Braelyn waved as Quinn disappeared into the train station. She murmured to Mikey, “Gerard’s such a jerk.”
“I’m not going to argue with you,” Mikey answered. “Wanna go pick up donuts for breakfast?”
“Chocolate sprinkles?” She asked hopefully.
After the donuts were well-received back at the house, Donna announced that the next Christmas activity would be ice skating and everyone would be required to participate. Mikey groaned and explained to Braelyn that this was his least favorite part of Christmas and he was a terrible ice skater. Braelyn just laughed and told he couldn’t be that bad, then went to change out of her sweatpants and pajama top that she had worn to take Quinn to the station. She reappeared in leggings and another long sweater, her hair pulled back into a ponytail. She arrived back at Mikey’s side in time to hear Donna chiding Gerard for his behavior and insisting that he come skating or she would take away his presents. Mikey and Braelyn laughed at Gerard being treated like an obstinate nine-year-old. Braelyn personally thought he was acting like a nine-year-old, so she wasn’t surprised.
She was uncomfortable to be put in between the two boys in the backseat of the way family sedan, not because there wasn’t enough room, but because Gerard literally would not stop staring. She could also feel Mikey tensing up next to her. He obviously noticed. She took his hand and squeezed it. He quit glaring at Gerard to smile at her and kiss her cheek. Once at the rink, Donna guided all of them through the process of renting and and lacing up their skates. Braelyn was surprised when both Donna and Donny took off on the ice with a great amount of grace. Gerard, too, was speeding off as soon as his blades hit the ice.
“I wasn’t lying,” Mikey said as Braelyn stepped onto the ice. “I’m bad at this.”
“You can’t be that awful,” she said, regaining her balance.
“No. I’m ‘hang onto the wall’ bad.” As if to prove his point, Mikey almost ate it within two second of both skates coming into contact with the ice.
Braelyn couldn’t stop herself from giggling as he scrambled for the wall. He straightened as they moved a little farther from the entrance so others could get on the rink. “How come you’re not flailing?”
She grinned and did a twirl, “I used to skate. Quite a bit. It was one of the only indoor sports offered, and there was no way I was playing outside in the Texas heat. But I haven’t been skating in years. I don’t know if I’m any good anymore.”
“Well, you can’t be worse than me.”
“You said it, not me.”
She stuck with him as they slowly made their way halfway around the oval. Then Donna came to the rescue. “He always thinks he’s terrible, until he remembers how to skate. Then he’s not too bad. You go skate, Braelyn. I’ll whip this one into shape.” Braelyn laughed and kissed Mikey’s cheek. As she skate off, she heard Donna say, “Get off that wall, my son.”
Braelyn had really loved skating as a kid. She had done it all the way through her eighth grade year. She had been in competition lessons, not really to win medals, just so she could gain the skill to fly through the air. She had stopped because she was getting busier, but she still loved to go to the rink and skate. She felt her stride lengthen as she fell back into the rhythm of push and glide. She had caught back up to her boyfriend and his mother who were now making progress. She waved as she went by. She saw Donny and Gerard racing, weaving through the few other skaters. After a few laps, she was feeling comfortable on the ice again and Braelyn took to the middle. She did a few spins, happy to find she didn’t wobble as much as she expected to.
All of a sudden, arms were around her waist. For a moment, Braelyn assumed the embrace was Mikey’s, but when she was turned around, it wasn’t Mikey’s smiling face she saw, it was Gerard. The look in his eyes was hard. His arms tightened and he pushed his lips to hers.
The flashback to Todd forcing himself on her was horrible, but somehow Braelyn managed to snap herself out of it, realizing where she was and who was crushing her to him. She pushed her hands against Gerard’s chest, the momentum along with the ice forcing the two of them apart, and not a moment too soon.
The sight of his brother kissing his girlfriend was clearly inspiration for Mikey and he launched himself across the ice, all the shakiness from before gone. He collided with Gerard. Braelyn watched in terror as he cocked his arm back then punched his brother in the face. She couldn’t keep herself out of the mire of nightmares that were her memories and Braelyn fell to ice, losing focus on the events happening before her.
The boys exchanged a couple of blows before Donny stepped in, pushing his two sons apart. Mikey lost his new-found balance and went sprawling.
“That is enough,” Donny roared.
Both brothers were breathing hard, Gerard clutching his nose and Mikey’s lip bled sluggishly. Donna went to the crying girl sitting on the ice, but she couldn’t seem to snap Braelyn out of the silent sobbing fit.
“Mikey,” she called to her son. “I believe you are needed here.”
“I’m sorry, sir.” A skate guard had arrived. “Fighting is not tolerated. I’m going to have to ask all of you to leave.”
“Of course,” Donny replied. He grabbed Gerard’s arm and began to tow him off the ice.
Meanwhile, Mikey had made his way over to his mother and Braelyn. He pushed his incredible anger at Gerard out of his mind to focus on her. “Hey, babe,” he sat next to her as his mother went to ask the skate guard for a few moments so Braelyn could pull herself together. When she didn’t respond to him, Mikey gently took her head in his hands and turned it so he could see her face. He recognized the look in her eyes. It was the look she had when she would wake from nightmares screaming and thrashing. “Hey. It’s ok. Look at me. Everything’s fine. Todd’s not here.” He saw the fog clear from her gaze. “Come on, we have to get off the ice.”
Somehow he managed to get both himself and Braelyn back to the bleachers. He was trying to get her to talk and the fact that he couldn’t get her to worried him immensely. When she didn’t make a move to unlace her skates, Mikey knelt in front of her and did it for her. He slid her boots onto her feet then pulled her to her feet, wrapping an arm around her.
That seemed to do it. Braelyn leaned into him,sighed, then mumbled, “Sorry. Just things...”
Mikey kissed her temple and they began to follow Donna to the rental counter, then out of the building. As they walked, Mikey murmured back, “Nothing to be sorry for. Everything’s fine.”
Well, fine was probably not the correct word. When Donna, Mikey and Braelyn came within sight of the car they saw Donny there yelling at Gerard. While on some level, Braelyn knew that Gerard deserved it. Hell, she wanted to yell at him. How dare he?! Just grab her like that. And, what made it worse, was that Gee knew. He knew what had happened to her. But he did it anyway. And then, Mikey hitting him. The whole thing had thrown her into a hole. She knew that since those feelings were so fresh, going near the shouting, no matter how justified, was not a good idea. She slowed to a stop. Donna looked back when she realized Mikey and Braelyn weren’t keeping up anymore. Mikey just shook her head and told her they’d be right there. Standing there on the sidewalk, Mikey gathered Braelyn to him. Her head buried in his chest, tears began leaking out of her eyes again. Tears of relief, not of fear. Here, in Mikey’s arms, she knew she was safe.
She pulled away just enough to look up at him. “Sorry. That was intense.”
He wiped her face. “Yeah it was. Are you ok?”
“I think so. I just had a flashback.”
“I noticed,” he said with a small smile.
Braelyn noticed Mikey’s bleeding lip and the bruise forming on his cheek. She ran her hand lightly down his face. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine. Now that you’re alright, I might have to go kick his ass some more.” Mikey’s anger had returned. “What the fuck was he doing?”
“First, I have no idea what he was doing. You’re brother is a troubled soul. He does crazy things. Second, I think your father is berating him enough. I’m sure your mom would be pleased if there were no more fisticuffs this Christmas.”
“But he scared you. Not to mention that he’s trying to steal my girlfriend.”
“Well, good news, he can’t steal me. And I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t be mad, you should. So be mad. Bicker with him. Ignore him. Whatever. Just no more hitting ok. I can’t stand the hitting.” She hadn’t realized that she was crying again.
“Shhhh.” Mikey kissed her forehead. “No more hitting. I promise.”
She nodded, her face again in his coat. When she pulled away this time, she wiped her own face. Braelyn looked over to the car. Gerard was being ordered into the front seat, then Donny was waving at them.
“Ready?” Mikey asked.
“Yup.” They began to walk towards the car again, Mikey’s arm around her, Braelyn running her fingers underneath her eyes to wipe away the smeared makeup. They climbed into the backseat, Braelyn again in the middle with Mikey on one side and, this time, with Donna on the other. After buckling up, Braelyn leaned into Mikey’s hold, closing her eyes and taking a couple of deep breaths. Donna mouthed ‘Is she ok?’ to her son over while Braelyn’s eyes were closed. Mikey nodded and mouthed back ‘Don’t worry about it.’ The rest car ride was silent.
A/N: So happy for all the reviews! Thanks to Abbie, Melody, and Nicole! And new review T! Yay I'm glad you found my story and that you like it! Melody be careful, these ladies love their Miclyn haha. Anyway, I hope everyone likes this chapter too! SOOOOO DRAMATIC. GO REVIEW! hearts corri