Mikey likes the library. But he likes the idea of friends more. BROTHERLY one-shot, slight FRIKEY. Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
The school library, the place that smells of knowledge and sounds like silence. Endless walls of books covering every inch of the pea-green room, making it impossible to ever find the same book twice unless you know the shelves as well as I do. As well as only I do. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I know the library better than the librarian herself does and she’s been here since the stone age. Okay, since 1968.
I know every page in every book in this library, every stain on the original oak floor boards and ever place where someone’s doodled on the sickly green pain of the towering walls. I know what days are the busiest and which are the slowest; I know which tables to not sit at in order to avoid left-over chewing gum; I know which light has a flickering bulb before it’s even turned on; I even know the exact number of books in the library.
It’s seven thousand two hundred and eight, not including the one some idiot was dared to eat by his best friend last Tuesday.
I guess it’d be sad if I was an adult and I knew this. It’s absolutely abysmal that I’m a fifteen-year-old and I know it. I didn’t even learn it through choice; it was kind of an accident. I just got so bored of simply sitting here every day, so I started learning. I looked around, got lost in the reams of shelves and the feathery feel of running paperbacks through my careful hands. I started counting the books, figuring out how many the school has and how many there are in each section. It’s quite interesting actually.
Did you know that there are more books in the “Romance” section than there are in the “Sci-fi” section by about double? I blame Twilight.
It’s pathetic really, that I know all of this. But what am I supposed to do; just sit at a table and stare of into space like I did for my first few months at Belleville High? Or perhaps I should actually try to make friends who aren’t fictional characters in a book?
Ha. As if anyone could ever want to be friends with me, with dorky little Mikey Way. With the Goth kid’s little emo brother. Of course nobody wants to be friends with me, not even I’d want to be friends with me if I weren’t unfortunate enough to be me. I wish I could just change, be someone better and then I wouldn’t have to be spend all of my time imprisoned in here, in the school library, while everyone else is having fun with their friends. But I can’t change.
I tried to once, I started wearing baggier blue jeans instead of my skin-tight black ones and jumpers with funny logos that made them cost ten times the amount my favourite Iron Maiden t-shirt did, but I was still the same person on the inside. And they all saw that. So they hit me harder for trying to lie to them; for trying to be like them instead of being the freaky little faggot who must slit his wrists just because I listen to rock music.
Not at first.
Slit my wrists, I mean. But when so many people say something, well then, it must be true. So I tried it, softly with the end of one of my mom’s sewing needles at first and then with a razor blade I broke out of a shaver. And so the rumour became reality; the freaky little emo cutter and Mikey Way became the same person. Not even a person, less than a person. A bloody smear on the mirror of society.
People have seen the cuts, I know they have, and yet none of them ever try to help me. They only ever do one of two things; they either look at me like I make them want to throw up, or they taunt me about it. Because it’s disgusting. Because it’s wrong. Because it’s me.
But apparently someone did care. Cared enough to tell my big brother. Or maybe they just like watching me suffer.
Hence the reason why I’m currently hiding in the back of the library, trying to wish myself invisible so Gerard won’t find me and tell me how stupid I am. How worthless I am. How much he wishes I’d slipped and severed my vein because then at least I wouldn’t be his problem anymore.
Hang on. This is Gerard I’m talking about here; the one person who’s been consistently nice to me throughout everything, even when I went through my phase of not talking to anyone. In fact, he was the one who got me talking again after nearly two whole months of silence. It was late last summer and I’d finally decided enough was enough; that if I stopped giving them things to say about me, then maybe they’d like me because without anything for them to hate how could they bully me? They did though, if anything it got worse. Especially when one of them found out my mom had sent me to the school counsellor about it. But in the end it was Gee who got through to me with gentle smiles, soft hugs and absolutely no pressure to talk no matter how obvious it may have been that that’s what he wanted of me.
He even tries to tell the bullies to leave me alone sometimes. He actually gave one of them a bloody nose the last time he found me crying about what they say to me. That’s why I try my hardest not to cry whenever they tease me; it just causes everyone more pain and it makes Gerard worry about me.
Now he’s worried though and I can’t even blame it on the bullies this time. It’s because of me; it’s because I’m a worthless little freak who needs to jump off of a bridge. Just like they tell me to. Just like Gerard will tell me to when he finds me because I’ve been a stupid little fuck-up. Just like always.
He sounds like he’s been crying. Because of me. Because I only ever cause him grief where he only deserves happiness. He doesn’t sound angry though, just sad. I think I’d rather he was angry, at least then I wouldn’t have to be guilty about making my big brother upset over something that gives me release and control over a life that hasn’t been mine since the bullies took it from me.
“Mikey, you in here, Bro?” He calls out again, his voice like honey in every way; it’s sweet in the way that he wants to help, all enticing in the temptation of taking the sweetness of his offer and also sickly in the way that it’s too sweet for someone as worthless as me. “I’m not cross with you, Kiddo. Promise.”
Yep. He’s definitely been crying. I can hear it in the soul-crushing waver of his normally strong voice. And “Kiddo”, he hasn’t called me that since I was ten years old. A name that, for some reason beyond my understanding, makes me crumble. Crumble and convulse and sob and lose it completely. I think it’s because it reminds me of how it used to be; just me and Gerard, not caring about what anyone thought because we were kids and kids just don’t care as long as they’re happy. Something that I haven’t been in a very long time.
I hear a rush of footsteps, making me fully aware that I’ve blown my cover, and anxiety swirls up in my chest like a hurricane. For all I know Gee might be lying to me, he might just be saying that he’s not cross to get me to come out where he can hurt me the most. I know that’s what most people do.
What the fuck am I thinking? Gee’s not most people, he’s my big brother who’s been here through thick and thin. But why?
No. I can’t start thinking like this. I can’t let them win and rip my trust in my brother away from me. I refuse to let that happen, to let them worm their way into my heart and eat away at it until not even Gee can save me.
“Shush, Mikey, I’m here. Your big brother’s got you and I’m not gonna let go anytime soon.”
The velvety words hit me before the feeling of being wrapped up in someone’s arms does and I can’t help but melt into both comforts. Gerard’s left hand presses my face into his chest whilst his right strokes my back, tracing patterns like it does whenever I sneak into his bed at night after a particularly bad nightmare or thunder clap. Not that I’ve done that for a while now, I couldn’t; doing so would be too greater risk with the marks of shame that are wrapped around my wrists. Now he knows though and I’ve got nothing to hide from him, only things that I have to show him. Things that I should’ve shown him before I got too wound up in the addiction to figure out that I might be hurting him as much as I’m hurting myself.
I just bury myself even further into his black hoodie, taking refuge in the scent of coffee-flavoured nicotine that has always been there to hold me whenever I need it the most. Like now.
“Pl-please don’t. Pleas-ease don’t leave me. Please, Gee.” My words are fragmented and weak, tinged with fear and smothered with remorse. I know I sound hideously pathetic, but right now I’m beyond the point of caring.
For all I know this could be the last time Gee hugs me like this because when he sees the cuts he’s most likely going to freak out and tell me to fuck off, leaving me alone with nothing but my books for company. I know that’s what I’d do with a freak like me. I don’t deserve help, especially not from someone I have no way of paying back after all of the good he has done for me.
“I won’t, Kiddo.” He whispers, rocking me back and forth like he’s trying to soothe me to sleep as he did back when I was just a tiny little toddler incapable of making him cry like he is now. “As long as you promise not to leave me.”
Our eyes lock, shocking me with how alike our eyes truly are. I’ve been told it enough times but it’s never really hit me until now as we’re stood here, both sets of eyes melted-chocolate brown and reflecting the same emotions; agony, fear, misery. All things that I’m no stranger to but Gerard should be. He isn’t though. Because of the bullies. Because of me.
So, without a seconds thought, I nod my head so hard that I’m half scared that it’ll fly off and into the opposite pile of Penguin Classics. After all, how can I beg him to stay with me if I won’t even show the courtesy of promising him the same?
We’re the Way brothers after all, two fucked-up boys against the world. Always have been, always will be.
“I promise, Gee.” My voice is nothing but a meek croak amidst my trembling lips and the weakness in it forces Gerard to hold me even tighter, rub my back even faster, like he thinks I won’t keep good on my promise if he isn’t holding me in place. “Who told you?”
“Some kid in your maths class, Frank Iero he said his name was.” He answers after swallowing past a sorrow-built obstruction in his throat. “He looked really worried about you. Is he your friend?”
No. No he’s not. But he could be. I want him to be, I have done for a long time. He’s the only person who smiles at me in the corridors, the only person who’s ever bothered to ask if I’m alright on the odd occasion that my mask slips to reveal the broken tears of a broken-souled boy. He sometimes even talks to me, tells me jokes that can make me laugh and smile like I’m not the most hated kid in Belleville. He’s sweet too, the kind of sweet that makes me want to snuggle into his impish form whenever I’m sad because he seems like the sort of person who could take all of my pain away. He does, every time he smiles at me or talks to me or makes me laugh.
He has done by caring enough to seek out the big brother who’s occasionally come up in our conversations to tell him about the tattered state of my wrists.
Frank Iero cares.
“Yeah. Yeah, I think he is.”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading and I hope this was alright. I wrote this after getting the prompt “library” and coming up with this. I tried my best to make it uplifting towards the end, so I hope it wasn’t too much of a downer. Anyway, thanks for reading and please let me know what you think! :)