This is our decision, to live fast and die young.
Please don’t question me about the story line, just wait for the plot to flourish. Rating and reviewing would be appreciated especially as this is a rather eventful chapter. The next one will have more info.
And I know I know, Bob isn’t in MCR anymore, but I love him so he’s gonna be in my fic. Viva la Bob Bryar.
Time To Pretend
"Don de la Via."
The two made men regarded each other for just a moment, making up for the near six years in which they had not seen each other. Bob was a little shocked by his boss's drastic hair colour change, the startling fire engine red in lieu of the previous long, straight raven to his shoulders. He was more tanned, complexion suffiently golden, bulkier (if the former consigliere did say so himself) and generally looked so much different to the Gerard Way Bob had left six years ago in Los Angeles. According to his adressing by his first name, Gerard's diction and formality had not changed, even when he was under strenuous pressure after his consigliere going fucking insane and shooting up his capogierme.
"Would you...would you...would you care for a drink?" The Father of the Family asked, slightly nervous. Bob was staring at him with those bulging baby blue's, which was slightly disconcerting. He had grown a little thinner, his frail frame bulked up and propped in the squeaking wheelchair. Bob simply gazed at him for a little while, mouth open as he scrutinized his superior. It took a small amount of time before he finally spoke up.
"Oh...um...no thanks, man," he said to Gerard now, feeling slightly uncomfortable as the Don nodded stiffly, hands in pockets. Blood still remained on his sleeves and his pristine white shirt from where he had stabbed his own counciller. Gerard ran his hands though his hair and grabbed for a near by bottle of Jack Daniels, pouring the amber liquid into a glass, floating like ribbon into the glass. He threw it back like an expert, the whiskey shooting so fast from the glass into his mouth that Robert didn't even have time to track it. Gerard sighed, cussed to himself and reached for the bottle again. Bob shot his arm out in an attempt to salvage Way from his former alcohol-ridden self.
"Dude, no. Just calm down, okay? Just cool your jets here." He cleared his throat a little and shuffled his fingers nervously. Had he just ordered the Don to stop drinking, as it were? Has he actually just instructed Gerard motherfucking Way what to do? With a firm nod of the metaphorical head, he had decided, yes, he had. He was not going to allow Gerard drink himself away into a pool of numb oblivion, like some common alcoholic the boss had been up until over seven years ago. He sat, determined and set, in Gerard's office. The heat stifling through the nearby open window was overwhelming; Italy was certainly no inner-state Chicago. "Let's not fuckin lose our sobrerity streak just because Adam went a little skitzo. This'll get sorted out, Coro, don't you freakin worry, man."
"Don de la Via," Way only barked at him, venomous. Bob actually recoiled in his chair from the snake-like impression. "You fucking address me by my fucking formal name, you got that, fuck-face?"
Robert could only gape at the man. His feelings had just been severely dented.
He decided it wasn't only the hair that had changed about Gerard; it was his personality. The fame and power had gone to his head and now he was just like every other prick on his high seat; he didn't care about his friends now, didn't care about the men who had lead him to become the criminal he was today. His jade eye swept briefly over the sandy blond and then skitted to the side. Suddenly his glare softened and he slumped against the desk, sighing and rubbing his temples. He looked world-weary and somewhat older.
“Look, Don de la Via,” Bob started off, sighing, rolling up next to the king of the criminals. He wasn’t sure if Gerard approve or not- he was relieved when he wasn’t shoved away from the made man. He sighed again and tried to meet his boss’s eyes, determined to stare Gerard down. The Don of the Family continued to stare at his lace up’s. “Look, I know how much you love Frankie, okay? I remember that goddamn shit the Romano’s dealt him when we…I mean, youse…was back in tha US, kay? Poor kid didn’t deserve none of that, he’s the nicest thing. But actin like a little prick to me when I came all tha fuckin way from Illinois ain’t gonna help you,” he finished, nearly trembling. He had just mouthed off to Gerard Way. Holy shit. “So how about you put the booze away and you talk to me about this whole thing.”
Gerard slowly let his glittering green eye meet the sky blue and they were full of worry, concern, fear even. Bob found it hard to imagine that Don de la Via was going through such hardship; this man had gone through absolutely everything. He had been injured within an inch of his life, he had been through one helluva nasty divorce, he had been physically and verbally abused as a child. Now the blank, vulnerable look retained in Gerard’s eye. Bob felt a twinge of guilt that he had just chewed the guy out. He was really suffering.
“Rucetta just seriously injured my capogierme, I have a strong feeling my own councillor harbours amorous feelings for my husband, my said husband has been given a year to live and my niece is no longer a child and instead sees fit to explore Laccone territory with her friends. She possibly has a fidanzato.” He looked straight at Bob. “And you think I act like a prick for no reason.”
“Still no reason to start drinkin again, sir,” Bob replied intelligently. “Rucetta’s a dickhead, pardon my French, and always goddamn has been. If he has the fuckin hots for Frankie, well then, goddamn, Gerard, kill the cunt, and kill him quick. I tell ya though, whoever would try to mess with something belonging to you obviously has a goddamn deathwish,” he said with a small laugh, and Gerard miraculously cracked a smile. “Frankie was given lotsa deadlines before in Cali and they never came true and…well, Luciana’s a teenager now.” He shruged easily as if it were that simple. “See? You coulda just called me on the blower to talk. Flyin to Italy ain’t no walk in the molfucking park, I tell ya.”
“Bob,” Gerard said now. He sounded a little irritated, his voice tight and thin, ample to break. “Don’t simplify my problems. If you would stay quiet for just a moment and allow me to think to myself I will tell you why I have inclined you over from America.”
The Don picked up a nearby cigar and brought it to his lips, clicking his lighter and inhaling deeply. Robert, as instructed, stayed silent as he watched the made man blow three large smoke rings from his nose, puffs of grey circles that would soon disappear into nothing but thick air. Gerard tilted his head back, long straggles of red hair tossing down his neck.
“You changed your hair,” Bob said quietly, looking into his lap, legs as dead and non-receptive as ever. He ran a hand down his thigh and looked up again. “Used be black, all long. And you lost weight. You’re skinny now.”
“I wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘skinny’, really,” Gerard drawled and the other laughed quietly. “That is exaggerating the situation outrageously, really now, Consigliere Bryar.” He puffed again and yawned. “Mmm, I’ve been working out more recently. It’s hot as fucking shit over here in the summer and being fat and pale does you no favours.”
“I wouldn’t call it fat,” Bob said reasonably, relaxing considerably. “I wouldn’t exactly brand you with the fat label. Just…chubby or something.”
“Yeah well, prick down the block is fucking ripped so I figured I should earn some muscles before Frank dumps me for being fat or something.” A rueful laugh; Gerard’s sunny, slightly jittery chuckle ran through the room and bounced off the walls. Then the Don’s features sunk into neutral and he stopped all laughter, looking out the window onto the street again. “God knows he can do better than me.”
“Hey now,” Bryar said sternly, brow knitting together as he frowned. He rolled over to where Gerard was perched and nudged him gingerly. It was quite verboten to really touch the Don in any circles; Bob had rarely been within more than twelve inches of Gerard. Up close the criminal was much more human than he had ever imagined-it sounded dumb but that was how the Chicago native felt-Gerard was always discussed by his men and his enemies alike but he had always seemed somewhat legendary; as if he was an animated puff of smoke. “Don’t you say that, you know the kid fuckin loves you to shit. You’re just scared from wha happened wi Rucetta yesterday that you’re freakin out about everythin else too, man. No worries.”
“Think about it,” Gerard said in a hollow, barren voice that did not belong to him. “Would you rather be married to a normal, middle-class, law-abiding citizen or be married to some fat, depressing, bloodthirsty Mafia boss?” He shook his head and frowned.
“Well, I’d go for the normal, middle-class, law-abidin citizen,” Bob answered, “but I ain’t Frankie.”
That seemed to stop Gerard in his tracks. He looked to the disabled man like a child, a bright spark twinkling in his eyes.
“Well…I…thank you,” he returned almost inaudibly. A hint of a smile tugged at his lips and he pushed himself off of the window ledge, wearing his lopsided grin. For a moment Gerard was the chubby, raven-haired, black and scarlet suited macabre villain he had been six years ago. But then the smile vanished and he was sombre again. Bob was literally watching a schizophrenic toss back and forth before his eyes, like the ball of a yo-yo. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be boring you with my neurotic thoughts. This is really not the place.” He looked to Bob. “Perhaps I should tell you why I brought you here.”
“That’d be good,” Bob said. He was exhausted from the twelve hour flight from New York to London, London to Paris and Paris to Rome, but was engrossed in why his boss had called him to the Cosa breeding ground of Italy. “About Rucetta?”
“Originally, yes,” Gerard answered vaguely. He wasn’t facing Bob now.
“Originally?” The other quoted. Robert was beyond confused. He quirked a blond eyebrow. “How d’ya mean?”
“I mean, originally that was why I asked you to travel to the Italian Republic,” Way said, a little more sharp than necessary. Bob didn’t take notice; he was used to Gerard becoming snippy when pressed for answers. “I have noticed Adam become lazy and uninterested in his work because of his husband not satisfying him. He hasn’t participated in a raid in weeks and his aim…let’s say Luciana could handle a gun better than him.” Bryar forced a smile not to show; he had an unspoken revenge against the man who had replaced him. He always knew Gerard preferred himself to that cocky Bronx cunt. “Last night, as you arrived, I’m sure you saw he had assaulted Molko.”
“Aw yeah, Brian. How’s he doing now?”
“Stable,” Gerard replied. “Frank bandaged him up this morning. He was hit twelve times in the thorax but amazingly each bullet missed his vital organs.”
“Jesus Christ,” Bryar chortled and was pleased to see Gerard smiling as well. “I see what’cha fuckin mean about the goddamn aim. Because of is dry streak?”
Gerard nodded, sucking on his cigar. Then: “Yes, I would presume so. I met Jonathan a few weeks ago and he had burn marks around his wrist. I talked to Adam about it and he gave me the same bullshit excuse I get every time: I’m stressed, I’m tired, he didn’t have my dinner ready when I got home, things of that calibre.” Bob nodded; he knew Gerard had such a strict mantra of respecting one’s spouse-he wasn’t sure if it was a product of Frank’s turbulent experience with James and Way’s subsequent fierce protectionism of the boy, or if he was generally like that. It was hard to say Gerard was anti-violence and a practicing pacifist when he ran the Famiglia and had brutally killed thousands of men. “I don’t like that. Don’t fucking like it at all. Jonathan’s twenty three. He’s basically a kid, he needs Adam’s protection from the bastards against us. Then Rucetta goes on and beats him.” He blew out a low whistle. “Told me he’d never hit the kid again after he gave up the booze.”
“Drink?” Bob murmured, eyes briefly passing over the various sheets on Gerard’s desk; a neatly printed letter on the desk caught his vision-it displayed all the names of the previous colleagues in the US. Gerard cleared his throat and Bob looked up once more. “He a drinker?”
“Alcohol turns the nicest people in the world into assholes,” the Don said, slightly sadly. He pushed the empty glass near the whiskey bottle away from him, as he was ashamed or embarrassed. “And it turns assholes into bigger assholes.” He wavered a little and brightened considerably. “Forgive me, I have been so rude. How is all in Chicago?”
“Oh, ‘s good,” Bob answered. His fingers shuffled on the arms of the chair and he leaned back to think of his beautiful wife, his million dollar mansion and his Chihuahua. “Kat says hey and wants you to know she…uh…visits Don de la Via’s grave whenever she can. Says she likes to keep it nice or whatever.”
“How do you-oh. My father’s grave,” he said softly, nodding slowly. He felt slightly sick whenever he thought of Donald and the pain he had put Gerard through for over twenty nine years. “Yes. Well. I don’t often think about him anymore, it upsets Luciana and such. He lifted his eyebrows and smiled warmly. “Katlyn still wears the trousers in the relationship then?”
“She’s tha boss, if that’s what ya mean,” he said and Gerard barked a laugh. “She went to New York Fashion Week a month ago and came back with a fuckin bill the size o the Atlantic. Never understand how woman can fuckin spend thousands a dollars on shoes or summat. Handbags and hats and gloves and whatever…” He grinned. “Guess you don’t have to worry about that.”
“You’d be wrong,” Gerard told him. They were like old friends now, jesting with each other. His cigar has shortened to a small stub balancing in between his tiny teeth. “Frank regularly drags me to Milan once or twice a month and gives my credit card a good clean-out.”
A scoff. “Like you can’t fuckin afford it. You got what, like eighteen different Rolex’s? Ten sports cars? Seven properties in the US, Europe, Asia, South America? Luciana probably has her own team of servants or whatever.” Gerard wore his best shit-eating grin. “Spoiled rotten.”
“She’s an angel,” Gerard supplied innocently. “And I only have seventeen watches. See?” He showed the other gangster his wrist; a heavy bullion watch hung from his arm. “Solid gold, man, that’s five hundred and sixty three grammes of solid goddamn gold.”
“Bet that cost a pretty penny.”
“Eh, I lose count,” the Don shrugged. He was dripping in bling; from the golden crucifix that hung around his neck to the seven rings that glittered on his fingers to the bracelet around his thick wrist. He gestured around the room. “Most of it just goes in the safe or goes on the house. Frank wants to re-do the tile job on the kitchen because he read it in some interior design magazine and apparently browns and reds are in. I want to buy out that art studio downtown. Suppose it will come to a million or two.” He cleared his throat and looked straight out the window deliberately avoiding the other’s gaze. “And…uh…we need to do some renovations on the house.”
“Oh yeah?” Bob said, slightly incredulous. “What? Need to get like the fifty first room?”
“No…” Gerard trailed off quietly, fidgeting slightly. He cleared his throat again and ran his hands through his fire engine locks. Bob recognized the tell-tale signs; after knowing Gerard for nearly fifteen years, he always knew when the boss was nervous: (seldom enough) he bit his nails, coughing, tearing at his hair like it was irritating him, being attached to his skull. “I just…no…I guess…” their eyes met, the three. “It’s the main reason you’re here. You’re my…oldest and best friend, Bob. I need your opinion.”
“On…house renovations?” The former consigliere asked lightly. “I’m not really…maybe Kat-“
“Not to do with accommodation renovations, Robert.” A shrug. The made man sighed and rubbed his eyes wearily. Bob could hear the wooden eyeball inside Gerard’s eye-socket roll and toss around. He smoothed down his black tie and paced the room. “What do you think is the main difference between you and I, Consigliere Bryar?”
“Um.” He paused and swiftly analysed Gerard from head to toe, thinking the ideology was physical. “You’re…you’re Don?”
“No. Flattering, but no.”
“You’re…you have black hair? Green eyes? You’re taller than me?” Each time Gerard shook his head, smiling a little bitterly. Bob wracked his brains for an answer, brain going straight into overdrive. What was it to do with? Gerard was more wealthy then he was, Gerard had a fake leg as opposed to dead ones, he was an artist, he was born in a different state to Bob…so many differences. “I dunno, man. Apart from those, we’re pretty similar people.”
“Oh Bob, now, don’t be naïve,” Gerard said now, leaning into the consigliere. “Last time I checked you are married to someone a little different to me, yes?”
“Frankie…is shorter than Kat?”
Gerard clapped a hand to his forehead as Bob realized his mistake. The consigliere stuttered and stalled until he blurted out:
“You’re gay, you’re gay! You dig guys instead of girls! Totally get it, okay dude.” He paused again and watched as Gerard was smiling a little erratically. “I know that. I’ve knowed it since you was married to Ricci. What about it?”
Gerard told him. By the end of the conversation, Bob’s mouth was falling to the ground.
March 17th 1940
Parioli, Roma, ISR
From the desk of Don G. A. de la Via
Addressing: Missus C. L. Toro, Whitechurch, Los Angeles, United States of America/ Missus K. M. E. Bryar, Downview, Chicago, United States of America
Christa and Katlyn;
This letter is in correspondence with the aforementioned subject you contacted me about on March 3rd 1940 (my apologies for not writing sooner) and the request of Christa for my opinion of the appointment of further associates to the Cosa.
Firstly I would like to extend my apologies for not having written sooner, as life has been extremely hectic lately; I’m sure you have heard of the many events surrounding myself and Frank over the last few months (or, indeed, years). It has been most stressful here in Rome for the preceding months and I have strained myself to write to the both of you to respectfully ask you of some favours.
Christa recently wrote me telling me of the issue that there has been a significant drop in members of both the Cosa Nostra and the Brigata dell Donne; this is most disappointing and strikes me that several members have simply vanished from the face off the earth, or so they would like it to appear. Christa, I would be most grateful if you would forward on the respected names and addresses and personal details (i.e. age, medical details et cetera) of all members you have not been acquainted with in some time. The Mafia is not some half-hearted get-together of half-cocked, improper criminals. We are professional killers and I find it very angering that people come and go as they please; whence they are apprehended they will be treated just as severely as enemies. I have complete faith in you, Missus Toro, that you will carry out the task to full completion.
I also read recently in the Los Angeles Times (Edition #17439, March 12th, 1940) as I find the local Italian periodicals inaccurate and somewhat resembling of a tabloid, that the Romano’s have come to power again. I find this unacceptable. Whence I left Los Angeles, and indeed the United States, all of nearly six years ago, I entrusted the city into my associates’ hands and it seems that they have not endured the promise of which they swore to me. The current ‘ruler’ of Los Angeles, one Peter Simon James Romano (son of the late Marcus Matthew Romano, 1902-1935, who perished at the hands of myself in the Romano bombing of March 1935) is barely twenty years old and is controlling the city. I notice you did not inform me of this in any of your previous letters, Katlyn, over the last few years. I find this surprising as Romano assuming the throne is quite a vital topic to discuss (or I would think so.)
Following the article of Romano reigning terror on the innocent (somewhat, at least) people of Los Angeles, I also read a rather humorous/slightly tongue-in-cheek article by one Walter Duranty (correspondent for the Cable News Network, I believe) claiming the many reasons why he hates me. There were thirty five in all (as he has gathered the date of my birth and registers I am to turn thirty five this year) ranging from ‘Gerard Way’s very typical Italian appearance; greasy and dripping with gaudy jewellery’ to ‘his brutal, disgusting, heartless and inhumane treatment of human life’. He also went on to ridicule my character about my sexuality (‘the Don is not only guilty of killing but of crimes against the Church, sins of sodomy for which he will certainly burn in Perdition for’) which ceased my good humour about the piece. Enclosed in this letter you will also find a human thumb, which I took from Anna Duranty, his niece who happened to be vacationing in Paris the same time as myself and Frank. If you might send it on to Mister Duranty, Katlyn, I would be most grateful. I have inscribed ‘From Italy With Love’ on the side as a token of my gratitude for his journalistic work.
The primary reason I took to pen this letter was to ask the large favour of both of you….as you are most likely aware, Missus Toro, your husband, Robert (I say this as you may have other husbands I am not aware of) is currently residing in my residence with myself and Frank. He is in good humour as, to quote, “I ain’t earned a tan in fuckever.” He passes on his warm regards and informed me today that Italian women apparently have nothing on American women. Naturally I would know nothing about this, but…
I am asking the both of you, in true cordiality, to please join Robert in travelling to Rome for an unspecified amount of time. I apologize for the inconvenience of my living in a separate country (and indeed continent) but firstly, I have not met the two most capable women in my troupe in over half a decade and secondly, Italy is the home of your working industry and I would feel it fit for you both to travel here. I have paid for your travelling (if you which to travel, a plane on the 25th will be ready and willing to depart from Los Angeles International) and you are of course welcome to stay in my manor, as you often did in the last year of my living in the United States. I will be needing your help in several areas.
I will now conclude with some rather jubilant news that I only discovered last night…following the shooting of Capogierme Molko (he also says ‘toodles’ to you, I am unaware of the meaning of the word) my husband was ill with a breathing attack (the tuberculosis has since been prognosed as terminal) and being examined by the residing medical doctor. I thought my knowledge of human biology and reproduction was up to scratch but obviously not…I was informed straight after the medica inspected Frank and I nearly goddamn had a fucking heart attack, I mean holy fucking Hell I couldn’t fucking breathe for ten minutes straight afterward, I was just fucking staring at Sirroco, fucking rooted to the spot and fuck me I thought I was going to black out, I’m still fucking reeling from the news…
…I’m going to be a father.
Excuse me while I go faint.