Give me a cigarette. God give me patience.
That's actually a quote from Eminem's My Name Is, but it applies to this chapter too.
So yeah, there's violence in this one, mainly in the second part, so you have officially been warned.
Won't the real Slim Shady please stand up,
(oh yeah, and to AdnarimSmada; sorry, but I used one of your descriptions for Gerard's eyes, the celery one. I really hope you don't mind, I just thought it was really good :) so I apologize again for my laziness for not coming up with my own damn adjective!)
(oh and please don't give out to me,saying that the title bears no relevance to the chapter because it has very little to do with Frank. Look up the lyrics,they're actually totally different.)
First Of The Gang To Die
"I don't want to go," stammered Frank to himself, staring into the mirror. He turned to Gerard. "Please don't make me go."
"Baby," began Gerard, sitting on the edge of the bed. "You have to come. The first place they'll come afterwards is here, so you must come." He wore a small, reassuring smile. "It won't be that scary, sugar, you can wait in the Buick if you want."
"But you're gonna be shooting and fighting," he mumbled, eyelashes flickering. "I don't want to see you get hurt."
Gerard fixed his cuff links, frowning slightly, and then tugged Frank toward him, pulling him into his lap. He ran a caloussed hand through Frank's fluffy-soft tresses.
"It will be one-sided. We have over sixty men," he clamped a hand to Frank's cheek. "And they will have innocent mourners who are unarmed and unprepared."
"No more tears," Gerard cut across him quickly, brushing his lips to Frank's. "We have planned this perfectly. I wouldn't allow you to come if it would be dangerous. Your safety is my top priority, Frank."
"But why do I have to come? It's not like I'm gonna shoot anyone."
"Because it will show that you are mine," Gerard muttered huskily in his ear. "And that you have been removed from that family."
"Signore? Siete pronti?" A nervous shout came from outside the door.
"Non ancora," Gerard answered back, still trailing his fingers lightly across Frank's neck. "Please come with us, honey. You cannot stay here on your own. They will come for you." He lowered his voice as he was pressed cheek-to-cheek with the boy. "And you know I cannot let them harm you."
"Signore, per favore-"
"Solo un minuto!" Gerard barked. Back to Frank. "Please, sweetheart. I will have my most capable and trustworthy footsoldiers guarding you."
Frank weakened. The fact that Gerard and his crew had completely torn apart his beautiful house in an effort to make it seem like they had already been attacked had confused Frank; Gerard told him afterwards they would have to live in his "other" house after "this" was carried out.
Whatever this was.
Frank had been surprised at Gerard's statement; he and James had lived, for the duration of their relationship, in a council apartment in the run-down area of East Compton. Gerard lived in a gothic mansion in a secluded, oppulent, high-income area and this moving obviously indicated he owned another property in the area.
"Okay," he said, and was rewarded with a bright smile from his lover.
"Thank you," he purred, picking up his holster. "Would you be so kind as to strap me in?"
Frank tightened the belt around Gerard's hips, fastening the clasps and fitting the gun in the slots. The Don pressed his heavily jewelled hands into Frank's sides, relishing in the feel of the soft skin against his.
"Are you just going to shoot them?" Frank whispered. He felt like he shouldn't speak too loudly in fear of some law-abiding citizen lounging nearby. "Like, close range?"
"Most of them, yes. Standard mafia execution. But the men in the higher ranks..." he trailed off. "I will make them suffer." His eyes raised to Frank's, and a hand pressed against his stomach, making Frank smile nervously. "Like you did."
Frank didn't reply. This wasn't exactly your average conversation.
"Yes," mused Gerard, "I think some of them deserve a slow...painful...torturous death. They ought to learn how karma works..." he breathed. "What goes around comes around."
Frank's curiosity got the better of him. Gerard's forewarning was ominous but reassuringly loyal. "How would you do that?"
"Well, first, they're beaten. That's obvious. Usually with a crowbar or a baseball bat." Frank looked up to him and the gangster saw the innocence and purity glowing in his bright orbs. "Then they're kneecapped. That's where you shoot someone in the kneecap bone, as to disable them." Frank had forgotten entirely about the belt now, just gazing into Gerard's spellbinding eyes. "It won't kill you, but it will give you a limp for the rest of your life."
"Like you," The boy lisped, indicating Gerard's walking cane.
Gerard laughed nervously and lowered his head. "Yes. Like me," he murmured softly. "After the kneecapping, their nails are ripped out. And then sometimes we stand them up,legs apart, for three days." He brushed some hair from Frank's eyes. "They die eventually...if the rats don't devour them first."
Frank was shaking now.
"But," Gerard said with an odd tone of brightness in his deep baritone, "most times we just shoot em in the head."
Frank stared at him. He couldn't believe it. He was serious. Gerard was such a beautiful human being...how could he talk of such cold-hearted, cruel, callous things was beyond Frank.
"I'm sorry, baby, did I scare you?" He rubbed his thigh gently, worry lines creasing his forehead as he saw bubbling tears in his lover's eyes. "Ah, bunny rabbit, don't cry," he soothed, cupping Frank's chubby cheeks and pressing a neat kiss to his lips. "I'm sorry, boo, I didn't mean to speak so savagely in front of you, I know you get frightened of that." He squeezed the rabbit tightly to his chest, stroking his tresses. "Poor angel. Is that better?"
Frank nodded but still remained cradled against the mafioso's chest. He hiccupped thickly and tried to burrow inside Gerard's suit jacket like a rabbit down a hole. Gerard was slightly overweight and provided a comfortable source of reassurance.
"Very good." Frank giggled and pulled from Gerard. "Let us leave."
They stepped outside, meeting Raymond at the door.
"We're ready," was the steady reply. "Are you, sir?"
"Yes. Weaponry supplied?"
"Affirmative." Ray glanced at his watch. "O'Sullivan dropped them off this morning. Rifles, petrol bombs, crowbars, you name it, we got it."
"Nil. There will be no police or constablery at the service. Just family members and clergy."
"Good. What time is it?"
"Fifteen minutes to five."
They were behind the shrubery and foliage of the graveyard, waiting. They had been stationed there for just over a half hour.
Gerard had lead them, standing at the foot of the hill, where he was now positioned, smoking, fondling his gun. He was watching movement from the church above, emerald eyes darting to and fro. Meanwhile, his makeshift army was crouching below him, pupils squinting through crosshairs.
They were becoming restless; the damn pole-bearers were late, and as a result the attack would not commence until six o' clock. Every so often Gerard would sharply order:
"Stare fermo, maledizione." Stay still, goddammit. "Sarai ascoltato."
It was the fifth order of that command when the door of the church had opened.
It, like most Catholic churches built in the early nineteenth century ,was so elaborate and luxurious that it bordered on intimidating. Rusted angels loomed over the steeple, trumpets raised in a strangely appropriate pseudo-twenty one gun salute. Gargoyles and Stations adored the outside walls ,as well as a carved stone bust of the Virgin and a rather chubby infant Jesus, gazing at the onlooker in soft, doe-eyed awe. Protestants in the area were put to shame as they would pass the street down to their shabby Cathedral, with a simple crucifix and banner in comparison.
However handsome the church was, it would, eighteen months later, in nineteen thirty-five, be burned down by dissident Way family members.
"Aspettare," Gerard muttered softly, his hand resting on the butt of his gun. He was suddenly occupied by the strong stealth of a cat, his celery eyes darting to and fro, his tongue flicking between his stubby teeth, results of years worth of chomping cigars.
Yes, they were here. They were coming. He slid his hand down the barrel of the rifle and tipped up the muzzle; propping the butt up on his shoulder in the process.
Slowly, but surely; they were moving towards the freshly-dug grave,and thus, the ambushers. Gerard heard his gang shift and chatter with new anticipation-it annoyed him like an old teacher with giddy students. He rolled his eyes in exasperation and slapped one of his nearby captains.
"Sati zitto," he hissed to the group. He was very much aware that he, along with forty Italian men and twenty Irish, were hiding behind trees and bushes with enough artillery to blow up the state of California. They were about to shoot an entire family dead at the Romano's most famed and renowned gang-banger, James Romano. He served as a son/brother/friend/associate's to these solemn people walking towards him, unaware he was here to kill them. "Chiudi quella cazzo di." Shut the fuck up.
They complied, ducking heads and squinting through crosshairs. It was rare to not heed the orders of the notoriously bad tempered Don Way.
The priest was leading the congregation, head bent in mumbling prayer that only men in their late life seem to master. A assembly of about thirty people followed the priest, the women weeping, the men red-eyed and indignant. Gerard recognized the same shits that had beat him up the night before were carrying the bastard's coffin. He found it ironic that red roses, symbols of beauty and elegance adorned the coffin of one of the most evil men to have existed.
He counted. Twenty eight, twenty nine, thirty. Gerard smirked. Two militia men for every Romano.
"Signore?" He heard a tense Raymond whisper.
"Che cosa?" Gerard shot back, his eye still on the chanting minister.
"There are...kids," Ray shrugged uneasily. "Are we really gonna shoot up some kids...sir?"
Gerard knew serious shit was up when Raymond Toro was suddenly concerned about the wellbeing of some children. He certainly never had this problem when he pumped a fourteen year old full of bullets last week.
He clicked his tongue, dropping a hand from his gun. "You have some problem with that, underboss?"
Ray gulped audibly and did not meet his boss's eyes. The mention of his formal mafia title scared him back into submission, words failing him. He could not blatantly disobey and disregard orders given to him by his Don.
Gerard looked over the rim of his Aviators and spotted the little girl Ray was talking about. Like all children at funerals, she looked like she didn't understand any of this sudden sadness and melancholy, because when you're three you only care about trivial things. It was hardly likely she realized her cousin had been a bloodthirsty and cruel killer.
"Do we have to take her out too, il mio Coro?" He whispered. "I heard Chris talking about her the other day. Name's Philipa. She's only four years old." He appealed to the Don's emotions. "Isn't the same age as Luciana?"
Way scowled. His niece was none of Ray's concern.
"Luciana has nothing to do with this," he whispered back, voice dripping with hate. He was getting irritated; he was focused on the ambush. Now was not the time to act like a social worker. "In any case...she is five."
"Okay, fine," Ray huffed. "Do we have to kill the girl?"
"It depends," Gerard replied in Italian, his voice lowered to a lethal whisper. "If you want to be faithful to me and faithful to the Famiglia, then yes, you must kill her." He smiled blithely, pulling his lips back over his teeth. "If you want to be some yellow-hearted coward, then no, you don't have to kill her. But don't expect to be welcome inside my crime syndicate any longer, Toro."
Ray's cheeks flushed an incandescent pink and he looked very flustered. Gerard was now staring at the priest, hunched over the grave, sprinkling some holy water.
"Is that an order, sir?"
Gerard looked at him lazily. "No. It's a threat."
Ray stumbled away awkwardly, fumbling with his Colt. Gerard hated to think that this holy man, this Protestant vicar (Don Way was Catholic, and in being so, did not know the man by name) was blessing James Romano's grave. A spousal abuser. A manipulator, a common drunk and drug user, a gambler and a pimp. A rapist. Thinking of the boy being hurt in such an intimate, brutal way made the gangster's chest hurt, and he was sure it wasn't the vast amount of cigars he smoked daily. Gerard, who was old-fashioned and rather chivalrous, considered rape the lowest of the low.
He was distracted from his mini-daydream about Frank because one pf his men, Soprano (Louis, a twenty seven year old Boston man who was a very faithful server to the Family) nudged him. His men were ready now, looking up at him with expectant, round eyes, waiting, wanting, pleading to start.
Now. They needed to do it now, when everyone's heads were lowered.
Necks only snapped up when guns had been cocked and bullets were flying through the air-following the orders fired from the boss's mouth. Of course, by then it was too late. The first to go was the priest; his brains splattered across the elderly woman behind him, who was second. Her mouth yanked down in a petrified, silent scream; bizarrely convienent as she swallowed a golden bullet squeezed from Michael Way's Beretta.
After that, it was pretty hard to tell. People seemed to stutter and fall like dominoes after the first two. Gerard was feeling pretty good, standing on top of the hill, his machine gun spitting out bullets like tobacco from a cowboy's mouth. This was going well, going according to plan.
But then the guns came out. He was not confused; after being a gangster for half his life he knew no self-respecting gang banger ever went anywhere without a gun. But most of the mourners were women-the Romano family was misogynous at best, and, being so, denied females access to firearms.
"Andare, andare, andare!" He screamed, ducking down, rolling on his back. He did not flinch slightly when he heard screams of agony of his own men, and the clear, unmistakable ring of a child's cry. He had been taught by his father that the Cosa has no place for weakness. Pity, sympathy and assistance all counted as weakness to Gerard's father.
They were winning. And, at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
That was when it hit him; what he would later describe to Frank as "a sudden blinding light"-and to others, not describe at all-struck him directly in the middle of his posterior chamber, the block of lead shattering into a million pieces, seering through his eye, like sulfuric acid through rubber. It ate away at his eyeball. He could the sickening sizzle of his own muscle burning.
He didn't scream .Of course not. No one,living or dead, had ever seen Gerard Way scream in any way or form.
But he wanted to. Oh God, did he.
He could already feel warm, thick liquid gushing down his cheek, his neck, his collarbone, drowning his skin into a canvas of hideous dramatic art. The silk shirt he was wearing was heavy with blood. His mouth was pulled in the most severe of grimaces, people running in and around him,his hands clamped to his head. He was pretty sure he was going blind.
Then he saw him.
Something about the man just stood out to Gerard; maybe it was the fact that, apart from Way himself, he was the only one not in total and utter excruciating pain, the fucking bastard was smirking.
Even Gerard fucking Way wasn't smirking now. Not with one eye,he wasn't. He recognized him as David Romano, James' cousin.
Slowly, through the hail of bullets, blood and brains,he limped to his height, drawing himself up on his stick. His eye was rotting into his his brain, eating at his cerebral atria. He could feel his mind whirring and buzzing, he tried to shake his head, make it go away, please stop, the pain is agonizing.
Now Romano was in front of him, smirking, holding his revolver up to Gerard's face.
"Shut up," Gerard muttered, shooting him in the face,spraying his bone and brain jelly all over his own face, adding to the beautiful scarlet pouring down it.
Then he saw her. Phillipa, if he remembered right. Or was it Patricia? He didn't know. The pain was goading him.
She was lying, sprawled across the ground, arms askew and chubby legs-scabbed and bruised, obviously a tomboy-plain black dress drenched in her own blood, her light brown hair matted and smeared with her relative's and her own blood and brain matter. She was still breathing, her tiny chest expanding and then plummeting down every minute or so.
Michael ran over, his face spotted in blood. He looked ridiculously happy, like he was at a goddamn carnival.
"Hey!" That motherfucking grin. Then he saw his brother's face "Jesus Chriiiiist! Did a bomb hit you in the face?"
Gerard glared at him, hatred and resentment burning through one eye. Then he punched him in the face, knocking him straight to tarmacadam. God, he could kill the stupid brat.
"Get away from me," he growled, making his way over to the hill again. Then:
"Hey! Hey you!"
He couldn't fucking believe it. He'd seen gangsters go down before her, and now some four-year-old little girl was beating them to it.
He turned to her, that destroyed little kid, and said, "yeah?"
"Gimme my dog."
He looked at her for a moment, lying on the freezing cold ground of a church cemetery, dying a death no one should die. And now she was asking for her dog.
He saw it, a stuffed toy, a small brown dog with a red collar, thrown across a tombstone. It too, was covered in hideous gore that made the Don's bile rise. He picked it up and patted it into her hand. She seemed to be oblivious to the fact that he was covered in blood. What made it worse was that he, in effect, had taken her life.
"I always have him before I go to sleep, y'know," she informed him, "or else I get nightmares."
He nodded, absorbing the scene with vacant eyes. He walked away, patent black bluchers slapping the wet ground. Philippa Romano died approximately forty-seven seconds later.
Then the cops came, but the Way's were gone.
Along with fifty four lives.