Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance

Came Back Haunted

by xXKobraKidXx 0 reviews

Paramour Mansion fic. Songfic for "Came Back Haunted" by Nine Inch Nails.

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: R - Genres: Angst - Characters: Bob Bryar,Frank Iero,Gerard Way,Mikey Way,Ray Toro - Published: 2014-03-15 - 5156 words - Complete


Thinking straight was impossible. He was exhausted, depressed, and his mind refused to let him rest for mere moments. He couldn’t close his eyes without thinking that something could happen to him. He couldn’t leave, he had no cellphone reception, and the Wi-Fi sucked.

Mikey Way was stuck in the Paramour, and he didn’t like it one bit.

He understood Gerard’s need to connect with the main character. He understood that he was a method actor- he really had to put himself into someone’s shoes in the most literal way in order to accomplish his goal. Gerard had bleached his hair, he had read as many horror stories as possible, and talked for hours as to what happened during the parade he attended with Mikey as a child. To top it off, though, he wanted to stay at and record their new record at the infamous Paramour.

To reiterate- Mikey understood Gerard’s need to get into character… he just wished that he could’ve done it at a hotel that wasn’t this creepy.


The throat is deep and the mouth is wide
Saw some things on the other side

If they weren’t recording, they were rehearsing. The band was determined to make The Black Parade their best album yet, and in order to do that, they had to sound flawless. Mikey would play until his fingers bled, then wrap them up in a few bandages and go right back to playing an already flawless opening to /The Sharpest Lives/. The hotel staff would sometimes watch the rehearsals and be amazed, noting that, yes, everything was perfect… but not for the band.

“Practice makes perfect,” Gerard would say, “And we need to be perfect!”

Obviously, Gerard wasn’t simply concerned with just rehearsing. He often showed concern towards his fellow bandmates (Mikey, in particular), knowing that the rigid rehearsal schedule was taxing on his friends… but, they did agree that it was necessary. So, Gerard would help Mikey bandage his bleeding fingers and go right back to singing until his throat was raw.

Made me promise to never tell
But you know me, I can't help myself

Then, after rehearsal and recording, the band went to their rooms and passed out, exhausted.

Mikey hated his room. It was creepy in every way, shape, and form. The light bulb that hung in the center of the room casted an eerie blue glow in the room, which only made the room seem creepier. However, Mikey, in the beginning, gave the glow no thought- he was just too tired to care, and he needed sleep.

Really, everything had been fine those first few days. The Paramour, in spite of its gruesome past, was actually a nice hotel. The architecture was beautiful (and structurally sound), the hotel had a nice pool, and the eeriness, strangely enough, reminded Mikey of his mother’s doll collection. Mikey determined that the hotel was, in fact, not as bad as they said.

Now I've got something you have to see
They put something inside of me

One of the guys from Papa Roach had stayed in Mikey’s room in the past. He told Mikey that the room, aptly called the “Blue Room,” was the scariest room in the hotel. Mikey didn’t really believe him, so the guy told him that he wrote something on one of the walls. Mikey spent an hour checking the room and never found any writing. He simply brushed that one off- after all, a member of the staff could’ve cleaned it off or painted over it. For all he knew, there could’ve been a few curses written on the wall just for shits and giggles.

Mikey had done research on the Paramour and discovered its gruesome past, but that didn’t convince him that it was haunted. While he did believe in the supernatural, he didn’t believe that every supposedly haunted hotel was, in fact, haunted.

The smile is red and its eyes are black
I don't think I'll be coming back

She looked familiar- long, black locks, beautiful eyes, red lips. Her outfit, though, reminded him of the thirties. It was obvious that she was rich, and for some reason, he already knew why.

She was an heiress.

“I’ll be back soon, Antonio,” she said. It confused him- Antonio? His name was Mikey, not Antonio. He was about to correct her when he spoke involuntarily.

“Stay safe, Daisy,” he said, “Mulholland is black as pitch at night.”

“Oh, you worry so, love.” She shrugged the comment off, and Mikey immediately felt a horrible feeling in his stomach.

Mulholland… Mulholland Drive! Why did that sound familiar?

I don't believe it
I had to see it

“Mister Moreno?”

“To what do I owe this pleasure, officers?” The officer looked very much like Frank, and the other two looked like Ray and Bob.

“…I’m afraid this won’t be a pleasureful visit,” said the one who looked like Frank, “Sir, you might want to sit down for this.”

Mikey knew what he was about to say, but the version of himself that he was currently seeing wasn’t responding to his mental commands.

“Sir, your wife’s car plunged off of the cliff on Mulholland. Daisy is dead.”

For some reason, he was sad. He didn’t know who this woman was, but in the dream, he felt as though he had known her for a lifetime.


I came back haunted
I came back haunted

Mikey woke up gasping for air. His body was trembling and cold sweat coated his skin. It took him a moment to realize that he was not the only one in the room.

Gerard was at his side, concern evident in his features. “Christ, Mikey,” he murmured, draping an arm over his brother’s shoulders, “I’ve never seen you have that bad of a nightmare before.”

Mikey gave his brother a confused look. “W… what?”

“Mikey, you’ve been screaming for the past five minutes, you wouldn’t wake up right away, and you’re crying/.” Gerard paused to wipe at the tears that were still sliding down Mikey’s face. “And… and you were screaming some girl’s name… Daisy, I think.” He gave Mikey a serious look. “Mikey… /who is Daisy?”

“You remember that everyone kept saying that this place was haunted, right?” Mikey asked. Gerard nodded. “Uh… I’m not saying that I believe that, but… but I did some research on this place. It used to belong to some silent film actor and his wife… her name was Daisy.” Mikey took in a deep breath, trying to calm down. “She… she died after her car plunged off of Mulholland Drive. I don’t know why I had that dream, Gerard, but it terrifies me.”

Gerard pulled Mikey into a tight embrace, kissing his brother’s forehead. “I think I’ve been working you guys a bit too hard,” he murmured. He gently pushed Mikey back down on the bed and tugged the blankets around him before placing a hand on his forehead. “Actually, you feel a bit warm. Maybe that nightmare was caused by the stress I’ve been putting on everyone. Try to go back to sleep, Mikes- I’ll let the others know that rehearsal’s canceled for today.”

I said goodbye but I
I had to try

“Seriously, guys, it’s not fucking funny.”

Mikey gave Bob a confused look. “What exactly is, as you so tactfully put it, ‘not fucking funny?’”

“One of you assholes keeps filling my bathtub at night! I keep making sure the water’s off and the tub’s empty, but every morning, it’s full!” Bob shouted, “It’s really fucking creepy!”

“C’mon, none of us are that mean,” Frank said, “Anyway, I’ve been too tired to think of ways to torture you guys.”

“Mother hen here wouldn’t let me out of my room because of a two-degree fever,” Mikey said, motioning towards Gerard.

“Yeah, I’ve been looking after Mikey,” Gerard said, “I mean- wait a fucking second, mother hen?”

“I’ve been working in the studio during my downtime, man,” Ray added, “Maybe you’ve just got a really bad leak?”

“A leak wouldn’t fill a fuckin’ bathtub to the brim, Ray,” Bob remarked, obviously frustrated. “Whatever it is, it’s not funny!”

“Aren’t there rumors of tubs filling themselves in this house?” Frank asked.

“Y-yeah,” Mikey answered, “But, I mean, it’s not logical. How would an inanimate object turn itself on?”

“Okay, okay, okay,” Bob said, “If… if none of you are doing it… then who or what is?”

For several minutes the room was silent, as though the guys were contemplating whether or not the stories about the Paramour were true. A look of fear crossed Mikey’s features, recalling the nightmare he had two days back. He heard of stories of ghosts telling their stories through dreams… perhaps that had been the case.

It chilled Mikey to the core… but he kept it bottled up, since now was not the time to express his evident concern.

I came back haunted
C-c-c-came back haunted

Bob had checked to make sure the faucet was off once, twice, thrice. He had Gerard check, then Ray, then Frank, and Mikey another three times before he finally went to bed. Strangely enough, though, the tub was filled again when he woke up the next morning. Since Frank was out that night with Jamia, he was immediately ruled out as a possible suspect. Ray wasn’t the kind of guy to pull such a prank, and Gerard was simply too busy to pull one. Since Mikey looked terrified when Bob told him that the tub had been full (and since emotion was very rare on Mikey’s face, Bob was pretty sure it was genuine), he, too, had been ruled out.

Bob came to the conclusion that this wasn’t a prank.

Meanwhile, the band still continued on with their rigorous rehearsal schedule. Gerard, at this point, seemed to be using rehearsal as a distraction rather than a means to improve. On their down time, Gerard would keep singing, keep writing, keep drawing, anything to keep from thinking. It was similar for the others, too. Bob often had sore wrists, and Ray, Frank, and Mikey would have sore fingers.

Everywhere now reminding me
I am not who I used to be

As Gerard talked with Mikey, he noticed that something seemed off.Mikey looked tired, he seemed even more depressed than usual, and he felt distant. Gerard, being the concerned older brother he was, decided to do a bit of prodding.

“This freakin’ coffee maker’s broken,” Mikey grumbled. After deciding that there was no way he’d find out what was wrong, he gave up and tossed the coffee filters to the side.

“There’s a Starbucks a few blocks away,” Gerard said, “If you want, we could go there.”

The younger sighed, “I’d love to, Gerard, but I really need to practice.”

“Mikey, you’ve practiced /enough/. You didn’t even notice that you were bleeding last night until Frank pointed it out to you.” Gerard draped an arm over his brother’s shoulder. “Are you okay, man? You seem a bit… off.”

“I’m fine, Gee… really,” Mikey assured his brother, “I guess I’m just really tired.”

The look of concern didn’t leave Gerard’s face, but he decided not to pry any further.

“Okay… get some rest, Mikes. You’ll kill yourself if you keep this up.”

Gerard decided to change the subject to something lighter. As they began to discuss a few ideas for the older Way’s comic, the door opened. Mikey glanced over in the direction of the door, expecting someone to step in… but no one did. The door remained open for a few moments before it closed.

The brothers were out of there faster than anyone could have ever thought imaginable.

I'm afraid this has just begun
Consequences for what I've done, yeah

Gerard was dead to the world, sleeping like a baby after a long day of rehearsal and mentally fretting over his brother’s seemingly unnoticeable change in personality. He was rudely awakened, though, by the slam of a door.

Groaning, the older Way looked in the general direction of the door. Once again, it opened, before abruptly slamming itself shut.

Gerard gasped, shock evident on his face. He heard another door slam, but it wasn’t his.

Determined to find the source of the other sound, Gerard raced out of the room. He barely made it down the hall when he bumped into Frank.

“Dude, what the fuck?” Gerard asked, rubbing his nose.

“I could ask the same thing, man,” Frank remarked, prodding his forehead. “Were you the one slamming my door?”

“That was your door? Because mine was doing the same thing, /and no one was there./”

“Are you saying-”


All the colour drained from Frank’s face. “Oh my god…”

In silence, the two of them agreed that the house was very much haunted, and that it was having a horrible effect on the band.

I don't believe it
I had to see it

A sigh escaped Gerard’s lips and he glanced down at his sleeping brother’s face. This was the third time he found Mikey on the floor, wrapped up in a blanket and sleeping uneasily. He was snoring softly, as though being near his older brother provided some form of comfort.

Gerard had shared a room with Mikey for well over twenty years, so the fact that Mikey had snuck in at night hadn’t surprised him. In fact, he didn’t mind that at all. He loved his brother dearly, and he cared deeply for his well-being, so if sleeping on the floor helped curb the nightmares, Gerard was willing to let him do so. What did surprise him, though, was that Mikey still hadn’t told him what was wrong. They told each other everything, after all- if Mikey was keeping this a secret, well, he’d be lying if he said it didn’t hurt.

Gerard knelt down beside Mikey and gently shook him. “C’mon, Mikes. Rise and shine, baby brother.”

Mikey groaned and swatted Gerard’s hand away. Gerard chuckled and rolled his eyes.
“Okay, fine, sleep in a bit. But if you’re going to do that, at least sleep on the bed, Mikey. Sleeping on the floor is really going to fuck up your back.”

With Gerard’s help, Mikey was soon sleeping in his brother’s bed. Gerard kissed his brother’s forehead and tucked the blankets tightly around him. “Things will get better, Mikey, I promise,” he assured the sleeping male, “I’m here for you, kid, just like you were there for me.” He began to rub soothing circles on Mikey’s back, like he would do when the younger was sick or in need of comfort.

I came back, I came back haunted
C-c-c-came back haunted

Mikey pulled his knees up to his chest, feeling alone. He was aware that he could go to anyone in the band for support, especially Gerard, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Meanwhile, he was stuck battling his inner demons, which were now picking him apart. Any loose thread they could find was tugged, slowly unraveling the fragile bassist.

You’re fat, ugly, and useless. The bassist is always the easiest to replace, you know. Black Flag did it, the Pumpkins did it… who’s to say My Chem won’t do it? You’re a talentless hack with a drug problem and a fiancée who is only marrying you either out of pity or because you’re a rock star! The previous album was good, that’s true, but this one will fail… and you know why? It’s because you’re a failure.

He doubted himself in every way- his musical abilities, his appearance, how his friends thought of him. It was driving him insane… driving him to think about the one thing that My Chemical Romance stood against.

Mikey laid down on the bed and faced the wall. Tears streamed down his face as his inner demons continued to attack him.

I said goodbye but I
I had to try

Gerard stepped into Mikey’s room, concern evident on his features. Mikey wasn’t usually late to rehearsal, so he had every right to be worried. Combined with how different Mikey had been acting as of late, Gerard wondered if his brother had considered the final solution.

Cautiously, he approached his brother, who, to his relief, was only sleeping. Gerard frowned at the obvious trail of tears on Mikey’s pale skin, but decided not to bring that up.

“Mikey, time to get up,” Gerard murmured, gently shaking his brother, “We’ve got rehearsal.”

Mikey woke with a grunt, glance at the clock on the nightstand, and cursed. “God, I’m so sorry, Gee! I hadn’t realized-”

“Mikey, it’s okay,” Gerard said, quickly reassuring his brother, “You’ve been tired lately, so I should’ve seen this coming. Um… are you… are you okay?”

“Uh, yeah… yeah,” Mikey replied, “I’m just tired, that’s all.”

I came back, I came back haunted
I c-c-c-came back haunted

As soon as Mikey got back into his room after rehearsal, he threw himself onto his bed and started sobbing. He got out of rehearsal as soon as he could, since his inner demons continued to attack him through harsh words. He ignored Gerard’s worried-filled voice calling his name, he ignored the texts that were coming from his fiancée, he ignored the outside world and focused solely on what was going on in his head.

Mikey needed something, anything to keep him safe from his mind. He was out of the temporary solution- his alcohol was gone and he stopped with the drugs. There was only one solution left… a permanent solution.

But could he do it?

I don't believe it
I had to see it

“Is he seriously late to rehearsal /again/?” Frank asked.

“Give him a break, Frank,” Gerard said, “He hasn’t been acting like himself for the past few weeks.”

“I’m worried about him, too, Gerard,” Frank said, “And I get that he hasn’t really been himself, but he promised not to be late to rehearsal again.”

Gerard nodded. That much was true, after all. “I’ll go check in on him. I’ll be right back.”

Gerard left the rehearsal space and ran up the stairs, where Mikey’s room was. He knocked once, calling Mikey’s name. When Mikey didn’t respond, Gerard opened the door and stepped into the room. It was eerily quiet, which gave him an uneasy feeling.

“Mikey? C’mon, man, we’ve got rehearsal.” Mikey still didn’t respond. This caused the uneasy feeling in Gerard’s stomach to grow.

Gerard reached out and gently shook his brother, fearing the worst. Instead, though, Mikey woke up, perfectly fine.

“Christ, Mikey,” Gerard sighed, pulling Mikey into a tight hug, “You scared me to death.”

The brothers stayed in that position for several minutes before Mikey realized something. “Shit, I did it again!”

“Yeah, you did,” Gerard sighed, “But you really haven’t been yourself lately. I really should’ve seen it coming. C’mon, let’s go.”

Mikey nodded. As he stood up, though, something fell out of the bed with a small thud. Gerard reached down to grab it, and, upon seeing what it was, nearly dropped it.

“Mikey,” Gerard asked, “Why were your antidepressants in bed with you?”

Mikey’s face blanched as he searched for the words to explain the situation. His silenced served as an answer for Gerard’s question. He pulled Mikey into a tight hug and pressed a kiss onto his temple. The only thing he could bring himself to say was a single word- “Why?”

Mikey didn’t give a verbal answer. Rather, he buried his face into the crook of Gerard’s neck, searching for comfort from his brother.

I came back, I came back haunted
C-c-c-came back haunted

“You need help, Mikey.”

The band was sitting in Gerard’s room, rehearsal long forgotten as this dilemma took its place. As it turned out, Mikey’s problem was much darker than anyone had imagined.

“Mikes,” Gerard said, draping an arm over Mikey’s shoulders, “Talk to me, man. Please…”

“I… I’m…” Mikey seemed to be struggling with his thoughts. He paused to find the right words to say. “I’m not skilled enough for this. I’m terrified that I’ll screw something up, especially since the last album we did was successful. I don’t want to ruin this for you guys, for any of you. It just wouldn’t be fair, y’know?”

“Oh, Mikey,” Gerard murmured.

“It’s not just that, Gerard. I’ve been doubting /everything/. I mean, I was aware that I wasn’t perfect, I was aware that I had problems, but this place really brought out the worst in me and I can’t take it anymore. Everybody’s watching me, waiting for the moment when I fall, and I know they’ll attack me. They’ll come at me with an onslaught of insults and hate and they’ll never let up. I’m afraid of what’s going on /in my head/.”

Mikey barely had a chance to finish speaking when Gerard pulled him into an embrace. “Mikey, why didn’t you tell me? Why’d you let it get this bad?”

Mikey didn’t answer, but Gerard decided now was probably not the time to prod him for answers to that question. Instead, he just held his little brother, letting his cry silently into his shoulder.

“I don’t know if I can do this anymore, Gee,” Mikey whimpered, “I don’t know if I can stay in the band like this. /I’m afraid that I’ll do something that can’t be undone./”

Gerard registered what Mikey was hinting towards, but he didn’t comment on it. “We need to get you out of here. We need to get help for you.”

“But what about the-”

“The band will be fine. For recording purposes, we’ll have Frank and Ray take turns covering the bass. They know your part, anyway, so it shouldn’t be that big of an adjustment.” Gerard turned to his fellow bandmates. “Would you guys be willing to do that?”

“Of course,” Frank said, “It’s gonna be a bit weird, but we’re willing to do what we have to do.” Frank turned his attention to Mikey and added, “Don’t worry about this, Mikes. Take a breather, man. Soon enough, you’ll have your confidence back up and feel happier than you ever had in your life.”

“Thanks, guys,” Mikey said, “I just... I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

I said goodbye but I
I had to try

“I feel like I should get him checked into a clinic or something,” Gerard said, “I mean, I’m really worried about him, Lindsey.”

“You sound worse than Alicia, Gerard,”
Lindsey replied, “We spent hours discussing Mikey’s downward spiral. Are you aware that some people are calling it ‘minor?’ I wouldn’t call contemplating suicide ‘minor,’ Gee.”

“Well… the fans still aren’t aware of that. The last thing Mikey needs to deal with is the paparazzi, so we’re trying to keep as many details as possible away from everyone until Mikey’s ready to talk about it.”

“Yeah… Alicia told me that he’s been extremely stressed out. She even said that he’s not opening up to her. Gerard, did he talk to you about it?”

“A little,” Gerard sighed, “But he hasn’t really been that willing to do so. I can understand that he doesn’t want to talk about it too much, but he’s been forcing himself to open up little by little. The psychiatrists he’s been seeing won’t tell me much, since there’s that whole doctor-patient confidentiality thing, but as of now, they think he might be bipolar.”

Lindsey gave a small hum in response. “Bipolar or not, I know he’ll get through this. He’s got you, Alicia, your parents, and his friends.”

I came back, I came back haunted
C-c-c-came back haunted

Gerard, as much as he wanted to have Mikey taken to a clinic, never did check him into one. Mikey was dead set against it- he knew he was broken, but he also knew that a clinic wouldn’t help him pick up the pieces.

Mikey was currently curled up beneath the blankets on the bed in the guest room of their lawyer’s home, sleeping soundly. It had been three weeks since he left the Paramour, and already Gerard could see quite a bit of improvement in his brother’s condition. He still wasn’t the Mikey Way that Gerard knew, but he was aware that it’d take time for his brother to get better.

“You’re so strong, Mikey,” Gerard murmured, running a hand through his brother’s soft locks, “You may not be okay now, but I know you will be. It’s gonna take more than a few visits to a couple therapists to help you get better.” He pressed a kiss onto Mikey’s forehead and sighed. “No matter what, I’ll be here for you. I hope you remember that.”

They tried to tell me but I
I couldn't stop myself and I

“Hey, Mikey! It’s been too long!”

“It has, hasn’t it?” A small smile graced Mikey’s features upon hearing the familiar voice. “How’ve you been, Pete?”

“Oh, awesome, dude, things have been great for me,” Pete replied, “But that’s not the reason why I called…”

A small sigh escaped Mikey. “I expected that… I suspect that this has something to do with-”

“Your mental breakdown? Well, that’s part of it. I called because I’m worried about you and I think you just need a friend.”
Mikey heard a small, shaky sigh from Pete’s end. “I’ve been down that road before, Mikes. I’ve doubted my skills before, and I nearly paid for it. Unlike me, you didn’t give into your suicidal thoughts, and I’m proud of you for that. I want you to know that if you ever want to talk, I’m here.”

Mikey sniffled. “Thank you, Pete.”

“Mikes, are you crying?”

“A little… I’ve been really emotional lately. It’s no big deal, though… I know I’m going to be okay.”

I came back, I came back haunted
C-c-c-came back haunted

“Are you saying that he might quite the band?”

Gerard nodded, a sigh escaping his lips. “I’m not going to blame him if he does. I can’t imagine the stress he went through… I mean, I feel like I’m to blame for this. Goddamn it, Frank, I should’ve known something was wrong!”

Frank placed a hand on Gerard’s shoulder. “Hey, come on, Gee. This isn’t your fault. Mikey’s never been one to talk about his feelings and you know that. No matter how hard you could’ve pried, he probably would’ve still kept it all bottled up inside. That, or he would’ve talked when he was ready.” Frank let out a sigh. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that Mikey just… he didn’t want to talk about it.”

“I know, but… it concerns me. He’s been doubting himself, and everything sounds nearly flawless. Frank, do you think I might’ve been a bit harsh when I said the album had to sound perfect?”

“Honestly? Yeah, I think so. But I see where you’re coming from, too. Just… stop blaming yourself. You saved him from himself before things got too bad. Be thankful for that.” Frank pulled Gerard in for a hug. “Just make sure that you two keep talking. /Pry/. Don’t let him think that he can’t go to you when he’s having a problem. Sure, there are some things he won’t want to discuss, but those problems that are hurting him need to be talked about.”

Gerard nodded. “Thanks, Frank.”

“No problem, man. Now, about those two extra songs…”

Just can't stop
Came back ha-ha-haunted

“This sounds great, Gee,” Mikey said, a smile on his face. “What’d you say it was called again?”

“It’s called /Sleep/. We’re adding it to the new album, along with another song,” Gerard replied.

“Oh, really?” Mikey asked, “What’s it called?”

“Right now, we don’t have a title for it… but I… I wrote it after these past few weeks, and I feel that you need to hear it. Frank wrote out the bass line, but he said that you could make whatever adjustments you felt were necessary, whether or not you decided to be in the band.”

“You… you guys aren’t mad at me for considering leaving the band?”

Gerard shook his head. “No. We understand what’s going on, and I know that you probably just need a break. No matter what, you’ll always be a part of My Chemical Romance, and even if you did leave, you’d always be welcomed back.”

Mikey smiled, “Gee, I don’t think you have any idea how much that means to me.”

Gerard smiled back and took out his phone. “It’s still just a demo at this point, but soon enough it’ll be ready to go into the final album. I just… I want you to listen to it.”

Mikey nodded and plugged his headphones in. As he listened to the demo, his smile grew wider.

“I… I can’t leave,” Mikey said, “Not after hearing that.”

Gerard grinned at his younger brother. “Mikey, that’s fantastic!” Quickly, Gerard grabbed his bag, opened it, and grabbed the music to the song. He handed the papers to his brother. He then pulled his brother into a tight hug.

“Mikey, I want you to understand that I’m always here for you. That’s why… that’s why I wrote that song for you.”

Mikey gave Gerard a small, but genuine, smile. “Thank you, Gerard. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mikes,” Gerard murmured. Upon seeing his brother’s smile, Gerard determined that, from this point, everything would get better.

Mikey would be okay.

Just can't
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