Oneshot. Blood is more permanent than paint.
His mind is as blank as a new canvas, wiped clear by shock.
He doesn't make a sound. There's not enough time.
Then his nails split against the concrete and the canvas of his mind is suddenly ripped to shreds, pain ravaging every inch of his body. The air is heavy, pressing down and down.
He tries to draw breath and finds he can't. He can't breathe. He can't move. He can't think. There's too much, not coming and going in waves but constant, blinding pain that presses down on his chest, tears up and down his limbs, gnaws on the inside of his skull.
He still doesn't make a sound. In the small corner of his mind that isn't trying to comprehend how anything could hurt so much, he prays for unconsciousness.
He's not that lucky.
After a million years that was probably only a few seconds, the pain ebbs. Not a lot. Just enough so that he's vaguely aware of his senses. The sensation is somewhat like being underwater, he thinks briefly. Everything seems muffled, far away. But he can make out some things. Cold. Cold, hard ground against his cheek. The rusty, metallic taste of blood. His vision is still mostly obscured by what seem to be thick black spiderwebs across his eyes, giving him tiny glimpses of grey and red through his eyelashes, but not nearly enough to piece together into a whole. He can smell dirt.
And hear screams.
The pain suddenly carves a thick T shape across his shoulders and down his back as someone moves him. No. Not someone. He can hear perfectly well that it's Mikey's voice, Mikey shouting his name over and over, Mikey shaking his shoulder, the movement gentle in contrast to his voice. He wants to sit up and pull Mikey close, tell him he's okay, tell him that his big brother is still there to protect Mikey from bullies and help Mikey with his homework and be there, alive, whenever Mikey needs him.
But his limbs feel like lead, his wrists and ankles tied down with unbreakable chains.
He forces himself to breathe in, and the feeling is how he imagines being impaled on several spikes simultaneously would feel like. His breath catches and coughs rack his chest.
He feels a thousand times worse than before, but it doesn't matter because Mikey's screaming for whoever's with him to call an ambulance now, and he bundles him up against his chest like he's done for Mikey a hundred times, whenever Mikey had a bad dream or had been called names or just felt down, and now Mikey's rocking him slowly back and forth and murmuring pointless, useless words that he can barely make out over the pounding in his ears.
"It's okay. Everything will be fine. You didn't. It's not... No. Not... no, it's fine. Everything will be fine. You're gonna be okay. You're gonna be fine, Gerard."