he wants Mikey to be real, but the whiskey has made him see things before...
Frank stared around him, eying the now empty bottle of whiskey by his side. He sniffed, breathing in the heavy scent of week old alcohol and cigarette smoke. Mikey had never liked him smoking, but he never quit; each cigarette he promised himself would be the last, but just like the time before, he knew he would never give it up-he would smoke his way to his grave.
Taking his shot glass from the table, he downed the remainder of the whiskey, wincing as he did. He knew he should stop, but the pain seemed to dull slightly with the sluggishness of non-sobriety. That was the only time he could think. The only time he could live. As soon as the sharp tasting whiskey took the pain away, he was free from Mikey, free from the war, from his friends, and most of all-Gerard.
Mikey's older brother had been ruined by the war-everything he had loved was taken from him, and even though Frank knew he needed him, he also knew that the pain he saw in Gerard's eyes, was the same pain reflected in his own, making Mikey's death not just a bad dream to be forgotten once he woke, but an inescapable reality that must be faced.
He sighed, closing his fingers around the bottle of cider he had taken from behind the bar before the whiskey had made it hard to stand. He didn't know why he had broken into that particular bar, but he assumed it was because the basic training ball had been held there. The last time he had seen Mikey truly be himself was there, sat behind that bar, in the seat to Frank's right, sipping vodka and smiling towards the girl he had loved.
Frank jumped, dropping the cider bottle behind his seat as he twisted to his right. A strangled sob made it's way from his lips as the blurred figure sat in Mikey's seat came into focus. He pushed his fingers into his eyes, leaning forward slightly to help determine if what he saw was true.
'Where have you been, man? I-we missed you,' he muttered lazily, leaning down to collect his bottle from the floor.
'I know, I missed you too, Frankie,' Mikey sniffed, running his pale hand through his un-waxed hair. 'I'm sorry,'
'Don't fucking apologize,' Frank whipped, lashing out with the hand that held the cider. The base of the bottle barely missed Mikey's chin, but he didn't flinch, as if he had expected it to miss. 'You left us, you left me.' Mikey stared down at his knees for a moment, contemplating what to say, but decided that he would speak the words that came instead.
'I know, Frankie, and I tried so hard to stay. I really did. I just wanted to see you again, one last time. I-I might not again,' his voice hitched, making him sound so human-so real-that Frank almost believed him. Believed that he was there.
'You're not real,' he slurred, pointing an accusing finger towards Mikey's face. 'I watched you die. I saw you get buried. Why are you here?' he grimaced as he spoke-his words had re-instilled the pain he had tried so hard to mask. He looked away from Mikey's face, not wanting to see the eyes that he knew were dead, but felt sickeningly alive to see.
'I wanted to see you. I missed you, Frank, I really missed you. I wish I could say that I wasn't real-that I was part of your mind, something you had created to fill the gap that I left, but I'm not. I'm me,' Mikey's words burned; a different burn to the one that the whiskey left. This one made him want to vomit, to curl into a ball where the world would never find him. Where he could live in the past-a past that still had Mikey. 'I know,' Mikey's lips barely seemed to move as he whispered his words, and Frank couldn't help but think that his words were in response to the desires that had just run through his mind.
'You shouldn't have left us, Mikes, I'm a mess without you. Gerard's a mess without you, too,' the youngest Way stared at him, and Frank swore that he saw a tear glisten it's way down his cheek, before falling through the air and staining the chair he sat on. He looked away, not wanting to see his dead friend cry. 'I loved you, Mikes,' he muttered, still refusing to meet his eyes.
'I loved you too,' Mikey swore. 'I still do,' the pain in Frank's chest turned numb, a welcome hollow feeling seeping through his bones. He looked up, hoping to find Mikey's hazel eyes looking back at him, words of love printed on his tongue, but was welcomed only by the sight of his empty seat, still glistening from the single tear he had shed.