Considering recent discoveries, the boys think they have Gerard cornered. Or do they?
"IT WASN'T MINE!"
Gerard shrieked at his brother for the tenth time that day. Frank and Ray sat silently watching the heated shouting match between the two Ways, ready to step in just in case things got out of hand --- as though they hadn't already.
"FUCKING LIAR! YOU DON'T THINK I DON'T REMEMBER HOW MANY TIMES YOU USED TO USE THAT LAME ASS EXCUSE BACK WHEN YOU WERE FUCKING HIGH ALL THE TIME?"
"Mikey, I swear --- "
"NO! I DON'T BELIEVE YOU!" Mikey stomped his foot on the ground angrily, his chest heaving. Gerard's expression looked desperate. Neither Frank nor Ray knew what to believe anymore. Frank wanted to believe his best friend, but it was obvious Gerard had been getting out of control lately --- a return to drug use didn't seem that farfetched. What was sex and rock and roll without the drugs in the middle?
Mikey took a moment to collect himself before speaking again. When he resumed, his tone was still dripping with venom. "No more going out. You are not to fucking leave this bus unless one of us is with you. You are not to leave our sights. Do you understand?"
Gerard gaped. Was he really being grounded by his own baby brother? "Mikey you're being ridiculous! The drugs were not fucking mine! They --- "
"I SAID DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" Mikey seethed.
Everyone in the bus knew that there was no reasoning with Mikey at this point. Gerard sat back, crossed his arms, and glared at Mikey before letting out a harsh, "Fine!"
Mikey stared at Gerard for a moment before saying a simple, "I'm so disappointed in you." and finally stomping off to the bunks.
The next day Frank sat next to Gerard on his bunk. Mikey and Ray were out for an interview, so they finally were alone together for the first time since the fight occurred.
Gerard was sketching, but Frank doubted he was very into it. He had been working on the same arm over and over again. Gerard still did not look up when Frank sat next to him. He seemed to want to keep his head down since the incident.
"Are you okay?" Frank asked rather stupidly. Well of course he wasn't okay. Yet Frank couldn't think of what else to say.
"Fine." Gerard replied. Frank sighed.
"How are your wounds?"
"Fine." Gerard repeated.
"You wanna tell me how you got them yet?"
Gerard was silent. Frank continued to push.
"Dude, would you just make this easier for all of us and come clean? There's no hiding from me anymore Gerard. You're cornered. There's no wriggling out of it this time."
Gerard lifted his gaze to Frank finally. Frank could see that Gerard seemed to be considering something. In the pools of his eyes, Frank could see a decision being made. He also saw apprehension and fear. Hesitation and shame.
Since when had Gerard become so afraid to open up to him?
Suddenly, Gerard's eyes narrowed to slits. "Watch me." he growled before throwing down his sketch book and storming off.
At first, Frank was determined to go after him. He was getting sick and tired of Gerard walking away from him every time he tried to reach out. He got up to go, yet before he did, something on Gerard's sketchbook caught his eye. Gerard had thrown it relatively nearby him, so all he had to do was pull it a bit closer.
Next to a sketch of an incomplete figure, Gerard had written the words "I'm sorry..." in the corner.
Feeling thoroughly confused, Frank again cowered away at following Gerard. He instead ripped the page out of the sketchbook and pocketed it for review later.
That same night, Mikey and Ray came home with some groceries in each hand. Despite being angry, Mikey had still bought Gerard food, and plenty of it. Yet concern was raised when Gerard denied the food, claiming he wasn't hungry. This caused yet another fight to surface.
"God dammit Mikey, I'm just not hungry!"
"Oh what, did you do too much blow today?"
Frank and Ray tried to concentrate on eating their own meals, but the brothers quarrelling was far too distracting. Ray motioned to Mikey, and a look of dawning came upon Mikey's face, as though he suddenly remembered something.
"Okay Gerard, I'll give you the chance to prove yourself."
Gerard looked taken aback. "What do you mean?" he asked skeptically.
Mikey went through the bags of groceries they had yet to unpack, and pulled out what look to be a small blue box. He came closer to Gerard and waved the box in his face.
"It's a drug test kit. Ray and I picked it up today. He convinced me that you deserved a fair trial." Mikey looked as though he were suppressing a smirk. "All you have to do is urinate in the cup inside this. If you really haven't been doing any drugs, this'll prove your case. And if I'm wrong... then I guess I owe you big time."
Frank observed Gerard, whose expression was unreadable. He seemed to be once again in deep thought. Finally Gerard nodded. Mikey handed him the box and said "go on then", motioning towards the bus bathroom.
Gerard took one last look at Mikey and finally went into the bathroom, locking the door. Mikey stood in front of the door, and began to concentrate on it quite heavily, as though if he looked hard enough he would be able to see Gerard cheating through it.
They were all holding their breath. Frank and Ray still had their noodles in front of them, but neither was eating. Everyone present was staring at the bathroom, awaiting Gerard's return.
5 minutes later, Gerard re appeared. He handed Mikey the testing strip. Mikey read it, and sighed. He turned to Frank and Ray.
"It's positive. Keep an eye on him."
Mikey would not even look at Gerard as he walked past him. Frank was honestly shocked. He saw a flicker of a very hurt expression on Gerard's face, but Gerard turned away to walk in the opposite direction quickly after.
Despite his earlier reasoning, Frank was still in disbelief. It wasn't blind faith, or so he hoped -- but he had the gut feeling that there was something they weren't seeing. And considering the message Gerard had left him earlier, considering not what the message was, but how he had to say it --- Frank was going to have a hell of a time figuring it out.
Next chapter: Gerard reaches a conflict.