"I’m the monster here." Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
“Where’s it hurt?” I ask, making my voice pillow-soft and as gentle as a baby bunny rabbit, my eyes locked reluctantly on Mikey Way’s own smashed gems of sight.
God, they got him really bad; I’ve seen their victims before, but I don’t think that I’ve seen anything quite as horrendous as what they’ve done to Mikey. It’s not only his torn-like-tissue face that’s making me feel these echoing pangs of remorse, it’s the way that he’s shaking like a speck of dust in the wind with the force of the sobs that are drilling through his lungs and into the sombre atmosphere of the upstairs bathroom. He’s terrified, an absolute wreck because of what my ‘friends’ did to him; because I didn’t stop what I quite easily could have. Should have.
He didn’t deserve to get beaten up like that. Of course he fucking didn’t. He’s just a bereaved kid with a head almost as messed up as his fragile little body, a body that is currently perched on the loo lid and is quivering as though he’s some cartoon character in a cheesy horror flick. I guess this is kind of like a horror move, there’s blood and bruises and fear and there is definitely a monster; me. I’m the monster here, I willingly let this happen to Mikey and now he’s even more broken than he was before and all I have to show for it is a busted guitar amp.
A busted guitar amp and a dull ache in my chest at seeing him like this.
I shouldn’t feel like my heart is being stabbed at with the deadly daggers of his tears because I didn’t do anything wrong, not really anyway. I didn’t punch him, kick him, leave him in the state that I dread to think he was in when they did. If anything I’m the only innocent party in this; Mikey provoked them by being ignorant and refusing to just accept that to play the game you have to abide by the rules, and they’re not innocent because anyone who can do this to a grief-stricken mourner is about as far from innocent as heaven is from hell.
Who the fuck am I kidding? This is as much my fault as it is Liam’s. I knew what they were going to do to him, in all fairness though I didn’t know that it was going to be this horrific, and I did nothing to stop it from happening, nor did I try to warn him or even go after him when Gerard begged me to. I’m a fucking coward and I know it.
Wait. No, I am not. I wouldn’t have done any of those things for anyone else, so why am I feeling like this over not doing it for Mikey Way?
Because he’s a genuinely innocent person, because he can’t cope with this right now, because I’ve got a ghost forcing me to care, because he’s quite possibly the most hauntingly beautiful boy that I have ever seen.
No, those all contribute but there’s one reason that’s bigger than all of those; I’ve never not felt guilty about what me and my friends do, it’s just that I’ve never had the chance to redeem myself because the only place I can do that is at school where all of my friends would see and then make me bleed just as much as they’ve made Mikey bleed.
But they can’t see me being myself here with Mikey and making him feel better like I know I have to if I want to be able to get any sleep tonight.
He looks bad, looks like he’s lucky to have walked away from what they did to him. I guess he must be a shitload stronger than he looks. No; I know that he’s stronger than he looks. Both physically and mentally; he went through an afternoon of school in this state without so much as going to the nurse when I know for a fact that I would have most likely passed out at the sight of my own blood dribbling down my forehead and over my eyes. He’s gone through more than I ever hope that I will and yet the one thing that managed to make him snap into open sorrow was something that I caused. Something that makes me feel physically sick with both guilt and disgust at what my ‘friends’ are capable of doing to a kid that they don’t even know. But it also makes me respect Mikey, respect him because of his undeniable strength and surprising bravery.
Okay, now I’m starting to sound like I’m one of them, one of the freaks that my friends beat up.
I’m not; no way am I anything like Mikey fucking Way.
But I could be.
I want to be and I would be if doing so wouldn’t cost me everything that I’ve worked so hard to build. Apart from for someone as stunning and delicate as Mikey Way I think that I might just be able to look past all of that just to be his friend, just to have the respect that he’s snatched away from me and to have the forgiveness that my heart is craving like an addict craves cocaine.
I’m currently knelt on the icy tiled floor of the large, brightly-lit upstairs bathroom so that I’m eyelevel with Mikey, who is perched apprehensively on the edge of the toilet with his eyes frantically searching my own for any sign of danger or risk. Something that I showed to him in harsh abundance last night but never will again, not now that I understand him. Understand how amazing I think that he could be if only he were to come out of his all-encompassing shell, if he were to show me his smile, if that smile was pressed against my own lips.
I wonder what he tastes like…
Right now he’d taste of blood and pain and anguish.
Which is why I’m going to clean him up; I’m going to redeem myself, get to know him and then decide where I stand. I may have made a split-second judgement with him last night, but right now I’m starting to reconsider how I perceive him. Last night I thought that he was weak, now I know that he’s strong. Last night I thought he was an attention-seeker, now I know that he’s dealing with a hell of a lot more than even I fully know of. Last night I thought he was rude and disrespectful, now I know that he’s just way too introverted for someone as beautiful as he is. Last night I thought that he was just some traumatised kid, now I know that he is Mikey Way; someone who is intriguing and a challenge for me to win.
But first of all I’ve got to calm him down, clean him up and get him to trust me even though I’ve betrayed him already through my neglect of being the decent person that I know I want to be.
“Mikey, where does it hurt?” I repeat my question, my words clear and firm amidst his waning whimpers. I sigh, my breath full of regret and concern, looking at him properly for the first time through unblinded eyes. “I mean, does it hurt anywhere that I can’t see?”
He looks at me with weary and aching eyes, soaking in the image of my worried face and analysing every aspect of my kneeling stance; he may have asked for me to help him, but to him I guess that doesn’t mean that he trusts me. Of course he doesn’t, it was my friends that put him in this pitiful state, it was me who let it happen.
And, for that very reason, it’s going to be me who makes it better.
“You can trust me, Mikey Way, I’m not gonna hurt you. I promise.” At my doubtless, sincere words our eyes lock together like two puzzle pieces and I see something akin to longing flash deep within the eyes that I don’t think I would mind drowning in all that much. “Tell me; where does it hurt?”
“Face and ribs…” He mumbles, apparently drunk on a heart-breaking cocktail of disbelief at having someone care and the pain of his numerous lacerations. But then his eyes lightning strike with something that I don’t think has ever been directed towards me before; biting disdain. “Why’d you care?”
His cynical shot of cold confusion splinters the glass of my heart like a bullet through a window; for some reason that I can’t hope to comprehend, I want this boy to trust me, to want my friendship like everyone else does and for him to simply let me make it okay like his dead big brother wants me to. Like I want me to. Because nobody as beautiful, as fragile, as intriguing as Mikey Way should ever get as torn up as he is.
He really is torn up; his face and his ribs especially. Shit. His ribs. What if they’re snapped or broken or something else equally as dangerous? What do I do if he needs to go to the hospital? Mom will find out that my friends are bullies and then she’ll most likely hate me as much as Mikey probably does. Should do.
But right now I’ve got to convince him that I do care, that I really do just want to help and won’t hurt him; that, even if only within the fortress of my home, I’m the sort of person who can be his friend, who can make him happy, who he could love if only he gave me a chance. Love? Do I really want to have his love?
Yeah. I do. Because he is different, he is intriguing, he is beautiful, he is interesting; he is everything that my dull life is lacking and I want him, want to taste him and hold him and see his intricately stunning features amplified by the glow of a smile.
No. No I can’t ever think like that. What would my friends say if they knew that I thought like that about someone as below me as Mikey? They’d say that I’m a freak; a faggot; a weirdo; a new victim for them to reduce to nothing but blood and tears. My friends would become powerful enemies.
Fuck them. Mikey is more important than them; he actually has a personality that I can tell is genuine and that he could be someone who actually interests me, who is actually a challenge as opposed to some sheep who’ll do whatever I want.
I’m pulled back to his quiet sniffles and desperate eyes; what he asked wasn’t just a cold spit intended to make me feel as guilty as it has, it was a genuine question that really does desire an answer. An answer that will change everything; if I get this wrong he’ll never trust me and his big brother will most likely start exploding more of my possessions, but if I get it right I might just make a friend out of him, a friend who actually knows who I am.
A friend who definitely could be an amazing more-than-friend.
“I care, Mikey Way, because you’re a nice person and I’m just a dickhead looking for forgiveness. I care because you deserve to be cared about and, by the looks of you, you need someone to care about you right now.” I pause, giving him an intense stare of sincere longing for him to understand me, for him to understand how much I have to help him. “I care because I want to.”
His eyes are shining like stars at the idea of someone caring, shining with both tears and some sort of inner light that I can’t help but feel warmed by; an inner light that means I’m making progress with the kid that both my own will and that of the dead have bound me to help.
“Can I take a look at your ribs; I just need to see if they’re broken or anything.”
“They’re not broken. Just a little bruised.” His quick reply confirms what his eyes were already telling me; there is no way on this earth that he’s going to take his top off in front of me. Not that I blame him, although I can’t help but feel more than a little bit put-out by it, I’ve hardly been the nicest person in the world to him, have I? “My nose feels funny, though.”
I turn my attention to the aforementioned area, wincing both inwardly and outwardly as my vision is filled with the torn skin around the nostrils and crusted blood surrounding it like a sea of misery. Slowly, so that the trembling boy knows what I’m doing, I reach my intent hand over to the bruised feature that otherwise would be the perfect porcelain of the rest of his face. I gently let my fingertips dust over his nose, doing so in such a way that means that it can’t possibly hurt him purely because it is a gesture so full of caring concern that for it to be anything less than comforting is impossible.
His skin feels all warm and plush under my gracing touch, kind of like a cosy blanket on a freezing winter’s evening; something that I really wouldn’t mind being wrapped up in. But it’s only warm from the excruciations adorning it and from the dried blood decorating it like some sort of rash of agony. The reason for it’s luscious warmth, something that is making my breathing slow in enchantment and my heart race in infatuation, may be horribly cruel and gruesome yet I can’t seem to stop stroking the abused tip of his nose. My fingers move, seemingly of their own accord, to be caressing the delicate skin of his left cheek just below his black eye. A gesture that soon turns from me inspecting a wound to something far more amorous, something that would be perfect if wasn’t for the fact that the skin my fingers are tingling with wasn’t all bruised and busted.
Wait. This isn’t right; I shouldn’t be knelt on my bathroom floor, stroking some freak’s battered face.
Fuck it, he’s hurt and this seems to be making his rapid breathing slow to a less worrying pace; I have to redeem myself by making him feel better and if I have to fulfil my own secret desires to do so then it would be wrong of me to stop.
Besides, he’s getting the contact that most people would kill for.
“Call him Mikes, Frank. He likes being called Mikes.” I hear an all too familiar voice whispering into my ear in a lung-clenchingly melancholy tone; if I wasn’t determined to help Mikey before, I am now because his dead big brother needs it. Needs it like I feel like I need to get to know Mikey. No; like I feel like I need to get to know Mikes.
“I’m gonna clean you up, okay? Trust me, Mikes.” My sincere voice is quiet and definite, a solid statement that can never be contradicted purely because I’ve never failed a challenge yet.
“Mikes… Gerard used to call me that…” He trails off, eyes all haunted sorrow and heart-breaking agony, his lips quivering and his arms wrapping tightly around his chest in the most soul-squeezing way imaginable.
I shouldn’t have called him that, should I? No matter what Gerard said even he can’t predict how his grieving baby brother could possibly react to something like being called by his old nickname; what if I’ve triggered something, some sort of repressed memory of the fire? What if I’ve fucked him up even more, pushed him even further off the edge of sanity?
But then his eyes smash through the fog of creeping madness and he simply bursts into fresh tears. No screaming or yelling or thrashing or anything else that signifies hysterics; he just puts his head in his hands and cries softly to himself as though he’s completely forgotten that I’m knelt in front of him. Either that or he just doesn’t care about being himself in front of me. And for that I truly do respect him. And for that I shall return the favour.
So I grab a damp flannel from the sink and position myself to be directly in front of Mikes, so that we’re eye level once more, and I place a gentle hand on his shoulder in an unspoken gesture of comfort, the kind that only gets confirmed when he looks me in the eyes; a gaze that’s screaming for the affection I always thought that I had in abundance. But I don’t; the person that I let everyone know does, not me, not the real Frank Iero.
The Frank Iero that is falling fast and hard for the trembling kid sat on the closed lid of my toilet.
I reach out with the lukewarm cloth and start to softly dab at his wounds, being strangely patient and slow just in case I hurt him even more than he is already. The blood starts to dissolve into the flannel and his mesmerising moonlight skin fades into view behind the scratches and gashes; his eyes are fixed steadily on mine the whole time, like he’s as enchanted by me as I am by him. Perhaps he is, I know that most people in his situation would be, but there’s something about him that makes me unsure of myself, like I might not be who everyone thinks I am just because this kid doesn’t see my status and popularity as something that sets me out from everyone else.
By the time I’ve cleaned the majority of his lacerations to the best of my ability I’ve been suckered into his eyes and I can’t help but want to make them glisten in pleasure, make them dance with joy like I know Gerard wants me to make them because he just wants his little brother to be happy.
What would Gerard do if I closed the distance between my face and Mikey’s suddenly blushing one? Would he make more stuff explode or would he praise me?
No. I can’t kiss Mikey. I barely know the kid and to do something like that to a kid like him could easily screw him up even more. I guess I’ll just have to make him want it.
And I will.
“Frank, I’m sorry about last night.” His voice squeaks me out of my thoughts, pulling me back down to earth with a resounding thud and shocking me enough to make me fall back a few centimetres from the close proximity I had to Mikey’s face. “I… Can we start again? Please?”
My heart twists at the unnecessary remorse that stains his words, remorse that I demanded from him last night but am now feeling like I’ve never felt anything else. And so I reply the only way that I can.
“I would like that, Mikes.” Everything inside of me flutters at the start of a sad smile tugging at his swollen lips at the use of his nickname; Gerard was definitely right with that one. “So, tell me; do you like coffee?”
He nods enthusiastically, making me grin like a madman because I’m going to take him out to the local Starbucks. I’m going to get to know him over a coffee and get him to love me, get him to be happy and get to feel his broken heartbeat next to mine by the end of the night. It’s my own personal goal and challenge.
A challenge that I am definitely going to win.
A/N: Thank you very much for reading; I hope that this is alright! I’m not really sure if I like this chapter so please tell me what you think/how to improve for the next chapter. Thank you very much to anyone who has read/reviewed/rated this story so far, it really does mean a lot to me! Thank you very much for reading and please review! :)