Act 3, Scene 1
"We've got to get out of this heat," said Gerard. "If I see any of Davey's people I might have to stab them. Weather like this puts everyone in a bad mood."
"Gerard, you have as bad a temper as anyone in Jersey, heat or no heat. Don't complain about other people," Mike said, sounding tired. He was clearly in no mood to deal with Gerard today.
"Why is it even this hot? It's November/. It's /Jersey/. It should /not be more than 60Â°!" the older Way brother cried in frustration. He unzipped his hooded jacket and rolled up the sleeves, exposing his pale arms to the sun. He was afraid his Italian blood would lead him to acquire a healthier-looking skin tone, but the heat was unbearable.
"Global warming?" Mike offered, copying his motions. Gerard didn't have strength enough to laugh. His face darkened considerably.
"Got my wish. Here come our old friends."
"I really, really don't care right now, Gerard," Mike said wearily as Jade and several friends approached. He seemed to be taking the heat well. Mike attributed it to the fact that Davey, Jade, Hunter, and Adam had remained in California longer than he, Billie Joe, and TrÃ© Cool. Mike had come to prefer colder, rainier weather to the hot and sunny.
"Stay close, guys," Jade said to his friends. "Hello, /gentlemen/," he said with a sneer, this time addressing Mike and Gerard. "I need to have a word with one of you."
"Just one of us?" Mike asked with a smirk. "Add something to it. A word and a fight."
"You'll find that soon to happen, if you give me a reason," Jade said darkly.
"You couldn't make up your own reason?" Mike asked innocently. Surprisingly, Jade did not respond to his statement.
"You know that Mikey kid, right?"
"Know him?" Mike started to go off on another rant, but Gerard stopped him.
"There are other people here, Mike," he said in a tone of warning. "Either shut up or leave, but don't draw attention to us."
"People can't help what they watch," Mike replied. "I-"
"Well, I hope you're happy, kid, because here comes the very person I'm looking for," said Jade, interrupting him. "I can hardly stand to look at you," he said to Mikey as he approached. "There's nothing else to call you but a villain."
"Jade, the reason I have to be friendly to you excuses your rage. I am no villain, so goodbye; I see you don't know me very well," Mikey said simply, trying to continue on his way. Jade stopped him, and his friends encircled them.
"This does not excuse what you've done wrong. Turn and fight me," said Jade.
"I've never done anything to you," Mikey said calmly. "I like you more than you can actually know, and you won't know until you know the reason behind it. So, Jade - a name I care for as dearly as my own - be satisfied."
"Calm, dishonorable, vile submission!" cried Mike, jumping into the middle of the circle and drawing a knife. "Jade, you coward, will you walk away?"
"What do you want?" Jade asked, sounding bored.
"Nothing but payment," Mike said bitterly, appearing more threatening than anyone had ever seen him. "If he won't fight you, I will."
"I accept." Jade attacked him with a flurry of punches and knocked him to the ground, but Mike was able to fight back reasonably well. Mikey begged Gerard to help, but he could not get close.
"Guys, stop! It's not worth it! Billie Joe has banned fighting between us, remember?!" he cried, jumping between them. "Stop, Jade! Mike!"
Jade reached around Mikey and stabbed Mike between the ribs, burying the knife deeply.
"Let's get out of here," he told his friends. The group ran the other way, most of them sprinting. Mikey and Gerard rushed to Mike's aid. Mikey propped him up against the wall as Gerard examined the wound. He shook his head sadly.
"I am hurt," Mike said, stating the obvious as usual. His face became unnaturally angry and dark. "A plague on both your houses," he spat. "Is he gone?"
"You're hurt bad, Mike," Gerard said sadly.
" 'Tis but a flesh wound!" he said, imitating one of their favorite movies. He smiled, but it came out as a wince of pain. "Someone get a doctor."
"It's okay, Mike," said Mikey, trying to comfort him. "It's not really that bad."
"No, it's not deep as a well or wide as a doorway, but it's enough," he said, taking a shuddering breath. "Try to find me tomorrow, and you'll find me a grave man. As I said before, a plague on both your houses! If this useless fight between you all had never existed, this would not have happened to me." His voice was getting weaker. "Why the devil did you come between us, Mikey?" he asked softly. "I was hurt under your arm."
"I thought I was helping," said Mikey sadly. Mike turned to face Gerard.
"Help me inside, Gerard, before I faint or something." Gerard obliged and picked him up as if he weighed nothing. "A plague on both your houses! They've killed me, and they've done it well..." His cries continued to permeate the pressing heat as Gerard carried him into the shade of the closest tree.
"Mike, one of Billie Joe's best friends, one of my friends, has been hurt," Mikey said to himself. "My reputation has been ruined because of Jade. Jade, who is almost like a brother to me because of Alicia. Oh, Alicia," he cried, falling to his knees at the thought of her. "You've made me calm and against violence, all because of your beauty..."
"Mikey!" Gerard suddenly cried, running to him. "Mike...he's dead..." Mikey looked up at him with angry tears.
"This is not the only bad thing that will happen today. I can assure you of that," Mikey said bitterly. Gerard was crying, too.
"Jade's coming back," he muttered to his brother. Mikey stood angrily and faced the older teen who was quickly approaching them.
"Alive in victory, with Mike dead! Forget respect and dignity. Let my anger control me now. I should have fought you earlier, Jade," said Mikey to the other teen. "Mike's dead now, and either you or I, or both of us, must join him."
"You'll be the one to follow him," said Jade, drawing his switchblade, still covered in blood.
"This will determine that," said Mikey, taking Mike's knife from the ground and attacking Jade. They exchanged blows for several minutes before a cry of pain was heard. The crowd that had gathered waited anxiously to see who it belonged to.
Jade fell to the ground, blood blossoming from a large gash in his chest. Mikey removed the knife and shoved Jade away from him, watching as the older teen fell to the ground. Dead.
"Mikey, get out of here," Gerard whispered to him. "Everyone saw you kill Jade." Mikey just stood there in shock. "Go on, don't stand there; Billie Joe will get you if he finds out. Go!" Gerard shoved him away, and the crowd parted to let him through, but he remained a second longer.
"I am fate's fool," he said numbly.
"Why are you still here? Go, Mikey!"
Mikey finally understood the seriousness of the situation and took off, not caring where he went.
"Where's the guy who killed Mike Dirnt?" asked one of Gerard's friends. "Jade, that murderer, which way did he run?"
"He lies there," Gerard said simply, pointing to Jade's blood-soaked body.
"Come with me, Gerard. We have to tell Billie Joe, for his sake."
As if on cue, Billie Joe ran toward Mike's lifeless body, propped up against a tree nearby. He checked his friend's pulse, but upon feeling none, his face went white. He embraced Mike, half expecting him to respond and say it was all a joke, but he knew that wouldn't happen. One of his best friends was dead.
He stood, ignoring the fresh blood staining his shirt. He approached Gerard, bitter tears running down his face.
"Who...did...this?" he asked slowly.
"I can tell you," Gerard said miserably. "There lies the one, killed by my brother, who killed your friend Mike."
"Jade!" cried a higher-pitched voice. InÃ©s made her way to the center of the circle and immediately fell to her knees. "Jade, my cousin! His blood is spilled! Billie Joe, is it true that he killed Mike?" she asked sadly. Davey helped her stand and pulled her into a tight embrace, letting her sob into his shoulder.
"How did this start, Gerard?" Billie Joe asked again. Their eyes met for a second, one pleading with the other to retell the story. Gerard conceded and took a deep breath. He had to buy Mikey as much time as possible.
"Mikey killed Jade, but it was only after trying to stop the brawl between Jade and Mike. Mikey just jumped into the middle of it, and Jade reached around him and killed Mike Dirnt. Jade ran away at first, but he returned a few moments later to finish what he started. Mikey had just decided to pursue revenge for Mike's death. Before I could stop them, Jade was dead. Mikey ran. This is the truth, or let me die where I stand," he finished. The tears were flowing freely now.
"He's friends with Iero," said InÃ©s. "Friendship makes him lie. Please, Billie Joe, bring justice to this. Mikey killed Jade, he must not live!"
"Mikey killed him, he killed Mike. Who does his blood owe now?" Billie Joe asked softly.
"Not Mikey," said Frank. "He was Mike's friend. What did was what the law would have done: end Jade's life."
"And it is for that reason that I am exiling him," Billie Joe said conclusively. "Do you see why I told you not to fight? The result of your hatred lies bleeding against a tree and on the street. I don't want to hear pleas, I don't want excuses, and I don't want tears. Let Mikey go, unless he's found, in which case he dies. Mercy can be as deadly as murder." With that, Billie Joe turned and walked away, taking Mike's body with him. The crowd began to disperse; someone carried Jade away as well to prepare for the funeral.
Gerard could only stand there and cry.