The story of our dearly beloved, drug-addict rockstar continues.
Anyway, superthanks to asherschick for being the best fuckin' beta ever. And oh yes, this is the SECOND TO LAST chapter of this story
And speaking of this story, I'd like it to turn green =] the whole freakin' thing. so if you wanna make me happy, go to the story index (the page that lists all the chapters) and add a "/rate" to the URL.
So it would look like this: http://www.ficwad.com/story/86557/rate
And then rate like you would rate any regular chapter. That would be really awesome. By the way, that's how you rate entire stories. Like, after the story index url, add a "/rate". I know, amazing. But if not, screw it, you'll still be able to read this chapter.
Chapter 19 – Small
So this was how it was going to end. Gerard, unconscious on the floor behind the fully drawn stage curtains. Ray, biting his stubby fingernails until they bled. Frank leaning close by, in tears. And Bob—big, muscular Bob— trembling. The end. The end of everything they had worked for. Yet, the Earth kept spinning, people kept living their lives, the screams of concerned fans had died out… Somewhere, music was still playing. It made Mikey feel so useless, insignificant. Compared to how vast the universe was, he and his friends were all worth less than a speck of dust. If this band fell apart, if Gerard were to die, would anything really happen? No. Maybe for a few days, weeks, or even months it would stay in the news and cause sadness among fans. And then what? All of it would just be a cliché, another rock n’ roll tragedy. Mikey hated thinking in that manner, but it seemed like the inevitable truth. He sniffed in the trail of mucus running out of his nose, wishing Gerard would wake up already. Better yet, he wished he would wake up from this long, painful nightmare. Maybe that was all it was. Maybe in reality, he was his fourteen year-old self, lying in bed and dreaming all this up because he had an overactive imagination and didn’t like girls yet. Upon thinking that, he laughed at himself. What a childish idea; wishes like that never came true. No human in the planet deserved that kind of convenience. He sullenly looked at Gerard, lying almost lifelessly on the wooden floor. They had decided against moving him because of the small drops of blood that had trickled out from the back of his head when Frank tried to lift him up. Now, Mikey was kneeling beside him to press a folded sheet of paper towel against the cut to stop the bleeding. Under his breath, he was muttering several prayers; begging for that high and mighty being up in heaven to make sure this turned out all right. Extending his hand, Mikey gave his brother’s a squeeze. He wondered if Gerard could feel it. If he could hear the ambulance sirens, slowly but surely approaching. If he knew how misery seemed to occupy every nook and cranny of the stage. If he could feel the teardrop that had just plopped down on his cheek. Mikey shut his eyes tightly and forced his tears back inside, hearing the paramedics come in through the side door. The fucking end.
Through watery eyes, Frank stared at Gerard, then at Mikey, and finally at the two men who was lifting the older Way brother onto a stretcher. They spoke in urgent whispers, discussing Gerard's situation. He heard the words head injury and tensed up. All of this seemed so unreal, like something that would happen in an overdramatic television show. A perfectly scripted story about some depressed, bisexual, drug-addict rock star who finally collapsed onstage from exhaustion. But that’s all it could be: a story. It couldn’t be real life. It couldn’t happen to Gerard because he was too… heavenly, perfect. Untouchable. Frank’s fingers curled and uncurled, a nervous habit. Sometimes, the only thing he could do was cry. Sometimes, it was the only thing he wanted to do too.. And nobody would be able to make him feel better except…
One person. A paramedic announced that only one person would be allowed to ride in the ambulance to the emergency room. The rest would have to follow in another car or taxi. Frank’s heart leapt into his throat. He wanted to be there, holding Gerard’s hand and looking into his eyes when he awoke.. He had to use every ounce of his will power to keep his mouth shut and allow Mikey to take the spot. When the bassist turned around and looked at him, silently asking the question, he had to torture himself in order to say, “You go ahead.” There was an ache in his heart once he heard the ambulance wail, moving farther and farther away. He turned from his post near the door and wandered back to where Bob and Ray were standing. Just as he was about to open his mouth, the side door burst open once more. In walked a police officer with a notepad clutched in his hand. He approached the three remaining My Chemical Romance members and stated that he needed to ask a few questions, just for legal records. Frank sighed and wandered away wordlessly. He didn’t care if it was rude; the last thing he wanted to do was answer a bunch of provocative questions. Cops sucked. He just wanted to see Gerard. Hold his hand. Kiss his lips. He closed his eyes and took deep breaths to calm himself down.
With what could have been the flick of a switch, the lights turned back on, bringing the clean, white hospital room into view. Along with that came Gerard’s thoughts, senses, and memories. It was unusually and unpleasantly quick; the pain throbbing in his skull, plus his obvious embarrassment came rushing back.
The part of the concert that was freshest in his memory was a loud “Boooo!”
Oh god. In all his years onstage, he had never been booed before. How could he screw up that bad? He had made a complete fool of himself and more importantly, his band. Would anyone ever want to see one of their shows again? Gerard tossed and turned on the bed, unsuccessfully trying to get himself comfortable. This was entirely his fault. Blood rushed to his cheeks and he kicked off the bed sheet covering his body. Fuck, he was so upset that if there was a gun nearby, he would have shot himself. For real. He deserved all the pain he was in right now. He deserved it if his band mates hated him. He deserved it if he didn’t have a single measly fan left.
The part that got him the most was that he had never messed up even one concert when he was high. But this past one had to be the worst in recorded history. It basically proved that Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, couldn’t exist without the drugs. How could he when Gerard Way, the fat, invisible high-schooler was always in the back of his mind mocking him? Telling him, “This is what you are without cocaine.” He wanted to smash his skull to pieces for making him feel this way. So worthless. His confidence wasn’t just low, it was a void. How could he possibly get better if the sense of self-hatred continued to overbear everything else? Just as he began to cry, he heard footsteps entering to room. He craned his neck to see who was coming.
“Hey!” Mikey exclaimed, darting to his bedside, “Oh my God, I’m so glad you’re awake. We’ve all been here since last night but the doctor wouldn’t let us in until this morning. The rest of the guys are eating lunch right now, but I…oh, I should get Frank, he was so upset, and so was I and…Gee, I’m so glad you’re all right.” He smiled and shuffled his feet, stopping for a breath.
Gerard weakly returned a grin, brushing his palm along his watery eyes.
“Hey, you’re crying,” Mikey frowned, “Does your head hurt? You had to get a few stitches, but that was it. What’s wrong?”
Gerard swallowed hard and sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. For a while, he just stared at his legs, poking out from his green hospital robe. They were so pale that even under the light brown hairs, he could see the green veins running down to his feet. Even lower down, his pedicured toenails and hairless toes wiggled. Eventually, he diverted his attention back to his brother.
“Well,” he tried to sound casual, “I kind of fucked up the show. I wish I could’ve forgotten that while I was out, but I guess I deserve this.” He let out a hollow laugh, “I feel like a fucking loser, though.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” Mikey said quickly, “You were throwing up and you were tired from all that…whatever you were doing to yourself…” he mumbled the last part, almost to himself.
“Yeah…” Gerard struggled to speak coherently, “I’m so sorry Mikey.”
The bassist blinked and looked down, “Aw, Gerard, stop it. You’re gonna get better, I know you are. I know you’re really sorry this time.”
Gerard’s throat tightened up and his eyes stung, “Well, it’s not just that. What I mean is, I’m sorry you have to be my brother. I’m probably the worst one ever,” he sniffed, “I’m sorry Mikes.”
“No!” Mikey cried, “I love you Gee, but I wish you’d stop saying shit like that.”
Gerard shrugged his shoulders, “I can’t help it. I just think up this crap and then I say it. I try to keep it in my head, but—”
“Gerard!” a joyful voice interrupted from the corridor.
The singer lifted his head to see Frank running inside the room. Before he knew what was going on, he received a big, wet kiss on the lips. Momentarily, forgetting about his conversation with Mikey, he grinned.
“Hi Frankie,” he waved his fingers.
“Hi Gee,” The guitarist giggled and rocked on his feet cheerfully until he realized that Mikey was standing right next to him, staring. “Oh, hey Mikey. Sorry about that, I just…got a little uh, excited,” he blushed.
“It’s fine,” the younger Way was quiet for a few seconds, “Um…Gerard was just telling me some stuff…about, you know…stuff. But he’s not anymore, so that’s okay.”
The happiness and laughter that filled the room was long gone. No one dared to say anything on-topic.
“So,” Mikey drawled, “Where’s Toro and Bob?”
“They’re coming. They gotta bribe the doctor somehow ‘cause she doesn’t want Gerard to have too many visitors at once,” said Frank.
Conveniently on cue, the two remaining band members strolled into the room, greeting Gerard with soft hellos.
“How’re you feeling, man?” Ray asked, nodding towards his head.
“Okay, I guess,” Gerard answered, “It hurts a lot. I must’ve lost like…a million brain cells.”
“How are you otherwise?”
He laughed dryly, “As good as I’ll get without getting high…”
“You still think you need that crap?” Frank snapped, “Even after what we talked about?”
Silence hung in the air. Staring at the faces of his band mates, Gerard was unsure of what to say. He didn’t even know why they were still hanging around. However, he was extremely grateful for it. They were the only kind of motivation that he had to not jump off a bridge or something. It felt so awkward though, knowing that he had caused each one of them some sort of pain or grief. They deserved a better friend than him. He felt like he owed them so much—something more than an apology. There was only so much the word “sorry” could express, anyway.
“Um, listen…” he commenced, hoping something meaningful would come out of his mouth, “I’m really sorry about all this. I know I said that before, but I really mean it. I totally screwed everything up but…damn, sometimes I feel so terrible about myself that I just can’t handle it anymore. I just wanna be happy again. And I know that’s a dumb excuse to resort to drugs. I know I should just suck it up, but whether you wanna hear it or not, it seriously is a great help. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s gonna kill me. But well…sometimes I just don’t care.” He paused and whispered a yearnful, “I wish I did.” He thought of what to say next. "Did you...did you see how badly I messed up last night? I've never done that at any of the shows where I was high. You don't understand how that makes me feel...I'm so fucking useless. It's not that I don't want to get better, it's not that I want to be some sort of mass-junkie." He coughed miserably, "I just c-can't be anything else."
“Oh, shut up!” Bob said sharply. All eyes fell on him, surprised. It was a rare occasion when Bob said anything in response to Gerard’s insecure rants. “The only person who thinks that is you. If you just stop saying crap like that, you’d feel better already.”
“I know…” Gerard nodded submissively, “But…I can’t stop, it’s almost subconscious. I tell myself to shut up sometimes, but it never works.” he was silent for a moment, “If you guys want the truth, this whole thing started after college. I don’t remember what happened the very first time I got high or anything. All I know is, before that day, I felt like I was getting nowhere./I was just slaving away in some office where no one even knew who I was. But not that anyone /ever did. I was just so tired of feeling sad…and alone…so I just wanted a way out. And it really helped! That’s all I cared about. I was stupid, I didn’t know that I was gonna end up like this… Fucking miserable. I thought I could finally be happy.” He sighed, glancing at the sympathetic expression on Frank’s face. He refused to see if everyone else sported the same one; that would have made him cry. His eyes dropped back to his feet, “Look, I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do with myself, but it doesn’t matter. This is going nowhere. I don’t wanna talk about it anymore. Are we still postponing the tour?”
It took a while for someone to speak up, “Uh…yeah. We just think you need—”
“Okay then.” Gerard cut Ray off, unwilling to listen, “When’s our flight home?”
“Tonight, but we’re thinking we should wait ‘til tomorrow if you need some more time to rest. We don’t want you like, passing out on the airplane,” Mikey reasoned.
“No, I’m okay. I just wanna get out of here. I’m gonna check myself out of the hospital.”
He hopped off the bed and then realized that he was still in his robe. Scanning the room, he spotted his clothes. Grabbing them off the stand next to his bed, he walked to the bathroom, a few feet away. The door slammed shut.
Mikey fidgeted worriedly as he spoke, “I’m so fucking scared. What are we gonna do about him?”
Ray, Bob, and Frank, exchanged nervous glances. It was obvious to everybody in the room that what Gerard really needed was some help. While they could each do their fair share of comforting and advising, it wouldn’t be adequate considering how depressed their friend seemed to be. From what they could understand, Gerard’s situation was grave. Even if his drug addiction was ignored, cast away as a large fraction of “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll”, he had plenty of other problems to worry about. Nevertheless, none of the four men wanted to be the one who suggested a therapist. It gave the impression that they were giving up, shifting the burden onto someone else’s back. And anyway, what would Gerard think? The air was tense as the silent battle went on; who would be the first to crack?
“Ithinkheneedsashrink,” Frank blurted out quickly and held his breath.
Everyone else let out sighs, relieved that they weren’t the ones who had to suggest it. Now that the discussion was opened, each of them slowly agreed.
“Who wants to tell him?” Ray asked nonchalantly.
The question lingered in the air. Yet again, nobody wished to answer. From behind the bathroom door, they all heard retching sounds, but pretended not to. Their uncomfortable expressions gave them away to one another. Still, the focus remained on the guitarist’s question.
“Well…” Frank took a few moments to stare-off each of his band mates. “Shotty-nose goes.”