After Gerard is spontaneously beaten, the band faces a questionable future. Oneshot.
Hopefully new --- something up tomorrow. Hope y'all are having a good long weekend.
Life In Slow Motion
He couldn't breathe, all the wind seemed trapped in his chest.
It was happening extremely fast, but his eye caught each movement of his attackers in slow motion. He watched a fist take 30 seconds to collide into his jawbone, breaking it slightly, when in reality it only took 3.
On his left hip, Gerard was bleeding profusely, but he couldn't see it. He only felt the pain between breaks in the blows, which, unlike the blows themselves, did not last long at all. Another fist to his face, and Gerard stumbled backward into cold cement.
The back of his head collide with the alleyway's floor, the alleyway where he had snuck away to only to sneak in a quick smoke before the bus had to depart for the next city. It hadn't been long after that that three men who he had never seen before approached him, sneering and spitting snide comments about his band. Nothing new -- Gerard had simply given them the finger, not even bothering to look in their direction, continuing his smoke and waiting for them to feel satisfied that they've had their say. Nothing new, until they started beating the living daylights out of him.
At one point, Gerard was certain they had even stabbed him, his shirt and jeans now soaked in a liquid that could only be his own blood.
"Fucking faggot!" the dark haired one hollered, delivering a sturdy blow to his chest with the tip of his boot. Gerard tried to turn over in an attempt to make his front less exposed, but it did not do much other than bring their kicks attention to his already injured hip. The contusion that was there exploded with pain that shook the rest of his body, and Gerard screamed freely.
He had no hope that his scream would bring him any help however -- his band mates and crew were all sound asleep back in the bus, a good mile and a half from where he was. It was around 3 in the morning, that hour when the party goers and night owls had just gotten to bed, and those who had work in the morning were hitting their snooze buttons before they had to get ready. No one was going to be on the streets for a good while, and by then Gerard feared that these people might actually kill him.
The biggest one of the group bent down and Gerard felt his right ankle suddenly being encased in calloused, thick hands. In a swift, jerking motion, the man twisted the ankle as far as it would go, the twist being announced by loud and sickening cracking noise. Gerard let rip another scream, a new pain now engrossing him. Black dots were dancing around his vision like evil, fuzzy little fireflies.
"He sounds better like that, don't you think?" one of them snickered. Another one had gotten a hold of his wrist, and Gerard waited for another twist, another wave of pain, but then realized that they were just removing his watch, stealing his jewelry.
His body was wracked in such angry waves of agony, that he barely felt them slip off his precious wedding ring.
"A beehive creates better music than this faggot."
Gerard felt someone hover over him closely, puffs of someone's breath warmed his neck. He did not try to hide the overpowering amount of fear he felt from himself or anyone else, letting tears slide down from the corner of his eyes. His shoulders shuddered, and he let an odd sounding squeak escape from his lips.
The feeling of something large and sharp piercing through his skin, and a wave of unbearable pain hit him simultaneously. This time, Gerard blacked out before the scream could pass through his mouth.
The bus had already begun to weave its way through the city streets before the remaining members of My Chemical Romance realized they were missing a man. The bus was forced to make a U-turn back to the spot where it was last parked, where a search party was immediately put into action. Worries began to rise when they realized their singer was not answering his cell phone for whatever reason.
Mikey Way, Ray Toro, Michael Pedicone, and Frank Iero all went their separate paths, checking in book stores and coffee shops, and then moving on to more unlikely locations. It was nearly noon when Gerard was found at last.
It was Frank who came across the dark alleyway, and he may not have even bothered to look into it had he not heard the faint moaning noises coming from within its depths. He had to walk quite a bit further in before he at last saw the red head, his back propped up against the very end of the alley, his entire body soaked in blood and bruises.
Just like Gerard had so many times the night before, Frank screamed.
He ran to his friend, at first completely unsure as to what to do. All common sense forgotten, he sat next to Gerard and simply held him for a while.
"Gerard, Gerard, what happened?!?" Frank sputtered. But Gerard was far from coherent, his head bobbing sideways in its downward position. Frank tried to examine him further, but only ended up twisting Gerard in a way that brought one of his two stab wounds alive with pain. Gerard tried to scream, but his jaw was broken and it came out to be some choked up, chortling sound instead.
Logic returned to Frank, and he pulled out his phone to call 911, as well as his band mates. It took an initially confused conversation with Mikey for Frank to realize that he himself was crying from panic.
At the hospital, Gerard gradually regained consciousness. Yet it was not until he had eaten two full meals and taken a small nap that he felt strong enough to tell his pestering friends and brother what had happened back in the alley.
"They just really seemed to hate me as a musician." Gerard shrugged slightly, "I mean I don't know how that justifies beating someone but that's all they really said..."
He absentmindedly felt the bare skin where his ring used to be. Frank saw the motion and frowned, reaching out to take Gerard's naked hand in his own. They interlocked fingers, and Gerard smiled at him in a miniscule way, but Frank was able to catch that as well.
Mikey seemed more troubled than anyone else in the room, including the patient himself. He kept opening his mouth, letting the beginnings of a sentence escape before closing his mouth again, his eyes reflecting that he was lost in thought.
Ray, as usual, wasted no time in taking control over the situation. He immediately dove into subjects like pressing charges, calling their own families, and arranging the postponement of the tour. It was while talking about the latter that Mikey finally seemed to find the words he was looking for.
"I don't think the tour should be continued at all." he blurted out.
Gerard, Ray, and Frank looked at him in confusion. Mikey seemed slightly thrown off by all the attention suddenly being on him, but after a few seconds he continued. "I -- I don't this band should continue. Not if this is what it's come to."
"Mikey, let's not freak out over this, okay?" Ray tried to assure him, "It was an isolated incident, of course we need to give Gerard time to heal, but -- "
"How the fuck do you expect me to not freak out?!?' Mikey asked, his voice rising. "My brother almost fucking died today!"
"Well Mikey, there's other solutions than just quitting the band." Frank stepped in, his hand still gripping Gerard's, "We can tighten security, or just put a curfew on ourselves or something."
"Mikey, it's okay." Gerard spoke, although something in his tone implied that he was hesitant about that statement.
"No! No, it's not!" Mikey's hands were balled into fists, and he looked like an overgrown child on the verge of a temper tantrum, "I'm not going to stay in this stupid fucking band if it means even risking anyone getting hurt! I FUCKING QUIT!"
He bellowed the last sentence so loudly, Gerard and Ray winced. Mikey then stormed out the door, slamming it behind him.
The remaining occupants of the room stood in silence for a long moment, Gerard's grip on Frank's hand having turned into a death lock. Frank then bent down and kissed Gerard on the forehead, smiling at him sweetly. "It's going to be okay, he's just scared is all, seeing you like this and everything. Hell, I am too, I'm just a bit better at managing it I guess."
"Thanks Frankie," Gerard grimaced, the painkillers wearing down again. "I know, it isn't like I haven't dealt with him before. I just...."
Gerard was cut off by a sharp jab in his side, and Frank peeled off the thin blanket to see that he was bleeding through his gauze. Gerard winced and Frank left to call a nurse. Ray sighed and gave Gerard an affectionate stroke through his long red locks.
"Don't worry about any of that now, Gerard. Just rest, okay? Take as long as you need and remember that were here to support you, no matter what." Ray told him in a soothing tone, running his hand through his hair repeatedly now.
Gerard thought he ended the sentence strangely, but did not remark. Frank soon returned with a nurse who administered painkillers that pulled him down into blissful darkness once again.
Mikey sat on a wooden bench, enjoying the cold morning air as it whipped at his face. He had not been to this park since his teenage days, and even then it was never really a place that he frequented.
It used to be Gerard's favorite place to draw and sketch. It was the extent of the "outside world" for him, always retreating to the basement of their home straight after.
He could almost smell his brother's scent of cigarettes and coffee lingering in the air, as though the imprint had stayed there for this many years.
Or perhaps it was because Gerard was standing right behind him.
"What are you doing out here?" Mikey asked, eyeing the crutches that his brother walked with. It had been two weeks since he was released to the hospital, after which Mikey had taken Gerard home with him until Lindsey could make the time to come pick him up. "You're supposed to be outdoors as minimally as possible, remember?"
"I followed you." Gerard hopped his way over to the empty space beside Mikey, where he took a seat and let out a deep breath.
"If you have something to say, couldn't it have waited until I got home?" asked Mikey.
"No, because at home you have too many excuses to avoid me like you have been." snapped Gerard.
Mikey had nothing to say to that. After a pause, he tried to take control of the situation by deciding a conversation topic.
"Frank says they think they've found one of the guys who did this to you." Mikey remarked, avoiding phrases like 'who beat you up'. He didn't think Gerard liked it when he worded it that way. "It took an hour long conversation for me to talk Frank down from going after him himself."
Gerard chuckled slightly, "You know if he really wants to, nothing you say is going to stop him."
"Yeah." Mikey sighed, "And I know he does really want to. I told Ray, I'm hoping he can at least stop Frank from doing anything stupid. He's angrier about this than he's let on, you know -- he just doesn't want to show you because he doesn't want to stress you out. But he's out for blood."
"So then why are you telling me?" Gerard couldn't help but asking.
"Because I don't want you to think I'm the only one whose bothered." replied Mikey.
"Well I'd venture a guess that you're the only one who actually quit the band." said Gerard.
"Can you blame me?" Mikey turned to face his brother, making direct eye contact with him. Gerard noted the bags under his eyes that seemed to have suddenly appeared within the past week. While they made his face look older than it was, his eyes looked like the same eyes that belonged to the little boy who got worked up when Gerard received so much as a scraped knee. "I just don't want you to get hurt like this again."
"C'mon Mikey, what are the chances -- "
"I don't care what the chances are!" Mikey interrupted, "I don't care how unlikely it is --- it happened once didn't it?!? Did you know there are people who have been hit by lightning multiple times in their lives?!?"
Gerard laughed at the last remark, although he tried to hold it in -- Mikey clearly did not find this funny at all.
"You said you could never not do something with me, right?" Mikey asked him, a distressed squeak in his voice making Gerard feel guilty somehow, "You said that no matter what, we would always be doing something together?"
Gerard nodded, already knowing where this was heading, but not quite liking the inevitable destination.
"So if I really decided to leave this band, that I didn't want to do it anymore, would you leave with me?"
There it was.
Gerard took a great breath of air, the action causing his side to pinch slightly. A million thoughts ran through his head in a rapid surge, and the time between the question and the answer felt like it took a good 5 minutes, while in reality it only took 1.
"Of course, Mikey."
Mikey smiled at this reassurance. He grabbed Gerard's hand, realizing his own was trembling from the brief moment they had shared. A long nagging question being answered at last, Mikey helped Gerard stand up. He supported him with his right arm and side, letting Gerard use one crutch on the other side and carrying the other over his own left shoulder. Gerard looked at him curiously, perhaps wondering what they were doing now.
"C'mon, let's go home." Mikey said as they walked off together to a home that was 10 minutes away, even though his real home was only a couple of seconds to his right.