Chapter 1 - Calm Like A Bomb.
Gerard was restless as he sat in the kitchen, waiting for Frank and Ray to turn up. He was shaking his left leg up and down as he sipped at his third cup of coffee, holding the mug protectively close to his body. Mikey's music could still be heard as a dull thumping spreading throughout the house. Phil was at work and Janet was pottering about in the garden, with Allie and Kathryn already at school, Gerard was alone. He hated it, being alone. It made him feel like nobody cared, like nobody wanted to be there with him, they'd all abandoned him, just like...
Anyway, he drained his coffee before setting the mug down on the table and waking into the living room to wait. He sat on the sofa with his legs folded up underneath him, just waiting, in silence. That's another thing Gerard hated, silence. He felt like each second lasted a millennium when there was nothing going on, no sound, no movement. It slowly drove him insane as he drummed his fingers on the arm of the chair, still waiting. Then a thought struck him, causing a wave of nauseous fear to wash over him; what if Frank and Ray weren't coming? What if they decided they didn't like Gerard anymore, and they weren't going to hang around with him? The thought made a new wave of anger crash amongst the fear plaguing Gerard. Surely his two best friends wouldn't just decide to ditch him? No, that's not possible, they'd never do that. But what it they would? What if they'd been planning it all along, all these years, to humiliate him?
Just as he'd pretty much convinced himself his two best friends actually hated him and were plotting to make his life hell, the doorbell rang. Gerard jumped where he sat and was dragged out of his ridiculous thoughts. He sighed before getting up and slowly walking over to the door and opening it, to be greeted by his two best friends, smiling at him from his doorstep. A feeling of relief rained down on Gerard, but he'd never show it. He never really showed how he felt, what he thought, it made him look weak in his eyes. As he looked down at his two friends though, a thought crept into his mind. He was grateful for them, grateful for their friendship. After convincing yourself they've left you, knowing they're still there is ten times better. He does have friends and they won't abandon him, not ever.
'Morning, sunshine,' Frank said, smiling with a hint of a smirk tugging at his features. Gerard realised he'd been stood there for a minute or two without saying anything. He panicked, they might have guessed what he'd been thinking about, be he quickly recovered.
'Morning, midget,' he replied, earning him a slap from Frank. Gerard merely smiled.
'Hi Ray.' Ray smiled back at Gerard.
'Hi, Gerard. You okay?' he asked. Gerard nodded.
'Yeah, yeah, first day of college and all that jazz, but I'm alright.' Ray nodded in response.
'Can we come in then?' Frank asked, mocking exasperation. Gerard snorted.
'Yeah, wait here, I'll just get Mikey.' Just as he'd finished the sentence, Mikey walked down the stairs a smiled at the three people stood in the doorway.
'Hey,' he said quietly.
'Mikey!' Frank and Ray cried in unison. Gerard laughed.
'You got your stuff, Mikes?' he asked. Mikey put his arms out and gestured to himself, giving Gerard a 'what stuff?' look. Gerard smiled and gave him a 'touché' look back.
'Honestly you two and your secret communicating,' Ray said, shaking his head as they all filed out of the house, Gerard locking the door behind them.
The sun was watery as it shined down on Gerard, still making him squint as he looked into the patchy sky. His thick, leather jacket was protecting him from the still icy September air as they began to walk in the direction of the college.
'Looking forward to today then,' Frank said, the smirk evident in his voice. Ray sighed.
'Frank, whatever plans you've got for today, don't get me involved. Last time my mum went mental and-'
'Raymond, Raymond,' Frank began, making Gerard and Mikey smile but Ray just roll his eyes, 'you say that every year, but you still let me convince you to join in. You can't resist me.' Frank ran his hands along his body and winked at Ray, who made retching noises and Gerard and Mikey snorted.
'Oh no, no-one can resist you Frank,' Gerard responded sarcastically.
'Damn straight!' Frank replied, winking at Gerard. He could feel his cheeks begin to pink so he looked away and shielded his face his cherry red hair. They continued to walk, Ray still persisting to Frank he would have no part in the younger boys shenanigans, but Frank remained determined. As Gerard looked back over to them, Mikey shot him a look and raised one eyebrow. Gerard glared weakly at him and he shot Gerard a small smirk back.
By the time they reached college, Ray had given up trying to not get involved with Frank's surely chaotic plans and agreed to 'take a major role in all shit stirred by Frank Iero'. Gerard giggled at the declaration as they entered the gates to be greeted by Eddi and Alexandria.
'Hey!' Alexandria called, waving them over as Eddi smiled at them all.
'Hi guys, how've you been?' Frank asked, approaching them and giving Eddi a high five.
'Pretty mediocre actually, you guys?' Eddi responded. Gerard smiled at her.
'Yeah, pretty shit.' The other three boys nodded and Eddi smiled back.
'So where do we have to go first? Isn't there like, some assembly or something?' Alexandria asked, looking at everyone in turn.
'Yeah, there's an assembly in the hall at nine,' Mikey replied. Gerard turned to look at his twin brother.
'How is it you always know everything?' he asked, slightly incredulously. Mikey merely shrugged slightly.
'Because Gerard, Mikey actually gives a shit,' Frank cut in, smirking.
'Good point, Frankie,' Gerard said, smirking back. Ray once again rolled him eyes as Dana walked through the gate and towards them.
'Jeez guys, why the long faces? It's the first day of college!' she said, voice dripping with sarcasm. Alexandria let out a small giggle as Frank turned to face her.
'I know Dana, that's what I keep telling these guys, but they seem to be having any of it,' he responded. Dana shook her head.
'They just don't see the beauty of it, Frank, the first day of college.' Frank smirked.
'Shit to be stirred, Zvarkova?' She smirked back it him.
'Whenever you're ready Iero.' They high fived each other, the strengthening sun shining down on their clashing tones of skin.
'Seriously guys, can't you just leave it for once?' Ray asked almost pleadingly.
'Yeah, I agree with Ray, just this once?' Alexandria added. Eddi shrugged.
'I find it quite amusing to be honest.' Gerard nodded.
'Same,' he cut in. Ray sighed.
'Fine, fucking fine! I give up!' Frank laughed and patted Ray on the back as Dana and Gerard smiled.
'Shall we head in then?' Eddi asked. Alexandria quickly scanned the thickening crowd of approaching students.
'Yeah, but where are Anna and Aura? I can't see them over there.'
'Maybe they're invisible,' Frank said it what obviously was meant to be a 'ghoulish' voice but was in reality far from it. Alexandria smiled at him.
'And I can travel in time,' she said. He nodded approvingly.
'Or...' Mikey began, dragging out the word and causing everyone to face the nearly forgotten boy, 'maybe they're already inside.' Frank shook his head as everyone else nodded, realisation playing on their features.
'Always have to ruin it, Mikes,' he said. Mikey shrugged and Gerard patted Mikey comfortingly on the back as they began to walk towards the towering, familiar building.
The corridors were packed with bustling, loudmouth students, reacquainting themselves with each other after a stuffy, dragging summer. As Gerard surveyed his peers, he had an overwhelming feeling of dread, crashing thunderously through his veins and mixing with the hatred and anger almost constantly present, heightened at this moment.
'So Gerard, are you looking forward to the year?' Alexandria asked, voice bubbly. Gerard sighed.
'To put it bluntly Alex, fuck no,' he replied, causing her to giggle a little.
'Come on, it's not that bad,' she nudged him with her elbow. He turned his gaze to lock with hers.
'It isn't for you, you have decent subjects with decent teachers. I have shitty subjects with a fucking bunch of AIDS ridden, illiterate morons for teachers.' This made Alexandria giggle further and a smile even fought its way onto Gerard's thin lips.
'Well, you chose the subjects,' Alexandria replied in a sing song tone. Gerard glared at her.
'Don't getting fucking clever with me.' She merely smiled at him before walking off to talk to Eddi. Gerard rolled his eyes just as Aura and Anna came into view, doubled over in laughter, their giggles echoing thought the corridor and penetrating everyone ears.
'Guys!' Aura called between giggles, 'guys, guys, guys.' She stopped talking and broke down into giggles again, holding onto the lockers for support.
'Mind telling us whats so sidesplittingly hilarious?' Dana asked, they both just shook their heads, continuing the be racked by giggles.
'Right....' Frank said, dragging out the word, 'well, we're gonna go to assembly.' He began walking off towards the main hall when Aura called him back.
'Seriously, guys, look.' She held up a piece of paper with a photo of their deputy head on it. A photo of their deputy head dancing up against a pole in a tutu. They all cringed and turned away.
'Seriously!' Frank exclaimed, 'dude, that is not cool!'
'Scarred for fucking life,' Eddi said, making everyone else nod.
'Oh come on guys,' Anna began, wiping the corners of her eyes, 'its funny.' Gerard shot her a 'are you fucking kidding me' kind of look and she merely poked her tongue out at him.
'Did someone say we had an assembly?' Aura asked suddenly. They looked around to see only a few students remaining in the corridors.
'Shit,' Dana said bluntly, 'guess we'd better go then.' They all began to walk towards the hall.
'I'm just gonna go to the toilet,' Gerard said, beginning to walk back in the other direction.
'I'll come with you,' Frank added, walking alongside Gerard.
'You'll be late for the assembly,' Ray remarked. Both Frank and Gerard flipped him off over their shoulders before turning round the corner.
'Seriously, why the fuck do we even need an assembly?' Gerard asked as they entered the boys toilet. Frank smiled.
'Probably to check none of us have killed ourselves over the summer.' Gerard smiled back at him.
They walked out of the toilet laughing at some comment Frank had made about his psychology teachers tits, when someone approached them.
'Well well, what do we have here. The faggot and the sissy,' the first of the three boys snarled at them, his ugly features intensified by the expression. Gerard could feel the red hot anger pulsing through him as he stared at the patronising face in front of him.
'At least I can admit I like it up the ass, unlike some people,' Frank retorted, taking a step forward. Gerard's lips curled upwards at his friends words.
'What the fuck did you say?' the guy asked. Gerard had decided by this time that he's new, and he's heard all about Frank and Gerard from some guy Frank fucked and left or some girl Gerard blew off who wanted payback, because he'd never seen his lifeless, grey eyes anywhere before.
'Well, I didn't say anything, but I insinuated that you like getting fucked in the ass, or don't you speak English?' Frank replied, a patronising tone to his voice. Gerard could tell this prick was getting angry, much like himself, but Frank remained calm and collected, smirk plastered on his face.
'At least my mum didn't fuck off and abandon me like some people's, she actually gives a shit,' he said, turning to face Gerard with a spark of pure hatred in his eyes. Gerard could feel the anger convulse and consume his body and before he knew it, he'd swung out his fist and punched the guy square in the jaw; and again, and again. He kept hitting and hitting, blindly attacking any part of this cunts body that he came into contact with until the guy was lying in the floor and he was pounding at him with his feet, barely taking notice of what he was doing, but enjoying it nonetheless. He could hear Frank's voice, pleading for him to stop, but it sounded muffled and far away, maybe because of the blood pounding in his ears. Ice cold adrenaline pumped through his soul with each kick, everything feeling like it was going in slow motion, blurred and relaxed. He never wanted to stop, he wanted to kick this guy forever, until he died. Until he was nothing but a bleeding mess on the floor.
As the kicks began to get more violent, Franks strong arms were wrapped firmly round his waist, dragging him from the writhing figure in the floor and out the doors of the school.
'Why the fuck did you pull me away!?' Gerard exclaimed as soon as Frank let go of him, turning to face to the shorter man who, for once, had a serious look on his face.
'What he said about your mum was fucking shitty, yeah, but that's no reason to fucking kill him!' Frank exclaimed, throwing his arms up. Gerard's heart was still pounding through his entire body, his veins pushing up against his skin, trying to break free. As he stared down at his best friend he wanted to do something he'd never done before. He wanted to punch him. He wanted to pound him into the ground, to make him suffer. His fist was twitching at his side as his eyes remained locked with Frank's large, swirling brown ones. He sighed and shut his eyes away from Frank's piercing gaze.
'Well what the fuck was I supposed to do?' Gerard asked quietly.
'Well, kicking the shit out of him didn't really help, did it?' Frank stated, an edge to his voice. Gerard's eyes snapped open.
'Well your fucking 'you're a secret faggot' comments didn't help either!' Gerard said, voice rising. Frank just blinked at him and took a step forward.
'I wasn't the one who fucking punched him in the jaw. Your problem now.' Gerard stared at his 'best friend', the urge to punch him growing ever stronger, but he turned away. He turned away and walked towards the gates of the college.
'Where the fuck you going now?!' Frank yelled. Gerard turned to face him, walking backwards and flinging his arms out to the sides.
'Away from this fucking place!' Frank went to follow him but Gerard shock his head.
'Don't you dare follow me, Frank,' he said sternly. Frank glared at him.
'Fine! I'll see you later then.' Gerard turned back around.
'If you're lucky.' He could practically feel Franks anger behind him.
'Fuck you, Gerard Arthur Way!' he cried. Gerard smirked to himself.
'Oh I'd bet you'd love to, wouldn't you? Faggot,' he called over his shoulder. He didn't hear Frank's reply as he rounded the corner, smirk dropping from his features and smashing into the rough pavement below him. He knew exactly where he was going, he just didn't know if he should.
He turned down the little path in the trees, backing up against a street and took the familiar route to one of his favourite places; the abandoned junkyard.
He slithered through the gap in the rusty fence and walked towards the small iron hut, reaching to the right and drawing out a half empty bottle of vodka and a packet of matches. He walked through the yard, piles of rubbish, both burnt and unharmed, lay either side of him. Rusty car parts and old children's toys, bags of beer cans and rubber tyres. This place made him feel...happy, kind of. Sort of, new again. Everything in here was old, forgotten, he wasn't. Not yet anyway.
He sat down on the murky ground, taking a swig of the vodka, the strong liquid burning his insides as it traveled through him and into his bloodstream. He lit one of the matches and threw it onto the pile of garbage in front of him, watching the flames flicker into life and swirl, higher and higher off the ground, their enchanting light covering his face and consuming his eyes, mesmerised by their elegance.
He sat there, watching the pile burn and slowly drinking from the bottle when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He jumped out of his skin, heart fluttering and pounding as he turned to look up at who had touched him, to find the face of his best friend Mia looking down at him. He let out a long, slightly shaky breath before regaining composure as she sat down next to him.
'Thought I'd find you here,' she smiled at him, 'Frank texted me. He's worried, you know.' Gerard snorted.
'Not like he cares,' he replied, going to take another a sip of the bottle when Mia ripped it out of his hands. He glared at her as she took a sip and placed it the other side of her.
'He does, and you know it, he just gets...funny. Well, so do you.' Gerard shot her an irritated look.
'You can't just kick the shit out of everyone who says something about your mum,' she said bluntly. Gerard raised an eyebrow.
'Why the fuck not?' he asked. She sighed.
'Because one time, you'll take it too far, one time Frank won't be there to drag you away and before you know it, you have a life sentence on your hands.' Gerard smiled amusedly at her and she narrowed her eyes.
'Don't give me that 'I have no emotions' bullshit Gerard, I know you better than that,' she said, slight irritation present in her voice. He sighed and looked back at the burning pile of rubbish in front of him.
'I know,' he replied quietly. She placed and hand in his arm and he turned to face her kind smile, smiling a small smile back.
The silence they sat in wasn't uncomfortable, it was content and peaceful, the flames flickering over both their faces, only the distant sound of the city and mountains of garbage as their surroundings. Not everyone's idea of paradise, but definitely Gerard's, though he had a feeling that was more because he didn't need to hide how he really felt in front of Mia. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a cigarette, offering Mia one, who shook her head. He lit the end and inhaled, watching the smoke curl up into the sky before dissolving into nothing, dying.
'I just,' he began, pausing to think of what he was going to say, 'I just get so...angry sometimes, like I became someone else. I can't control it, I'm like the freaking Hulk or something, except I don't turn green.' Mia laughed airily.
'Like today, after I kicked the shit out of that fucking prick, when I was stood outside with Frank, I wanted to punch him. Frank I mean, I wanted to...I wanted to fucking kill him, just, destroy him. It was fucking weird.' Mia looked at Gerard, eyes bubbling with concern and curiosity.
'Was it just because you were still angry because of what that guy said, you aren't angry at Frank?' Mia asked. Gerard shock his head.
'No, I was angry at Frank. I wanted to hurt Frank and I just, I don't know why,' Gerard sighed and Mia reached out and put an arm round his shoulder.
'Gerard, I think maybe you need to speak to someone,' she suggested quietly. Gerard tensed up beside her and she recoiled her arm from his rigid shoulders, sighing. His defences were back up again, just like every time she got onto this topic.
'How many times, I don't need to see someone, not anyone, okay? I'm not fucking crazy,' he said heatedly. Mia looked at him exasperatedly. This was a battle she would never win.
'Gerard, going for one visit to a psychiatrist, pr a therapist, just to see if everything's okay, doesn't make you crazy!' He glared at her and she gave up, her entire body deflating as he blew smoke out gently, tarnishing the air around them.
They stayed until the flames died, nothing but embers on a pile of blackened mess. Gerard stood up first and held his hand out for Mia. She took it and gently rose from the ground.
'Sorry,' Gerard said quietly, avoiding her gaze. She smiled slightly.
'I was only trying to help,' she replied. He sighed and looked up at her, nodding gently once in a 'I know' sort of way.
'You know, you should show your emotions more, let them out. Just to Mikey or Frank, they won't care. I'd think they'd quite like to know how you feel, actually.' Gerard started slowly walking towards the rusty gate.
'I just...can't. I do around Mikey, sometimes, I just don't want to bother him.'
'You won't be bothering him, really you won't.' Gerard didn't reply, he just crept through the gap in the fence and waited for Mia to follow.
'I'm going to head home,' he said, turning to face her. She nodded.
'Call me later, yeah?' she asked.
'Course,' he said, smiling slightly and reaching out the hug her. They pulled away and Gerard began walking towards his 'home', nothing but psychiatrists on his mind.