Mikey, Ray, and Frank find Gerard. Mikey wonders where he went wrong.
It was 6 AM. Mikey and Frank were sound asleep, and Ray was pretending to sleep while playing Angry Birds on his phone. He had been especially nervous for Gerard since he left, and he had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. At about 6:12 he heard a cell phone go off. Mikey's. Shit. Mikey would realize Gerard was gone if it woke him up! And sure enough, Mikey awoke, and Ray hid his phone and closed his eyes --- he wasn't going to get in trouble with Mikey again just because Gerard was so keen on sneaking out nowadays.
"Hello?", he heard Mikey groggily answer. Ray listened carefully, wondering as to what justified such an early phone call.
"What?", he heard Mikey say in an alarmingly venomous tone. Gerard immediately came to mind.
If he could facepalm, he would. He just knew something bad was going to happen to him if he went out tonight.
Mikey asked the caller as to their location, and then put the phone down, without having said goodbye to the person. Ray heard Mikey shuffle around, by the sound of it get dressed, and walk over to the bed he shared with Frank. He felt Mikey try to shake him awake, and he opened his eyes to see him doing the same to Frank.
"We have to go. Gerard's been attacked."
"Attacked?!?!?!", Frank said disbelievingly, "By who?"
"I don't know," Mikey said looking extremely stressed. Ray felt a pang of sympathy for the boy. "Peter called me, they said they had him over by his house, they were pretty vague about the whole thing, and I didn't stay on the phone long enough to hear a lot of details."
"Peter....Bert's friend?", Frank was in thought, "But he was with us last night, how could he have --- "
"Perhaps," Ray offered, "He snuck out while we were asleep?"
"Fuck.", was all Frank had to say, burying his face in his hands.
"There's no time for questions right now." Mikey insisted, "We have to go."
They arrived at a cottage like home near the hills. Frank was quiet, his chest was tight. How badly had Gerard been hurt? It was scary to think he got so much a puncture wound. Peter, a stubby, short man around his forties was already waiting by the door. He looked solemn as he approached them.
"He's barricaded himself in the bathroom. Won't come out.", Peter muttered.
"Who did this?" Mikey asked, although everyone had already guessed the answer.
"Bert McCracken.", Peter said bluntly.
"Well where the fuck is he?" Mikey said, and Frank could see Mikey's hands had balled into fists again.
Peter sighed and explained. Apparently what had happened was Peter and a couple of friends, in their drunken merriment from the party, decided to hit up the old club house. They had previously wondered as where Bert had gotten to, as it was nearly time for The Used to take their leave. They had gone into the little shack, and witnessed the horrific scene. One of them pried Bert off Gerard, and they gathered around Gerard to make sure he was still alive, one of them immediately calling Mikey, who apparently did not answer his phone the first few times. Bert fought with the person that had a hold on him and bolted for it, but they were too busy tending to Gerard to go after him. Their objective was to find anything they could to stop the bleeding, as blood was gushing everywhere. When they finally did, Bert had long gone and they thought to carry Gerard back to the house and onto a bed until Mikey would come for him. Turned out that Bert had left with his band to go to their next stop on their tour -- which was all the way in London. They had considered a hospital, but factoring in Gerard's celebrity status and not to mention his overall fear of hospitals and their many, many needles. They said they would wait until the rest of the band got there to decide what to do. However, before that happened, Gerard came to and panicked. He scrambled for the bathroom and locked himself inside it, and they hadn't been able to come out since.
No one said anything after he was done talking, but all followed him inside to wherever this bathroom was. When they reached it, another man was sitting outside the door, perhaps trying to coax Gee into coming out. He greeted them and stood up, and backed away letting the band have try to work their magic. They could hear someone softly sobbing from behind the door. Mikey was the first to approach. He knocked.
"Gerard?", Mikey inquired, "Gerard, it's me, Mikey. You wanna let me in?"
No response. Next it was Frank's turn.
"Gerard, sweetie? C'mon, open the door, everything's going to be okay, I promise."
No response. Ray was confused again.
"Why lock himself in? Why is he crying like that?" Ray asked, "You said you had to pull Bert off Gerard --- what exactly were they doing Peter?"
Peter and the man whose name they did not know exchanged nervous glances. Now they had Frank and Mikey's attention too.
"Out with it." Frank said in an annoyed tone.
"Bert raped him.", the other man said in something close to a mutter.
"What?!?!", Mikey, Ray, and Frank said simultaneously.
"Oh god..." Mikey choked. He covered his face in his hands not wanting to believe it. His chest was tightening, he was breathing quickly and tears were starting to well up in his own eyes. He immediately went to the door again.
"Gerard? Gerard, please let us in, I'm begging you!" Mikey cried urgently. He had begun to sob himself. Perhaps it was for that reason that the door cracked open just a bit a few moments later. Even in the worst of times, Gerard could not bear to hear his little brother crying.
The door had opened just a sliver, and they could see one blackened, swollen eye peering at them from between it. Frank and Ray exchanged glances and opened the door. When was curled up in a ball on the floor did not look anything like Gerard, given the exception of the same head of long cherry red hair. It had a face that was black and blue from bruises, eyes that were horribly swollen. He had a bathrobe on, so they couldn't see much else, but there were bruises on his wrists and his legs, amongst other things were covered in bandages and gauze, through which they could still see where blood had seeped through.
Mikey got on his knees and embraced the smaller boy tightly, sobbing into Gees's shoulder. Gerard would not look at any of them, keeping his eyes downcast, but he returned Mikey's hug, rubbing his brother's back.
"Jesus, Gerard." Ray breathed out, not really knowing what to say afterwards. He was in shock, and Mikey was devastated. Not that Frank wasn't too, but he decided to take control of the situation.
"Gerard.", He said, leaning down, "Do you wanna go to the hospital?"
Gerard shook his head no, still not wanting to look at Frank.
"What do you wanna do then?"
Gerard thought about that question. He wanted horrible things right now, really. He wanted booze, he wanted pills, he wanted a razor, he wanted death. Anything that would take him away from this misery, this humiliation, this pain. He stayed silent. He couldn't say those things, especially not in front of Mikey. It was really degrading enough to know that his baby brother who once looked up to him with highest regards is now seeing him as the broken whore that he had turned out to be. He couldn't keep his family safe and he couldn't make his brother proud. What kind of awful person was he?
"I think the best thing right now would be just to take Gerard back to the hotel and let him get some rest.", he heard Ray say somewhere between his thoughts. Evidently they had grown tired of waiting for him to answer. Everyone else muttered in agreement, and Gerard felt Mikey and Frank help him up. His abdomen was still hurting, as well as his whole lower half really, so it was difficult trying to walk. They both supported him on either side. Ray followed closely behind. And Ray wondered if things could possibly be any worse.
Mikey was sitting next to Gerard on the bed, who was lying on his side, not resting but more staring off into space. He was absent mindedly stroking his fingers through Gerard's hair comfortingly, although he wasn't sure if he was enjoying it or not. They had gotten him dressed into his regular clothes, and had seen the bruises and marks that now covered his battered body. He was covered in gauze almost everywhere. Frank had had to go to the bathroom in the middle of it because he had to throw up a little. The whole thing was sickening.
God, how could he have let this happen?
Mikey felt at fault for the whole thing. How could he have let Gerard get hurt like this? His brother being a celebrity, Mikey had kept an eye out for Gerard. He knew there were people out there that probably wanted to do some horrible things to his brother. Wanted to assault him, kidnap him, rape him. They had gotten plenty of threats and close calls in the past, and everyone got a taste of it. But Gerard was in a good position to get the worst of it, being the lead singer and arguably the eye candy of the band. He even hated those fucking "Geegasms" Gerard always pulled on stage, he felt like they encouraged people too much.
What had he missed?
He knew Bert was a bad idea from the beginning. Even back when they were friends last time, he didn't like Bert at all. Bert was a bad influence, and Gerard didn't need someone like Bert in his life, especially with the problems he had. Mikey even recalled Bert making remarks about Gerard's attractive looks in the past. Maybe he had thought Bert was just joking around. But of course his brother was beautiful, everyone knew that. Who could blame Bert for being attracted to Gerard? Even Mikey had felt maybe a moment of attraction here and there. Gerard was just one of those people you couldn't help but fall for. But Bert had had more than an attraction to Gerard, but an obsession, a hunger. Feelings, you could say. And it showed. This was a big part of why Mikey was sickened by him back then, and he wondered why in God's name he hadn't done everything in his power to stop Gerard from going anywhere near Bert now, especially when he knew they were in the same town and they were talking again. He wanted to fucking murder Bert McCracken. For every scratch he had put on Gerard, he wanted to inflict 100 times that pain on Bert. He wanted to hear Bert screaming in agony, begging to be spared. He wanted to do terrible, terrible things to Bert. Death may not have even be punishment enough for what he did.
Mikey sighed and got up to make himself some coffee. Coffee would be good for his brain right now. He made Gerard a cup too, even though he wasn't really expecting Gee to drink it. Just a habit, he supposed. When he turned around to resume his place on the bed, he saw Frank had stolen his spot, and he was kissing Gerard's forehead while stroking his back soothingly. Whispering words of comfort. He thinks he sees Gerard's mouth twitch a little.
Mikey felt his grip on the cups tighten. He would just have to be a little more watchful of who gets near Gerard now, wouldn't he?
Next chapter: Can't we all just get along? Guess not.