When Frank and Jamia have a family emergency, they turn to a very unprepared Mikey Way. REVISED AND COMPLETED.
Mikey frowned as he looked upon the glossy screen of his iPhone 4s. Covering the picture of Alicia that served as his background was a narrow bar notifying him that he had gotten 4 missed calls from Frank since he had gone in to shower just 30 minutes ago. It was unusual of Frank, and Mikey could not help but wonder what would drive the short man to call him so frantically. He checked the time to see that it was nearly midnight, and his concern grew. Yet anyone could tell you that worrying things are almost never solved by worrying further, and so Mikey went to his missed calls and called Frank back.
” Hello?” answered a weary voice on the other line.
”Hey.” Mikey greeted cautiously,” You rang?”
”Oh yeah,” Frank perked up slightly, ” Listen, I'm sorry for bugging you guys so late but need a pretty heavy favor.”
There was a pause then, and Mikey had to push forward by saying,” Such as...”
”Jamia's mom had a heart attack last night. We need to be on a plane to South Carolina tomorrow morning.”
Another pause. Mikey frowned.
” I'm really sorry to hear that Frankie, but what could I possibly do for --”
”Our regular babysitter is sick with gastroenteritis...”
And it was then that Mikey suddenly realized why Frank had called, but remained silent until Frank said it himself.
”We need you to babysit the kids for us this weekend.”
Mikey sighed, his suspicions confirmed.
There were a few reasons why Mikey felt uneasy upon hearing this news. Anyone who knew the younger Way family, knew that they just weren't the ”family” type.
When Mikey Way had met Alicia Simmons, he had done so drunk, and had likewise intoxicated her with his slurred out charms. Since then, they had united in holy matrimony, yet only to continue to be “wild childs” together instead of apart.
They had discussed the idea of children, but both had always been afraid to seriously consider the idea. And as time passed, it just seemed less and less likely. Their bodies grew older, they both grew wearier, and it became a silent agreement that both desired to use what little energy they had left and spend into continuing to do the things they love.
Yet even then, it surprised Mikey that the idea of watching a child, even for one weekend was stimulating such a stomach twisting reaction in him. It was as though asking a lady to watch a rat. Sure he loved Frank and Jamia, and considered their children family as well, but it had always been just so long as they weren’t his responsibility.
It was the morning after the phone call, just a few hours before Frank was due to arrive, that Mikey found himself dialing his brother's number, hoping for his usual unorthodox (but still useful) advice.
“Hello?” Gerard answered in what Mikey thought sounded like a strangely chipper tone.
“Hey.” Mikey replied, again uneasily. His elder brother was likewise his best friend, and knew him more even his own wife. Therefore, Mikey at least knew he would not really have to explain much to Gerard other than, “Frank wants me to babysit his kids this weekend.”
On the other end Mikey heard Gerard chuckle slightly, and he felt a twinge of annoyance that the older Way was clearly not going to take this as seriously as he.
“Dude, c’mon you know I can’t do this kind of stuff.” Mikey sighed, “Can you… could you please come over? Just stay the weekend?”
“You know I can’t. Lindsey has a show rehearsal tonight.” Gerard explained, although he did not sound remorseful about this at all.
“Geeeeee.” Mikey whined with a lack of much else to say.
“Sorry brotato, you’re on your own this time.” Said Gerard. “But try to relax --- you’ll do fine. I know you will.”
“How could you possibly know that?” Mikey questioned. “I’ve never even babysat Bandit before.”
“I know because you’re a smart dude with a good heart. That’s all you really need.” Gerard paused, “…but when all else fails, you can always do what I do.”
“Ask your wife.”
Mikey grinned despite himself, and he did feel some sense of comfort. Gerard’s advice had reminded him that he had Alicia there helping him, and as far as he was concerned, that gal could do just about everything.
“Everythings going to be just fine. I’ll see you soon.
Yeah, see you then.”
With those last two words, Gerard hung up. Mikey spun around to see Alicia standing in the doorway behind him, who had a worried expression herself. Another reason for their dismay was the fact that they themselves were having to miss out on plans for the night at the Bar Sinister down the block. However, they both understood that this was technically a family emergency, and so they tried their best to make an exception.
It was only about an hour after the conversation with Gerard that Mikey heard a knocking on his door. He turned it open, and despite the morning sun shining brightly behind him, or his friend’s unkempt bed hair, the first thing that Mikey laid eyes on were the three little tots that sat in their triple stroller, each with eager grins.
“Hey Mikes.” Frank greeted as he pushed the stroller inside. Jamia, who had still been retrieving things from her car, followed him with a large shoulder bag that looked to be over flooding with items.
After some shared hugs and greetings, Frank and Jamia gave them a summary of what they might have in store. A few of these things included tasks that sounded easier said than done such as: changing diapers, preparing formulas, getting them to sleep, giving baths, etc. And by the time Frank was done, Mikey had the feeling that Gerard had completely bullshitted him by saying that all you needed was a “good heart.”
“We really appreciate this.” Jamia said apologetically, as though she could sense that the two were feeling overwhelmed.
Alicia was of course the first person to smile and say “no problem.”, whether or not she felt there was a problem. One thing that Mikey had always loved about her was her generosity to their friends, but at times it was bothersome that it would seem she could never say no.
“Alright well we unfortunately must depart.” Frank checked his watch, “But hey, when we get back, we’ll all have a nice dinner together if you guys are down.”
“That sounds lovely.” Said Alicia, and both Ieros nodded.
They said farewell again, and the couple left, leaving behind everything they had brought with them.
Alicia and Mikey spent some time waving them off before they drove away. When they had finally turned the coroner out of sight, Mikey turned back into their home to discover that Cherry, Lily, and Miles had already snuck out of their stroller, which now stood empty.
Sighing for the fifth time that day, Mikey began to search, with Alicia right behind him.
The first time they caught up with them, they were in the kitchen, helping themselves to the food. They demolished all that crossed them in their search for snacks. Cherry and Lily, the two older ones, were helping Miles, the youngest, climb up the dining table.
Alicia grabbed Miles, and Mikey grabbed Cherry and Lily. They plopped them onto the kitchen seats. Mikey came on the verge of scolding them, but wasn't sure he felt right doing so, as they were Frank's children. Alicia brought out the snacks from the pantry, including a various assortment of goldfish crackers. The kids mauled each bag of potato chip or cookie, Cherry taking on the duty of feeding Miles.
Mikey hoped the food would settle them, but alas, only a few moments later, Lily was jumping up and down on the living room couch.
He looked to Alicia for guidance, and her next plan was to put on the television. She powered the system on, and sat the three tots in front of the screen. Alicia searched the channels until she found Spongebob. Every kid likes Spongebob, right?
Unfortunately, Spongebob's obnoxious laughter soon became nothing but white noise, and they began pulling on the dogs ears.
"How do Frank and Jamia do it?" Mikey sighed, as Alicia let the dog outside to safety. "I mean, I can see why they need watching in the first place. They're little bundles of evil."
"Oh stop that." Alicia rolled her eyes. "You liked them perfectly well before this. They're just hyper, that's all. Jamia said they should be having their afternoon naps soon anyway."
And so, Alicia brought them into a spare bedroom, and Mikey followed, carrying the large bag of supplies that Jamia had given them.
"Think we should change Miles' diaper first?" Alicia asked her husband.
"I don't know, she said to do it whenever it got dirty." Mikey shrugged.
"Yeah, but how do we know when he's dirty?" She pondered.
"Don't they usually cry?" suggested Mikey.
"Yeah, but maybe it doesn't bother him. I guess we'll just open it up and look." Alicia frowned. She lifted Miles and put the diaper up to her nose, sniffing tentatively, as if hoping to find out that way. She ended up making a face and putting the baby down on the bed, asking Mikey for the diaper changing supplies.
As it would turn out, the diaper was in fact, quite dirty.
They changed him, brought out their blankets from the bag, and tried to get all three to go to sleep. When they would not, Mikey and Alicia both figured that if they locked them in the room, eventually, they'd run out of energy and have no choice but to take their naps.
Mikey checked in on them two hours later, and found out, on the contrary, the hour or so of boredom had only brought out their artistic sides. The walls of the guest bedroom were completely covered in scribbles from permanent markers.
And that night, as their energy did slowly wear down, the Iero children only replaced their hyper mood with one of solace and depression.
"Where's mommy?" Lily kept babbling in between surges of tears. Cherry would echo her questions shortly after.
"Mommy is busy right now." Mikey would try to explain, unsure of how much Frank and Jamia had told them. "But I'm right here. What do you need?"
"I need mommy!" Lily would argue back, going into a fit of crying once again.
Alicia and Mikey were at least thankful that Miles was too young to know anything that was going on, and thus did not care much about Frank and Jamia's absence.
Mikey heaved a deep sigh, and then had an idea. It was true that they did not have any interesting toys to distract the children, but they did have something else almost as good.
"Gerard's old art things." Mikey explained to Alicia as he brought down a cardboard box from the attic, filled with dusty paint brushes.
He found a pile of plain white paper, and brought it all to the guest room where the kids were staying.
They seemed confused until Mikey brought out the containers of brightly colored paint, to which they smiled with giddiness.
Following this turn of events, the rest of the weekend went much more pleasantly. Both Mikey and Alicia drew sketches and painted paintings with them, making clumsy representations of people they knew.
And soon enough, Frank and Jamia were pulling into their driveway again.
"How were they?" asked Jamia, enthralled to see her babies once more.
"Lovely." smiled Alicia.
"Thank you so much for helping out." said Frank, "Jamias mom is doing alright now."
"Thats good to hear." Mikey nodded.
They had dinner. Alicia served puttanesca and penne. And then they went home, but not before Frank and Mikey had a brief drink in the backyard. Mikey was admitting to Frank that he had been quite nervous when Frank had asked him to babysit.
"Really?" Frank grinned, "Well looks like your fears were unfounded."
"Yeah, but why me? I'm sure that you have other friends in the area that have more parental experience." Mikey argued,.and he wondered why he didn't think to say this before they agreed to this arrangement."
"..Actually," Frank sipped at his whiskey. "It was Gerard's idea."
"Gerard?" Mikey gaped, "The fuck? Really?"
"He said he thought you were ready. And you are." Frank told him.
"Ready for what?" questioned Mikey.
"I don't know. That's all he said." Shrugged Frank.
They went home, and Mikey made sure the kids took all the drawings and paintings that they had made in their time there. He was almost sorry to see them go.
That night, when Alicia laid herself down to bed, Mikey stood at the doorway. She looked at him with interest.
"Gerard thinks we're ready." he said with a playful smirk.
"Ready for what?" Alicia asked.
And Mikey shut the door behind them.