Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Feels like drowning

Chapter fourteen

by XxlovefrankieroxX 3 reviews

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: G - Genres:  - Characters: Bob Bryar,Frank Iero,Gerard Way - Published: 2013-11-06 - 5359 words

The town was in uproar. Frank felt like he could barely breathe as people surrounded him, everyone trying to talk to him and grab hold of him all at once. Only Bob and Jamia weren’t crowding around their friend. Jamia had woken up from her faint not long after everyone else started to appear, and Bob had taken her in his arms and was gently rubbing her back to make her feel better as she stared with stunned eyes at the crowd hiding Frank from view.

Frank hadn’t said a single word to anyone yet, but everyone was asking him questions and trying to find out where he had been for so long. He was happy to answer them, but he didn’t have chance to so much as open his mouth before another question was being fired at him. It was all very overwhelming and he was so exhausted from swimming for hours trying to find the town that he just wanted to be left alone so he could rest.

“Enough!” Suddenly Marigold’s stern voice cut through the hue of questions and Frank saw her face appear between two mermen’s shoulders. “Everyone stop crowding him! Give him some space!”

Frank breathed a small sigh of relief as gradually everyone did as they were told and moved aside. They didn’t move far, everyone still waiting to hear him speak but Frank was at least able to move without jostling into everyone. He smiled gratefully at Marigold and ran a hand slowly through his hair, his eyes seeking out Jamia.

Everyone was murmuring quietly to each other, a few started to shout questions again but Frank wasn’t listening anymore. He swam to where he could see Jamia was resting with Bob and tried to offer her his hand, but she just looked at him as if she didn’t even recognise him anymore.

“Hey…” Frank whispered, his heart racing. He felt sick and tired, his insides raw and bloody after having to tear himself away from the man he loved. He needed someone in the ocean to be there for him, he needed his friends to still love him or he wouldn’t be able to cope for the year he was now forced to remain prisoner here.

“Frank…” Bob shook his head slowly, his eyes wide with disbelief. “I can’t believe it’s actually you… I… Where have you been all this time?”

Frank smiled awkwardly, not really sure how to answer so he didn’t. Instead he looked at Jamia, sinking down to kneel on the sand in front of her and touch her caudal fin gently. It fluttered under his fingertips, as if she wanted to move it away but didn’t have the energy.

“Jay… Jamia… I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long.” Frank blushed as Jamia looked at him with confusion in her eyes, her lips stuck firm together. “I was so scared that you were hurt that night in the storm, and I tried looking for you…”

“Why didn’t you just come back here?” Jamia’s voice was quiet and broken when she spoke, full of pain. She had wanted Frank to return so badly, she hadn’t considered that she wouldn’t feel happy to see him. She knew she should be relieved to see him, but instead she felt oddly betrayed. He looked perfectly fine, not hurt at all, and she couldn’t understand where he had been.

“You’ve been gone for two months Frank.” She croaked, her chest heaving as she fought back tears. “/Two months/. Where were you!?”

“I’m sorry.” Frank apologised again, drawing his hand back to rest on his own tail. Everyone was watching them, listening into what should have been a private conversation and Frank’s skin was prickling with the sensation of so many eyes on him. “It’s a long story…”

“Just tell me where you were.” Jamia demanded, her voice stronger now as she frowned. “I don’t care /why/, just tell me /where/.”

Frank bit his lip, hesitating. He wasn’t sure what to say, he hadn’t really been expecting Jamia to react like this. He thought she would be happy to see him return, he thought everyone would be. Had he been wrong to expect them all to welcome him back with open arms? Maybe he wasn’t welcome at all, maybe he just didn’t belong in the ocean anymore.

“I’ve been living with a human.” Frank didn’t want to reveal the truth but he saw no other option. He sighed the words in a defeated tone and bowed his head, squeezing his eyes shut as everyone started gasping and talking and questioning all over again.

Jamia just stared at Frank in horror, Bob behind her looking suddenly pale and as if he had turned suddenly and violently ill. He opened and closed his mouth but couldn’t think of anything to say. Eventually it was Marigold who once again had to call everyone to order. She swam to Frank and sank down beside him, looking at him with wide eyes.

“You’ve been living with a human for two months?” She clarified, the news doing nothing to help her already increasing stress. It felt like everything that could ever go wrong was happening. The joy she had initially felt at hearing about Frank’s seemingly miraculous return had quickly disappeared. “A human knows about us?”

“No.” Frank quickly insisted, turning to meet Marigold’s gaze and try to look as convincing as possible. If anyone knew that he had told Gerard the truth they would shun him. He wasn’t sure what would happen, perhaps they would kick him out of the town, or make him a prisoner, or even sentence him to death… All that he could be certain of was that his telling Gerard the truth would not be met with any form of approval.

“I swear I never told him anything.” Frank insisted, a few suspicious whispers behind him making him blush but he held strong. “The storm washed me onto the shore, and the human found me unconscious. He took me in and cared for me, let me heal… He was just doing me a kindness. We became…” Frank hesitated, his blush increasing as he whispered; “Friends…”

“Friends…” Jamia whispered, giving a short, hollow laugh and shaking her head. “Friends with a human.”

“He was good to me.” Frank insisted, his eyes pleading. “He taught me a lot… I was going to leave straight away but the humans have protocols for that kind of thing. If I had just gone without word then he would have searched for me – It would have caused him pain.”

“And what about our pain!?” Jamia suddenly demanded, pushing out of Bobs arms and raising her body up so that she towered over Frank, glaring down at him. “We searched for you! Bob and I even went on land looking for you, and nearly got caught by humans ourselves. I’ve been going out of my mind worrying about you, and then you suddenly show up here and tell us that you were with a human the whole time? That you wouldn’t leave because you were /friends/.” Jamia’s words were venomous, spat at Frank like poison and he flinched from their force.

“Jam…” Bob whispered, gently touching Jamia’s hand to try and pull her back down but she shook her head, yanking her hand out of the way.

“You should have come home, this is where you belong! You’ve been up there eating human food and walking on human legs. How do we know you’re even the same person you were before? No one can spend that long with a human and not be changed.”

A few murmurs of agreement met Jamia’s words, some merpeople nodding their heads. Even Marigold was looking at Frank suspiciously now.

Merpeople didn’t like humans. They didn’t understand them, and they didn’t want to. They informed themselves about the human world as much as they could for the sake of going on land to reproduce but that was all. Frank supposed it shouldn’t be a surprise that everyone was disgusted to hear he had been on land for so long. Being on land was dangerous, interacting with humans was dangerous, and if anyone knew that Frank had become the lover of a human he would never be accepted again.

Frank didn’t feel like he would ever be accepted anyway. He didn’t belong in the ocean anymore, and his eyes stung with tears as he looked around at the faces peering back at him. These people felt like strangers. Not even his friends cared for him anymore. He and Jamia would have created a life together if it weren’t for the storm and now she couldn’t even look at him without getting angry.

“I…” Frank hesitated, not knowing what to say. He couldn’t go back to the land for a whole year, and suddenly that felt like a very long time indeed. He decided that the only thing he could do was change the subject.

“I’m sorry that I’ve been gone so long. But I don’t know what else I can say. Except… This whole town is in danger right now, and I wanted to help save it.”

“Wait, what?” Marigold shook her hand and held up her hands, frowning. “What do you mean?”

“Oh come on.” Frank scoffed, frowning himself now as he swam up to look down on everyone, Jamia still glaring at him. “You must have noticed the Sirens? They can’t be far from here, and they’ve been taking humans from their fishing boats, some even before they even get out of the harbour!” As Frank looked around the guilty faces looking back at him showed him that everyone was already aware of what he was talking about.

“Why should that put us in danger?” Marigold sniffed, though her tone implied that she was agreeing with Frank. The bags under her eyes also told him that she hadn’t been getting any sleep recently.

“I’ve witnessed first-hand how the humans are reacting to their sailors disappearing.” Frank said gently, though his voice was still strong. “They’re panicking, they’ve closed down their harbour and no one is allowed to go out on their boats. They can’t figure out why men are disappearing and if this carries on it will only be a matter of time before they begin to realise the truth.”

“But that’s nonsense.” A merman called out, shaking his head with his arms folded across his chest. “Everyone knows that humans don’t believe in us anymore.”

This was met with some approval and agreement, but Frank shook his head too, swimming up higher and calling out over the soft ‘yeah’s and ‘that’s right’.

“There are some humans who still believe!” He said loudly, waiting until everyone was looking at him again. “Other humans think that they’re crazy, and don’t listen to them. But once they’ve run out of any other explanations those who know the truth aren’t going to sound too crazy anymore… The human who took me in used to talk about how the disappearances had to be due to something in the water, like some sort of creature snatching men from their boats. I used to tell him he had to be wrong but I could tell he didn’t believe me. The Sirens have to be stopped, if they’re not then humans are going to start coming out here and searching the waters for some sort of creature – and you can imagine how they’re going to react when they find us.”

Frank’s words were met with some whispers of uncertainty. He could tell from the way people were huddling together that they were worried already without him needing to remind them of the danger they could all be in. He had noticed that people who had lived on the outskirts of town didn’t live there anymore; as he had swam in he hadn’t come to any homes until right into the centre of the town. It looked as though the merpeople had shrunk the town so they could all live closer together for safety, and Frank knew the only reason they would do that was because of the Sirens.

“You must all know that we have to do something. We can’t let the Sirens keep taking humans.” Frank softened his voice slightly, trying to be gentle but Jamia was still angry and she swam in front of him to block him from view for the rest of the town.

“I don’t care if the Sirens are taking humans.” She said strongly, her eyes poisonous. “They’ve been taking humans since the dawn of time, and I don’t care! I don’t! And you only care because you have some human /friend/.” She sneered, turning her back on Frank and swimming back down to join everyone else.

“The humans won’t find us, and it isn’t our responsibility to save them from the Sirens. As long as we keep away from the Sirens ourselves then we’re safe.” She called out, facing the rest of the town and imploring them to believe her. “We’re doing all the right things, we just need to be vigilant. The Sirens won’t come here, and they’ll move on eventually when the humans start getting suspicious.”

“Haven’t you been listening to me?” Frank groaned, swimming down to face Jamia again and snarling as she tried to push him away. “They’re already suspicious! They’re going to start looking in the ocean and they have the technology to find us now! Don’t you see that!?” He cried, gripping Jamia’s wrists so that she would stop trying to hit him.

“I’ve seen their world!” Frank shouted, turning his head to look at everyone else. “They have machinery now, and computers. They can use all sorts of different things to find us.” He insisted, the alien words causing more panic to stir in the merpeople who could only imagine what a machine or a computer was.

“We still live like we have done for centuries. We don’t change with time like humans do. We’re just like animals, and humans hunt animals. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the Sirens have been snatching them that they’re easy to hurt. They will find us… And they will kill us… We have to stop the Sirens before that happens!”

Jamia snarled and yanked her wrists out of Frank’s grip but she didn’t try to oppose him. His words were frightening her, and they were frightening the rest of the town as well. Slowly people turned their terrified eyes away from Frank to look at Marigold instead, waiting for her to respond to Frank’s frightening claims.

Marigold looked sick as she gazed at Frank, her hands clasped in front of her. She was nervously wringing her palms together, and for a long moment she didn’t say anything at all. When she realised everyone was waiting for her to speak she blushed and turned to face Frank properly, taking a deep breath so that her voice didn’t shake.

“Okay… Then what do you suggest?”

Immediately everyone turned to look at Frank again, eagerly awaiting his advice. Frank hesitated, blushing as he realised everyone was expecting him to have a plan already but he didn’t. He had known he would have to persuade everyone to help him get rid of the Sirens but he hadn’t been expecting to have this talk so soon after his return. He simply wasn’t prepared.

“Well… Obviously we need to get rid of the Sirens.” Frank began and then paused again, trying to think of their best approach. “I don’t think just talking to them will make them leave… We’ll have to fight.”

“Oh great, now you want us to lay our lives on the line to protect your precious humans.” Jamia scoffed but to Frank’s surprise Bob hushed her.

“He’s right.” He spoke out, Frank staring in amazement at his old neighbour. “I’d be lying if I tried to pretend that I hadn’t thought it would come to this all along. No matter how much we try to convince ourselves that we’re safe and that we can live so close to a Siren colony it’s just not going to happen.” Bob shrugged, as if it wasn’t a big deal but already a few of the women had begun to cry.

“There’s a reason why we live closer inland than Sirens – it’s to keep away from them. And if they don’t move away from here then we will.” Bob waited a moment, letting that sink in as he turned to look at everyone watching him. “But I say we fight. This is our town, and I’m not going to just flee because of a small colony of Sirens. I want to fight them, I want them to leave this place! And then we can go back to living in peace like we always have.”

“No! There’s no point getting ourselves killed!” Jamia shouted, starting to cry herself and she swam towards Bob to pound her fists against his chest. “How dare you side with him! After all he’s put us through, how dare you!”

Frank blushed, feeling a little guilty but more than that he just felt angry and upset. He couldn’t understand why Jamia was acting the way she was. He understood that she was upset about him being gone for so long but he hadn’t disappeared to hurt her. And he was back now, he just wanted her to be happy to see him.

“Alright, alright enough!” Marigold swam up above everyone’s heads and called for silence. Jamia carried on crying but she hid her face in Bob’s chest to stifle the noise as Marigold talked.

“Now isn’t the time to discuss what we are going to do about the Sirens.” Marigold looked at Frank, her eyes softening. “Frank Is obviously exhausted. I propose that we come back here this evening and listen to his story in full, and then we will vote on whether we fight the Sirens or not.” Marigold turned away from Frank to look at everyone else, asking if there were any objections but when no one spoke up Jamia cried out in outrage and shot through the water back to her home.

Frank bit his lip and bowed his head, wanting to follow the distressed mermaid but he knew she didn’t want to see him. Bob waited until Marigold gave a time for the meeting and then he too disappeared to comfort the sobbing girl.

Frank looked up slowly at the other merpeople but shuddered and turned quickly away. He didn’t want to speak to any of them, in fact he barely felt like he recognised most of them. He wanted desperately to be back on land with Gerard and it was all he could do not to cry himself as he weaved his way through the town to find his old cave.

The drop off zone where Frank’s home was situated felt colder than ever as Frank swam down to the opening in the cliff face that belonged to him. He didn’t remember the darkness feeling this suffocating, the water this freezing before… It felt like a million miles away from the life he had led in the human world and he ached to return there.

Frank swam into his cave as quickly as he could, halting in the darkness that seemed to swallow him. All his photophores had been covered in the growing algae and not a single glow could be seen. Frank sniffed and swallowed down the lump in his throat before drifting through the cave, sweeping his hands over the walls to remove the worst of the algae and reveal the photophores beneath.

Once the cave was finally filled with their warm, blue glow, Frank sank down onto the seaweed covered rock that dominated the space and rolled onto his front. He hid his face in his arms and began to cry, sobbing into his hands. He wanted to go back home – His home in the human world. He wanted to be back with Gerard, warm in his bed and safe in his arms. He wished he hadn’t come back to the sea, he wished he had just left the town to forever wonder about him and the Sirens to cause whatever havoc they wanted.

A year hadn’t seemed too bad when Frank had left. It had felt like a long time, and he hadn’t been looking forward to it, but he had consoled himself by believing that the time would go quickly whilst he was so busy working with everyone to get rid of the Sirens and spending as much time with Jamia and Bob as possible before he went back on land permanently. But now a year seemed to stretch endlessly out in front of him and Frank wasn’t convinced he would be able to cope at all.


Gerard sighed as he flicked from one TV channel to the next, peeking out from the several blankets he had cocooned himself with. The coffee table in front of him was littered with bottles of whisky and Irish cream. He had been pouring slugs of each into every cup of coffee he drank that day – and he was drinking a lot.

Gerard wanted to get drunk, he wanted to drink away all the pain that was consuming him now he was alone. He was already feeling uncertain that Frank would ever return, and even after only twelve hours he had almost convinced himself that it would be stupid to believe Frank was really going to come back.

The worst thing was Gerard knew he was just being ridiculous. Deep down he knew that Frank would come back to him when the year was up, and that wallowing in self-pity wasn’t going to make the year go any faster or make him feel any better at all. But right then he couldn’t think of anything better to do.

Gerard was feeling incredibly cold, despite the temperatures outside being fairly normal for that time of year. He had turned the thermostat for his apartment right up, and even huddled in all his blankets he was still shivering. That was why he was drinking so much coffee, he was too cold to drink just alcohol and decided pouring it into a hot drink was just as good as drinking it on its own. Though the large doses of caffeine were making his head ache and probably not helping with his shakes at all.

Gerard had struggled to sleep that night, and so by five am he had made his way to the sofa and had only moved since to make more coffee and nibble on a slice of toast before throwing it away only half eaten. He had no appetite, his stomach felt tight.

A small voice inside Gerard was talking incessantly about how he was being an idiot. He had never had the best coping strategies and had gone through similar bouts of drinking and depression throughout his years at Art College. He had got help at that time, the college had an on-campus counsellor who supported Gerard into developing better coping strategies and learning to get through problems without using drink as a crutch.

Now though Gerard didn’t want to use coping strategies, or relaxation techniques or any of the other stuff the counsellor had taught him. He wanted to spend all day wrapped up on his couch and watching awful day time TV until he felt better. And if he didn’t feel better then tomorrow he would do the same thing. And the day after that. And the day after that too if he had to. He didn’t care if it was self-destructive and he didn’t care if he was acting like a petulant child.

Gerard sighed and dropped the TV remote after settling on some afternoon cooking program. He hoped that watching it might restore some of his appetite since drinking so much on an empty stomach was making him feel a little light headed. He rolled over to reach across and grab his mug from the coffee table, snorting in disgust when he found it to be empty.

Gerard forced himself up off the couch and shuffled with his mug back to the kitchen to fill it up with the coffee keeping warm in the pot. He yawned and rubbed his eyes, wanting to sleep but knowing he wouldn’t be able to, especially with so much coffee in his system. He would have to cut out the caffeine in the afternoon and stick just to the whisky if he had any hope of falling asleep that night.

As he wandered back into the living room and looked at Frank’s canvas hanging on the wall he wondered fleetingly how the merman was doing. He didn’t suppose that he was drinking himself into a stupor or really feeling that agonized at all. He was probably just sucking it up and getting on with things. He was probably so much stronger than Gerard.

This thought did nothing to make the artist feel better and he poured a generous helping of Irish cream into his coffee. He stirred it round with a chopstick he had found under the sofa and then flopped back down amidst the cushions to drink. His eyes stared blankly at the TV where a woman was explaining how to make the perfect Victoria sponge and his stomach clenched in distaste. Whether at the thought of food or at the next onslaught of coffee and alcohol it was impossible to tell.


Frank stuck close to Bob as he and seven other mermen swam quietly through the dark waters. It was late; the town meeting had taken a lot longer than Frank had anticipated. There had been much debating, and much arguing, but in the end a vote was taken and only a few people had voted against trying to get rid of the Sirens.

Jamia had swam away in a rage when Marigold had declared that they would begin making a plan on how to attack the colony, but this time Bob didn’t follow her. He stayed to help, and had swam next to Frank to gently squeeze his shoulder in a friendly way. Frank had tensed up at first, not sure if he wanted Bob to be kind to him, but now that they were approaching the Siren’s colony he was glad to have a friend.

The meeting had ended with everyone deciding their best course of action was to send scouts out to confirm how many Sirens there were. Once they had a better understanding of what they were up against they could devise a real plan. Bob had immediately volunteered to be a scout, and Frank had quickly spoken up too. He couldn’t let other mermen lay their lives on the line and not do the same when it was he who had suggested that they fight the Sirens in the first place.

Few people knew exactly where the Sirens had based themselves. Since David’s disappearance those who did know didn’t want to help the scouts. They would only point vaguely in one direction and so Frank, Bob and the other men had had no choice but to swim in that direction and hope they came across something.

Frank felt like they had been swimming for hours with no luck, but whilst the water was dim and they had to sweep as large an area as they could their swimming was slow. By the time they found the Siren’s they were so convinced they weren’t going to see them that they almost stumbled straight into their base.

Frank was the first to spot their forms and he quickly pulled back, gesturing wildly with his hands to get the other men’s attention and make them fall back too.

The Sirens were not living in a town like Frank was. They had no form of protection, no buildings or caves to sleep in. They had picked a spot on the ocean floor which had little distinguishing features. Other than the usual rocks and shells lying about the space was empty. As such the Sirens were resting on the sand, keeping close together for warmth and safety. Luckily they were all asleep, if they had not been then Frank was sure they would have been spotted and attacked.

For a moment he and the other mermen kept perfectly still, and Frank was sure they were all feeling the same mixture of fear, panic and relief at not being seen. Now that they were at a safer distance they all carefully peered through the water at the sleeping Siren’s and each counted how many they could see.

Because the Sirens were all sleeping so close together Frank counted five times before deciding he had the right number. He nodded at the others to show he had a number in mind and they all waited until everyone was done counting before they quietly and slowly swam around the perimeter of the Sirens base.

Frank kept his eyes wide open and his senses alert. He was checking to see if there were any other Sirens away from the group, or if there were any hiding places or weapons they could take advantage of should the merpeople decide to attack. Once the area had been checked and it was decided that other than a few stray fishing nets the Sirens had access to nothing but the sand Frank, Bob and the other men turned to make their way back to the town.

Once they were completely out of range of the Sirens the men began to talk, quietly whispering over what they had seen and how many Sirens each of them had counted. They had a few number differences, but only by one or two, and it was the general consensus that there had been between ten and twelve Sirens.

With this knowledge the men fell silent, saying nothing more and all facing forward as they swam back to the town. Frank was thinking over the numbers and trying to be positive it wasn’t bigger. The town had fifty merpeople living in it, but that included women and children. Frank supposed some of the mermaids would want to fight too, but of course children couldn’t… They would have more numbers than the Sirens easily, providing the majority of those able to fight would be willing to. But Sirens were so much more dangerous than merpeople, they were killers… and merpeople were peaceful, non-violent creatures.

Frank wanted to believe that fighting the Sirens would be successful, that they didn’t have anything to worry about. But he kept thinking back to the Siren he had met all those weeks ago, and how even he, a merman in love with a male human, had been so close to swooning over her. She hadn’t even tried to seduce him… Imagine if she had.

Frank knew, as much as he didn’t want to admit it, that if the Siren’s turned on their charms he and all the other merman – and possible some of the mermaids too – would become putty in their hands. The Sirens would find it only too easy to slaughter them all.
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