Chantal finds something comforting in Gerard's old things.
"Bob, Frank, Mikey and Ray are hanging off a cliff and you can only save one. Who do you save?”
“I’d jump too.”
Chapter 11: The Domino Effect.
Ray was at the bar again, drinking down some Patron tequila. He was by himself, hadn't told anyone where he'd gone. He felt like such a hypocrite. He had scoffed at Gerard, looked down on him for using alcohol to deal with his problems. And yet here he was. And his wife wasn't even dead. She was at work at the moment, and she had been so worried about him lately. He felt a pang of guilt as he remembered what he told Gerard about how Lindsey would have been disappointed. Christa would be disappointed if she knew where he was. It’s just a giant fucking chain of disappointments nowadays, isn’t it?
He contemplated on the events of the past few weeks. Not that they were pleasant, but he hadn't really been able to think of anything else. Could you blame him? It seemed like all anyone could talk about anymore. It was all over the media, so all their friends, their families, their enemies , their strangers --- they all knew. And the rumors, oh the rumors. That Gerard, Frank, and Mikey had been caught in some weird love triangle, that Gerard had been cheating on Lindsey and killed himself from guilt --- it certainly didn't help that the two people in the band who were constantly rumored to have romantic relations happened to be the two that died, and so close to each other too.
And just when they were shouting to the world about what happy people they had finally become. But maybe that's the lesson of the story, Ray thought bitterly as he set one more shot glass down, maybe it was the universe telling them they weren't allowed to be that happy and be that obnoxious about it too. Telling them to shut the fuck up. That only works when you're miserable.
Mikey was walking quickly through the streets of Nottingham, UK. He had dressed in his best black trench coat. He wasn't sure why, somehow he felt he should look presentable for what he was about to do. He had told Alicia and the others he was going away for the weekend to visit an old friend. It wasn't that far from the truth. Finally he found his destination. A club called Rock City. He wandered to the backstage area where he met a very old friend indeed, one Bob Bryar.
Bob Bryar had returned to his job as the drum tech for The Used after departing with My Chemical Romance. But he had suspected the boys in The Used had been keeping something from him in the past weeks, that specifically involved Bert and Gerard. Something not very nice. When he had heard of the suicides of Gerard and Frank, he really knew something was up, and he had called Mikey to find out what had happened, and if there was anything he could do. Disagreeing over a few things though they may be, Bob had after all spent many years cramped with these four boys on buses, experiencing all sorts of crazy things with them --- it wasn't surprising that there wasn't some sense of loyalty remaining.
Mikey had told Bob very little about his plans. Only that Bert had hurt Gerard in a way that no one deserved. And Mikey wanted justice. Bob hadn't questioned him, and agreed to assist him with getting through the back stage doors.
Chantal was hanging out with Alicia and Jamia. They had been spending a lot of time together in the past month, brought together in loss and mourning. They were sitting around watching television in Mikey and Alicia’s room, eating their freshly delivered pizza when Chantal’s eyes wandered to a cluster of random objects in the corner of the room. There were some comics and some cd’s, some framed photo’s amongst other things, and a very random, unopened, old looking, hamster cage set in the farthest part of the corner. Gerard’s things, she deduced. She saw a thick notebook that was nearest her, seeing that the other women were too focused on watching the newest episode of House M.D. to care, she grabbed it and flipped through the pages. It was his lyrics notebook, or at least one of them. And one of the newer ones at that, she could see the rough draft of Summertime in one page and some notes for Zero Percent on another. She smiled at the beginnings of The Only Hope For Me Is You, and was moved by a song that didn’t make it into the album, that sounded like an alternative version of Kids From Yesterday.
And then there were some lyrics that were very new, lyrics written after that accident. Chantal could only assume so, as they became sadder and sadder, like suicide notes disguised as songs.
Ray was exiting the bar. It was 4 AM and it was time for him to go home. He got into his car, turned on the ignition, and drove out of the parking lot rather hastily. His mind was still swirling. It had usually been Frank who accompanied him on nights when he did drink, and everything about tonight felt incredibly lonely without him especially. It seemed almost pointless as to why Frank had to go. Technically, he still had everything in his life intact, except maybe the band. But maybe that amounted to the same thing. Mikey had pretty much told him to fuck off when Ray asked what the letter was about. Mikey just hadn’t been Mikey since they visited Jamia. He had shut himself out completely. In a way, it was like he was dead too.
However, after having spent ten years with this band, with Frank, Ray had an inkling he knew what Frank’s death was about. It had not, after all, been hard to see the love Frank held for Gerard. What torture it must have been to watch Gerard fall apart like he did.
Ray stepped down on the accelerator harder.
Perhaps it was worse for Mikey, who was not only forced to watch his older brother, the boy he had grown up with, fall apart, but might have had somewhat of a hand in it as well. Of course Mikey loved Gerard as much as Frank did, but it’s not like he helped the situation either. He shouted and screamed at people, he had attacked Frank and accidently punched Gerard in the face. Not that he hadn’t been trying to help, of course. He had just been terrified over Gerard, and didn’t know how to handle the situation. Ray only hoped Mikey had learned his lesson about using violence to deal with his problems.
Ray stepped on the accelerator harder; he just wanted to sleep.
Or was he, himself, the one who got the shit end of the deal? He felt like the only survivor in the aftermath of the fucking apocalypse. No, he had not suffered emotional breakdowns, he hadn’t told off anyone, hadn’t punched anyone in the face. All he had done through this entire disaster was sit in the sidelines and watched his band, his family, his life, come crumbling down. At the very most he argued with Gerard about sneaking out to be with Bert, but in the end he let him go, and that was the night he was raped. He had wanted to respect how each of them felt and not get too involved with what was obviously a very personal situation, and look where it got them. Great fucking friend he was huh?
Then the windshield to Ray’s car shattered, the metal gave a loud crunch, Ray’s head hit the steering wheel, and Ray Toro died at an intersection just 3 miles from Mikey’s apartment.
It was never known if Ray Toro had been too drunk to realize the light was red, or if he had known and simply ignored it. Usually people preferred to think the first option, as Ray was always supposed to be the calm one, the sensible one. The one who wouldn’t participate in anything as illogical as suicide.
Other people would say My Chemical Romance and the people around them had grown so close as a family, they had developed something of a domino effect. Once one fell, there was nothing left but for everyone else to fall down after them.
The Used was almost done with their setlist. Bert McCracken was sweaty, tired, and just wanted to go home. Or at least to bed. He gave the fans an encouraging smile anyway, and the crowd roared happily in return. The band began playing the opening notes to ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward’. He smirked and began to sing.
“Your dream vacation, is my hostage refuge, a work in progress you bleed just like you puke while running a mile!”
Suddenly the crowd shrieked louder than they normally did during songs. Bert looked around, confused. Turning to his right, he saw Mikey Way approaching him from the other side of the stage.
Bert wasn’t sure quite how to react. For one thing, he could tell Mikey wasn’t exactly here for a friendly hello. Yet on the other hand, he didn’t want to make a scene. But Mikey didn’t give him time to decide. Within seconds, they were face to face. Mikey looked at Bert McCracken, and everything came flooding back to him. Seeing Gerard bruised and broken on the ground, hearing Gerard pleading for Bert to stop in his night terrors, crying out of fear, Mikey hurting Frank instead because he couldn’t get to Bert. The hatred pulsed through his veins like never before. He didn’t have much time. This whole thing started in bloodshed, and it deserved an ending in bloodshed. Mikey whipped out a Colt 45 pistol from underneath his trench coat, pointed at Bert and said with a voice seething with venom, a maniacal look in his eyes, and a twisted smirk….
“You look scared Bert…. or am I just fat?”
And before security could grab him, before 3,000 panicking fans had time to react, before anything more could be said, he shot Bert McCracken down to the ground. He then took the pistol, pointed it at himself, and down Mikey Way went too.
Justice, at last.
Chantal, Jamia, and Alicia were now all huddled around the notebooks that contained Gerard’s lyrics. Jamia and Alicia were sharing a notebook, smiling and laughing rather sadly at some of Gerard’s notes that he had scattered around the pages. He always wrote funny notes. All were still unaware of the horrors they had yet to face. Chantal was going through an older one at this point, seemed to have been sometime around the Black Parade era. She was almost done with it, when a photo slipped out. She caught it and her eyes widened. It was a photo of a shirtless Frank kissing Gerard on the cheek, who was blushing with his cheeks all red. She turned it around and on the back, a scrawl she recognized as Frank’s handwriting wrote:
“For whenever you have writer’s block. ;)”
Chantal fought back a laugh and hid it away for Jamia’s sake. She wondered how Lindsey was dealing with Frank and Gerard now, wherever they were.
“Heaven help us now, come crashing down. We'll hear the sound, as you fall…”