The band reaches Denver following a very emotional trip. Bert calls with news for Monica.
"I'll take care of it Ray. Shit, I agree. It's tragic that Monica lost her husband that way. And if she is sure it was her husband's sister I will look into what can be done about her spreading shit like that. But this has the potential to get ugly. If she hates Monica that much then the tabloids will pick up on it."
"So what do you suggest?" Ray was in the back practice lounge. Everyone was giving Gerard and Monica time to be alone. Last time he saw they were still sitting together on the sofa simply holding each other. They were all still worried about Monica. She had finally faced her demons but it would take time to heal the mental wounds.
"Ray?" Brian had said something and Ray had missed it.
"Yea, I'm still here"
" I asked how Monica is doing. Jerry told me about the trip to the Emergency Quick Care. Is she feeling better?"
"She's still not great but better.
"How long until you reach Denver?" Brian asked.
"We should be there soon. We've been on the road over eight hours." Ray looked up to see Mikey walk in.
"Well I'll talk to you tonight. Tell Gerard not to worry. I think the best thing we can do now is just confirm that they are dating. When it does come up about her husband we'll just state the truth, that he drown."
"Thanks man, I'll tell Gerard." He closed his phone.
"That Brian?" Mikey asked, sitting down across from him.
"Yea, I told him about that post on YouTube and he is gonna see about getting it deleted."
"You tell him anything else?" Mikey asked watching his friend's expression.
"What we know stays between us. We all promised Monica and that's how it will stay. If she hadn't fallen through the ice trying to save him that fucker would have killed her." He paused and lit a cigarette. "I just feel so fucking bad for her. The guilt she has been living with. That's why she tried for so long not to fall in love with your brother. She really believed she was damned."
Mikey nodded, "And she was afraid that something like this would happen. That the press would get a hold of the story and somehow it would hurt Gee."
Frank wandered in "Talk to Brian?" he asked Ray.
"Taken care of. How are they?"
"Just sitting there. I think Monica is asleep. Gee is just holding her. Shit, I just can't believe what she has gone through."
"It will get better for her now. Gee loves her. He told me the day we took her to the doctor that he wants to marry her." Mikey confided to them.
"They both deserve some fucking happiness," Ray said. "Lets just hope this shit with Liv gets settled."
"Brian hear anything about that?" Frank asked.
"He said that until Liv makes a move there is nothing to do. She told Bert she would go to the press but she hasn't. She hasn't tried to get a hold of Gerard so it's just a waiting game." Ray shook his head, "Man, I hate that woman."
He was surprised by Mikey's response, "I always sort of felt sorry for her."
"What are you talking about? She almost destroyed your brother. Got him hooked on drugs, screwed around on him, caused him and Bert to hate each other." He would have continued but Mikey broke in.
"But she loved him" he said quietly.
"Shit, Mikey, what are you talking about? The woman used him."
Mikey shook his head, "Yea, she did a lot of horrible shit but did you ever watch her look at Gee when she thought no one else was watching? It was like she hated herself so much she tried to destroy anything that would make her happy."
Frank thought about what Mikey said, "She tried to destroy herself with the drugs, she almost destroyed Gerard. I don't know Mikey I think you just try too hard to see some good in everyone. I don't think there was any good in Liv ever."
Mikey shrugged, "Doesn't matter now. Gee has Monica."
Gerard walked in looking tired and worn, "Did you talk to Brain?" he asked
"He said not to worry" Ray reported, " How is Monica?"
"She is taking a shower. Look, I don't know how to thank you guys." He stopped and called to Bob. He waited until he walked in before he spoke. "All of you need to hear this. Thank you for supporting Monica. I guess you all know how much I love her."
Bob laughed, "You called me in here for this. Shit, Gerard why would you think you need to thank us? We all love her. The woman has been through hell and is still standing. As for you loving her, yea we know." He laughed.
Frank grinned, "Boy do we know"
"Gee, cherish her. She is a very special woman." Ray added.
But it was Mikey who summed it up, "We are all brothers, she is our sister."
Gerard laughed for the first time of the day, "Not to me she isn't."
Bob told them he was going to call Kara so she wouldn't worry about her mom. He would never tell her the truth about he dad's death.
The bus arrived in Denver a little before noon. Monica told them she was feeling much better and wanted to join them for lunch. It was a sunny day but the temperature was bitter. Still the sun felt wonderful on her face as she exited the bus.
"I think we should let Monica pick where we eat" Mikey said once they were all settled in the van. They were going to get some lunch before heading over to the radio station for an on air interview at 1:00.
"Whatever you guys want is fine with me." She snuggled in the seat next to Gerard. She was still feeling a bit shaky and just being near him gave her strength
Because they were short on time it had to be a drive-thru. McDonalds won the vote. When it came time for Mikey's order they all laughed. He wanted two Happy Meals. "Hey, they have cool toys," he told them quite seriously.
At the radio station they were ushered into the booth while Monica was shown a lounge where she could listen to the interview. The DJ from 106.7 was introducing the band members when she got a call from Bert.
"Hey Bert" she said trying to listen to the interview and listen to Bert at the same time.
"Monica did Gerard tell you I called yesterday?" he sounded upset.
Monica realized he must have forgotten with all that had gone on. The interview was talking to the guys about tonight's concert. She turned her attention back to Bert.
"Yesterday was sort of stressful." Monica told him "What is it?"
She was distracted by Gerard's voice "It didn't feel right to me anymore. It felt weird. It felt like it did what it needed to do. I was method acting this character called the patient on the record. It did what it needed to do in the studio, it did what it needed to do on those first two videos then after that it just didn't feel right anymore. It felt too polished."
Monica knew he was talking about his hair.
Bob spoke up "Everybody talked about it. The people that didn't understand what the reason was behind it. It was just such a thing and it kept going and I like it like this"
"Me too" Gerard agreed.
Bob continued, "This is the Gerard that I've always known"
The rest of the band all made "Awe" sounds and Monica could just imagine Bob blushing,
"Monica, are you listening to me?" Bert was sounding angry.
"I'm sorry Bert. I'm listening now."
"I did what you asked. I went to see Liv," He said in a biting tone.
He had her complete attention now "What happened?" she asked quietly.
"The apartment she is living in is a shit hole. When she answered the door I hardly recognized her. She looks like hell. I didn't think she would let me in at first but she finally did. It's just so weird I mean I just saw her not a week ago and she didn't look all that bad. Sort of strung out but I figured it was just the drugs. But shit now she looks horrible."
"What about the little girl?" Monica asked, "Did you see her?"
Bert sighed, "Yea, I saw her."
Inside the studio Gerard's was answering another question, "Yes, I'm in love. Her name is Monica and she is the best thing that has ever happened to me"
Bert's voice in her ear captured her attention "She has black hair and hazel eyes." He took a deep breath and added, "Shit, she looks like a miniature version of Gerard."
Authors Note - The radio interview in this story comes directly from an interview Bob and Gerard did recently in Japan. You can see it on YouTube and it is so adorable. I used their exact words and when Bob says that about Gerard's hair, Gerard hugs him and I swear Bob blushes.