What happened after Gerard blacked out? A flashback chapter.
By the way, has anyone noticed something about the chapter titles?
Chapter Three: A Whiter Shade Of Pale
The last thing Mikey expected was for the woman to turn and shoot at them again. Instinctively his body tensed and his eyes closed themselves tightly as he waited for more pain to indicate one of the bullets had made contact. The pain didn't come, but he heard what he recognized as the crash-tinkle of breaking glass and then a horrible choking sound met his ears. Mikey forced his eyes open, and then he wished he hadn't as the source of the sound came into view. It was Gerard who was making the sound. His brother was lying on the pavement, both hands clutching his throat, blood leaking through his fingers, gasping for air like a fish out of water.
"No!" Mikey yelled, though he knew that did nothing to help the situation.
"What the fuck?"
It was Frank who had spoken. He, Ray, and Bob had been shocked when the window shattered, and had hurried outside to see what was going on. What they didn't expect to see was Mikey kneeling on the pavement next to Gerard, who was bleeding from his throat and struggling for breath. Mikey acknowledged his bandmates' presence but he had blocked all sound and thought, excluding that of his brother. He knew that somehow, somehow, he had to at least try to stop the bleeding, but all he had was his t-shirt--
He whipped it off, not caring when the action hurt his arm, and gently eased Gerard's hands away from his throat, then wadded the shirt up into a ball and pressed it against the wound. Gerard's eyes rolled in Mikey's direction, and the look Mikey saw there on his big brother's face was enough to put him in tears, and he had to turn away briefly to brush them away. At that moment, Mikey wished that Gerard wasn't so damn expressive. The look on Gerard's face seemed to speak the words that he couldn't, and Mikey could've sworn his hazel eyes were screaming at him, "Help me, it hurts so much. I don't wanna die, Mikes, help me, I don't wanna die."
As much as he wanted to, Mikey knew he couldn't help him any more; he had called the ambulance and tried to help stem the bleeding with his shirt, but the material was already almost drenched entirely with his brother's blood, and so Mikey took Gerard's hand in his own, the only thing he really could do. When Gerard squeezed his hand, Mikey smiled slightly despite more tears and began speaking to him, an affirmation that he hoped would somehow help with Gerard's ordeal.
"Just hold on a bit longer, Gee. Stay with me. I already called the ambulance remember? It should be here any second now, Gee. C'mon, don't give up on me. You're not a quitter, dammit, I know that, you're a fighter and help's coming and..."
He trailed off, brushing at his tears. The grip on his hand, although feeble, was weakening, the rapid, jerky rises and falls of Gerard's chest slowing to spasmodic twitches.
"Gerard I can't do this alone please don't die..."
And then those familiar hazel eyes were misting over, his chest stopped moving, and it seemed, right there and then, that Gerard had become a statue.
"Gerard? Can you hear me? Gee? Oh shit, FRANKIE HE'S NOT BREATHING!"
As much as Frank wanted to help Mikey, he knew there was nothing he could do but try to comfort the bassist. He stole a quick, cautious glance at the woman standing a few feet away, rocking on her heels and smiling vacantly, before he made his way over to Mikey and sat down beside him. Almost immediately, two gunshots rang out behind him. Startled, he whirled around, just in time to see Bob curse loudly to the sky and fumble to tie his hooded jacket around his leg. The second shot, it seemed, had apparently been aimed at Ray but had missed him completely. Then she turned the gun on him and Frank felt every muscle in his body freeze solid as the woman pulled the trigger. He felt a sting on the left side of his neck...but nothing more. He let out a breath he didn't realise he'd been holding and shakily he turned back to comfort Mikey, who still held onto Gerard's hand like he was holding onto life itself. No matter how hard he tried, the rhythm guitarist couldn't tear his eyes away from Gerard's still form. He was a stranger to Frank, this helpless man, this impostor; the Gerard he knew was not as silent, not as still, forever restless, whether playing with his hair or rubbing his eyes out of nervous habit, and talking endlessly about whatever was on his mind. The Gerard that Frankie knew was dramatic, twisted, but certainly not expressionless--
Oh shut up. You're acting like he's already dead.
"Where the fuck is that ambulance?" Mikey hissed suddenly, and Frank recoiled at the venom in his voice, and looked at the bassist in surprise. Mikey had never used such a harsh tone, though Frank knew the question wasn't even directed at anyone.
As if on cue, he heard sirens in the distance, gaining in volume every second.
There was one more gunshot, and the thud of a body hitting the floor. Frank looked around again and saw the woman lying dead on the pavement, half her head gone and the pistol lying uselessly by her side. She would no longer be a threat to anyone, but it seemed the damage had already been done. By the time the ambulance screeched to a halt, Mikey was weeping freely, babbling through his tears that Gerard's pulse was gone.
"Dammit Gerard, don't do this to me...You're not a quitter, you're a fighter. Don't you fucking quit on me now...don't quit..."
Unwilling to believe what he was hearing, Frank got up, sprinted to the ambulance and began hassling the paramedics, telling them to move their asses because there was a man without a pulse who would die if they didn't fucking help him.
There were four paramedics in all. Three attended to Gerard, one attempting to calm Mikey down, reassuring him that his brother wasn't too far gone; they could still save him, while the other two hoisted the frontman onto a stretcher-bed, equipping him with an oxygen mask and an IV tower. The fourth dealt with Bob's injury, and the drummer told him calmly that it wasn't serious (his blue eyes drifted anxiously in Gerard's general direction); however, the medic helped him to the ambulance anyway.
It left only minutes after it had arrived, sirens howling and blue and red lights dancing frantically, Bob, Gerard and Mikey its only occupants, except the paramedics, who worked frenetically in the hopes that another life could be saved. One spared herself the stress, tending to Mikey's and Bob's injuries. She was only a trainee, and this was her first day working in the field. She was a woman with Asian features who looked in her early thirties, with straight, black, shoulder-length hair and a warm smile, and it was she who sat next to Mikey and tried to console him as he huddled in the corner of the ambulance, dark eyes still frozen on his brother's motionless form, one limp hand still grasped in his own. Gerard was breathing again, albeit faintly (Mikey was glad, at least, for that small mercy), but was as ashen as death itself, a shade of white so abnormal that no amount of makeup could ever come close to copying it exactly. Mikey tried to pay no attention to the heart monitor as its beeps resounded through the cabin, a noise he thought he'd never hear in reality, the tempo much too slow for his liking, but it proved practically impossible to ignore, being the only sound present. He tried to ignore the coldness of Gerard's hand, occasionally giving it a light squeeze as if he could share some of his warmth, but as much as he tried, that hand never got any warmer. Mikey knew for a fact that Gerard almost never had cold hands, considering his myriad collection of gloves, save for sometimes in winter when he'd leave his gloves off all day and then touch his hands to Mikey's cheeks, asking with a smirk, "are my hands cold?" to which Mikey agreed shrilly, caught offguard by the sudden chill of Gerard's skin against his.
A tiny smile touched the corner of Bob Bryar's mouth as one of the medics slipped an IV needle into the back of Gerard's free hand.
He looked up.
"How freaked out is Gerard gonna be when he sees that?" He gestured to the IV.
Bob thought he saw a smile twitch on Mikey's lips, before the bassist returned his gaze to the gurney's occupant. He took comfort in knowing that the drummer still had hope that Gerard would pull through. Mikey wished he could believe the same, but as far as he was concerned, no one he had heard of had ever survived a gunshot wound to the neck.
A sudden jerk signalled the end of the ambulance's journey, and the paramedics sprang into action once again, tearing apart the connection between both brothers as Gerard was wheeled out as fast as they could manage. Mikey hurled himself out of the ambulance, only to catch a last glimpse of his brother before the doors swung shut on his vision, the feeling of Gerard's hand fading until it ceased to exist completely.
Mikey hoped with all his heart that it wouldn't be the last time he was with his brother, that Gerard would come out of this alive.
At the news desk, top journalist Nadine McCarthy had found her next top story.