All that mattered to him was that he could say goodbye. Death didn't scare him...but dying alone did. Hospital one-shot. Frerard!
“Gerard, dude.” Ray sighed again, his fingers gripping Gerard’s shoulder firmly. The darker haired man’s head slowly turned, his eyes still glued to the large, white door.
“Hmm?” he murmured, finally tearing his eyes away from the door long enough to see the look of worry, fear and anxiousness on his friend’s face. He looked down to the spotless floor so that he didn’t have to see the expression again.
“He’s gonna be okay, Gerard.” He said softly, a stray lock of curly hair falling into his face as he tilted his head.
“Maybe, but maybe not. Do you have any idea how serious a stab wound can be?” he asked, his voice too calm to be his own. He tried convincing himself that Frank would be okay, back to his normal self in no time at all, but it was hard to be optimistic when he was such a pessimist.
“It can be serious.” Ray admitted, an even more painful expression replacing his previous one. “But you know Frankie, he’d never hurt you. And he’d never go out without a fight. And you’ve seen Frank fight. He’s a tough little motherfucker.”
Gerard smiled sadly, looking back up into Ray’s eyes. “But dude, he’s been fighting for over an hour now. The doctors have been helping him, too. There’s still not one bit of news-”
Just as he said that the door at the end of the hall finally opened, Gerard’s attention snapping back to it instantly. He stood immediately and stared at the nurse as she walked down the hall. It seemed to take an eternity to Gerard. One small step after another. Was she slowing down? Speed up! Speed up! “You’re Mr. Iero’s friends, yes?” she asked, her voice soft.
The other three men stood up, moving closer to her. “He’s okay, right? He hasn’t lost too much blood, the knife didn’t pierce any arteries, veins or vital organs, right?” Gerard asked, bouncing on the balls of his feet. WHY WASN’T SHE TALKING ALREADY?!
“No, no, he’s fine.” She smiled.
Gerard took a deep breath, one that seemed to soothe his lungs and spread relief over his body. Similar to when you swim underwater for a long period of time and when you finally take that much-needed, long-deprived breath of oxygen. “We can see him soon, right?”
“I’m afraid not. He’s just begun a long road to recovery and he needs rest. A lot of rest.” She nodded, solemn once again.
“We won’t wake him up, I just wanna see him, just to know that he’s alright.”
The nurse smiled slightly. “Trust me, he’s fine.”
Gerard smiled and nodded, the numbness wearing off. He felt anxiousness grip at his heart. It’s not that he didn’t trust the nurse, he just had to see it to believe it. He was very relieved by the good news, however, he wouldn’t rest until he saw Frank well again. He dropped into the seat again, twiddling his thumbs. He’d sit there forever to see Frank if he had to.
Frank burst through the door of the tour bus, his face pale and shocked, an air of fear about him as he stumbled into the front lounge, his chest heaving, his fingers gripping at his clothes. Gerard sat up immediately. “Frankie, honey, y-you okay?” Frank stared at him for a few moments before he began coughing violently, blood erupting from between his lips. Gerard froze, his eyes widening as they flicked around. It was at that moment that he noticed his clothes, drenched with a thick, dark liquid that looked horribly like blood. Although he saw it, his brain didn’t take in the image of a knife handle stuck out at an odd angle from his chest.
Frank’s cold, wet hands reached for Gerard’s, covering his once clean fingers in the scarlet fluid that had poured from his chest. Gerard violently snapped back into conscious thinking and he stood up, pushing Frank gently onto the sofa, noticing that his body was shaking from weakness. “Mikey! Bob, Ray, ANYONE!” he yelled, his eyes darting around Frank’s face. His shaking hands dug in his pocket and he brought out his cell phone, his trembling thumbs dialing the numbers nine-one-one.
He vaguely heard a woman’s voice say something, but he couldn’t exactly hear what. His heart was beating so loudly that he could only hear that and Frank’s shuddering breaths. “I…Frankie…” he choked out, dropping the phone as his quivering hands shook too violently.
He heard running footsteps get closer and abruptly stop. His face turned and his eyes met the sight of his younger brother stood frozen, his eyes wide in horror as he stared at the shuddering heap that was their band’s rhythm guitarist draped over the sofa. Gerard pushed the cell phone into his brother’s hands, smudging Frank’s blood over them in the process. Mikey swallowed thickly and re-dialed the number that Gerard had moments ago. “I need an ambulance.” He breathed. “For Frank Iero, there’s a kn-knife in his chest.” He said, his expression one of pure terror. “My name’s Mikey Way.” He murmured, before other information followed.
Gerard didn’t hear any of it. He knelt beside the man sprawled on the couch, their hands grasping each other’s desperately. “G-G-Gerard.” Frank choked out, his fingers weak and quavering as they held Gerard’s. “I don’t wanna die.” He whimpered.
“You’re not gonna, baby. You’re gonna stay here with me. We’ll get to a hospital and they’re gonna fix you and you’re gonna be fine.” He whispered, his trembling fingers pushing some hair out of Frank’s face.
“Are you family, sir?” a paramedic asked quickly from the back of the ambulance, his gloved hands holding the doors.
“No, but-” The door slammed shut and the ambulance raced off, its flashing lights and loud siren getting quickly further away.
“I’m gonna be.” He mumbled to himself, the thumb on his left hand toying with the band on his third finger. “Or at least, I hope I am.” He added, stumbling as Bob pulled him into the car.
Gerard gasped as his eyes flung open. “Dude, you okay?” Mikey asked, sitting up. Gerard’s gasping breaths didn’t die down in the least as he held his face in his hands. He was unable to say anything, so he just shook his head instead.
“I saw it. Again.” He whispered into his hands, his eyes shutting tightly as he rubbed them with the palms of his hands, trying to rid the images flying through his mind.
“Hi, Frankie.” Gerard whispered, sitting into the uncomfortable chair next to the hospital bed.
Frank’s eyes slowly cracked open and he smiled up at Gerard. “Hey, Gee.” He murmured.
“Shit…I wasn’t supposed to wake you.” Gerard said, grinning sheepishly.
Frank’s smile increased. “I was awake anyway.” He lied, his voice raspy. “I’m alive?” he asked, frowning slightly.
“Yeah. Told ya you would be.” Gerard smiled, his hand placing itself gently over Frank’s. They stared at each other for a while, no words passing their lips, but having full conversations with their eyes. “You feeling okay?”
“Yeah…ish.” Frank grinned slightly, his eyelids still heavy-looking. “I’m a little tired and my chest hurts, but I’m glad to see you.”
Gerard nodded, laying his head on Frank’s pillow. “You had me scared shitless, Frank.” He breathed. “Fuck teenagers, you scare me more than them.” He joked.
Frank chuckled quietly and shook his head. “I knew you’d have something lame to say. You always do.” He said fondly, one of his hands resting on Gerard’s face. He moved it away again and beneath the blanket as he noticed the needle sticking out of it and the uneasy look in Gerard’s eye. “Sorry.” He muttered.
“No, it’s okay.” He said, his fingers intertwining with Frank’s. “I love you.” He breathed, his eyes squeezing shut.
Frank smiled and kissed Gerard’s cheek gently. “Love you t-”
“Gee, you’ve had enough time, let someone else in!” Mikey demanded from the door, aware that he had ruined a moment, but not caring. He looked over to Frank and smiled, walking towards him. “You okay, dude?” he asked, taking in his pale face that was almost camouflaged against the white blankets and pillows.
“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks.” He nodded. “Just a little…sleepy.” He said, yawning slightly.
“You woke him up, didn’t you?” Mikey asked, shaking his head at Gerard. He lifted his hands up defensively and took a step back.
“I can get out soon, right?”
“I’m afraid not, Mr. Iero, you have a long recovery ahead of you. We need to keep you under our supervision.”
“So in other words it could go wrong at any time and I could die, so you need to keep me alive with a machine.” The doctor frowned slightly. “I can take the truth, doc, I don’t need it sugar-coated.” He smiled.
The doctor smiled, shaking his head. “Optimism is an important part of recovery, Frank. You need to fight. Pessimism makes you miserable and encourages you to give up. That’s the last thing you need.”
Frank shrugged. “I’m just saying, I want the truth, no matter how brutal.”
The doctor nodded, checking a few more things before he left the room, leaving Frank to gaze out of the window at the clouds and birds passing by.
“Frankie, hi.” Gerard breathed, entering the door into the unnaturally clean room.
“Hey, baby.” He smiled, trying to sit up, but failing. He flopped back down and the bed and laughed slightly. “I can’t wait ‘till I get my strength back. I feel like such a fucking wimp right now.” He grinned.
Gerard smiled, sitting on the chair beside the bed. “I would’ve brought you something, but the only thing they’d let me bring in here was flowers or cards.” He grimaced.
Frank chuckled, reaching out and pulling Gerard’s hand to his lips. “You’ve brought yourself, Gee, that’s honestly all I want.” He murmured, his thumb running over the simple, silver band on Gerard’s ring finger.
Gerard smiled, his lips kissing Frank’s forehead gently. “The doctors said I don’t have long, so we’d better make this quick. Your mom said she’s gonna come over tomorrow, your dad’s way down south, so it’ll take him a little while longer, but he’ll make sure he gets here. Your grandfather’s gonna be here ASAP and the fans have been trying to get in all day.”
Frank grinned. “How the hell did they even know I was here?” he asked.
“They’ve been telling the story all over the news. Here, look.” He said, pulling a newspaper out from the inside of his jacket.
‘Frank Iero, rhythm guitarist of emo rock band My Chemical Romance,’
“Emo?!” he exclaimed, frowning. “Bastards never get it right.” He muttered to himself before he carried on reading, an annoyed frown on his face.
‘…was rushed to a hospital in Evanston, Illinois. It is currently unknown what the reason is for his sudden referral, but a knife is said to be involved. Tour dates cancelled until further notice.
Band members tell press that Frank Iero is stable and that the probability of fatality is low to none. They refuse further comment. “I know he’s gonna get better. That’s just how Frank is, nothing can bring him down and keep him there, he just gets back up again. He’ll be back on tour in no time at all.” Gerard Way, lead singer, speaks. His optimism is somewhat forced, but fans are still happy to know that Iero is healing from whatever affliction has been cause upon him.
Read inside for more.’
“That’s the only news paper that says where you are. News travels awfully fast, though, and now probably the whole of Illinois’s My Chem fans are practically rioting outside. We have to use the back entrance where the ambulances go cause there’s so many of them.”
“Mr. Way, visiting hours are over.”
Gerard bit his lip. “Okay, thanks. See ya tomorrow, baby.” He said, pecking Frank’s lips softly before he stood up, walking to the door. He looked back and smiled at Frank before the door shut, blocking Frank from his view.
“Mikey, what’s up?”
“It’s Frank…” Gerard sat up immediately, his face draining. “He…come to the hospital Gee, quickly!” he said, his voice shaking.
Gerard tried his hardest, but couldn’t ignore the sinking sensation of his heart and stomach as he ran out of the front door, pulling the keys from his pocket as he went.
“I’m sorry, Frank. You said to be brutally honest and the brutal honesty is…the wound was a lot more serious and a lot deeper than we actually thought. It’s a miracle you survived this long.” The doctor whispered, his eyes glazed over somewhat as he looked at the man quivering on the bed. He struggled for words, but eventually was able to say, “I’m so, so sorry, Frank, but…you…you’re going to die. Soon.”
Frank stared up into the face of the doctor, his eyes slowly welling up, although the rest of his face was blank. He swallowed thickly, the lump in his throat not shifting. “It hurts.” He breathed, his fingers curling around the material of the hospital gown he was wearing. His ears were deaf to the sounds of the demands flying across the room, blind to the doctors and nurses rushing around, sticking tubes into his body, unfeeling to the needles being pushed inside his skin. The only thing he could hear was his feeble heartbeat and his own calls for Gerard, all he could see was the blinding whiteness from the lights overhead, blurring at the edges, and all he could feel was the intense sense of loneliness and longing for Gerard to be beside him as he died. He knew he was going to. He didn’t even feel this way the night the knife was thrust into his chest.
“Gerard!” he yelled, his fingers gripping the formerly-white, now crimson, material even tighter as an agonizingly sharp pain jolted through his chest and shot through his fingers and toes, spreading through his whole body like white-hot flames, surging through his already agonized anatomy. He gasped for breath as oxygen was becoming scarce, his lungs shuddering in attempt to take in the precious gas. A new sound reached his ears. It wasn’t anything in the room he was in. It was…a strange thudding sound…followed by a squeak and more thudding…
His heart and spirit rose as a thought leapt into his mind: ‘GERARD!’
It HAD to be!
Frank wasn’t sure how he could hear it, but somehow he heard the sound of Gerard’s Converse skidding around a corner close to Frank. Consciousness was becoming difficult, but he had to hold on. Just until he saw Gerard one last time. Said ‘I love you’ one…last…time…
He stared intently at the door handle, his eyes threatening to close. “Gerard…please…” he breathed, cold sweat leaking into the pillow. Everything had slowed down to Frank. It was almost as if the whole world was in slow motion except from him.
It took him a while to realize that the door handle was being pulled down from the outside. Frank tried to take a deep breath, to call Gerard’s name again, but instead panic overtook his body as his lungs would not expand. He tried again, but with every passing millisecond, it felt as if an invisible something was tightening its grip on his throat. He managed a pathetic croak before his whole world went back, a tear squeezing from his closing eyes.
He never saw the door open. He never saw the face of his lover. He never heard the anguished scream as Gerard realized that he was seconds too late. He never felt the tears on his face as Gerard cried over his corpse. He never felt his body being held tightly to the quivering form. But worst of all…
He never got to say goodbye.