Ray desperately tries to reach out to Frank.
Breathe in breathe out. In. Out.
Concentrate on the oxygen. It fills your bloodstream.
It's gonna be ok. I swear.
Frank hugged himself and tried to ignore the sobs and the screams he thought he'd heard.
Thought. Thought. You don't really know what's going on.
They're brothers. They'll sort it out. Mikey's fine.
But I wished for Gerard to--
HE'S FINE. Now relax.
He could still smell Gerard. It lingered, seeping into his bones.
A bittersweet smell. Sweat and fear. Pain. Guilt.
And something else. Something he couldn't really define, but knew that it was good.
That it was right.
He twitched at the thought of Gerard's skin against his palms. Your lips brushing against his legs.
The way the older man had smiled and guided his hands, as if he already knew how it was supposed to be done.
The way he'd touched him, muffled his screams with a kiss. And feeling him come in his hands, knowing that he was the one making him claw at the sheets, making him shake and moan.
But the way he just knew how it was done. The way he knew exactly what to touch. What to make him touch.
How many men had he fucked, hidden behind barns? In back alleys?
How many whores had he payed to feed the demon?
You're just another toy.
You were never special. Ever.
Since when had different voices started living in his head? Living and breathing and talking and guiding his every thought and action?
The good one. The bad one. And him.
Trapped in the middle. Tiny and alone.
You need to get ready. It's time to go.
Fear creeped up. Fear and anxiety. You were so happy to come.
But now it's so real and I can almost touch it.
Oh shut up.
He sighed and opened the door to the room he shared with three other men.
But it was better not to think about it. After all, he felt relatively happy.
Ray absentmindedly looked up from the bag he was preparing to see whoever had walked in.
Four days. He'd spent four days desperately trying to avoid him, to avoid having to see him.
The guilt still bit and burned, red-hot. Painful.
And now there he was, standing right in front of him.
Staring like a fucking moron.
Christ. It was embarrassing.
Frank felt the rage bubble and boil.
You still want to rip his head off, don't you?
He doesn't even know what he did.
And he never will.
Ray was the first one to speak.
"How ya doin'?"
Hurt him. Like he hurt you.
"You're in my way - he rudely shoved him aside - move."
Frank started making his bed, prayed for the rage to stay rage, and not become tears.
Wait. Talk to him.
Talk to him, Ray.
"What are you? Sorry? - he chuckled, bitter - Sure."
"Rapists are never sorry. You damn as well enjoyed it."
Billie Poe's friends' hysterical laughter. Your screams.
"I am sorry, Frank."
Iero's head snapped up, he stared at Ray.
Shit. The tears.
"You broke me. Do you realize that?"
The fear in his eyes.
"No. You don't. You can't. You fucking can't - he sobbed, cursed himself for doing so - nobody ever can."
"You opened wounds better left shut. The things you've done to my mind-- Christ. CHRIST!"
Ray bit his lip. Calm down.
"I don't know what happened, Frank. I don't fucking know what came over me. It just did...it just--"
Iero laughed, out of control.
"It just happened? IT JUST FUCKING HAPPENED?"
"It did - Ray placed a hand on Frank's shoulder - And I hate myself for it."
"DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH ME!"
"No, Toro. No. You have no right."
He snarled, hurt animal biting back.
"I'm sorry. I really am."
"You're n--You're not."
He pushed him away and opened the door.
"You messed it up. You messed me up."
Get out of here. It was a bad idea to come.
It was a bad idea.
Out, Frank. Out.
Before you hurt yourself.
You'd kill him if you could.
But killing is wrong.
They ram a rifle in your hands and tell you to shoot with no remorse.
For justice and peace.
God doesn't exist.
Ray didn't know what to say. Didn't know how to breathe, even.
You're guilty, disgusting, wrong.
Look at what you did. Fucked it all up.
Fucked it up so well. He's - WAS - your friend.
You screwed it up.
Regret. And fear.
Frank slammed the door behind him, left Ray staring into space, like a fucking moron.
He punched a wall and felt it vibrate through his knuckles.
Better the wall than the piece of shit's face.
Although he'd deserve it.
The pain hit a few seconds later. Throbbing and sharp.
Who are you mad at, Frank?
Is it Ray?
Or is it Billie Poe?