With Mikey's assistance, Gerard tries to cope with the changes he must face. Some things are harder to get rid of than others.
Chapter Five: Sancta Terra
In their hospital room, Gerard watched over Bandit. She was stable. Gerard had been able to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation before the ambulance arrived, and had gotten her breathing again. They were keeping her at the hospital for overnight observation, and so far everything seemed okay as far as Bandit's health went. But the mental and emotional state of things otherwise were far from okay. Lindsey had been arrested. Gerard was extremely distressed. Mikey wanted answers.
"Lindsey's been on a lot of drugs lately...", Gerard explained to Mikey, "She's been having these really weird moods. I never expected this though..."
Mikey ran his hands through his hair, trying to wrap himself around this whole situation.
"Why was she on drugs in the first place?", he asked.
"I don't know... she said she just wasn't very... happy. She said she'd stop. I tried to set up marriage counseling for us, I tried to help, but I don't know. She didn't try to change for even a second, it's like she gave up before she even started 'ya know?"
"Why didn't you call me earlier, Gee?"
"Agh... I didn't want to drag you into this chaos. I fucked up my marriage, not you. It's my mess to clean up."
Mikey looked at Bandit and muttered. "Yeah, I can see your doing a great job of that so far."
Gerard said nothing, but Mikey took one look good look at his face and knew he was trying not to cry. He kicked himself.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Mikey pulled his brother into a hug, and Gerard started sobbing openly into his shoulder. Mikey rubbed Gerard's back soothingly. "I know it's hard. But I'm here now, and I'm ready to give you all the help you need."
Gerard cried into Mikey a bit longer before backing away, although he still kept his head down.
"Tomorrow I'm going to see what I can do about Lindsey..." Gerard sighed, "See if I can't get her into a rehab or something by plea bargaining. Watch Bandit for me? It should only take like an hour."
"Sure, Gerard. I'll do whatever you want. Just no more secrets. " Mikey scolded. "Now. Is there anything that's been going on that I should know about?"
Instantly, Gerard thought of his recent reunion with self-mutilation. But that wasn't really a big deal, right? They had bigger things to worry about right now anyway.
Gerard shook his head.
"Nope, nothing at all Mikes."
The plea bargaining worked. The judge agreed to send Lindsey to 3 months of rehab in exchange for a guilty plea, although Lindsey suspected that Gerard may have flashed a few dollars in the judge's fat, greedy face as well. She had seen Gerard at the trial, but he didn't speak a word to her. He wouldn't even look at her. While in a way, she understood, it still felt unbearable. Lindsey was scared, and unsure of what the future held for her. Gerard had been her support for nearly everything for years, but it felt like he was turning away from her when she needed him the most. And the worst part was that she knew she had no one to blame but herself. Lindsey did not fight the sentence. Lindsey did not try to argue anything. She knew she had gone too far and there was nothing left to do now but to receive the punishment.
The first week in, Gerard came to the facility to bring Lindsey a few personal belongings. He had been searched thoroughly upon arrival, asked to leave his cellphone behind. While he knew this was procedure for every visitor, in order to be sure no one brought in drugs or alcohol, Gerard couldn't help but feel that he was particularly mistrusted due to his fame and his past. He walked through the annoyingly bright white walls of the center until he found her room.
His wife was perched, cross legged on her neatly done bed, not having looked up at his entrance. From what he could see, Lindsey looked haggard and depressed. Unusually small. Gerard sighed and looked around the room. In his opinion, the place looked more like a mental hospital than a rehab.
"What'cha got there?" Lindsey's soft voice snapped Gerard out of his thoughts and brought his focus back onto her.
Gerard peered into the blue totebag he was carrying and listed off the items, "Your toothbrush, your quilt, a couple of your sweaters, a CD player, and some of your CD's. I asked and they wouldn't let you have your iPod so that's the best I can do.", he shrugged.
"Thank you. You didn't have to bring me anything, really." Lindsey said, curious as to what his reasoning was.
"You'll be here for a while.", was all he said as he dropped the tote bag beside her.
"Yup." Lindsey nodded.
"Well." Gerard shifted awkwardly, "I guess this is it then."
Gerard paused to see if she had anything to say, but the awkward-ness off the moment only increased as silence rang through the room. He waved a hand at her.
"Bye.", he said as he turned to leave.
"Wait.", Lindsey stopped him. He turned around to look at her again and she was walking towards him. She stopped when she was very close, a very small amount of inches away from him. "I -- I'm really sorry Gerard. About everything." Lindsey waited to see if he had any response to that, but he did nothing other than continue to stare at her with seemingly unblinking eyes. She continued, "I'm going to get better. I'm going to get better and when I come back, we're going to be a family again. I swear it. I love both of you so much."
Lindsey stopped and waited for a reaction. Secretly, she hoped with all her heart to hear him say “I love you too.” Just one more “I love you” before she separated from the life she knew for a quarter of a year. Gerard seemed to be in thought, nor had he taken his eyes off her face. The silence seemed to last an eternity. Finally, he spoke.
“Take care of yourself, Linds.”, Gerard squeezed her shoulder lightly, turned around, and walked out the door.
The album had been postponed. In the coming weeks, Gerard was left to care for Bandit on his own, and he wasn’t able to do much else. Not that he minded. The minute or so when Bandit had stopped breathing, when Gerard had walked in and found his daughter nearly strangled to death, had been the most downright frightening thing he had ever experienced. Which was saying something, as Gerard had been through some scary stuff before. But the fear he had felt in that moment was beyond anything he could ever imagine. Therefore, his new approach was to simply never let Bandit out of his sight as much as he could help it.
Mikey came to check on him often. Gerard and Mikey had started having heated discussions as to whether or not Gerard should divorce Lindsey after her rehab treatment. Mikey simply tried to make the point to Gerard that he deserved better than her. Gerard argued that Lindsey was as good as he deserved, if not more, it was only that she was sick at the moment. “I did some fucked up shit when I was on drugs, but you didn’t give up on me, did you?”, he had asked him. In the end, each argument settled on the conclusion that they would deal with it after Lindsey was released, but Mikey stuck by his opinion and continuously reminded Gerard of that fact. In truth, Gerard was also nervous at the idea of putting Bandit through a divorce. With My Chem having a predominately young fanbase, he had younger fans constantly telling him of the difficulty that their own parents divorces had brought them, both literal and figuratively, and how My Chemical Romance helped him through that. Some had told him it nearly brought them to the brink of suicide. Gerard would never want to put Bandit through anything like that.
Gerard after all, barely knew how to handle situations himself. After tucking Bandit into bed, Gerard still found himself in the habit of self-inflicting tiny gashes on his upper arms and shoulders. They had lessened now that the chaos was dying down, but since Gerard renewed the habit, he was finding it extremely difficult to stop. Was it hypocritical? Just a tad. But Gerard only figured that he wasn’t hurting anyone else, like Lindsey had been with her drugs. It wasn’t stopping him from doing the things he needed to do. And dammit, it just felt so good.
As far as Gerard felt, everything was going as good as it could be.
Mikey came to Gerard’s house one day looking somber. Turns out Alicia and he had just had a fight, and Alicia had won. Alicia wanted her and Mikey to take advantage of this break from the band and use it to go vacationing in Hawaii with her parents. Mikey had argued that Gerard needed him, and it had gotten into whole spiel about how Alicia felt she was constantly having to adjust to Gerard’s needs, but when it came to her family, Mikey wouldn’t lift a finger. Gerard had laughed when Mikey told him this, insisting to Mikey that everything was fine and that he should by all means enjoy a nice vacation.
“Well, I’m having Frank stay with you for the next three weeks.” , Mikey blurted out while he and Gerard sat on the living room sofa, Bandit playing with play-doh on the floor.
“What?”, Gerard looked at his brother, wide eyed.
“You heard me. I already arranged it. He should be packing now, actually.”
“Wait, wait, wait --- you arranged it? Without asking me if someone could stay at my house for an entire three weeks?”, Gerard gaped, amazed that Mikey would be so brazen.
“Dude, its Frank.”, Mikey raised an eyebrow at Gee, as though perplexed he was having such a harsh reaction.
“Yes, and I love Frank, and he’s more than welcome -- but, well, why? Why would you do that? Do you figure I can’t take care of myself?”
Mikey sighed and looked uncomfortable. Gerard took that as a yes. He suddenly felt very embarrassed. Wasn’t he supposed to be the older brother? Since when did he need monitoring?
“Look.”, Mikey started, “I love you. I know this is a hard time for you right now. I just wanna make sure ---“
“I’m fine, Mikey!”, Gerard snapped.
“That’s what you said last time!”, Mikey snapped back. He took a deep breath and calmed himself for a moment, then explained, “Well, it’s for both of you really. Frank told me that Jamia and took Lily and Cherry to go vacationing at their grandparents for a little while. And I don’t think he wants to stay alone at his house for three whole weeks.”
“They left Frank behind?”, Gerard questioned. Mikey shrugged.
“And plus, he’s been worried about you too. He said you weren’t really answering his texts.”
Gerard frowned guiltily and muttered, “Haven’t really been answering anyone, really…”
“Well there you go.”, Mikey sat back against the couch cushions and crossed his legs. “Sounds like you two need each other now more than ever.”
Gerard said nothing, and he felt Bandit tug at his pants leg.
“Yes, sweetie?”, he looked down at her.
“Uncle Fwank coming?”, she asked.
“Yeah B, Uncle Frank’s coming.”
“WHOOPPIEEE!”, Bandit yelled and threw her arms up happily.
And Gerard smiled the biggest smile.
Next chapter: Best friends reunited, Gerard and Frank catch up. Maybe a bit too fast.