"We have a Patrick Stump." Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
“He just passed out, you say?”
I look up from the shivering form of my baby brother, coated in blankets and smothered with an inundated supply of hot water bottles, to see Patrick stood in the doorway with what looks to be another fifty blankets at least. That’s the thing about ‘Trick, he’s always willing to help someone in need, especially kids. I guess you could say he’s got a soft spot for the innocent, as indicated by the way his eyes widened when I showed up on his doorstep with armfuls of unconscious fifteen-year-old.
An unconscious fifteen-year-old with sweat slicking down his forehead like an oil spill and soft little groans drifting from his lips, announcing the state of his aching body for all to hear. It’s really not fair, not at all, that he’s sick right now. He’s still grieving for the one parent who loved him, the one parent who didn’t raise their hand to their son like he’s some sort of animal in need of being disciplined for something that wasn’t even his fault. Because that’s what our father, although I hate thinking of that man as our parent, used to do to him. He used to slam Mikey around after having one drink too many, make my poor little baby brother cry and bleed like nobody, let alone an innocent little kid, deserves to.
I think that’s why Mikey’s so introverted. It would make sense for that to be the reason, after all. Who wouldn’t be scarred mentally and physically by nearly four years of getting beaten-up by one of the people who are meant to care the most in their life? I know I would be, especially because it was Mikey’s coming out (something that I was bursting with pride for days because of) that gave our dad the excuse he’d been searching for to leave us. Mikey blames himself for it, something that I should never have let him do.
Just like I should never have let our dad hit him. But what choice did I have? It was either let Mikey get hurt and then clean him up; or try to stop it and end up with the both of us hurt, twice as bad. But that still doesn’t stop the guilt from eating away at me every time I look at the kid and it sure as hell doesn’t stop the need to protect him that I have burning away at my heart like some sort of deadly acid.
I shake myself out of my thoughts, understanding that there will be time to think about things later, once I know that Mikey’s going to be okay.
“Yeah. We were walking along to yours and he just collapsed.” I pause, stroking a strand of hair out of my brother’s face and wincing at how pain-stricken his fragile features are. “Do you think we should take him to the hospital? It’s just that, well, he’s terrified of those places but I don’t want him to get any worse.”
I know that I’m rambling, that I’m starting to sound desperate, but I honestly can’t help it. I mean, it’s not exactly normal to be in your friend’s ocean-blue bedroom with your baby brother drowning in fever and aforementioned friend playing nurse because you’re too fucking scared helpless to. But, like I said, it’s Patrick’s nature to want to help others, especially kids, so I can’t really feel guilty for letting the nineteen-year-old take over the medical side of things. Anyway, ‘Trick’s always had a better understanding of this sort of thing than I ever have.
Patrick walks into the room, eyes honey-soft and doused with sympathy as they fall on the sight of me clutching my baby brother’s hand like it’s a lifeline, delicately placing a few more of the blankets around Mikey, wrapping him up with the expertise of an elf wrapping one of Santa’s presents. He reaches a hand for my brother’s forehead, face creased in concerned concentration as he processes both the temperature of the boy and his somewhat distressing appearance. I feel like a small child begging it’s mommy to make everything better, like my favourite teddy has just been ripped to shreds by the harsh jaw of a dog called Life and I’m anxiously waiting to see if it can be sewn back together by a few simple stitches.
Apart from it’s never that easy, is it?
“If his fever hasn’t broken by morning, then we should probably start thinking about looking for outside help.” He says matter-of-factly, reminding me why it’s always him I turn to in a crisis.
In short, Patrick Stump is my go-to man. The guy who I can always depend on to look out for me when I need it the most, and even when I don’t. He almost never asks questions unless he can tell that you want him to and he’s always ready with a steaming mug of warm coffee to match his welcomingly warm smile. In fact, I didn’t even ask the shameless hat-addict if Mikes and I could stay; he offered as soon as I mentioned that we were getting kicked out. Said he’d be offended if we didn’t come to stay with him in his ridiculously huge house, the one that his hot-shot parents bought him to make up for years of never being there for him. I guess that’s why ‘Trick’s always trying to help everyone; he knows what it’s like to have nobody to care and thus feels the need to stop anyone else from ever feeling like he used to. Like someone as genuinely sweet and kind as Patrick never should.
The weight of the bed shifts and I look back up from Mikey’s cracked lips to see that Patrick’s perched himself on the end, eyes wrought with concern and the kind of helpless shine that his irises take on whenever he feels like he can’t do enough whereas most people wouldn’t have even bothered trying in the first place.
“Poor kid.” The words come out as nothing more than an almost wistful-sounding sigh, but it makes my heart melt nonetheless; it shouldn’t be his job to worry about Mikey, it should be mine. “How’s he taking things?”
At his gentle question, one that is full of a willing to gain a better understand of the boy asleep in his bed so that he can help him, I can’t help but wince and grip my little brother’s sweaty palm even tighter. Because he hasn’t been “taking things” at all; they’ve been taking him. Taking away what little glow his soul still had to it and making him feel even more alone than he felt to begin with. More alone than I should ever let him feel. I’m his big brother, his superhero and best friend, it’s my job to make sure that he doesn’t feel the need to burst into tears every time someone teases him or giggles at him behind his back because just knowing that I care about him should be enough to make him see through the lies that the kids at school tell him about him being a freak. It should be enough to make him numb to all of the bloody noses and black eyes.
It never will be enough though, because I’m just one person against an army of soulless little shits all willing to tell him that he’s all of the things our dad had already convinced him he was. A fuck-up; a let-down; worthless; alone; hated; scum; a freak; a faggot. Horrible little lies that are enough to destroy even the strongest soul if delivered with the right amount of force and from the mouth of the right person.
If the kids at his school knew about what our father did to him, would they still treat him like they do? Would they still act like they’re just as bad as that bastard?
Probably. Because it’s human nature to victimize those who are different, to question everything that doesn’t fit in with what we’ve been taught is “right”.
Apart from Patrick’s not like that. Not at all. He sees the beauty in everything, even the ugliest of things, and that’s why I accepted his offer of shelter; Patrick understands what it’s like to feel worthless, his parents’ busy work schedule saw to that, and how it feels to be bullied. I think he’s probably the best person for Mikes to be around right now. So it’s only logical for me to tell him how Mikey’s doing.
Besides, it’s something I need to talk about anyway. It’s too much for me to hold in anymore.
“Honestly, ‘Trick? Not so good.” I can’t disguise the crack that fragments my voice at the thought of just how much of an understatement that is. My eyes flicker to Patrick’s sympathetic face, his soft smile of reassurance giving me all the encouragement that I need to carry on. “He’s a complete wreck, ‘Trick. I know that he’s trying his hardest to be strong for me, but he shouldn’t have to; he’s just a kid.” I start stroking soft patterns onto Mikey’s hand with my thumb, letting him know that I’m right here and that I couldn’t be prouder of my brave baby brother. “You should’ve seen his face when he found out Mom was d-dead.” I have to swallow hard as I choke over the word that would be so much sweeter if I could either deny it or be applying it to our father instead. “He’s completely heartbroken, ‘Trick.”
As if on cue, Mikey’s eyes scrunch up in his sleep and a soft keening sound emanates from his dry lips, making my insides burn like hell in fury at something, anything I can blame, because Mikes can’t take having a bad dream right now. Not that he ever can, not after what this poor kid’s had to live through.
“How about you? How are you taking it, Gee?”
His question, asked with a voice overwhelmed with intent and care, catches me slightly off-guard; I’m not the one passed out here, after all. And nor am I the one with more issues than there are stars in the sky.
But I’m still an eighteen-year-old, a kid without a mom. Without a home. Without anything other than my baby brother.
I feel the sudden urge to talk, to let it all out because that’s what I need to do before I let it all corrode away at my insides like the maggots are eating away at my mom; my beautiful, kind mom who made our birthday cakes by hand and who told the best bedtime stories in the world, even after we got too old to listen to them. But then she got sick and then she got worse. And then, in some strange hospital bed and with wires pouring out of her mouth, she died. Leaving me to look after my baby brother, just like I promised her I would do when she realised she was dying.
I thought I could handle it; Mikey’s a good kid, a little over-sensitive and far too shy for his own good, but a good kid nonetheless. The kind of kid who just wants to get on with life and get it over with, something that years of bullying has done to him and absolutely breaks my heart because I should be able to get rid of all of that. Like I told Mom I would. Apart from I can’t, he’s too broken and we’re both just kids. Messed-up kids with nobody to look out for us anymore.
No, that’s a lie. We have a Patrick Stump. And right now, he wants me to talk.
Well, so do I.
I take in a deep breath, trying to order my thoughts as each one fights to get to my mouth first in order to be solved by Patrick’s omnipotent knowledge of how to fix pretty much everything, and in return I get a soft smile from my friend. One that says I can trust him completely, maybe even with the fact that our dad used to hit Mikey; something that I’ve never told anyone before. No, that’s Mikey’s secret to tell.
I can still talk to ‘Trick about other things though, all of the things that are tearing me apart inside like a pack of hounds pouncing on a baby bunny.
Just as I open my mouth to start talking like I’ve never talked before, I hear the sound of a door opening and then being slammed shut downstairs. Followed by bounding footsteps, like that of a puppy on steroids, and almost maniacal giggles.
“Yo, ‘Trick! I’m home!”
Home? Patrick has another housemate?
One that sounds annoying and pushy and with too much energy for a normal human being to handle. Fan-fucking-tastic.
“We’re in my room, Pete.” Patrick calls back in a kind of hushed yell, only to wince when he hears the sound of this “Pete” guy crashing up the stairs as though he’s being chased by a pack of rabid elephants. “And be quiet, the kid’s asleep!”
Before I can even register it, the bedroom door is swung open and I’m being tackled into an almost violent hug. The kind that I’m too shocked to respond to, otherwise I would most likely be shoving the perpetrator hard and fast to the ground; I don’t like physical contact, not unless it’s from my brother. The arms of the hugger are strong, forceful and covered in the sleeves of a ketchup-red zip up hoodie, the owner of the arms smells like pure coffee. Coffee and sugar, thus explaining his annoyingly hyperactive behaviour.
When he finally pulls away, standing up again and beaming at me like the cat that got an entire cream factory, I can immediately tell that I don’t like this guy. I don’t know why, there’s just something about him that exudes arrogance; the way that his tanned skin is toned to muscular perfection, so it’s defined yet doesn’t make him look fat; the way that his black hair has red streaked through it at the front, where it flops over his eyes in an over-stylised way; the way that his eyeliner has blatantly been agonized over; the way that he’s standing with his hands resting on his skinny-jean-covered hips, looking smug about just being himself.
In a word? Asshole.
An asshole that I don’t want to be hanging around with right now and the kind that I don’t want Mikey falling in with because he looks to be the sort of douche who’d most likely get my brother drunk or into some sort of trouble. He just seems like that kind of person. An asshole.
I just raise my eyes at ‘Trick, who just gives me a sheepish grin in return.
“Heya! I’m Pete. Pete Wentz. I live with ‘Trick too.” He buzzes happily, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there’s a sick kid sleeping just a few feet away from him. “You’re Gerard, right? Patrick’s told me all about you.” He gestures to ‘Trick, apparently thinking that I need to be reminded of who my best friend is. “When d’you get h-“ He does a double take, thankfully stunting his endless flow of annoyingly excited words. “Hey! What happened to him?”
He’s pointing at my brother, who is currently managing to squeeze feebly back on my hand, and looking very much like he’d like to tackle the poor kid into one of his rib-snapping hugs. Not that I’d let him; Mikey’s far too fragile for that. My eyes flicker from his suddenly concerned face back to my baby brother, all annoyance dying down into pity for the weak little kid fighting through a fever amidst his grief.
“He’s sick, Pete.” Patrick explains in a small voice, patting the spot next to him on the queen-sized bed for Pete to sit next to him which he hastily does, brow furrowed in worry for a boy he doesn’t even know. “That’s why you need to be quiet, ‘kay?”
Pete just nods in response, eyes locked onto my baby brother as though he’s the most amazing thing in the world. That he may be, but not to Pete; not to someone who’s never seen him before in his life. I suppose Patrick hasn’t either, yet he’s still trying his hardest to help Mikes. But ‘Trick has known me for years. Pete’s known me for minutes; it’s just not the same. If anything, it’s kinda creepy.
His eyes, thickly framed with strong black lines and seemingly overflowing with his melted-chocolate irises, blink a few times, head tilting slightly to the right like a puppy trying to understand it’s master’s orders. He still doesn’t look away though; just carries on soaking in the image of my scrawny baby brother, with his pale skin and sweaty slick of sandy-brown hair. I throw Patrick a sideways glance, letting him know exactly what I think of his housemate, but he doesn’t seem to notice because he’s just staring at Pete, some sort of knowing smirk plastered to his soft lips.
“He’s pretty.” Pete mumbles dreamily after a while, pupils still fixated on my baby brother. “Cute.”
I feel like vomiting at the starry look in Pete’s eyes, the way he’s acting like some grade-A douche bag who can just go around staring at kids as though they’re here solely for his amusement. I bet that’s what he thinks; that everything in the world happens because of him, because he’s the sort of person who thinks that everyone cares about his asshole opinion.
Well, I certainly don’t.
It’s all I can do not to punch the guy in the face, the last thing I need is ‘Trick kicking me out for beating up his buddy, but I can give him a venomous scowl. A venomous scowl that he doesn’t even notice.
Because he’s staring at my baby brother. Ugh.
“Hey, Earth to Pete. Earth to Pete. Is there anybody out there?” Patrick chips in, smirk still on his lips but faltering slightly when he catches sight of me glaring at Wentz. “Pete? You still in there, Buddy?”
Pete just nods, eyes unblinking and unmoving from Mikey in a way that makes me feel horribly uneasy. Too uneasy to bear.
“Stop staring, Creeper. He doesn’t like people looking at him.” I growl at him, finally getting him to look away from Mikes. I’m just being honest, though; my brother genuinely does hate being looked at, says it makes him feel nervous. “Leave Mikey alone.”
It’s a warning, a definitive statement telling him exactly what he’s going to do not only now but in the future. Because I don’t want this guy, so full of arrogance and with an ego to dwarf Mars, anywhere near Mikey. He seems like the sort of person who could easily say the wrong thing, the sort of person I’ve known to make fun of Mikey before, and so my reasoning is perfectly justifiable; I’m just being a good big brother.
Apparently, though, the message doesn’t get through because a small smile settles on his face. Making me groan inwardly and making my heart twist in uneasiness at having this guy sharing the same house as me and Mikey. Someone’s bound to end up dead by this time next week.
“Mikey…” Pete sounds like he’s tasting the name, seeing if it fits well in his grinning mouth.
He scans my poor baby brother for the millionth time since he entered this room, eyes lingering for far too long in all of the wrong places, before his face takes on a glow that makes the nerves in my stomach flip a full three-sixty.
“Mikey. Mikey, Mike, Michael, Mikey. Mikeymouse. I like it. It’s cute.”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading and I hope that this was alright! I’m trying my hardest to make this at least a little bit interesting, but sorry if it came out as dull/dragged-out. Thank you very much to anyone who reviewed/rated the first chapter; you guys honestly made my day! Anyway, thank you very much for reading and please let me know what you think! :)