Anxious younger brothers and sleeping arrangements.
"Mikey, stop pacing back and forth like that, you're giving me a headache."
I look up from my frantic display of anxiousness to see my best, 'fro sporting, friend sitting cross legged on the couch I had slept on the previous night. I stop momentarily to offer him an annoyed glare before continuing my pace around the small living room of the apartment he shares with his older brother. I hear a heavy sigh escape his lips but just to ignore it. I have too much on my mind to dwell on Ray's feelings.
"Come on, Mikes. I didn't want to bombard you with questions when you showed up last night, but you've gotta talk about this sooner or later."
I know Ray is just trying to help but I really don't want to talk at the moment.
"Already told you. Gerard."
My brief response that just barely made sense makes Ray sigh again, this time even heavier and slightly more annoyed.
"Yes, you told me you got into an argument with Gerard, even a retarded unicorn could figure that one out. But what exactly did you fight about?"
Just hearing 'Gerard' and 'argument' in the same sentence makes the events of last night flood into my head again. How could he do this to me? How could he be so stupid? So selfish? He might be set on destroying his life but couldn't he think of me for once? Gerard is the only family I have left to fill the void of losing my beloved grandmother and being practically abandoned by our so called parents.
When I walked into the basement last night and caught him red handed, prescription pills still sitting on his tongue, I was filled with the strangest emotions I had ever felt. Anger, betrayal, dissapointment, and unfortunately above all, concern. I know Gerard doesn't deserve my worrying after lying to me for months, but I can't help but worry about my older brother's health.
For some time now, he's been falling deeper and deeper into depression. At first I tried to shrug it off as him just having a spell of bad days but once I noticed that bottles were mysteriously dissapearing from our parent's liquor cabinet, I realized it was much more than that. I should have done something about this a long time ago. I don't know why I waited until just yesterday to tell Ray and Bob about it. I guess I just didn't want to accept it all. It took seeing my brother thrown on the floor of his bedroom, empty liquor bottles and full cases of pills covering his bed, for me to come to grip with the situation.
Before I could annoy Ray with my silence any further, there was a knock on the door. Ray reluctantly got up from his place on the couch to answer it. I hear a short greeting from a husky voice and two pairs of footsteps heading back to the living room where I have begun to pace yet again. Three guesses at who it is.
"Hey Mickey Mouse."
I snap my head up to shoot daggers at the pair of baby blue eyes stood before me.
"Fuck you, you know I hate when you call me that."
"Yeah, but atleast it got your attention."
I scoff at Bob's smart ass remark and am about to continue pacing when I feel his caloused drummer's hand take a grip of my shoulder, stopping me in my tracks.
I roll my eyes but sit down anyway, knowing now that Bob's here I won't get out of this conversation.
"Now tell Dr.Bob all about your problems."
I hear Ray laugh and I find the corner of my lips begin to turn up in a small smile.
"Doctor? Please. Coming from the guy that can't sit through a science lecture without falling asleep."
"It's not my fault that class is so god damn boring. Maybe if Mrs.James wore tight skirts like that hot english teacher does, I'd be more inclined to pay attention."
"You're too much of a typical high school teenage guy with raging hormones for your own good, Bryar."
Bob frowns playfully at my response.
"I resent that."
I begin to relax a bit, enjoying the easy conversation with Bob that is almost successfully distracting me from other things infecting my mind. Almost. I see Ray elbow Bob in the side, reminding him of the reason he came over in the first place.
"Right, so, I really think you should talk to us about this, Mikey. I know how stubborn you can be, but keeping this quiet is just gonna eat you alive."
At that, I cross my arms together infront of my chest and raise my chin slightly, probably doing a great impression of an upset toddler.
"I am not stubborn."
I look over at Bob and Ray, each sitting on either side of me on the couch. Both their eyes are filled with concern and after a thought, I decide they deserve to know. They are Gerard's friends too, after all. Maybe they can help. I take a breath to steady my nerves and start to explain.
"Alright, alright, I'll tell you. Well, remember what I told you about Gerard yesterday after school?"
They both nod, frowns on their lips. They are obviously just as worried about Gerard as I am. This information is just going to make them worry that much more.
"When we got home, I convinced Gerard to have a movie night with me just like we always use to."
"That's great." I'm interrupted by Ray who smiles reassuringly. Sometimes that guy is too sickeningly optomistic, although I appreciate the gesture.
"Yeah, but this next part isn't by any means 'great'."
Ray's smile disappears just as quickly as it appeared. He nods for me to continue.
"I fell asleep during the movie and I woke up once I heard the door bell ring. I expected to see Gerard sitting next to me but he was gone. I got up and answered the door to pay for the pizza we ordered and brought it back to the kitchen. I waited around for a few minutes but Gerard didn't show up so I went to go look for him in his room. When he heard me calling him he turned towards me and hid something behind his back..."
I stopped abrubtly, finding it hard to continue speaking without my voice cracking. I could feel tears beginning to come to the surface of my eyes and I wipped at them angrily. I'm not usually so emotional or out there about how I'm feeling, but this whole situation has become too much for me to handle.
I feel Bob place his hand on my shoulder and squeeze it reassuringly.
"What was he hiding?"
I bite back tears and force the rest of my explaination out before I do something embarrasing.
Bob and Ray share a confused look before reacting.
"Pills? So what? Was he not feeling well or something?"
"No Ray, not those kinds of pills. They were prescription pills."
Another confused look. Only this time, Bob was the one to answer.
"I didn't know he was prescribed medication, does he have some kind of condition we don't know about?"
Bob's eyes widen in shocked realization and I hear Ray gasp to my left.
"No, no, Gerard wouldn't do something like that."
Ray shakes his head from side to side, his huge mass of brown curls moving about wildly.
"He would, and he has. Apparently this has been going on for a while, if the cases I found on his bed, both full and empty, are anything to go by."
An eerie silence falls over us as Bob and Ray try to process the information I just layed on them. Everything feels like it's been amplified by a million now that everything's out in the open. My emotions are turned up full notch and before I can stop it, a loud sob finds it's way out of my mouth and I fall to the carpeted floor, forehead resting on my knees that I've folded up tightly against my chest.
"Hey Mikes, calm down, look at me."
Ray tilts my chin up so I can meet his eyes. I hadn't noticed that the tears I had held back earlier had now fallen down my cheeks until Ray reached his thumb up to wipe them away.
"I know everything feels hopeless right now, but I promise, we will fix this."
I don't believe Ray's words one bit but I decide to offer him atleast a short nod for his troubles. Bob stands up from where he was sitting on the couch and stretches a hand out to me to help me up.
"Come on guys, follow me to my car."
I raise an eye brow at his sudden demand.
"Where are we going?"
"To talk this out with Gerard, of course."
Things may be looking grim at the moment, but I smile nonetheless, wondering what I did to deserve such great friends.
"What did you do to get their attention like that?"
A mischievous grin spreads across Frank's face and I await in anticipation for his answer.
"Nothing too crazy, I just streaked across the venue."
After hearing that and forming a hilarious mental picture in my mind, I spit out the hot coffee I had in my mouth all over the table in front of me, thankfully avoiding Frank. Now that would have been embarrassing. Frank sits there and looks very amused. Unfortunately, the Starbucks employee that happened to be passing by our table at that moment didn't find my behavior as amusing as Frank. I hear him mutter something under his breath about not finishing college.
"And you didn't get kicked out for that?"
"Oh yeah, took a while for security to get a hold of me though. So all those Smashing Pumpkins fans got a good look at my pale ass before I was escorted out."
The mental picture I form after that sentence is considerably less hilarious and forces me into another train of though before I drool all over the now coffee covered table. Something leads me to think that employee wouldn't appreciate that.
"Too bad I wasn't there to witness that."
I wink at Frank and he blushes. God, that blush is almost too adorable to handle. It makes me want to do thing's I'd regret, like lean over this table between Frank and I and close the distance between our lips. Well, I wouldn't regret that unless Frank freaked out about it. Which he probably would.
"Uh, yeah, um..."
Frank's attempt at forming a coherent sentence through his embarrassment is interrupted by Anthrax's 'Madhouse' playing through the cell phone in my pocket. Shit, that's the ringtone I have set for Mikey. I quickly take the phone out and silence it, wondering if I should pick up or not. In any other situation I would pick up in a heart beat, but I don't particularly want to explain to my brother why I'm suddenly in a different country. I still haven't decided what I'm going to tell Mikey about this decision I've made, or if I should tell him at all. I figure I'll save that for some other time though, so I choose to ignore the call and set it down on the table. Frank raises a curious eye brow at me, but doesn't question it. Smart kid.
"So, how long are you gonna be staying in London?"
Frank's question catches me off guard and my mind races for an explanation. What do I tell him? It's not like I can casually say 'You know, just enough time to get everything out of my system before I finish myself off and they send my dead body back to Jersey'. He'd either call the nearest hospital to come treat the maniac sitting in front of him or run away and never speak to me again. The latter may not be such a bad thing, considering I don't know how I'm going to bring myself to say goodbye to this beautiful definition of perfection by the name of Frank. And by the looks of it, our conversation is starting to come to an end. I finally settle on a simple answer to Frank's question.
"I'm not sure, actually."
Which isn't completely a lie, I really have no idea when I'll decide to do it.
"How about you?"
Frank hesitates and shifts awkwardly in his seat. Something tells me he's hiding something as well.
"Well, I've sort of moved here for a while."
I was definitely not expecting that one. A kid from Jersey moving to a new and unfamiliar country on his own? If the luggage he brought along is anything to go by, this was a spur of the moment decision.
"Wow, really? Where will you be staying?"
"I haven't exactly worked that out yet. I'm gonna start looking for apartments tomorrow."
And just like that, my mind was made. I've always had the habit of living in the moment, and this moment was one I could definitely use to my advantage.
"There's a hotel just a few blocks from here I was reading about on some pamphlet while on the plane. I'm probably gonna crash there tonight considering it's past midnight by now and I don't know my way around the city. We could share a room and split the cost if you're looking to save some cash?"
Well, that was incredibly forward of me. But I am Gerard Way after all, it's what I'm known for. If Frank didn't get the impression that I was hitting on him earlier, he has to have got the message now. Frank grins like a cheshire cat at my suggestion and my hopes shoot to the ceiling.
"Yeah, that'd be great!"
I laugh at his sudden enthusiasm and, surprise, surprise, he blushes yet again.
"I-I mean, uh, yeah man, that's a smart idea I guess."
"Sometimes you're too adorable for your own good, Frankie."
Did I just say that out loud? Oh god.
"Um...yeah. Sorry, that just slipped out I guess. Do you mind if I call you Frankie?"
"Not at all. It's only fair if you let me call you something equally as embarrassing though. Hm. What about Gee?"
The only person who's ever called me Gee is Mikey. I never liked the nickname but it came from someone I really care about, so it grew on me. I think that may apply to this situation too.
"Well, Gee, we should start walking to that hotel you told me about. This coffee isn't going to keep me up for much longer. And I doubt you'd enjoy carrying me to our room."
I have little voices screaming inside my head that would say otherwise.
"I don't know, you are pretty short. I bet I could just put you in my bag."
Frank narrows his eyes at me and all I can do is laugh at his reaction.
"Alright asshole, let's go."
We get up and take the remains of our coffee with us. When I go to pick up my cell phone from the table, I notice I have a voicemail from Mikey. I put it back in my pocket and take a mental note to listen to it later. I look up and am met with Frank's ever present friendly smile.
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