Mikey Way won't stop until he's completely destroyed himself. Just keep reading until the end!
For what you did to me
And what I'll do to you
You get what everyone else gets
You get a lifetime!
A long finger traced around the design on the bottle of alcohol, stopping momentarily to pick at the peeling piece of paper that was wrapped around the glass. Light brown eyes, one marked with a slice of paler brown than the rest of the iris, stared dully down at the poison. That's what it is, you know; poison that will slowly carve away at your insides and destroy you. Mikey knew that, knew that's what it would do to you. He'd seen what it had done to his white-haired brother, Gerard, and knew that it could drives you to the end of the earth without knowing if you'd be able to be brought back.
He knew that. He wanted that.
Mikey's hand slid up the neck of the bottle and he slowly unscrewed the cap. It was the cheap, crappy kind of booze; it didn't even taste nice as it slid down his throat and settled uneasily in his stomach. The only reason he drank it was because he was so accustomed to what it was doing to his body and his mind. Well, that, and he couldn't afford to waste all of the band's money on his poison. Even in the sick state he was in, he knew that he couldn't and wouldn't do that to Frank, Ray, or Bob. He was only settled on getting back at one person.
Hadn't he known what he was doing to his little brother? Hadn't he cared? He had torn himself and the band apart, introducing them all to alcohol and harmful drugs and spending days on end in a drunken stupor. Mikey had stayed up for nights on end—well, the nights where he wasn't high as shit or screwed all up himself—worrying and freaking out about how he was going to keep his brother from committing. Gerard talked about it often, disappearing sometimes and breaking through the band's drunken haze to get them to freak the hell out as they looked for their lead singer. It had affected Mikey the greatest, though Mikey had tried to keep his anger and emotional pain hidden for the longest time. He held his hurt closest, of course, and tried not to think about how, when Gerard had been in need of someone to talk him out of suicide, he'd called their band manager and not his own brother. Mikey had been getting over a drunken night with the guys at the time, but he always swore he would have been able to keep Gerard from doing anything to himself if he had been given the chance. He'd hidden his pain and fury for so long, and now he was done with it.
It all consumed him. The anger, the lust to get back at Gerard and make him as scared and torn apart as Mikey had been, everything; it was becoming his entire life. The band was a minor asset of life compared to this. This was his theme, his motto. Get back at Gerard. Drink. Pop pills. Get back at Gerard. Drink. Pop pills. Repeat. He had to show Gerard what it was like to stay up endlessly sobbing and ripping at your skin, trying to fight the alcohol and drugs to find out what to do with your brother. He had to show him what it was like to be completely helpless in your own brother's life, to be the one that can't control anything or even break through to him. He had to do all of this to get everything even. This was his mindset, his goal, his entire life. And there was only one way he could achieve teaching Gerard how it all felt.
He had to slowly destroy himself.
Mikey raised the bottle to his lips, not even bothering to get a glass. No one else would share this with him. Frank, Gerard, and Ray stayed away from alcohol nowadays. They mostly thought Mikey did as well, seeing as he never seemed to smell like booze no matter how much he drank it, and they never caught him downing it anyway. He'd worked out a system to this long ago. He'd drink the slimy liquid and quickly dispose of the bottle, then brush his teeth until the smell was out of his breath. They never seemed to have a clue, and if they did they were too afraid to say anything about it. They all knew Mikey was acting weird and wasn't the awkwardly happy person they were always so fond of, but none of them truly started suspecting it was the drinking until the man started leaving clues about it.
Tilting his head and the jug back, he shuddered as the first bit of the foul beverage washed over his taste buds. It was bitter and made him gag immediately, but he slammed the bottle down on the counter of the bathroom sink and shoved his hand forcefully over his mouth before he could spew it out all over the place. This was his punishment. He had to drink this disgusting stuff because he wanted to do this to Gerard. Mikey's throat quivered as he swallowed the vulgar stuff, and he removed his hand to prepare to take another swig.
A pounding on the wooden door startled the brown-haired man into jumping back, sending the bottle of liquor careening toward the ground. Mikey lunged and grabbed the neck just before it crashed into the tile, the only damage being a splash of brown liquid on the ground. As a familiar voice called out and sent his stomach and mind churning darkly, the twenty-some years old grabbed some tissue paper and started cleaning it off to ground so he wouldn't leave a trace of anything.
"Mikey, you alright in there?" Gerard asked, a teasing note in his voice. Mikey scowled, able to do so as he was completely hidden behind his secret wall, that emotion-concealing door. What did he care? He never cared before. He never gave a goddamn shit how Mikey was doing. "Did you fall in or something?" Laugher. It wasn't the old, stupid drunk laugh that used to haunt Mikey at night while he lost sleep trying to fix his brother. No. This was his healthy laugh, the "I'm getting better" laugh that just made his little brother angry. It meant he wasn't worried. It meant Gerard didn't care if Mikey was slowly killing himself with alcohol. It meant he hadn't noticed yet.
"I'm fine," Mikey snapped, screwing the cap back onto the bottle. He'd have to polish it off later when his brother wasn't lurking just outside. The point of drinking was so that Gerard would get a clue, but he didn't want to be caught in the act. He wanted to screw up Gerard's mind with questions and nagging fears, just like he'd done to him. "Bug off." There was a silence before Gerard's footsteps sounded, heading off in the opposite direction. Mikey pictured him, staring down at the ground, puzzled and dejected, and he scowled further. He tugged the sleeves on his shirt down a little more before shoving the bottle into the back of the cabinet under the sink where no one had ever found his alcohol.
After brushing furiously at his teeth and tongue to get rid of the smell in his breath, Mikey turned and opened the door. Back out from where he was safe; back to facing Gerard and always hiding his anger and fear, the fear that Gerard would ignore him until he destroyed himself completely. These fears always settled in just before the booze took an effect and then evaporated as the alcohol positioned itself in his bloodstream. By then he didn't care if he destroyed himself completely.
By then he wanted it.
Do you remember back then when we met
You told me this gets harder
Well it did
Been holding on forever
Promise me that when I'm gone
You'll kill my enemies
The damage you've inflicted
I'm coming back from the dead
And I'll take you home with me
I'm taking back the life you stole
"Do you guys remember that?" Gerard was snorting, sitting with one leg folded up over the other. Frank and Ray sat on either side of him, snickering along and laughing with whatever he said. Mikey, on the other hand, was silently settled on a lone chair to the side of everyone, not making any comments or offering to the conversation. "I was so messed up. 'Oh, I killed so many plants!' As if the plants were all I should have been concerned about." Why was he laughing? He had no bloody clue. As his brother drew a hand over his head and smoothed down his dyed white hair, Mikey glared furiously at him. That was nothing to joke about. Nothing from when he had been an alcoholic should have been joked about.
Gerard had done so much to Mikey that he didn't even realize. How couldn't he realize it? Gerard had introduced Mikey into rows and rows of alcohol and drugs he could take to get rid of his inhibitions. Gerard had scared Mikey shitless when he'd run off on a two-day hike while threatening to kill himself. Gerard had taken Mikey's life away in getting better and not giving a damn about how his little brother was treating all of this. Gerard had completely ruined and wounded Mikey without knowing it. Why didn't he know? Now he was just sitting there on a couch, joking about such serious shit like it was some old, hilarious event that they had all been forced to go through. No. He shouldn't be allowed to laugh about it. It wasn't fair; not while Mikey was sitting there and suffering from the aftereffects of it all.
Their eyes met and Gerard blinked innocently, surprised by the heat behind Mikey's glare. The younger brother immediately turned away and looked over at a wall while Gerard tried to understand what he'd done wrong. Mikey had been so weird lately. He'd been disengaged in all of their conversations and was always going off into his room or his bathroom when the guys were around and they were all hanging out. Even when they weren't around, he'd always avoid his older brother, and when they did talk, he'd make comments that were always coldly spoken and seemed to hold some bitter meaning that he couldn't grasp. Everyone else in the band was getting better, although the recording of their next album was admittedly draining. What was it that was making Mikey so unfriendly and hostile? That wasn't the brother he knew, and it wasn't the brother he could understand.
The youngest Way abruptly got from his chair and left to go to the bathroom, leaving the other three men staring in confusion. Frank suddenly turned to Gerard and, taking a quick breath to brace for the reaction he knew he'd get, bluntly said, "I think he's drinking again. Actually, I don't think he ever stopped." He rubbed a hand nervously against his neck as his older friend turned toward him and stared blankly. "I just… I don't know why it's getting so bad all of a sudden. It never made him like this back when we were all drinking."
"No." Gerard said it simply and with a note of finality. Mikey wasn't drinking. Why would he be drinking? Everybody had stopped, right? They'd all given up drinking after Gerard had cleaned up, or at least that's what he had thought… "No. You're wrong, Frank. Mikes isn't drinking again. He's probably just… Stressed. He's stressed from the recording and the tour coming up, alright?" His tone turned defensive and Frank put his hands up helplessly in front of his face. "I'm sure that's what it is." Mikey wasn't drinking again. Mikey wasn't drinking again. What would he do with himself if he was?
Frank quickly tried to console the lead singer. "Alright, Gerard. If that's what you think it is. I've just started thinking of it more lately, especially since he always comes out of the bathroom with freshly brushed teeth. He could be hiding it…" He trailed off when Gerard jumped to his feet and spun around to glare at the two of them, arms crossed angrily across his chest.
"He's always done that, okay?" That was a lie. Mikey didn't care that much about dental hygiene enough to be constantly brushing his teeth like he had been lately. But he couldn't be… He wasn't hiding anything. "He's. Stressed. And that's it. Nothing more. Now, it's getting pretty late. Why don't you guys just… Go home or something?" Ray glanced at Frank; now they'd made Gerard angry as well.
The two men got to their feet and nodded at Gerard. Ray walked forward and rested a hand on his shoulder. "Just go check on him, okay?" he whispered, obviously concerned for the brothers. He'd been noticing Mikey's negative behavior a lot more lately as well, and both he and Frank agreed it was completely unnatural. Gerard glowered at the man's afro and shrugged his hand away from his shoulder. Of course he'd go check on Mikey. That was his plan to do as soon as Ray and Frank left. Ray gazed at Gerard a moment longer before sighing and turning, leading Frank out of the room and toward the front door. Gerard stared after them before sighing and letting his hands fall to his side.
Fearing the worse but desperately hoping he'd just find Mikey washing his hands or something, the white-haired man walked slowly toward the bathroom just outside of his brother's room. It was opened a crack, which was unusual. Normally it was sealed shut and locked from the inside. "Mikey?" he whispered, his stomach falling uneasily. A clinking noise sounded from inside of the bathroom and his brother moved around quickly, trying to hide something quite obviously. Gerard reached forward to push the door open, but Mikey swung it open before his brother could. They stared at each other for a few moments, Mikey watching in shock, eyes wide, at his brother while his hand pressed over his lips to keep something locked in his mouth.
It was the subtle movement of Mikey's foot nudging the cabinet below the silver sink shut, that quiet, little motion that hinted Gerard off to the location of whatever he was hiding. Mikey stared and caught Gerard's eye just as his older brother lunged for the cabinet. Although they struggled for a moment, Gerard eventually shoved Mikey out of the way as the younger man couldn't defend himself well while he kept the disgusting alcohol in his mouth. He gagged and nearly threw it back up as Gerard pulled out the bottle he had just been drinking from out of the back of the cupboard. Why hadn't he locked the door?
Gerard, moving slowly and in a daze, straightened up and gawked at his younger brother. The bottle remained clenched in his hand, so tightly gripped that Mikey nearly thought the glass would shatter. "What," he choked, his throat suddenly feeling tight, "in the actual hell is this?" He took a step toward Mikey and grabbed his raised arm, pulling his hand away from his mouth. Unable to help it, Mikey coughed and bits of liquor dribbled out of his mouth and down his chin. He quickly swallowed the rest as Gerard snapped out of his haze and pinned Mikey's wrist against the wall. "What the hell, Mikey?" Face screwing up angrily, Gerard smashed the bottle against the door. Glass rained down and scattered the ground, clinking and breaking into even smaller pieces, and the alcohol sloshed against the counter and tile. "What the hell? What is this shit?" He was screaming now, working himself into an absolute fury. Mikey was drinking. He really was; Frank and Ray had even seen it before him. How had this happened?
Mikey's mouth moved slightly as if he was going to try defending himself, but he just coughed and sprayed more alcohol on Gerard's shirt. Gerard moved his other arm forward suddenly and used that to shove Mikey's other hand against the gray wall. He suddenly wanted Mikey to fight, to say anything, to defend himself. This silence was the worst part of it all. "How long have you been doing this?" he demanded, voice cracking. His brother remained silent, eyes wide in alarm and anger. What was he angry about? Being caught? "Answer me, dammit!" Gerard cried.
"Gerard!" Frank suddenly shouted, bursting in through the door and freezing when he saw Gerard pinning Mikey to the wall. His friend's face was red and angry, drops of tears now starting to show on his cheeks. Mikey was just standing there, reeking of the foul alcohol and staring at Gerard. Frank blinked and looked at the ground, noticing finally the shards of glass and liquids all over the floor. "No," he whispered, looking up at Mikey. "Mikey…"
Ray appeared behind Frank. "Is everything okay?" he panted, wiping a hand over his face. "We heard yelling, and something broke, so we came back…" His voice fell into a whisper as he realized what Frank had connected only moments ago. "No, Mikey… Why?" That was the only thing he could even think of saying. Why? The bass player had so much going for him, and yet he was throwing everything away in a similar fashion as Gerard had done not long ago. Mikey stared at Ray and Frank as if he was finally registering their presence in the small bathroom. "Gerard, come on," Ray finally whispered to Gerard, finding it too hard to look at Mikey like this, with alcohol and evidence soaking into his clothes and onto the ground. "Gerard, you need to calm down…"
"Didn't you learn anything?" Gerard screamed in his brother's face. "Didn't you learn anything at all? What is this shit you're trying to play?" Ray and Frank moved forward suddenly and grabbed at Gerard, each man taking an arm and pulling him away from Mikey. He flailed and tried to break free, but he finally fell backward and let his friends take him out of the bathroom. "Why are you doing this?" was the last thing Mikey heard before Frank quickly closed the door.
Trying to figure out what had just happened, Mikey numbly sat on the toilet seat and supported his head with his hands. He'd been caught. That wasn't supposed to happen. He was going to start dropping hints about it to Gerard to make him paranoid and stress out, just as Mikey had done at first, but this… This wasn't supposed to happen. Gerard was going to end up taking everything away, monitoring every move that he made… And then what? Well, screw that. He still had pills. He still had what he needed to thoroughly destroy Gerard. As he heard Gerard's angry yells a few rooms down, he concluded that he wasn't done with this yet.
Mikey wasn't done until he had destroyed every last thing about himself.
We never got that far
This helps me to think all through the night
Bright lights that won't kill me now
Or tell me how
Just you and I
Your starless eyes remain
Carrying his bass in a case over his shoulder, Mikey trudged into the recording studio. Frank, Ray, and Gerard were already sitting in the circle they so commonly formed, the first two men holding their guitars in their laps. Bob was situated with his drum set and was lightly tapping his drumstick on the metal rims as he watched Mikey enter the room. All of them immediately trailed off from what they were saying and stared at Mikey, taking note of his red-rimmed eyes and disheveled hair. He'd been up all night and hadn't gotten an ounce of sleep. Frank's stomach immediately sank and he jumped to the worst conclusion; Mikey had probably been up drinking and that's why his eyes were all red.
Ignoring their sudden silence and stares, he sat silently next to Ray and pulled his bass from its case. After connecting it, he propped it in his lap and looked around at the concerned faces of the band members. "What?" he snapped, and they instantly looked down at their instruments or, in Gerard's case, their laps. It had been two weeks since Gerard had found Mikey downing booze in their bathroom, and nothing had seemed to get better. In fact, Mikey was even more irritable and completely set on getting his revenge on his brother, and his attitude had fallen dramatically. He was rude toward everyone. The band was willing to put up with it for the time being, seeing as they thought that Mikey had dropped the alcohol and was just suffering from withdrawal.
Oh, how wrong they were.
In fact, Mikey had just found a different place to stash the booze. Gerard would often search the entire house, turning everything upside down, just in an attempt to make sure that his brother wasn't still drinking. They hadn't had a full conversation since Gerard had discovered Mikey and screamed at him, but it was quite obvious what Gerard was searching for whenever he flipped over couch cushions and emptied every cabinet in the house. He never found it, though, and Mikey continued to swallow and chug each bit of poison he had hidden away. He'd also begun to take pills, a rainbow of assortments, and apparently something he'd taken the night before had completely taken away his ability to think properly. He'd also gone through a short period of time, a good thirty minutes, where his stomach had completely cramped up and he'd been glued to his bed, rolling in pain and shoving his fist in his mouth to stop Gerard from hearing his cries and coming to check on him.
"Well," Gerard said slowly, drawing his eyes away from his lap and up toward the other men. "Let's start strumming something out, okay? We'll see what we can come up with." His stomach fluttered nervously and he cracked his knuckles, dreading this session of song-writing. They hadn't tried this for two weeks, and since Mikey had spiraled into such a horrible mood all hours of the day, it was natural that he'd be nervous about this. Gerard looked at his brother and studied him. His eyes were red, his body posture completely unnatural and uncomfortable… And yet he'd searched all over the house for any traces that he'd taken up drinking again and found nothing. So why was he staying up all night and getting into such awful moods all the time? Even Gerard hadn't been so godawful for so long after he stopped drinking…
Ray cleared his throat and started picking at the strings, working out a tune that seemed like something they could work with. Frank joined in, quickly adding his own notes that made the sound almost right. That's when Mikey should have jumped in. Instead, the man was staring down at the tips of his boots like they were the most incredible things in the world. Ray eyed him quickly and then kicked his foot, jolting Mikey out of his trance. The brown-haired man started strumming half-heartedly at his instrument, if you can even call it half-hearted. It was more like he showed no interest at all and was randomly strumming to make some noises. Bob blinked at this lack of enthusiasm before lightly started to tap out a rhythm on his drums. Just as Gerard started humming along a tune, Frank slid his fingers down the guitar string and stood up.
"Alright, stop," he said suddenly, and Ray looked up while taking his guitar pick away. Mikey froze and looked up at Frank, vaguely wondering what was wrong and why they couldn't record. "We have fourteen songs and three extra tracks. I know we wanted to make another track, but we can't." The short man turned toward Mikey and glared down at him. "Look. I know you're getting over your alcohol shit, Mikey, but you can't let this affect everyone in the band. That's going to cause problems for the fans too, and I know you care about our fans. So get your shit together, alright?" Honestly, everybody was surprised that Frank was saying this. It's what they had been thinking, of course, and they knew Frank would be the one most likely to say it, but… They hadn't imagined he'd actually work up the nerve to say it. "You can't do this to the band."
Mikey stared up at Frank, barely paying attention enough to understand that his friend was addressing him. His mind felt foggy and dense, like he wasn't able to make or have a true thought or concern. The combination of the pills and booze weren't doing well on his body at all, and that was truly his goal. He looked at Gerard and saw that he was running his hands through his bright hair and looking like he was about to have a nervous breakdown. A smirk found its way across Mikey's face. How did it feel, Gerard? How did it feel to see your brother in ruins as he slowly killed himself?
"What the hell are you smiling about?" Frank yelled, snapping Mikey into attention finally. "What in the hell is so funny here that you just have to smile?" Mikey looked up at Frank and stood rigidly, placing his bass on the ground.
"You have no shitting clue about what's going on!" he retorted, kicking his instrument out of the way. Frank's face fell suddenly and his antagonizing look wiped off his face to be replaced with genuine surprise. Mikey never talked to him like this. He was awful to Gerard and Bob and Ray, but he'd still somehow refrained from being too horrible to his shorter friend. That was all over now. "You don't know what's going on with me, and he doesn't either!" He emphasized his attack with a finger pointed toward Gerard. His brother started and looked up, bottom lip holding a bead of red blood from where Gerard had been biting the pink flesh. Just as his mouth popped open so he could make a retort, Mikey spun and stormed out of the studio, leaving everyone else behind.
"Didn't even bother taking his bass," Bob murmured, earning him a harsh glare from Gerard.
Ray sighed and rested his guitar back on his thighs. "What's he doing to himself now, Gerard?" he asked quietly, staring at the door that Mikey had just left from. He ran a hand stressfully through his fro and glanced back at Gerard, who was doing his best not to run after his little brother.
"I don't know!" Gerard snapped, then instantly felt bad for yelling at his well-meaning friend. "I'm sorry. I don't know. I thought he'd be okay by now, I thought he'd get better… He's been moping around the house, and sometimes he acts like a complete zombie and doesn't even respond when I tell him something." He pressed his hands against his head while he thought of how dull Mikey's eyes had been looking lately. Starless and lacking any type of recognition of anything…
Frank set a hand on Gerard's shoulder. "Come on. Let's go get some coffee, alright? Maybe you'll be able to think after we have some caffeine." He helped his friend up and started toward the door, opening it and quickly checking in the hallway to be sure Mikey had gone. Ray walked up beside him and turned back to see Gerard standing guiltily, as if he knew something he shouldn't. "What's wrong?" Frank asked quietly.
"Guys?" Gerard whispered, eyes flickering down to Mikey's bass. A familiar color, one he'd been seeing all over the house lately, was shining down one of the strings.
"I've been finding blood in the house."
Hip-hip-hooray for me
You talk to me
But would you kill me in my sleep
Lay still like the dead
From the razor to the rosary
We could lose ourselves and paint these walls in pitchfork red
I will avenge my ghost with every breath I take
I'm coming back from the dead
And I'll take you home with me
I'm taking back the life you stole
Mikey's thumb slid across the razor, and he flinched as he felt it cut through the frail skin. Blood welled up and started rolling in drops across the digit as he stared at it. He never stopped to think about what he was doing; it was the drugs and booze that made him try and play this mind game with Gerard, it was the anger and desire of getting back at him that made him hurt himself. The man didn't think as he slowly glided his thumb across the pillow on Gerard's bed. What his older brother had said, unbeknownst to Mikey, had been entirely true. Gerard had picked up on what odd things were happening in the house. First he found some type of crimson stain on the wall in the bathroom, but he figured it was toothpaste or something of the sort. Then he started finding them everywhere Mikey had been; on his bass strings, in the shower, in the kitchen, even on some of the picture frames scattered across the house. It was always the same thing. Always a single streak of blood going in a diagonal line. It was freaking him the hell out, to be frank. Whenever he tried asking his brother about it, Mikey would simply shrug and leave, tugging the sleeves on his shirt down ever so slightly.
As he marked Gerard's pillow, Mikey thought of how he was really supposed to be in therapy. Gerard had scheduled for him to leave every day at three in the afternoon and return at five after talking with a therapist. At first Mikey had put up a fight about it, and Gerard was actually thrilled to see Mikey interacting and speaking to him. He'd drawn out the fight just a little longer to hear Mikey's voice, despite how raw and broken it was. Nothing had consoled him afterward, and Mikey had lost that fight; Gerard had stated that it was either Mikey go to the therapist or he move in with his parents. Figuring it'd be easier to find a way out of therapy, the younger Way chose against moving in with Mr. and Mrs. Way. Just after Gerard had gone to meet up with Frank, Ray, and Bob to discuss the album, Mikey had called the therapist and personally cancelled the appointments. Screw that.
So what had he done when three o'clock rolled around and he and Gerard were to leave? Well, Mikey had left the house like a good boy and started off walking to the appointments as Gerard watched. He eventually left in his car after seeing that Mikey was off in the correct direction, ready to go talk to the guys. He'd later regret not seeing him into the building to check in. As soon as he knew he was gone, Mikey went straight back into the house and let himself in through the front door with the key he had stashed in his pocket. It was flawless.
He'd done that on this day where he was sitting cross-legged on Gerard's bed. A can with the disguising label "Nectarine Juice" sat next to him, open and stinking of the crappy, clear alcohol that was hidden in it. Mikey had been stashing the liquor in their cabinets all along, and Gerard had been so close to finding it. If only he'd opened the juice cans, he would have found something so much worse than artificial flavoring. Mikey smiled at his clever idea and slowly lifted up the sleeve of the baseball shirt he had taken to wearing quite often. Scars were cut into his skin all over his shoulder and upper arm from where he had drunkenly drawn glass shards down it. The man flipped the razor over in his hand and stared at his arm, ugly with so many marks and gashes. He suddenly placed it down on skin and prepared for the pain that he knew was going to open back up in his limb. He had to do this. He had to get back at his brother. He had to let him know how it all felt. He had to.
Gerard whistled lowly to himself and unlocked the front door to the house, fiddling for a few minutes to get the key in the hole. He'd forgotten his album notepad, which he used to record all of their decisions on what to do next for the album. He'd probably been too focused on making sure Mikey got to his session to realize that he didn't have it as he normally did, and what with the album coming out so soon, it was vital that they have all of their notes. Gerard pushed the door open and paused for a moment to stare around the room and listen. It seemed empty, but for some reason Gerard felt he wasn't alone in the house. "Stupid," he snorted, walking through the door and turning to quietly close it.
Walking through the hallway toward his room, the white-haired man kept a close eye out for any bits of red where it wasn't supposed to be. Why was there blood all over the place? It was freaking him out to the point that he was having nightmares about an odd, shadowed creature roaming through the halls and leaving streaks of bloody handprints all over the place. He wanted to share it with Mikey, but his brother had been entirely too distant to have real conversations with. Gerard felt his nose start itching and his eyes sting at the thought of Mikey. He wanted his brother back, dammit. When would he get back to normal and be the awkward bunch of love that he used to be? "I just miss you," he whispered out loud, then felt stupid for being so emotional. Mikey was going to therapy now. He'd be perfectly fine. Right?
His hand hovered just above the metal doorknob to his room as he thought he heard something from inside. Gerard's heart hammered in his chest. No, he wasn't thinking about that nightmare. Of course not. He was a grown man. He couldn't be afraid of imaginary things that only lived in dreams. That was just stupid. Gerard straightened and grabbed the handle, turning and shoving so that the door popped open. What he saw when the door swung fully open was worse than any nightmare he could have ever imagined. Mikey suddenly took the shape of that blood-spilling shadow creature in his mind.
This hole you put me in
Wasn't deep enough
And I'm climbing out right now
You're running out of places
To hide from me
Mikey's hand flicked quickly and he flung the razor to the ground. It rolled in the air for a second before landing just next to Gerard's desk. He tugged his shirt down quickly as Gerard stared, completely stunned and hardly believing what was happening. His eyes slid slowly from the bloody razor up to the white sleeves of Mikey's baseball shirt, which in one place was steadily turning dark red. His throat bobbed as he swallowed harshly and stammered, "Y-You…"
Suddenly, Gerard found his voice and connected what was going on. "What in the hell!" he screamed, charging forward with a speed his brother didn't think possible. He grabbed Mikey's arm and shoved the sleeve up, gasping brokenly at the discovery of all of the scars. "What is this? Tell me what this is!" The furious man was staring at his little brother with utter disbelief on his face. "Michael James Way!" Gerard shoved Mikey's arm away like a rejected doll and backed away from the bed, his eyes already starting to go red and his fists clenching up. "Speak to me, asshole!"
"Shut the hell up!" Mikey finally barked out, pulling his sleeve down again and jumping off of the bed. He took a step toward Gerard and the slightly shorter man backed up a tad. "Don't you go calling me the asshole when you're too blind to see what you've caused!" He turned and smacked at the "juice" can with a flat palm, sending its alcoholic contents spilling over Gerard's skull blanket.
Gerard stared at the liquid for a second before snapping his head back in his brother's direction. "You never stopped drinking," he whispered, his voice choking up drastically. "You've been sneaking it this entire time. Mikey, I thought…"
"You never thought!" roared the younger brother, fully enraged now. "You never thought, or you would have realized something a long time ago, Gerard!" Mikey was frightening Gerard now, his eyes blazing in fury and his hands hungrily clenching into fists. He stepped back as Mikey's face suddenly broke into a malicious, horrible smirk. The brown-haired boy raised a hand and pointed faintly at Gerard before letting his arm fall back down to his side. "It's your fault." His voice had fallen to a hoarse whisper and he let out a bitter laugh. "It's your fault." Mikey unexpectedly barged past Gerard and out of the room, making his way to the front door.
Unable to move, Gerard stood there and gazed in horror at the blood on his pillow. A single line. Mikey had been doing this to get to him, to scare him… But why? "What did I do?" Gerard cried out, spinning and running out of the door after Mikey. He stopped once he reached the living room and looked around, frantically trying to spot his brother. "Mikey!"
Mikey had already charged out of the house, a can of alcohol clutched firmly in his hands. He stopped only once he reached the woods, about a block away from the house. Leaning against a tree for support, the young man slid down and sat, his knees splayed awkwardly. He threw his head back and poured the awful drink down his throat, trying not to retch. "Freaking Gerard," he mumbled, sending more of the alcohol into his mouth. He swallowed and coughed, shuddering at the overly-bitter taste. "So… So blind." Mikey continued letting the alcohol slide down his throat and churn in his stomach, eventually tossing the can to the side once he polished it off. He held his head between his hands and groaned, the aftertaste lingering in the back of his throat.
Eventually he dragged himself up to his unbalanced feet, the alcohol taking its full effect. "Gonna take a hike," he slurred to himself, scrambling to the path that led into the woods. He set off on it by himself, pausing every few moments to throw up the contents in his stomach on the side of the path.
"What's wrong? Gerard?" Ray burst through the front door to the Ways' house, spotting his friend just standing and holding his cell phone in the middle of the living room. His friend had called him and simply said his brother's name before hanging up, so of course Ray had driven over as quickly as he could like the good friend he was. He hurried over to Gerard and settled his strong hands on his friend's quivering shoulders and was surprised to see the white-haired man had just been standing and crying silently while waiting for him to show up. His face was blotchy and little streaks of salt ran down his face where tears had come down.
Gerard took a second to compose himself, but as soon as he started speaking his voice crackled. "He told me it was my fault," he choked. He looked Ray in the eye, his own shining with defenselessness. "He had a razor, Ray. He was cutting himself when I walked in to my room. He told me it was my fault. How was it my fault?" Ray bit at his lip and pulled Gerard into a hug, patting him on the back. He'd never, ever seen Gerard like this. His voice was close to a broken wail, and he looked more helpless than ever.
"Where is he now, Gerard?" he whispered, releasing the other man from his hug and glancing around as if Mikey would just appear out of nowhere.
Gerard's voice was hoarse and scared when he answered. "I don't know. He left the room and then left the house. I don't know where he is, Ray, and I'm terrified." Gerard suddenly turned and kicked at the couch, his foot going straight through the side of it and ripping the fabric. "Damn it! I am the worst brother ever! He was destroying himself, Ray," he gasped, turning back to his startled friend. "You should have seen his goddamn arm. Everything was… I should have seen what he was doing to himself!" Ray gingerly outstretched a hand and patted Gerard's shoulder. "What are we going to do?"
Ray pulled away and thought for a moment. It was around five o'clock now. "Well, why don't we wait for a little bit before we go out and rip apart the town searching for him, okay?" he suggested quietly. "And why don't we call Frank? If Mikey's not back before seven, we'll go out and look for him." Gerard numbly nodded at this, although he truly wanted to go out and find his baby brother right then. "Alright. I'll call Frank."
Twenty minutes passed and Frank showed up at the door. Gerard rushed toward it at the knock, hoping and praying inwardly that it was Mikey returning to them, and his face fell quite obviously when he noticed it was only Frank. "Nice to see you too," Frank teased gently, not wanting to upset his friend. He hugged Gerard and walked into the house. He and Ray exchanged a look with each other before they both watched Gerard. He had lowered himself onto the couch and closed his eyes tight, trying to calm down slightly. "Mikey's going to be alright, Gerard," Frank whispered. "He's smart, you know that. He wouldn't do anything stupid."
"He already has!" Gerard cried suddenly, his eyes snapping open and the man leaning back up. Frank backed up in surprise and raised his hands in the usual way he did when he meant no offense. "He's done something incredibly stupid because of me!" Ray's brown eyes widened and he quickly made his way to the couch Gerard was sitting on. Frank, completely baffled, sat down on the other side of Gerard.
"Listen to me," he said firmly, his tone forcing Gerard to look at him full on. "You didn't do anything. Mikey's just really lost to himself right now, okay? Nothing you did made him like this. And when he find him, we're going to get him all fixed up and better. We can take a break from getting the album released to make sure that he's okay." Frank leaned over and hugged Gerard, to which the other man responded by letting out a pent-up sob.
Time seemed to pass so slowly after that. Gerard didn't want to talk and instead got up to pace the window, moving the curtain and opening the door every time he saw someone that even barely looked like his brother. Ray and Frank talked quietly on the couch, trying to plan what they'd do with Mikey when they found him or when he came home. Their main goal was getting him completely fixed up, meaning they'd take him to a rehabilitation center if they had to so he would get better. They didn't care how much their friend would hate it or try to fight against it; he was freaking getting all better.
Seven o'clock struck and no awkward kneed, brown-haired man had showed up on the doorstep. Gerard hurriedly threw a coat on as it was starting to get dark and cold outside. Frank and Ray followed suit, both of them secretly terrified that they weren't going to find Mikey at all. "We need flashlights, just in case," Gerard said, grabbing three and handing them out. "And we're not splitting up." He didn't bother explaining this reasoning, but Frank and Ray agreed quietly with the distressed man. They all walked out of the house and quickly onto the shadowed sidewalk, legs moving briskly.
They headed toward the park first, a place Mikey used to be fond of going off to when he had nothing else to do. Calling his name and shining flashlights under each and every bench, Frank felt like he was searching for one of his many dogs. They eventually split to search each corner of the park, then met up in the middle with no trace of anything leading them to Mikey. Gerard was starting to get more worked up as they made their way farther down the block. When they reached the woods, Ray's flashlight scanned over something that glinted in the light.
"What's that?" Gerard asked, focusing his own light on it as well. A can. No, wait. A juice can. Though Ray and Frank couldn't see how it was significant at all, Gerard ran at it and scooped it up. Hesitantly, he sniffed at the inside. Alcohol had been in there. While his stomach sank at the revelation that Mikey had been out here drinking, his hopes soared. "He's been here!" he cried, going back to his friends and showing them the can. "He was hiding alcohol in the juice cans the entire time." He faltered for a moment, then stomped toward the woods and onto the path that led through it. "We need to search the entire woods. Who knows if he wandered off the path or something." He sounded so entirely sure that his little brother was in there, but his two friends weren't positive. Still, it wouldn't hurt to try and look.
The men set on the path, calling and yelling out Mikey's name. Frank and Ray wandered off the path to search for him, shining the flashlights over each tree and rock they could find. Gerard walked along the trail and anxiously called for his brother, starting to feel somewhat hysterical. "Mikey?" he called. No one answered, only his plea ringing through his ears. Ray scrambled out of the leaves and walked over to Gerard, quickly followed by Frank.
"I don't think he's here, Gerard," Frank said. "And actually, this place is starting to give me the creeps. Do you think we should look somewhere else?" Gerard stared ahead into the black ahead of them—it was roughly eight thirty by that time—before nodding slowly. He turned and then froze when he noticed his flashlight sweep over something shiny and black. A boot. A familiar boot. His hand trembled as he moved the flashlight up slightly.
"Oh my god!"
When you go
Just know that I will remember you
If Living was the hardest part
We'll then one day be together
And in the end we'll fall apart
Just like the leaves change in color
And then I will be with you
I will be there one last time now
When you go
Just know that I will remember you
"It's something you're going to have to get used to hearing. He might not pull through. I'm sorry." The doctor let go of Gerard's hand and dipped her head in apology before leaving the room. Gerard sat back in the chair he was in and pulled his legs up to his chest, eyes wide in terror. No. He didn't want to get used to those words. Those were ugly, ugly words. Horrible words. It meant that he might die. It meant that Mikey would never wake up from the coma he'd been in the past four days. Gerard felt his chest tremble and he let out a horrible, dreadful sob.
"Mikey, I'm so sorry," he moaned, turning his head to stare at his brother through tear-filled eyes. Dried blood still coated the right side of his younger brother's head where the doctors assumed he had hit it against the rock they'd found him near. For whatever reason, they hadn't gotten around to wiping it off. They were worried that touching the wound would do something wrong, something that it wasn't supposed to do that would be bad for the unconscious boy. Gerard slowly grasped his brother's cold hand and squeezed it. He leaned back and closed his eyes, and as soon as he did the horrible memory of finding him came back.
His flashlight had moved slowly up from the boot and on to a leg, then up a crumpled body and to a face they all knew so well. Mikey had been crumpled against the rock just off the path, blood leaking out from the right side of his head and on to the stone, his legs sprawled out and his arms pulled up next to his chest. It was so horrifying to see and everyone had freaked the hell out, but oddly enough Gerard thought that it was most peaceful they'd seen Mikey in the longest time. Flashing lights had arrived outside of the woods a few minutes after and then they had been pushed aside, doctors and paramedics sweeping in and placing the injured man on a gurney. Gerard had fought until they let them all in the ambulance, and then he had cried the rest of the way there. Ray and Frank were deathly quiet, their faces pale and Frank looking a little woozy.
When they had arrived at the hospital, Mikey was taken back and they did god-knows-what to them. After what seemed like forever in Gerard time, a woman hesitantly came out of a room with a clipboard in her hand. "Gerard Way?" she had said. Ray, Frank, Gerard, and Bob, who had been called to the hospital by Ray, had all jumped up and flocked the overwhelmed woman. "Your brother has slipped into a coma," she had said awkwardly, looking at each of them since she didn't know who the real brother was.
"What?" Gerard had breathed, his heart feeling like it had stopped in his chest. The woman apologized, then explained what the doctors figured had gone wrong. He was drunk, she said, and at those words Gerard felt his heart drop into his stomach. He had probably fallen off the path and smashed his head on the rock. It had been recent, she explained, since if he had been out there any longer he probably would have died from blood loss and trauma to the head. The combination of heavy drinking and hitting his head, though, had put him into a coma. "How do you know he was drunk?" Gerard had challenged, hoping there was some way they could have been wrong about that. There were tests for those things, she explained, and he was definitely drunk.
Now there he was, four days later and the doctors were letting him know that if he didn't get up soon, Mikey might not live. Gerard was finding each and every possible way of blaming this event on himself, despite his friends reassuring him that he couldn't have prevented Mikey's actions. It was his fault, he thought, for not realized Mikey was drinking again. It was his fault for not stopping Mikey from hurting himself. And the thing that Mikey had, all along, wanted Gerard to understand and feel awful for was the top thing in his mind. It was his fault for bringing Mikey into all of his problems back when he had been an alcoholic himself. It had taken Mikey's goal to bring Gerard to this realization.
Mikey Way had finally destroyed himself.
"Mikey, please wake up," Gerard whispered, opening his brown eyes and gazing at his brother. He looked like he was sleeping peacefully, almost, not like he was lost in a coma. "I swear to god, if you wake up I'll never let this happen to again. Nothing will ever hurt you like this again. I'm going to protect you, Mikey." His voice cracked as it had done the past four days he'd tried talking to his brother. Every time he spoke, Gerard prayed that the brown-haired boy would somehow respond. He wanted a twitch of the finger, a movement in the eyes, a fluttering of the lids, anything that they always saw in the movies when someone was coming out of a coma. None of that happened. "You can't do this to me! You can't die on me!" He was getting worked up now, crying freely and angrily. "Please, Mikey, please! Wake up! You can't leave me alone!"
Gerard dropped Mikey's hand and turned away, not wanting to see his nearly dead brother while he just laid there like a stone. He rubbed at his bloodshot eyes and wrung out his tired hands, taking a shuddering breath to calm himself down. "Please don't die," he whispered, shutting his eyes and shivering violently. "Please."
"You… mean… like… you… almost died… on me?"
The older Way spun around and stared, for a moment a thousand percent certain that he had imagined those pained, stammered words. Gerard gaped as his brother's tongue slowly stuck out of his mouth to wet his chapped lips, and Mikey rasped, "You… almost… did… the same… thing."
An expression of guilt, amazement, confusion, and bliss mushed together in Gerard's face. "You're okay!" he cried out, bolting out of his chair. He rushed over and kneeled next to his brother so that, if Mikey opened his eyes, he could look at him. "Oh my god, Mikey, I thought you were… Everyone thought…" Gerard fumbled for the right words as what Mikey had said slowly sank through his sense. "Wait… what?"
Mikey's face twisted in pain as he tried to move his neck, so he stayed still and instead worked on opening his eyes. His eyelashes quivered and his lids finally slid open, revealing his eyes to the world once again. He stared up at the ceiling and slowly said, pausing for breath every few seconds, "You almost killed… yourself, back… back a while ago. And then you didn't even call… me."
Brown eyes stretched wide as it dawned on the older Way what all of this had been about. "Mikey, you did all of this… You drank yourself stupid and drugged yourself into a coma for that?" he cried, his voice rising exponentially. "You could have killed yourself! You could have died from this! Do you know what all of this did to me?" His heart was hammering on his ribs as he felt himself getting angrier and more upset. "If you had died, Mikey, I don't even understand…"
"That was… the goal." Gerard's stomach flopped and he stared at his little brother as he spoke so quietly. "I want you to feel… like I had when you… almost committed." Now that he had been devoid of drugs and alcohol for four days, longer than it had been in a long time, Mikey was starting to see how horribly everything had affected him. "You drove me… crazy about it. And then you didn't even… call me when you needed someone. You called… the freaking… manager." Mikey's face twisted again as another bout of pain went through his head.
His older brother had no idea what to think of this. The entire time, Mikey had been trying to get him to feel like he supposedly had when Gerard had been an alcoholic and suicidal. That was his plan the whole time. How had Mikey felt anyway? Gerard bit at his lip and he suddenly realized that this was it; Mikey had been terrified, confused, and more affected than anyone had ever thought. "Mikey, Mikey, I'm sorry," he whispered. "I didn't call you because… Well, I didn't want to scare you, I guess."
"You were scaring me… the entire time!" Mikey gasped, trying to catch a breath. The pain in his head was tremendously awful. He moved his neck quickly so it wouldn't hurt so horribly and stared straight at Gerard, all the past fear that he had once harbored of losing his big brother now shining clearly in his eyes. "I thought I was going to lose you… I was so scared, Gee." He gave another shuddering breath. "I wanted to destroy myself so it would destroy you."
To say that this entire confession hurt was an understatement. Gerard felt his entire insides crumbling, his chest aching and wounded at just how much his own brother had wanted to hurt him. "I never wanted this to happen," he whispered. He put a hand on Mikey's forehead and brushed his hair out from falling over his eyes. "I never realized just how much it had hurt you."
"I… know," Mikey whispered, pressing his eyes shut as he dug his nails into the white hospital bed against the pain in his head. "I'm…" he trailed off, his voice fading into a weak whisper. "I'm sorry, Gerard." His face relaxed suddenly and he fell into a sleep again. Gerard stared at him and then fiddled with the IV cord hanging in his face for a second.
"I love you, Mikey."
I've lost my fear of falling
I will be with you
I will be with you
A healthy-looking man stepped out of the cab and smiled thankfully at the driver, handing him a twenty dollar bill for his help in returning him to his house. He pulled out the suitcase that he'd be using for the past month while he stayed with his friend over in Los Angeles, far away from his and Gerard's house in New Jersey. Mikey looked up at the house for a minute, basking in being back. He lifted a hand to his head and traced over the scar that had formed on the right side of his head, thinking of how things had been when he'd last been there. Taking a breath, he started up the walk and pulled his suitcase behind him, the wheels rattling noisily on the pavement. He was due to be in the house alone for about a week until the Black Parade tour hit New Jersey again and he would join up with the band if he was ready. He'd had a month full of therapy and new environment, which had been incredibly helpful to his mental health.
Admittedly, Mikey had been angry once Gerard told him that he had arranged for Mikey to leave for a bit, chill out, and get a therapist. His plans had been to recover while on tour, but Gerard refused to let him and made sure that Mikey wouldn't be able to cancel any plans this time. After a while, the youngest Way had become incredibly thankful that Gerard had sent him out there. It had helped; a lot more than expected, too.
He pulled the black case up to the door and brushed his hair out of his face. It'd grown longer since he'd been gone, and he'd even dyed it a darker brown to experiment. It looked pretty nice, actually. Mikey fiddled with the key and opened the door. He stood in the doorway for a moment and looked around. Gerard had gotten rid of the picture frames Mikey had left blood stains on, and there was something sitting just in front of him with a note tied onto it. Mikey grinned and left the suitcase by the door, grappling with the ribbon and untying the piece of paper.
'Dear Mikey. Maybe you can use this when you come touring with us!' read the note. Curious, the man unwrapped the tall present and beamed at what he uncovered. A brand new bass was waiting for him, waiting to be played. Mikey stretched and decided to come back into the doorway later to get his stuff. He wanted to check out the rest of the house to see if it had changed any. Walking out of the doorway into the living room, he realized half a second before he turned the lights on that there was a pair of unknown shoes just laying by his feet.
"Surprise!" Mikey jumped backward and was about a second from crapping himself when Gerard, Bob, Ray, Frank, Mrs. Way, Mr. Way, and a bunch of their old friends hopped up and beamed at him. The man blinked before laughing and running a hand through his hair.
"What are you guys doing here?" he asked incredulously, grinning at Gerard and everyone else standing in the room before him. "I thought you guys had a show today or something, like halfway across the country!" Gerard walked over to him and slung an arm around his shoulders, pulling his brother close into a friendly hug.
"We wanted to welcome you home," he stated, sweeping his hand at everyone in the room. "We didn't really have a show today. We took a break so we could be here." Gerard squeezed his shoulders and released him as Mrs. Way scurried over and wrapped her son in a giant hug.
Bob smirked and came over to pat Mikey on the back. "Yeah, but we do have a show tomorrow. In Wisconsin. So we're not going to be able to stay all day and night for you, but you know. Welcome back, Mikey." Mikey thanked him and smiled around at everyone.
Damn, it was good to be home.
Mikey was waiting backstage, holding his bass closely in his arms and pacing the entrance to the actual stage. Gerard had, wanting Mikey's appearance back in the tour to be sudden and surprising, told him to wait back there while they started off with The End. and Dead! They had their fill-in bassist out there strumming along right then as they had the past few months while the real bassist fiddled around behind the stage. His stomach was churning nervously and he brought a bottle to his lips, chugging the water greedily. That didn't really help his worries, though, but it was quenching.
"Why am I dead!" Mikey hummed along to the ending of Dead! in time to Gerard's words, lightly tracing the scar on his head as he often did nowadays. He was still wearing long sleeved shirts to hide his arms, but it wasn't because he was injuring himself now. No, now he only wore them because he didn't want the fans to see anything and freak out about it. He didn't want to worry them. They had already freaked out when they had learned he had been in a coma, and around a thousand get-well cards were trying to be sent to him.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Mikey heard Gerard drawl, and the fill-in bassist quickly walked back to where Mikey was. He grinned and gave him a thumbs-up, and Mikey gave him a shaky grin. He took a deep breath and shut his eyes, trying to relax as he made himself ready for all of this. "We have a very special surprise for you all tonight." Mikey chuckled slightly and got ready to go up on stage, standing on the first stair up. "Well, this incredibly amazing person has been gone for quite a while, and he's just recently gotten over an accident that left him in a coma for a few days. Ladies and gentlemen, please make same noise for Mikey fucking Way!"
The crowd lost their minds and started screeching even before Mikey was fully up on stage. He grinned and walked out, causing half the audience to scream out his name and cry out for him. The bassist did something like a bow and started strumming a few chords. Gerard went over and hugged him onstage while Mikey grinned down at the audience. This was where he belonged. Mikey Way had destroyed himself, but Mikey Way had also fixed himself up again.