“Mikey, I don’t know if we should. It’s too risky. I don’t want you to get in trouble.”
“Gee, please. I’m not a baby. I can make my own decisions. Now are you with me, or what?”
Gerard sighs, looks down at his lap and screws his face as he thinks. Mikey wants to kiss that face, but he holds back for Gerard’s sake.
“Fine,” Gerard finally says.
Mikey smiles and pulls him into a hug. “Thanks, Gee.”
The few things the Way brother’s take with them is this:
In Mikey’s backpack:
• A few spare clothes, i.e. a Misfits t-shirt; a pair of ripped but sturdy jeans; spare socks, pale blue; a few pairs of underwear, black, white, and a selection of colours; etc.
• Food: three pieces of fruit, two sandwiches, some cookies, which Gerard insists they take.
• Two bottles of water.
• Sixty-two dollars.
• One iPod (essential).
• One favourite comic, X-Men.
In Gerard’s backpack:
• One t-shirt.
• One pair of underwear.
• One sketchpad (in favour of food).
• Three pencils (no sharpener).
• One eraser.
• One hundred and twenty dollars (mostly in change).
• Four cookies, neatly wrapped in cling wrap.
• Five comics (Batman).
• Two watches, one working, one not.
• Four paintbrushes. One is broken.
• One watercolour palette.
• One book called, ‘How to survive a zombie outbreak’, written by Henry Graham.
• Two rolls of duct tape.
• A torch.
• Twelve old, non-working batteries.
• One mouldy banana, squished at the bottom.
• A lighter.
• Half a carton of Marlboro cigarettes.
Obviously this is Gerard’s idea of ‘light’ packing.
They reach the outskirts of town when Gerard has the idea to bury their phones. “So no one will be able to track us down, or anything.”
Mikey thinks this is a brilliant idea. They dig a shallow hole into the hard earth, drop their phones in (after turning them off, of course), and covering the hole back up.
They walk away from them and never turn back. It’s now or never time to turn back, Mikey realises. They silently chose never.
They travel for a whole day, stopping only to rest for five minutes before continuing. They have no idea where they’re going, but they’ll know when they get there. Mikey already has blisters on his feet.
Gerard holds Mikey’s hand more than once over the course of three days, between trips to and from little places they find that sells food and water and anything they need to keep going.
It’s somewhere past the boarder, in an abandoned little cottage that looks like it has seen better days, where Mikey finally kisses Gerard. It’s also where Gerard kisses back.
They leave the cottage two days later, hand in hand. It’s a six hour walk to the city, but Mikey figures he can wait and walk that long as long as Gerard never let’s go of his hand. He feels like everything will work out if he keeps holding his hand.
“What do we do after we reach the city?” he asks.
“I’m not sure. Maybe we should find a motel or something. We could order room service?” Gerard says, and there’s a hint of something in his voice. Mikey thinks it sounds slightly off, but he shrugs it off as exhaustion and hunger. They haven’t eaten since they last ran out of food, which was two days ago.
They find a small motel on the corner of ‘Abandoned Land’ and ‘Asshole County’ (they name them to pass the boredom), and Gerard goes through with his promise of room service. Mikey orders pizza, Gerard orders the chicken.
They sit at the small round table haphazardly pushed into the corner and eat quietly, enjoying the food and the shelter and the warmth of their knees touching under the table. Gerard knocks Mikey’s and Mikey knocks it back, and before he knows it Gerard has his legs wrapped around Mikey’s, straddling his hips in the chair, teeth knocking, hands roaming, and Mikey swallows the bite of pizza and drops the slice onto his plate. It bounces on the edge of the table and falls to the floor, but Mikey doesn’t even care because Gerard’s lips are on his and his thighs are squeezing his own, and their erections are pressed together through their jeans and it’s a beautiful, delicious friction, and Mikey lets a moan escape his lips.
Gerard swallows it greedily, then pants, “Bed.”
They manage to make it to the bed without ever ceasing touching, and Mikey sits on Gerard’s hips this time, grinding down and hearing a dirty moan come out of his brother’s throat.
It’s the first time they have touched each other like this, and it’s the first time Mikey knows the taste of Gerard’s come.
It’s also the first time Gerard fucks him.
They lie together afterwards, and Gerard whispers, “It’s us against the world. We’re unstoppable.”
And then it’s just them and Gerard’s dirty hair and dirty hands and dirty underwear, and Mikey is completely happy to keep it this way.
But then the police and the People Control Officials catch up with them on the side of the highway. Mikey and Gerard sprint into the woods.
“I thought they wouldn’t find us!” Gerard shouts, dodging trees and roots.
“Well, obviously they did! What the fuck are we gonna do now? They’re either going to arrest us or shoot us down like dogs. I’m thinking that since we’re breaking the two main laws, you know, homosexuality and incest, I’m leaning towards the kill us part.”
Gerard rolls his eyes. “Fuck it, Mikey.” He grabs Mikey’s hand and squeezes until Mikey squeezes back, running beside each other now. “If we go down, at least then they’ll know. At least then we'll be together. They can't take us alive, remember?”
Mikey nods. He feels like turning himself in, pleading innocent, but deep down he really wants everyone to know that he’s in love with his brother, and no one can stop that or lock it away or shoot it.
It’s the shouting; the pounding of their feet on the ground; the sound of their blood pumping through their ears, their hearts beating rapidly against their ribs. It’s the hand in his. It’s their sweaty palms, hot fingers and tight grip that may be enough to convince Mikey that everything is okay. Everything is going to be okay.
But everything isn’t. And Mikey knows. They both do.
But that doesn’t stop them. Gerard once said that nothing will stop them; they are unstoppable, just the two of them against the world. And Mikey once believed him.
And even the gunshot just a few hundred meters behind them doesn’t stop him from barking out a laugh. It’s an ‘I can’t believe we’re doing this’ sort of laugh, and Gerard joins him.
Mikey can’t even remember the last time he had laughed this hard. Even though he knows they’re going to die, this is it, he can’t stop laughing.
He supposes everything has caught up with him, overwhelmed him a little, but none of that matters as long as Gerard’s hand stays warm and firm in his.
He tries to think of how this had all started; back to when they were only young and naive and too stupid and lovesick to know the difference between right and wrong. But it’s all wrong, isn’t it?
And Mikey thinks back to that first night, back to when they had a home and loving parent’s right before they made the decision that had changed their lives. And even though it had changed for the worse, Mikey thinks he has some good from it; a lot of good memories and nights where it was just the two of them.
But then there’s a gunshot far too loud to be a safe distance away, and suddenly Gerard screams and his hand slips out of Mikey’s and he stumbles and trips, twisting his head just in time to see his brother on the ground, clutching his thigh.
“Motherfuckers!” he screams.
Mikey scrambles to his feet, grips Gerard’s upper arms and hauls him over to a thick-trunked tree. Gerard slumps against it, panting heavily, and he says, “I’m fine, Mikey. It just grazed me. I swear.”
But it hasn’t just grazed him. There’s a gushing hole in his jeans and flesh. The bullet has ripped straight through his leg, lodging itself into Gerard’s bone.
Mikey swears and Gerard tries to hide the tears in his eyes and the whimpers falling from his mouth.
Mikey kneels down beside him, saying, “Come on, Gee. Stand up. We’ve got to keep going.”
Gerard nods reluctantly and Mikey helps him stand. Gerard cries out and Mikey’s gut twists. He watches his brother’s blood soak into his own jeans from where their legs are brushing with every step-hop-step-hop.
The shouting is louder and clearer now. Mikey chooses to ignore it in favour of trying to make Gerard go a little faster.
But then there’s another gunshot and Gerard screams again and Mikey feels like shouting at them, “Shoot me, instead! Just fucking shot me! Not him! He doesn’t deserve it!” but it won’t help, so he picks up the pace, Gerard almost a dead weight under his arm and across his shoulders.
“Where?” Mikey asks, and Gerard groans and a sob explodes from his mouth.
“In the other fucking leg, the fuckers.” He struggles to get the words past his lips, and Mikey groans as he tries to drag Gerard along.
“Gerard, come on, I know it hurts like fuck, but you gotta keep going,” he pants desperately.
Gerard sobs again, trying his best to use his legs properly but he only screams and buckles under the pain, collapsing to the dirt. He drags Mikey down with him. Mikey gets to his feet quickly, trying to pull Gerard up.
He gets Gerard in a standing position and is pulling him along, panting, sobbing, desperate for them both to survive. And then another gunshot rips through the air and the wind like someone pulling a zipper down far too quickly, but it’s so loud, so loud and it hurts Mikey’s ears; and there’s something wrong with Gerard because his hand is in his but it’s heavy, slowing Mikey down and almost pulling him back; and Mikey grabs his cold hand with both hands, a tighter grip, and Mikey realises that his brother is no longer crying or screaming or groaning and he turns around and almost stumbles because he’s dragging Gerard who’s lying face down, a hole in the back of his skull, blood gushing everywhere, his legs and free arm trailing in the dirt like a rag doll, and he just isn’t moving and Mikey wants to scream because Gerard’s dead. But then someone pulls that zipper down far too quickly again and there’s just pain, and white, and the bullet rips through his skull and his brain and exits through his forehead and he collapses to the ground like a bag of cement, blank eyes staring at Gerard’s muddy, blood-soaked cheek. And they never let go of each other’s hands because as long as Gerard’s fingers are wrapped through his, everything’s okay. Everything will be okay.
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