Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Fate's Cruel if Life's Great

Fading Like a Photograph

by DisenchatedDestroya 7 reviews

"But I do want to date him. Even more than I did back in that hell called high school." Read, review, rate and feel my love :P

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters: Frank Iero,Gerard Way,Mikey Way - Published: 2011-11-29 - Updated: 2011-11-29 - 4398 words - Complete

Chapter Eleven – Fading Like a Photograph

Gerard’s POV


I want to be asleep, out-for-the-count and unable to count my problems; not awake, conscious and with a chastising conscience berating me for all that I’ve done.

All that I’ve done.

But just what the fuck did I actually do? What did I do to make Mikey so frightened of me, like he actually thinks that I’m mentally capable of hurting him? I’m not. Really I’m not. I could never hurt him, not least because then I’d be the only one around to fix his wounds. I just don’t get how he can doubt, even through the horrific hell of his nightmare, my love for him; my hatred of him being in pain; the fact that I’d rather die than be the cause of his tears.

But I have been. Too many times. Way too many times.

Maybe he’s just oversensitive?

No. I’m just a bastard and I don’t want to admit it.

But I am one and I’ve got to admit it if I ever want to make up for it. Which I do. More than anything; more than Fate enjoys shitting on me; more than it took for me to get clean; more than I enjoyed the blissful Heaven of being lost in Frank Iero’s endless mouth; more than the amount of putrid, sickening fear that I see in the back of Mikey’s eyes whenever he looks at me. Which he doesn’t anymore, always keeps his eyes either darting around the room in an almost paranoid way or down on the floor like his pupils are as heavy as his heart seems to be. But when he does dare look, he really does look scared of me. And it slices my heart like the shattered lens from his glasses sliced his face last night. It’s been going on for a while now, longer than a while now that I think about it; ever since I got clean I’ve noticed that shard of fright constantly piercing his wide eyes. It’s always there, even when he’s smiling.

Wait. How stupid does that sound, ‘when he’s smiling’? He never smiles and I’ve given up hope on it happening anytime soon.

Fuck, that sounded cold. And maybe I am cold, but at least I’m honest. And whilst I’m being honest perhaps I should explore how it felt to have Frank Iero, a gorgeous guy that doesn’t even know my brother, telling me exactly what I should know about Mikes and then make it all better for him. I should and I shall.

I scared my baby brother by being there for him like Frank had told me to be and look where it got me; sleeping on some torn up couch, listening to Frank comfort the brother that I all but deemed un-soothe-able. Hearing Mikey’s terrified cries drift away like a black cloud on the winds of Frank’s words, nothing can compare to how completely shit, for lack of a more fitting word, that made me feel. Once upon a time it would have been me that was cuddling him to sleep, making sure that there were no monsters under the bed and promising that I wouldn’t leave his side until the safety of the Sun infiltrated his bedroom; but not anymore. Because, according to the look in his eyes, I am the monster from under the bed and that hurts like the sting of the Sun on a vampire’s icy skin.

I miss comforting him, I miss him finding comfort in me. Obviously I would rather that he didn’t need comforting at all; or would I? I liked the feeling of being needed, of being loved, of feeling my little brother listen for my heartbeat because that heartbeat meant that I was there and that he was safe; I liked it all because it made me feel, no not feel, it made me important and it gave me happiness in the knowledge that I was a good big brother. But not anymore. Because he does get upset and sad and hurt like he always has done (but much more so in recent years) but, unlike always, he doesn’t come to me for help. I have to force it upon him and it always makes things worse and I don’t understand why he acts so distant to me, so afraid of me. Like I can only make things worse, not better; like I’ll add to the scars on his face from years of bullying, not assist them in healing; like I’ll hurt him, not help him.

I want to help him; want it more than a reluctant pessimist secretly wants a good outcome. I wants don’t get though, do they? Mikey wanted our mom to be alive when he ran into the operating theatre; she looked twice as dead than she was. That fat Jack-Russell, Misfit I think, wanted Frank to come back to her last night; he never came. I wanted Mikey to be happy to see me last night, to feel safe at seeing me; he’d screamed. And even then Frank had to tell me to let go of him. Because I’m incapable of looking after a sixteen-year-old.

I hate saying that; not just because it means admitting my failure, but because it means admitting that Mikey isn’t the little kid I picture him as anymore. He’s sixteen. No longer like the trouble-less, joyful, mischief-maker that I have a picture of in my wallet.

Hang on, it’s not in my wallet; it’s in my hand and pressed to my chest as though it could keep me warm through last night’s chills. I remember now; I’d pulled it out of my wallet around the time that my ears were bleached with the sound of Mikes begging Frank not to leave him like he should have been begging me. I’d gotten it out because it’s the one image that always pulls me through anything. When I want to go out and get smashed? I look at the smiling six year old that’s been forever captured on that frayed piece of priceless paper and know that I can’t leave him to the skeletons hiding in the closet. When Mikey needs help with homework that I can never hope to understand? I look at the toothy and, in parts, toothless beam of the boy that my brother used to be and remember the infallible logic of his six-year-old mind, logic that always helps me to find the answers. When I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? I look at the bright, sparky eyes that exude the energy that I need to get up and look after the owner of the hollows that those torches of aspiration have deformed into. When I hear Mikes crying at times he believes nobody to be listening or that nobody cares? I look at the mud-flecked face of a sincerely gleeful kid and renew my vows to take care of him to the best of my ability. Apart from the best of my ability isn’t good enough, is it?

Obviously not.

If it were then I wouldn’t be stretched out on my high school (and current) crush’s couch, trying to remain asleep. Because when you’re asleep guilt can’t eat you alive; pain fades into the blackness; memories are overrun with thoughts that never made it to your conscious mind; nothing can hurt you. Unless you’re Mikey Way, in which case everything becomes twenty times worse. And not even your big brother can fix it.

“Gerard, you awake?” The voice is soft but it still prods into my crowded mind like a slippery fish into an already bursting net. A beautiful fish though, a fish that there will always be room for. Just not right now; not whilst I’m trying to sleep and figure stuff out. “Gee?”

Fuck, he hasn’t called me that since Mr Adams’ class. And it melts me completely, makes my mind flow from sleep’s overturned cup in the form of a groan.

“Is that a yes?”

“Yuhuh.” I manage to spit out around my mouthful of doziness and adoration for the face staring down at me.

A face that was pressed to my own last night in the best few minutes of my life so far; a face that belongs pressed up to mine because without it there my face feels horribly cold and alone. And then it breaks into my thoughts like a high-pressure leak bursting out of a tiny hole in a rusty pipe; he was looking after Mikey, why isn’t he still doing that? I know that I just complained about how it should be me, but if my brother needs someone I’d rather Satan was taking care of him than he was left all alone.

He must sense my shift from semi-content at seeing his face to worried about having to whack him one for leaving my brother because he flicks my fringe out of my eyes in a loving, reassuring manner. Just like I always wanted him to; with his fingers trailing up and down each strand like they’re some sort of rare serpent of superiority that have entranced the caring curiosity of his slender fingers as though he can’t bear to part with the floppy charcoal staining my face.

“Calm it, Gee. Everything’s cool.” His boyish smirk that splatters his voice like neon pain flicked onto a black piece of paper teases a small smile from my own lips and I trust his judgement of the situation. I wouldn’t trust anyone else's, normally I’d snatch evidence to prove the truth of the assessment, but I can trust Frankie's; he rescued Mikes, after all.

I yawn like an overfed, overly lazy cat and stretch out, holding the stretch a little longer than necessary to both emphasise it and to give Frank something to look at; my t-shirt has ridden up to reveal the top of my Calvin Klein boxers. Or my pulling boxers, as I lovingly call them.

How the fuck is he doing this? Making me act like the teen I once was; all carefree and, I don’t know, cheery? How has he made me smile amidst all the torpedoes running riot in my cluttered head? I may not have the answer and neither am I particularly bothered about finding it. All I need to know is that he has and that I like it. Not like. Fucking love it. Love it like I think I love him. Apart from I love him so much more. If I actually do love him, that is. Which I’m sure I do. I just can’t rush into something, not with Mikes in my care. It would mess him up even more if I started dating his only friend, even more if he got used to the idea and then we broke up. Well, I think that I’m jumping the gun a little here. There is a huge difference between kissing, or in our case pinning someone to a couch and eating each other’s faces, and actually going out. Oh well. Doesn’t mean I can’t do it again. It’s not like Frank was complaining.

But I do want to date him. Even more than I did back in that hell called high school. I want to sleep next to him. Who am I kidding? I want to do a damn lot more than sleep next to him; sleep with him. Make him smile and giggle like he did last night when we were remembering the things that I’d feared he’d forgotten. Make him feel good inside like kissing him made me feel good inside. Make him beg me to do things that I’ll deny all knowledge of, make him want them more. Make him moan my name like it’s some sort of incantation that will end all of the world’s suffering. Make him love me as much as I do him.

“Take a picture; it’ll last longer.”

Was I staring? Shit, I was. I’m blushing like a crazed fan-girl meeting her idol, but I don’t regret it. Not one little bit. I could never regret staring at Frank; I desire his image far too much to regret trying to burn it into my mind. He may be short, but it’s all about quality, not quantity. And I don’t think he could be of higher quality if an angel came down and gave him a halo, nor if a demon appeared and gave him horns. Hm. Horny Frank. I’ll have to remember that one.

I laugh in response to his overused line, a line that I have used myself many times before. It may be done to death, but from him it sounds dead original and curiously cute. Just like him.

“How’s Mikes?”

I sit up and he jumps over the arm of the chair to perch next to me like the agile creature that Misfit should be, but isn’t through years of having someone like Frank spoil her. Speaking of the jolly Jack-Russell, she rounds the corner of the couch like an oncoming avalanche and leaps up into Frank’s lap. Lucky bitch.

“He’s in the shower. I’ve lent him some of my clothes.” He explains matter-of-factly, but with a touch of distantness that makes me realise that he’s actually sad.

Sad about my brother. Sad because I can’t take care of him properly and he’s now in his current, distressing state; a state that’s distressing Frank nearly as much as it’s distressing me. How do I know that it’s distressing me more? I’m all that kid has and I have the responsibility to look after him. No, not ‘responsibility’, that suggests that it’s a burden. I choose to be his guardian, I find joy in it even. Or I would if Mikes ever managed to find joy in having me. But he doesn’t and he never will because I can’t replace our parents. So I’ll just be his brother. That’s what Frank thinks I should do and, like I said before, I trust Frank. Anyway, back to my original point; I know that it’s distressing me more because I don’t just have the worry and concern and pity and sympathy that Frank has gnawing at his soul, I have guilt too. Guilt and shame and anguish. Because, at the end of the day, this is my fault. I pushed him out, pulled the blinds and bolted the doors; a little too literally.

“Thanks.” After all he’s done for you and your family, that’s all you can say? C’mon, Gee, he deserves more than that and you know it. You fucked up with Mikes, don’t do the same with Frank. “Really, it means a lot.”

Oh yes, because the addition of five flimsy words makes the world of difference. Come on, Geetard, show your appreciation.

So I do.

I rip the serious line of his lips from his face with my own, grateful ones. I feel the line transform into something glorious, into that my lips are searching for; that adorably irresistible smirk. Then the smirk parts like the opening of the greatest gift ever given and I can taste every aspect of his life; the tingling of his mint toothpaste, the creamy sweetness of a hot chocolate he must have had when he woke up, the faded flavour of cigarettes that indicate he hasn’t smoked for a fair few days, the hyper and sugary flavour of an obscene amount of Skittles. Skittles? At eight in the morning? Well, it just makes him all the more unique and me all the more blessed to be the one tasting such a miraculously delicious mishmash of flavours. It’s nothing compared to last night’s epic, but I don’t want it to be. Last night was about my daring carnival of lust marching on top of him, even if only for a collection of too-quick sixty-second eternities; this is about gratitude. A gratitude that kind of stings like a Taser because I shouldn’t be being grateful; he should be the one with a sore back from sleeping on the couch whilst I dried my baby brother’s tears.

That screeching thought shatters the moment like a fist has shattered my brother’s face and Fate has shattered his heart. I can’t find it within myself to give my soul the pleasure of this kiss. Not after the way I’ve treated Mikey. Even last night I was still being a dick, storming off in a childish tantrum because I can’t face the fact that I’ve robbed my brother of his trust in me. A trust that was always there and I took for granted, but will be damn impossible to earn back.

I really have lost him this time. Well and truly.

I pull back, Frank’s smirk falling with the weight of a colossal diamond upon opening his eyes to see the tears dribbling out of my own. I know that I don’t need to tell him what’s wrong, he already knows.

He puts an arm around my shaking shoulders, pulling me close so that I’m leaning more on him than on the couch. Something which perturbs Misfit, who jumps off of Frank indignantly, almost as though she can sense I need him more than she does right now.

“He feels bad too, you know.” He pauses thoughtfully, looking down at me like some sort of divine-knowledge giving angel imparting it’s wisdom to a crowd of unworthy idiots.

He doesn’t know if Mikes feels bad, how can he? The kid never talks if he can avoid it, let alone open up about his innermost thoughts and feelings. He used to, though. Back when I had time to listen. I still do, I always have done, he just can’t see that. And now it’s too late. Because the scream and the tears and the cries and the fear all mean one thing; I’ve lost him completely.

“He really does.”

“How d’you know?” Great. Here I go again. Fighting away the shame and sorrow with false anger. Anger that sounds so ridiculously childish anyone would think that I’m the high school kid here, not Mikes.

I really do despise how my mind works. Someone succeeds where I fail. What do I do? Get jealous and cagey. Someone points out something I don’t want to hear. What do I do? Get mean. Someone tries to help me with something I want to handle myself, even if I know that I’ll fail miserably. What do I do? Get angry and pissy. I always feel bad about it later though. Worse than bad. Sevenfold. But that doesn’t make my attitude right and it’s cost me a hell of a lot; far more than I’m worth. I should apologize before I manage to make an enemy out of someone I want to be my lover.

“I’m sorry, it’s just I-“

“Don’t worry about it, Gerard.” I nod in response, smiling slightly to myself as his smirk dances back across his face with the stunning captivity of the world’s greatest ballerina. Not ballet. Something more sexy. The Tango. That’s it. His lips Tango into his trademark smirk that I love him for. “And back to your question; I know because of how guilty he looked when you left him last night.”

“He was scared though, Frankie. Scared because of me. Not guilty.”

“Yeah, he was scared. Scared of upsetting you.”

“Why though?”

“Why are you scared of upsetting him?”

I pause our thoughtful rally to think this through and only find one decent answer.

“Because he’s my little brother and I love him.”


“But he’s the not the one that’s been horrible.”

“True, but he doesn’t feel like that.” It pains me to know that Frankie, whilst amazingly adorable and adorably amazing, can break through the mental blockades that my baby brother has put up, mental blockades that I can’t even weaken. My baby brother. ‘My’ being the operative word. Not Frank’s; mine. I should be the one doing all that Frank has, doing it and being proud that I have helped him; but all I do is cause him to need help. Help that, no matter what I do, I can’t give him. I raise my eyebrows at Frank, indicating for him to carry on with his knowledgeable theory. “He thinks that you’re angry with him and, to a kid like Mikey,that must mean that he’s done something wrong.”

I cry harder, pushing Frank away from me because it hurts to be so close to the person that I should be.

“Gee, I’m sorry. That didn’t come out right.” Oh, but it did. He meant what he said because it’s one-hundred-per-cent true. Even I can admit that. “But it’s true.” Precisely. “He doesn’t want you to be angry with him, Gerard.” No shit, Sherlock. “So please, for the love of God, when he comes out of the bathroom be his big brother. Be the person that he needs.”

It’s not fair! Why does he get to understand and be calm and adult about this when all I get it is everything wrong? And then I really do feel angry. With myself, not with Mikey. Never with Mikey. Not really. I love him too much to ever feel anything but different variations of care for him. Concerned care; hopeless care; parental care; frustrated care. But never the right kind of care. And that pisses me off. I can never get it right!

And who the fuck does Frank think he is to lecture me about how to take care of my little brother; an emotionally troubled kid he doesn’t even properly know? I don’t need his help. I’ve been getting along just fine without it.

Wait. That’s not right. Not right at all. Nor is it fair.

Fuck it! I can’t be bothered with being fair at the moment; does someone who’s had their heart ripped out and stamped on try to stop the blood pouring onto innocent bystanders just because it wouldn’t be ‘fair’ to drench them in it? No. Because a person with an obliterated heart doesn’t care about being fair.

But it’s my brother who’s got the obliterated heart, not me. I just have to mend his. But I can’t! I’ve been trying to for so long that I’ve lost half of the pieces. And, just like when a toddler can’t find a missing puzzle piece, I’m feeling frustrated. Frustrated and angry. At myself. But I can’t take it out on myself. I have to let it out or I think that I’ll explode.

“If you know so fucking much about everything, why don’t you be what he fucking needs? Huh? ‘Cause all I ever manage to do with the kid is fuck up so why don’t you just shut the hell up and try to fix your precious little Mikey? Or is he too fucked up for help? What do you think, oh wise one?” No answer. Shocked silence. “What’s that? Can’t you talk either? Fucking pathetic. The pair of you.”

What the hell have I just done?

Frank Iero, the guy that I love and want to be with almost as much as I want to help Mikey, was giving me advice on a subject that I hopelessly fail in and I’ve just thrown it back in his perfect face. A face that I want to kiss by the way of an apology. Ha. Like he’ll let me kiss him now. Why can’t I just, for once, keep everything in proportion and stay calm? Three years of addiction, that’s why. Messed up my temper something chronic. But even then that doesn’t take the blame away from me like I want it to. Need it to. Because what I’ve just said is so spiteful that I don’t want to have to admit liability. I want to take it back, want to take it back like a junkie wants his next hit; it’s more like a need than a want. If I apologize will he even forgive me? I’d like to think so. Think that he can understand that I’m stressed out and worried about my little brother. But even then I still won’t forgive me for it. I’m a fucking disgrace.

“You absolute bastard.”

He looks close to the tears that are streaming from my eyes as a result of my overflowing buckets of failures. I can hear sobs, but his mouth is shut and I don’t think I’m making them. He’s not looking at me anymore, he’s looking at a spot behind me; by the bathroom door that I’ve got my worthless back to.

“Oh, Mikey.”


A/N: Thanks for reading; I hope that you liked it! I’ve had a crap day at school, so I kinda struggled with this, but writing always helps so forgive me for uploading something that may/may not be any good. Anyway, enough excuses from me; thank you for reading! I’d just like to thank the lovely people who have taken the time to review this story so far; it really does mean a lot and motivates me to write. So, thank you! Thanks you for reading and please, PLEASE review; I can’t improve without ‘em! :)
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