The ice is slowly beginning to melt between Gerard and Monica, but what about Bert???
Ray showed up a bit late but has happily welcomed by Donna. Monica was in awe of how she made everyone feel like family. Bob and Mikey came with Alicia who was Mickey's girlfriend. She too seemed very nice and it was obvious how much she and Mikey meant to each other.
Seeing all these happy people sort of made Monica a bit sad. She and her girls had no close friends anymore, no family. As she stood by the kitchen counter after helping with the dinner dishes Donna came over to her and surprised her by enveloping her in a hug. Monica paused a moment then hugged her in return. "You can be part of this family," she whispered. Once again she had read Monica's thoughts. Not trusting her voice at the moment Monica could only smile.
After Donna left for the family room Monica noticed that Gerard who was sitting at the kitchen table had watched the encounter. He looked puzzled. Most of the people had left and around the table with him were Ray, Bob, Mikey, and Frank. Kelly and Kara were watching TV with Donna, Alicia and Jamia. Deciding the guys were probably going to talk together she took a glass of water and started to leave the kitchen.
"Monica, why all the flowers from Bert?" Mikey asked.
She turned back to the table to see all eyes were on her. Damn she didn't want to discuss this especially with Gerard staring at her. "He and I met at the charity event you guys couldn't make"
"We hated having to cancel like that" Bob said while the others nodded in agreement. "However when your plane get diverted there just isn't much to do"
"Yea it was too bad but The Used filled in so it wasn't a complete disaster for the charity" Monica told them.
"You and Bert close then?" Gerard asked. His tone was without emotion.
Monica tried to decide how to handle this. Honesty was probably best. Not always the easiest but the best. She walked over to the table and sat in the last empty seat. She lowered her voice. "I don't want your mother to hear this story, OK?"
"Sure" Mikey answered. Gerard's eyes narrowed a bit.
Taking a deep breath Monica began, "After The Used performed they came out and talked with the people at the event. I was sitting at a table with your mom and her friend Connie when Bert came over. He spoke with your mom for a few moments then looked at me. Donna introduced us and he asked me to dance. I'm not a good dancer but I didn't want to seem rude so I did. While we were dancing he asked how I knew your mom and I told him I was staying with her. I told him I was living in the basement." She paused and took a drink of water. "After a few moments Bert made a, well Bert made a suggestion that was to say the least inappropriate. "
Frank laughed, "Wow, imagine that"
"Bert suggested something inappropriate to a pretty woman?" Ray joined in the laughter.
"Go on" Gerard said. He clasped his hands together waiting.
"Well let's just say I wasn't rude but I told him to get bent"
More laughter from the guys and this time even Gerard seemed to smile. Monica waited a moment then continued the story. "I went back over to the table and sat down. Bert looked confused and just stood there a moment. Next thing I knew he was walking over to the table. Donna was talking to Connie and didn't seem to notice. Bert came over and stood by me, bent down and said something"
This wasn't an easy story to tell with Gerard staring at her. "What did he say?" he wanted to know.
Monica took another drink before answering, "He said something and I didn't want your mom to hear so.....I decked him" She said the last part all in one breath.
The guys just looked at her for a moment. "You decked him as in you hit him?" Bob asked
"Knocked him out" Monica acknowledged.
Now they were just staring at her and she thought perhaps she should explain a bit better. "What he was saying was something that I really didn't want Donna to hear and since she was right there at the table I reacted the only way I could think of that would make him shut up"
"One punch and you knocked him out" Ray looked surprised.
Monica didn't want to say she had learned self-defense to save her life. That part of her life was dead and buried. Best just to let them think it was a lucky punch. "Yea, he hit the ground just as your mom turned around. I said he passed out."
The kitchen was quiet a moment. Then the questions began. "He was making a pass at you so you hit him?" Gerard asked.
"There was a bit more to it than that " Monica wondered why he always seemed to get on her nerves. She decided to tell them the whole truth. "Bert leaned down and said to me that he" she trailed off.
"He... What?" Ray said waiting
She took a deep breath and blurted it out "He said he could do the same thing to me that he had done to Gerard and that I would scream like Gerard did"
Monica was not expecting the laughter that erupted around the table. She just sat there looking at them. Finally Gerard spoke "God, that is sooo Bert"
"So Bert?" she asked
"He would say something like that," Gerard told her. "I know you were trying to keep my mom from hearing it but she has known Bert long enough not to have been shocked by it"
Monica didn't know what to say. Frank put his head on the table and shook with laughter. He finally could talk "Oh, that is just great. Monica was protecting Gerard's reputation"
"I was not." She frowned. "It has nothing to do with his reputation" she nodded in Gerard's direction. "I just didn't want Donna to be upset"
Bob chimed in "So Bert hit the floor and you told everyone he passed out, that is priceless"
Monica was getting upset they thought this was so funny. She rose from the table but Gerard reached out and touched her arm. "Please don't leave, we'll stop laughing"
More upsetting than them laughing was the warm, pleasant feeling his hand had on her arm. She brushed it off. Gerard Way hated her so no warm fuzzy thoughts towards him. He actually looked hurt for just a brief moment then looked away. Monica sat back down.
"So did you believe him?" Gerard questioned, "Wonder if what he was saying was really true?"
She looked over at him. He was taunting her. "You know Gerard I really couldn't care less if it was true or not, makes no difference to me. I just didn't think the description he was launching into was what your mom should hear.'
She was shocked when he laughed, "That was the nicest way anyone has ever told me to get bent. The others laughed too. She was even more shocked when he added "Sorry about giving you a hard time"
Before she could reply Mikey spoke "I still don't get it you knock out Bert and now he keeps sending you flowers?"
Monica looked at the arrangement that had just arrived before the first dinner guests. She sighed and blew the bangs out of her green eyes. "Yes, he keeps sending flowers. Weird thing is I haven't spoken to him and the only thing on the card with the flowers is "Love Bert". I really wish he would quit"
Donna walked into the kitchen stopping the conversation. "What are you all laughing at in here?"
Only silence from the table. Finally Ray answered, "Oh we were just telling Monica a story from out first tour" Donna didn't look like she quite believe it but didn't say anything.
Not long after that everyone took off. Kelly and Kara were already downstairs and Monica was just putting away the last of the dry dishes. Donna had already gone to bed. Monica closed the cabinet. There stood Gerard watching her. It was sort of scary how he could walk into a room without making a sound. She stared to leave the kitchen when he spoke.
"It was sweet of you to try to protect mom"
She wasn't expecting him to say something nice. He continued to look at her almost without blinking. His stare was intense.
"Donna is one of the nicest people I have ever met" she answered honestly, "she treats me like a daughter" She took a step closer to him "my own mother died recently and it has been wonderful having Donna befriend me"
He continued to stare making Monica slightly uncomfortable. His emotions were hard to read. His face was almost angelic especially with the blond hair framing it. When he spoke it was softly "goodnight Monica sleep well"
She had reached the bottom of the steps when she heard him add "in my bed".