Mikey had thought Gerard would start avoiding him after that point, but instead, he can’t get rid of him.
“Mikey, sit up front today, would you?” he asks as they’re clearing up their camp.
“No,” Mikey says simply, but Gerard just keeps pressing.
“Come on, it won’t be that bad. Frank’s getting tired of shotgun, and Ray had it for a long time before him, so. Just work with me for a little while longer, okay?”
“Well, in the time it took you to argue about this, the other guys have already taken the back seats.”
Mikey turns around, and sure enough, Frank’s climbing in to the car to scoot next to Ray. Fuck.
They’re all against him.
In the next segment of You Are Not My Savior, Mikeyway realizes that his friends are actually the Illuminati.
He stares out the window for most of the journey, ignoring Gerard’s attempts at conversation until the whole car is silent for a while. Even Ray and Frank don’t say anything.
They’re still silent as they pull up to Doctor D’s lair, the first time they’ve been back there since Mikey’s return. Show Pony’s hanging outside, draped over a bench and looking like the most boneless sentry, but he snaps to attention as the Trans Am pulls up.
lsdsldkfj DID I ACTUALLY USE THE WORD “LAIR”??? it’s like…a shack…
Okay, past self.
Also lol I love how you can tell I wrote this more than a few months ago because of how I don’t even hesitate in gendering Pony as male, ahahahaaaaa.
Show knocks on the door to the lair four times once they all start to climb out of the car, and Grace comes rushing out, arms wide and ready to wrap themselves around the first person she runs into, which happens to be Ray. It’s usually Ray.
I’m still not sure how to feel about the headcanon that Ray is Grace’s dad, but I do know he’d be the best dad of the four of them.
(yes, Gerard and Frank are already the best dads ever in our universe, but can you see these rebel assholes raising kids properly?
Doctor D’s just finishing up a broadcast as they head inside, so they have to stay quiet for a few minutes while he plays through the last song of the hour. It’s an old one, and Mikey doesn’t recognize it, something loud and surreal about the future, the twenty-first century. The lyrics don’t sound too hopeful for it, and Mikey doesn’t blame whoever wrote them.
Doctor D hits a button to stop the broadcast and spins around in his chair to see them. “Got your broken squad back together again?”
“Yeah, all good now.” Gerard answers, but he doesn’t look as confident as he sounds.
Doctor D eyes Mikey from over his sunglasses. Mikey stares back, trying not to fidget. It’s been so long since he’s seen him, seen that fierce fuck-you look in his eyes that the other Killjoys can never quite copy. Mikey feels exposed, like Doctor D’s glare is peeling away all the color the others put on him and showing everyone just how pale and white he is on the inside.
Ugh, you guys, I love Doctor Death Defying. I love him. I also like to portray him in these fucked up universes as the scariest and most fucked up of them all. I wish I’d played with him more in this ‘verse.
He keeps his eyes on Mikey for a few more moments before turning to Gerard. “Poison, let’s get some peace here, yeah?” He glances at the others, gaze lingering on Mikey only slightly, and it’s a clear signal. They head back outside, leaving the two alone.
The reason I didn’t play with him more is that I just can’t get his voice right. Killjoy speech patterns are hard! :(
Mikey sulks near the door, trying not to look like he’s straining to hear any word he can pick up.
“Hey,” Ray says carefully, breaking his concentration as he walks over towards Mikey. “How are you doing?”
Mikey shrugs, not looking at him.
“Any better?” Ray won’t get near him. It’s not like Mikey’s contagious or anything, fuck.
“Gee doesn’t trust me,” he finally says, crossing his arms close to his chest.
HE ALSO TOOK THE BIGGER HALF OF THE COOKIE AND POKED ME IN THE SHOULDER THE WHOLE CAR RIDE AND jesus christ, mikeyway.
Ray frowns, and he opens his stance a bit, but he still doesn’t get any closer. “What? Of course he does.”
“He doesn’t. He won’t tell me anything anymore, he thinks I’m messed up as fuck, and now he’s shoving me outside so he can talk about his plans without me knowing. He thinks I’m going to go back to Korse.”
There’s a pause as Ray sighs and kicks at a rock on the ground in front of him.
Mikey slams a fist on the thin metal wall of the shelter, and the voices inside go silent for a moment, but Mikey isn’t paying attention, he’s busy starting to storm off in any direction that will take him away from everyone.
“Mikey!” Ray grabs him by the arm before he can get anywhere. “Mikey, listen, I didn’t mean—“
“You don’t trust me, either!”
“We’re just scared, all right? We don’t know what he did to you or how it affected—“
“You’re just following whatever Gerard tells you, is that it? That’s how he always is, he thinks he’s so fucking right all the time.”
“He’s our leader, he’s the least likely to screw up, we need to put some amount of trust in—“
“Oh, yeah, Gerard’s just fucking perfect, what with the constantly getting all of us kidnapped or nearly killed.”
“We knew there was going to be a risk from the start!”
“Is it really worth it?” Mikey’s shaking now, and it’s not just from trying to get out of Ray’s grip. “Running through the desert, trying to bring back color and music, getting in gunfights, fighting a war we’re pretty much set to lose anyway? Is it worth it?”
“We’re not going to lose,” Ray says, and it almost sounds sincere. “We’re going to fight until we take down BLI. That’s just how it’s going to go.”
“You just sound like him.” Mikey scowls. “He make you memorize that?”
“Mikey.” Ray’s holding him by his shoulders by now, staring him down, but then he looks up when Frank calls, “You two all right?” and walks over until he’s behind Ray.
Great. Someone else who’s going to just agree with whatever Gerard says.
“Frank, help me out. We trust Mikey, right?” Ray’s gaze keeps shifting between Mikey, the door of the shelter, and the corner of his eye, where he probably can’t even see Frank.
Frank opens his mouth to answer, but he hesitates, and that’s enough to make Mikey snarl and spit, “You don’t. You think I’m a BLI drone, don’t you? You think I’m insane for looking at both sides, but you two are the ones following some crazy guy who thinks he can change the world with paint!”
…Yeah not even gonna touch this one. SHUT UP, PAST SELF.
Frank circles around Ray to get a better look at Mikey, staring at him just as intently. “That crazy guy is your brother!”
“I fucking know that!” Mikey struggles, but Ray’s got big hands and a lot more strength than he usually lets on. He can’t get free, but he can keep shouting. “And that’s the only reason I’ve been given to put any trust in him! So we have the same parents and got stuck in the same house together, great, that must mean I have to believe every word he says.”
I remember Kyrie getting all heartbroken over this paragraph. I also remember laughing at her pain throughout this whole fic.
“You trust him because you’ve known him long enough to know he’s right.” Frank has one of his hands on Mikey’s upper arm now, squeezing almost painfully. “He’s going to fix things. It might take a while, it might end in one of us hurt or dead, but shit, if me dying means we’ll win in the end, I’m fine with that.”
Mikey stares at both of them with a kind of horrified calm. “You’re fucking brainwashed.”
“Like you’re one to talk,” Frank spits. Ray starts looking nervously over Mikey’s shoulder.
“I’m actually considering my options. You just listen to whatever he tells you and take it as fact.”
“And you’re just ignoring everything he says because of whatever fucking Korse did to you!”
Ray’s still silently looking behind Mikey, and Mikey wants to ask just what’s so fucking interesting that’s going on behind him, and—
There’s a hand.
On the back of his neck.
Mikey’s next bitter reply to Frank falls out of his head, and he can’t move or breathe or think.
He knows that voice, knows it’s Gerard, knows he should start struggling and shouting and telling everyone to fuck off until he’s free to run as far away as he can, but—
The hand moves up into his hair.
“Listen to me.”
Frank and Ray are still there, but they’re silent, practically ghosts, just there to hold Mikey still as the hand keeps moving, fingertips running along his scalp.
“You were taken by Korse. He had you for a long time, long enough that you started to see him as the one keeping you safe. The only one you could trust.” The hand smoothes back his bangs, and his brain can’t handle all the messages of no no no and yes yes yes that are running back and forth in his head, occasionally colliding and just making too much noise. Mikey shuts his eyes.
The darkness only makes the voice sound louder. “You can’t trust him. He still captured and tortured you. He hurt you. I won’t hurt you.” It’s not just the darkness, the voice is closer now—Mikey can feel hot breath near his ear, can feel another arm wrapping around and holding him close as the others’ hands let go.
“I won’t hurt you,” the voice keeps repeating, and Mikey believes it. It’s easy to just listen to the voice, feel he hand in his hair, so much like before but better. He lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding and sinks into the touch, almost at ease for the first time in weeks.
“I’m going to let go now,” the voice says, and Mikey nods, paying more attention to the voice than the words it’s saying. “Are you going to stay calm?”
Mikey nods again, and the hand is gone. Then the other arm is gone, and Mikey’s alone. He blinks his eyes open, slowly, unsure.
Frank and Ray have stepped back a few feet, and Gerard’s standing in front of him now, watching him carefully. Mikey’s still dazed, vaguely aware that he should run, or yell at Gerard, but he needs to remember how to move, first.
Mikey doesn’t know what Gerard’s asking. He tries to convey this with a blank stare.
“Are you going to stay with us?”
And then it hits him all over again, what he was yelling about before, why there’s a part of him that wants to punch Gerard right now, why Frank and Ray are giving each other nervous glances. He wants to start screaming again.
But he doesn’t.
And I think this is around where the timeline splits! I had a few hundred words of an alternate ending written out after this point that I’d like to write for reals sometime. Basically the jist of it was, Mikey doesn’t stay, he gets on his motorcycle and rides off into the desert until he finds Gabe Saporta, who lives in a cave full of snakes and doesn’t do much besides hide out and listen to the radio. Then Mikey shows up and they hang out and talk about feelings and Mikey slowly recovers from his ordeal! YAY.
Unfortunately this was not heartbreaking enough for me to write, so this happens!
“I’ll…I’ll stay,” Mikey says, blinking and trying to shake off the haze that hit him from the second Gerard’s hand touched his neck. “Just…I still need some time to figure things out, okay? Don’t bug me about it.”
Gerard nods. “I just want you to get better, that’s all.”
Mikey wants to argue, to say he’s been fine all along, but he can’t say that’s really the truth, not anymore.
“We can calm down for a little while. Fewer raids, fewer fights. It means more running, but more time for you to get your head back on straight. Just until you’re ready to fight again. Sound all right?”
“…Yeah. Yeah, that sounds perfect, Gee.”
Gerard puts his hand on Mikey’s shoulder—not on his neck, but close enough the Mikey has to suppress a twitch. “I should have done this earlier. Everyone else usually recovers pretty quickly, I didn’t even think…I’m sorry.” And he looks so fucking genuine and regretful that all Mikey wants is to believe him, to give him a hug and say that they’re okay, that he’s on his side, but Gerard’s thumb is resting near his collarbone, maybe two inches below where the collar Korse put on him used to rest.
How could your dear brother ever be wrong?
“Are we taking Grace?” Mikey finally asks after a minute of silence, unable to come up with any other response.
“Probably. She’s been stuck here for a while, she should come along if we’re going to try and stay out of trouble anyway.”
“Great. Awesome. Ray will be happy.”
“Yeah.” Gerard’s thumb presses above his collarbone, just for a second, and then lets go, leaving Mikey frozen, just trying to breathe through the haze creeping back into his head.
They’re back on the road after another few hours of talking to Doctor D and stocking up on supplies, Grace sitting in the back between Frank and Ray and talking about something she wants to draw. It’s hard to come by pens or pencils in the desert, and paint is something they conserve for use on the car and the guns, so she always describes everything she wishes she could draw in enough detail that it’s almost real to all of them.
“You’ll be all right,” Gerard whispers that night, his sleeping bag close to Mikey’s, but not touching. “I’ll make sure of it.”
Mikey doesn’t answer, already half-asleep and unwilling to carry on another conversation with Gerard right now. Gerard sighs behind him, the material of the sleeping bag shifting.
Just as he’s drifting off to sleep, he thinks he hears Gerard whispering to himself.
“Fucking Korse, you didn’t have to do this.”
sob it’s cute how Gerard originally seems almost like a sympathetic character, huh.
He’s going to fall apart.
Everything’s tense, stretched tight tight tight and just on the edge of breaking, flying apart everywhere, and there’s so much pain he can barely gasp out “Fuck you! Fuck you!” after every shock.
“Who are you protecting here?” Korse asks, his voice muffled under the blood pounding in his ears. “Your friends, your companions, your brother?”
He bites his tongue, the way he did those first few days, hard enough to reopen cuts that might not ever heal if he keeps this up, his mouth filling with the sharp taste of blood. Maybe if he does this, tries to go back to how he was before, silent and motionless, he can erase everything he’s given to Korse already, maybe—
“It’s sad, really, that someone could put his own brother through these trials,” Korse says, and his mouth moves on its own, screams out, “You shut the fuck up about my brother!” and his body starts to shake, maybe convulsing from pain and fear, maybe trying to escape, he can’t really say. The restraints still hold, no matter how hard he struggles, but he still wrenches hard until another shock goes through him. He’s stopped hearing his own screams at this point, they all blend together with the noise of the machine, the pounding of his heart, the words Korse says.
“That’s the first time you’ve acknowledged that Gerard is your brother, you know.”
He goes limp. His skin is still tense and ready to fly into a million pieces, but he can’t move. He fucked up. He’d already betrayed himself just by moving, reacting, speaking, but now he’s really fucked up.
Korse keeps talking, keeps spewing lies and filth and nothing he wants to hear, nothing he should be listening to. He trusts Gerard. He needs Gerard. Just because he didn’t come up with the idea, just because he wasn’t as much of a hero as Gerard, just because he followed him because he didn’t know where else to go, it doesn’t mean—
“He manipulated you, Michael.”
He snaps something back, some quip that probably suits Gerard better than him, and gets another wave of pain in return.
SEE, RUINED MOOD. WHAT’D I TELL YOU. BLUH.
Korse leaves, and he’s left in silence, too much time to think.
Michael just wishes he knew what to think about.
names names names ugh I really want to do that total perspective shift just so I can show the slow progression of how Mikey refers to himself. Like, I’d also want to do part 3 from Mikey’s perspective, with all the Kobra Kid shit. And maybe a part for Korse too since I should probably figure out what happens to him after part 1 in case I want to do a continuation. Whoops.
Mikey wakes up in the middle of the night, eyes wide, gasping for breath. His skin is still tingling, and his throat feels a little hoarse, but it’s hard to tell if it’s phantom pain or not.
A nightmare. He had a nightmare, a real one, for the first time since the rescue.
Mikey curls up and takes deep breaths, trying to calm himself down enough to go back to sleep.
Gerard would probably say that it’s good, his brain knows that everything that happened before was bad, that it belongs in his nightmares.
Mikey shuts his eyes and wishes for dreamless sleep.
~PART 3: IN WHICH THE PROCESS REVERSES INTO THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM. OR SOMETHING?~
man what the fuck was I thinking when I wrote this goddamn fic.
This is all his fault.
Gerard knew it was going to be bad, after Frank nearly tore them all apart during his rescue, after Ray wouldn’t speak for two weeks, after coming back from Battery City himself, but he didn’t think it would be this bad. Maybe there would be a lot of hugging, some waking up from nightmares, the usual post-capture care—that’s what he’d been expecting.
“I told you, he stopped hurting me after a while,” Mikey’s saying, staring down at his lap. His face is a little fuzzy from the smoke and heat haze of the fire, and Gerard wants to scoot over and sit next to him, but Mikey made him promise. They sit across from each other, no contact, talking until it’s Frank or Ray’s turn to keep watch.
“But he still had hurt you. Nothing he does afterwards can make up for something like that.”
“What, so we can’t forgive anyone?” Mikey doesn’t look up. He usually doesn’t, but Gerard keeps his eyes forward constantly during these times, just in case.
“I didn’t say that.” Mikey’s always putting words in Gerard’s mouth, and it’s starting to get irritating. “You can’t forgive him for that. Especially since he probably only stopped torturing you because he didn’t need to anymore.”
“How do you know that? Maybe he just got tired of asking questions and just—“
“They’re printing our full names on those wanted posters, Mikey.”
Mikey stiffens. Gerard’s going to have to tread carefully here; one wrong step could either help Mikey or break him even more.
He speaks slowly, watching Mikey’s movements with every word. “I know what you went through, I know it must have been hard, but…you sold us out. You gave them what they wanted.”
Mikey flinches, his shoulders hunching defensively, like he’s bracing for something—waiting to be punished. Gerard almost takes it back, apologizes for everything, because Mikey just looks so lonely and hurt he can barely stand it, but he can’t stop now.
There’s an opportunity here.
I’m really surprised more people weren’t pissed off at me about Gerard’s characterization here. In fact, pretty much everyone was angry at Gerard. More so than Korse, even! I’M NOT SURE IF THIS IS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR NOT…….
He breaks the line, moves around the fire until he’s close enough to wrap his arms around Mikey’s shoulders.
“But I forgive you.”
Mikey’s tense, probably still waiting for Gerard to lash out at him, but he doesn’t speak or move.
“I forgive you, because I know it must have been hard. I understand. More than anyone else, I understand what it must have been like.” He holds Mikey a little closer, just from the side, not touching his neck or head. Definitely not his hair.
“We’re not the bad guys, remember?”
Mikey nods, the tiniest little movement that Gerard might not have seen if he weren’t this close.
“But BLI, they are the bad guys. They’re the ones fucking everything up, and we’re going to unfuck it. Sound good?”
It’s really hard to get a handle on Gerard’s voice, especially in a universe where everyone’s supposed to have a very distinctive speech pattern :/ WORDS ARE HARD. But I mean, I’ve gotten at least one good comment about this line, so. /o/
Mikey nods again, but he still won’t speak, and they’re both still and quiet for a while. Gerard doesn’t let go until Mikey mumbles that it’s their turn to sleep, shifting away from Gerard’s arms to go wake up Frank.
Gerard has trouble sleeping after that, at least half an hour wasted trying to convince himself that what he’d done was okay.
Look, guys! Gerard’s having internal conflict too! I REALLY TRIED NOT TO TURN HIM INTO A CARTOON VILLAIN. WITH LIMITED SUCCESS…..
Waking up the first day and pulling at leather restraints until his wrists were rubbed raw, spitting in Korse’s face when he started asking questions, laughing and shouting and screaming through the shocks.
“I told you, Mikey, I just tricked him into letting me go, and he got pissed. That’s why he hates me so much.”
OH MAN, THESE BITS. These sections were probably the hardest to write, just because of the syntax of the flashback bits. There were SO MANY TIMES when I wanted to just go back and redo them in something resembling real English, but it was just way too cool for me to pass up. So you end up with some really awkward phrasing in some places (especially since I started to get weird and picky about possessives coming before gerunds), but IDK I JUST LIKE IT A LOT.
Giving away nothing for a week, realizing Korse wasn’t going to stop until he spilled, trying to think of a way out.
“But how? Just sneaking out behind his back would hurt his pride, yeah, but this seems…I dunno. He really fucking hates you.”
Keeping his eyes on Korse one morning as he walked in, trying to look and feel comfortable in the position he was strapped into, asking before Korse could start speaking, “How’s your day been?”
“Maybe I’m the first one who’s escaped without help. I don’t know, seriously, it’s not a big deal.”
Korse raising an eyebrow, but answering, “Fine, Poison. And yours?” His saying the last word with a smirk and a gesture to start hooking up the machine. Laughing and answering back, “Shitty as usual, I suppose. So what’s the quiz question of the day?”
Korse laughing, actually laughing.
Trying to hide a smile before the first pulse shoots through him.
“Something went on between you two. Something big. Something that made him decide to fuck me up in revenge.”
“So you’ve finally agreed you’re fucked up? I think that’s a good first step.”
“Don’t change the subject.”
ASSHOLE okay yeah I guess the further you go the easier it is to get pissed off at Gerard.
“How’s he doing?” Frank asks, passing his can of kibble for Gerard to take a few bites.
“Better? Maybe. I don’t know, it’s fucking scary, having to look it in the face like this.” The kibble’s disgusting as fuck as usual, but he’s almost forgotten what real food tastes like anyway.
“Does he still want to go back?”
Gerard passes the can over. “I can’t tell. I think it’s less of him wanting to go back and more…not being sure where to go, who to trust. That’s what Korse really did, made him think we might be the bad guys and they might be the good guys, maybe sorta kinda. He’s confused. It’s back and forth all the time—one day he’s agreeing with everything I say, the next he’s shouting at me about how I need to listen.”
“So you just need to give him a convincing argument.” Frank scrapes up the last of the kibble and holds out the fork to Gerard. “Beat him over the head with how fucking good we are until he’s got a bruise big enough to make him remember.”
“Mm. Maybe.” Gerard takes the bite, sucking a little at the fork to make sure he gets everything. Frank takes the clean fork back and puts it in his own mouth, an odd little indirect kiss that Gerard shouldn’t find so endearing. They’re fighting for their lives in the middle of the desert and one of them could lose any minute, there’s no time for sweet gestures.
But Frank always does it anyway, a hug here, a held hand there, a word of praise or comfort whenever he can work it in. Even when they’re fucking—something they all do, something that’s just there to keep them sane in a crazy world—Frank seems like he’s making a serious effort with Gerard. Like it’s something just the two of them do, like it’s some kind of special connection.
Gerard always thinks about reciprocating, but it’d be too difficult to complicate his relationship with a member of his team, especially now. If this ever ends, if they’re ever able to settle down and just live instead of fight, maybe.
But right now, he gets up from his seat in the diner (a new one they found about a week ago, they’re still waiting a few more months before risking going back to the old one) to go outside, leaving Frank to suck on his used fork.
AHAHAHAHA tumblr user vexarian would be so mad about this scene if he were in this fandom.
Okay but actually though, I wish I’d gone into more detail about this, or at least spread the details over time instead of shoving a ship tease all into one section. I tried to make it pretty obvious that the Killjoys were basically this sort of traveling free love commune, but I have shipping problems and I couldn’t help but include piney super-devoted Frank.
In the continuation Frank would probably gradually lose his trust in Gerard and try to help Mikey in his own way, and—
Wait, WASN’T KYRIE GOING TO WRITE THAT.
“Gee?” Grace asks one morning as they’re all working on the car. “Are you a good guy?”
Gerard freezes, nearly dropping the brush he’s holding. A drop of paint hits the sand, and Gerard curses silently.
Gerard puts the brush on top of the container of paint and squats down to meet Grace at eye level. “Yes. We’re all good guys. Why do you ask?”
“Mikey was saying stuff.”
Fuck. He knew staying away from Mikey for too long was going to be a problem, and now he’s gone and tried to indoctrinate Grace into the bullshit they’ve been trying to keep her away from ever since they found her, and—
“He said there’s no such thing as good guys and bad guys.”
“He’s wrong.” Gerard stares at her in a way he hopes is how a father is supposed to look. “Look, Mikey’s—something happened to him. The bad guys got him, and they made him think that they aren’t so bad.”
“But they are bad?”
“Yes. And that’s why we’re trying to stop them.”
“But they’re trying to stop us, too, so what—“
“Grace.” Gerard sighs and smoothes his hair back, ignoring the fact that he’s probably getting paint in it. “You’re going to have to trust me on this, okay? BLI did a lot of bad things and I promise you’ll understand when you’re older, but…just don’t listen to Mikey.”
Grace looks at him. He knows she doesn’t like the “you’ll get it when you’re older” argument and he’s waiting for her to fight, but she just looks at the ground and says “Okay.”
She doesn’t look like she believes him. Gerard’s going to scream.
Grace’s thought process sort of mirrors how frustrated I was with children’s television at a young age. Like, I honestly couldn’t understand all these cartoon villains being evil for the sake of evil and all that shit. Why would you want to be evil!! You must think you’re doing the right thing or else you wouldn’t be doing it!! Which is probably why I ended up loving villains like the Joker so much, who weren’t doing awful things just because they were evil, but because they were fun. That made a lot more sense to elementary school me.
And then, y’know, I got a bit older and started reading things like Death Note. It was only a matter of time before I would be writing a fanfiction epic about the rape, torture, and subsequent stockholming of a member of My Chemical Romance.
…What am I doing with my life.
He almost does, too, the next time he gets the chance to pull Mikey aside, at the end of the day behind the shelter they’re squatting in tonight, Mikey shoved against the wall.
“The fuck do you think you’re doing?” Gerard hisses, both hands on Mikey’s shoulders.
Mikey’s only answer is to stare back at him and look confused, the fucker.
“You’re trying to turn Grace against me, now? Who’s next, Ray? Frank?”
“Frank wouldn’t turn against you, he’s your fucking lapdog.” Mikey doesn’t even sound angry about it, and somehow that pisses Gerard off even more.
“He’s not my fucking dog, he just knows that I’m right and they’re wrong.”
Mikey raises an eyebrow, and Gerard hesitates, going back over what he said.
“…That we’re right and they’re wrong, is what I meant. Fuck, Mikey, don’t do this. I’m trying to help you. I thought you wanted to trust us again.”
“I—“ Mikey looks away. “I just want to trust someone.”
Gerard leans in and presses their foreheads together, as if he could send believe me listen to me trust me love me please Mikey please from his brain directly into his brother’s. He can feel Mikey’s breathing pick up, little stutters of breath that hit the corner of Gerard’s mouth. Fuck. He leans back, but doesn't let go of Mikey’s shoulders.
It shouldn’t be like this. Mikey shouldn’t be flinching away every time Gerard gets near him. Gerard shouldn’t be holding his kid brother against a fucking wall and fighting to be heard. He has enough trouble getting the population of Battery City to listen to him, if he can’t even talk to his own brother—
Gerard’s running out of options. He’s tried being reasonable, he’s tried being logical, he’s tried fucking therapy sessions by firelight, but nothing can seem to get Mikey back to the way he was—pissed off at BLI and always behind Gerard’s plans to take them down.
Mikey starts to speak again, shaking Gerard out of his thoughts. “Maybe I should just take off on my own for a while, maybe—“
“No,” Gerard snaps before he can stop himself, because Mikey leaving him is the last thing he needs right now. Mikey winces at the tone and shuts up, and Gerard sighs. “Sorry, I didn’t mean—I just don’t think you should be alone right now. It won’t help you.”
Actually if I’d gone on with the alternate ending where he does leave, I’m pretty sure that would have been a good end. ~META~
“How do you know?” Mikey relaxes a little after Gerard’s apology, but he doesn’t back down. “I could go find a place to squat on my own, get my head together—“
“And leave us wondering the whole time if you were going to come back?” It’s a gamble and a cheap shot all at once, and Gerard has to hold in a sigh of relief when Mikey’s shoulders slump.
His thumb brushes Mikey’s neck as he leans in to say something else, and—and Mikey fucking shivers. It’s just a little twitch, but he’s leaning into Gerard instead of cringing away like he has been, and fuck, fuck fuck fuck, he knows where this is going. He’d promised himself he wouldn’t do this, wouldn’t even think about taking advantage like this, not since the last time, but.
“Mikey,” he says slowly. “You have to stop being so stubborn about this. There’s a difference between seeing it from the other guy’s perspective and blocking both sides out.” His hand moves to the back of Mikey’s neck, just resting there. Mikey doesn’t move, staring at Gerard apprehensively, his expression exaggerated in the slowly fading sunlight.
Man, I keep forgetting that the air in the zones isn’t supposed to be breathable. But then nobody was wearing masks through half of Na Na Na, so maybe it’s only certain zones?? IDK.
“You trusted us before. You were committed to this, to kicking BLI in the teeth and getting our color back.” Gerard takes a breath, then holds back the words I’m sorry, I’m so fucking sorry Mikey please forgive me as he lets his hand move into Mikey’s hair.
It’s the same reaction he got the last time, the one that made him never want to do this again. Mikey stops moving, stops breathing, stares at Gerard with a mixture of confusion and fear and—and want. He’s going to be sick, he has to stop this, but Mikey’s paying more attention to him than he has since the other day he did this. He lets his hand run all the way through Mikey’s hair, and Mikey shivers again.
“Don’t you remember?” Gerard asks, barely able to keep his voice from shaking. “You and me, shooting down Dracs, painting the guns, listening to Doctor D’s transmissions together…” He pushes Mikey’s bangs out of his face, exposing his eyes, and Gerard’s so close to letting go and apologizing, but then Mikey nods. He remembers.
“It’s hard, yeah, the sun and the heat and the running, but you never complained before. You knew that what we were doing, it was better than going back to the pills and working in a factory.” He runs his fingers through Mikey’s hair the same way he does with his own, straight back, fluffing it up a bit. It still feels unnaturally clean, the way it was when they first got him back. Gerard wants to rub dust and dirt and sweat and blood into it until it’s as filthy as it was before Korse took him away, and he tries not to think too hard about that image running through his head.
Mikey’s eyes shut, and he starts taking slow, even breaths. He’s trying to ignore Gerard, to block everything out so he can focus on his own fucked-up thoughts, and Gerard’s not going to let that happen.
“Look at me, Mikey.”
Mikey doesn’t open his eyes, and Gerard digs his nails in behind his ear, making Mikey flinch and shudder and—and Gerard wants to believe the little gasp he hears is out of surprise.
SORRY I GOT SAD INCEST INTO YOUR TORTUREPORN…….
No but actually the thing about this universe is that I don’t think incest is like, a thing? Like, BLI’s trying to make sex not a thing at all so there’s no specific taboo on who you’d be having it with.
…This is so totally not an excuse for me to write a whole bunch of underage Waycest in Wave-Head bars, nope. Nope nope nope.
“Look at me.” Gerard’s used to giving orders, to being the leader, but not like this. It’s difficult just to put any amount of authority in his voice and fake all the confidence he can.
Mikey’s eyes open. He won’t move, but he doesn’t recoil when Gerard puts his other hand on Mikey’s shoulder, pulling him a little closer.
“Mikey, you’re a zonerunner. It’s just who you are, who you’ve always been, since you threw your pills away all by yourself.” He leans forward until their noses nearly touch, never breaking eye contact. “It was your idea to try out rebelling against BLI, it was my idea to leave the city. We worked off each other, we trusted each other. I trusted you because I’ve known you my whole life, and I love you more than anyone else in this whole fucking desert does. Why did you trust me?”
He asks a question because he needs a response from Mikey, something that isn’t just a blank look and a nod. Any more of that and he’s going to back off out of sheer disgust in himself.
“You were…right,” Mikey says quietly, sounding surprised at his own words. “You were right. I hated the city, I just…didn’t think of actually leaving.”
“And I did.” Gerard relaxes his hand, but doesn’t let it leave Mikey’s hair. “I did, and you agreed, because it made sense. Right?”
Gerard pulls him into a full-on hug, one hand still on the back of Mikey’s head. It could be out of relief, it could be out of the need to comfort him, it could be out of not wanting to see Mikey’s face like this, he doesn’t even know anymore. Mikey melts into it, leaning into him and pressing his face into Gerard’s neck, his breath short but not gasping. It feels like there should be some kind of barrier between them, but they fit together like they have their whole lives.
“You still trust me,” he whispers, almost like it’s an order, no matter how much he wishes it weren’t. “You just needed to remember why.”
Mikey nods. He’s breathing a little harder, making the hair on the back of Gerard’s neck stand on end.
Being released from the leather straps holding him down and forced to his hands and knees on the ground, Korse stripping him naked, struggling to get away but barely able to move after another shock session and no food for the past three days.
“What’s wrong, Poison? Isn’t this why you left the city, because we refuse to let you have this?”
Biting back insults, reminding himself that he had a plan, he could work with this, he just needed to focus—
Pressureburnpain as Korse opened him up, his fingers cold and nowhere near wet enough, trying not to cry out and failing miserably.
Korse hissing as he pushed in, and whispering, “It didn’t have to come to this. You could have cooperated.”
Being stretched until he was waiting to have to fight back tears, almost laughing when he realized he’d taken worse pain over the past few weeks, that this was nothing. Exhaling sharply as Korse started to move at a steady pace.
Thinking about the others. Praying to whatever static gods might be listening that this would work.
“What was that?”
Forcing a smile onto his face. “Fuck…yeah. Yeah.”
“Come on, fuck, keep going.”
Korse starting to move again, faster, making it hurt like fuck. Trying to keep from letting his voice go too high as he faked a moan and pushed himself back.
“Fuck, Korse, faster, you fucker.”
GOD LET’S PRETEND THAT SCENE MADE SOME SORT OF SENSE, LET’S DO THAT, OKAY? YES.
“I’m sorry, Mikey.”
Gerard just keeps petting the back of Mikey’s head and holding him close. Mikey doesn’t speak for the rest of the night.
He gets the idea the next morning, and nearly shoves it away immediately, locks it in his mental box of things that shouldn’t be done, but it’s the quiet hours just after dawn, and Gerard always thinks way too hard at this time of day. This could work. He doesn’t want to admit that, but it could.
He rolls over in his sleeping bag to see Mikey, asleep and probably still dreaming—about what, Gerard doesn’t want to know—and he reaches over to shake him awake.
Mikey makes a small noise, but doesn’t open his eyes. Gerard shakes his shoulder harder.
“Hey, c’mon. Wake up, Kobra.”
Mikey’s eyes pop open, a little sleep-hazy but wide. Gerard wants to go back to sleep. Forever.
He smiles instead. “We’re heading out soon. Help me start packing up the camp?”
Mikey nods, his mouth moving a bit but not saying anything.
Gerard ruffles his hair, like he would have done before all this, but with a bit more attention to the back. “You’re the best, Kid.”
Mikey takes about five minutes before actually standing up to help Gerard, but he doesn’t argue at all.
He tells Frank and Ray what to do as soon as he can talk to them out of Mikey’s earshot.
“Hey, Kobra, pass me the screwdriver.”
“Fucking fuck, it’s hot out. Don’t know how Kobra there can stand wearing that jacket all the time.”
“Gonna finish that kibble, Kid?”
“What color do you think we should try next, Kobra?”
“Kid, up for some target practice?”
Mikey responds to the name, but it always takes him a second, and he never looks happy about it. But he doesn’t bring it up with Gerard. That’s enough for him.
sob this is actually one of the things I legitimately feel guilty about. SORRY…MIKEYWAY……..
Gerard starts spending more time with his hands in Mikey’s hair. Little touches, a brush here and a scratch there, but there’s no hesitation. He doesn’t let himself stop, and he doesn’t give Mikey a chance to move away.
He hates himself for it, a little, but when Mikey starts responding to his old name almost instantly, and doesn’t wince as much when Gerard touches him, it’s difficult to find much reason to feel guilty.
At least, no reason he could find on his own.
“I’m not sure about this,” Frank whispers to him one night, glancing nervously at the other side of the camp where Mikey’s sleeping. “I mean, not just the name thing. The touching thing. What if you fuck him up even—“
“When you break a bone,” Gerard interrupts, speaking slowly and carefully, “and it heals wrong? You have to break it again, so you can set it right.”
AHAHAHAHA and here’s where everyone universally started to hate Gerard. Though AGAIN, WHY DO YOU HATE GERARD AND NOT ME?? I was seriously worried I was mischaracterizing him and people would call me out on it, because I’ve seen stockholmy fic before with a Gerard who’d tend to be a bit OOC and I’m pretty sure people called that out, or at least mentioned it a little. WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR STOCKHOLMED BOAT I GUESS……
(I still really like this line though)
(forever sad that “breakbonesplaytones” is too many characters for a twitter or LJ account)
(don’t bother I already saved the tumblr url)
“But what if he can’t handle all this, what if he just—“
“Frank.” He puts a hand on Frank’s shoulder and leans in closer, “He’ll be fine. Stop worrying.”
Frank doesn’t flinch away, but he does stare apprehensively at Gerard for a moment before asking quietly, “You end all your arguments like this?”
Gerard lets go, but he doesn’t answer, doesn’t apologize.
FRANK AND RAY ARE THE ONLY DECENT CHARACTERS IN THIS FIC.
Well and Grace but that’s kind of a given.
Gerard takes his hand off Mikey’s head, which is half-pillowed in his lap. “For what?” It’s not so much a question as it is a cue to continue.
“For getting caught. For talking. For almost buying into their bullshit. Just…for everything.”
“Hey, it’s okay.” He cups Mikey’s cheek and stares down at him. “It wasn't your fault. It was his. He fucks with your head, it’s his job.”
Kissing Korse for the first time, leaning forward and pressing their mouths together while Korse fucked him against the wall.
Korse jerking back and nearly dropping him, losing the rhythm completely. “What are you doing?”
“Come on, try it. You’ll like it.” Smiling saccharine-sweet as he leaned in again.
“You have to fuck with him, or else he’ll fuck with you.”
“…And you fucked with him?”
“The best I could.” Maybe a bit too much. “He fucking deserved it.”
“He did,” Mikey agrees, and it’s the best thing Gerard’s heard in months.
I’m sure a large portion of my readers would agree, but just wait until I write Korse’s tragic origin story! AAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!
Ignore the fact that I don’t actually have a coherent idea of his origin story yet.
“So don’t feel bad.” He rests his hand back on the top of Mikey’s head. “We’ve all done things we’re not too proud of.”
Kissing Korse’s neck, collarbone, chest, muttering about how good he looked, how much he couldn’t wait.
Korse hissing in his ear as he pressed in, “I’m going to show you off. Take you to a meeting tomorrow, you on your knees by my side, show all of BLI how much you’re mine.”
Gasping out, “Yours, all yours,” because lying through his teeth was so much easier when things were going his way.
“It’ll be okay. You’re back with us. We’ll start fighting again soon, and you can pay him back.”
Kneeling at the end of a table next to where Korse was sitting, discussing plans and pointing out hot zones on maps to unmasked Draculoids. Waiting.
“I’ll let you shoot him in his fucking face. We’ll take out all his Dracs, then I’ll hold him while you shoot.”
Snatching Korse’s gun as soon as he stopped paying attention to him, firing two shots into Korse’s chest before standing up and taking shots at the Dracs.
“I’ll make sure you get your goddamn revenge, Kobra. You can count on me.”
Shooting the mechanism on the back of his own neck and swearing as it sent a jolt through him, but only for a few seconds. Ripping off the collar and dashing for the door.
Ignoring his better judgment and turning around. Korse clutching at his chest and struggling to stand up. Whirring noises coming from him every time he moved.
Smirking and pointing the gun at him again.
“…Call me Mikey?”
“…You’re the Kobra Kid, now. Will be until we’re all dust in the desert.”
“You can call me Poison from now on, if it makes you feel better.”
Ugh and here comes my habit of writing dialogue without speech tags and hoping that the readers will know who’s talking, even if I don’t trade off the dialogue perfectly :/ I’M TRYING NOT TO DO THAT AS MUCH BUT IT STILL SHOWS UP SOMETIMES.
“They already know our names, we don’t have to—“
“Then we give up those names. We don’t need them anymore.”
Taking a bike from the garages and tearing out of the city as fast as possible, checking the frequencies on the built-in radio.
“We’re not those people. We’re Party Poison, Jet Star, Fun Ghoul, and Kobra Kid.”
The Kobra Kid, actually, but I kind of go back and forth about that one. Blrrrrrrgh Killjoys.
Driving half-blind, wishing he’d stolen a helmet, still flipping through channel after channel. “Any runners hearing me? Party Poison here. I need some help.”
“That’s who we are and who we’ll be. Nothing can change that.”
“Party Poison here, east side of Zone 1, is anyone there?”
“…Poison? Holy shit, you’re alive? Guys, get over here!”
Letting out a sigh of relief and nearly choking on dust. “Hey, Kobra. Where can I find you?”
“…I guess it’s better than Michael.”
Lots of things are better than Michael, but I’m not sure about “Kobra.”
Riding to the Killjoys’ camp and getting mobbed by the others, reassuring them that he’s not hurt, he’s not on any pills, he won’t be tracked.
Holding Mikey close, mumbling “Missed you,” and Mikey echoing him.
“See? You’ll get used to it. We’re all adjusting to this, we have been ever since we left. This will only help.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
Kobra falls asleep like that, smiling faintly as Poison runs dirty fingers through his dusty hair.
AND THEY ALL LIVED FUCKED UP EVER AFTER.
It took me a long time to figure this ending out, especially since I’d originally promised my girlfriend that I’d write a happy ending. But after the whole Gabe-inna-cave-fulla-snakes ending didn’t work out, I started to lose hope, until it turned into
But! I think it’s open-ended enough that I (or fans of the story) could theoretically write a continuation that has a happy ending, or you can pretend that Mikey went along with all of Gerard’s bullshit consensually and eventually got better through his own willpower!
Or if you prefer heartbreaking endings I think this works for you /o/ It’s kind of unsatisfying in a lot of ways, but it got to the point where I honestly couldn’t figure out what else to do with it, and this seemed like the only way to finish.
I DO NOT PRETEND TO BE A PERFECT WRITER.
So yeah. Thanks for reading this pile of sads, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my insights into…my own fic. Hm.
GOOD NIGHT EVERYONE.