Just read it.
Mikey Way nearly spit up his coke, and gasping, he managed to swallow whatever he could before staring at his older brother incredulously. He took in his sibling’s inebriated form, the way his matted, dark hair hung over his eyes when he lowered his head. He’d found him not even an hour before, stumbling down 3rd street with a half-empty Maker’s Mark clutched in his right hand. So, thinking quickly, he dragged him towards the nearest haven he could think of. The dinky little diner that was always dirty and never closed. And there they sat, staring at one another over a plate of graying eggs and iffy looking steaks. He had always heard you were supposed to feed someone when they are drunk, fill their stomachs with food instead of booze, and let them sleep it off until morning. But he had been down this road before, perhaps too often, and he knew his brother never let anything happen that easily.
But why his cats?
Blinking, he responded in a cool tone, “You drink too much, Gee.”
His brother winced and recoiled, stabbing a mound of hash browns with his fork, “I thought you were gonna drop these little pep talks,” he growled, now spreading the food across the chipped plate.
“This isn’t a pep talk, it’s an intervention!” Mikey half-screamed, trying not to catch the attention of the other diners.
A heavy silence surrounded the two and the staring contest picked back up again. Gerard turned his attention to the outside world, squinting to see out the scratched, rain glazed window. The blinking reds and greens and purples of the bars down the street seemed to taunt him. He wanted more, hell, he could handle more. Mikey just didn’t want to deal with the repercussions. He pressed his hand against the glass, longing inwardly for just one more drink…
He looked up, and blinked at his brother’s soft, even tone. Mikey sighed and rubbed the side of his face tiredly, “Gee, don’t you get it?”
Picking at the food on his plate, he shook his head slowly, raising his bright olive eyes to meet his brother’s. Tempting death almost nightly seemed to be Gerard’s newest habit. He didn’t understand it, or even try to stop himself. Without his vices, he felt he would simply disappear.
“You need to eat something, bro.”
Now Mikey was using terms of endearment. He would stoop to the lowest levels just to get his brother to cooperate. Give him anything he wanted, do anything he wanted, just so long he would put down the glass and attempt to sober up.
Gerard looked down at his plate with mild disgust, and reaching for the ketchup bottle, attempted to drown out the tastes of grease and salt with something a little more tolerable. It was something he picked up from a friend in high school, who would smother his food with liberal amounts of ketchup and dressings, trying in vain to make whatever it was the school had served him edible. Mikey gagged at the site, turning up his nose at Gerard’s now crimson plate.
“Don’t act so offended,” Gerard said, a smirk evident on his face as he spun the fork between his fingers.
Gingerly, he scooped a large forkful of eggs into his mouth, chewing and swallowing quickly before he could taste much of anything.
“You gotta try these man,” he muttered, pushing the plate far away from himself, “They taste incredible.”
Mikey rolled his eyes and began to pick at the syrup logged waffle in front of him. Maybe food wasn’t such a good idea. Gerard coughed quietly and reached out for the testy steak that sat between them, now probably cold and stringy and not fit for human consumption. But what did Gerard care? He was drunk and it was 1:30 in the morning at a shack of a restaurant somewhere downtown.
Mikey’s fork clattered against the cheap porcelain, and watched his brother’s pale face as a frown began to contort into place. Gerard sighed and brushed his hair over his eyes.
“I don’t know what else to say. I guess nothing. But at least know I’m sorry,” he stammered, voice cutting out and getting lost in the humming of the fans overhead.
Mikey shrugged and gazed out the window, watching an elderly man shuffle to the bus stop and start rooting through the trash can. He wanted to forgive Gerard, but right then didn’t seem fitting. Silence again, as the two shoveled lukewarm food into their hungry bodies, not saying a word to each other or even lifting their eyes to steal a glance at the other sibling. Time slipped by slowly, and the two soon found themselves staring at empty plates and feeling almost sick. Gerard coughed again, this time muffling the sound with the sleeve of his jacket. The feeling of drunkenness was starting to wane, and the soft fingers of sleep were pressing at his eyes, almost lulling him into the warm chasm of unconsciousness.
Mikey noticed this though, and quickly flagged down a waitress, muttering a quick ‘two coffees’ before reaching across the table and shaking his brother awake, “Gee… come on, wake up.”
The elder groaned quietly and tried to curl into the back of the booth, his body now desperate to shut down and fix the damage it had received. The coffee came quickly, and Mikey practically glued the mug to Gerard’s hand, “Drink this, we can always get more.”
Confused and exhausted, he did was he was told, downing most of the hot beverage in a single gulp. Mikey moved around the table and sat beside his brother, force-feeding him another up of coffee, not caring as he sputtered and coughed most of the drink down the front of his shirt.
“Mikey,” he shouted, trying to spit the molten liquid from his mouth, “Mikey, stop! I’m awake, dammit!”
The younger lowered the mug slowly, giving him a sheepish smile before hugging him tightly, “Oh, Gee!” he cooed.
Gerard stuck out his tongue and feigning disgust, pushed his sibling away from him, limbs flailing and voice raised during the entire charade.
“So… back to my obsession with cats.”
Gerard smirked to himself, brushing a tangle of ebony from his eyes, “You have too many of them.”
Mikey crossed his arms and huffed, picking up his glass of Coke and taking a leisurely sip, “How is 3 cats too many?”
Paul just chuckled and rolled his fork between his fingers, “You live in a one bedroom apartment, alone, with 3 cats.”
The two brothers ranted back and forth for the rest of the night, emptying pots of coffee and piles of hash browns until the weak blue light of dawn crept in through the dirty diner windows. The night melted into daylight, and the two brothers left in silence, heads down and hands shoved deep into their pockets. Both knew the night would repeat itself, and Mikey new the inevitable. But he didn’t let himself wonder what would happen if the police or paramedics got to his brother before he could. He would just keep up with routine he’d built for himself, going out into the barrios late at night, scooping his brother from the gutter and dragging him down to Sal’s, where they would spend the night arguing or just glaring at one another in silence. It was routine. But he made sure to remember at least one thing from that night.
Adopt another cat.