Mikey and Gerard finally get to talk.
However there is another story idea I have right now that I'm quite eager to get started on, and I have that one mapped out from beginning to finish.
This story that you're reading now has gone on for a really long time though, at least longer than my usual stories. So um, it might be ending soon, but when it does, I can start on that other idea I have --- which I can promise is a MUCH better story than this.
Chapter Fifteen: The Way of the Way's
"You may have to cancel the last few shows of the tour. The testing needs to be done in three months. In three months, Gerard and I will fly back to Los Angeles. I know a really good physician there that will help Gerard through the testing procedure. He'll tell us everything we need to know. In six months, there will need to be a second test just to be sure --- but most likely if the antibodies haven't shown up by the third month, he doesn't have it."
Bert sighed as he talked with Mikey, Ray, and Frank in their tour bus. Gerard was beside him rocking back and forth unnervingly.
"Well, when you go to Los Angeles, I'm coming with you guys." said Mikey, and it wasn't a question.
Bert threw a glance Gerard's way and Gerard nodded. Bert nodded at Mikey knowing there was no point in arguing. He was his brother and his closest family right now, after all. Still, Bert had hoped to keep this whole thing as quiet as possible. To slip in and out of the hospitals undetected. And the more people that came a long, the more difficult it would be to do that. The last thing Gerard needed was for this bit of information to slip out into the public.
"Alright then." Mikey grimaced as he got up from his seat. Ray and Frank followed, and Bert got the idea that this was their indication that it was time for him to leave. "Thanks, Bert. And um... I'm sorry about earlier." Mikey shifted uncomfortably.
"No problem man... I, uh... guess I would have done the same if I were in your shoes." Bert said as he got up and shook Mikey's hand.
"Nice to see you again Bert." Ray patted him on the back.
For a moment, Bert turned to Frank for a farewell acknowledgement. Yet all he was met with was a dirty look and a icy shoulder.
"I'll be in touch." Bert sighed and left the bus.
Gerard turned his head and looked at the bunk above Frank's, where the raspy whisper had come from. Mikey was looking at him, his eyes looking puffy and red.
"Mikey?" Gerard frowned.
"You're not sleeping tonight either, are you?" asked Mikey.
Gerard shook his head and they both came to a mutual understanding just by looking at each other. Quietly as they could, they both got dressed and tiptoed out of the bus, heading for the nearest donut shop. They knew the only way they were ever going to talk anything out calmly was over a nice, hot cup of midnight coffee.
They found one just a block away. They both ordered their coffees and sat down with them, both fiddling and sipping at their cups awkwardly before anyone spoke.
"What's the matter Mikey?" Gerard said finally, no doubt referring to Mikey's teary state.
Mikey sighed and began to talk. He told Gerard "It's just so fucked up. I feel so fucking guilty for everything I've said to you lately Gee...I feel like the worst fucking brother in the world right now... "
Gerard reached out and placed on a consoling hand on Mikey's wrist.
"It's okay Mikey. You didn't know. I didn't want you to know. If fucking Frank had just kept his damn mouth shut ---"
"Hey." Mikey interrupted him, "He was only worried about your safety. You know Frank loves you. If I'm pissed off about anything, it's that he didn't tell me sooner."
"Well since I made my little confession, Frank doesn't seem to love me quite so much anymore. The guy hasn't spoken to me for the entire day. I think he's disgusted. I guess I don't blame him, I'm a bit disgusted too..." Gerard frowned as he took another sip of his coffee.
"He has a lot on his mind right now, I think." Mikey told him, "Just give him some time. He can be a pretty emotional guy --- and this whole thing is kind of a big pill to swallow. But only because you're so important to us."
Gerard smiled. "Thanks Mikes. At least I know you have my back....right?"
"Always, Gee." Mikey smiled back at him. "We'll get through this together."
"That's a relief -- I don't think I'd be able to make it without you." Gerard admitted.
There was a moment of silence where Mikey played with his cup a little, and turned to stare out of the window into the dirty city street.
"So... Bert, huh?" he said suddenly. Gerard knew where he was heading with this.
"It's nothing, Mikey. We're just friends." Gerard tried to reassure him.
"Well, I'm not going to stop you either way. I just want to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into..."
"Bert's a good guy." Gerard insisted.
”Well as long as he doesn't give me another reason to punch him in the face..." Mikey smirked.
"Mikeeey..." Gerard scolded, but there was a grin playing at his lips too.
"Seriously though, from what I know, the guy still does quite a bit of drugs..." Mikey reminded him. "And since we did find cocaine in your system..."
Gerard got the expression that he was about to say something difficult. Sighing, he explained. "Mikes, I said it then and I'll say it again -- the drugs weren't mine. It belonged to the guy I went out with that night. We got into a fight, and he kinda forced some in me..."
"Fuck Gerard, why didn't you say anything?"
"You wouldn't let me explain! You just yelled over me every time I did, and then you wouldn't talk to me at all!"
Mikey suddenly looked like he was about to cry. Gerard backed off, fearing that he was going too far. After all, it was Mikey himself who had reminded him recently that words can really hurt."It's okay though.." he tried to backpedal, "I know how disappointed you must have felt..."
"I've missed you." said Mikey so softly, Gerard barely heard it.
"I've missed you too." Gerard said in the same tone. "We'll start hanging out again, I promise. And no more secrets."
"There better not be." Mikey shook a finger at him. "Which reminds me, how are your injuries?"
"They're doing okay. All the bruises are almost completely gone. The gashes are...healing."
"You should let me have a look at them when we get to the hotel tomorrow." Mikey suggested. Gerard nodded.
"You think you can do the show tomorrow? Do you wanna take a few days off?" Mikey then asked.
"I'm fine Mikey." Gerard was starting to sound a tad annoyed.
"Okay, okay. Just making sure."
After a while of conversing about comics and catching up on all the things they didn't talk about when they weren't talking at all, Gerard and Mikey realized it was nearly 5 am. They threw out their styrofoam coffee cups and headed out back to the bus, both feeling better than they had in weeks -- now that they had each other once more.
Next chapter: Confronting Frank.