Mikey and Gerard go to the grocery store and on the way, have an interesting thought.
"Who cares? Can't I be happy for Gerard and his beautiful family?" Bob gave Charlotte another hug, she didn't mind. It was the same exact thing that happened when they told him they were getting married. Well, almost exactly, he hadn't jumped into his car and drove around the neighborhood screaming "Gerard's getting married!"
"So, what are you guys doing here?" Gerard turned to face the large group who had invited themselves inside his home.
"Well, it's a couple weeks till the holidays. We just thought it would be nice to spend time with you guys, but seeing as how we're not wanted we'll just go home, come on kids," Frank turned and waved his hand towards the door.
"Wait, your kids are here? Where are they haven't seen them in forever!" Two little boys a couple of years younger than Emma stepped from behind Mikey and Alicia. "Armando! Santino! Your dad's locks up in the basement for such long amounts of times, I tell ya!"
Armando and Santino almost looked like twins. Armando was short and stubby, just like his dad, while Santino was about as tall as Jamia. Santino was twelve years old, a couple of months older than Samantha and a year older than his brother. He had short brown hair that he always spiked and him and his brother had the same exact shade of green their father had. Armando had gotten a faux hawk last month and dressed like his Dad used to years back. He was just like Frank, personality and all, but then again they all took after Frank, but there was also a hint of Jamia in them, as well.
"Hey Gerard, hey Emma," Santino lifted his chin as a salutation to Emma and Charlie.
"Hi, Santino. I haven't seen you since Thanksgiving," she walked over and gave Santino a hug.
"Hey, man, I'm Charlie," Santino and Charlie slapped each others hands.
"Sup, hey take good care of Emma, she's like a sister to me, don't make me have to go mafia on you," they both laughed and Armando came up and introduced himself. Charlie could see every inch of the top of his head, Charlie was tall as it was but Armando was short for his age, so he went to about his rib cage.
"Hey, dude, same with me, we're all family here and we don't want anybody to get hurt," Charlie nodded understandingly, he figured it would be that way.
"Alright, so I was gonna grill you guys wanna call Ray and everybody up, have a party?" Gerard offered.
"Woo! Haven't been to one of those in a while!" Frank clapped his hands together.
"Par-Tay!" Bob added.
"Great, I'll call Ray!" Charlotte went into the kitchen followed by Alicia and Jamia, there squeals of excitement could be heard from two rooms away.
"My god, they make a lot of noise, am I gonna be like that some day?" someone from behind Emma and Charlie asked. Emma turned around, she seemed to be doing that a lot lately. A little brunette girl with the prettiest hazel eyes was looking up at her. Just from looking at her, you could tell she was smart, but there was a glint of mischief in her eyes, but it was friendly mischief. This could only be one person.
"Marina!" Emma picked up the little girl in her arms and showed her to Charlie.
"Charlie, this is Marina, she's Armando and Santino's little sister," Charlie smiled warmly.
"Hey, Marina," she blushed.
"He's cute," Marina whispered into Emma's ear.
"You're telling me," Emma laughed, Charlie put his arm around her and led them to the couch. Armando and Santino were already watching Disney Channel.
Gerard and the guys had been standing there watching them, without a word. Mikey had a protective hand on Gerard's shoulder, just in case, Bob was looking around the room with his stupid grin on, and Frank was watching Gerard closely. Gerard, however, had no intentions of acting any different than he did when he was surrounded by friends though. Somehow, he would just forget about every little thing that bothered him when there was a crowd, which was why singing was so important to him.
"You okay?" Mikey looked at his brother's eyes, they were completely laid back and he looked as if he really couldn't care less.
"Course! I gotta go to the grocery store and get the meat, you guys wanna come?" Everybody shook their heads "no" except Mikey.
"Yeah, let's go," Gerard nodded.
"Kay let me get my keys, first," Gerard entered the kitchen but retreated when the loud screams of Jamia and Alicia made his ears want to fall off. "The store's not too far, let's walk." Mikey laughed and followed his big brother out of the house and into the snow covered yard.
The cold had killed Charlotte's garden that was full of various flowers. Vibrantly colored tulips, daisy, and even a couple of blood red roses were planted as well. Gerard would always like to surprise Charlotte by picking one or two, on occasion. She would get mad at first, since they were so hard for her to grow, but she could never feel an ounce of fury within her when his lips pressed against her's.
"So, what's up? Usually, you'd just stay behind and chuck a snowball or two at Frank," Mikey gave a shy toothless smile.
"It's nothing, just wanted to hang with you. I mean, what up with you? You're having a baby and all!" Mikey put a good-natured hand on his brother's shoulder. Gerard smiled in return, his brother's happiness always seemed to be contagious.
"I don't know! It just that..." Gerard's smile faded and Mikey could feel him tense up. "Mikey, you can't tell anyone, especially Charlotte. She'd hate me my fucking guts...for all I know she might even leave me."
"Gerard, what is it? My god, please don't tell me you cheated," Mikey ran in front of Gerard, stopping him in his tracks, and looked up into his eyes.
"Mikey, you know I would never do that," Gerard looked as though his heart had just broken into pieces.
"Well, then what is it? Out with it!" Gerard looked at his shoes and heaved out a loud sigh.
"It's just I'm scared Mikey!" Gerard put a hand to his eyes and slowly brought it down his face. "I'm scared out of my fucking wits! I really thought I could handle a kid, you know, but now I'm starting to think, maybe its not such a good idea to have a kid right now...or ever."
Mikey's mouth was now agape, he never would have thought his brother would admit he didn't want a child, especially when his wife was already pregnant, "Gee, every dad feels this way, I was freaked out when Alicia told me about Sammy, but I was even more scared when I found out Samantha was having trouble breathing when she was first born, just because she inherited my asthma thing. See, Gee, kids are a scary thing, they always will be, but no matter what you're always gonna love 'em, but why am I telling you this? You have Emma!"
"Yeah, Mikey, but I adopted her when she could take care of herself. The kid that's in Charlotte's body right now has no clue about the world and its depending on me to teach it everything about it! I can't handle that, I just....." Gerard pushed past Mikey and stormed down the street.
"Gerard, get back here! You can't run forever!" Mikey ran down the street and tackled Gerard to the ground, landing on the soft, white ground of a neighbor's yard.
"Mikey, get off!" Gerard rolled over so he was on top of Mikey. "I can't do it! Maybe, its just best I leave for awhile."
Mikey used the same maneuver as Gerard so that he was back on top, "Gerard, you have a family, you can't fucking leave! You've handled the responsibilities for five years!" Mikey held up five fingers in front of Gerard's face. "You've pulled a hell of a lot of crap, but you've never THOUGHT something this evil! Do you even realize how fucking lucky you are to have women like that?! Charlotte is always perky and sweet, I love Alicia and all but sometimes she can be a pain in the ass. Emma! She may be going through some teenage rebellion thing, but she's made a lot of good choices! She's with Charlie, for love of Frank! He's the best thing that's happened to any of you. You can actually trust him in a bedroom, of all places, alone with your daughter, if that's not a fucking miracle I don't know what is. But Gerard, I only say this 'cause I love you, man. GET OVER IT! It's not like it's just you and the baby. Charlotte will be there, Emma will be there, I will be there! But, please don't do something you're gonna regret, they're worth a hell of a lot more than you're thinking they are right now," Mikey slowly got off of Gerard, both of them had calmed down a lot. Mikey held out his hand to Gerard. After a brief moment Gerard grabbed it and felt his weight lessen. Without a word, Gerard pulled his brother in for a hug.
"Thanks, Mikey. Man, without you I would have made the biggest mistake of my life. Thanks bro," Mikey patted his back and pulled away from the brotherly squeeze.
"No problem dude. And let's not scare anyone, you know, keep this to ourselves," Gerard nodded, he was worried his brother would rat him out, but of course, he wasn't thinking too clearly lately.
"Come on, let's go before everyone thinks something happened."
"Didn't something happen?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Gerard answered smartly.