Chapter: 5/? (Anyone noticing this keeps getting longer?? :))
Pairings: PP!Gerard/FG!Frank, PP!Gerard/Korse non con.
Summary: The Killjoys are in trouble. Korse has caught up with them, and there is no where left to run.
Warnings: Dark fic, Angst, HurtComfort, Adult themes, Torture, Violence, Swearing, Sexual Abuse in later chapters. Mentions of past Rape, minor character death in this chapter.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Please don't sue me! This is just for pleasure!
Authors Note: Okay, Im so sorry I kept you all waiting so long. Won't happen again. I've already started chapter 6 and should have it with my beta by the end of the weekend. Thats the plan anyway! Right, some notes about this chapter but only briefly cos I hate spoiling anything - Im sure you've worked out this is set before the events of the Na Na Na video by now, well, its quite a long time before. I guess this is my prequel... Doctor Death Defying turns up in this chapter and he's as much part of the action as the Killjoys, not paralyzed or hurt, he fights alongside them. You'll find out where Im planning to go with that... :) Also, the Frerard stuff is building up now too, can't wait to get onto that part... And there is a bit of a surprising death in this one... sorry about that but the reasons why I did this will become clear... Anyway, this is a long authors note so I think thats enough! Thanks again to ink_demon for helping me and just being so brilliant. Sorry I was a nag hun, esp after how long I kept you waiting! Love ya!
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four
Ghoul was up on his feet, moving slowly, his legs shaking beneath him.
He leaned over suddenly, gasping for breath, holding his stomach for support. It had taken him some painful seconds to grasp what had actually happened in those chaotic few moments. One moment, he'd had Poison in his arms, holding him, so pleased just to be able to touch him again, and then he had seen that asshole Korse only a few feet away from where they were crouched. The bastard had aimed his ray gun carefully at them, and Ghoul had realised, with total clarity, that he was about to die. He'd stared defiantly at Korse, breathing hard, and waited for the man to pull the trigger that would put an end to his life, but the deathly glow never came. Because in that next second, the whole world exploded.
The noise had deafened him, the force of the blast sent him flying backwards. He had landed awkwardly, grunted in discomfort and laid there, dazed and confused, wondered what the Hell was going on, and what fate had befallen his friends.
He had stumbled to his feet, groped for the gun that had fallen at his side, and had instantly begun to call out for Poison. He'd lost his hold on the other man when they had been thrown by the explosion. He looked around and tried to see the cause of the blast. Ghoul was stunned to see that Korse's car - or what was left for it - was on fire. Large flames billowed out from the vehicle, where the Dracs inside had waited. Ghoul didn't understand.
And now, here he was, lost, confused and suddenly alone. Ghoul staggered a few more steps, still shouting, still looking, trying to see through the thick, smoky haze. He paused when he spotted a figure in the distance, but was unable to focus on him. He stepped forward, and looked hard, trying to see who was watching him.
"Gerard, is that you? Come toward me!"
The figure stiffened but remained silent. Then, he slowly raised his gun to aim it directly at Frank's chest.
Frank, already knowing Korse had the advantage over him, moved to raise his own blaster; he would be damned if he wasn't going to make a fucking fight of it. He owed that to his fellow Killjoys, and, most importantly, to Gerard. In his mind's eye, he saw Gerard lying there, in that room, beaten, defeated. He knew he would never be able to wipe that image from his mind, or what he assumed had gone on before he had entered. It didn't take too much imagination, after taking in Gerard's humiliating state. He had been near naked from the waist down, bruised, bloodied, and most telling of all, had behaved like a broken man. That fire that had burned so brightly within Party Poison, and had spread to them all, had disappeared. No, there was no doubt as to what Gerard Way had been subjected to, and now Korse was going to pay. Ghoul tightened his hold on his blaster. The bastard deserved to die. Even if the Killjoy lost his own life in the process, he was going to take the sick fuck to hell with him.
"Come on!" Ghoul shouted, fist clenched around his gun "What are you waiting for?"
Ghoul couldn't stand it. He moved forward. He knew that even if he had been out of range of Korse's death ray, he wasn't anymore, and he didn't care.
"You fucking bastard! You sick, perverted psycho - I'll kill you!"
He could have sworn, even through the thick cloud of smoke, that he could see Korse smirk.
And then, a voice filled the area, cut through the smoke. An unexpected sound, but a very familiar, and welcome, one.
"Killjoys! Get down!"
Ghoul, taken by surprise, swung round in the direction of the new voice. With a quick glance over his shoulder, he saw that Korse had done the same, his own gun quivering uncertainly in his grip. Ghoul wasn't surprised to see the Exterminator was staring, wide-eyed, at the sight before him; he himself was in shock. Doctor Death Defying, backed up by a small group of rebels, now ran towards them, a torch lighting up his way through the smoke, his gun aimed straight at Korse. The Exterminator snarled, and managed to dive out of the way just in time, the first blast sent at him missing by inches. Defying's eyes blazed as he took aim, determined to finish the job, but then, he paused. Then real chaos descended.
Drac and rebel alike appeared from all directions, charged out of alleyways and back passages, and out of the deserted and ruined buildings. Within moments, the place was a war zone. Defying looked again for Korse, but the man had vanished.
"Shit!" He hissed, annoyed with himself. But then, he turned to look at Fun Ghoul who was gazing at the scene around him, clearly stunned. Death Defying, Korse now forgotten, raced straight up to his friend, and pulled Ghoul to one side, out of the way of a Drac's wayward shot.
"Ghoul," the Doctor urged him. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," Frank replied breathlessly, and clutched the Doctor's shoulders for support. He could barely hear the pirate DJ over the sound of close by gun fire and screams. "Have you seen the others?"
"They're fine," Defying told him, quickly. He cringed as a shot whipped past his ear, and pulled Ghoul along with him again. They couldn't stay still, it was just madness there now. "We've gotta get you all out of here. This place is a death trap."
"Wait," Ghoul snapped, trying to free himself. "Korse is here. We have to find him." He coughed, his voice hoarse. "I've gotta kill him..."
Death shook his head. "It's way too crazy, buddy. This ain't the time. I came here to get you guys out, now all of us are leaving here together." He then looked around, his eyes moving from one skirmish to the next, noting that his rebels were doing a good job at keeping the Dracs at bay. For the time being, at least. It was not a good idea to stand still in one spot for to long though; they did not want to attract any Drac attention. "Korse is not important right now."
"NO!" Ghoul shouted, not accepting that. He couldn't. "You don't understand. We'll never get another chance like this. You don't know what he did to Gerard. We have to-"
There was another explosion behind them, cutting him off. The noise made his ears ring. He looked in the direction of the source.
Ghoul could see small groups of rebels carrying bazooka guns, aiming them at Dracs in range.
'So, that's how Korse's car was destroyed... He's stuck here now'.
Ghoul coughed, the dust clouding the air getting into his throat and choking him. He glanced behind him, and saw yet more smoke clearing to reveal a dead troupe of Dracs, who had evidently been closing in on the Doctor and himself. He knew how – Korse was still there, still directing his troops. He had his communicator, he was still in charge. And evidently not beaten. But he was stuck at that moment, no chance of escape for him or his Dracs, and the Killjoys may never have a better chance to rid the world of the bastard, or to make him pay for what he did to Party Poison. They couldn't just blow it. Not now.
Ghoul took a determined step away from Defying, back toward where he had last seen Korse, but he was once more restrained, and pulled back.
"He's gone!" The Doctor snapped. "Leave it!"
"Where the fuck did he go?" Ghoul demanded, and tried to pull away from the Doctor's bruising hold.
"After what he fucking did to Gerard?" Ghoul's fists were clenched. "I don't think so. You didn't see what-"
"Look around you, Ghoul!" Defying actually shook the younger man in frustration, yelling in his face. "This place is a war zone. More Dracs are dropping on us all the time. They're coming from somewhere, We have no idea where, and they are not going to stop. And we can't even hold these ones. We are all going to be overrun if we don't get out now."
Ghoul didn't want to hear his words.
"I owe it to him..."
"You owe it to all these people, these men and women who volunteered to risk their lives today for Party Poison. They wanted to save him from that sadist. You need to think about him now!"
Ghoul rounded on him angrily.
"Who do you think I'm thinking about?"
"I know you are thinking about Korse!" Defying jerked his head behind him, and what Fun Ghoul saw made his blood run cold. A very distressed looking Kobra Kid leaned over the broken form of his older brother, trying to drag him up. But Poison was not responding to Kobra's efforts, or to his cries. He was just slumped over, cowering, his arms placed over his head for protection. "Look at him, Ghoul." Death hissed. "Do you see now? Tell me, Frank. Doesn't he matter more than Korse?"
The agony coursed through Fun Ghoul as he took in Party Poison's terrible condition. Defying was right; he had been so preoccupied with Korse, Ghoul hadn't even noticed that Poison or Kobra had been so close by.
"He tortured him, Doc." Ghoul whispered to Death. He felt sick, unable to look away from Party. "Even worse than that, I think Korse-" He broke off, unable to finish the sentence. He could hardly even bring himself to think the word.
Rape. My boyfriend was raped.
He steadied himself before continuing.
"He fucking broke him, Death. Party Poison was fucking undefeatable, and look what he did to him..."
"Then help him." Death continued, more kindly. "He needs you, Frank."
Ghoul closed his eyes for a second, and tried to control the over powering emotion building deep inside him, that threatened to consume him. He then took a deep breath, glanced at the Doctor once more, and nodded to him.
"Good." Defying noted, and then gestured for Ghoul to fall in beside him. The two men moved quickly, side by side, dodging stray blasts as they went to where Kobra and Party were stranded. Both men dropped to their knees beside their comrades. It was good to be out of the wind, free of that dust cloud. The battles still raged on, only a short distance away. Eventually, the Dracs would descend on them too. There was no more time to waste.
Kobra, stunned by the sudden interruption, aimed his gun at once, but then froze as he stared at Defying with wide, disbelieving eyes. Gratitude swept across his face.
"Thank God you're here," Kobra breathed. "I thought we were pinned down. I couldn't see what the fuck was going on, and Poison is in a bad way." He stood up straight, and released his hold on Poison reluctantly. "Doc, you have to help me with him. He's in agony, hasn't stopped trembling since I got him clear."
The Doctor regarded Poison carefully, taking in the obvious pain the young man was in, and his barely concealed anger increased.
"We are going to need to be gentle with him-" he began, but Ghoul, upset and angry, and in no mood to pussy-foot around, grabbed Party's arm and attempted to drag the other man to his feet. He ignored Kobra and Death's angered shouts.
He just needed to get Gerard the hell out of there.
"Come on, Poison," Ghoul growled. "It's time to go."
Party's terrified reaction was immediate.
"NO! Get away from me!" He whimpered, and scrambled clear, as if Fun Ghoul had attacked him.
Stunned, Ghoul loosened his grip on Party abruptly. The other man let out a low sob as he, shaking like a leaf, wrenched his captured arm out of Ghoul's grasp. There was no recollection whatsoever in his expression as he stared fearfully at the other Killjoy.
"Please," Party wailed, and attempted and failed to scuffle backwards. Ghoul could tell the other man's injuries were severe. And the way he was now holding his ribs was another concern. "No more," Poison moaned. "Just stop."
Ghoul could actually feel his heart breaking. He had never seen anything so devastating in his life. He reached out again for his once defiant leader, desperate to get through to him.
"Party, it's okay." He tried to reassure, already knowing it was useless. "No one is gonna hurt you now. I need you to look at me."
Poison shook his head desperately. "N-not my n-name..." He stammered. "I t-told you..."
Party held a shaky hand up. Ghoul realised, to his dismay, that Gerard was trying to ward off the evil man that he believed was still standing over him. Because Korse was all he could see. "I told you, remember?" The poor man moaned. "I told you my name was Gerard Way. I did what you asked. Please don't hurt me, Korse. I can't take..." He didn't finish his sentence.
He didn't need to. Frank knew only too well what he was going to say.
Gerard was pleading with his imaginary version of Korse, begging him not to rape him again. He was fucking pleading with him.
Ghoul could feel the rage threatening to engulf him.
The bastard was going to suffer for this.
He would find Korse and he would make him pay. The evil cocksucker was going to die. One way or another. He would fucking burn, and Frank would be there to watch.
"Gerard," Ghoul whispered softly, trying again. "It's me, Frank. Look at me, buddy. You're safe."
At those words, Party looked up, and stared at Ghoul, disbelief in his gaze.
"Frankie?" He mumbled. He reached out, as if he wanted to touch his friend, to prove to himself that he was really there. But then, just as his fingers almost brushed Frank's face, his hand dropped and he sighed.
"Can't be you..."
Frank frowned. Poison needed to be convinced.
"Feel," he said, and pinched Gerard's forearm, hard.
Gerard yelped, and gaped down at his sore arm in wonderment. Then, with a weary moan, he closed his eyes. "It's all a trick. Korse has done something else to my mind. More drugs. He's making me see you. I said your name, when he did that to me. He knows about us, Frank. You're not here... You can't be."
Frank's heart hammered in his chest.
"What is he talking about?" Kobra asked. "Knows about who? And what did Korse do?"
Ghoul and Defying exchanged worried glances.
So, the Doctor suspected too.
Ghoul flinched. He knew what "that" meant.
His pants round his ankles. Scared to even be touched. Broken, compliant. A shell of his former self.
Ghoul screwed his eyes up tight. Of course he knew. He wasn't an idiot. He had suspected from the moment he had entered that godforsaken room. But to have his fears confirmed to him...
Frank wanted to be sick.
'I'll kill the bastard myself. With my own bare hands.'
"Korse is gone, Gee." Frank told him, his voice breaking. He was as surprised as Kobra and the Doc clearly were to suddenly use Gerard's long-forgotten pet name. "I'm with you, and I'm not gonna leave you." His eyes narrowed. "He's never going to touch you again, Gerard. I swear to you and to God." He offered his hand. "Let's get you outta here right now. Gracie is back there, waiting for you. She's desperate to see you. Don't wanna keep a lady waiting now, do ya?"
Party quickly threw another weary glance at Frank, and then raised a defeated hand. "Go away," he muttered. "Frank left me here so you can't be him. This is a dream. I need to sleep, so just leave me alone." He closed his eyes again, and turned his head away. "Frank's not here..."
The conversation was over.
Ghoul, defeated, reached out and gently stroked Poison's hair. He froze, his hand in mid air, as Gerard actually flinched violently at his touch. The older man was still trembling uncontrollably, and his low, despairing moans confirmed that he was still in great pain. Ghoul moved back then, and forced his gaze away from the exhausted and shell-shocked Poison, glared over at Doctor Defying instead.
"What the fuck is wrong with him?" He stormed. "Why can't he stop shaking?"
"He's been like this since those explosions went off," Kobra threw in, and looked at Defying. "When you and your people arrived, I grabbed him, got those cuffs off of him, and managed to pull him clear of Korse, but then the Dracs attacked from all sides, and a bazooka blast flashed right by us, blowing Korse's car to bits, and Gerard just went to fucking pieces. He's terrified." He wiped the tears out of his eyes angrily. "He acts like none of this is even real. Not me, you guys, the battle, any of it. He thinks Korse is playing with him. You heard him! He won't answer to anything but "Gerard" either." He eyed Frank with dismay. "What did that evil fucker do to him?"
Frank shook his head desperately. "I don't know, Mikey."
What else was he supposed to say?
He thought back to that tiny room. Korse's smirk. Gerard's defeated expression and fear. His insides churned. He pushed the image to the back of his mind once more, still praying that somehow the explanation was not how he had perceived it. Deep down, he knew it was a futile prayer.
At least he had saved Mikey that sight. He would always be grateful he had told the younger Way to remain outside. He didn't want to imagine how Kobra would have reacted if he'd seen the extent of his brother's suffering.
"Party Poison." Doctor Death was beside Party now, speaking to him softly, and gently coaxing the young man into looking up at him. He pulled open Poison's wide and frightened eyes to look into them clearly. He frowned. "I think I know," he muttered.
Ghoul cringed. "What?" he asked.
"Typical Better Living bullshit." Death slammed his fist into the ground. "Korse has used drugs on him, and strong shit at that. Very painful too. I'm not surprised Poison doesn't know where he is." He frowned. "He's lucky to be alive," he said softly, before adding, more to himself, "They obviously needed him."
"What effect-" Fun Ghoul began, but Defying silenced him with a wave of his hand.
"I don't know anything else, Ghoul. Not without subjecting him to more painful tests to find out what crap that asshole injected him with." He ran his fingers over the puncture wounds in Gerard's arm. "Shooter darts, I'm guessing." He lifted Gerard's shirt carefully, and swore under his breath when he saw the severity of the bruises. "He's been badly beaten, battered even. He's in one hell of a lot of pain. I can't tell the full scale of his injuries though. We need to get him some proper help, and quickly."
Suddenly, a desperate scream cut through them all.
"Doctor Death Defying! There's too many of them!"
The Doctor looked up sharply. Yet more Dracs had arrived on the scene and the rebels were becoming vastly outnumbered. They were calling to their leader for his advice and assistance, and Defying had to answer. And the Killjoys needed to get themselves moving.
"Where's Ray?" Frank suddenly demanded of Kobra. "Why isn't he with you?"
"He ran off to help the others," Kobra replied, his voice low, "He told me to stay with Gerard..." his words trailed off.
"He gave you good advice, son." Defying interjected. "Poison is a sitting duck right now. Someone needs to look after him. Right it should be you, Kobra. No one knows him or can care for him like his own brother."
Frank cringed. He looked down at the ground, his eyes screwed tightly shut. Neither of his companions noticed his agony, nor the fact that he reached out, and took hold of Gerard's hand.
He glanced down, heartened, when Gerard squeezed his fingers back in response.
Defying got to his feet abruptly. He gestured for Kobra to take his place and hold his brother close, not only to keep the injured man warm, but also to offer some much needed comfort. The Doctor pulled out his own communicator, pressed a button, and yelled into the device:
"Summer! I need you. Get that car over here. Lock in on my signal. Now, got it?"
As he cancelled the call, he turned quickly back to the Killjoys.
"Right, help is on the way. Kobra, you can move your brother on your own, can't you?"
Kobra nodded, his attention still focused on Party, who had now wrapped his arms around his chest and was rocking back and forth.
"He's hurting so bad," the younger brother murmured. He looked up at Defying with pleading eyes. "Please Doc, can you give him something? Just a painkiller?"
Defying grimaced. "I'm sorry." He replied. "I got no way of knowing what shit Korse was pumping into him, or how much. If I give him something, there's a good chance he might OD and his body couldn't cope with that. It's too much of a risk."
Kobra looked as if he was going to argue, still upset by his brother's obvious agony, but a warning look from the Doctor convinced him against it.
"We have to get him away from here," Defying continued, "One of my people is on her way, in your Trans AM. She'll pick the two of you up and then get the hell out. Party Poison is what matters here. He needs treatment and care back at the base. We have to get him there as soon as possible, or he isn't going to make it. Do you understand?"
Defying watched as Kobra's face reddened in obvious anger and he held his brother closer as he spat in response:. "Of course I fucking do!"
There was an uncomfortable moment of silence before Kobra then seemed to regret his words and he mumbled an apology. Doctor Death gave the young man a grim smile. "Don't worry about anything. Just look after him, Kid."
Apparently deaf to their small altercation, Ghoul was still digesting Doctor Death's earlier words. He stepped forward and addressed his leader: "Doc, sorry but did you say, the two of them?"
Defying glanced up, and gave Ghoul a curious look.
"Yeah, that's right, Ghoul, I did. I need you to help me round up everyone else and get them all out of this fucking hell-hole. You've got a cool head on your shoulders, boy." He glanced at Party Poison. "He was right about you. You are good. And you're what I need right now." He patted Ghoul on the shoulder, oblivious to the turmoil the younger man was now experiencing. "Let's go."
Ghoul hesitated for a second before he replied, and new determination set in on his face. "If it's okay with you, Doc, I'd prefer to stay with Party Poison." He cleared his throat awkwardly. "Kobra might need my help-"
"It's not okay with me, Ghoul;" came the cold, rather disappointed-sounding reply. "I gave you your orders. Do as I say."
"Kobra Kid will protect Gerard. He is the man's brother. Are you gonna tell me you care more about this guy than his own kid brother?"
Frank had no reply to that. He was stuck. All he wanted to do was shout out, to the whole fucking world; "Yeah, I care more! I fucking love him. He means more to me than anyone else on this whole fucked up planet!" But he couldn't. He had sworn to Party that they would keep their relationship a secret, a secret from Doctor Death and the Killjoys, and everybody else. He didn't want to betray his lover's wishes now, not after coming so close to losing him completely. And he knew what Party Poison would want and expect him to do, simply follow Death's instructions to the letter, and get Kobra, Jet and anybody else he could out of that hell.
So, with a sigh, he shook his head, and cast his eyes down on the ground.
"No. No one cares more than Kobra."
"Good," Defying retorted, still clearly unimpressed with what he supposed was a cowardly attitude on Fun Ghoul's part. "Then lets get fucking moving, shall we?"
And with one last nod to Kobra, Defying moved, ray gun drawn, and headed back into battle. Frank, still in two minds as to whether he could leave Poison behind, but already knowing he had no other choice, stopped beside Kobra Kid. He clasped his shoulder, and whispered in his ear: "You look after him, Mikey."
The younger man nodded. "Go," he managed. "Just get Ray out of there, Frank."
And then, Fun Ghoul was running as fast as he was able, blasting any Drac at whom he could get a clear aim.
Kobra watched him go, dread building inside of him, and then turned his attention back to his brother.
He placed his arms around the trembling Party Poison and pulled him closer, burying his face in the other man's hair. Kobra knew he had to be strong, knew it was up to him now to protect Poison and keep him safe. He would not let him down again.
Kobra leaned back slightly when he heard Party let out a quiet moan. He saw that his brother had opened his eyes and blinked repeatedly, gazing at him with some confusion.
"Mikey?" Gerard whispered.
Kobra swallowed hard, and bit down on his lip, desperate to stop the tears from leaking out of his eyes. He would not be weak. He could get through this.
"You're gonna be okay, Gerard." He promised. "We're gonna get you out of here, and everything is gonna be fine."
"Where are the others?"
Kobra frowned. Did Gerard have no memory of seeing and talking to Frank and Defying only a few moments ago?
How was he supposed to deal with this?
"I'm going to look after you, Gee." Kobra swore to him. Finally, the tears started to flow as he hugged Gerard to him tightly. "I'm so sorry," he sobbed. "I shouldn't have left you there. This is all my fucking fault!" He rocked Gerard gently.
Gerard tightened his own hold on his brother's arm. "Hurts, Mikey;" He whimpered. "So sore..."
Kobra did not know what to say or do. He knew Gerard was in a very large amount of pain but there was nothing he could do to relieve that agony, which made Kobra feel so helpless. How was he supposed to just wait there and watch his brother suffer? All he could do was hold him and try to comfort him. Kobra just prayed that it was enough.
Even more angered by his own pathetic display and his complete inability to be able to aid his brother, he looked up abruptly and screamed, into the smoke that was still surrounding them. Kobra felt choked by it. In desperate, furious tones, he yelled, "Where the fucking hell is that car!"
And then, as if on cue, a vehicle was suddenly roaring towards them. The Dracs in the vicinity swivelled round to open fire on the car but the blasts bounced harmlessly off the bodywork. As it came ever close, Kobra could see that it wasn't just any car, it was their car, the Trans AM, just as Doctor Death had promised. Mikey released his hold on his brother temporarily to run forward and wave him arms madly. The driver spotted him instantly, and headed straight towards them. The car came to a halt a few feet away, the door swung open and a lean figure hurried out. Removing her mask, she revealed herself to be a young woman with long wavy blond hair and a very young-looking face. She glanced from Kobra Kid to Party Poison and then back again, and then ran forward, her youthful face lined with concern.
She took a nervous look over her shoulder at the fight which raged in the distance, before she returned her attention to the two Killjoys watching her.
She inclined her head in way of greeting.
"Are you Kobra Kid?" She demanded, her hand hovering near her blaster.
She nodded, clearly relieved. "Good. Doctor D asked me to find you. I'm..."
Kobra was not in the mood for pleasantries. "Look, don't take this badly okay, but I have no idea who you are, and, to be honest, I don't actually care." He gestured towards the prone form of Poison. "Help me get my brother into the car. He's hurt."
"What happened to-"
"No fucking time!" He thundered. "Help me!"
The woman didn't wait a second longer. She rushed to Kobra's side, looping Party's right arm around her shoulder, and aided Kobra in lifting him. It was awkward though, he felt like a dead weight. "The name's Summer," she managed, breathing hard as she struggled with Party. "It's an honor to meet the infamous Killjoys. Just thought I'd mention that."
Kobra couldn't help but offer her a grim smile. "Thanks. Autographs later though, yeah?"
Summer chuckled. "I'm new," she told him. "Three weeks ago, Doctor Death saved my life during a Better Living raid on my building. He took me out of the city and into the desert. Earlier today, he asked me to come and save yours in return. How could I refuse the chance to meet you, and get to drive your car? Stuff of legend, you guys are! I've heard stories about Party Poison and the Killjoys for months, and I'd obviously seen your wanted posters everywhere, I just had to-"
"No offense, Summer?" Kobra interrupted. He stared at her incredulously. Was she for real? "But you talk way too fucking much."
Summer gave him a nervous look, saw the twinkle in Kobra's eye, and then grinned. "Everyone says so. Sorry, I'll shut up if I'm annoying you."
"No," he replied, softly. "I actually quite like it. Makes a change, you know?"
They struggled forward with Party a few more steps until he moaned weakly, and fell forward. Summer and Kobra only just managed to catch him before he hit the ground, his energy spent.
"Come on, Party," Kobra whispered. "We're nearly there." He looked around, concerned, relieved to note there was no sign of any unwanted activity. No Dracs, no Scarecrows, no Korse. He spotted an area of the battle, and was relieved to see Ghoul and Jet fighting back to back, a handful of Dracs lying dead at their feet. He pulled at Party's arm again. "You can't sleep there, pal. Gotta keep moving."
"Did Korse do this to him?" Summer suddenly asked, quietly.
Kobra frowned. "Yeah," he replied. "He injected him with fuck knows what and beat him to within an inch of his fucking life." He swallowed hard. "And I let it happen."
Summer blinked. "What do you mean?"
He didn't reply.
Summer hesitated, then reached out and touched his hand. "I know how you feel. I was made to watch as Korse killed my brother and..."
Kobra grimaced, tore his hand away and then fixed the girl with an angry look. "Will you just stop asking fucking questions already? I don't care about your brother, understand?"
She flushed, the hurt apparent on her face. She then nodded, and looked away from him quickly.
Kobra regretted his words instantly. She was just a kid. No matter how worried he was, there was no excuse for treating this girl like shit. She was there to help him, and Poison. Attacking her was not going to change a thing. He leaned towards her, holding Party closer to him, and managed a small smile in apology. "Look, I shouldn't have said... I'm sorry, okay?" He tentatively reached out and rubbed her back gently. "I'm an asshole sometimes, everyone says so..."
"Everyone including your brother?"
"Just like mine then." Her face twitched as she fought to hold back her emotions. "I miss him."
He watched her for a moment. "What's your real name, Summer?"
She frowned. "We're told never to give out our..."
"I know," he interjected. "But I'm interested. And, in case you are too, I'm Mikey Way."
Her face broke out into a real smile then. Kobra couldn't help but notice that it lit up her face.
They shook hands, and held on to each other just a little bit longer than necessary.
Her eyes were drawn to the blood stains on his shirt.
"Are you hurt?"
He blinked, and then looked down. "Oh," he replied, hurriedly. "I cut myself on some glass earlier today. It's fine now. I'm fine." He frowned, gesturing to his brother. "He's the one who needs help. We have to get moving," he urged, and grimaced as he tried to pull his brother up off of the ground. "We're out in the open here." He glanced down. "Come on, Gerard. I need you to help us. Please."
Party Poison could only manage a low moan in response. Kobra was almost despairing.
Summer didn't know what to say. Their situation was not looking good.
Suddenly, both Summer and Kobra looked up sharply when they heard louder screams from the battle ground. Kobra's heart sank at the horrific sight of what was now playing out in the distance. Jet and Ghoul were clearly in trouble. They, Doctor Death, and the small party of rebels were still fighting on but had been pushed back by a larger group of Dracs, which had apparently appeared from nowhere and had managed to form a battle formation in front of them. They were advancing, ray guns blasting, cutting down men and women as they moved. Kobra knew what this meant. Their General was giving them orders, organising them. And they were winning.
Korse had to still be there. He'd be standing by somewhere, close to them, that smirk still planted on his sick face.
Kobra gritted his teeth. He would not let Korse win this. And Jet and Ghoul needed his help now as well as Poison. So did Defying and Summer. Hell, every one of those people did. They would all be wiped out one by one if they didn't move soon. They had been there long enough. And now Kobra needed to act immediately, or it would be too late for all of them. He glanced down at Party, torn, unsure what to do for the best. Finally, Alicia made up his mind for him.
"Go," she whispered, and touched his hand. "Round up the rest of the rebels. Take my communicator, it's got a stronger signal than yours."
"I can't just leave Gerard."
"The other Killjoys and the Doc need you, and you know it."
"So does my brother." His voice broke. "I abandoned him before, it's my fault what happened to him. I can't let him down again. I won't."
Summer grasped his hand then, and squeezed tightly. "Let me protect him for you. I won't leave him, Kobra." She promised him. "I'll get him in the car, and safely back to base. You'll see him there. It will be fine." She leaned closer. "I won't let you down."
He very gently tucked her hair behind her right ear. "Thank you," he whispered. Then, he clutched Party's hand. "I'll see you back at base, Gee. I love you." And then, clearly so he didn't allow himself the opportunity to change his mind, he sped off, his gun at the ready. As Alicia watched in awe, he took down two Dracs within seconds, and was already yelling for the beaten and broken but still living rebels nearby to rise up and fight on. And they began to answer his call, getting up off the ground, running to join him, guns brandished. They would fight with him to the end.
That's what the Killjoys meant.
"Mikey Way," Summer muttered. "I should never have met you."
"Why is that?"
She looked down. Party Poison was gazing up at her. "You like my brother." He whispered, speaking quietly.
It was not a question.
Summer nodded. She actually felt awed. The face on the posters, the name from the stories, so often mentioned during the Doc's radio broadcasts. The name that people would only whisper to each other: Party Poison., leader of the Fabulous Killjoys. And he was talking to her.
"How old are you?" He inquired.
She hesitated, not wanting to give out any more private information. Finally, she replied; "I'm twenty two."
"So young." he sighed. "Little Mikey, he was young once too. All gone now. Mikey's not young anymore. Not since I took him out of the City, out of his life, and into oblivion." Gerard stared off into space, no longer addressing the agitated girl beside him. He spoke into the smoke, to the young man in his memory, lost forever. "I'm sorry I dragged you into this. It was a mistake." His eyes were cold, his voice detached. "You should have died back in that house with them, Mikey. At least you'd be free then too."
Summer stared at him.
What the fuck?
"Come on, Party Poison," she told him, playfully, acting as if she had not heard his defeated words. "What about all the stories I've heard about you? The feared leader of the Killjoys! I heard you were the toughest motherfucker in the Zones. Wanna start showing me some of that any time soon?"
Party laughed. Or tried to. All he managed was a croak. "Silly fairy tales told to impress naïve minds," he mumbled, and then wrenched his hand out of her grasp and cursed loudly in pain as he once more fell to his knees. He pushed her away from him, actually trying to thwart her efforts to drag him the extra few feet towards his car. "Party Poison isn't my name, by the way." He told her, through gritted teeth. "My name is Gerard Way."
"Whatever you say." She tugged at his hand. "Gerard Way is just fine by me. He was a hero to me once aswell, come to think of it. Long time ago."
Gerard looked at her. "He was?"
"You bet," she threw back. "I'll call you Gerard, no problem. Hell, I'll call you 'shithead' if that's what you want. As long as you get the fuck up!"
"I'm not a hero." He actually then reached out for her, grabbed her hand and pulled her closer to him, so he could hiss in her ear. "You don't understand, do you? Party Poison is a lie. All of it was one big lie. Propaganda. There's no hope, no fight, no future. Not for you or for me." He closed his eyes. "He has lied to us all, Summer." He tightened his hold, hurting her. "He lied to me."
Summer stared at him. There was no emotion in his voice at all. It was as if she was talking to an empty shell.
A Better Living Industries drone.
Maybe she was.
Maybe they were too late after all.
"Well," she retorted, carefully. "Whatever your name is, I'll give you some advice. You need to shut the fuck up and get a move on before you get us both killed, capiche?"
He smiled. There was no humour there, no genuine kindness. Only darkness and emptiness. Party Poison was not at home any more. But then, nor was Gerard Way, or not what she would have expected from the man with that name. The hero from her past. This was someone new. And that realisation made her insides freeze.
"I promised your brother," she pleaded with him. "Please, Gerard. Do this for him."
"No point," he whispered. "No point to any of it any more." He let go of her and she would have fallen had she not caught herself.
She shook her head wordlessly, not wanting to hear another word from him. She backed off slightly, the disappointment and helplessness coursing through her; this was not the Party Poison she had heard so much about. This was not the Gerard Way who had sung out to her, and moved her, so many years ago. This was not a man worth all the efforts that had been taken to save him. This was someone Korse had created. This was a broken man.
"What the hell happened to you?" Summer demanded, edging ever further away from him as she brought a shaky hand up to her forehead in disbelief.
She was to preoccupied, not aware of her surroundings.
She had been trained to stay alert. Her training had been a waste of effort.
She didn't even hear him creep up behind her.
She felt his breath on her neck first, and then the hard, cold nozzle of his ray gun pressed up against the back of her head.
And then, finally, he spoke, so softly: "Me."
She stared at Party Poison, her hero, the man she had looked up to for so long. She saw his eyes widen when he realised what was happening, saw him go to move forward, and then stop.
She watched him stare helplessly at the bastard she knew now held her life in his hands.
She begged silently. Help me.
"Please," Party Poison whispered to the man holding her. "Please don't do this."
"I told you," Korse growled. "You are the one responsible for all of this, Gerard. Such a hero."
And then, with that ever-present smirk, he pulled the trigger. There was a flash, and a cry of "no" from Poison, and then Summer was falling. The last thing she saw was his eyes, and the sadness and regret in them. And then, she knew nothing else.
She was dead before she even hit the ground. She laid there, her eyes open and staring. Snuffed out. Twenty two years old, hardly more than a child, and her life had ended, just like that.
Another life lost.
Poison couldn't take his eyes off of her. He crouched there, his breathing laboured, whimpering softly. This was his fault. He knew it. He had gotten her killed. Someone his brother could have cared about, if he had been given the chance. But Party had stopped any of that from even beginning. Summer was dead, thanks to him. Because he had given up. They would all soon be dead.
And, there he was, snivelling on the ground. A coward. He didn't deserve any of them.
What the hell was he doing?
Slowly, he averted his eyes from Summer's crumpled body, and looked up at Korse. Something had again awakened inside of him, just a spark, and he felt the tiniest rush of anger.
"You didn't have to kill her." he muttered. "She was just a kid."
"She was inconsequential."
"Inconsequential?" Gerard repeated. That anger was growing. "She was a person, just a girl."
"She was a rebel! I'll wipe every single one of you off of this planet. That's a promise. Starting with your beloved Doctor and fellow Killjoy scum." He smirked., looking over towards the battle. "Not today though, no point in losing any more Dracs." He placed his head right next to Poison's. "Not when you'll make such a good assassin and do the job for them."
"You murdering fucking bastard!"
Korse laughed. "Now, now, Mr Way. Don't you try and start fighting me again. You know how that will turn out. Yet more unnecessary pain for you, and still a sweet victory for me." He reached out toward Party, and when the man resisted again, he struck him hard across the face, causing the younger man to cry out and fall painfully back to the earth. With Party Poison now on his knees, Korse grasped his hair and dragged him up, twisted his head round agonisingly, and forced his victim to look at him.
Party grabbed at his hand, trying to loosen his grip. It was useless.
"You tell me, rebel." Korse hissed. "How did you really think this would end?" He tightened his hold even more, causing Party to cry out. "Did you get your hopes up? Shame." He caressed the other man's cheek. "Oh yes. You are still coming with me, Gerard."
He threw Party Poison forward then, sending him flying to the ground once more. The Killjoy crashed to the ground in a heap, screaming out his anguish from the pain in his ribs that the fall caused. When Gerard finally managed to catch his breath and lift his head, he could see his beloved Trans AM was only a few feet away.
"I thought I'd take your transport," that hated voice continued, coming closer. "As mine was destroyed by your rebel friends. My Dracs have kept your friends occupied quite nicely. You and I should have no problems."
Korse bent down, and scooped up the car key still lying beside Summer.
And then, he smiled.
"Sorry, didn't I tell you already? I was sure I'd mentioned it." He crouched down beside Gerard, and ran a teasing finger down his chest, revelling in the intense fear and despair his actions caused.
"You – are – mine."