Sara really doesn't like LynZ.
But anyways, no excuses. I’m really, really sorry it’s late. I’ll do better I swear. But whilst I’m drowning in self-pity I command you to read!
“So, where to now?” asked Mikey, combing slime out of his hair.
They were standing just outside the door to the garbage disposal which had instantly reappeared the moment Jamia had pulled the leaver. However, the stench of rotting garbage still remained on their clothing and although Gerard, Frank, Mikey and Ray tried hard to flap the smell out of their jackets it did little good.
Gerard pointed in a random direction and they set off that way, through the stone tunnels where the darkness was broken only by the flickering of the torch flame in its bracket. They moved warily but still cheerfully, pleased with their success in the previous task, Jamia especially so. None of them said anything but everyone noticed that she was also treating Frank relatively warmly, more like a human being and less like something unpleasant that she had found stuck to the underside of a toilet. She still glared at him from beside Alicia when he looked in her direction and spoke scornfully whenever he said anything but at least she called him “Frank” now instead of some of her less refined nicknames.
Not that Frank cared. On the contrary, he seemed to find the whole thing very amusing and would snigger merrily whenever Jamia attempted to lash out at him. In fact, he seemed to be having a pretty good time in her company and it was this that annoyed Gerard the most. It annoyed him that Frank merely shook her off with a laugh whenever she insulted him. Why did he put up with that? Why didn’t he just put her in her place? They acted so childishly when they were together and yet Gerard sensed that they both were secretly rather enjoying themselves. They were a living example of the phrase “fighting like a married couple” and Gerard couldn’t help but feel a slight twinge of jealousy when he saw them together.
“But I wasn’t really scared back there,” Jamia was stating.
Frank let out a loud snort of disbelief. “Right,” he said. “So you were just shivering in a corner with your hands over your face for the hell of it?”
“Yes,” replied Jamia matter-of-factly. “And I definitely didn’t need your help getting back up.”
“No, of course you didn’t,” Frank rolled his eyes.
“Because I was just about to pull that lever myself, you know.”
“Yes, Jamia. Of course.”
“I only needed you guys to come along so that you could give me a leg up.”
“Of course, Jamie. Obviously.”
Upon the realisation of his tone, she shot him a searing glance and smacked him hard across his upper arm.
“Don’t be sarcastic with me,” she told him warningly. “And I told you not to ever call me “Jamie”! My name is “Jamia”. Or Miss Nestor to you.”
“Miss Nestor?” Frank raised an eyebrow. “I only ever called you that during sex.”
She smacked him again then, harder across the face and marched away to walk with Alicia. Frank just laughed.
“Why do you put up with her?” Gerard voiced for the first time. Frank looked surprised.
“Because...” he shrugged. “I know her. And she knows me. She’s crazy, but she’s totally hilarious if you know how to take her.”
“So why don’t you get back to-fucking-gether again then, if you know each other so well?” his tone was sharp, sharper than he had intended it to be and Frank noticed.
“Hey,” he said, staggered. “Chill dude! Jamia and I...aren’t in love anymore.”
“That’s not what you said before,” Gerard muttered darkly.
For a moment Frank looked confused and then his eyes glazed over with the memories of three years ago...
Gerard was drunk. Very drunk. And he was singing very loudly and very out of tune, slurring his way through Frank Sinatra and causing many people to draw their blinds across their windows as if by blocking out his face they could also suppress the noise emitting from him as he stumbled across the cobbled street. One arm was slung around Frank’s shoulders, the other was still waving goodbye to Ray and his brother whom they had left ten minutes ago. And he was happy. It had been a good night.
Frank kept an arm around his friend while he unlocked the door and pushed it open, sighing when he released Gerard and he missed the door entirely, rebounding off the frame instead. A drunken stumble here, an exasperated swear word there until finally Gerard was lying on the couch in the decrepit living room of the flat, giggling childishly as Frank pulled off his shoes. As he made to hang up his leather jacket, Gerard’s arms suddenly shot around Frank’s neck, pulling him downwards into a harsh, drunken kiss which tasted purely of cigarettes and tequila cocktail. His tongue searched Frank’s but when he responded only half-heartedly he broke off.
“Whassamatter?” he slurred groggily. Frank was silent. Again Gerard pressed his mouth to his, this time yielding absolutely nothing. Frank sat, cold and impassive and unresponsive to Gerard’s not-so-subtle advances until he reached for his arms and plucked them from around his neck.
“Stop it, Gee,” he told him quietly. “You’re just embarrassing yourself.”
Gerard cocked his head confusedly. “Whatcha talking about embarrass...ing?”
“Look at yourself,” Frank gestured with one hand, his eyes not quite meeting Gerard’s. “You’re a fucking mess.”
“But,” Gerard licked his lips in what he thought was a seductive way. “I’m your mother-fucking-mess, right?”
Frank sighed. “You’re not mine,” there was a faraway look in his eyes. “You never were. Sure, you like me well enough when I’m here to wipe the barf of your pathetic ass but I’m not your fucking nurse, asshole.”
Despite the callous words, Frank spoke gently and he looked down at Gerard with pity which only confused him further.
“I can’t do this anymore, Gee,” Frank continued softly. “I can’t keep lying to her.”
At this Gerard sat up, eyes narrowed, and for a moment he looked quite dangerous. “Her?” he snarled. “That bitch who follows you around every-hic-where?”
“Don’t call her that,” said Frank. “Her name is Jamia and she’s not just “some bitch who follows me around”. She’s my fiancé, Gerard. And I...I love her.”
Gerard’s eyes widened. “Wha-hic-at?”
“I love her,” Frank gushed and it was as if his face had been hit with a sudden ray of sunshine as he said it. “I love her and I’m marrying her. And I love you too,” he added hastily. “You’re my best friend and I’ll always be here for you. But I can’t, I just can’t do this anymore. I’m sorry.”
And he picked up his jacket from the armchair, pulled it on and left before Gerard could see the tears fall from his eyes.
“Things change,” said Frank, coming back to earth.
Gerard nodded. “Yes,” he agreed. “They do.”
“I made a mistake in marrying her,” Frank carried on. “I shouldn’t have done it. It was stupid.”
“Humans do stupid things,” Gerard shrugged. “Best get used to it.”
“But still,” said Frank. “I don’t know how I could have thought we’d be happy together. We’re so different.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter now,” Gerard shrugged. “We’ve moved on, right?”
Frank, frowning at Gerard’s tone, shoved his hands back in his pockets. “Hey, are you mad because I married Jamia or are you mad because I married her instead of you?”
“What the fuck?” Gerard exclaimed. “What do me and you have to do with anything?”
“Oh come on,” Frank replied exasperatedly. “Please don’t pretend you’re “just looking out for a brother-from-another-mother”. Spare me that at least.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” replied Gerard with dignity although he spoiled the effect slightly by adding “Asswipe.”
“No,” Frank rolled his eyes. “Course ya don’t.”
“Listen, I couldn’t give a fuck who you’re fucking,” Gerard hissed. “What the hell is it to me? Just...stop making it out like you were involved in some kinda emotional torment between me and her. I’m not even gay for Chrissake!”
“Could have fooled me,” quipped Frank cleverly. “I mean, you do exhibit some rather gay-like tendencies. For example, screwing guys-“
“-Oh fuck you,” spat Gerard and he stormed off ahead so that he wouldn’t have to see the satisfied smirk on Frank’s face.
It didn’t take them long to work out that they were climbing up the winding spiral steps of a medieval castle.
This realisation greatly excited Alicia who turned out to be fascinated in historic architecture and whom let everybody know about her interest by talking to Mikey in loud whispers about the shape of the windows and the wood panelling. To Mikey’s credit he nodded and said “uhuh” whenever appropriate but it was clear to the others that they needed to discover something more interesting than old fashioned insulation soon.
This came in the form of an old wooden door set into the wall at the very top of the staircase. They stopped in front of it, glancing at each other warily.
“Oh come on,” said Jamia briskly when no one had moved. “Surely you guys are used to this by now?”
And she kicked it open sharply, causing it to clatter off its frame and fall to the floor, revealing two very shocked looking women standing behind it.
“Christa!” Ray cried with joy and hurried over to her.
Gerard’s brain barely registered the appearance of his friend’s wife. His eyes sort one face and one face only which broke into a radiant smile as her eyes met his.
“Lyn,” he breathed.
“Gerard,” she said and subsequently burst into tears.
He ran towards her almost in slow-motion and wrapped his arms around her tiny frame, holding on so tight for fear that if he let go he could lose her again. And she laughed with joy, tears falling thickly onto his shoulder and he remembered with a pang how well she seemed to fit against him.
“I thought I’d never see you again,” she said wetly.
He smiled and hooked a strand of stray hair around her ear. “You’ll never get rid of me that easily.”
“Dear God,” the voice echoed off the stone walls of the room they stood in. “I think I’m going to vom.”
LynZ gasped and Christa yelped but this time none of the others even bothered to turn around. Sure enough, Sara was standing underneath an old tapestry depicting a lion being devoured by a unicorn and she had a most disgusted look on her face.
“So, you must be Mrs Gerard Way,” her voice was silky smooth but the malice underneath it was still scarily obvious.
LynZ raised her head slightly so that her chin was thrust forward. “Yes,” she said, unwaveringly. “I am.”
“Fun,” Sara sneered. “Really fun.”
"Wait, I'm confused," Frank raised an eyebrow at Mikey. “Is Sara threatening LynZ or perving on her?”
Mikey shook his head. “You disgust me.”
“So,” Sara reverted back to her cold, business-like self. “Jamia is it? Congratulations. You’ve earned yourself a Chance card.”
She flicked it at Jamia who caught it and smiled. After turning it over once she looked up, perplexed. “There’s no question on it,” she said.
“Oh yeah,” Sara laughed. “I forgot about that. I guess I decided LynZ doesn’t need anything to help her out through this one. I’m sure she’ll be able to tough it out on her own.”
“You can’t do that!” Frank burst out.
“I can’t?” Sara pretended to look confused. “Oh wait, yes I can. Because I make the Rules. And you follow them.”
“You don’t make the Rules,” Mikey retorted. “I can tell. You’re just following something bigger and badder.”
“Am I?” Sara examined her nails absent-mindedly. “Hmmm, that’s a thought.”
“I’ll kill you,” growled Gerard viciously. Surprised, everyone turned to look at him. “You’re doing this on purpose. You’re trying to sabotage LynZ! I swear, if you hurt her I’ll kill you-”
“-One problem with that,” said Sara, her eyes flashing dangerously. “I’m already dead. It’s just one of the many perks.”
And with another terrifying smile she disappeared and a door swung open on the other side of the room. LynZ nervously glanced at her friends.
“Guys,” she spoke slowly. “Am I right in thinking I have to go through that?”
“That would be the notion,” nodded Frank.
“Don’t worry,” Gerard laid a hand on her shoulder. “We’re going in with you.”
He made to walk over to the door but was shocked to find something holding him back. He raised his hands and felt something like an invisible force preventing him from moving any closer.
“What the fuck?” he exclaimed, pushing through the hidden boundary. “Help me, guys.”
The others pushed hard against the shield but nothing happened, it remained immovable. Only LynZ was able to walk straight through over to the door.
“That bitch!” Gerard roared, pounding his fists on the force shield.
“What the hell does she have against LynZ?” asked Alicia.
“Who cares?” Gerard thundered. “She can’t do this! She has no right!”
“Don’t worry, Gee,” said LynZ. Her smile looked vague and distorted through the shield. “I’ll be fine. Stay here, okay? Don’t ditch me. That wouldn’t be funny.”
“No, LynZ, stop!” Gerard yelled as she turned her back on him and marched through the door. “LynZ! LynZ!”
“Hey man,” Mikey pulled him away. “She’ll be fine. No worries. We all made it so far, didn’t we?”
“Yeah but that bitch didn’t even give her a fucking Chance card thing!” shouted Gerard. “She’s going to die, Mikey! She’s going to die and it’ll be my fault.”
And with that he collapsed onto the floor, his head in his hands.
The door swung shut behind LynZ, which she had sort of been expecting.
Looking around she could see that she was standing in a very handsome medieval bedchamber, complete with panelled walls and a candelabra hanging from the ceiling. There was a large four-poster bed in the corner, its rich velvet curtain hiding whatever lay under the covers but as they moved LynZ knew that whatever it was, it wasn’t good.
She approached it guardedly, taking tiny little steps as if for fear of angering it. Then suddenly the curtains were thrown back and her breath caught in her throat.
“Oh, hey baby,” he grinned wickedly. “How’s it going?”
She was just about to ask him how the hell he had gotten through the force field and was now relaxing in a king-sized bed when she noticed the naked, fair-haired beauty lying next to him.
“W...what...” she stuttered, pointing at her. The girl just smiled mundanely.
“Oh, this is Abigail,” Gerard nudged her. “Sorry, I’m shit at introductions. Anyway,” he frowned at LynZ impatiently. “What are you doing here?”
“What do you mean?” asked LynZ, willing her voice to stay levelled.
“What are you doing here?” Gerard repeated. “You’ve got no reason to be here. So why are you?”
LynZ was confused. “I’m your wife.”
“So?” said Gerard harshly. The blonde girl beside him tittered. “That doesn’t mean I want you around. Sure, you’re good for publicity. You sell albums but quite frankly, you’re an embarrassment.”
She wanted to say something but she couldn’t. The words wouldn’t come.
“I don’t love you,” Gerard went on. “I never have. You make me sick. Every morning I have to wake up to your face and I want to scream. You have no idea,” he laughed mercilessly. “How refreshing it’s been these past few days not to have to be with you.”
LynZ felt as though her stomach was made of lead. She felt her heart shatter into a tiny million pieces and she felt the tears prick her eyes. But she wasn’t going to let them fall. “This is a dream,” she said confidently. “Or something. It’s not real.”
The Gerard who wasn’t Gerard raised an eyebrow. “It’s real babe. Everything else has been a lie. This is really happening.”
“No it’s not,” LynZ shook her head and managed to smile. “You’re not Gerard. And you,” she gestured at the blonde who was smirking under the sheets. “You’re not anything.”
“That’s not what he said last night,” she gestured at Gerard who nodded.
“Really?” grinned LynZ. “Then why the fuck hasn’t he left me yet? He’s a famous rockstar, for Chrissake. And you, you’re just some projection of a fear that I don’t even have.”
The laughter drained from Gerard’s face. “What?”
“I don’t fear this,” LynZ gestured at the couple in the bed. “Because it will never happen. Gerard won’t leave me. He loves me. He loves me and I love him. That won’t ever change.”
And she laughed out loud, a confident, defiant sound, a sound so powerful and so dangerous it melted the faces off the naked demons sitting in the bed and the whole room crumbled around her until there was nothing left but her and her laughter.
Reviews are like fuel. They give me the strength to write on.