Decisions, decisions, decisions.
They found themselves at the hospital, rushing through the white walls to find their endangered bandmate. When they did find him however, there was an air of absolute stillness.
Gerard was lying in his bed, his right arm and left leg covered in casts. His head was enwrapped in bandages, and his face looked bruised. Aside from that, he still managed to look better than Mikey thought he would. He was not sure why he was anticipating his brother appearing mangled and deformed; it was, he supposed, his fear causing his imagination to run wild.
Frank however, seemed only troubled by Gerard's appearance. He was the first to actually walk to his bedside. He pushed away some strands of Gerard's hair that fell upon his face.
"Gerard?" he whispered, as though he might awaken by it.
Gerard continued to remain comatose. Mikey walked over and fixed the paper like blanket that laid atop Gerard, wondering if he might be able to sneak him a better one.
There was nothing left to say, and nothing left to do. The boys feared for their friends fate, but all that was possible was to wait. They decided it would be best to not divulge information, as they did not want to deal with press knocking on their doors. They did however, tell a select few. Jimmy and Chantal Euringer was part of that group, it would have been nearly impossible to hide it from them, as Lindsey was one of their dearest friends, and her death did not elude their notice. They expressed sincere concern over the matter, visiting Gerard from time to time.
A couple of weeks passed. It was agreed that no one would leave the area until Gerard awoke. This was a rather silly idea, as it easily could have been years until that event. Luckily for them however, it only took about two weeks and a half.
"He's awake! He's awake!" Mikey screamed hastily into his iPhone the instant it happened.
Gerard's eyes had indeed opened, although very weakly. Mikey pocketed his phone and turned his attention to Gerard, his heart palpitating quite rapidly.
"Gee! Oh thank god! We were so worried we'd lost you!" he said, unable to contain himself.
Gerard turned to face him before very softly, and very slightly uttering the word "Thirsty..."
"Oh, of course." Mikey reached for a diet cola that sat readily on the hospital table. He helped tip the liquid into Gerard's mouth, although rather clumsily. Gerard gulped the beverage down in large portions, and then returned to his previous position. Mikey tried to encourage further conversation, but Gerard was silent for some time after that. It did trouble Mikey, and he was more than relieved when Ray, Alicia, and Frank showed up, who had all come as quickly as they could.
"Gee!" Frank smiled at Gerard, but removed it when he saw he was not getting one in return. Gerard was stoic, his mouth silent and his eyes glazed over. Despite Gerard's eyes being open, he might as well have still been asleep.
"We should probably call the doctor. Mikey, you wanna call Jimmy and tell him what's happened?" Ray suggested.
"No, we probably shouldn't call anyone until we can figure out how he is." suggested Frank. "We don't want to get anyones hopes up."
"What do you mean, get anyones hopes up?" asked Mikey. "He's awake, what else is there?"
Save Gerard, the occupants of the room stared at him with sympathetic looks. None answered however, and Ray went to go find a physician or a nurse.
Frank sighed, and turned to Gerard. He observed him and scrutinized him, and finally Gerard looked up at him as well. He said nothing, and remained unresponsive. Yet Frank could already tell that something was different about his long time friend, something had changed. While it was the same face, whose smile often brightened Frank's day, there was something unfamiliar about it. Frank only hoped he was imagining things.
Ray returned with Gerard's attending physician soon after. The physician asked Gerard a few questions, but at the most got nods and shrugs. He gave Gerard somewhat of a physical overview, and at that he did well. He took down notes, and turned to Mikey.
"Well, he seems as good as he can be given what he just went through." said the physician, "He may need some therapy after this, but his external injuries are all healed up, so he should be out of here by tonight."
"What about the fact that he doesn't seem to be speaking?" Mikey asked.
"He'll break out of it. He just awoke from a very long period of dormancy, it's normal for his functioning to be a bit slow at first."
"So... he doesn't have brain damage?" Mikey asked hopefully.
The physician, who was a short Asain male, smiled at him awkwardly. "He does have some signs of it, but it's impossible to tell so early. You'll just have to wait and observe him. Even if he does, there's nothing we can do for him here. Like I said, he may need some therapy. If he does have extensive brain damage, then there are facilities you can check him into."
"I'd rather he stay with one of us." said Mikey.
"Well that's entirely up to you then."
"If he does have it -- is it permanent?" Mikey asked, a question that had been burdening his mind for some time now.
"Not always, Mr. Way. Not always."
Mikey nodded. The physician smiled at him again, and then promptly left the room.
As the space was small, every occupant had heard the conversation. Alicia already knew the plan her husband was concocting in his head. While it was not under the circumstances she would have liked, she knew she had to tell him now.
"Honey," Alicia called his attention. "Can I talk to you for a moment? Outside?"
Mikey looked bewildered by her request, but nodded. He followed her outside of the room, where he was to have what should have been one of the happiest moments of his life.
Frank turned back to Gerard, and ran a hand through his hair. "You'll be okay, sweetie." he muttered.
At that point, he and Ray exchanged solemn glances. Both hoped Frank to be right, but neither was certain.
Just as Frank had spoken those words to Gerard, Alicia spoke the words she had been keeping for some time now to Mikey.
"I'm pregnant." she said bluntly, with a hint of sadness in her voice. Mikey gave her an almost scolding look.
"Alicia, baby, this isn't the time for jokes."
"No, honey, really. I'm pregnant." Alicia repeated herself, annoyed that her husband would really assume that she would joke around at such a horrible time. "I was planning to tell you the night Ray called you."
Mikey observed her for a moment before his eyes grew ten times wider.
"You're sure?" he asked her.
"I've had a blood test done and everything." she confirmed.
Mikey was silent for another monent, the news sinking in. Finally he exclaimed, "That's wonderful! We're going to have our first baby!"
He smiled at her, but Alicia already knew that the smile was fake. She knew her husband far more than he himself realized, and while emotionless he may be to some, he wore his heart on his sleeve to her.
"It is." She responded to his remark, "It's just not wonderful for Gerard."
Mikey held the smile a bit longer before he dropped it and nodded. He motioned to some chairs in the hallway, and together they sat and talked.
They returned to Gerard's room soon after, and walked in on what looked to be Frank and Ray's own private conversation. It was ceased the moment they stepped in however, and both turned their attentions to the couple.
"We can't take Gerard." was the first thing Mikey said, and it was spoken with a tone of guilt. "One of you guys will have to do it."
"What? Why?" Ray asked his friends, confused.
"I'm pregnant." Alicia admitted. At that, both Ray and Frank did seem surprised -- yet the situation disallowed anyone to feel truly happy for them.
"Well congrats and everything, you guys." Frank said, "And I don't mean to sound insensitive or anything but -- so what?"
"So, we have to prepare for our first offspring." Mikey explained.
"That's like, 9 months from now dude. For all you know, Gerard could recover in like a week." Frank argued.
"We don't know that thiough." Alicia shook her head.
"Well I can't take him." frowned Ray. "Christa and I are supposed to leave for Florida in a week to stay with her family."
"And you can't cancel?" Frank questioned.
"Christa was pretty upset by Lindsey's death. They were really close. I need to do this for her." Ray told him.
Frank felt annoyed at the whole lot of them. It felt as though they were making lame excuses in order to avoid responsibility, and he was surprised at Mikey most of all. Although he himself already had two children and a wife, which he brought up to them.
"How about this." Mikey sighed. "Alicia and I will take Gerard for a little while. If he still needs watching by the time we need to start preparing for our baby, then we'll hand him over to one of you. I mean, by that time, both of you would have had adequate time to make arrangements."
Frank nodded. Ray said nothing and sat in a chair, seeming deep in thought. Assuming it was agreed, Alicia and Mikey talked amongst themselves.
And Gerard stared at his lap, his mind fuzzy and his thoughts confused. He was entirely unsure of what was happening, or why he was there in this ridiculously white room. He wondered about what had brought him here, as he was plauged with vague images of a very pretty little girl running through his head...
Next chapter: Gerard speaks a bit more, but not in the way they might have hoped.