Hope this chapters shows up entirely... if you don't see my note at the end, that means Ficwad's being evil again.
Dead- like a candle you burned out;
spill the wax over the spaces left in place of angry words.
Scream- to be heard, like you needed any more attention;
throw the bottle, break the door and disappear.
Sing me to sleep, I'll see you in my dreams,
waiting to say, "I miss you, I'm so sorry."
Lullabies- All Time Low
I stood under the stream of hot water and let it wash away the remainder of shampoo from my hair. It helped clear my head, not to mention the filth from my body. I changed into some of my clothes I found in a suitcase on my bed, which was still in Gerard's room. They must've brought it from my house (ex-house); I'd have to ask about it later, along with a long list of other things.
After getting dressed and drying my hair a bit with a towel, I walked outside to find the gang sitting in their usual places around the table, playing cards. Didn't they get tired of always doing the same thing? I sat in the empty chair next to Gerard and in front of Kat; I guess it had turned into my official spot. They all stopped playing and looked at me expectantly. I looked at Aileen, and offered a tentative smile, worried she was mad at the way I had acted before; she smiled back at me happily, to my relief.
They were all waiting for me to say something. "I... The pain is gone. The headache disappeared." I quickly glanced over at Gerard, who was concentrated on his cards even though everyone had obviously quit the game. They all smiled at me, happy to hear the news. "I'm okay," I stated, glancing at Gerard again to see his reaction; he seemed nervous as he fidgeted with the cards.
"That's good news, man," Bob said, grinning and offering me his hand from his seat next to Kat. I grinned back at them all as the hallway filled with cheers and laughs, each of them showing their joy in different ways. Even Gerard let out a breath of relief, in spite of his nervousness.
"So... I was thinking... now that I know the truth about... me, I want to know some other things. There's so much I don't know still, and I don't want it to drive me crazy," I told them all, wondering what their reaction would be.
Ray leaned back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head propping his feet up on the table. "Ask away."
I smiled, relieved once again and leaned over the table as if to offer some privacy or share a secret. "First of all... are the old men and Mikey okay? And that Stratton guy? The Unknown... did they get out in time? Before the ceiling..." I trailed off, not wanting to finish the sentence. I looked around at them almost afraid and was responded by comforting smiles.
"Don't worry about it, man, they're all fine. No one blames you for that, we all know what it's like to not have your powers under control," Bob offered unworriedly."Don't tell me that's your only question..."
I shook my head. "Naw, I have tons more. Like, I don't understand how there is plumbing down here. I mean, this place looks all old and crumbly, and yet there is hot water for the shower and clean drinking water in the kitchen."
"Stratton has friends in high places..." Bob stated, rolling his eyes, "and in low places, for that matter. And the friends he doesn't have he makes up for with his power."
"You mean he uses mind control to get plumbers down here?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
Ray shook his head. "He doesn't have mind control, he can simply play with peoples memories. He makes them think they had started a job down here and makes it all seem normal. Then when they finish, he erases their memory so they never knew they were down here, and puts a false memory in. He does it every time we need help from the upper world."
"And they don't get paid or anything? Doesn't anyone notice that their workers are gone for ages and then return with no money?"
"Of course they get paid," Ray continued, "Stratton has the money for it, after all. He comes from a very wealthy English family. He is kind of supporting us all..."Gerard folded his arms in front of himself uncomfortably. "He meddles with the memory of anyone he thinks could figure out what really goes on with the workers, making them think they are all somewhere else doing the same job."
"If Delancy wanted to, he could change your memory and make you think you were a pretty pink princess that had just escaped from her castle in search of her prince charming, and you would believe it, no matter what anyone else told you," Kat stated, putting the situation into perspective like only she knew how to. "You should know that better than anyone else here."
I glanced up at her; she was right of course. I had spent my two years of life thinking Ihad lived 17 years with a woman who wasn't my mother and thinking my father had died in a car accident. Thinking back on all the tiny details of my childhood that Delancy had made up and introduced into my head and into many more, it was obvious his powers were incredibly great.
"How come asuitcase of my clothes is here if my - Mary doesn't know who I am? And how come she suddenly doesn't know me? Did Delancy change all her memories again?"
Ray looked around uncomfortably, not liking the answer he was about to give. "Delancy erased all of her memories of you and created new ones. He made her think her son named Frank died last year... he erased you from the memory of all your neighbors, teachers, classmates... anyone you have ever talked to or come into contact with."
A cold shiver went down my back as I heard Ray speak; it was fucking scary how Delancy could simply erase the existence of anyone he wanted so easily. It was insane.
Ray continued,"He changed the pictures she had of you to others he already had prepared for the occasion, medical records... anything that could prove that you had in fact been her son for two years. And while he was at it, he packed a suitcase and brought it here, before changing her memories. He even erased himself from her memories."
I looked down at my hands, fiddling with them, not knowing what to say. I could feel Gerard's intense gaze on me as he watched my reaction to all that was being said. Delancy had simply walked into my life as I had known it and erased me from it. Iofficially didn't exist to anyone in the world except for the people in front of me and the Unknown. The weird part was that I was now known to more people then than in my fake life.
"I'm going to get a drink," Gerard said suddenly, breaking the silence. "Anyone else want one?"
"I'll go with you," Kat quickly offered, getting up from her chair and following him into the building as the rest of them shook their head in negation.
"Maybe we should take a break? You can answer questions again later when you're... later,"Bob said nervously, noticing my shook up state. I nodded as he stood up and gave me a pat on the back before leaving to enter the building also. Ray followed him after offering me a timid smile.
Just as Aileen was going to get up and follow the others to wherever they were going, I called her name, stopping her. She looked at me questioningly as I asked her to sit next to me, where Gerard had been seated.
"Aileen..." I said, as I looked for the words to say, "I know this is probably none of my business, but I'm sure you all know about it, and I'd like to know too, you know, since we're all down here together now... and to understand him better and all-"
"What is it you want to know, Frank?" She cut in abruptly, stopping my rambling.
I giggled nervously, rubbing my head unconsciously. "Umm, what I want to know is... could you...? Tell me about Gerard and that girl... the girl he and Mikey have said little comments about... he always gets really upset when Mikey brings her up... and angry. Who is she?"
Aileen chewed on her lower lip worriedly. "/Was/ she," she stated simply.
I narrowed my eyes in concentration, as I rested my face on the palm of my hand. "She... died?"
Aileen nodded quickly, a frown forming on her pretty mouth. "Her name was Alyssa. She was Gerard's girlfriend... well, they were actually engaged, but with no ring. She was such a beautiful girl... inside and out. She was the biggest sweetheart you'd ever meet; Gerard was crazy about her. They were so happy together... you should have seen him," she smiled fondly as she brought out old memories. "He was always smiling back then. The both of them were always running around and laughing, having fun, kissing..." As she pronounced the word kissing I unconsciously touched my own lips with the tips of my fingers, remembering the feel of Gerard's soft lips against my own. "They were inseparable. Always together, holding hands and gazing into each others eyes... I've never seen acouple as in love as they were. " Her eyes were glazed over as she looked at me with a sort of sad happiness, and I felt a pang in my gut that I couldn't describe or understand. Her eyes suddenly darkened. "They were like that until the Ruin battle, that is."
I sat on the edge of my chair, listening to every word.
"The ruins got her. They stole her soul and she died. We never saw her body though, not even Gerard... the Ruins took it with them, for some reason."
My mouth was open in shock. "But how do you know she's dead if nobody's seen her body?"
Aileen looked around helplessly. "Gerard... he found her necklace in the dirt... it was covered in blood from when they had ripped out her soul. He gave her that necklace when he asked her to marry him... it had belonged to his grandmother."
I covered the small "o" my mouth had formed with a hand, not taking my eyes off of Aileen. No wonder Gerard was so depressed.
"That's not the worse part," Aileen said, as tears filled her eyes. "The worse part is that... Mikey... he knew it was going to happen, but he didn't tell anyone. We were fighting against some Ruins and he fell to the ground at one point when he got a really strong vision... he told us it was just a headache, and we believed him... we didn't have time to stop and really think about it, we were at war for Christ's sake! But we should have known... he looked at Gerard with such dread in his eyes after the vision... we should have realized what it really was and not believe the lie he fed us."
Mikey knew and didn't tell them anything? Didn't tell his brother the love of his life was about to die? How could that be? "But what did he see exactly...?"
"He saw her dying, Frank. He saw the ruins capturing her and ripping her soul out so brutally that she died instantly. He knew where it happened because he led us there afterwards but all that was left was her necklace. That's when we all realized that his so called headache had really been a vision... he could have saved her life, but he preferred to let her die... nobody knows why..." She shook her head looking around, as if searching for the answers. It was obvious that it was adelicate subject for them all.
"How could he do that to his brother? Did he hate her or something? How could he just let her die?!" I asked in disbelief. None of it made sense!
"We don't know... he knew what was going to happen but didn't tell anyone. He looked his brother in the eye and told him that he just had a headache... he let the person that Gerard most cared about in the world die... he watched it happen in his head and let it happen in real life... he just, let it happen..."
The more Iheard her speak, the more a wave of rage grew inside of me. How could anyone do that to their brother? Now I know why Gerard hated his brother so much. How could Mikey even look at his brother after what he had done to him? Especially with as much arrogance as he did.
"Aww man, is it story time already? Someone should have told me so I could join in on the fun,"said Gerard sarcastically from the main doorway with a serious look on his face.
Both Aileen and I jumped up from our seats as we heard the unexpected voice breaking our almost silent conversation. It was then that I realized how softly we had really been speaking.
Aileen immediately got up from her chair and rushed over to Gerard. "I'm so sorry, Gerard, we shouldn't have been talking about this without you knowing, we-"
He silenced her with a nod and a wave of a hand. She seized the opportunity and quickly entered the building after throwing a glance over her shoulder.
From my seat, my eyes darted around nervously. Gerard made his way over to the table and stood next to me. "I'm sorry, Gerard, but don't blame Aileen, I asked her about it. It's just that I've heard a lot of comments about a girl and saw how much it affected you... I just wanted to know what it was all about." Gerard stood looking at the floor with his arms crossed in front of him and kicking some invisible object on the ground as I continued babbling on. "I should have just asked you about it, instead of someone else, but I know it's not exactly something you like to talk about."
Sighing, he took a seat next to me where Aileen had been just a few minutes ago. "It's okay, it's normal to be curious. This actually makes it easier on me... not having to tell you the story myself." He glanced up at me offering a tentative smile that only lasted half a second. I saw right through his feeble attempt at making a joke; it was still really hard for him to even remember what happened. He ran a shaky hand through his hair before dropping them both down into his lap, where he began to fidget, opening his mouth and shaking his head slightly as he thought of what to say and how to say it.
I put a hand on his knee, trying to offer some comfort. "Gee, if you don't want to say anything about what happened, its fine, I understand."
He shook his head, offering the same feeble smile as before. "I want to... it's just hard... Iloved her, Frankie, I really did... and Mikey, he just... he let them take her away from me..." At that point his eyes had filled with tears. His eyes fluttered, trying not to let the tears spill out as he looked around awkwardly avoiding my worried gaze. I wanted to help him, but knew it was impossible. I scooted closer to him and put my arms around him in a hug. He felt stiff under me as he let his arms just lay in his lap, but after a minute or two he hugged me back; I could feel his muscles relax under my arms. When we broke apart, I noticed his eyes were full of despair, but also had a hint of confusion as he looked back at me. I wondered what he was thinking right then. I would have killed to have that power, the power to read people's minds; it would have helped so much.
"Frank, about what happened in your room..."
In the split second of time I had to come up with something to say, I had an internal argument. I could tell him it meant nothing to me, that it had been a mistake, or say the truth; that I had actually felt something really intense when his lips pressed against mine, and that I itched to feel their fullness again. The first choice won. "Don't worry about it, Gee, I know you didn't mean anything by it. You were just trying to comfort me and things got a bit out of hand; no big deal. I've already forgotten about it." Could I have made up a bigger lie?I doubt it. But I did it for him; I told him what I thought he needed to hear in that moment.
He looked at me uncertainly, scrunching together his eyebrows for a second before smiling falsely. "Yeah... I'm glad you understand."
I returned the false smile. It was what he needed to hear, I repeated to myself over and over again, I was sure it was. Even though it wasn't what I wanted to say.
So, the truth about Gerard is revealed! Now we all know what he and Mikey where always talking about... and why Gerard's so pissed!
Review and rate please... I live off of those babies ;)
Also... aquestion. Does anyone even read the lyrics I put at the beginning of every chapter? It takes me a long time to find good lyrics that fit in with what's happening sometimes, and if nobody reads them... then I won't put them. If anyone does, though, I'll continue to put them. I, for one, like it. I could just be weird though. Let me know.