Frank's pissed-off. At least, he thinks he is. Read, review, rate and feel my love! :P
The way I see it, there are two types of people in this world; Assholes and Fucking Assholes. Sure, there are more offshoots after that initial divide, but all people can be placed into one of those two categories. Even myself, for all my effort to be at least a little unique, can be categorized by this system.
I would like to think that I’m an Asshole. The kind of person who is human enough to be annoying and mean and shitty from time to time, but not so human as to be a Fucking Asshole. Although, I’m pretty certain that if you asked Sparky the hamster, he would tell you with some degree of audacity that I’m a Fucking Asshole. As would the majority of the faculty. As would the majority of the pupils too, probably. But I’m really not all that bad.
Okay, so maybe I do have a tendency to be a little too honest and have been known to mainly look out for number one, but that’s just human nature. Which is why most humans fall into my system as being Fucking Assholes.
Mikey Way, for example. He’s a member of the Fucking Asshole clan if ever I saw one.
But he is different from the others, different in an extremely insufferable and dangerous kind of way; he’s a smart Fucking Asshole. A manipulative, sneaky Fucking Asshole who needs to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around his problems and even if it does, that I don’t give a shit. Or at least, I didn’t give a shit. Not until Mikey Way, in all his Fucking Assholishness, convinced me that I do.
See what I mean? A Fucking Asshole. Just like I bet this beloved big brother of his is.
In all honesty I think that there’s only one person I’ve ever met who truly is just a pure, simple Asshole, not an Asshole with a part time membership to the Fucking Asshole club. In fact, this person might not even be bad enough to qualify as an Asshole at all.
“I think you’ve met your match, Iero.”
Or maybe not.
I am, of course, referring to Ray Toro; my best friend and guitar teacher. He’s got the build and appearance of someone who works out religiously, but the sort of person who, when they do sweat, they don’t just sweat; they bleed water. Yeah, he’s pretty tough-looking, but on the inside? I swear to God, you could cut Toro open and all you’d find is pink swirls and candy canes.
I’m not saying that he doesn’t know how to get angry, he really fucking does, just that it practically never happens and when it does he always feels horrible about it for an age afterwards. Not that anyone other than me knows that; we like to keep his softer side a secret, just in case the jocks decide to put us in ‘our’ place. Which is apparently with our heads firmly wedged down the toilets, of the girl’s restroom.
“I’ve heard that the Way brothers are vampires, you might wanna think twice about messing with them.”
I turn to stare at Ray, who is currently driving us over to my house after the end of the school day in his beat-up old pick-up. It’s strange really, Ray having such a crummy old car when it’s blatantly obvious his parents could easily afford to get him a brand new shiny thing if he said he wanted one. But he doesn’t; he just wants this piece of crap that rattles every time a wheel makes a full rotation.
It’s just another part of the enigma that is Ray Toro; the guy with the muscles of Action Man but the personality of Barbie.
“Well, can vampires read minds?” I ask with absolutely no lightness in my tone because, in all honesty, I think my poor old sense of humour decided to up and leave at about the same time my sanity did; when someone came crying to me about a woodlouse. “Because I’m pretty sure that Mikey kid can.”
“That’s creepy shit, Dude. Sounds like an everyday Edward Cullen.” I shiver at the thought of that sparkly bastard, the one who ruined the vampire genre for all of us who aren’t teenage girls, and then turn to rest my forehead against the cool glass of my window. “Seriously though, I heard the younger one’s like some boy-genius or whatever.”
A snigger escapes me at that; the irony of some mastermind asking a guy like me for help lifting my mood up a few gears. My grades leave a lot to be desired, to put it mildly, so I’ll take anything I can get when it comes to accolades for my questionable intelligence.
Mikey certainly did seem very smart though, in an excruciatingly annoying sort of way. Not the kind of smart that Ray is or the kind of smart that my mom wishes I was, but the kind of smart that makes him fully aware that he’s got more brains than any of us peasants. Like when he came to see me earlier this afternoon, he knew he was going to wind up playing a game with me and he knew that he’d wind up winning.
See? Fucking Asshole.
Or maybe just an Asshole. Because how much must he care about his big brother if he’s willing to put all the effort into exploiting his own intelligence just to get the guy help? A hell of a lot, that’s how much.
But I still don’t see how it’s wound up as being my cross to bear.
“What about the older one? Gerard?” I pipe up over the sound of his radio’s signal dying an agonizing death, not looking away from the pleasantly icy glass of my window. “Actually, no. Let me guess. He’s some tall, dark guy who’s got girls tripping over to get to him and his biggest issue is choosing which one to fuck first. Right?” A car horn honks outside, pulling Ray’s attention away from me and back to the road. Thank God. “Or he’s some wimp who gets his sandwiches de-crusted for him by his momma before school every day or else he ends up choking to death on them.”
When Toro makes no noise of response, only mutters a few curse words about some guy who thinks owning a Ferrari means that he owns the goddamn road, I turn to give him my full attention.
And I immediately regret my snarky words when I catch sight of his expression. It’s like the one he was wearing when he had to break it to me that he’d given the Batman action figure I’d lent him to his cousin, who had in turn somehow managed to melt it in the microwave whilst preparing popcorn. Another Fucking Asshole to add to my list.
The point is though that Ray looks like he’s about to say something important; something important that’s going to make me feel like shit. That’s why he’s coming across as all reluctant, almost as if he’s already regretting saying what he has yet to say because he knows it’s going to hurt me in some way or another.
“Actually, he’s an alright guy. A little moody or whatever, but that’s not his fault.” I gesture with my eyes for him to carry on even though it means I am more than likely going to end up feeling like I’ve just made a joke about death at a funeral. “I don’t know, Frankie. There’s something different about Gerard Way. I don’t know him all that well, but we share a few classes and well, I think he gets bullied a load.”
That’s it? That’s the only problem this guy has?
Everyone gets bullied every now and then, event he bullies who normally do the bullying. It’s just the way things are when you’re a teenager; people act differently to you so you have make sure they know it. Or you just get frustrated and have to find some way of letting it out, and when that way has a chance of getting you some attention, then why the hell not?
Of course I don’t support bullying, I really fucking don’t, but I can see why it happens. I understand why it happens, how it happens and that it will keep happening until the sun burns out. That’s just what life is like when everyone is an Asshole of some description.
“Boo-fucking-hoo, Toro. What am I-“
“Don’t act like you don’t care, Frankie. I know you better than that.” He pauses, giving me a withering look that makes me feel like I’m the King of Fucking Assholes. “Or at least, I hope I do.”
Of course he is; he’s Ray motherfucking Toro. But him being right doesn’t make me wrong, it just makes me feel like I should be wrong. I’m not wrong, though. Just not entirely right. Or rather, I’m starting to question my rightness because it conflicts with Ray’s idea of what it should be.
You see, Ray is almost never wrong when it comes to this kind of thing. Actually, when it comes to anything at all for that matter. He’s the kind of guy who could probably tell you more about yourself than you could tell him just based on a glance. It could be down to his amazing ability to decipher algebraic equations, or maybe he just has crazy-good observational skills, either way it means the same thing; his view contradicts with mine so therefore I am most likely in the wrong about Gerard Way.
Of course I am. I know I should be being at least a little more sympathetic towards the poor guy, but right now I’m just so, I don’t know… Pissed-off?
Yeah. If there’s one thing I am right now, pissed-off is definitely it. I’ve had the day from hell with only myself to blame for opening my stupid mouth in the first place, then some weird boy-genius decided to mind-rape me and now my own best friend is using the voice on me that parents do when they ‘aren’t angry, just very disappointed’.
Now that I come to think about it, pissed-off doesn’t even begin to cover how I’m feeling right now.
“Don’t go all high-and-mighty on me now, Toro. Not unless you want your ‘fro being sent skywards.” He chuckles at that, clearly not hearing the sincerity behind my deadly serious threat, and shakes his head like this whole thing is all too hilarious for him to handle. “I’m not joking. I did it to a hamster; I’ll do it to your hair.”
“Firstly, we both know that you’d never be able to even reach my ‘fro, Impero.” I try to scowl at him, but my heart’s just not in it. It never is when I’m trying to be mad at Ray. “And secondly, I wasn’t laughing at that. I was laughing at how stupid you sound. It’s almost like you want Gerard to be a dick.” He quickly flashes his middle finger to a passing motorbike, giving me just enough time to try to understand what he’s saying. “Y’know, like you want to not feel bad for him.”
I’ve had two interesting conversations today, this one right now and my earlier one with Mikey; both of which have wound up with my poor mind feeling well and truly fucked. And neither fucks have been at all gentle.
It’s kind of scary, actually, how much Ray Toro knows about me. I’m not just talking about how he knows I’m deathly afraid of butterflies, but how he seems to be able to understand my thoughts twice as well as I wish I could. But I guess that’s what best friends are for, right?
Maybe I have been a bit prejudiced towards Gerard Way. Screw that; I have been hideously unfair about this guy I’ve never even met or heard of before today. Perhaps it is because I don’t want to feel bad for him. I guess that would make a hell of a lot of sense. After all, I won’t have to feel bad when I fail at helping him if he’s a Fucking Asshole. But even Fucking Assholes don’t deserve to get bullied. Not to the point of it being worth their little brothers seeking help on their behalf.
At the thought of Mikey, something else pops into my head. Something that, now it’s in my mind, refuses to be ignored. Kind of like some sort of mental wart.
“Is he like me?”
“Who? Gerard?” I nod my response, leaving Ray with a look of deep concentration etched onto his naturally soft face. “No. Not all.”
I feel like punching the air at that, at the idea that Mikey Way lied and so is most definitely a Fucking Asshole who I am not at all obliged to help in the slightest. Something feels a little off though. I mean, I know Mikey is very clearly desperate to get me to see his brother and that he’s nowhere near being above using manipulation to get that help, but I don’t think he’s a liar. He’s too smart to lie. Too smart to get it wrong either.
What I’m trying to say here is that Mikey’s got me thinking and me thinking has got me curious, just like Mikey knew it would do. But this curiousness isn’t helping me want to help Gerard; it’s just succeeding in making me very, very confused. Confused about myself, about my Asshole system, about Mikey Way himself. Or, more specifically, what reason he would have to lie when he already knew that he’d fuck my mind raw anyway.
“Are you sure?” I ask, using extreme amounts of self-control to not sound like this is the most important piece of information I’ve stumbled across all day. “It’s just that Mikey seemed pretty set on me being just like Gerard.”
“Hang on; now that I think about it, I think he’s into the same kind of music as you are. Y’know, Misfits and all that.” Ray turns to face me as he pulls up at some lights, appearing to be searching for the answer as though it’s hidden in my face. “Actually, he used to be just like you. A little more gothy than punk, but other than that he was the same. Didn’t take anyone’s shit, just wanted to be himself and be free all the time. Yeah. He even blew something up in science once, just like you.”
“What happened?” The question comes out as an almost-shout, the only thing stopping me from shaking the answer out of Ray being the fact that he’s driving along at insane speeds once again. “Why isn’t he like me anymore?”
Mikey Way’s done it; he’s gotten into my head like a maggot into a corpse and now his words aren’t going to stop gnawing away at my brain until he’s gotten what he’s wanted. How’s he done that? By making what he wants, me seeing his brother, something that I want too. More than anything. If only to prove Mikey and Ray wrong, to prove that I am unique.
“I don’t know, Dude. We never were close. I guess he just kinda… fizzled out.” He stops, banging his fist on the radio to somehow improve the signal. It doesn’t work. “A rumour went around that he killed someone and he had to lay low.” Holy fucking shit. “But that’s bullshit.”
“But people don’t just change, Ray! There has to be some sort of reason for it, something to make them change.”
He turns to grin at me, looking scarily smug at my desperate tone.
“And here I was thinking that you didn’t care.” I flash him a look that’s meant to be something akin to intimidating, but all he does is smile back. That’s Ray though, just too friendly to hate. “You’ve got the guy’s number, call him if you’re that interested.”
Call Gerard Way. It’s not the first time that the idea has crossed my mind this afternoon, but it’s the first time that it’s actually felt like a real possibility. Before the thought of me phoning him felt like me admitting defeat, but now that Ray’s suggested it the idea sounds sensible. Like having Ray say it makes it okay because he’s the smartest guy, other than Mikey Way, that I know.
No. It’s a stupid idea. One that is fundamentally flawed in more ways than a million. By phoning Gerard Way I’m opening my mouth and by opening my mouth I’m setting myself up for trouble. Just like with the whole student-to-student counsellor malarkey.
I can’t just not do anything, though. I can’t just let my curiosity eat me alive until I’m nothing more than a shadow; than what Gerard is. What is Gerard though? Is he just some sulky guy with social issues and a bad temper? Is he smart like his brother? Is he some poor, innocent victim in need of a saviour?
I don’t have a fucking clue. But what I do know is that he used to be like me, two people have said so now, and that one day he just died inside. And, for some reason that I don’t quite understand, I have to find out why. Not because Mikey wants me to, not because Gerard might actually need help and not because I know Ray will never let me forget it if I give up; because I need to know what happened.
But I can’t just call him out of the blue like some sort of stalker. That would just be weird. Not that anything about this entire situation could be classified as ‘normal’ in the first place.
“You know him better than I do. Be a buddy and call him for me, then like, introduce us or whatever.” I bat my eyelashes at him and jut out my bottom lip, doing my best to look as irresistibly helpless as Mikey Way did earlier on. “Please!”
Ray just sighs and counts to ten under his breath. He says that’s what he does whenever he starts to feel like he’s going to get wound up. I tried it once, the counting thing, but it didn’t help. Not at all. Just made me even more frustrated when it didn’t work.
“I never said that I know him, Iero, just that I know of him. There’s a difference.” I huff out a big breath of disappointment, which moves Ray to ruffle my hair like I’m some kind of dog. “Besides, I think the two of you might get along.”
“You said people think he’s a vampire! And that he kills people!”
Ray just smirks, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel in time to some annoyingly catchy pop song playing on the local station which has just started blaring out of his suddenly lively radio.
“Like I said, I think the two of you will get along.”
He starts laughing, as though this is all some big joke to him, but stops when I switch the sound system off, forcing him to look into my glaring eyes. I’m not normally this short-tempered, but today really hasn’t been my day and I’m not in the mood for putting up with much more shit.
Seriously, with the amount of shit I’ve gotten today, I feel like a fucking festival toilet. And it’s far from pleasant.
“Look, just text him if you don’t wanna call him. It’ll be less awkward and you don’t have to reply to him if he says something even remotely psychotic.” Ray’s eyes take on a hue of seriousness that makes me focus hard on his, quite simply, genius words. “Just be nice to him. Like I said, he gets bullied.”
“Okay, okay, I get it. I’ll play nice.” Although my words might seem light, my tone is sincere because, yeah, I think I will text Gerard Way.
And it’s because I want to; not because his little brother is some psychological ninja of the Fucking Asshole clan.
A/N: Thank you very much for reading and I hope this chapter was okay. I don't think that I'll be updating until Thursday, as I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and I'm going to see my Godmother (one of the Fucking Assholes) on Wednesday. Just to give you guys something to think about with regards to the next chapter, though, Frank and Gerard will be communicating for the first time. Thanks to any/all who have reviewed and rated this story so far; I want to marry you all and have your children.
Anyway, thanks again for reading and please let me know what you think!
Oh! And happy International My Chemical Romance Day! :D