Gerard tries to exercise his control over Rian but she doesn't just 'take it'- showing Gerard that she can, and will, make her own decisions.
A/N: Chapters 20 & 21 are the dream chapters. So the last actual chapter was Gerard and Rian talking about Rian’s father, and from there they went to sleep.
Gerard woke with a start, finding himself unable to breath. He let out a strangled cry, which woke Rian from her deep slumber. She stopped mid-yawn as she realized something was wrong. “Gerard?” She whispered his name, causing shivers to run through his body.
It was just a dream. No, not a dream. It was a fucking nightmare. Gerard gasped, breathing in air violently as he tried to force the realization that Rian was still alive. He hadn’t killed her. She was safe, and she was his.
“Gerard, what’s wrong?” Rian’s tiny voice shook Gerard’s from his own troubles, but they didn’t disappear. In the back of his mind lay his deepest fear. He was afraid of hurting Rian. He was afraid of killing her, making her nothing more than another one of his victims.
“Did I wake you?” Gerard asked, finding his voice was strained.
“Why won’t you just answer me?” Rian asked timidly, “What’s wrong? Something is wrong. You’re shaking.”
Gerard took a shaky breath. “I had a nightmare but now I’m awake. I’m sorry that I woke you.”
“I’d rather be awake for you, than sleeping without you.” Rian admitted. “I hate nightmares. Do you want to talk about it?”
“Not really.” Gerard muttered tightly, and as he realized how he was coming off he quickly tried to change his tone to something more pleasant. “I just want to hold you. Is that okay Rian?”
Rian was smiling, and Gerard wanted to just stare but instead he forced himself to smile in return. Without waiting for a reply Gerard blurted out the one thing on his mind. The thing he’d been thinking of since she’d returned to him. “We need to leave.”
“Leave?” Rian had a puzzled expression upon her face. “Right now?”
“What about tomorrow morning?” Gerard suggested. “We could do it you know. I have a house in Italy under an alias, and I have a passport with that alias. It wouldn’t be that hard for me to get a passport for you, with a different name. We could disappear together. I’ve had this escape plan ever since I started… well, you know. It’s my backup plan. I can easily string together something for you; new identities really aren’t that hard to come by.”
Rian was now completely sitting up, with the blanket pulled up to her chin. She felt like hiding away. What Gerard was suggesting was terrifying. She didn’t want to disappear, and she didn’t want to run from her own life- as he was proposing. “Gerard-“
Gerard quickly cut her off as the plan began forming in his head. He’d been thinking it over constantly, and now it seemed possible. He just needed Rian to agree. “We would just need to pack necessities. Everything else can be acquired later on. We can start all over again, together.”
“Gerard-“ Rian tried again, just to be cut off once again.
“Mikey could take Jack. He loves cats. We won’t need for anything. My parents gave me enough money to comfortably live the rest of my life, and I’ve been slowly trickling money in to a dummy account under my alias.”
“I’ll take care of you, and your dad will never take you from me again.” Gerard was tired, and his nightmare was getting to him. He was speaking erratically, with a crazed look in his eyes.
“Gerard, I’m not going anywhere.” Rian finally cut Gerard off, just as he was opening his mouth. He promptly closed his mouth as the room went silent.
“What?” Gerard finally asked, quietly.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Rian repeated, just as quietly. “This is where my family is. You’re talking about completely wiping out my identity. You want me to just… give up everything.”
“Is it really that much to give up?” Gerard asked, dryly. “I’m asking you to run away with me. I’m promising to protect you from the abuse, and the other various letdowns of the world.”
“But you’re also asking me to just leave my sister and become someone else. You’re asking me to give up everything I’ve ever known.”
“I’ll still be there.” Gerard bitterly mumbled.
Rian rolled her eyes, “You can’t protect me from everything, without protecting me from the good too.”
Gerard shook his head, “You’re okay with your dad just coming and taking you from me, again?”
“I’m almost eighteen.” Rian answered, “Soon enough he won’t have a choice in where I’m at.”
“But right now he does.” Gerard’s voice had gone flat. Though there was no emotion Rian could still see how he felt. His face wasn’t hiding a single thing from her.
Rian reached out to touch Gerard but he pulled away, as he completely left the bed. “Where are you going?” She let her hand fall uselessly to her side.
“I’m sleeping on the couch.” Gerard responded.
“I don’t want to argue with you Rian.” Gerard answered. “If I stay here then we are going to argue, and I’m going to get mad. Hell, I’m already mad. You’re making a stupid decision. We just- we can talk about it tomorrow.”
“Why don’t we just talk about it now?” Rian asked. “My mind isn’t going to change, and sometimes arguing happens. You’re going to have to deal with your anger, just like everyone else.”
Gerard paused next to the door, “Pack a bag.” He finally growled out, after staring at Rian for several seconds.
“I told you that I’m not going anywhere.” Rian quietly answered, with a frown on her face. She wasn’t mad, and she wasn’t sad. She was just mildly irritated.
“This is not negotiable Rian.” Gerard tried to act stern but as soon as he glanced at Rian that crumbled, and he was left searching for the correct words for an apology. He had to fight the urge to apologize because he hated the idea of pushing Rian around, or hurting her feelings but had to maintain some sort of control- it was who he was. She was sensitive, and he liked that… he just didn’t know how to act around her. He was still learning.
“Why?” Rian asked. The word broke apart as it tumbled from her lips, her voice cracking just slightly. “Why are you doing this?”
“I’m doing it because if I don’t then your dad is going to show up again and he’s going to take you.” Gerard answered. “He’s going to take you from me and I- I promised you I wouldn’t hurt him but… if he hurts you again then I don’t think I’ll be able to keep that promise, and I know I won’t be able to let you just go with him. It’s dangerous. Staying here is just too dangerous.”
“You’re afraid.” Rian pointed out. “I’m going back though. He won’t come get me because I’ll go to him. I’m going home Gerard. I’m almost eighteen but until then I need to be home, and then… then when I’m eighteen I’ll be free, and I’ll be here- if you want me… and I’ll be close to my sister, and I’ll be able to help her as best as I can, but if I leave… then I’ll just be abandoning her.”
“Sometimes it’s just easier to leave.” Gerard pressed. “Think of the freedom we would have together, without your dad around. We could even go to France if you wanted, or anywhere. I will take you anywhere that you want to go Rian. The arrangements could take a few weeks but if you want somewhere other than Italy then just tell me.”
“You’re not listening to me.” Rian gazed at Gerard, “I don’t want to leave. I belong here, and I want to stay here.”
“No.” Gerard stubbornly replied.
Rian tried a different tactic, knowing that simply refusing to go would get her nowhere with Gerard. She was getting to know him quite well, despite the short period of time they’d spent together. “I’ll do anything.” She whispered. “I’ll even wear a stupid red shirt, just please- please don’t do this Gerard. Don’t take my entire life from me just because you’re afraid.”
The words struck Gerard speechless and as he thought them over he found his resolve to leave crumbling. He didn’t want to force Rian in to something she didn’t want, and he didn’t want to take anything from her.
“I need to think.” Gerard mumbled before leaving the bedroom.
Rian laid back and sighed, as she struggled with the idea of staying- and the idea of leaving. She let Gerard sleep on the couch unbothered. She didn’t really want to argue anymore either.
(It’s short and a bit uneventful. Sorry. I’m just getting back in to it! :D Anyway, thanks for the feedback on continuing the story guys! I appreciated it!)