Okay, that's all for now. A happy new year to you all, I do hope 2012 will not bring humanity's ultimate demise. :)
Chapter Three: The Fall
A click. The hole beneath the rock filled with light, and a hotel room was revealed. For a few seconds, Gerard remembered where he was.
"Here you go..."
He heard Andrew's voice like it was coming to him through a wall. The claws that clutched him began to lower, and Gerard then felt the sharp sensation of cold sheets hitting his sweat glazed skin. He had fallen backwards, and the motion dizzied him for a few seconds. He closed his eyelids, which felt strangely heavy.
He heard whispers. There were mutterings in the background, like the buzzing of flies.
"Gerard, long time no see!"
That was a different voice.
Gerard forced his eyes open, and his head swiveled in both directions as though he could not decide where to look. Finally, his eyes rested upon two blurry outlines on the bed that was parallel to his -- he recognized Andrew by the color purple, but he could not identify the second.
His mask was black.
"Hey, how ya doin?" Gerard muttered sleepily, the words still sounding as though they were coming from another person entirely.
"Better than you are." was the response he received, but Gerard hardly remembered what he had just asked.
One of the figures drew closer to him. A hand suddenly rested on his head, fingers stroking back his hair. It felt nice.
"Stay here. I'll go out and find Frank for you, and we'll come back together. Okay?"
"Thanks Andrew..." Gerard managed to say. In a second, the hand was gone. Gerard's face felt cold in it's absence, but Gerard had doubts if it was ever there at all. Every moment, everything, every sound had this strange but familiar sensation.
It was similar to that of when one is just about to fall asleep, or perhaps just waking up. It was the sensation of the imaginary memories that drift into one's mind just before either being woken fully or diving head first into dreamland -- those moments in the brief limbo of sleep, when it's hard to grasp whether they really happened or not.
Gerard turned to look at the time on the digital clock, which sat on the table that divided the two beds. The red lights emblazoned the numbers 2:30 into his retinas, but when he looked away, he still could not be sure he saw such a thing. He moved his head again, and the outline of Andrew's companion was sitting on the other bed. Just staring.
Gerard blinked. He turned back to the ceiling, and he almost felt his brain jerk with the motion. He needed to stop doing that. Yet in another fraction of time it was forgotten, and Gerard found himself changing position again. This time, he turned on his side that was away from the other bed. He landed near the edge of the marshmallow white sheets, and he caught a glimpse of carpeted red floor. It seemed very far away, like he was looking down from a very high ledge into the depths of the underworld.
Was the mattress floating?
Suddenly the mattress was a magic carpet, cradling him in white. It lifted him higher and higher, as the mysterious pit below fell further away. Gerard began to grow nervous --- just how high was this thing intending to take him? The more elevated he became, the harder he would shatter once he met the abyss.
Did the abyss even have a floor to shatter on?
Or was he doomed to plummet forever?
...would he find Satan there?
The right side of his magic carpet began to droop, as though a weight were pulling it down. To Gerard, it felt like the whole world had tilted with it.
This was it. The magic ride was over, and he was doomed to fall.
Gerard looked over his shoulder as the tilt of the magic carpet grew steeper, and the weight was explained. Satan was sitting beside him. He had a black mask, and behind them, eyes that looked as endless as the abyss he was about to slip into.
As Gerard began to descend, Frank Iero had just barely found himself in the company of Andrew Hietala. Andrew had finally found him outside of the hotel entrance, where the crowd was much more dispersed. Frank had been frantically calling Gerard for the past thirty minutes, and was quite comforted to see a familiar face.
"Gerard and I have been looking for you for ages!" said Andrew, who at this point had grown tipsy from his Stella Rosa wine. The flush was apparent on the small bit of the exposed part of his face.
"I've been looking for him for ages!" Frank responded with exasperation. "Where is he now?"
"He's back at my room. He's having a quick lay." Andrew informed him before taking a sip from his freshly bought glass of wine.
"Why? Is he okay?" Frank questioned hastily.
"Yeah, he's just not entirely sober I think -- but hey, who is tonight?" Andrew smacked Frank lightly on the arm, and Frank could not help but feel a tinge of guilt. He was in fact, not very sober himself. But -- Gerard? Gerard did have the occasional recreational drink as a participation thing at parties and events, but never so much that he had to lie down or became sick. No, even the thought of it aroused nostalgia with nightmarish memories.
Frank opened his mouth to ask more, but he then noticed that Andrew was not where he last noticed him to be. With a turn of his head, he saw that Andrew was stumbling away -- heading back inside the hotel.
"Wait!" Frank yelled after him, and began to follow his steps after he did not listen.
Returning to the elegant can of packed sardines that was the hotel lobby, Frank realized with a sickening feeling that he had lost Andrew again. The head of blonde hair was nowhere to be found, and all he could see were the black bodies that smothered each other in their attempts to simply walk around.
‘He can’t have gone that far…’ figured Frank, seeing as he saw him only seconds ago. He stood on his tip toes for a moment before realizing that such an action was useless in such a large, monotonously dressed crowd. He slumped his shoulders and began the tedious task of trying to find Andrew once more.
Gerard tried to scream, but the sound barely left his lips. He heard a raspy wail escape instead, like the ghost of a scream that had died on the way out of his throat.
He could not bring himself to focus. Every time, every second that he thought he grasped what was happening, it slipped away like water through fingers.
At his best, he could only seem to reach two solid conclusions: he was naked and he was in a great deal of discomfort.
Oh. And it was dark, too.
At times he felt it – something worm like and slimy had entered him. It squirmed around inside him, a parasite that was going to eat him from the inside out. It had entered his entrails thorough his asshole, leaving its gooey residue on the rim of his cheeks.
Gerard tried to break free of it, but invisible weight was making it impossible to move. A twitch of a finger felt like he was lifting ten bags filled with heavy amounts of sand.
He felt hands running up and down his skin --- or were they the claws of some hell born bird? No, they were much too smooth. They fondled his lumpy chest and combed through his hair. They tugged and pulled at him while the worm writhed its way into his stomach.
Gerard remembered something from a TV show he used to watch: there were these worm-like creatures that would possess humans, and the worm would reside in their stomachs while the human would act as their puppet. The worms would turn them into evil over lords.
Perhaps, he surmised, that was what was happening now.
An odd sounding laugh spilled out of him, as the worm continued to pummel through his body.
He could not even manage to be a functioning human being, let alone an over lord.
“There you are!”
Frank nearly ran to Andrew, taking as wide of leaps as his short legs would carry him. He saw Andrew’s purple mask turn towards him, as well as another’s. When he was only a few feet away, he saw that Andrew had found some company of his own.
A tall brunette woman dressed in all green, from her sparkling dress to her strangely wide mask, was chatting with Andrew at the bar by which they stood. Underneath Andrew’s mask, Frank could swear he saw his ocean blue eyes narrow.
“Interrupt something, did I?” Frank snapped at him. “The fuck dude, I thought you were going to take me back to Gerard?”
Andrew stared at Frank some time, seeming unsure as of what to say. He then looked at the girl, who smiled slyly at him. And he looked back at Frank again. Finally, he appeared to make a decision. He reached inside his pocket, and Frank waited patiently as he fished out something from inside it.
Andrew’s extended arm put a silver hotel key card in his hand. It had the number 212 on it.
“It’s the key to my room. You know how to get to a hotel room, don’t ya?” Andrew smiled at him, but did not bother to hear Frank’s response. He turned back to the brunette woman beside him, resuming a loud conversation that Frank had clearly interrupted. He scowled at Andrew slightly, knowing he probably would not notice anyway.
Frank stopped in front of the white door with the tacky gold numbers on it. He checked the room key to make sure it matched, and when confirmed, he slid the key into the slot.
Damn. He must have left it in too long.
He lifted it and inserted the silver card once more, this time making sure to whisk it out almost as soon as he had put it in.
There we go.
Frank grabbed the knob and turned it, opening the door.
Darkness spilled out of the room, and at first Frank got the impression that nobody was there. He took a few reluctant steps inside, his eyes scanning every corner. It was too damn dark. His left hand fumbled for the light switch. He found it, and flipped it.
The darkness vanished and brightness filled the area. Yet what Frank saw as he stepped further inside would cast a thousand grey clouds into his life for years to come.
He barely believed his eyes at first, surely he was mistaken. He wished so desperately to be mistaken --- to have mistook this naked red haired boy to be some other person with the same beautiful body, with the same birthmarks and features that Frank knew so well. He wished he was mistaken, and that this boy was not his Gerard, but some other boy who was in the arms of his lover --- this other man who had nothing else on but a black mask. He wished he was mistaken, but he knew he was not.
That was in fact his Gerard, lying in the arms of a man Frank thought looked vaguely familiar, but the mask hindered his recognition. Still, it was the least of his concerns.
Frank wanted to scream, wanted to yell. The anger and scorn rose in him like bile, and he wanted to vomit all over the two. For a moment, he thought it may literally happen. Yet what arose in place of both shouts or chunks of food was the last thing he had wanted to rise: tears. He felt tears burning hot in his eyes, and he thanked got for the mask that hid them. Still, he felt that if he stayed any longer, he would break down into sobs and probably never stop until he died from lack of oxygen, or dehydration, or whatever an excessive amount of crying might do to a person.
And so, Frank abruptly turned heel and found himself running out of the room. He slammed the door behind him, still unsure if this was some terrible nightmare.
Back inside the room, Gerard fidgeted slightly. Only slightly conscious and still lost in a haze of drugs and confusion, he muttered sleepily, “Frankie, what did I tell you about slamming the doors?”
He drifted off into nothingness for an uncertain amount of hours.
When he finally did awaken, the sun had not yet made its morning rounds. It was still dark outside, matching the darkness in the room he found himself in.
He looked around and saw that he was alone.
His nakedness was the second thing he noticed, and it alarmed him immensely. He was relieved to find what appeared to be his clothing scattered around the furniture. He saw no other belongings inside the place. His confusion grew – had he and Frank rented a room?
As he dressed back into his pants and shirt, Gerard mentally tried to retrace his steps. He remembered going to the party, he remembered fireworks. Yet afterwards, his memory went slightly blank. Come to think of it, he still felt a little off.
He could not find his phone. His worry grew.
His fear grew.
He had to find Frank.
Once fully dressed, Gerard went out of the door. The hallways of the hotel were likewise empty, and they gave Gerard chills. He sped down them as quickly as he could.
He soon found himself back in the spacious hotel lobby, and Gerard immediately tried to head back to the bar where he had last remembered seeing Frank. There were still small clutters of people here and there, many of them still wearing masks. Gerard felt his own face and realized that he had either lost his, or left it in the room.
He walked onward, resuming the same search he was on only hours before -- but now feeling unbearably anxious.
He just wanted to go home.
Home, that cozy building that was nearly two hours away from where he was. Home, where unknown to him, Frank already was.
“Frankie?” he called out as loudly as he could, but his voice seemed strange --- like an echo without a point of solidity, nor source.
What the hell was wrong with him?
There was no Frank at the bar. His heart had begun to beat awfully fast. This was no good --- panic and Gerard Way did not mix well. He needed air. He ran for the door.
From a bird’s eye view, his head of red hair moving against the crowd of black around him looked like a drop of blood falling in the night sky... falling like the storm of tears Frank Iero cried that same night… falling like Gerard did as he reached the door, suddenly realizing that his backside was in tremendous pain…falling like Frank’s heart was from the blow of betrayal, or like Gerard’s was from the fear of abandonment.
On that night, it just seemed like all the world was falling.