If you can't handle criticism, you suck!" Gerard frowned for a minute. "Which just furthers my argument that you suck!"
Mikey's indignant voice floated out of somewhere closer, probably in the dining room with the girls. "You suck!"
WiL wondered if this was what Mrs. Way had to go through every morning when Gerard and Mikey were still living with her. She was a brave woman.
"You both suck," he called out.
"WiL, I love you!" That was Alicia.
Gerard fixed him with a pout and shimmied off of the counter, coming to stand next to him with his chin resting on wiL's shoulder. "I'm hurt." He stuck his bottom lip out as far as it would go and whimpered. Mikey told wiL yesterday that this was how Gerard lured people into his web of apathy and over-thirty emo-ness.
"Tu n'êtes pas."
Gerard fake-sniffled and buried his head into wiL's neck. "Am too. You hurt my feelings."
WiL twisted his head to kiss Gerard's hair. "Too bad."
"Yeah! See, see Gerard! Even wiL won't take pity on you because you're an asshole!"
WiL stepped away from Gerard so his head was up and his pout was in view. "You're not an asshole, Gerard." He leaned up to kiss the pout away.
"Le petite déjeuner est prêt!" he called out to the house.
"That means Breakfast is ready!" Gerard echoed in the preferred language.