It's time to bid a final farewell to a fallen brother...
So I promised quicker updates and I'm finally delivering on it! Um this chapter might make you guys sad, it made me sad writing it. Do any of you get emotional when you write? I dunno, anyway I was wondering if you guys could tell me your favourite part so far? I'm just curious also please R&R if you enjoyed it and thank you for reading!
The song for this chapter is Who wants to live forever? By Queen
The night was long, filled with tears and heavy silences only broken by shaky sobs. The only light that fell into the room was the rising morning sun, reminding them all that the man they had come to cherish was gone and never coming back. Dani had curled herself into Mikey's lap, sobbing into his shirt until finally she fell asleep, her thin frame still trembling in shock and disbelief. Her boyfriend had simply cradled her, tears spilling down his own cheeks as he thought of Ray and smiling at his final message. Ray would have been proud to have him as a son but Mikey just felt blessed to have the older man in his life.
Frank had held Gerard tight as he cried. The anguish and pain of losing his best friend crippling his heart and breaking it repeatedly, the knowing he wasn't going to walk through the door and tell them what to do tearing him apart. In a small way Gerard had taken comfort in Ray's words about his love with Frank, he already knew he wasn't letting Frank go but now he was going to cling tighter. Several times he caught his lovers gaze and smiled briefly before laying his head back down onto his chest and letting the tears fall freely. Eventually Gerard stood and walked to the front door, calling out that he'd be back and stepping outside. He squinted his eyes a little at the early morning light, lifting a hand to shield them as he looked out over the drive. A tear rolled down his already stained cheeks as he remembered carrying Ray inside and up the stairs, laying him down on his bed for one last night. He shook the thought from his mind and started toward his car, shrugging off his jacket as the sun beat down on his back.
Gerard climbed into the car and took in his reflection, the redness of his eyes and the tear tracks marking his face weren't very suprising to him. He didn't really care how he looked so started the car and pulled out into the road, fumbling with the radio until he heard a song that reminded him of his fallen friend and pulled over.
"There's no time for us
There's no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us
Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?..."
Gerard sang at the top of his lungs, his voice breaking a little with fresh tears running down his cheeks as he thought of the way Ray could talk for hours about the band. He would walk around singing their songs to himself, pulling the poses of his favourite frontman when he thought nobody was watching. This song, Gerard felt, was the perfect tribute. The perfect way to say goodbye and as the song drew to a close he pulled the car out from the roadside and headed toward town, knowing exactly where he was going.
The streets of town bustled with people heading to work and early bird shoppers, Gerard thought in a small way it was funny the way everybody else's worlds just keep on spinning while another persons is falling apart. He parked a little unevenly in front of a convenient store and rubbed his hands across his face before stepping out and walking through the automatic doors, the greeter asking him if he was okay as he entered. Gerard nodded and continued to where he wanted to be, grabbing the few things he needed and paying hurriedly.
Frank paced back and forth in front of the window, briefly glancing at the now sleeping Mikey before pacing and watching again. The sun had risen fully now, drying the last of the rain and casting a beautiful glow across the sky. He took one last look at the sleeping figures on the sofa and wandered out into the front yard, breathing in the fresh air of the morning and taking in his surroundings. He noticed a homemade swing hanging from a tree just to the side of the house, barely realising he had begun to walk toward it. Slowly he reached out, running his fingers down the thick twisted rope and tentatively grasping it. Suddenly startled by a branch snapping behind him he turned to find Gerard, he hadn't even heard the car pull into the drive
"I made that for Mikey just before dad died, after he was gone he'd come out here and just sit alone for hours. It was comforting to him I guess..."
"I always wanted to use one of these..."
"You never played on a swing?"
"I was never allowed too, by the time I left St. Michaels I figured I was too old"
"Sit, I'll push you. The feeling of air rushing through your hair, the breeze in your face, it gives you this amazing feeling...like a sense of freedom, try it"
Frank felt unsure but sat down anyway, gripping the rough gnarled ropes tightly as Gerard pushed him gently. He closed his eyes as he felt the wind blowing through his hair softly, Gerard pushing him higher and higher. This was something so new and incredible, it was like he was a little boy again finally getting the freedom he had desperately craved. The feeling began to crush him, he found it hard to breathe. That little boy was a person he was trying to leave behind, not a person he wanted to become. Without really realising he let go of the rope, crashing down to the ground. His eyes remained shut as he was pulled up into Gerard's lap, scared that if he opened them his lover would see that he hadn't left his old self behind.
"Baby, look at me please..."
"Why?...please tell me..."
"Ray asked me to win this, to defeat my father and save my mortality but what if I can't? I'm still the scared kid, I know you said I'm not anymore but its true...what if I cant win?"
"Open your eyes..." Frank took a deep breath and slowly allowed his eyes to slip open, meeting the warm gaze of Gerard "That little boy may be still inside you but its just even more important to win. Do it for us, do it for Ray and Father Bryar but more importantly do it for yourself and the little boy...do it for the freedom you always wanted" The older man leaned down and softly captured his lovers lips in his own for a moment before pulling away and smiling softly. He moved to lay down with Frank still snuggled against his chest, staring at the sky until eventually their eyes slipped shut. Falling asleep on the luscious green grass under the warm rays of the sun.
Gerard groaned as someone softly shook him, awakening him from his slumber. He winced as he stretched, the hard ground making his back stiffen. Eventually he peeled open his eyes, finding Frank smiling softly at him "Hey Frankie..."
"Hey baby...kinda stiff huh? Sleeping outside does that to you, I ran you a bath to relax your muscles..." Gerard sat up and smiled at Frank's thoughtfulness. He allowed himself to be pulled to his feet and winced again as his back made a cracking noise, hoping the bath would sort him out. Frank took Gerard's hand in his own and began guiding him toward the house, taking his time as not to hurt the older man.
Once inside Frank set about helping Gerard into the tub, the hot water instantly relaxing the older man as he allowed himself to slip further into the bath. The two men remained silent for a while as Frank removed his own shirt and kneeled down by the tub, cupping his hand into the water and gently pouring the hot liquid onto Gerard's chest. A question reeled around Franks mind and without realising he had said it out loud
"What happened to Ray's wife?" Gerard closed his eyes and sighed, the thought of his departed friends pain freshening itself in his mind. He looked up into his lovers eyes and felt a sting through his heart as he briefly considered what it must feel like to lose the one you love
"Christa and Ray had been together since they were just kids, they met at her parents funeral when they were barely fourteen years old. It was a car accident, his grandma raised him and knew the family. They got married right out of high school and he loved her so much Frankie, she was his whole world. He never talked about her much but when he did you could see it in his eyes, she had been his everything. Especially after his grandmother died.
Anyway Christa had gone grocery shopping, about six months before we even met Ray, and didn't come back. The police showed up on his doorstep about 2 days later saying they had found her, they'd discovered her car outside the store he told them she'd gone to and searched the surrounding area. They discovered her body in some nearby woodland, they said it had been an animal attack but Ray knew better. Father Bryar had called him after seeing what happened and called Ray asking to meet, at first he refused but then in his search to find what had taken his wife he found us fighting the thing he was searching for. That's when he joined us"
Frank sat silently as Gerard spoke, still gently running his hands over his lovers chest. He tried to think of something to say, the air becoming thick with unsure tension "We should bury them together, its where he belongs. Maybe that way their souls will find each other?" Gerard sat up and gently kissed Franks forehead
"I was already planning too..."
It was late afternoon when they all drove over to the cemetary where Christa was buried, the sun still warm and the sky still bright. Mikey and Frank dug down into the grave, they dug until they had uncovered her coffin. Together they wrenched open the lid, the smell escaping caused them to gag a little but they pushed the sickness aside. Gerard carefully scooped Ray's body into his arms, as Dani watched on unable to do anything, and gently lowered him down for Mikey and Frank to grab him and lay him inside.
The men stood still and silent for a minute before moving to close the lid, Dani suddenly stoppung them. She unclasped the necklace from around her neck, twisting the heart between her fingers one last time, and passed it down to Mikey who then placed it in Ray's cold hand. They all took one last look at their friend in his eternal slumber before closing the lid, sealing the man with his beloved forever.
Once the grave had been filled in the group sat around it, Gerard wandering over to the car and playing a CD he'd taken from Ray's bedroom. Mikey began laughing to himself as the first track filled the air, a memory entering his mind and making him laugh harder. Gerard smirked at his younger brother, handing him a can of soda and moving to sit by Frank
"What you laughing at?"
"Remember the time we came downstairs and found Ray with the vacum in one hand and a feather duster in the other? He didn't realise we were watching him...you should'a seen his face..."
"I remember that! He looked like he was gonna kill us! Oh man, he fucking loved Queen, Bryan May was his idol...I'm gonna miss that..."
The group sat well into the late hours just laughing and talking, each person telling their favourite memories of their time with Ray. Frank laughed along with them, not saying much but feeling he didn't need to. He thought to himself how an outsider looking in would probably see their laughter as disrespectful, not realising that they were celebrating the time they had shared with the man.
Finally after raising a toast to the deceased, they all piled into the car. Frank climbing into the passenger side as the two younger sat in the back, sleep beginning to take over them. Gerard pulled open the drivers door before taking one last glance at the grave, his eyes widened as he looked at two people walking toward each other. He rubbed his eyes and looked back at the scene, he couldn't be sure it was real but he knew that the male figure was Ray and the other was his wife, their hands connected and in the blink of an eye they were gone.
Gerard grinned and stepped into the car looking over at Frank who had a dreamy look on his face "What you thinking about?"
"I was wondering if Ray and Christa will ever find each other..." Gerard looked back at the burial sight and smiled softly before turning around and starting the car
"I get the feeling they already have..."