"Mikey..." the voice said again. His eyes shot open and he sat up abruptly.
"Gerard? Is that you?" he asked, feeling his heart about to stop.
"Yeah..." Gerard muttered a curse word and sat up groggily. He whimpered in pain. "I need an aspirin-"
"No, Gerard," Mikey interrupted, standing and going to his brother's side. "That's what almost killed you earlier." Even in the pitch black shadows of his room, Mikey knew his brother's hazel eyes widened considerably.
"Because that's what it's supposed to do!" Mikey said in a loud whisper. Alicia opened one eye at the sound of his voice, but acted like she was still asleep. "It thins your blood so it flows easier and doesn't make your blood vessels swell. That's why people get headaches, Gerard. And you're not supposed to take it when you're bleeding!"
"Mikey...I'm sorry," Gerard said weakly, his voice slightly raspy. He laughed weakly, but it sounded dark. "You know, there's still a chance-"
The sound of his voice stopped suddenly. Mikey's heart caught in his throat.
"Gerard?" he asked with worry. He heard nothing. He placed his hands on his brother's shoulders and shook him lightly, but the older teen did not respond. Mikey ran to the door and flipped the light switch next to it. He took a single glance back at his brother, who was now lying on the bed motionless.
"Mikey, what is it?" asked Alicia, rubbing one eye sleepily and sitting up. He leaned against the wall and slid to the floor, shaking in fear. Alicia rushed to his side.
"What's going on?" Bob asked sleepily.
"Nothing...nothing, he's only asleep," Mikey muttered to himself. "He's only asleep." Bob stood and checked Gerard's pulse, seeing his chest rise and fall ever so slightly.
"He is only asleep," he said in relief. "He must've blacked out again." Frank entered the room, closely followed by Ray. For a moment they were worried the situation had worsened even further.
"Whether or not you're going to school tomorrow, Mikey," Alicia said quietly, "you really should get some sleep." Mikey shook his head.
"I can't. What if he doesn't make it?"
"Don't say that," said Bob. "He's going to be fine." None of them were convinced.
The next morning, just before five, Ray gingerly picked up Gerard's limp body and carried him back to his own room, knowing his parents would probably be awake soon. Frank hid in the closet while Ray hid under the bed.
"I'm a monster!" Frank said in a deep voice, muffled from coming through the door. Ray struggled to stifle his laughter as they heard a door opening. Both of them went silent.
"Gerard?" asked his mother. He slowly opened his eyes, but said nothing, still feeling dizzy. "Gerard, honey, your father and I have to go out of town on business; we just found out yesterday. I would've said something, but it was late by the time we got home and I didn't want to wake you up. Think you and Mikey will be okay for a day or two?" Gerard numbly nodded, managing a small smile. He was glad she couldn't see his arms.
His mother gave him a kiss on the forehead before leaving and shutting the door softly. Gerard sighed in relief, letting his eyelids fall shut immediately. All he wanted to do was go back to sleep.
Unfortunately for him, Frank still thought he was a closet monster.
Frank leapt out of the closet and pounced on a very surprised Gerard, knocking him to the floor.
"I'm a monster who's going to eat your brain!" Frank said with a very un-monster-like smile. Gerard glared at him and shoved him to the floor, then stood and tried to gain some form of balance. Instead he slammed into the wall. Frank began laughing at him, but stopped abruptly when a pale hand shot out from under the bed and grabbed onto his leg.
"I will eat your brain," said a deep, almost demonic voice. Frank went paler than Gerard.
"D-don't hurt m-me," he stammered, trying to get away from the voice. A thought crossed his mind, and he looked closer at the shadows shrouding the figure from view. He scowled. "That wasn't funny, Ray."
"Sure it was!" Ray said happily, coming out from under the bed. "You're just jealous because I had a better hiding spot."
"No I'm not - Hey, what's that?" Frank asked, pointing to something stuck to Ray's shoe. Gerard tried to grab it, but in his current state he couldn't move very quickly.
"It's a drawing," said Ray, unfolding it. Gerard had regained some control of his reflexes, however, and quickly snatched it away from him.
"Don't," he hissed venomously, staring each of them in the eyes. Ray and Frank obediently backed away. Though afraid of what he might do, they were secretly rejoicing.
They had Gerard back.