After the Salt Lake City Concert Ray tells Gerard the secret he has been keeping.
From her spot on the side stage she looked out at the sea of jumping fans. Glancing back to the stage she saw Gerard jumping, leading the way. Alicia and Jamia who were along side her smiled and sang along as she did. Tonight the energy was intense.
Jamia leaned over and shouted in Monica's ear, "I never get tired of watching Frankie". Monica followed her gaze to see Frank throwing his body around in unbelievable moves. All while never missing a chord.
"He's amazing," she yelled back. The whole band was amazing. Just then she looked back to see Ray bouncing along the stage his fro flying. He seemed happiest when on stage especially lately. Monica decided she should talk to him when she got a chance. He had been such a good friend to her she wanted to be the same for him.
Alicia was making eye contact with Mikey and blowing him kisses. Jamia and Monica saw and started laughing. Mikey smiled and turned his back to the crowed so he could mouth "I love you to her"
"Ah, that's so sweet" Jamia yelled to Monica.
The concert was amazing. It was over before the fans of the band wanted it to be. So much so that they decided to do one more song. It was the fan favorite "Ghost of You" that wasn't usually included in the set. The crowd went wild.
"Get your fucking lighters or cell phones in the air" Gerard told the fans. "Now sway them back and forth." The effect was awesome. Gerard's vocals echoed the pain of the song. No one wanted the night to end.
When they came of the stage the girls followed them to the backstage area. Mikey grabbed Alicia and Frank went directly to Jamia and kissed her. Monica looked at Gee who had an odd look on his face. She walked up to him and waited. He reached out and gently touched her face, staring into her eyes. "Are you OK?' she finally asked him.
His voice was rough, "I'm just more than OK. Monica I did that whole show thinking about you. I realized that for the first time in my life I have someone, really have someone who loves me."
"You just realized this?" she kidded him. He still looked so serious.
"Yea, I was out there with all those fans screaming and I realized that their love was what has kept me going for so long. If it hadn't been for the fans I never would have made it. I was so alone for so long. I had no one of my own who loved the guy that I am off stage. You have changed me, Monica. You have made me so fucking happy."
Monica had a good idea that this was all because of the talk they had had earlier about Liv. Gerard believed she had never really loved him. He had stayed in a relationship that had caused him to ultimately feel unloved. She wished she could erase that memory from his mind. "I will always love you, Gee. The Gerard on the stage and the Gerard off the stage are the same man to me."
He hugged her tightly. "I'm going to grab a shower before the other guys do. Are you going to wait for me here of go back to the bus."
She shrugged, "I guess I'll wait and see what Jamie and Alicia are going to do."
He nodded and hurriedly took off for the showers. Monica saw that Alicia and Jamie were still with their guys. She noticed that Ray was sitting alone smoking a cigarette and staring at the nothing.
"Hey Ray," she said taking a seat next to him. "You seem in deep thought"
He smiled at her, "Yea, just thinking. After a concert I like to take it all in, you know. Think about how it all went. What we could do to make it better next time."
Monica laughed, "I'm not sure how you could improve on tonight. It was great."
He nodded "Yea, it was great."
They were silent a moment then Monica spoke, "Ray, it's none of my business but I've noticed lately you are sort of different. Is anything bothering you?"
He looked surprised, "You know no body else has noticed anything. Why is it you are the one to see things?"
"I've had a lot of time in my life to notice unhappiness. Ray, what's wrong?"
He took another drag then put the cigarette out. "I'm not sure I want to talk about it, at least not yet."
Monica knew not to push him. "Fair enough. Just know that I'm always here for you. Like you told me once. You have been such a good friend to me I want to return the favor."
He was touched by her concern. "I'm sure I will take you up on that offer, Monica. Just not yet. I have to get some things sorted in my brain."
She leaned over and gave him a quick hug. "Okay Torosaurus."
Gerard was standing there freshly showered smiling "Ray, why are you and my woman hugging?"
Ray played along "Cause I've decided to steal her from you."
Monica stood and Gerard put his arm around her. "Yea, I figured that. So you showering here or on the bus?"
"I'll be along later. I'm gonna talk to some of the crew make sure things are right." Once more Ray was making sure everything was in order.
Gerard started to lead her away but stopped "I thought Bert was going to stay for the concert. He was here when we took the stage."
Monica nodded, "Yea he stayed for the first half but said he had to meet some of his family and couldn't get out of it."
"I can't believe he went to see Liv. The more I think about it; it kind of pisses me off. Why would he think he should do that? I mean we had decided to leave her alone so that she wouldn't get pissed and do something like go to the press with that bullshit story about me raping her."
Guilt was eating at Monica. Gerard was getting pissed at Bert and it was her fault. She knew it was wrong to let Bert take the blame for something she had asked him to do. She opened her mouth to tell Gerard the truth but Ray reached over and touched her arm.
"Gerard, there is something I have to tell you about Liv" Ray said capturing Gerard's attention.
Gerard looked at him, "What?"
Monica took a deep breath. She knew what Ray was going to say.
"I knew Liv had a baby. I saw her over a year ago and she showed me the baby. She was holding it for me to see and said something like "Looks like him doesn't she?" I guess she thought I would run and tell you." he looked at his friend "but I never did."
Gerard just stared at him. Monica could feel him tense and he dropped his arm from her shoulder. "You fucking knew Liv had a baby and didn't tell me? You fucking knew it could be mine and you didn't think you should say something to me? What the fuck, Ray. Why not?." Monica had never seen him this angry.
She put her hand on his arm to try to calm him but he moved so she couldn't. Everyone in the room was watching the encounter. Frank and Mikey moved closer to them.
Ray looked down not wanting to see the anger on Gerard's face.
"Ray, damn it answer me. Why the fuck didn't you tell me? You didn't think I should know I might be a father?"
"Honey, calm down OK?" Monica once more tried to lessen some of his anger.
"This doesn't concern you," he told her.
"Oh shit" Alicia said
Mikey was beside her, "Gee you need to calm down. You are taking out your anger on Monica."
Gerard wasn't listening to them he was still staring at Ray waiting for an answer.
Ray looked at Monica first giving her a defeated look. He turned to Gerard, "I didn't tell you cause I knew at the time how you were about Liv. If I had told you you would have run back to her. We had all gotten you through all the shit and I couldn't stand the thought of losing you again." He looked so sad, "You would have gone back to her."
"So you made the decision not to tell me." Gerard spat.
"Yea" Ray said, "but there's more. I saw her again, a week later. I told her that I had told you about the baby and that you said you didn't care. I told her that you didn't love her and you never wanted to see the baby."