The aftermath of the failed robbery
“Detective,” a voice cried. “There!”
Gerard sighed with relief as he was granted his wish. He turned his head roughly in the direction of the sound, before almost immediately having the blindfold removed. Squinting in even the dim light, Gerard was relieved to finally have the gag removed too.
“Are you Gerard or Mikey Way?” the officer asked.
“Gerard,” he gasped as the knotted cloth was pulled gently from his mouth. “Please help Mikey.”
Another police officer knelt at Mikey’ s side and removed his blindfold and gag as Gerard was untied. In only a few more minutes, both brothers were freed from their bonds and, finally standing, fell into a quivering hug.
“Mikes, are you okay?”
“I’m okay, Gee, it feels so good to be able to see again!” the younger man replied before glancing down at the gunshot wound still preventing Gerard from placing any weight on it. “But what about you? Your leg?”
The police officer nearest glanced down and noticed the bloodied tear in the fabric, a few inches above Gerard’s knee.
“I’m Detective Briggs,” he introduced himself gruffly. “What happened to your leg?”
“You know who he is, but not what happened to him?” Mikey drew himself up and eyed the detective with suspicion. “One of your men shot him at the bank without first establishing his identity.”
The detective frowned and nodded. “Mikey Way. You’re the lawyer, eh?”
“Yeah,” Mikey frowned angrily. “And don’t think I’m going to let this go, Detective. You shot an unarmed man, a hostage, without warning or any attempt to identify him.”
“It wasn’t me,” he snapped defensively.
“You were the officer in charge,” Mikey replied slowly and assuredly. “You are deemed to be responsible. The buck stops with you!”
“Well, I remember it differently, and I think you’ll find my men do too,” Briggs scowled.
Mikey frowned angrily. “Listen to me, Detective: my job is cutting through lies and getting to the truth. Don’t think you can lie you way out of this, because I won’t let you.”
“First we’ll find out if it’s you on trial. You’re both coming with me. I’ve got questions.”
“Gerard needs urgent medical attention,” Mikey argued as his arm was grabbed roughly.
“He’ll get it at the station,” Briggs snapped.
“Hey!” Gerard snapped, pushing the police officer’s hand from Mikey’s arm. “Are we under arrest or something?”
“Not yet,” the detective replied, narrowing his eyes.
“Not yet!” Gerard fumed. “Have you forgotten that Mikey was kidnapped?”
“And you know full well that he cooperated fully with the bank and the police,” Mikey cut in, angry with Briggs’ tone.
“Well,” Briggs smiled insincerely, “we’ll discuss all that at the station.”
Still angry at their treatment, Mikey and Gerard allowed themselves to be led out of the empty warehouse and away to the waiting cars. As the last man left, a tall man with almost shoulder length curly hair slipped through a door near the back and headed swiftly down the fire escape at the back of the building. Crossing the street, he rounded a corner and waited. Within moments a car pulled up and he slid into the passenger seat.
“Did it go well?” Frank asked hopefully.
“Hard to say,” Ray replied as he lit a cigarette and shook his head as Frank drove off. “I expected them to be suspicious, but from the looks of things, they were practically under arrest.”
Frank slammed his hand down on the steering wheel. He was angry; Mikey had talked them into this, none of them were happy with the idea, but he had been insistent. Frank had listened to a long speech on how if he and Gerard never showed up, they would either be considered guilty or dead. How it was much safer and cleaner if they appeared to have been released and gave plausible accounts of what had happened to them. Frank had warned Mikey that, although he was a lawyer, he had an endearing naivety when it came to matters pertaining to the police and their keenness to resolve cases, regardless of the guilt or innocence of the defendant. He had pleaded with Mikey to see his side, to see reason. Frank had been deterred by his insistence that it had to be done, and the sheer strength of his argument. Frank now understood why Mikey was a successful lawyer; he had managed with ease to convince Frank that he was right. But, in his eyes, as he reflected, Mikey had forgotten that Frank had been an equally successful criminal and evading the police was something he was exceptional at. Not only was he very good at it, he appreciated the necessity of it. That was something Mikey was lacking and now he had allowed him to walk straight into their hands. He could only hope that he would be able to walk out unscathed by the experience.
“I told him not to go!” Frank snapped, angry with himself for not standing firm. “I should have stopped him!”
Ray sighed deeply at Frank’s frustration. “Frank, if it’s any consolation, I think he’s right. They have to do this, or it’ll look suspicious.”
Frank exhaled and his shoulders sagged as he pulled into a small parking lot.
“It doesn’t make me worry less or feel better about it,” he sighed.
“I know,” Ray nodded. “He’s brave, I’ll give him that.”
“Ray,” Frank drew his lips into a thin line. “He can’t go to prison, it’ll kill him. They’ll kill him.”
“He won’t, Frank,” Ray replied comfortingly. “Seriously, there’s no way.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yeah, I do,” the taller man insisted.
“How?” Frank asked, his voice small and hopeful.
“Because he’s a genius.” Ray laughed. “You two are so right for each other!”
Frank smiled thinly. Ray’s certainty was comforting but he was still unconvinced. Now it was just a matter of waiting.
“Smoke?” Briggs pointed the open packet at Gerard.
Momentarily hesitating, he took a cigarette and lit it with the Detective’s lighter. Drawing on the nicotine, Gerard relaxed slightly. One day, he swore to himself, he would kick this particular addiction.
“So,” Briggs took a seat opposite him in the small interview room. “Shall we take it from the top?”
Gerard sighed deeply; he felt a second wave of anger wash over him. They had both been there for over an hour, being treated like criminals. In separate interview rooms, Gerard wondered how Mikey was holding up. He almost smiled as he imagined his brother walking all over them. Mikey gave the impression of fragility with his tall slender frame and delicate features, but he was tough, he had to be in his job.
“Are you listening, Way?” Briggs interrupted his thoughts. “From the top.”
“Detective Briggs, my name is Gerard; you can call me that or Mister Way, but you will not call me Way. I’m not a criminal and I won’t be spoken to like one.”
Briggs raised an eyebrow; it seemed that neither of the Way brothers were going to be easily intimidated.
“Why don’t you come clean?”
“Come clean?” Gerard laughed. “Do you guys really talk like that?”
“Mister Way!” Gerard snapped in return.
Briggs leaned over the table, ignoring Gerard’s interruption. “We know you were involved, so stop stalling!”
“Okay,” Gerard tipped his head slightly to his right. “What do you know? You know that I was contacted by a gang of thieves after Mikey’s kidnapping. You know that I spoke to the bank and the police immediately. You know that I recommended the jewels be removed from the vault. That I helped set up a trap for them. It’s not my fault they escaped and used me and Mikey to do it!”
“How did they escape?” Briggs demanded.
“I told you! Through the bunker!” Gerard yelled in return.
“And how did they know about it?”
“I don’t know how they knew, they just did,” Gerard replied, his shoulders sagging as he looked down. “They knew it existed, but didn’t know where it was. They forced me to tell them.”
“Now we’re getting somewhere,” Briggs stood upright once more and began to pace the room. “Forced you?”
“They held a gun to Mikey’s head,” Gerard glanced up, his expression one of pain. “I’d done everything I could to stop the robbery, but I wasn’t going to risk my brother. Besides, they hadn’t managed to get anything, I definitely wasn’t going to risk his life over nothing!”
Briggs frowned; Gerard was good. No jury would believe he’d been anything but a dutiful employee and a loving brother.
“That doesn’t tie in with what you’re brother’s said,” he lied, hoping for a response.
Gerard stared up at him, clearly unimpressed.
“I doubt that. We were both there, the only difference being he was blindfolded.”
Briggs smirked at the words, he had seen a hole in the story and like a cat he was about to pounce.
“Yes, really,” Gerard replied with irritation clear in his tone.
“Why blindfold him and not you? You’d seen them, why did it matter that he didn’t?”
Gerard looked blankly up whilst inside alarm bells were ringing. It was an element of the story that they had overlooked. He tried desperately to remain calm as he thought of a reply. Racking his brains for something plausible, his mind almost fogged under the stress.
Even though Gerard was unaware of it, the seemingly natural pause worked in his favour. Briggs stared down at Gerard’s puzzled expression, his earlier conviction that Gerard had been party to the robbery fast being replaced by belief in his story. The detail seemed to him to be too important to be overlooked, and in the case of cover story would have elicited an instant reply. Gerard’s pause to consider the question seemed only to prove his case.
“I don’t know,” he replied, for the lack of anything else to say. “They needed me to lead them in, I don’t know why they had Mikey blindfolded. Maybe to upset me? Maybe to stop him escaping? I don’t know.”
“Okay,” Briggs suddenly announced. “You can go.”
“Go?” Gerard repeated taken aback by the sudden change in tone.
“Yeah, go. We’ve got your statement and description, you’re free to go,” Briggs replied trying to sound casual, as if all victims were treated in this way. “If we catch the guys, you’ll have to come back to identify them and give evidence in court.”
“You’ve had me here for an hour and a half treating me like I was one of them and that’s all you have to say?” Gerard yelled angrily.
“Call it the ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’ routine.”
“Where was the good cop?” Gerard snapped.
“Believe me, Way, I was the good cop!”
Gerard stared up furious at his behaviour. “Which one did Mikey get?”
Briggs rolled his eyes. “Ask him yourself; he’s been waiting for you for forty minutes. Now pick up your stuff and get out.”
“Sounds like he got Rookie Cop,” he sneered in reply.
“Get out, Way, while you can.”
Gerard glowered, unable to believe he’d been put through that whole experience. The only thing that cheered his spirits was knowing that Mikey had been waiting for him all that time. He must have done what he expected and had wiped the floor with them, running legal circles around the police who had no case against them at all.
Now all that was left was for them both to quit their jobs. Mikey would have to move back from Chicago, but that would be easy enough, he had a spare room and having his brother around all the time again would be great – much better than occasional visits. But working together too, now that would be awesome.