I EDITED IT TO BE A ONESHOT BECAUSE THERES REALLY NO WAY I'M GETTING CHAPTER TWO DONE ANYTIME SOON.
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A lot can happen in a year. And that’s exactly how long it had been. It had been exactly one year since a four-year-old named Bandit Lee Way had discovered her fathers lifeless body along with three empty pill bottles.
“Daddy?” She had asked as she poked at her fathers arm. When he didn’t answer, she called for her mother, who came rushing into the room.
Lindsey stopped in the doorway at the sight of her husband lying on the floor with her daughter sitting next to him, looking confused. “G-gerard? Bandit sweetie, come here, okay?” When Bandit was in front of her she knelt down and looked her straight in the eye. “Sweetheart I need you to do something for me, alright? Go into the kitchen and then bring me the phone. Can you do that?” When the toddler nodded her head, Lindsey continued. “I’ve got to call 911 and then call Uncle Mikey to tell him Daddy’s hurt and to get here as quick as he can. Do you understand? Come here, give Mommy a quick hug.” When she nodded her head again, Lindsey pulled her into a hug and kissed her on the forehead. When she pulled away, tears clouded the corners of her mothers eyes. “Thank you sweetie. Now go on.”
Mikey groaned as he rolled over, the afternoon light poking from around his curtains. The clock on his nightstand read 2:24 PM and Mikey cursed silently as he pulled himself from bed. He dragged himself out to the small kitchen of his apartment and went to the fridge. After checking the fridge, he grumbled and looked into the cabinets. No cereal, nothing to drink but almost-expired milk, and a broken microwave. Great. Absolutely perfect.
He made his way back to the bedroom and pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, not even bothering to fix his hair. He grabbed a pair of aviators and his keys before heading out the door and down the dark stairwell of the apartment building. Everything he passes reminds him of what day it is. The flickering lights on the sign for the pharmacy. The couple with a little girl. The teenage girl in a My Chemical Romance shirt. Everything and everyone manages to remind Mikey of his brother.
He ducks his head as he passes the girl in the MCR t-shirt, but that doesn’t stop her from noticing him. She turns around and shouts down the quiet street,
“Hey, you’re Mikey Way, aren’t you?”
Mikey freezes in his spot and she takes that as an invitation to come up to him. “Uh, yeah, I am. Hi there.” He shoves his hands into his pockets and looks down at the girl.
“I haven’t seen much about you lately. This is so cool that you’re here. You’re - you and Gerard both - you’re both so inspiring. Um, thanks, I guess.”
Mikey shrugs and frowns. “You’re welcome? I wouldn’t thank me. It’s not like I’ve done anything useful lately. I’m not much of an inspiration nowadays.”
After some convincing, the girl finally got Mikey to get a coffee with her, so they went to the local coffee shop and shared a table. Even the thought of coffee reminded him of Gerard. “I don’t mean to be intrusive but how’ve you been? You know, since -”
“I, uh, I don’t really want to talk about that, not today anyway.”
She looked shocked then suddenly realization ran across her face. “Oh. Shit. December 22nd, I think. That’s when he - That’s when it happened, right?”
Mikey didn’t say anything, only nodded his head solemnly into the cup in his hands.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything, I didn’t realize. Sorry.” The girl waved the waitress over and handed her a twenty dollar bill, telling her to keep the change.
The waitress looked surprised but not unhappy and she smiled, telling the girl and Mikey to have a nice day.
“It’s on me. I should get going, I’m really sorry again. Truly. It’ll get better, I hope.” She gave a slight smile before heading out of the coffee shop, leaving Mikey alone to think.
It had been a chilly day, so Mikey’d decided to stay in with his wife. They’d just settled down for a movie when the phone began to ring. Alicia answered the phone then called Mikey over.
“Lindsey’s on the line and she’s asking for you. She sounds really upset.”
He pushed himself up from the couch and took the phone. “Hi Linds, what’s up?”
“It’s Gerard. There was - I don’t even know. Shit Mikey just come over as quick as you can.”
Mikey could barely understand what she was saying through her sobs. He took a second to process that before asking, “Lindsey relax, what’s wrong?”
She didn’t answer right away, but when she did, all she said was, “I don’t know. Bandit found him and he was laying on the floor. He’s not breathing Mikey, what the fuck do I do? I called 911 and then you.”
“I- Oh god. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” With that, Mikey hung up the phone and grabbed his keys, noticing the worried look in Alicia’s eyes. “I’m going to my brother’s, I don’t know what’s happened, but something’s wrong. I’ll call you later to let you know what’s going on.”
He practically ran out the door and to the car. He weaved through traffic down the streets of Los Angeles until he finally reached his brother’s Mount Washington house, where there was an ambulance and two police cars already there.
“Are you alright?”
Mikey was pushed from his trance by the waitress from earlier. He looked around to realize he was still inside the small coffee shop and he pushed himself out of the chair. “Yeah, sorry, I guess I zoned out for a little while.” He left the building and walked down the street, headed towards the market where he’d originally planned on going. The rest of the walk there passed without a hitch other than everything reminding Mikey of his brother. It had been a year, but he still couldn’t forget what he saw when he first walked into the house.
Mikey ran up the stairs, following the sound of voices into the master bedroom. He pushed open the door and was confronted by the sight of his brother lying on the ground, surrounded by paramedics and police officers. Lindsey was crying on the other side of the room, holding Bandit so she couldn’t see what was going on.
Mikey hugged his sister-in-law and is niece and asked, “What’s going on?”
Lindsey gave a choked sob and hugged Bandit closer. “They think he overdosed. I told them they were wrong, that he didn’t - he’d given the drugs up years ago.” Another bout of sobs wracked her body. “He didn’t - he wouldn’t -”
Mikey leaned against the wall next to him and slid down it, unable to hold himself upright much longer. He felt the tears prickle behind his eyelids as he watched the men in uniform move his brother onto a stretcher and out of the room. He had been unable to move for what felt like hours, as he sat on the floor next to Lindsey, both of them crying uncontrollably.
Bandit cried too, but more because her mother was crying than for any other reasons. She wouldn’t come to fully understand the permanence of the situation until later.
Once at the store, Mikey grabbed the essentials and a few bottles of vodka and put them in his basket before he headed back towards the front with the intention of making it back to his apartment to drink the rest of the day away and hopefully pass out. After the cashier rang him up, he paid and slid his sunglasses back down to his eyes, walking out the doors.
He made his way home without being stopped by anyone else and he unlocked his apartment and went inside. He put the groceries away and opened the vodka and drank as much of it as he could in one go. He continued to drink until the bottle was half empty and he could no longer see straight.
This was strangely reminiscent of the night of his brothers funeral, and that was Mikey’s last thought before passing out.
After the coffin had been placed in the ground, Mikey and Alicia stayed for a little while. Mikey stood with his parents, taking turns consoling each other, while Alicia was trying to comfort Lindsey. After they finally went back home, Mikey didn’t know what he was feeling any more, and he cracked open their liquor cabinet to dull the pain. He drank as much as his body could handle, but it didn’t drown the image of the coffin lid closing and sealing in his brother out of his head.