"I have to. Won't your brother be suspicious if I don't?"
"No, he's probably forgotten all about this by now. It's been almost two hours-" Mikey abruptly stopped speaking, and a look of horror crossed his face. Bob tried to ask him what was wrong, but Mikey quieted him instantly.
"Listen," he said breathlessly. Bob listened carefully, eyes widening at what he heard.
"Yeah...Gerard...this is bad," Mikey whispered as he heard his brother's voice filter through the walls. "He only sings when he's really, really upset." He cringed as he listened to the words, and the anger filling his brother's voice.
"It sounds like he's about to kill someone," Bob murmured, eyes half-closing. He nearly fell asleep right there. Mikey's phone rang suddenly, startling both of them.
"Hello? Oh, hey Alicia," Mikey said, sounding shy. Bob closed his eyes, hearing Mikey laugh a few times at the girl's words. He realized Gerard's song had changed, now taking on a lilting feel, though the words were still dark.
"They gave us two shots to the back of the head and we're all dead now..."
'Mikey should talk to him,' Bob thought just before he drifted off to sleep. 'Before something really bad happens.'
"Gerard, are you okay?" Mikey asked with concern. His brother continued staring up at the sky, acting as if he was deaf. "Gerard?"
"Let me ask you something, Mikey," he said abruptly, sounding slightly hoarse. He hadn't spoken the entire time that they had been walking, and he was unusually distracted. "Have you ever stopped to wonder why I'm like this?" Mikey frowned, not quite sure what he meant.
"No, not really."
"Then listen," Gerard said with a sigh. "I'm trying to protect you."
"From what?" Mikey asked with surprise. This wasn't what he had expected to be Gerard's reason.
"From them." Gerard stopped walking, and Mikey halted not far behind, realizing his brother was now looking straight ahead and pointing at something. He glanced in the alleged direction.
"No, Mikey. If I could do that, I would be a hero. I mean those...those /creatures/. Those things that choose to call themselves people." Gerard gave a dark smirk for a brief second before tilting his head back to observe the blue sky once again. "They're cruel, Mikey."
Mikey thought about saying something regarding his brother's own cruelty, but bit his tongue. He knew better. He knew he could end up like Bob if he wasn't careful, despite what Gerard was saying to him.
"I'm never going to let them hurt you. Before Matt left, he told me to take care of you. I plan on it." Gerard looked his brother in the eyes. Mikey couldn't respond right away, but instead focused on his brother's face. Gerard realized what he saw and quickly turned away, but not before Mikey saw a hint of blood near his nose.
"Gerard, why is your nose bleeding? That's why you've been looking up this whole time, isn't it?" Mikey asked suspiciously. Gerard sniffed once, almost choking on the coagulated blood that was now in the back of his throat. Mikey sighed.
Gerard had been sniffing coke again. He was higher than the clouds he kept staring at.
They waited a moment and walked toward the school, going their separate ways. Gerard gave a final glance at his brother before approaching the tree on the school's front lawn. He felt dizzy, but the cool shade was a welcome relief. Slumping against the tree listlessly and sliding down to the ground, he remained there for some time, letting himself rest and not supporting his own weight at all.
He heard the school bell ring, signaling that he had five minutes to get to class, but it seemed distant to him. Instead he waited. Mikey would see. Mikey would listen.
Mikey would learn.