Mikey always did love fairy-tales. Especially when Ray was telling them. RIKEY one-shot. Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
Fairy-tales. He always loves it when I tell him fairy-tales. Especially ones with unicorns and fairies and big palaces with a big happy family swanning around inside it’s secure walls.
I’ve been telling them to him, to Mikey, ever since we were little kids and we couldn’t go out to play in the park because of the imminent threat of being mugged by some druggie searching out an extra dollar for his next hit. Actually, I could have gone outside to the park with his big brother because we’re both a full three years older than Mikes, I just chose not to after seeing the way a ten-year-old Mikey’s eyes would start watering at the thought of being left out. Again.
So I’d just tell Gerard that I wanted to stay and play on his beloved GameCube with him until my fingers bled. Just because of the lanky, awkward-kneed little boy too alone to want to be left out of his big brother’s life and too shy to ever say anything about not wanting to be ditched, I became an expert story teller.
Not just any stories, no. Fairy-tales. The only kind of stories that could calm Mikey down in a thunder-storm or if he had a nightmare whenever I, the puffy-haired guitarist from across the road, slept over. In a respect I guess you could say that those stories shaped our friendship; me always willing to make time for the introverted little sweetheart and him always hanging around me in the hopes that someone would finally take notice of him instead of always going straight to Gerard. Don’t get me wrong, Gee’s a great guy and nobody loves his baby brother as much as he does but he has this way of commanding everyone’s attention before they can even register Mikey’s existence.
Apart from the bullies. They always go for Mikey first. Because he’s skinny and weak whereas Gerard is well-built and somewhat strong. Because he’s sensitive and takes everything to heart whereas Gerard doesn’t care and can block it all out. Because he’s too innocent and sweet for high school whereas Gerard is about as innocent as a kid next to a cookie jar and less sweet than cyanide.
So they always go for Mikey. I mean, back when they had a choice, of course. Now Mikey’s fifteen, still with the innocence of a new-born baby lamb, and at high school all on his own. Without me and Gerard lending him what little powerless protection that we once could. It’s just him, all alone and with nowhere to run to whenever they start yelling at him for daring to be true to himself.
I know that Gee knows and that it’s killing him watching their leech-like words killing his baby brother; not least because he knows that there’s absolutely nothing he can do to stop it other than hold Mikes whenever the poor kid goes in search of comfort. Not that Mikey even really does that anymore. Why? Because some kids started teasing him for always running to Gerard and acting like his “whiny little bitch”. And thus those bastards tore away the tiny little ray of hope Mikes had at having someone who could quite possibly save him from the bullies.
The amount of times I’ve heard that poor kid run up to his bedroom after school and just start smashing things up, yelling at his reflection, simply flat-out sobbing, is enough to make anyone sick. Because I know what it means; the sweet, innocent little kid who learned to trust me through fairy-tales, is long dead. All that’s left is the shell of a hollowed-out person with no beating heart left to break. They drove a knife of self-loathing and despair straight through it.
But that doesn’t stop me from being where I am today, just like every Thursday afternoon after dropping Gerard off at his house after our shared shift at the local record store. It doesn’t stop me from sitting on the Way family couch, picking at my nails like an anxious school-girl waiting for her date, just simply trying to pull through the minutes that resound until Mikey stumbles through the door and, more often than not, runs up to his bedroom before I can even give him one of my trademark soft smiles. Because every Thursday I tell myself that it’ll end, that I’ll go up to his bedroom after him and make him happy again with my fairy-tales that never failed to make him smile back when he was still capable of doing so without having to actually dig for the motivation.
Every Thursday, though, I chicken out. I get distracted with the hopeless look of hurt on Gee’s face when his baby brother, the one who used to tell him everything including the stuff that Gerard didn’t even want to know, runs straight past him with tears in his eyes and no intention of asking his big brother for help like he once would have in a heartbeat. Then by the time I’ve comforted Gerard, usually by letting him win a few rounds on Street Fighter, I’ve either done one of three things; left it too late and Mikey’s burnt himself out into a horribly fitful sleep; lost all thoughts of what I could possibly say to the kid to make it all better, or; get too nervous to even work my way up their creaky wooden stairs to his bedroom.
I only get nervous or scared or whatever because I care, though. Because I know how damaging it would for Mikes if I got it wrong where it absolutely has to go right.
And because I love him.
More than I should, more than I ever promised myself I would because he’s far too meek and naïve to get corrupted by a guy three years older than him and with no talent when it comes to warding of the agonies that life quite happily bestows upon his broad shoulders. So I just watch from a distance, too heartbroken for him to be able to tear my gaze away and too cowardly to do anything to heal his wounds.
Not today though. Today it really will stop. It has to. He can’t take it anymore.
“Heya, Mikes. Good day at school, bro?” Gerard smiles at the kid already storming to his bedroom, trying his hardest to be the strong, happy big brother that Mikey needs but apparently doesn’t desire. “Make any friends?”
The footsteps on the stairs stop and there’s an agonised silence in which I look up from my sugary donut to catch my first glimpse of Mikes since this time last week. And my heart shatters for the kid, it really does. He’s nothing but skin and bones, even though he looks far too skinny to have bones held inside his porcelain skin. His eyes are red-rimmed, surrounded by dark purple blotches that announce his lack of sleep to the world like a Blitz siren announcing another harsh thunderstorm of bombings over a once peaceful land of plenty. His glasses are being held together by masking tape over his nose, a bit of Gerard’s expert DIY, from where some little fucker smashed them at the same time as smashing his face for simply getting one out of ten questions on the homework sheet he’d forced Mikes to do for him wrong.
He looks like a zombie; dead and without a soul left for me or Gerard or anyone to save. But that won’t stop me from trying. After all, if there’s no soul to salvage then I’ll give him mine. If he wants it.
Mikey just stares at Gerard, eyebrows arched incredulously and a sad glint of reluctant sarcasm shimmering in his eyes like blood in moonlight.
“Are you taking the piss?”
And with that dry, excruciated croak of harsh honesty he sprints the last few steps to his bedroom, slamming the door behind him as though the kids at school are chasing him in there. Within seconds we hear the sobbing, the loud proclamation that tells us he didn’t mean to be an asshole; that he’d just had too much and Gerard’s, somewhat thoughtless, words were just one thing too many.
At the sound of a gentle sniffle from the gothic vampire guy slumped next to me, I turn to face him and rub his shoulder reassuringly to let him know that I know what he’s going through because I care about Mikey too. More than he’ll ever know.
“I just don’t know what to do, Ray.” He looks into my eyes with enough agony to make me wince, the sound of a big brother helpless to help his little baby bro making my soul garrotte my hammering heart. “I’ve tried ignoring it, I’ve tried to talking to him, I’ve tried telling him to stick up for himself. Hell, I’ve even tried to get him to see the school counsellor about it before his depression gets worse than it already is. Nothing fucking works!” The last part is a sorrow-strangled yell, Gerard’s fists balling at his side as though ready to take on his little brother’s tormentors before they can hurt him anymore than they have. But then he lets out a long breath, tears dribbling from his eyes to go along with it. “I just don’t know what to do to make it all better for him anymore.” He sighs, eyes beseeching me to understand something that neither of us can afford to deny anymore. “It’s killing him, Ray. And I can’t be his superhero this time round.”
But maybe I can.
“Look, I’ll go talk to him. See what I can do.” I offer, relishing the slight look of hope on my best friend’s face before I have to gaze at the miserable one of my first and only crush. “I’ll be right back.”
Gerard nods and I’m bounding up the stairs three at a time, willing my legs to get me to where I should have been weeks ago before I can bottle out again. I have to fix it this time, for the sakes of both the Way brothers. For the sake of my breaking heart.
I come to his bedroom door before I can even register my feet coming to a halt on the cream carpet, a tiny piece of my insides melting away at the sight of those innocent little wooden letters, all different colours of the rainbow, proclaiming that the room belongs to one “Mic el J es Wa “, half of the letters having fallen off through the door being slammed one time too many in a fit of misdirected rage. Yet it’s not that sight of tattered childhood innocence that makes me visibly wince; it’s the sound coming from behind that poor, abused door.
Keening. Bawling. Sobbing. Weeping. Crying. The sound of a fifteen-year-old kid finally giving up on a world that gave up on him when it he needed it the most.
I prod at the door, deciding that he probably wouldn’t hear or respond to knocking, and let out a sigh of relief when it simply groans open, letting me into the small, dingy room that holds the heaving form of a fallen angel, sobbing his heart out on the dishevelled bed.
“Mikey?” I whisper, trying not to let my inner-agony at seeing him like this show. “Mikes, it’s Ray. You alright, Kiddo?”
My soft, teddy-bear tone must get through to him because he sits up, rubbing the dagger-diamonds of tears from his eyes and looks at me as though trying to decide something. Kind of like he’s revaluating our years of friendship to see if he can still trust me or if I’m just here to tease him like everyone else does. And that kills me, knowing that he could think for even a nanosecond that I could ever be anything less than kind towards him. But before I can say anything to reassure him that I’m way more benevolent than malevolent, he just nods his head.
Because he doesn’t trust me enough to be honest with me about what I can see with my own eyes.
Something that I have to fix. Now.
“No, Mikey.” I sigh, walking slowly to his bed where I proceed to sit next to him, doing it ever-so-slowly so as not to scare the poor kid who has learnt to associate contact with pain. “No, you’re not alright. I know you aren’t. You don’t have to lie to me.”
He looks up at me, eyes pleading me to make it all better because his lips are still trembling too hard to form words. Everything about his face is screaming for help, finally daring to let someone in after months, maybe even years, of cruel isolation from the idea of trusting someone enough for them to hurt him with that precious trust. Because I didn’t just ask him if he was alright; I told him that he wasn’t. I didn’t even give him the opportunity to pretend like he does with Gerard.
All of a sudden, the wall of ice in his eyes blocking everyone out smashes and he lunges at me, hiding himself into my chest like an arrow piercing through a heart. He’s clinging onto me, head buried deep within my t-shirt, and I’m clinging right on back, hands soothing soft circles onto his shoulder blades.
“I’m sorry.” He mumbles from his spot snuggled into me, voice like that of a lost little child searching for help.
“For being an asshole.” He sounds ashamed of himself, something that he never should be because he’s never anything but invisible to everyone; nothing like most people would be after being treated like he is for so long. “I’m sor-“
“Don’t be. You haven’t done anything wrong, okay?” I let out a restless breath, the close contact that should be romantic eating away my insides. “I’m sorry, too. For not helping you.” He just nods against me, the motion rubbing more of his tears into my top. “We used to be so close, huh?”
“But then I turned into an asshole.” He spits, sounding very much like he’d like to slap himself in his pretty little face. “And you don’t want to be my friend anymore, right?”
I just gawp at him in stunned excruciation; am I really that horrible of a person that I made the poor kid hurt even more than he already was?
But then I just smile softly at him, a quick idea blossoming in my head before I can stop it. An idea that is so honest and sincere that it just can’t go wrong. If it does then I’ll have a very pissed-off big brother to deal with.
“No, I don’t.” Mikey flinches against me, looking like someone’s just told him that unicorns don’t exist. “I want to be your boyfriend.”
“Mikey Way, I want to protect you and be here for you and make you feel loved.” I whisper, my words stained with sincerity and everything else that I need to make it clear to him that I am being deadly serious. “Let me do that.”
He blinks up at me, cheeks burning the same shade of red that mine are, and the look in his eyes makes me certain that I’ve done the absolute right thing; he looks, for the first time in months, like he’s actually happy. No, not happy. Adulated, exalted, like the sweet little kid that I can remember him being before the world ruined him. All because of me.
“I love you, Kiddo.”
He beams up at me, eyes shining with everything that I’ve ever wanted him to feel, before snuggling back into my chest and rapping the hem of my t-shirt around his fingers wistfully.
“I love you too, Ray.”
A few minutes of silent bliss pass, the two of us drowning in words that don’t need to be said because we both already know and just simply being together, clinging to each other like we always should have been from the start, is more than enough to satisfy the two of us. I’m gently stroking his feathery hair, occasionally nuzzling the back of his neck and earning content little sighs from his cracked lips. Lips that I will one day kiss. But not today; Mikey needs time to adjust to this, to make sure that it’s definitely what he wants and needs. We can take this nice and slow, gently and softly.
“Ray?” His quiet little voice pierces the silence like the intricate beauty of his eyes pierce my soul.
“Tell me a fairy-tale? One with unicorns and fairies and big palaces with a big happy family?”
“Anything for you, Mikes.”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading and I hope that this was alright. I haven’t written a Rikey in forever, so this was kinda fun/refreshing to do. I love reading them together, but I rarely ever write them or find them, for that matter, so here is my contribution to the wonderful world of Rikey. Sorry about the crappy ending. Please let me know what you think! :)