"Not with my coin-operated boy."
Donna had tried to get Gerard to invite their father, but he refused. After what his father said when he called to let him know that Mikey was dead, he wanted nothing to do with that old man. Even though his son was dead, he still called Mikey a faggot, still disowned him for being different.
Lindsey was grasping Gerard’s hand as the minister continued on and on with the typical funeral ramblings that he really didn’t mean. Gerard kept his eyes on his baby brother’s casket, wanting nothing more than to see his brother sit up and say that he was okay. It would never happen, and he knew that, but he didn’t want to accept it.
Finally, the minister left the podium. Gabe’s younger brother, Ricardo, took it and began to speak.
“My older brother was loud, obnoxious, and as flamboyant as his husband was quiet,” Ricardo said, “But that’s exactly what made him Gabe Saporta. If you hated him, he was totally cool with that. He didn’t care if you liked him or not- he would always be himself. I guess that’s why I wasn’t surprised when he flat-out told our parents that he was gay. It wasn’t a long, thought-out confession, either… he literally just said, ‘I’m gay, and I don’t care if you like it or not.’ I remember mom just laughed at the way he came out and dad didn’t even look surprised.”
If this wasn’t a funeral, Gerard would probably be laughing. Ricardo had pretty much nailed it when it came to describing Gabe.
“-He and Mikey were friends since they were in high school. He gave him bass lessons and they talked about stereotypical guy stuff, sans women, since Gabe had come out a little while before they met. When Mikey came out of the closet, he was one of the people who reminded him that it was okay to be yourself, even if your father didn’t like it. It was inevitable that they’d end up together-”
Gerard stopped listening to Ricardo’s heartfelt statement as soon as he mentioned Gabe and Mikey’s relationship. It was still a sore subject, after all.
Gerard glanced to the back of the room, where Mikey’s ghost stood. He had a hard time imagining how strange it was to attend one’s own funeral. He gave Mikey a concerned look before returning his attention back to the podium.
Ricardo was finished, so Pete took the podium. It was evident that he had been crying quite a bit. He gave a shaky sigh before speaking.
“Mikey and I have been friends since we were in diapers. We’ve known each other for our entire lives, and it’s all thanks to our mothers. If they hadn’t been friends, we wouldn’t have been friends. I loved him like a brother- still do. When my mom died of cancer and my dad killed himself, he was there for me. I became an official member of the Way family and had the best younger brother I could’ve ever asked for.” A small smile played on Pete’s lips as he recalled a particular memory. “I… I think I might have been one of the reasons he chose his career. I became a detective, like Gerard, and he went to medical school just in case we’d need him. He didn’t complain when I’d wake him up at some ungodly hour with a gunshot wound that needed to be stitched up. He just smiled and said that I needed to be more careful.
“I’m not going to have that anymore. I’m not going to be able to drop in when he’s on break to talk about something other than crime and medical stuff. I’m not going to be there to help him decide what to get for Gabe’s birthday, or which poor little cat he should adopt from the shelter. We’re not going to go to the bar or the club together and drink and sing along to Freelance Whales and Arcade Fire… I miss that. I miss him. It’s thanks to the sick bastard that killed him that we don’t have Mikey Way here with us today. I can only hope that he’s happy in the afterlife, in the arms of the one he fell in love with.”
Pete left the podium, but didn’t go back to his seat right away. He paused at Mikey’s casket and mumbled something to his corpse, something Gerard didn’t hear… but he had a pretty good about what it was that Pete said.
Since nobody approached the podium, Gerard decided that now would be a good time to say what he had to say. As he stood, Lindsey gave his hand a reassuring squeeze. Reluctantly, he let go of her hand and took his place behind the podium.
“Even before Mikey was born,” Gerard began, “I knew that I’d like being an older brother. Unlike most siblings-to-be, I was ecstatic to see my little brother. I don’t remember it too clearly, since I was two when my mom told me that I was getting a kid brother, but she always told me that I talked to him while he was still in the womb. It wasn’t much, since you can only say a limited amount of words at two years and nine months, but she thinks that these little ramblings may have been a factor in my closeness to Mikey. We just… we /got/ each other. We didn’t need to explain anything, we just understood it. We sort of had this weird telepathic connection or something that made it easy to guess what was on each other’s minds. I suspected Mikey was gay about a month or so before he came out, and he pretty much knew Lindsey was pregnant by the way I was acting when I went to tell him seven months ago.”
Gerard glanced back at Mikey for a moment before continuing. “Thinking about my soon-to-be little girl is hard… Mikey came up with her name, after all. He was just as excited as I was when we discussed her for the first time. Bandit’s gonna remind me of my baby brother, I know it. When she asks about the kid in the glasses in the picture that sits on my desk at home, I’ll tell her all about the uncle she never got to meet and how much he meant to me. I’ll tell her about how we knew each other as well as the backs of our hands and what prompted us to take our respective career paths. I’ll tell her about the kind, caring man who will always remain that eight-year-old in the goofy glasses in my mind and how he could light up some poor soul’s day in the intensive care unit with a simple smile. And when she’s older… I’m sure she’ll ask about this day. I’ll tell her, and she’ll move on to help people- and I’ll encourage it.
“Even to the end, Mikey and I remained close. Not even a day before his death, it was a normal day- we just discussed ideas for what he and Gabe could do for their anniversary… which, sadly, is tomorrow.” Gerard paused to wipe a few tears away. “So long and good night, baby brother… I’ll never forget you.”
“October's got those orange eyes
But somehow I still lost sight
When you lifted the lid off of my pumpkin head
And kissed me goodnight”
Gerard wanted to turn of the music that Pete had playing in the mostly-dead station, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. It had been one of Mikey’s favorite songs, so listening to it nearly brought a tear to his eye. However, it was Pete’s way of coping... Gerard knew that he had no right to take that away.
“This was the first Freelance Whales song that we were introduced to,” Pete sighed, attempting to break the silence. “We were at the bar, trying to get our minds off of a particularly horrible case, and this song came on. We didn’t know who it was by or what it was called, and neither did anyone in the bar, but Mikey had taken the time to find out. It sort of became our song.”
“The stitches in your winter clothes
Your cello bows
We stole your hair to make them
We're sorry for the iron shoes
We nailed to you
And stuck you in the rain
And then you sprinted away”
“It’s… it’s really hard to listen to it… but it helps me remember the person that Mikey was,” Pete said, wiping a few tears away. “It reminds me that I need to solve this case.”
Gerard couldn’t find the words to properly reply to Pete’s broken words. Instead, he pulled Pete into a tight embrace, the same kind that he always used on Mikey during those nights when their father would try to beat his sexual preference out of him.
Gerard glanced up and saw Mikey’s ghost. Mikey looked torn, as though he were wondering whether or not he should make his presence known to Pete. He apparently chose the latter, as he gave Gerard a sad look and disappeared again.
“And you saw something I did not in that night
You saw something I did not in that night”