Mikey and Frank had a difficult time keeping the press off their backs in the following weeks. Mikey had gone into security overdrive. He answered Gerard's calls. He yelled at anyone who came to their door. He wouldn't let Gerard talk to a single outsider.
Meanwhile, he also worked on suing everyone he possibly could. He hired an expensive lawyer. He planned to sue the entire hospital for this mishap. After thorough investigation, the leak was traced to the physician that had been in charge of Gerard's case. Some scumbag who wanted to make a few extra bucks off a juicy story. The physician had already had his medical license revoked, and was charged a large fine. But that wasn't enough for Mikey, he wanted him either jailed or killed. Frank thought Mikey was releasing the fury he had at Gerard's attacker on this man. Unfortunately the first examination had not yet yielded any results, and it was looking as though a second examination may be necessary to find Gerard's rapist. Yet no one wanted to make Gerard experience that again.
Frank was trying to contact everyone who had the photos and ask they be removed. He knew it wasn't much use, what with Tumblr and Facebook and people downloading the personal lives of celebrities into their hardrives like it was theirs to own. He still tried his hardest to minimize the amount of people who saw it. Unfortunately this process came with Frank not only having to see the photos, but the comments that came with them. Frank lost a bit of his faith in humanity with every other one. People saying things like "emo faggot deserved it" or "too bad the guy didn't finish the job and kill the bitch off", Frank wanted to hunt them down personally. They were used to hearing the jeers and comments of those who disliked them, but this was too much. Couldn't they see that this was someone's best friend? Someone's father? Someone's brother? Someone's husband? He really might have hunted them down had it not been for his obligations to Gerard.
Not all of the attention they got was bad. Fans sent many gifts and letters and cards to the house, all wishing Gerard well. Frank would collect them and store them away. He wished with all his heart that he could give them to Gerard, they were all so lovely. But then Gerard would know that something was wrong. Frank would still slip him some chocolates or candies if they were delivered any, and make up something about having gone to the store that day.
Jamia and Alicia offered to come down, but Frank and Mikey both agreed it would be better if they stayed away from this disaster. They themselves could hardly leave the house without being hounded and followed by awaiting journalists. Dealing with all this, while trying to keep it a secret from Gerard --- Frank and Mikey knew they were in over their heads. And Frank had the hunch something had to give eventually.
A happier day came when Gerard finally received the permanent prosthetics for his eyes. Well, at least for the next six years. To Gerard it was like getting a little closer to the way things used to be, and that alone made him immensely excited. He would finally have irises again, even though he'd never see them.
Mikey helped him apply them in the bathroom. It was a slight struggle, as Gerard's eyelids tended to twitch whenever something was being done around them. But after an hour or so, it got achieved.
"...aaaaand done!" said Mikey after he put in a few eyedrops.
Frank grinned "Aw honey, you look gorgeous."
"Really?" Gerard smiled.
"You're even prettier than you were before." Frank reassured. He nudged Mikey.
"You look amazing Gee." Mikey piped in.
"Thanks guys!" squealed Gerard happily.
After that day, Gerard was able to walk around the house with his head held a bit higher. And Frank and Mikey couldn't have been more relieved.
Frank and Gerard were in the basement again. Frank wasn't sure what Gerard was trying to paint this time, but he waited patiently to find out. Something with a lot of black. He watched Gerard sniff at the paint trying to choose his colors. Frank had to intervene a few times to stop Gerard from getting paint all over his nose.
After an hour, Frank finally saw it. Gerard was trying to paint a microphone on a stand. He got a couple of times to help Gerard out, but Gerard did pretty well on his own. In the meantime Frank read one of his new books. Everything was going swell until they heard a voice loudly conversing from upstairs.
"....where is it?.....the park on Arrow Highway? Thursday? Why are you just telling us this now.....Well I wouldn't hold your breath....he isn't feeling well....Yes, I know it's Bandits birthday....trust me, he'd make it if he could.....no, he's asleep....okay well, I'll keep it in mind....."
Frank froze. He looked at Gerard and wondered if he had heard all of that. Gerard was unmoving in front of his canvas for quite a while, and Frank was afraid he might cry again. But Gerard just kept painting seconds later, like nothing. Frank sighed and figured Gerard just hadn't been paying attention.
He figured wrong.
Gerard fumbled with his phone for a while before he heard the signal for voice command. He said the word "taxi" into some end of the phone, but he figured it must have worked as the phone responded with "now calling taxi".
Mikey and Frank were out picking up Ray from the LAX airport, which gave him at least two hours alone. That's two hours to do a ten minute sneak out. True, he felt guilty taking advantage of the one time they had finally left him alone. But it wasn't for anything other than he needed to see his daughter. On her birthday. They would have to understand.
He waited for the cab to get there. Once it did, it took him a while to manage to simply sit down in it. He then asked to be taken to the park Mikey had mentioned. He knew exactly where it was. Lindsey liked walking there a lot. And they drove off.
He arrived there 30 minutes later. He paid the man. In truth, he probably paid the taxi far more than he should have. He couldn't see the amount he had grabbed at home, so he had just taken a handful of the 100 dollar bills. He threw a few of them at the driver. The driver said nothing -- whether he was in shock or just rude, Gerard didn't know.
Gerard got out of the car and used his cane to feel around. Grass. The outdoors. Fuck, it felt great. He could hear children. People. Having picnics and playing in the playground. Gerard trudged forward. He didn't care if anyone recognized him, or saw that he was now blind. He wanted to see his baby girl, and that was all he knew. His heart beat quickly at the thought that he was close to her now.
"Bandit?" he called out "Bandit?"
He trudged forward, repeatedly calling her name. He stumbled a few times, and had to watch his steps. Then he felt as though he had walked into a large crowd. Whispers surrounded him. Whispers were everywhere.
"Isn't that Gerard Way?"
"He was raped a few weeks ago, poor dear."
"He's blind now?"
Gerard was in shock. How did these people know? Had the story got out already? An overwhelming sense of humiliation washed over him. It was like being exposed all over again. He stood there in the crowd, flushed and awkward, as others peered at him curiously. He could hear the sounds of more footsteps gathering around to see him.
Tears formed in his eyes, but he tried to focus on the task at hand. He called for Bandit again and walked forward. He moved people aside. He needed to find her.
"Bandit?" he called out again.
And finally, a voice squeaked nearby him. "Daddy!"
Gerard managed to smile and he kneeled down to meet her. He wasn't sure exactly where Bandit was, but she usually did know to come to him when he was kneeling down. He brought down his cane, expecting his little girl to be running into his arms at any moment.
Instead, he found himself being pulled up by the hair roughly. His heart jumped to his throat as he remembered the sensation.
"The fuck are you doing?" came a familiar voice. Lindsey. Lindsey's angry voice.
"It's Bandit's birthday..." was all he answered.
"You shouldn't fucking be here Gerard! You wanna embarrass Bandit more than you already have?" she hissed.
"No, no excuses Gerard! Do you have any idea what people have been saying about you? You need to stay away from my daughter!"
"She's my daughter too..." Gerard hissed back.
"Not when you're a liability for her to get teased and mocked! She doesn't need that, and she doesn't need you! If you know what's best for her, you'll just leave her AND me alone!" Lindsey yelled.
Gerard fell silent. Was Lindsey right? Was he hurting Bandit by being near her? He had only really wanted to see her for a few minutes. But he could hear the whispering increasing around them. It was his baby's birthday. He shouldn't ruin it with his deformity.
"Please." he told Lindsey. "Just give this to her for me, and tell her I love her?"
He reached in his pocket and extended a small stuffed dinosaur. He felt Lindsey's hand take it from him. Sulking his shoulders in defeat, he turned around and left without another word.
As he tried to get through the crowd he had gathered, one man grabbed him by the shoulders.
"Where you going, pretty eyes?" he laughed as he cupped at Gerard's package. Gerard's heart pounded. 'No, no, no this can't be happening again...' he panicked.
And suddenly, off in the distance, he heard his name being called. He heard footsteps running toward them. Then felt friction pull him back, and the man who had held him let out a pained cry. Then hands clamped around him. Warmer hands. Frank's hands.
"Fucking bastard!" Mikey shrieked at the man that had been touching Gerard.
Frank gripped a rattled Gee while he looked upon the scene. Mikey had punched the guy in the face, knocking him out onto the floor. Many other people watched around them, one of them being Lindsey who was watching from afar. Ray was standing behind them in utter shock.
Mikey then turned to Gerard with a look of absolute rage on his face. “GERARD, WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?” he screamed at him.
“I just wanted to see my daughter…” Gerard argued, although clearly intimidated.
“AND LOOK WHAT FUCKING HAPPENS! WE’VE DONE SO FUCKING MUCH FOR YOU, AND WE TRUST YOU FOR ONE FUCKING HOUR AND YOU DISOBEY THE ONE GOD DAMN RULE WE GAVE YOU! GOD DAMMIT, GERARD!”
“I WAS ONLY GOING TO BE GONE FOR A FEW MINUTES!” Gerard yelled back.
“YEAH, AND ALL IT TOOK WAS A FEW MINUTES FOR YOU TO GET INTO TROUBLE! THANK FUCKING GOD I REALIZED YOUR STUPID FUCKING STUNT WHEN I DID, OR GOD KNOWS WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED!” Mikey shrieked.
“WHY ARE YOU SO MAD? I DON’T UNDERSTAND!” Gerard’s voice cracked, he sounded on the verge of tears. Then a female voice rammed into the screaming match.
“GERARD TAKE THIS SOMEWHERE ELSE! GOD YOU CAN’T GO ONE FUCKING DAY WITHOUT RUINING SOMEONE’S LIFE, CAN YOU?” Lindsey screamed at Gerard. Mikey glared at her, seeming ready to let her have it as well.
“STOP YELLING AT HIM!” Frank finally bellowed at them both. Lindsey and Mikey both ceased talking, and an awkward silence fell on the scene. What seemed to be the entire park was staring at them, taking in the drama.
“Whatever.” Mikey shook his head at turned back, motioning Frank to follow. Frank gripped Gerard’s now trembling hands and helped him walk forward. Without another word, they got into the car and drove home.
Frank was in the guest room with Gerard. Gerard wouldn’t stop crying. Frank didn’t know what to do other than embrace him and try to calm him down. What a horrible day it had been. Frank had almost wished Ray had stayed home. He felt bad for him, being pulled away from the blissful situation with his pregnant wife to this. Ray insisted it was fine. Gerard was one of his best friends, and he should be here. Yet he knew how shocked Ray was to see what they had become.
Mikey spoke to no one since they got home. Frank had insisted Gerard stay in his room for a little while. Mostly to give Mikey some time alone to cool down, and so Gerard didn’t get in the way of that. Of course Gerard didn’t understand why Mikey was so upset. He didn’t know. He didn’t know what he and Frank had been struggling to keep from him for almost a month now.
As Frank stroked Gerard’s hair, feeling his shirt being dampened by his tears, he just hoped this would blow over soon.
Next chapter: Frank takes Gerard “out”.