After a suicide attempt gone wrong, Gerard Way finds himself in the paralysis ward of a hospital, with a life that’s no better than before. His only escape is the strange world he enters through ...
Gerard wants the boy with the scorpion tattoo.
He squeezes his eyes shut and opens them again, but the blank walls continue to stare down at him. A nurse with a flushed face comes in. She leans over him to rearrange his pillows, and she smells of roses and cigarette smoke. She puts pills in Gerard’s mouth and tells him to swallow, and he does. At least he thinks he does.
When she’s gone Gerard lays and listens to the low beep of his heart rate monitor. He wonders what the nurse does when she’s not tending to people like Gerard. He wonders where she goes for her coffee break. Eventually all that wondering makes him tired again, and he sinks back into unconsciousness.
Frank walks ahead of him in the barley field. He’s short and the stems of the golden barley come up to his waist, and it parts of its own accord to let Frank through. Gerard walks behind, watching him. Frank’s twirling happily through the crop and with the setting sun in his hair Gerard thinks he looks beautiful.
“Come on Gerard, spin with me!” He throws his arms out again and twirls in the light summer breeze. Frank is happy about just about everything. Gerard doesn’t feel like spinning, he just wants to walk and feel the ground beneath him with every step. It’s something he can’t do anymore.
Frank finally stops and Gerard goes to stand beside him, and even when he’s stood still energy buzzes within Frank. The two of them stare off into the distance where the sun is about to dip below the horizon. The earth is flat here. Gerard doesn't know why. They stand bathed in orange light, and Frank glances sideways at Gerard. He’s got this faraway look in his eyes, and Frank can see the haze of the horizon reflected in them. He takes Gerard’s hand.
“Things will be okay,” Frank says quietly. Gerard doesn't say anything, but he smiles. Just a little.
The next time Gerard wakes its dark outside. The pale green curtain around his bed is slightly open and with the way his head is propped up he can see the endless dark sky outside the window. Each car that passes the hospital casts a red light across the ceiling, lingering a moment and then racing away. He can hear a group of drunken women on their way home. He can hear someone being sick two beds down.
Gerard wishes he could get out of his bed and look out the window properly. He wishes he could open it and run away. But being paralysed from the neck down means Gerard will never get out of bed, or dance, or draw, or make coffee, or have sex again. He will never walk again, and it almost makes him wish he hadn’t done it. Almost.
His family tell him to hang in there, to hold on, but that’s not what Gerard wants. He wants to let go and fun free with the Frank from his dreams that seem so real. Gerard desperately wants to go back to sleep but his body doesn’t agree, and he can’t even toss and turn. He just watches the car tail lights dash across the ceiling, and wishes for something better.
His mother would be back to visit soon. Or Mikey. Gerard doesn't like Mikey to see him like this but he doesn't really have an option, and he would never turn him away.
Especially since he might not make it.
Gerard opens his eyes to a field full of pale pink grass. It’s mostly fields here, full of beautiful wild flowers or long grasses in unusual shades, broken up by mountains or hills or the occasional empty house. Gerard knows Frank prefers to sleep in the open though. The stars are nearer, and if you walk to the crumbling edge of the land you can look down onto other planets, pale white and ghosting through the sky. It’s different every time Gerard comes, and as always there’s only Frank here.
Frank is sprawled out across the grass on his tummy. He’s got his ankles crossed in the air displaying his scruffy converse, and his tight black t-shirt has ridden up showing glimpses of ink around his middle. Gerard drops to the ground beside him.
“Hey Gerard” he says happily, looking up at him with his perfect eyes and long dark eyelashes.
“Hey Frankie” Gerard says shyly, “What we doing today?”
“Drawing” Frank says casually. He’s got paper scattered in front of him with a big heavy book to lean on, and is frantically colouring with what appears to be crayons. Gerard smiles to himself. A place has been set for Gerard too, but with thick sketching paper and graphite pencils. He can feel the need to draw tingling in the palms of his hands, and he begins straight away.
The two of them are quiet for a while, and Gerard draws Frank. He draws his hands first from different angles, including the ink across his knuckles. He draws Frank’s legs because they still work, and on Gerard’s page Frank leaps and runs and dances. Sometimes he draws himself beside Frank, marvelling at his unbroken body, flexing his fingers and shaking his legs. Gerard wants to draw Frank kissing him, but Frank seems to have lost interest in working on his crayon dog, and stares at Gerard’s pages instead.
“I know you said you were an artist but wow…these are really good” Frank says, picking up one of the sheets. Gerard blushes.
“Thanks…I’ve missed doing this” he admits.
“I bet you were really successful,” Frank smiles. Gerard goes still.
“Yeah…something like that.”
Frank realises he’s touched on something sensitive, and shuffles closer to Gerard. “Gerard, why did you do it?” He slips his hand into Gerard’s graphite stained fingers, and Gerard’s heart beats faster. Gerard pulls away and stands up.
“Come on, let’s do something else,” he says, and Frank doesn’t argue.
For a while they simply walk in silence, until they reach the edge. Frank sits down on the crumbling ground and his legs dangle off into nothingness, and Gerard sits beside him. They stare down at the swirling galaxies below, a mixture of beautiful colours and stars that make up the strange sky.
“You’ve been coming here a lot” Frank says suddenly. Gerard nods. “I like it”
“I like it too, Frank” Gerard whispers. He hesitantly puts his arm around Frank, and relaxes when Frank rests his head on his shoulder. They stay like that until Gerard feels his eyes closing and his body slipping away.
Gerard opens his eyes and stares up at the white ceiling. He sighs. “Am I going insane?” He thinks. For Gerard there is no doubt that he would rather be with Frank than alive, but he knows that’s not healthy. He also knows that it could all be in his mind.
A tiny cough alerts him to the presence of Mikey, his younger brother, sitting in the chair beside his bed. He turns his head stiffly (the back of his head was badly cut and bandaged, but he’d been informed that he’d suffered no brain damage. Gerard wasn’t so sure about that) and smiles at him.
“Hey Gee. How do you feel?” Mikey asks timidly. He tilts his head to see Gerard through his glasses on the end of his straight nose, and his mousy hair flicks into his eyes.
“Fantastic.” Gerard says flatly.
“Sorry…stupid question.” They sit in silence for a moment. Gerard looks down and notices that Mikey is holding his hand, but Gerard can’t feel a thing. He needs Frank for that.
“You want some coffee?” Mikey asks, lifting his styrofoam cup from the nightstand. Gerard is suddenly very glad to have Mikey there. He doesn’t try to ask why Gerard did it, not like their Mother does. Mikey lifts the cup to Gerard’s lips and he swallows. He gets everything he needs through the tubes in his wrists, but it’s nice to have coffee.
“I love you Mikey, don’t ever forget that.”
“I love you too Gee, but don’t talk like you’re going away. We’ll get you home soon.” Mikey says, dragging his chair nearer. Mikey knows that might not happen though, that Gerard’s body is shattered and although he can’t feel it, it could give up. Gerard wishes Mikey could meet Frank.
“Who’s Frank?” Mikey asks. Shit. Gerard didn't think he’d said that out loud.
“No-one” he mutters.
For the next few hours they sit on the small bed with one of the hospitals battered monopoly boards balanced on Gerard’s useless legs, interrupted only by the nurse coming to check on Gerard and give him his pills. Gerard chooses the dog (because Frank likes dogs) and Mikey moves Gerard’s pieces and money for him. Mikey thinks he might be winning but Gerard drops back out of consciousness and then nothing really matters but watching the small smile on his sleeping brother’s face.
Gerard stands at the top of the waterfall beside Frank. A river gushes alongside them, weaving along until it plummets down into the lake below. Frank is eyeing it eagerly.
“Hey Frank, what you doing up here?”
“Hey you,” Frank smiles, but doesn't offer any answers. The sun is hot on Gerard’s back, and he wanders over to the edge of the river while frank studies the waterfall. He crouches down to see his reflection in its crystal clear surface, and he knows he looks a lot better than he does in the hospital. His black hair falls across his eyes and his skin is pale but not sickly, or ill, or bruised. There are no bandages and no bald patches where his hair had to be shaved. Gerard’s wearing a simple pair of jeans and a black t-shirt like Frank.
“Right then! Let’s do this” Frank says behind him, sounding excited. Gerard turns to see him pull his shirt up over his head and wiggle out of his jeans, revealing a perfectly toned body and many more tattoos. “You too”, Frank says, standing in his boxers. The idiots still got his shoes on.
Gerard slips out of his jeans but leaves his t-shirt on. He knows it’s stupid that someone whose body is damaged beyond repair can still be self-conscious of a little chubbiness, but he can’t help it. The two of them stand on the rocks at the edge of the waterfall and while Gerard knows anything seems to happen here, this is one of Frank’s more irrational plans. Apart from the time they made parachutes.
“I’ll count to three, okay?”
As the stands at the edge the situation is familiar to Gerard. But it’s a beautiful day in a beautiful place, and he’s got someone perfect beside him. He’s not alone with a one-way ticket (or so he thought) from the top of a building.
Gerard grabs Frank’s hand.
Frank is buzzing with excitement, and Gerard can’t help but grin.
They jump, and it’s nothing like before. Their arms reach for the sky, hands still entwined as they whoop. With the summer air rushing past him and Frank’s beautiful laugh filling his ears, Gerard’s never felt more alive in his whole life.
The water hits them out of no-where and they plunge underneath it, breaking apart as they kick for the surface. This time Gerard doesn't feel like the world has ended around him. He feels as if he’s hit the ground running. He emerges gasping for air a few meters from Frank.
“FRANK! That was amazing” He splashes through the water and flings his arms around the smaller man’s neck.
“I’VE NEVER FELT SO ALIVE!” Frank throws back his head and whoops again, and then slips his arms around Gerard’s waist. He’s still wearing his t-shirt and it sticks to his bare skin. Gerard shakes his hair and thousands of droplets spray Frank, making him shriek, but he doesn’t pull away. When they’ve finally calmed down they find themselves still entwined in each other, standing in the middle of a lake.
“You’re so pretty Gerard…” Frank whispers to him. Gerard blushes and looks down, tracing his fingers over the intricate pattern of Frank’s chest piece.
“I mean it” Frank says. He cups Gerard’s jaw softly and makes him meet his eyes. He’s got water droplets on his dark eyelashes. And just like that Gerard’s leaning forward and their lips meet, perfectly soft but intense, and it’s like they were always meant to do this. Frank pulls Gerard closer, tangling his fingers deep into his black hair.
And just like that he’s gone.
Gerard opens his eyes and curses.
“Fuck. FUCK YOU.” He slams his head back against the headboard and pain shoots through his skull. He wants to kick something, or rip the curtains off the rail around his bed, but he can’t do anything. Why did he have to wake up?
The nurse hurries in then and Gerard notices his mother, Donna, sitting stunned in the chair next to the bed. She sat half curled up, half upright, and her book’s dropped to the floor.
“Mr. Way, please remain calm,” the nurse says. Her hands go to the back of his head where his bandages are gathering fresh blood, but Gerard doesn’t want to be calm. He yanks his head furiously away from her and she takes a step back.
“Sweetie its okay, I think you had a bad dream,” his Mother says, on her feet now with one hand uselessly on his arm.
“Okay? What part of this is okay Mom? My life is fucking shit, and I can’t even commit suicide right! AND NOW I’M FUCKING PARALYSED. I don’t want to be here. I want to be with Frank.”
The nurse steps out as Gerard breaks down in tears. His Mom says nothing, she simply holds him while he sobs against her shirt. Eventually he’s ready for his nurse to come back and they sit in silence as she redresses his wounds.
“I’m sorry Mom,” he says once they’re alone again. “I’m so sorry for everything.”
“Don’t apologise honey, it’s going to be okay. I love you” she says, but she looks sad. Gerard feels like his throat is closing up.
“I love you too” he croaks. When night comes Donna kisses him goodnight and gathers her things, and Gerard sleeps.
When Gerard awakes this time, he’s standing at the edge of another field. In the middle stands an old fashioned carousel with painted horses and golden bars. Frank’s there looking sweaty and Gerard hurries towards him. He’s shirtless and oil covered, and is fiddling with something in the middle of the carousel, an open tool box beside him. He looks amazing.
“Hey there” Gerard grins.
“Gerard!” Frank hops down and wipes his hands on his jeans. “I knew you’d be back soon.” Gerard grabs his waist to pull him in for a quick kiss and Frank giggles.
“I’m sorry I went” he murmurs against Frank’s forehead.
“It’s okay, I know you can’t be here forever,” Frank says quietly.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m dead Gerard. This is where I am now.” Gerard nods. He guesses he knew that. Frank pulls away abruptly but keeps hold of his hand, dragging him over to the carousel. His hand feels solid in his and he desperately wants to believe that Frank’s not just a figment of his imagination.
“Look! I’ve just fixed her up!” Frank gestures proudly and Gerard laughs.
“Where do you find these things?” he asks, squeezing Frank’s hand.
“It’s all here, you just have to look. Come on I’ll give you a ride,” Frank says excitedly. Gerard giggles at how that sounds, and then rushes towards the horses.
He takes his time choosing which horse he wants. On closer inspection the horses aren’t as traditional as Gerard originally thought, and there’s almost a comic book element to their appearance. He walks slowly around, taking in the names painted on their necks. Jet Star…Kobra Kid…Mad Gear… Gerard walks until he spots one that says ‘Party Poison’. He lays a hand on its back and this one feels right. Its mane is painted pillar box red, and the body has a theme of white and blue.
“Taking your time, are we?” Frank grins. He hops on the horse next him called ‘Fun Ghoul’, and Gerard decides that’s exactly what he is.
“Have to make sure she’s right” Gerard grins back.
The carousel starts by itself, but at this point Gerard’s not surprised. Frank’s “fixing up” turns out to be replacing the traditional fairground music with something more hardcore, and making it rotate five times as fast. Gerard’s never been dizzier, and as they whip around he finds himself recalling the times he and Mikey would get high in the basement. Except this is so much better. Frank's whooping and pulling himself up to stand on the horses back and Gerard does the same, catching his eye and grinning. Through his dizziness he can make out the words ‘Art is the weapon’ painted on the golden bar rising from the horses back. Once again the plan is idiotic but it’s just so Frank, and Gerard feels free.
When the ride stops the two of them stagger uncontrollably and end up in a giggling heap on the floor. Frank’s lies on top of Gerard, and when the laughter dies down they stare at each other seriously. Frank reaches over and brushes Gerard’s hair out of his eyes.
“I don’t know how you get here Gerard, but I’m so glad you do,” Frank murmurs.
“I’m glad too,” Gerard whispers, putting his arms around Frank. “Is this place your heaven?” he asks.
“I think so. I think you’re meant for me, but you’re not dead” Frank says thoughtfully. Gerard likes the idea of being meant for someone.
“How come I get in sometimes then?”
“Maybe because in your mind you've already given up.” Gerard doesn't say anything, but he thinks about it for a long time. And he knows it’s true. After a while they get up and wander down to another lake. There’s a sandy beach with a row of brightly coloured beach huts, and the water is the colour of forget- me- not’s. The two of them lay together on the sand entwined in each other and stealing kisses until Gerard slowly disappears.
Please let me know what you think! There will be part 2 eventually, depending on how liked it is :)
Edit: Part two now up!