Gerard slowly pulled away and just let out a shaky laugh.
"God, I'm such and idiot for now realizing you were right earlier," he murmered and carefully wiped away his tears when Mikey let out his own laugh.
"See," the younger said as he tugged his brother towards the front door of the house where their friends stood, eyes wide and jaws dropped open. "You're not always right."
"Yeah," the older replied and looked towards the ground, "I just should have realized it sooner."
Mikey didn't reply as he pulled Gerard into the front room along with Bob, Ray, and Frank. They sat in the seats that they had occupied before.
"Yes, you should have, but now all that matters is that you're safe." Mikey said as Gerard nodded gratefully.
"I just wish I could stop this!"
It was a sentence that lingered for a moment before the silence was broken.
"Stop what?" Bob asked carefully, not wanted Gerard to snap again "Gerard, what's wrong?"
"I feel like..."
The older Way stopped, his mind screaming at him that he couldn't let it out, but a voice from before, the voice of reason spoke louder. It overpowered the smaller part of his mind.
"Like what?" Mikey asked, gently gripping his brothers' hand in a tight hold. "What is it?"
"Like it's my fault."
It was barely audible.
It was filled with anguish.
And it hurt to just hear him speak those words.
Gerard could feel the pieces of his heart breaking even more when he let those words escape his lips. He could feel the shock in the room and then the anger that rolled off of his brother.
"Why?" Mikey spoke in a whisper as Gerard dropped his gaze to the floor. "Why would you think that?"
He couldn't hear his brothers response but he squeezed his hand. The elder took a deep breath and finally spoke, his voice thick with tears and quiet as he tried to keep them from hearing him.
"Because I wasn't there for her." He let out a heavy breath and squeezed his eyes shut. "I wasn't there for her when she..."
His voice broke and he felt his tears swirl in his eyes but he refused to pull his eyelids open. He could feel his brother beside him and then he heard him take a deep breath.
"She loved us Gerard," the younger spoke in a vcalm voice that seemed to relax Gerard's nerves. "No matter what happened, she loved us." He took a breath and when he spoke again his voice was full of tears. "I wasn't there for her either Gerard, when she di..When she died."
The five in the room flinched when Mikey spoke the words. No matter how many times they said it, it never would hurt any less. No matter how many times the words escaped their lips it would always sting.
Gerard felt a droplet hit the back of his hand and looked up.
Tears tumbled slowly down his brothers cheeks as he stared across the room. It was almost as if he were no longer in the room with them. He had a lost gaze in his eyes as if he were remembering. That's when Gerard realized that he was.
His brother was remembering the last time he had seen Elena. The last time she had praised them. And the last time she had told them that she loved them.
He realized this at the same time that he remembered.
He remembered the way she had smiled at him with such a brilliant light in her eyes. The way she had told him that they were doing such a great thing by being in a band.
And he remembered the absolute look of adoration that had filled her eyes when she held her grandsons hands in each of hers and told them in a voice filled with so much hope and reverance that she loved them.