Chapter: 7/? (I have no idea how long this will be now!)
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, Rape, Angst, HurtComfort, Adult themes, Torture, Violence, Swearing, Disclaimer: Not mine. Please don't sue me! This is just for pleasure!
Authors Note: I'm so late! So, so sorry! This was a real tough one to write! It is a nice long chapter so that should make up for the long wait! Hopefully! Thanks for being so patient, everyone! Enjoy! Thanks once again to ink_demon for all her help, patience and support. This story would simply not be anywhere near as good without her, so thank you hun!
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six
Frank gripped the steering wheel tightly, his face set, determined to complete the task he had set himself. He stared straight ahead into the sunlight, unblinking. He gazed, but he couldn't see the desert stretching out before him. All he could see was Gerard, and the look of anguish on his lover's face when Korse had used the shooter gun on him. The finality and defeat that Frank had seen in those brown eyes would haunt him for the rest of his days, however long that would prove to be. Gerard had known it was all over, he knew Korse had won and that he was going to die.
Fun Ghoul's hands shook as he pictured the bastard's smug face. Korse had actually smirked as he had taken the most important person in Frank's life. He'd fucking smirked. Frank took one hand off of the wheel, and reached out to grasp his ray gun instead. His grip tightened as he gritted his teeth. He would kill Korse. Slowly. He would make him suffer for every moment of torment he had forced Gerard to endure. The fucker would pay. Frank swore that, on Gerard's life.
Frank steered his mind away from Korse, not wanting to waste precious thoughts on him any longer. Memories were all he had left of Gerard now and he needed to cherish them. He felt the pain swelling deep within him as he recalled himself and Gerard in his old bedroom, before the wars, before Better Living Industries. Even before the band, before it had all gone so crazy. He heard them laughing, saw them wrestling, enjoying each other's company. He felt his guitar in his hands as he strummed a few chords, when he had first begun to play, and he remembered how amazing it felt when Gerard would sing along with him. Gerard could sing so passionately, even back then.
Frank had realised he was in love with his best friend pretty soon after those days. And that love had only grown stronger over the years. They had travelled the world together, become a unit. And it had been so perfect. Life had been perfect. And then, everything had changed. The wars, and the bombs had come and the world had died. He had joined Better Living, just like they all had. He'd taken the drugs, needing to forget. He'd accepted their way was the only option and had become a drone, like everyone else. But then, Gerard and Mikey had come to him that fateful day, needing a place to hide, telling him they were being hunted. They had needed his help, and he had offered it gladly. And then, Korse had come for them there too. So, he'd had no choice. He left his life, left everything he'd ever known to run with them, just like the old days. And they had picked up Ray and then had all run together, and from that day onwards, they'd never stopped.
Now, it was all over.
Gerard was dead. There was no second chance. Frank would never hear him sing ever again.
Fun Ghoul swore under his breath as he wiped at the tears spilling down his cheeks. This was showing weakness and that would be no help to him. He had to be strong if he was going to avenge the man he loved, and destroy the man who had broken him. Frank glowered. Gerard hadn't just been broken. He'd been tortured. Raped. Korse hadn't just made an example of Gerard, he'd ripped the man apart and when there was nothing left to take, he'd murdered him.
He imagined the agony Gerard had endured. He could hear him screaming, begging for Korse to stop, for Frank to come and save him.
But Frank hadn't gotten there in time. He hadn't saved Gerard from Korse's sick games.
He hadn't saved Gerard at all.
He would not let him down again now.
Now, it was Korse's turn to scream.
And that was when he saw him. Korse was standing in the middle of the road, just slightly into the distance, leaning against the Trans AM, his arms crossed against his chest. He wore sunglasses, obviously to protect him from the glare of the sun as he hovered there, waiting for Frank. Because Frank knew Korse had expected him to follow. He'd goaded him into it. Frank was not an idiot and all his Killjoy senses were screaming at him that this had to be a trap. Korse on his own, waiting for him, apparently unarmed. How could this not be a trap?
But Frank didn't care. Korse had killed Gerard. What more pain could he possible cause? There was nothing worse.
Frank hit the brakes. He stared, expressionless, at Korse. He was close enough now to see the other man clearly.
The corners of the Exterminator's lips curled up as he regarded Frank.
The bastard found this funny.
Frank slammed his fist against the steering wheel. For a split second, the Killjoy contemplated bringing all this to an abrupt end, sticking the van into as high a gear as he could, and then simply ploughing into Korse, ridding the world of the filth once and for all. Korse raised an eyebrow, and Frank knew why. Korse could read his mind. He was silently daring him to do it.
He wanted to know just how far Frank was willing to go to avenge his lover.
Frank revved the engine.
Korse chuckled. And shook his head.
'He's laughing at me,' Frank reasoned. 'He's fucking mocking me'.
Without even thinking, he flicked up his middle finger at Korse, which only seemed to amuse the bastard further, and, slamming his foot down, he set off again, heading straight towards Korse, who didn't even flinch. Just as Frank was bearing down on the Exterminator, just as he thought he saw a moment of uncertainty on that smug face, Frank suddenly hit the brake once again. He swore under his breath as he swerved the van, and came to a halt mere meters away from where Korse stood. Breathing hard, Frank collapsed against the wheel, and wiped the sweat from his forehead.
He felt weak, a failure. But he knew there was no way he could do it.
Not kill Korse, obviously - he could happily do that.
No. Something else had struck him as Frank had borne down upon Korse, a realisation that had stopped him in his tracks: He could not destroy the Trans AM.
Gerard had loved the car. It was a reminder of him, and the times they had shared. Frank would have wrecked the car if he had kept going, as well as Korse, and he would not take another piece of Gerard. That was what the car was now. Another memory.
Frank closed his eyes. He didn't want the fucking car. He wanted Gerard.
He was an idiot. And now his chance had gone.
“Are you going to sit in there all day?” Frank tensed when he heard the taunting voice from only mere feet away. “I'm a busy man, Fun Ghoul. Shall we get this over with?”
Frank balled his hands into fists. He had to be calm, steady. If he was overcome by emotion, this would be all over before it began.
He had to be strong. Just like Gerard had been.
His hand wrapped around his ray gun. He tried to clear his head.
'Just kill him. Don't let him speak. Just pull the fucking trigger and watch him die.'
Taking a deep breath, Frank pushed open the door, and jumped out of the van. His gun hand outstretched, he began a slow walk towards Korse, who smirked triumphantly as he watched Frank approach.
“I'm guessing he's dead, then?” Korse taunted, his eyebrow raised. He took of his sunglasses and threw them to one side. “I am so very sorry for your loss.”
Frank seethed inwardly. He would wipe the smirk off of that face. He swore to himself and to the memory of Gerard that he would see pure fear there before he let Korse die. And he would enjoy it.
“He's free of you,” Frank growled softly. “And now it’s your turn to suffer, asshole.”
Korse chuckled. “Oh, you think so?” He gestured with his arms, “Take your best shot then, Killjoy!”
Frank glowered, his finger covering the trigger. “My pleasure,” he spat but before he was able to make certain of his aim and fire the gun, two Dracs appeared on either side of him, and each grabbed hold of his arms and held him steady. Frank cursed loudly and struggled but they held him firmly.
How could he have been so stupid? He had been so focused on Korse, and his imminent moment of victory for Gerard, that he had not even listened for the tell-tale signs that they had not be alone. He had already wasted his second opportunity in minutes. A third Drac moved to stand in front of him, wrestled the gun from Frank's grasp and stood back. Disarmed and helpless, Frank could only continue to struggle pointlessly as he was forced roughly to his knees.
Korse, smiling, walked slowly towards him.
“Trying to avenge your lover then, Mr. Iero?” He mocked. “How very noble of you.”
“Bite me.” Frank spat.
Korse regarded him closely, and then shook his head again in amusement. “And to think I actually suspected you were smarter than Gerard. I guess I was mistaken.” He held out his hand for Frank's gun, and the Drac that had taken the weapon from the Killjoy rushed to obey his master.
Korse took the gun and inspected it closely. He grinned at Frank, who glared hatefully back. The Exterminator then reached into his jacket pocket, and pulled out Gerard's yellow blaster. He held it up like a prize, for Frank to see.
“Your gun will make a nice addition to my new collection,” he purred. “I intend to own all four eventually.” Another cold smile, before he added; “Naturally.”
“You won't catch Jet or Kobra.”
Korse shrugged. “Perhaps not. Perhaps, I won't need to.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” Frank demanded.
“You'll find out.”
Frank was out of patience. “Fuck you, Korse.”
There was a flicker of rage on Korse's face that passed quickly. “So much like your lover,” he whispered. “You have the same futile defiance. You'll quickly realise, Frank, just like Gerard did before you, that fighting me is a waste of effort. You cannot win, Fun Ghoul.”
“Gerard didn't stop fighting you.” Frank retorted proudly. “And neither will I.”
“Is that what you need to believe, Iero?” Korse breathed, his face right up against his prisoner’s. “That Gerard fought me valiantly all the way and I didn't break him?” He laughed, spraying Frank with spittle, then grabbing his hair and tore his head back. “I'm so sorry to burst your bubble, Frankie. But I reduced your proud boyfriend to a quivering mess. And I will do the same to you.”
Frank swallowed hard. His mind flashed back to when he had entered that godforsaken storeroom and the state he had found Gerard in. Half-naked, scared, so small. Defeated.
And then Frank's thoughts turned to his boyfriend's last desperate attack on Korse, using the last of his strength to save Frank's life.
Gerard had not been broken then. He must have known he had no chance but that hadn't stopped him. He had rediscovered that fire that had burned within Party Poison, just for a second, and his Gerard had been back. He had died fighting, and Korse could never take that away.
Gerard had won.
Frank actually smiled. “He died protecting me, and fighting you right to the end. You didn't beat him. You lost.”
Korse's eyes narrowed. He gripped Frank's chin and forced the Killjoy to look him in the eye. “He died at my hand, you arrogant little-”
“He sacrificed himself,” Frank snapped back. “He knew he was done when he fell to his knees, I saw the look on his face, his smile-” Despite the agony Frank could feel deep within him, his memory of Gerard was giving him the strength he needed to keep going. Surprising himself, his smile widened. “You didn't kill Gerard, he gave his life away. And, for that, I'll love him more than you could even imagine, being nothing but a unimaginative, unoriginal, Better Living employee. Nothing but a drone, Korse. You didn't win a fucking thing!”
Korse couldn't hold back. He struck Frank across the face, snapping his head to one side and cutting his lip. Frank swallowed hard, composed himself, and then moved his head, returning Korse's gaze once more. He smirked. “See?” He whispered. “Unimaginative.”
And he spat up into Korse's face.
It took all of Korse's self-control not to simply beat Fun ghoul to death there and then. He had known what to expect from Party Poison, that man's behaviour patterns had been well documented and he had been easier to read, seeing how self-righteous he had been and how much he’d believed in his pathetic cause. Fun Ghoul was another animal altogether, and an animal that had already lost the most important thing in his life. Now Ghoul was apparently happy just to join Gerard, but not before leaving in a blaze of glory.
That thought brought a smirk back to Korse's face. Iero would go out in a blaze alright. He would leave a trail of destruction in his wake. And although the man had already lost everything, Korse still knew only too well how to push Frank Iero's buttons. And he intended to push him to the very edge.
Gesturing for the Dracs to tighten their holds on Frank, and causing him to moan in discomfort, Korse once again leaned in close.
“I look forward to teaching you some manners, Killjoy.” Korse hissed. “You will soon discover such savage behaviour is unacceptable in our city.”
Frank sneered. “Not my city.”
A cold smile. “We'll see.” Korse reached out, and gently stroked the Killjoys long dark hair. He smiled knowingly when Frank flinched. “You're as pretty as your boyfriend was, aren't you, Frank?”
Frank moaned, and tried to pull away, but he couldn't move. They had him trapped.
“In fact,” Korse continued, “I think you might just be even prettier.” His lips brushed against Frank's ear. “I always have preferred brunettes.”
“Get the fuck away from me,” Frank snarled, disgusted.
Korse chuckled. “I wonder if you taste as good as Gerard did,” he added, his voice hoarse, almost seductive. “I can't wait to find out.”
Frank wanted to vomit. He couldn't bear it.
He fought to keep control. He could get through this; he had to.
“I'm going to kill you,” he replied finally, as calmly as he could manage. “You sick fuck. You're a dead man, Korse.”
“I owe you an apology, Frank Iero,” Korse announced, ignoring Frank's threats. “When I told you you were nothing but a lackey, I did you a disservice. I would certainly have preferred to have had Party Poison in this position instead of you, but you are a very worthy replacement.” He smiled coldly, and then punched Frank hard in the gut. The Dracs released their hold on the Killjoy and he fell from his position on his knees to the ground, gasping for air, staring up at Korse with hatred.
Korse stood over him, smiling triumphantly. “You are in my power. This is exactly what Gerard died to avoid. You have sullied his memory, Fun Ghoul, and I thank you for that. Let’s see what other damage you and I can cause together to Gerard's dream.” He knelt down beside the bewildered Killjoy. “I'm sure you can kill as well as Party Poison ever could, right Frank?”
Frank wasn't following. He gazed up at Korse, trying to catch his breath.
“What are you-”
Korse shrugged, uninterested in Frank's reply. “Oh, of course you can. You're a Killjoy, after all. Way himself taught you how to kill, did he not, as soon as you joined his little band? Turned you into an outlaw, a thief, and a murderer, just like he and his brother?” A very unpleasant smile spread across his cruel features. “Yes, Ghoul. You'll do just fine.”
He turned his attention from Frank, and quickly glanced over his shoulder, suddenly distracted. “We can't afford to waste any more time here.” He turned round quickly, and addressed his two Dracs, who snapped to attention at once. “It is time for us to move out. The rebels could come for him at any moment. I do not wish to be surprised by any more ill-advised rescue attempts.” He jerked his head towards Frank. “Take the prisoner to the patrol transporter and restrain him inside. We must take him to the Controller.” He leered at Frank. “She will be very happy to see him.”
The Dracs nodded their understanding, and hurled Frank to his feet. Frank eyed Korse hatefully.
The Exterminator beamed back.
“I will catch you up, Frank. I just need to leave a little surprise for your friends before I leave.”
He held up a little ball for Frank to see, which was sat harmlessly in the palm of his hand. It was tiny, no bigger than a marble.
“You recognise this, Killjoy?” He spoke as if he were addressing a small child. “It is a sensor bomb.” He toyed with the ball, rolling it with his thumb. “I can programme it in a number of ways, Iero. I'm sure you would be impressed. I could choose to set a timer, or for the Sensor to react to any sound, or it can be used simply as a grenade and explode on impact.” He pretended to throw it in Frank's direction. The Killjoy didn't flinch. Korse smirked. He was enjoying himself. “But this particular bomb will be set to explode at any movement it senses. Any small motion close to the device will detonate it. And, trust me, this ball may be small, but the explosion it causes can do a great deal of damage.”
Frank kept quiet, but he couldn't hide the fear that he was certain showed on his face. He'd seen what this new Better Living invention could do over the last few weeks. Homes destroyed in the blink of an eye, and with them, whole families wiped out because they had spoken up against Korse and his Corporation.
Korse was smiling broadly. “So, I assume your reaction proves that you have seen the results of one of these little babies before?” Frank remained silent. Korse nodded. “Good. Then you'll know I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that should either Kobra Kid or Jet Star open their beloved cars doors, which they will, and disturb my little present, they will both go boom.” He chuckled. “I hope I can dispose of them both this way. Clean and easy. The end of the Killjoys, at long last. You will all be forgotten in a week.”
Frank trembled. He took a step towards Korse, only to be restrained once again by the Draculoids. “You don't have to hurt them. You've got me. You don't need them.”
“Precisely.” Korse said smugly. “So they can both die. At least it will be quick, unlike their not-so-fearless leader’s demise.” He grinned, and leaned closer to Frank. “And once they are gone, that will leave you free to finish off the rest of the rebels for us.”
Frank blinked. “What?”
Another smirk. “Maybe even Doctor Death Defying himself. With no Killjoys to protect him, he'll be a perfect target.”
“You're insane!” Frank threw at him. “I'll never-”
“Yes, you will, Fun Ghoul.” Korse told him. “You'll do whatever I tell you. And you will be happy to obey.” He held the fuming Killjoy’s gaze for a moment, and then waved to the Dracs. “Now, take him.”
Struggling with all the strength he had left, and shouting his fury, Frank found himself being pulled towards a wall and he soon realised the prior mentioned transporter waited just beyond it, out of sight. As he was pulled closer and closer to the vehicle that would take him away from the Killjoys, the desert and his freedom, he looked desperately back and saw that Korse was at the Trans AM, his hand on the door handle. He was really going to do it; Frank knew that there was every chance that Ray or Mikey would pull open the doors, and then that would be that. Maybe both would be caught in the explosion, and God only knew how many other innocents.
Frank shook his head madly.
No. This was not going to happen. He had already lost Gerard. No one else he loved was going to die that day.
So, Frank did exactly what he knew Gerard would have done. What Gerard did do in that damned room, alone and scared:
He wrestled his arm away, out of the grasp of one of his Draculoid captors. As soon as his hand was free, he struck out at the nearest Drac, and knocked it off balance. The other was momentarily surprised by this unexpected show of force by the supposedly weakened Killjoy, and it loosened its grip. Frank took the opportunity and before he knew it, both his arms were free. He screamed his rage, and grabbed for one of the Drac's ray guns. He fought with the robot for a second, but the Drac was no match for his pure hate or desire to win, and he was able to snatch the gun from it, turn it quickly, and fire, straight at his enemy's head. The Drac fell without making a sound.
Frank stole a look to Korse and saw with relief that the Exterminator had left the car untouched, and was returning to the scene of the small skirmish with a face like thunder. Frank knew he didn't have a second to spare. With a gasp, he dived to one side then, sensing that the two other Dracs were moving into battle mode, and preparing to return fire. He knew he had to move fast. He fell to one knee and began to blast. He knew his foes had taken some hits. When the smoke cleared, he saw the second Drac was now lying on the ground, dead. That left only one remaining. It opened fire at Frank but the Killjoy, hearing Gerard's words of advice in his head, was quicker. Flinging himself to the ground, Frank avoided the first blast the Drac sent at him, but not the second, and he was struck on his side. He yelled his outrage, then, gritting his teeth against the searing pain, turned and ran at the first Drac, who didn't get the opportunity to shoot for a third time. He screamed until he was hoarse, and Frank pinned the Drac beneath him and proceeded to pummel it mercilessly. It had ceased moving long before Frank stopped punching. The Killjoy took a deep breath as he gazed down at his very dead foe, then, a second too late, heard a sound from behind him. He spun round, gun raised, but Korse was already upon him. Frank’s stolen weapon was knocked uselessly to one side and out of his reach.
And now, he was defenceless, and facing a very angry Exterminator.
With a snarl, Korse seized Frank by his throat, dragged him up off of the ground so his feet were left dangling beneath him, and threw him towards the Trans AM. Frank sailed through the air, and crashed to the ground with a bump, severely winded. He lay on the ground, gasping for breath. He tried to move but couldn't; everything hurt. He cringed as he heard Korse stalking towards him. Korse kicked out and Frank grunted in agony and curled up, trying to protect himself from the expected blows.
Frank knew he was no match for Korse in a fist fight. The man was so pumped up on the drugs prescribed to him by his corporation, he could beat Frank to death with hardly any effort.
He moaned as he was grabbed once again, and this time thrown against the car, and held firmly. Korse, his eyes flaming, leaned closer to the defenceless man.
“You Killjoy rats. You're all the same. Just like Gerard before you, you are weak.”
Frank glared. “And you need drugs to feel like a man. What’s the matter, Korse? Feeling inadequate?”
Korse's face darkened. “Perhaps you should ask your lover,” he snarled. “Oh, that's right, he's a corpse, isn't he?”
Frank swallowed hard. “Bastard,” he hissed. “Rapist scum.”
“You seem so fixated on mine and Gerard’s time together,” he smirked, running a finger down Frank’s cheek in a mock display of affection. “Maybe you would like to experience something similar for yourself? Lovers share everything, do they not?”
Frank was sickened.
“Touch me and I'll end you.”
Korse shook his head. “You two are so alike, you have the same fire, the same anger. I like it,” he nibbled at Frank's earlobe. “I think I will enjoy taking you just like I did him.”
Frank swallowed hard. “Go fuck yourself, Korse.”
“I don't need to, I've got you.”
Frank had heard enough. “Yeah? I'll kill myself before I let your filthy hands anywhere near me.” He took a breath, before adding, “I'd rather fuck a Drac.”
Korse saw red. Holding him tightly, he balled his hand into a fist and went to strike his enemy. Frank, reading his intention, somehow managed to wriggle free, so Korse sent his fist straight into the car's window instead, causing him to cry out as he smashed the glass, and left shards lying all over the sand. Frank, who had slid down to the ground to avoid Korse's attack, stared at the glass at his feet as he tried to catch his breath, and regain his composure.
With a cry of annoyance, Korse gripped his hair, dragged him back up, and yanked his head back. He then placed his ray gun against Frank's cheek.
Both men were breathing hard, eyeing each other.
Korse cleared his throat.
”You want all the details, Frank?”
“You want to know every single little thing I did to your pretty boyfriend?”
The Killjoy still did not reply. Exactly what was he supposed to say to that?
Korse didn't appreciate his silence.
He pressed his hand to the wound on Frank's side and squeezed. Frank whimpered, and let out a low sob as the pain seized him.
“Answer me!” Korse snapped, adding more pressure
“I don't want to know,” Frank gasped.
Korse chuckled, and released his grip. “That's too bad,” he whispered. “Because you were clearly on Gerard's mind.”
Frank, still trembling from the pain, stared at Korse. He didn't want to ask what he meant, didn't want to know just how much his lover had suffered during Korse's abuse of him, but he couldn't deny he was curious. Had Gerard gained strength from thinking of Frank? Even though he had not been there, had Gerard imagined he was and gotten through the hellish experience thanks to that? Was that what Korse referred to?
Frank couldn't help it. He had to know.
“Gerard mentioned me?” He muttered, and cringed at how pathetic he sounded.
Korse laughed quietly. “Oh yes. As I fucked him, as he cried out so beautifully for me, his thoughts turned to you. In fact, at the moment I completed my claiming of him, he whispered your name. And do you know what, Frankie? You weren't there. And I truly believe that was the precise second, when something inside Gerard snapped.” His eyes narrowed as he went for the jugular. “Thinking of you broke him. How does that make you feel, Frank?”
Frank was shaking like a leaf. He knew the tears were falling down his face but right then, he didn't care. Korse was right. Gerard had needed him at his most desperate moment, he'd called out for him, and Frank had not saved him. He had let him down and he would never be able to make amends.
Gerard was gone.
'I'm so sorry, Gee.'
Frank lowered his head, tried to hide his shame and guilt.
Korse smiled satisfactorily.
'Another one broken.'
A beeping sound suddenly went off, causing them both to start in surprise.
Korse, still smirking, pressed a button on his wrist.
A woman's voice, cold and harsh, came through the communicator.
“It's me, Korse. You should have been back here by now. What is happening?”
Frank saw Korse grimace. “I've had a change of plan.”
“Party Poison is dead.”
Frank felt like he'd be stabbed in the gut. He couldn't help but react to those words, and Korse noticed. He smiled evilly. Frank closed his eyes.
“That is unacceptable, Korse. I am prepared for scanning and programming here. Why did you kill him?”
“I had no choice,” he replied. “He tried to escape.”
“So, you have wasted my time, and the time of many other very busy men and women for nothing, Korse?”
Frank could see Korse was squirming. He liked it. Whoever this woman was, she was clearly in charge.
“Your effort was not wasted,” he told her. “I have captured another Killjoy. I'm bringing him back to the city now.”
She still did not sound very impressed.
“And I suppose you need time to break this one too?”
Korse smiled at that. “He's already broken.”
There was a pause.
“Very well. But stay where you are. We will come to you, I will leave at once myself.”
“If you are sure.”
“I am. And Korse, use the prototype to mark the rebel.” She sounded exasperated. “Remember it is more than just a torture device, please. It did cost millions to produce, after all.”
Frank glanced up. Mark him? He suddenly felt even more nervous.
Korse nodded. “Yes Ma'am.”
He cancelled the call, and then turned his attention back to Frank.
“You are fortunate, Frank.” He smirked. “The Controller herself is on her way to greet you.”
“Oh yeah?” Frank retorted. “Sounded more like she doesn't trust you, to me.”
Korse glared. “Like your late, lamented leader, you need to learn when to be quiet, Fun Ghoul.”
Frank bristled. “Is that right? Well, I'm a slow learner.”
Korse chuckled at that.
“I know you were listening intently to the conversation, Killjoy. You heard her mention the prototype I assume?”
Frank felt his blood run cold, although he didn't know why. He nodded.
“Aren't you curious?” Korse inquired, his eyebrow raised.
“No?” Korse was enjoying himself again. “Gerard was very well-acquainted with it.”
Still smiling, he pulled out the dart shooter and showed it to Frank.
Gerard's murder weapon.
Frank backed away. Korse grabbed him round the throat, and leered down at him. No matter how hard Frank struggled, he couldn't release Korse's hold on him.
“I don't wish to waste any darts on you, Killjoy. I used this repeatedly on your boyfriend before that last hit, and there are only five shots remaining. But I need you compliant and on your best behaviour for the Controller, so I am afraid this is a necessity.”
He grabbed Frank roughly by his arm and injected a dart straight into his skull. Frank, staring at him angrily, wrested his arm away and immediately brought a shaky hand up to his head.
“What have you done?” He whispered.
“Only level three,” Korse smiled. “But it should do the trick.”
Frank was scared.
What was happening?
And then, the agony hit him.
Frank had never felt anything like it. His body was on fire, he had no control, his head was going to explode. He was on the floor, he was sure, but he didn't know how long for. He was writhing, screaming, his throat hurt. He was pleading, begging for him to make it stop, to let him go. He'd do anything to stop the pain.
And then, as quickly as it had come, it was fading.
Korse was standing over him, amused.
“That was as satisfying as watching Gerard's torture, Frank.” He purred. “I thank you for the show.”
Frank lay at his feet, gasping. He was desperately trying to breathe. He had never hurt so much in his life.
But he was not thinking about his pain, or the fate awaiting him. All his thoughts were for Gerard, and the horrific realisation that Gerard had gone through exactly the same torment, many times. And he had been scared and alone.
Once again, Frank's heart broke for Gerard.
'I'm sorry I didn't save you from him, Gee. Please forgive me.'
“Time for us to go, Fun Ghoul,” Korse said simply, unmoved by his prisoner's obvious agony. “You have an appointment with a lady. Wouldn't do to keep her waiting, would it?”
Frank whimpered. How was he going to get out of this?
Korse smirked at him. He had decided to abandon his plans for Kobra Kid and Jet Star. They could wait. One Killjoy at a time.
He reached out for Frank.
Frank knew he had one chance, or it was all over. He could almost imagine Gerard beside him, willing him on as he made his move. Glancing down, he saw a large, very sharp, shard of glass shining in the sun light. He didn't hesitate. He grabbed the shard, felt it cut into his hand, and with a shout of fury, plunged the shard down, straight through Korse's boot and right into his foot.
Korse howled. The sound was music to Frank's ears. He took his chance, and got to his feet as quickly as he could. He then punched Korse in the stomach twice.
Korse was practically in shock from the torturous pain that had exploded in his foot. The unexpected pain had stunned him, and the agony had rendered him helpless. He could offer no resistance as Frank pushed him to his knees.
Frank gave him a grim smile as he felt inside Korse's jacket. He knew exactly what he was looking for, and he found it. His hand closed around the shooter gun. He held it up for Korse to see, and pressed ‘level 10’.
“Like I said,” Frank snarled; “It's your turn now. You fucking asshole.”
Then he injected a dart straight into Korse's neck. Korse stared at him, wide-eyed, and tried to pull away, but Frank held him tightly, watching with no emotion as the drug began to take hold.
Now, it was Korse's turn to scream.
He cried. He writhed. He clawed at the ground.
As Frank watched, it was no longer Korse he could see before him, lost in his torment. It was Gerard. It was his lover's screams he was hearing, it was his lover dying before him. Again.
Frank snapped. His face determined, he grabbed Korse again and continued to inject him, dart after dart, until the shooter was empty. Frank continued to press the trigger, hearing the clicks from the spent weapon.
He then sat back on his haunches, and watched.
Korse's face contorted in agony, blood began to ooze from his wide, horrified eyes. His body spasmed and he was gripped his face, tore off his own skin with his nails. He was screaming, shaking, dying horribly. Frank had never seen anyone in so much agony.
And he was glad.
Then Korse collapsed, shivered and laid still, his mouth still open, his face twisted in torment. It had only lasted seconds.
As Frank stared at that disturbing image, he was reminded of a horror movie he once watched with Gerard.
“The Ring.” That was what Korse had looked like, almost. But this was far more horrifying. Frank had never seen anything like it in real life. Finally, in death, the bastard had found some originality.
Gerard would have appreciated the irony.
Frank leaned forward to check his enemy's pulse, to make absolutely sure. There was no sign of life.
He reached into Korse's pocket and pulled out two ray guns, first his own, and then Gerard's. He looked down at the yellow blaster for a second, and then placed it against his temple, taking a deep breath.
It was all over. He'd done it. Korse was dead.
“For you, Gerard,” Frank whispered.
The Killjoy looked up sharply. He knew he didn't have long. Korse had given their position to the Controller and she was on her way, no doubt along with a large squad of Dracs. Frank wasn't concerned, he wouldn't flee. What would be the point? He would be easily outnumbered and outmanoeuvred and even if he did try to escape in the Trans AM, where would he go? Not to the town, he'd be leading the Dracs right back to his fellow Killjoys, the Doc, and a lot of innocent people. No more people were going to die that day because of Better Living. Enough blood had already been spilt.
So if returning to his friends was no longer an option, even if Frank did run, where would he go? He didn't want to be alone, surviving from day to day as best as he could, with no one to share what was left of his life with. He'd be just another lonely rebel, a wanderer, going from town to town, making no worthwhile connections because he couldn't face losing anyone else he loved; that was the future he could see. And he didn't want it.
No. Better to go out the way he and Gerard had always imagined. Fighting.
Frank again checked through the prone Korse's pockets and soon found his quarry. He pulled out a small bag, opened it and took out a handful of Sensory Bombs. He looked at them carefully, noting all the different sizes. He glanced up quickly at a familiar sound. There were vehicles heading towards him. He stood, and searched through the dust. Sure enough, he saw a convoy of Transporters, moving quickly, and heading right for him. He knew each of the vehicles would carry a number of Dracs, perhaps squadrons of six per van?
Frank licked his lips. Perfect. Let them come. He could take a few more of the bastards out, thanks to Korse and his toys. He slipped the deadly balls into his pocket. He would wait for the best moment to launch his surprise attack and blow the whole fucking lot of them away. Even if that meant he would go with them, so be it. Talk about a blaze of glory. Gerard would be proud.
Frank's eyes widened as he watched them near. Hell, maybe he could he could take out the Controller herself. The company itself would fall apart with both its leaders killed in one disastrous mission.
And Gerard would not have died in vain.
So, Frank crouched on the ground, his ray gun raised and ready, and he waited. Korse had declared him broken, and the Killjoys finished.
Fun Ghoul would give them one hell of a surprise.
Ghoul stopped. He glanced up. Impossible. He was only imagining his name being called, he had to be. Far too much sun. He ignored it.
“Frankie, we're coming!”
Right then. So he definitely wasn't hearing things. Frank turned around slowly, stared in complete shock. A van, Doctor Death's own, raced toward him, flying though the sand, and Kobra Kid hung out of open passenger side door, calling out to Frank desperately.
He waved a hand to acknowledge them. Mikey waved back.
Frank shook his head. They'd come for him.
He looked hurriedly in the direction of the Draculoid convoy, it was still some ways off. Though they had mere minutes before the enemy would be upon them. Doctor Death had risked everything. For him.
The van came to a halt right beside him. He stared stupidly as three people jumped out and surged out at him. Kobra Kid and Jet Star both rushed to Frank, each taking his turn to embrace their friend. Doctor Death Defying hung back, his eyes locked on the dead body at Frank's feet.
Ray and Mikey followed the Doctor's gaze, and their eyes widened in disbelief.
After a pause, Ray managed to speak first.
“You did it,” he muttered. “You fucking did it.”
Frank nodded dumbly. He felt numb.
“You shouldn't have come after me.” He began, “I didn't want-” Frank stopped talking abruptly when Ray, with a hiss of anger, backhanded him hard across the face, knocking him backwards. Frank raised a shaky hand to his face.
“I deserved that,” he accepted.
Ray shook his head, still angry. “Yes, you fucking did. What the hell were you thinking, Frank? Going after that bastard all on your own?”
Frank shrugged. “It worked didn't it?” He muttered.
Ray looked like he wanted to hit him again. “You got lucky, you smug bastard.”
“We have to leave now,” Defying snapped, his eyes locked on the small army of Dracs getting closer with every passing second. “They catch us, we'll all be dead men.” He fished in Korse's pockets, pulling out the key to the Trans AM. “Take your own car. I'll go back to the town and pull everyone else out.” He straightened and then glanced at Frank. “You've rid us all of one problem, Ghoul, but created a whole lot of fucking new ones. They will want revenge for this.”
“No one else was supposed to get involved with this,” he stated. “This was between me and Korse.”
“And you don't think I wanted revenge too for what he did to Gerard?” Mikey said quietly. “Or Ray?”
Frank didn't know what to say. “I'm sorry,” he offered.
Mikey was not ready to forgive. “That's not the worst of it, Frank. You raced off after Korse like a fucking tornado, to avenge my brother. How could you leave him at that moment? He needed you.”
Frank's cheeks were red. “How could I have helped him, Mikey? He was dead, I watched the Doc working on him and getting nowhere. How could I have helped? I saw my chance to go after Korse and I took it.”
Mikey glowered. “You shouldn't have-”
Frank couldn't contain his anger a moment longer. He grabbed Mikey's shirt, and pulled him close.
“Watch your fucking mouth, Kid. Gerard is dead. Gone. And now, thanks to me, he has justice. I knew him better than you fucking did. He needed me to kill that fucking bastard for him, that's what he'd have wanted from me.”
The voice came from behind them. Soft, strained, but unmistakable:
“And what the fuck made you think that?”
Frank froze. He stayed perfectly still, not daring to speak, turn around and look in the direction of the voice, not daring to breathe.
He had to be hearing things. Imagining the one thing he wanted more than anything. Gerard was dead.
He glanced at Mikey. The younger Way was watching him, even smiling.
“It's okay, Frank.” Ray said softly.
And then, the voice came again. “Frank.”
Trembling uncontrollably, Frank slowly turned, his heart in his throat.
It was the most beautiful sight he'd ever seen in his life.
Gerard leaned against Doctor Death's van, staring back at Frank. He looked terrible. Pale as a ghost, clearly in a lot of pain and very weak. But alive. The redhead was calm, but his eyes betrayed his emotions, wet, and shining.
Frank was moving before he even knew what he doing. Quick strides quickly turned into a run as he rushed toward his lover. When he reached Gerard, tears were streaming down his face. He didn't care. He watched Gerard trying to respond, trying to run to him in return. He frowned when he saw the other man stumble due to his broken ankle and various other injuries. Gerard moaned loudly from the sudden agony, and he lost his footing. Frank grabbed at him, to support him, to prevent him from crashing to the floor. Gerard did fall, but not to the ground. Instead, he fell straight into the open arms of his boyfriend.
Frank held him, sobbed into his hair, and held him as tightly as he could.
He wasn't going to let him go this time.
They sank to the ground, exhausted and overcome by the emotion of being together again. Together, and safe.
“You're okay,” Frank whispered, and then repeated his words, like a mantra. “You're okay, you're okay...”
Gerard pulled back slightly, looking closely at Frank.
“What were you thinking?” He questioned. “You know better than this, Frankie.”
“I saw you...” He muttered, unable to find the words. “You weren't breathing... I thought...”
Gerard brought a shaky hand up to the younger man's face and gently caressed his cheek. “The Doc saved me,” he told him, and then added, quietly; “I thought you were dead, Frankie,” His voice was so weak, Frank had to strain to hear him. “They told me you'd gone after Korse alone...”
“I'm sorry,” Frank cut across him, guilt hitting him full-on. “I left you. I'm so fucking sorry, Gee.”
Gerard hugged him again, shushing him gently. And then, he moved closer, and found Frank's lips with his own, and they were suddenly kissing passionately. It didn't matter anymore who was watching.
There were gasps from behind them but they ignored everything but each other. Because only they mattered.
When they did pull apart, Gerard and Frank gazed at each other, realising exactly what they had just done, what they had just confirmed for everyone. They turned as one to look toward their fellow Killjoys. Mikey and Ray stared back. And then, their faces broke into big smiles.
“What?” Ray asked, noting Frank and Gerard's quizzical looks. “You think you guys were ever quiet? We've known ages.”
Gerard glanced at Mikey. His brother nodded back, approvingly. “About time.”
The eldest of the group looked past his two friends and his eyes rested on the body Doctor Death now inspected, giving the Killjoys the privacy and time they needed. Korse was dead. He stared at Frank.
“You did it, Frankie.” He gripped his shoulder. “You fucking did it. It's over.”
“That bastard will never touch you again, Gee.” Frank paused, before reaching into his inside pocket and pulling out Gerard's ray gun. Gerard's eyes widened when he saw the weapon.
"Here," Frank whispered. "Yours, I believe?"
Gerard took the gun from him gratefully, running his thumb almost lovingly over the nozzle. He then smiled at his boyfriend.
"Thanks Frankie," he muttered.
"Shame I couldn't get you your jacket back too," Frank replied, staring out toward the desert.
Gerard glanced down at the dust at his feet. "It doesn't matter," he whispered. "It's just a jacket."
Doctor Death was suddenly away from Korse, urgency in his voice.
“Sorry people, but this reunion will have to wait;” He announced. “They're coming.”
Ray blinked. “Should we just leave the body like-”
Death Defying cut across him. “No time. Gotta go.”
Frank knew why. A convoy was on the way, and very soon, they would all be overrun with Dracs. Time to run. He waved Mikey and Ray over. They didn't need asking twice. A beat, and then they were upon them, embracing their best friends happily. Mikey clung to his brother as if his life depended on it.
“I'm sorry,” Mikey moaned. “I'm so sorry I left you there, Gee.”
“Nothing to be sorry for.” He replied at once.
Death Defying coughed, and Frank looked up.
“Take the Trans,” Death snapped, and tossed Frank the key, which the Killjoy caught with his right hand. “Go. I'm going back to the town to round up the others and check on the wounded. Just get out of here, all of you.”
He stole one more quick glance at Gerard, and then he made for his van
Suddenly, all four Killjoys were heading back to their car. Jet rushed off ahead to get the car running, while Kobra and Ghoul made slow progress behind him, supporting the limping Party Poison between them.
Frank swallowed as he took in Gerard's injuries once more. Korse truly had tried to destroy him, in every way possible. He balled his hands into fists. He had to move past this, move past Korse. It was Gerard he needed to concentrate on now. The man needed him more than ever if he was ever to recover. Soon, they would be back at base with Gracie, safe and well.
Ray put his arm around Frank and held him close. He didn't need to speak.
They were all together again.
As Gerard reached his car, he ran a finger along the window. He hated the thought of that bastard in his car.
Something stirred deep within him. He turned carefully, grimacing and glanced back at the broken corpse that had been Exterminator Korse.
He closed his eyes.
The all consuming pain was fading, he was coming out of the torturous haze at last. He tried to move but he couldn't. Something was badly wrong. No. Korse. He could feel him, hear him, smell him. He was so close, on top of him, inside of him, claiming him.
It hurts. Please. It hurts.
Korse was laughing.
“Feel that?” He whispered. “Do you feel me, Gerard?”
Gerard's eyes snapped open.
Frank was standing beside him, holding his hand. He watched him with concern. “You okay?”
Gerard gave himself a shake.
“Sure,” he replied. “We'll meet up with the others at the base.” He grimaced, gasped and grabbed at his chest. Mikey was beside him in an instant.
“I'm alright, Kobra.” Gerard snapped. A coldness spread across his face. “No more using real names. We need to get this show back on the road. Got that?”
Mikey nodded grimly.
Gerard addressed Ray next. “You driving, Jet?”
Ray nodded. He exchanged a glance with Frank quickly and then gestured for Mikey to help Gerard into the car. Mikey reached out for Gerard, who pulled his arm away from his brother.
“I can manage!” He threw at him.
Mikey's face fell.
“I know,” he said nervously. “But I just-”
“Get in the car, Kobra.”
Mikey didn't speak again. He simply obeyed.
“Let's go.” Gerard snapped to Frank.
Frank understood what this was all about. He hard the tremor in Gerard's voice, knew he was covering up just how much agony he was truly in. He was blocking it all out already.
As far as Frank was concerned, that was not healthy. Gerard had to try to face his ordeal or he'd never get past it.
Frank frowned. He told himself that it was still early. Gerard would feel better once he was back at the base. Everything would be okay now they had him back. Korse was dead and gone. He couldn't hurt them any more.
It was over.
He caught Gerard's gaze as he got into the car. Frank saw no emotion there whatsoever.
Ray started the engine. All four Killjoys watched as Doctor Death climbed into his van, waved to them, and then pulled his door shut.
Dread had gripped him and was choking him so badly it was actually threatening to cut off his air supply. He was suddenly terrified.
He now knew only too well that this was far from over.