The time has come for Frank to confess, and what have the other Killjoys found? Something is revealed which will change everything.
The next morning I woke up on an empty bed (well, floor), and got up quickly to look for Gerard. I was still limping, and my arm seemed to have been bleeding through the night, so I was glad when I saw him just across the hall with Venom Rose.
"Hey," He gave me a small smile when he saw me, "How're you feeling?"
"Can't complain." I muttered. "How are you?"
"I'm fine. Venom sorted my leg better than I did."
"Which wasn't difficult." She added with a laugh. I didn't understand how they could be smiling and laughing after what had happened. Okay so it wasn't their usual grins, but still, I felt guilty when I even thought about smiling and being happy. Although maybe that was just because I blamed myself...
"Do you want me to take a look at your arm?" Venom asked, pulling me away from my thoughts. I nodded mutely and followed her into the nurse's station, Gerard in tow.
It didn't take long for her to re-bandage my injury, and I thanked her gratefully before leaving her to go and deal with other Killjoy's injuries. I walked, still with a noticeable limp, towards the main hall which served as a sort of lounge for everyone. I hoped Ray and Mikey would be there, I needed to make sure they were okay. I knew they hadn't been badly hurt but for my own sanity I needed to see them again with my own eyes.
"Frankie." Gerard mumbled from behind me, "Where are you going?"
"I'm not gonna sit in my room all day. I need to see Ray and Mikey."
"...They won't be in the main hall." Gerard replied with a little hesitation, obviously noticing where I was heading. "Ray needs to lie down and take it easy for a while so he can get better. They'll be in Mikes' room." I choked on my breath and slowly turned around to face Gee.
"But... I thought he was okay? What's wrong with him? Is he going to be fine? Oh God. What have I done?!" I covered my face with my hands, feeling completely stupid and helpless. I do one moronic thing and there is the longest chain of repercussions I've ever known. My breathing picked up and I began to almost claw at my face; I needed to confess. I couldn't keep all of this from Ray and Mikey, I had no idea how Gee had managed to keep it from his brother for all this time.
I felt hands covering my own, gently but forcefully prying them away from my face, and Gee spoke in a soothing voice.
"It's okay, it's okay. It's just a sprain. A day or two before we got him he fell over and managed to pull a muscle in his neck. It's not serious, and he just needs to rest. Just, please. Please try to stay calm. Everything will be okay." He cooed, pulling me close. His soft, sweet scent clouded my senses, making me forget for a moment about confessing, but it didn't last.
"I need to tell them, Gee. They deserve to know. They'll hate me, like you should. But they need to know it was me." I whispered into his shoulder as he held onto me. He let me go too soon, holding me at arm's length to look into my eyes as he spoke.
"Are you sure?" He asked with a concerned tone. I bit my lip and nodded in reply. I was nervous, but it needed to be done, and the longer I left it, the worse it would be.
"Okay then. We'll go and talk to them, and I'm sure it will go better than you think." He reassured me as we began to walk in the other direction towards Mikey's room. I just nodded again in reply, too absorbed in my thoughts to argue with his theory.
He chatted to me all the way, which took longer than it usually would on account of my leg, about how everything would be okay, but it didn't help my nerves at all. I just needed to get it over with.
We entered the room and were instantly greeted by Mikey's smiling face bounding up to us and grabbing both Gee and I into a vice-like grip of a hug. We hugged back with similar ferocity before transferring our attention to our puffy-haired friend lying on the bed in the corner of the room, both of us giving him awkward hugs, trying not to move him and irritate his injuries. Venom had made a sort of brace for his neck, and his left shoulder was bandaged, but he was smiling as though he wasn't hurt at all which was a good sign.
"You don't know how good it is to see you guys again." He told us, causing a quiver in my stomach.
We chatted mindlessly for a while, avoiding the elephant in the room as no one made any effort to discuss what had happened to Ray after he had been taken. I suspected Ray and Mikey had already spoken about it last night before going to sleep; difficult things always seemed easier to talk about when you were surrounded by darkness.
I caught Gee's eye and I knew it was time. I sighed quietly, wondering how to bring the topic up.
"I'm so glad you're okay, Ray. It means I don't have to feel so... guilty." Ray and Mikey's faces were masked with confusion, which slowly clouded into shock.
"I-I didn't do anything on purpose!" I spluttered as I saw Mikey's face contort in anger, only then realising that my first statement seemed to sound like some sort of confession as being a double agent.
"What are you talking about?" Ray asked in confusion, obviously not jumping to conclusions as Mikey had.
"Frank did something stupid accidentally and it's been completely eating him up ever since. He's been trying to put it all right; I caught him trying to sneak out to rescue you all by himself even though he knew he wouldn't have survived." Gerard cut in, evidently trying to make sure they would be sympathetic.
"Gee, don't. I deserve for them to hate me." I whispered.
"Hate you for what? Could someone please just tell me what the fuck is going on! Frank, what did you do?!" Mikey asked, agitated that we were taking forever to get to the point.
"Okay." I answered, my gaze flitting between Mikey and Ray.
"Do you remember when me and Ray went out for supplies and got lost? And you had to come and find us in the car?" I asked, receiving a nod from both.
"Well... When you got us we talked about the riddle again, saying about there being thirteen Killjoys and that the first line must mean zone six... I kind of... I'm so sorry." I took a deep breath before confessing, tears welling up and beginning to spill from my eyes.
"I left the radio on by mistake and someone must have been listening. That's how they knew where we were and put a patrol on the border. That's why we were attacked and why you were taken, Ray. I am so so sorry."
For over a minute we all just sat there as I tried to read their facial expressions. They both looked as though they were in a state of utter shock, and I couldn't tell if they were angry or not. I decided it would probably be best for me to leave and give them time to think things over.
"Okay so... I'm gonna go and let you think this all through. Just let me say that I am beyond sorry, and I know I deserve nothing but bad things... And if you hate me," Tears welled once more in my eyes and my voice broke, “Then it's okay... I understand and I deserve it."
I stood up to make my exit from the room, hearing Gee whisper my name but ignoring him, knowing I would only make things worse by staying. Unfortunately, fate had other ideas, and I was only halfway through the door when Acid Rain came running in, knocking me out of the way in the process.
"Oh, God, sorry Ghoul! Are you okay? Are you... Are you crying? Oh I'm so sorry I didn't mean to hurt you!" She gushed, speaking in the overly-fast way many teenagers do and holding her hand out to help me steady myself.
"No, no it's fine... It's something else... I was just leaving, so, see you I guess." I told her vaguely, heading for the door once more.
"Wait! I'm glad you're here. Ghoul, Kobra, Poison, there's a meeting in the main hall in ten minutes. It's important, and can you guys bring Jet with you?" She asked.
"Yeah, sure." Gee answered for us all, as I think Mikey and Ray were still in shock, and with the tears which had begun to spill down my face I didn't exactly look set to carry on with the conversation.
Acid Rain nodded, threw me an apologetic glance and headed back out of the door. Silence engulfed the room once more, and it was most definitely awkward. Neither Mikey nor Ray had commented on my confession, and it was driving me crazy wondering what they were thinking, but at the same time I couldn't ask what was going on in their heads.
Again Gerard was the one to break the silence, telling us we had better get to the main hall because we didn't want to miss the beginning of the meeting.
It took a little while for everyone to settle down before Dr D officially began the meeting. It was obvious that our group was smaller in size, and as I waited for the meeting to begin I observed people's reactions to this. I found it quite interesting to watch; it would have been more of an interest if I were able to ignore the guilt that I had been the cause which led the events these reactions were based upon.
For example, Acid Rain and Venom Rose seemed to have become closer because of it. Not only with each other, although they were sitting closer together than they usually would before, but with everyone else too. Rapid Fire and River Dragon, on the other hand, were sitting as far away from the rest of the group as possible. In all honesty I was surprised they were still here after losing Rapid's mother and not even being with her in her final moments. They hadn't said it, but I was sure they blamed everyone in our group, the group she was in during the attack, for her death. Neon Laser had taken to holding onto his wife, Cosmic Shadow, in some way wherever they went. At this point he was softly holding onto her arm with one of his hands. Cosmic Shadow seemed to be acting as she normally would have been, except there was a look in her eyes which made it obvious that everything had changed.
When Dr D started speaking I finally drew my eyes away from everyone else and tried to pay attention to what he was saying.
"Half of you already know about this list, but the rest of you in the other group will be unaware of it's existence." He told us.
"Those of us that have seen it only know what it is a list of... I haven't even read it yet, I thought it would be best for everyone to see at once." He paused, the room still in silence, to show us a large wad of papers.
"This, my friends, is a list of known Killjoys and their accomplices, and also any known whereabouts of either, compiled by Better Living Industries. I think it's best if we go through it in it's entirety as a group, but if anyone doesn't want to see it then you're free to leave." He looked around the room, but no one moved an inch. My heartbeat was racing; would any of our families be on there? I knew Gerard, Mikey, Ray and I would be there as they'd been trying to get us for a while now, but how much did they know about us before we started running?
"Okay then." Dr D continued after giving us a few moments to make our decision. "I must warn you all though that this list has all of our real names as well as our aliases, so after this day we will know who the others truly are. This would pose a problem if I didn't have complete trust in you all. After we all fought as one to save Jet, and there were no signs that anyone had let on about our attack, I know in my heart you are all true killjoys. Although I do think we should continue to use our aliases, because Korse may know who we truly are, but I suspect very few Dracs will." A few Killjoys, ones who had been in the other group and already knew of the list, nodded. The rest of us were still taking in the shock.
We all waited with baited breath as he began to read aloud from the papers in his hands.
The first few names he read were of known exterminated killjoys, none of which we had met.
"Steven Montano, alias 'Dr Death Defying'. Location: Suspected Zone 6. Status: Alive." Dr D read, identifying himself as the first Killjoy in our group to be known.
"Gerard Arthur Way, alias 'Party Poison'. Location: Zone 6. Status: Alive."
"Raymond Manuel Toro-Ortiz, alias 'Jet Star'. Location: BL/ind. Headquarters. Status: Alive." Dr D continued.
"They must have updated these after they attacked us..." Gee whispered to me, Ray and Mikey.
All of the Killjoys in our small group, as well as the Killjoys who had died during our attack, were identified in the list. There were many uncertainties as they could only be sure of the location and status of those they had run into or heard on the radio. It was more than a little disconcerting to know that they had information about all of us, but that wasn’t the part which was bothering me. What was worrying me the most was whether anyone I knew would be a suspected accomplice, and what the status of those accomplices would be.
“That seems to be the last of the Killjoys.” Dr D announced before beginning to read the remaining sheets. I wanted more than anything to know that my family were safe, however if they were on this list, even if they were alive, I was sure they would not be safe for long.
I heard Toxic Spark heave a sigh of relief as a suspected accomplice was said to be alive, and I wondered if the rest of us would be so lucky. I looked over towards the Ray, Mikey and Gee, catching only Gee’s eye as the others tried to avoid my gaze. He looked just as worried as I did, and it gave him an almost half-crazed look. We edged ever-so-slightly closer, keeping eye contact, knowing that the only person who could comfort us was the other.
“Jamia Iero, wife of known Killjoy Frank Anthony Iero. Status: Exterminated.”
My heart stopped in it’s tracks before stammering at an alarming rate. It must be wrong. It must be wrong. It must be wrong. There was such a strong physical pain in my chest, it felt as though my heart and probably all my other organs had been ripped, shredded, out of my chest, leaving only a gaping hole. I could feel my blood pulsing through my body, yet at the same time it felt like it was standing still.
I think I fell off my chair and onto my knees, but I wasn’t conscious enough to know. I was only vaguely aware of Dr D continuing to read from the list, not fully aware of my surroundings until I heard the crash of Gee falling to the floor beside me following the words ‘Lindsey Way’ and ‘Exterminated’ read from the same paper.
The pain in my chest subsided into a shallow numbness for a moment as I leant over to clutch Gerard, tears silently and endlessly cascading down our cheeks. It all seemed so surreal. We’d been running for so long, escaping death twice just in the past few months, all under the false hope that our families would be waiting somewhere for us as soon as this was all over. And now those hopes were gone. I prayed that our children would still be out there, somewhere. Somewhere we could find them when this ended, if this whole mess ever ended… Maybe we could get them when they were old enough to join us. We left them behind so that they could be safe, and now they had no parents around… How could we have been so stupid, so wrong?
I knew something was wrong when Dr D stopped speaking. All through our turmoil he had continued, only pausing slightly as Mikey got up to try and comfort us, leaving Ray alone in his bed to the side. I glanced up to see Dr D watching us, his eyes glancing between our faces and the unread paper in front of him as he gulped audibly. My breathing stopped completely as he began to speak, his voice faltering as he read from the paper.
“Cherry, Lily and Miles Iero, children of Frank Anthony Iero; and Bandit Lee Way, daughter of Gerard Arthur Way. Enrolment: Conditioning Program B. Location: Maximum security. Progress: Inadequate, extermination imminent.”
That’s when I lost it.
Anger bubbled through me, filling every cell of my body. Children. How could they kill children? What sort of monsters were we up against?
I shot up, knocking over the chair I had previously been sitting on, and half-ran half-hobbled out of the room before anyone realised what was going on. Once out the front of the building I let out a scream, pounding my fists onto the wall.
Fury and frustration mingled in with the adrenaline now coursing through my veins, clouding over my vision and disengaging my mind from my body. My feet were kicking up the dirt below my, my mouth expelling what seemed to be a scream mixed with a sob, fists pounding again and again at the wall as though they weren't already bloody. My mind, however, was planning. How could I find our children before anything happened to them? How long ago was the list written, and how long was 'imminent'? Why were they in a maximum security location? They were just children!
What would I do if they were already... No, I couldn't even think of the word.
I bawled loudly, grabbing a wooden board which had fallen from the decaying shed beside the school, and whacking everything in sight with it. I couldn’t control myself, I couldn’t calm myself down. I just wanted to smash everything. I wanted to cause pain, inflict the pain I was suffering on those who had decided the fate of my family. They had no right.
Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. My children. My fucking children. They had them and they were going to hurt them, if they hadn’t already, and what was I here doing? Hitting random objects in anger? What sort of father was I? I should be there, protecting them. I’m pathetic. Utterly fucking pathetic.
I dropped the wooden board and ran my fingers through my hair, breathing heavily. The adrenaline seemed to have worn off, and the pain which had previously been subsided attacked at full pelt. I winced and staggered due to my ankle, and I could feel the warm wetness of blood seeping down my arms. I let out one more choked sob before falling forwards, whacking my head painfully on the wall of the school as I fainted from a mix of blood loss and exhaustion.
I feel like such a horrible person right now.
Let me just say that I do not, never have, and never ever will wish for anything bad to happen to any of the guys or their families. This is purely fiction, and I wish them only goodness throughout their lives. I seriously feel evil for writing this chapter but it had to happen for the story to work in the end.
Okay now I've said that, rate, review, and make me happy?