Oneshot. Comedy. MCR get a new drummer, Bob Bryar. With a recovering drug addict, a hyper guitar player, a manic fro' man and a unicorn loving bassist, has Bob bitten off more than he can chew?
Yay for sort of making Bob the main character >.< Anyway, I very much enjoyed writing this. I’d like to thank Sarah and Mark for no real reason, who sit and listen to be bitch and moan all the time. You guys are the best ‘counsellors’ ever, and I sincerely hope that one day you guys actually become official counsellors so you don’t have to keep using me as your ‘practise patient’. Is it kind of sad/creepy that I enjoy hanging out with/ talking on the phone to an 18 and 22 year old when I’m 14? Probably. Am I ever going to stop? No.
And of course, anyone who follows my writing here on FicWad.
“Frankie, you’re over-reacting.”
“I hate to be a sideless coward Frank, but Ray is totally right.”
“I am NOT over-reacting. And who the fuck are you?!”
Ray looked appalled.
“Frank, he’s been part of the band for a month! How can you NOT remember his name?!”
Bob sighed, running a hand through his short blond hair. Joining this band so far had been an….experience, to say the least.
“I’ve told you this, literally, five times now. I’m Bob Bryar, your new drummer.”
Frank narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
“Maybe that’s what they WANT you to think. MAYBE YOU AREN’T BOB BRYAR AT ALL! MAYBE NONE OF US ARE!!”
Bob just stared at this short little man’s odd behaviour. It was like watching a very small child scream and cry because mummy wouldn’t buy him High School Musical 47. Ray however, who was used to this sort of behaviour, rolled his eyes and patted the short guitarist on the head.
“Ignore him. He hasn’t had his meds today.”
“YES I HAVE.”
“Then please explain to me why there is a blue warrior stripe across your eyes, and you were dressed like an Indian when I went to go pick you up.”
Frank moodily crossed his arms, and muttered under his breath,
“Cus’ I felt like it.”
Bob looked at the pair of them, and thought silently to himself,
What the hell have I gotten myself into?
The three of them started to walk, in search of Mikey. Bob frowned as he saw Ray take two tablets out of his pockets, and give them to Frank, who glared at Ray before swallowing the pills dry.
“Um Ray…..I thought you said that all of you had stopped doing drugs now? I wouldn’t have agreed to join if I’d have known you were still using.”
In fact, Bob hadn’t really wanted to join them at all. He’d heard all sorts of rumours about this group; like how they liked to experiment with different pain medications, and would disappear for days to some random hotel to have seizures until it wore off. That they took sleeping pills before they went on stage to see who could stay awake the longest in some sort of insane contest. That their lead singer had been a complete druggie and alcoholic a good two weeks ago, and had almost topped himself. Not exactly the sort of people Bob got along with, being a strictly ‘no drugs’ kind of guy. He had never even tried them, and to be honest, he didn’t want to. However, Ray had seemed nice enough, and Bob figured being in what was becoming a popular band would be good for his career.
Oh what a mistake that was turning out to be.
“Oh, it’s nothing serious! We just give Frank Ritalin, because he’s got some sort of hyperactive disorder no doctor can understand, and it keeps him acting normal. Ish. I swear to you, no one is doing drugs anymore. At all. Not even a little. Well….. Gerard is still on antidepressants, but he’s prescribed them, so it’s okay. And we never leave the packet with him, because we know he’ll probably just go on some sort of druggie rampage and take them all or something. In fact, is Gerard alone right now? SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT.”
Ray picked up his pace, almost running.
Bob in all honesty, had never really spoken to Gerard properly. He’d done like two shows with him, plus the I’m Not Okay video shoot, but they didn’t really talk or anything. So Bob was confused as to why Ray was now panicking so much.
“Dude, I thought he was clean and sober now? Why are you worried?”
Ray sighed, looking worried.
“He’s still recovering. He bitches at least twice a day about how hard it is staying clean, and that we should at least let him buy seven grams of coke so he isn’t as socially awkward. Some day’s he’s all like, “I’m never touching drugs again, they ruined my life” and then other days he’s all “Oh my god give me a whole bottle of Oxycontin NOW!” Jesus, he’s such a diva. For all we know he could be doing coke out of Charlie Sheen’s butt crack right now. And that, my dear Bobert, is why I’m worried.”
An amused looking Mikey stumbled up to them. Bob noticed there was a plushie Unicorn with a rainbow horn and sparkles in its eyes tucked under Mikey’s arm, along with a nearly emptly bottle of vodka,
“Oh Mikey! Thank god. Have you seen where-”
Mikey burst into uncontrollable giggles.
Ray paused mid sentence, and sniffed Mikey. He sighed.
“Really Mikey? REALLY? It’s 6PM. You know the rules, no drinking until after 7. Gerard isn’t the only one meant to be recovering. Go lie down in the bus, you little alcoholic. We’ll be back for you later, try and sleep it off so you can get drunk again with us later tonight.”
“Pshht, WHATEVER. Me and Mr. Snuggles don’t need you anyway!”
Mikey turned, holding his unicorn high above his head, and ran away screaming. His illegible shouts sounded a little something like ‘the Nazi’s are coming’.
“….Aren’t you worried about him?”
“Who Mikey? A little, but not much. He did used to be just as bad as Gerard, but unlike Gerard, he doesn’t whine about not being able to have his precious narcotics every day, so it’s not the end of the world if he gets drunk a little early. Speaking of Gerard, where the fuck is he?”
They did manage to find Gerard after a few streets. It’s not like he was hard to miss; he was wearing a black suit with a red tie, and his face and neck were painted white with copious amounts of red eyeliner under his eyes. He was stood on a street corner, with a tortured look on his face. His eyes flickered between the booze store he was stood in front of, and the shady looking guy selling crack right next to it.
“Fuck it,” He said to himself.
Gerard walked past the hobo and was on his way back when Ray jumped on his back and tackled him down to the pavement. He tried to pin the singer down, but Gerard’s grip was tight and he pulled at Ray’s ‘fro. Frank gasped dramatically. No one was allowed to touch Ray’s ‘fro. It was just a thing, one of those laws of the land that no one dared defy. Like pushing kids into the river to see if they could make their way out alive, Or sitting up straight, automatically driving at 20 and avoiding eye contact when you cruised by a police car. Right up there, in the book of unspoken laws, ‘never touch Ray’s ‘fro’ had to be at least number 53.
Gerard made his way to his feet, panting slightly.
“Dude, what the hell was that for?!” He demanded. Then he spotted Bob, and as an after thought, added “Hi Bob. Long time no see.”
Ray also stood up, looking embarrassed.
“I thought you were gonna….”
Gerard looked at the hobo, who gave him a toothless grin and waved a small packet of coke in his face. ‘You know you want it,’ the hobo mouthed at him. Gerard sighed.
“I almost did. But I was on my way back to the bus. Thank you anyway Ray, I appreciate everything you’re doing for me, it means a lot.”
“Anytime Gee. C’mon, let’s get back to the bus so we can lay down plans for tonight.”
Gerard felt his stomach squirm. Plans? Tonight? It was a Saturday, and usually Gerard would have been out on the town already. Drunk. High. Giving some random guy a blow job for more drugs if he couldn’t afford to buy them. He shuddered in longing at the jumbled memories of his recent past.
They turned around, and Gerard decided to strike up light conversation with Bob.
“So Bob, how are you settling in? Not too fazed by the madness are you?”
Bob decided that Gerard was his favourite member. Yes, he did have a questionable past, and various drug addictions, but he was the only member Bob had met that actually seemed kind of normal. The singer had a permanent look of aged sadness in his eyes, like he’d been through everything and lived to tell the tale. Ray was nice and all, but he was kind of hyper like the rest of them. Bob admired the fact that Gerard didn’t have to be manic all the time to prove his worth.
“Well, it’s certainly…..something, your band.”
Gerard laughed, a deep throaty thing that sounded weird coming out of someone with such a baby face.
“Isn’t it just? I’m surprised you’re still here, I would have cleared off if I met myself.”
Although Gerard’s sentence didn’t really make any sense, Bob understood what he meant.
“Well, I haven’t got the check for my first month yet, so…”
Gerard laughed again, and clapped Bob on the back.
“Y’know, I think we’re all going to get along very well Bryar.”
The thing was, Bob hadn’t even been joking.
They finally approached the bus, and stepped inside. Gerard frowned as he saw his brother lying down sleeping in a bunk, clutching a unicorn tight to his chest.
“Is there any reason why Mikes is sleeping in the middle of the afternoon? I mean the unicorn I expect, but it’s like 6:15.”
Ray shrugged, not meeting Gerard’s eyes. The singer sighed, and continued walking until his foot touched something hard. Gerard slowly bent down, and picked up the half empty bottle of vodka he’d stood on. Bob noticed that Gerard’s hand was shaking, and felt sorry for him. After years of being addicted to drugs and alcohol, it probably couldn’t be easy quitting when people kept throwing reminders in your face.
Gerard stood quite still, holding the alcoholic beverage in his hand. He unscrewed the cap, and had the acidic liquid actually touching his lips before he stopped. Pushing past a horrified looking Ray, Gerard threw the bottle with all of his might out of the open door of the tour bus. It smashed the moment it came into contact with the pavement, and the poisonous substance spewed out across the street. Gerard stood there panting for a while, until he rushed to the sink and began to vomit.
Ray and Frank went to go comfort Gerard, and Bob stood by their side awkwardly. He guessed that Gerard was puking because of the memory of it all, and not because a tiny drop of vodka had touched his tongue. Yet again, he found himself feeling sorry for the singer.
One Gerard had actually finished, he washed his mouth out, and spat into the sink.
“I’m sorry guys, I don’t know what came over me.” He said, looking ill.
Frank patted him on the back.
“It’s fine. At least you didn’t do it, huh? You controlled your urge. You should be proud. I’m so going to kill Mikey for leaving that there! And this is ANOTHER reason why tonight’s plans shouldn’t go ahead, Ray. He’s not ready.”
“Wait Frank, why are you acting so normal? And what am I ‘not ready’ for Ray? Did you say Mikey left that there? Jesus, I can’t leave the bus for ten frickin’ minutes without some sort of drama happening.”
“I gave Frank Ritalin.”
“Ray, seriously?! I told you to stop doing that!”
“Gerard, when we went to go pick him up, he was dressed like an Indian and was running around the house screaming ‘You’ll never get me alive’.”
Gerard chewed his lip in worry.
“So that would explain the random blue stripe. Frank, you’re getting worse. You should really see someone about this; you’ve probably got some hyperactive disorder or something. I’m worried about you.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. I’ll do it when we get of tour, okay? You can even come with me.”
“Okay, panic number two. Why is my brother getting drunk so early? How could you guys let him?”
“Gerard, it’s not like we could exactly stop him. And besides, we have bigger problems to worry about.”
Hurt flashed in Gerard’s eyes.
“What, like me? Have I really become a problem to you now? Mikey was just as bad as I was. So were you, Frankie.”
“Mikey wasn’t planning on committing suicide like you were, Gerard. And I wasn’t blowing old men for coke. Maybe ‘problem’ was the wrong word. Regardless, we still have to look after you. I hate to say this about my best friend, but we just can’t trust you alone right now. It’s too soon. Which is why I keep telling Ray it’s a bad idea. Being the only one in the group that’s never been addicted to anything, he doesn’t understand.”
“No it’s not!”
“GUYS! What’s a bad idea?”
Bob sighed, figuring that as the only sane one there, he should probably explain.
“Ray wants to test you. Go out to a bar tonight, get drunk, and see what you do. If you get drunk with everyone else, or find some drugs. Frank disagrees. I didn’t think it would be a problem, until I saw how you were a few minutes ago. Now, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.”
Unexpectedly, Mikey sat up.
“I think it’s a GREAT idea!” He enthused, hair ruffled and glasses askew.
Gerard just stared at Ray and Mikey in horror.
“A….a great idea?! What the fuck are you on Mikey?! It’s an awful idea! Oh yeah, let’s bring a recovering alcoholic and drug addict into a bar, what a fucking stroke of genius that is! Jesus, sometimes I think you guys WANT me to relapse!”
“See Ray, I told you Gerard wouldn’t go along with it!”
“Of course we don’t. I just think it would be a good test to see if your heart is really in recovering.”
“Of course my heart isn’t in recovering! You think I want to spend every fucking minute with my worries and troubles? No! I want them to go away; therefore I want booze and drugs. You don’t seem to realise that it’s all I think about every single day. Every single minute there’s a fight in my head between doing the right thing, and doing what I want to. And what were you going to do if I failed this ‘test’, huh? Because you KNOW I wouldn’t be able to stop if I started again.”
Ray looked down guiltily, and Bob could tell that the guitarist was fighting a losing battle.
“But Gerarrrrrrrdddddd! Stop being such a bore,” Said Mikey. He hiccupped, and giggled. Gerard sighed, and sat down on Mikey’s berth.
“Mikey why did you do this? You promised we’d quit together. Don’t go down this road.”
“Gee, calm down! It’s fine, I’m fine.”
“Bullshit. You’re a mess. It….hurts to see you like this.”
“Yeah, now you know how it feels for us when we have to watch you fuck yourself up,” Frank said. Gerard glared at him.
“You should have seen him earlier, he was running around with his unicorn shouting ‘The Gratzi’s are going’, whatever that means.”
“No dude, I thought it was more like ‘The Nazi’s are coming’.
“What the fuck do you want Iero, a medal?”
“No, but you obviously need a hearing aid.”
Suddenly, after looking at Mikey oddly for a minute, Gerard’s eyes went wide with recognition.
“Oh god Mikey, please tell me you didn’t.”
“Give it to me.”
“Give you what?”
“Whatever you took. You think I’m an idiot? I know when someone’s high, I’ve had enough fucking experience haven’t I? Whatever it is, hand it over.”
Mikey went red faced, and handed over Gerard a small packet of coke.
“What the fuck is it with this band and cocaine?” Bob muttered to himself.
“I don’t know Matt, to be honest I’ve tried it and it’s fucking shit. You take one line and it only lasts half an hour.”
“My name is BOB!”
Frank laughed, and patted the enraged drummer on the head. “Of course it is Matt, of course it is. And they call ME crazy.”
Meanwhile, while Bob had been angry, and Frank had been……well, Frank, Gerard had been screaming at his brother.
“WHAT THE FUCK MIKEY?! SERIOUSLY? AFTER ALL WE’VE BEEN THROUGH, YOU DO THIS TO ME?”
Ray laughed awkwardly, patting Gerard on the back.
“Calm down Gerard, eh? So your brother….relapsed. No one said it would be easy staying clean, did they?”
Gerard just stared, baffled.
“Ray! If it was ME with coke in my pockets, you’d be all “Oh my god Gerard I can’t believe you’ve done this again! Off to rehab with you”!”
“Hey, I only ever said that once.”
“Oh yeah! And please remind me of what happened at the “five star rehabilitation centre” you packed me off to?”
Ray looked down, and mumbled something.
“Sorry fuckwit! I didn’t quite catch that.”
“….Some of the staff members sold you heroin and you came out with a new addiction.”
“EXACTLY. That ladies and Gentlemen, is what you get from following Ray fucking Toro’s advice. Instead of solving your problems, he makes them ten times worse.”
“WHAT FRANK?! ARE YOU GOING TO INTERUPT THE CONVERSATION WITH SOMETHING CRAZY AND HILARIOUS THAT WILL DISTRACT THE READER FROM THE MOUNTING SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION? WELL?!”
“What reader? I was just going to say your shoelace is untied!”
Gerard pinched the bridge of his nose in stress, holding the narcotic in the air.
“You have no fucking idea how temped I am right now to just take this and leave this stupid fucking band forever.”
Not wanting to see the inevitable, Bob decided now would be a good time to go to the bathroom. A large snort from Mikey informed everyone that he’d fallen back to sleep.
“Gerard, do whatever. I’m not going to sit here and argue with you. Here, take your Prozac. You were meant to have it an hour ago. Come on Frank, let’s go find something to eat.”
Ray and Frank left the bus, leaving Gerard alone. With cocaine.
….Possibly not the best idea in the world. He swallowed his Anti-D’s, and began to pace the room.
Urgh! They made Gerard so mad! Why did Mikey get special treatment? Why was Mikey allowed to take drugs if Gerard wasn’t? It just wasn’t fair, the way they treated him. It was a fucking injustice. Gerard felt tears run down his face, but they weren’t tears of sadness. More like tears of anger and frustration at the unjust way he was treated by his ‘friends’.
He looked at the sachet of white powder in his hands, and found himself asking all too familiar questions.
And then, in a flash, Gerard’s 46 days, 9 hours and 23 minutes of hard work crumbled away. He was making his way over to the table, tapping the packet with his finger so that some of the powdery substance fell out onto the smooth surface and fumbling in his wallet for his drivers licence and a dollar bill. He formed a messy line, not really bothered about presentation, and rolled up his dollar bill, sticking it up his nose and putting his head down, getting ready to inhale what he needed.
Gerard heard an embarrassed cough, and looked up. Bob was stood there, looking like he didn’t know what to do.
“It’s……not what it looks like?” Gerard tried hopefully.
“Gerard, I’m not going to stop you from doing anything. I don’t even really know you; I have no right. I was just wondering….do you want to talk or something? You know, to someone who isn’t……” Bob trailed off, not knowing the exact words to use.
“A fucking lunatic?” Gerard offered. Bob’s cheeks flushed scarlet.
“I wasn’t going to-”
“I know you weren’t. You’re too polite to tell the truth.”
Bob stayed quiet, sitting across the table from Gerard, who lifted his head to look at the drummer with a very tired and weary look in his eyes.
“Been a tough day, huh?”
Gerard burst into laugher at this statement, which after a while, turned into hysterical crying. Somehow the singer made it around the other side of the table, and ended up sitting next to Bob, crying into his shoulder.
“It’s just not fucking fair!” He shouted.
“Everything! The way Mikey gets special treatment over me! The way they treat me like a child! It’s. Not. Fair. They treat it like it’s some sort of joke, it’s like they don’t care if I become a junkie again. And to be honest, neither do I. I want to.”
Bob chewed his lip anxiously.
“So it wasn’t just the pills and the coke? It was heroin as well?”
“Bob, it was anything I could get my hands on. Meth, Heroin, coke; you name it, I probably used to take it. I used to…..sell myself for it.”
“if you need it so bad, then why did you agree to stop? Forget about what the others say, YOU had to have some sort of motive behind quitting.”
Gerard frowned, wiping his eyes.
“I….don’t know. I guess it was mainly that I was sick of feeling ill all the time. Everything being foggy and warm, not being able to remember half of the things I’d done that week. And of course, there was the fact I made a complete dick out of myself on stage. Falling over, puking in the middle of songs, and even that time my fucking pants came down in the middle of our set. I was so out of it, I didn’t even care.”
“Yeah I saw that. Part of me wanted to laugh, but…I mostly thought it was a shame to see such a new and fresh band go downhill so quickly.”
The singer left the comfort of Bob’s shoulder. His fumbled for his pack of cigarettes, and offered Bob one.
“Oh no, I’m trying to quit.”
Gerard snorted, putting a cancer stick to his lips and lighting it up.
“Believe me Bob, that won’t last long while you’re with us. We smoke more than a house on fire.”
“Gerard, can I ask you a question?”
“Shoot. Nothing’s too personal; every fucker in the world knows my secrets now.”
“According to the newspapers and your band mates, you’re meant to be some sort of divaish, mean, big headed fucking lunatic who’s got a terribly awful addictive personality and will do anything for drugs. Yet all’s I’ve seen is a troubled guy try to make his life better. You seem… like a good person. Why does everyone else think you aren’t?”
Gerard pondered this, blowing out a mouthful of smoke.
“I guess it’s what they expect all the ‘rock stars’ on drugs to be like. I will admit that there are a lot of assholes out there who do exactly the same things that I used to. It’s easy to see why I’d be forced into the same category with them. The fact of the matter is though; narcotics and booze aren’t new things in my life. I’ve been doing both since I was 16, a whole 9 years before I even started the band. I guess that’s why I’m not one of these guys who goes out banging groupies or something, because it’s just never the sort of person I was. I started all of this because I was picked on at school for being fat, and it was a way to escape the guilt and self-loathing. Having no friends except your brother for your whole childhood life screws with your head, it makes you self conscious and insecure. The things the other kids say hurt even more, because no one’s ever told you that the things they’re saying aren’t true. I’m still not a secure person, at all. If someone calls me a fag, or fat or something, I’ll probably end up crying all night. I’m not the tough guy everyone thinks I am; I’m just a man who’s gone through some bad times, and not reacted to them as well as he should have.”
Bob was amazed at how much sense Gerard’s words made. He wasn’t trying to excuse his actions at all; yet with the reasons he’d provided, it was much easier to understand why the singer’s life had been so problematic. In the end, what it all boiled down to, was Gerard’s desperate need for the love and affection he’d craved so badly during his teenage years.
“I’ve got to admit Gerard, I really admire your honesty. Half of the retards I’ve worked with could barely string a sentence together, let alone make it seem almost…..profound.”
Gerard chuckled at that.
“I’m not the intellectual type, Bryar.”
“I never said you were. Gerard, I’d just like to point out to you that it takes a lot of guts to open yourself up like that, and you shouldn’t underestimate the power of honesty. If you feel like your band mates are putting un-necessary pressure on your cause, then just be honest with them. Instead of harbouring dark feelings, you’ll actually find that with a little honesty and……….a new drummer to vent your stresses with, everything will get a lot better.”
Gerard’s throat felt tight.
“Y…you’d sit and talk to me?”
“Of course. It’s what band mates do, isn’t it? And I get the feeling that you won’t be the only one getting annoyed at your friends.”
Gerard’s lip twitched.
“They have good hearts, Bob. I sometimes forget that under all the madness, but they have good hearts.”
“And I can’t wait to discover them.”
Gerard blew at the little line of coke, and the particles flew across the bus, floating in the air for a second until they sprinkled down to the ground. He looked up at Bob, and there was a sparkle in his eye.
“I’m going to go out with the guys tonight. I’m not going to get drunk, or high. I’m going to prove to myself that I can do this. Not Ray, not Frank, but myself.”
“I knew you could do it. All’s you needed was to find that out for yourself; not have someone else force it down your throat.”
“Ideals aren’t the only things that have been rammed down my throat, Bryar.”
“Okay, that was a mental image I could have lived a perfectly happy life without.”
Gerard looked out of the window, exhaling another mouthful of smoke and staring at the setting sun.
“The future is bullet-proof Bob. The aftermath is secondary. We’ve got to make our voices heard, it’s time to do it now and do it loud. I’m not going to fade away, I’m going to mean something. Got to keep shining. Got to keep fighting the good fight.”
“The future is bullet-proof, huh? The aftermath is secondary? You know what Gerard?”
“That would make a epic song.”
“……Nah. Too fucking cliché.”
(Would anyone care for a sequal?)