Gerard is driven off the edge.
Chapter Seven: Calm Before The Storm.
They walked deeper and deeper into the woods. Slowly as more time passed and nothing came to transpire, Gerard, Mikey, and Frank began to feel more confident. They guessed it was nearly sunrise by now, and daylight was much welcomed. Gerard had a limp that was slightly slowing them down, but Frank and Mikey took turns holding him up. The good news was that after they had stopped a couple of times for some quick meals, Gerard seemed to have regained some of his strength. Seeing his brother in better conditions, Mikey seemed to have lightened up and got along much better with Frank.
The sky was dimly lit soon enough. The boys settled near a nice lake Frank had spotted for another stop. Mikey brought out some of the sandwiches. Frank wanted to whip out the potato chips as well, but Mikey scolded that they needed to ration food as much as possible. However eventually he gave in anyway. They feasted as they sat, each of them wishing for more.
"Think of it this way," joked Gerard "it's like were on our first tour all over again!"
Mikey and Frank laughed. Frank added, "As dirty as I am right now, I'd believe it."
They chuckled as they ate more, but Gerard's mood sank fast as remembered 'If this were anything like our first tour, Ray would be here.' Tears stung in his eyes, and he lowered his head so his hair covered his face. He didn't want to bring down everyone else. As he tightened his lips, trying to suppress a sob that was itching to be released, he felt a hand clamp his shoulder and squeeze. He blinked a few times and looked over. It was Mikey, who was looking at him sympathetically.
"You okay?" he mouthed. Gerard nodded. Then Mikey spoke "Well two of our water bottles are out, I'm gonna go refill them in the lake."
"I'm not gonna drink lake water." Frank scoffed.
"Where do you think the water from the cabin came from, dumbass?" Mikey teased.
Gerard grinned, happy they were back to their playful sniping instead of all the screaming they were doing earlier. Mikey grabbed the empty water bottles and walked to the lake just a few feet away. Frank and Gerard were left alone together, and Frank was doing a bit of flirting. Gerard laughed as he watched Frank seductively try to eat a potato chip.
And then, a horrifying scream.
Gerard immediately pushed himself up, and dashed off in the direction Mikey had went. Frank went soon after. When Gerard skidded to a halt in front of the lake he saw... nothing. Nothing but water.
"Mikey?" Gerard called out.
And then he saw it. An arm, Mikey's arm, splashing out of the center of the lake. It looked as though he was struggling to surface, but something was pulling him down. Trying to keep him underwater.
"Gerard!" Frank caught up with Gee. Gerard looked at him for a second and Frank could see the desperation in his eyes. Gerard made to jump into the water. Frank grabbed him by the waist and held him back.
"You can't Gee! Your leg!" Frank pleaded as Gerard struggled against him.
"LET ME GO FRANK! MIKEY!" he was shrieking.
Then Frank felt a sharp pain on his nose, and he released Gerard to cradle it as he realized Gerard had elbowed him in the face. "AGH!" he cried out as he watched Gerard plunge into the lake. He wanted badly to go after him, but Frank knew he couldn't swim. He didn't want Gerard to have to save two people.
Gerard hadn't braced himself for how cold the water would be. It felt as though he had jumped into a pile of freezing knives. And truth be told, he was never a very good swimmer. He kicked and kicked as he tried to propel himself, looking for any sign of Mikey. After a couple of minutes, he had to bring himself back above the surface to take in air. While he did, he could hear Frank screaming something at him in the distance, but he didn't listen. A bubbling in the water not too far from him caught his attention, and he knew thats where Mikey must be. He took a gasping breath and brought himself back in.
He saw them then. Two figures, struggling with each other underwater. One of them Mikey, and the other had a ski mask on. Gerard knew it must be him, the one who killed Pedicone and Ray. The one who put him through the worst ordeal of his entire life. The ski masked man had a large rock in his hand and was trying to hit Mikey with it. Mikey turned and saw Gerard heading towards him. His eyes went wide and Gerard thought he could see him shaking his head as though to say "stay away". But Gerard tried to swim as fast as he could anyway, ignoring the coldness of the water or the fact that he was running low on air again.
As Gerard got closer, something other than water began clouding his vision.Something dark red began splaying towards him. Gerard's heart raced, knowing there was only one thing that could be, and praying it wasn't Mikey's. Soon the blood became plentiful, and Gerard thrashed through it as hard as he could. When he finally reached where he had seen Mikey, there was only one figure there.
Mikey's body was floating, almost gracefully in the water. Gerard reached him, scooped him up and swam them both up to the surface.
"No... no....no...." Gerard began to sob as he held Mikey in his arms. "Mikey wake up...."
He could see that Mikey's skull had been bashed in. Part of his brain was exposed and visibly damaged. There was no mistaking it: Mikey was dead.
Gerard sobbed uncontrollably as he cradled Mikey. His cries and wails echoed loudly through the forest. He felt himself hyperventilating. It occurred to him that they shouldn't stay in the water for much longer, but all he knew was that he wanted to hold on to what he had left of Mikey as long as he could. He nuzzled his nose in Mikey's hair, but it only smelled of his blood. Gerard kissed his brother on the forehead, and forced himself to swim them back to land.
Once he reached the ground again, he could see foot steps leading into the forest. The person must have ran for it. Gerard laid down Mikey on the grass, and he saw Frank sprint over to them.
"Oh god...Gee sweetie, I'm so sorry..." Frank breathed as he looked at the scene before him.
"Give me a minute..." Gerard tried to catch his breath. "The guy went that way?" He asked Frank and he nodded his head in the direction the footsteps went.
"Yeah..." said Frank. “He just bolted."
"Okay then." Gerard turned his attention to Mikey and used his fingers to close his eyelids. "I love you, wheezy." Gerard said, his voice cracking. He turned his attention again to Frank . "You, watch Mikey for me."
"...What?" Frank raised an eyebrow at him. And without warning, Gerard got up and ran off in the direction Frank had indicated.
"Gerard! God dammit!" Frank ran after him. He caught up with Gerard easily, considering the injured ankle and tackled him to the ground.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Gerard shrieked.
"What the fuck are YOU doing?" Frank asked back.
"Going after the fucker that murdered my brother!" Gerard yelled with determination. Frank got off him and helped Gerard back up. He held Gerard to him tightly.
"Frank, I do NOT need a hug right now! I need fucking revenge! I need that man's blood on my fucking hands!"
But Frank still held him close, rubbing circles on his back with the palm of his hand. If Frank though that this was going to soothe him, Gerard didn't know. But he knew there was not time for this. Nothing could soothe him now. Using all his might, he pushed Frank off him and made to leave again. But again, Frank grabbed his wrist and pulled him back. Gerard was just getting more and more agitated.
"WHAT FRANK? WHAT DO YOU WANT?" He spun around and screamed at him.
"Please Gerard, you're hurt... you need to rest."
"I DON'T FUCKING CARE RIGHT NOW FRANK!"
"I know, but I don't...I don't want you putting yourself in danger, please Gee. I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you."
"Frank. I...don't...care. Go watch Mikey." Gerard growled.
"Why would I do that? He's dead, Gee." Frank said harshly. Gerard actually flinched.
"I have to do this, Frank." Gerard said, his voice suddenly very soft. Tears streamed down his face.
Frank took a deep breath.
"Gerard. I have something to tell you." he said as a masked figure came up behind Gerard.
Next chapter: "You can't always get what you want. No, you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you get what you need."