The boys trudged through the following week awkwardly. It had been strange, having to re-teach Gerard extraordinarily simple tasks. It was easy to forget just how many daily activities required sight. They were amazed that Gerard had lasted on his own for more than two days. They planned on paying for a professional to teach him braille, but in the meantime they had to cope.
It also soon became clear that Gerard hadn't showered since he had been out of the hospital. Whether he was afraid he couldn't do it without vision or if he was uncomfortable at being exposed again, they weren't sure. However this obviously had to change.
Frank felt the itch to argue when Mikey automatically assumed he'd be the one to do it. Frank imagined it, being in the shower with Gerard. Rubbing sweet scented shampoo throughout his long locks. Scrubbing soap all over his pale body. However these desires weren't exactly one's he could felt he could comfortably express to Mikey, so he kept his mouth shut. He doubted Mikey would take well to him implying anything sexual about Gerard, seeing as he had just been raped. Hell, Frank felt like a bad person for just thinking about it. And that's not even counting how Gerard would feel about such thoughts.
"So you're gonna get Gerard's thing?"
"What?" Frank looked wide eyed at Mikey, who had interrupted his train of thought.
"I said, so you're gonna get Gerard's things?" Mikey repeated.
"Oh. Right. Yeah, I am." Frank blushed as he put on his jacket and prepared to leave.
Frank and Mikey had thought it would be a good idea to get some supplies for Gerard. Supplies that would be useful in his situation. Perhaps some entertaining things that did not require vision. They didn't feel that Gerard should be left alone, so Frank had volunteered to go while Mikey stayed behind.
They figured they could surprise Gerard this way, since the last surprise didn't turn out quite how they expected.
"Okay, showering should be easy..." Mikey tried to instruct his brother. Gerard stood in front of him, stripped down to blue swim trunks, which Mikey had agreed to let him keep on. Mikey could tell how awkward Gerard felt, and Mikey was trying to keep a casual tone to assure him everything was fine. Mikey had even gone to the extent of stripping down to his own boxers, to show Gerard he wasn't alone. Of course Gerard couldn't see that fact, but Mikey assumed he took his word for it. "We're going to install a bar you can grab onto just in case, but really you just need to memorize where everything is."
Mikey grabbed Gerard's hand and led him to the shower.
"Make sure you don't go off into the right, or you'll fall over the toilet." Mikey warned as he had Gerard feel around. Mikey opened the shower door and let Gerard inside the small shower space. Mikey followed suit, closed the shower door behind them, and tried to help Gerard grip the handles for the hot and cold water.
"This ones hot, see?" Mikey guided Gerard's hand and helped him turn the knob, and a slight on pour of hot water came upon them. "You turn it left to make it hotter, and right to make it less hot." Mikey guided Gerard's hand slowly, as to not send them into some sudden, violent temperature of hot water.
"I know how to work my own shower Mikes." Gerard said rather crossly.
He had Gerard turn off the hot water, and said, "Fine. Now you try it."
Gerard gripped around to find the hot water knob again. Mikey smiled as he found it correctly, but the grin was wiped off his face when he saw how far Gerard turned it.
"AGH!" Gerard screamed as extremely hot water burned onto him, and in his panic he fell on the floor of the shower, landing roughly on his bottom. Mikey scrambled to turn it off, and he bent down to gather Gerard.
Gerard had started sobbing yet again, and he was gripping bunches of his hair in his anger.
"It's so fucking frustrating Mikes... I can't fucking do this...." Gerard outbursted. "I can't fucking do anything, I'm s-s-so sorry Mikey..."
"No Gerard, it's not your fault, don't apologize..." Mikey reassured him as he picked him up. Once he got Gerard on his feet again, he saw Gee's swim trucks had gone down quite a bit. Mikey moved to readjust them, but when he saw an odd looking part of his skin, he felt the need to investigate. Gerard tensed as Mikey pulled down his swim trunks just a bit more. What Mikey saw made him want to vomit.
Gerard's scar from when his attacker stabbed him looked even more disturbing than when the wound was open. It wasn't bleeding, but just mangled looking. Observing his pelvic area more, it seemed a lot of the trauma hadn't gone down. The entire area was a strange shade of purple, blue, and grey. A strong surge of anger went through him towards the man who did this to his sweet, sensitive brother. So many horrible people in the world, and this monster had to choose him? Not that anyone deserved to have this happen, but Gerard would certainly the last on a list if anyone who did. In Mikey's opinion, anyway.
Mikey had been tracing his fingers around his pelvis, simply transfixed by the horror of it. It was somehow like looking at everything that was wrong with the world.
"Mikey...?" Gerard whimpered.
"Sorry." Mikey withdrew his hand quickly, "I just.... I fucking can't believe what he did to you."
"You think I'm ugly now?" Gerard nearly whispered, more tears pouring down his face.
"No! No no no!" Mikey grabbed his brother and pulled him into a tight, wet, reassuring embrace. Gerard wrapped his arms around Mikey, sobbing into his shoulder. Mikey stroked a hand through Gerard's hair. "You're beautiful Gerard. You're beautiful."
Mikey didn't care what had to happen --- the bastard who did this was going to pay.
Frank strolled along the downtown Los Angeles. His sunglasses didn't do much to conceal him, and he kept getting hassled for autographs and pictures. Usually he didn't mind, but he was in need of a nice walk to clear his head. He had picked up a few things so far, mostly audio books. It was then he spotted something that he couldn't resist going into --- an art store.
He walked inside, taking in everything around him. He had been here before, it was mostly a place where college students went to get supplies for their classes. But they had quality merchandise none the less. He looked at a few different sketchbooks. He doubted they had anything for the blind.
And then he found it. In the center of the room just staring at him. A huge painting canvas. It called to him, allured him. It told him that: perhaps Gerard might struggle with something as skilled as sketching, but painting was another story.
Frank turned to the cashier ready to make his purchase.
Next chapter: Ray has some news. Frank shows Gerard that not all is lost.