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: Hi again everybody! Hope you enjoy this chapter - quite a quick update for you all! Thank you so much to MaskedMisfit over on ff.net for checking this over for me and doing such a great job beta-ing! You really helped me out hun and I'm so grateful :)
Okay, something I need to mention for this chapter - In my AU, the Killjoys and My Chemical Romance are one and the same! Basically, in my mind (fun place!) the Killjoys are what MCR would become if "the bombs dropped!" So, the time line (in my au) is like this: 2005 - MCR formed, 2015 - Bombs drop. 2019 - Story set. And the guys are around the same age as they are now. Maybe a bit older. Hope that makes sense! Thanks to everyone who is following this story, and especially those who take the trouble to leave a comment! Your kind words mean a lot to me, and give me a lot of encouragement, so please keep them coming! Special mention to CamelotCasper for reviewing here and on ff.net. You are awesome, thank you!
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven , Part Eight, Part Nine
It had been four days since they had left the base.
Frank had taken Gerard back to the rebel hideout and he had rested in his bed for a few more hours. His broken bones were checked by doctors and they advised them to keep him there for a few days more. But as soon as he had awakened, Gerard had had other ideas. They had allowed him to sit with Doctor Death for a short time, after he had been in surgery, but the visit had only distressed Gerard more, and added to his feeling of guilt. Gerard had walked out of that surgical room defeated and Frank, Ray and Mikey had decided soon after that it would be best for them to get Gerard out of there, away from that base and the staring eyes and whisperings, and away from Bert, who had attempted to see Gerard three times since he had returned.
And so, without a word, they had packed up and left, only pausing to grab a radio to keep up with any future broadcasts. They knew they belonged in the Zones and they wanted to get back out there. They'd taken medicines from Bert for Gerard, enough for seven doses, and also other supplies to ensure Gerard's recovery continued. Food and water were also essentials and the base was able to spare them. Of all his injuries, Gerard's broken ankle had worried the medics the most, as Korse had apparently shattered the bone. Only time would tell if it would ever fully recover.
The other Killjoys had listened to the advice, hoping that they were making the right decision, and that they weren't actually doing more harm to their leader than good.
So the four of them had packed up the Trans AM and driven off, only pausing for Ray to tell Gerard's doctor where they were heading, just in case they got into any difficulties. The doctor promised to stay in touch and keep them updated on Defying's condition.
That had been four days and three nights ago. They were all sat in front of a fire, staring into the crackling flames. The radio was placed in front of them and they all prayed that this would be the night that they would finally get some news, good or bad.
The atmosphere between the four men had not been pleasant at all. Mikey had hardly spoken since discovering the full horror of Gerard's ordeal, and Gerard had been extremely unimpressed when Frank had informed him as to the reason of his brother's sudden change in behaviour. Ray had taken charge of the supplies and also the Trans AM. He was happy to drive until Gerard had recovered enough to take over once more.
Frank's only concern was for Gerard, and he was permanently at his side. This night was no exception. As Gerard sat propped up against Frank, he used a knife to cut into a very bland can of beans, which was the only thing they had left to eat.
Mikey looked up, breaking the silence. “What's the time?”
“Nearly midnight,” Ray told him. “We should try to get some sleep soon.”
Frank nodded his agreement. “We'll have to leave early to be back at the base before night fall.”
Gerard looked up. “The base? We're going back there?”
Frank rolled his eyes. “You need more drugs, Gerard. We've only got a couple more doses.”
Gerard looked down. “Oh,” he replied, absently. “Yeah.”
Mikey was frowning at his brother. “Speaking of which,” he noted. “You should probably take a dose of medicine now, Gerard.”
“Okay, Mikey,” Gerard replied, a little agitatedly.
Mikey didn't take the hint.
“You don't look so good, Gee. You know how you get if you leave it too late.”
Gerard looked over at his brother. Frank caught the look and he cringed. Gerard looked about ready to blow up.
“I said, okay,” Gerard told his brother. “Leave it, yeah?”
He fixed his attention firmly on the radio and began to fiddle with the dial, trying to find a signal. There was nothing but static. “Fucking thing!” He snapped, angrily.
Mikey had lost his patience. Added to that, he was getting increasingly worried, so his brother's sudden ill-tempered mood went over his head completely. All he cared about was Gerard's well being. “Seriously, Gerard,” Mikey snapped. “Do you want me to help you or not?”
Gerard jumped to his feet. He grimaced at once from the pain and then rounded on his brother. “Fucking hell!” He exclaimed. “Will you just let this go, Kobra? You've been acting like I'll break down any second for days now! I'm not an invalid!”
Mikey seemed rooted to the spot. He gaped at his brother, completely thrown.
Gerard's anger hadn't subsided. “Tell you what, if I decide I actually need a nurses help, I'll be sure to come to you. Until then, will you just leave me the fuck alone?!”
With that, he marched off, his breathing laboured. Frank watched Gerard walk gingerly over to where the car was parked and then collapse beside it on the ground, utterly tired out. Mikey went to go after his brother but Ray grabbed his arm and gave him a firm shake of the head.
“Frank, why don't you go check on him?” Ray suggested, his eyes boring into Frank's. “And see that he takes his medicine, yeah?” He tossed Frank the small box containing the needles and tubes, the thing that was currently keeping Gerard alive.
Frank, the box clutched in his right hand, hurried over to where Gerard was now slumped. He knelt down beside him and gave him a disapproving look.
“That was a little theatrical, Poison.”
Gerard actually flushed with shame. “I know,” he mumbled. “Sorry.”
“It's Mikey you should be apologising too,” Frank continued, opening the box. “He just wants to help you, you know. He doesn't know how to deal with what happened. Plus, he still blames himself for leaving you.”
“I know,” Gerard granted. “But I told him to go. He was following my instructions. You think it’s easy for me? My baby brother is probably picturing that bastard pinning me down and raping me all the fucking time.” He flinched. “I know how I'd feel if it had happened to Mikey.”
“Mikey's strong, Gee, just like you are.” Frank promised. “He'll get over this.”
A look passed over Gerard's face, a moment of doubt for the red head as he wondered just how strong Frank supposed him to be, but then it was gone. Gerard nodded grimly, and then actually looked over at Frank to see that he was setting up his latest injection. The red head felt sick, but tried to swallow the panic that was threatening to consume him. Frank held up the needle, well away from his boyfriend, clearly trying to prevent further worries for his lover. He tested it, allowing some of the clear liquid to squirt out of the top. Gerard, who had turned very pale, looked away. He never wanted to watch the needle entering his flesh. The memories of Korse were still too fresh. He had to constantly remind himself that it was Frank holding the needle, and not the Exterminator. Gerard knew Frank would never hurt him.
“Ready?” The brunette enquired.
“No,” Gerard ground out. “But just get it over with.”
Frank, his expression grim, held the needle against the terrified man's arm, and gripping his arm as gently as he could, he injected the substance into his boyfriend’s bare skin.
Gerard gasped loudly, closed his eyes tightly and bit his lip, as he felt the drug entering his system, immediately working to fight off the still-present effects of Korse's torture drug.
Frank grabbed Gerard's hand until the trembling ceased. “You're okay,” he whispered repeatedly, hoping it would help towards calming Gerard. Once it was finally over, and his body had relaxed, Gerard finally opened his eyes, looked down, and squeezed Frank's hand.
“I think I've rediscovered my fear of needles, Frankie.” Gerard whispered, a trace of a smile on his lips. “And I thought I'd conquered that particular weakness.”
“I don't blame you, Gerard,” Frank replied. “The amount of fucking injections you've had to put up with the past few days;” He gestured theatrically. “I'm not surprised you've had enough.”
Gerard looked down at the needle mark in his arm, and sighed.
“You mentioned going back?” He enquired.
Frank nodded. “Yeah, we need to get you more drugs, Gee.” Frank said. “Bert said you need to keep on injecting the medicine for seven days and this is the last dose he gave me. We'll have to get back to the base in the next two days to restock.”
Gerard let out a loud sigh, dragging a hand through his hair. He looked dejected.
Frank understood why. Even the mere mention of Bert's name made Gerard uncomfortable.
“Take no notice of Bert.” Frank told him, stroking his hand. “He's not important.”
Gerard frowned. He pushed one of his red locks out of his eyes, almost in a daze, as he stared straight ahead. “Bert and I, it's awkward.”
“I know. He hurt you.”
Gerard nodded, and stared down at his fingers. “I buried all of this a long time ago, Frankie.”
“You don't have to tell me-” Frank began, but Gerard held up a hand to stop him.
“It's okay, Frank. I've been holding on to this for so long, it will be good for me to get it out. And it will help me move past what happened, which I'll need to do if I'm gonna be around Bert.”
“If you don't want Bert near you, Gerard, all you have to do is-”
“I didn't mean that,” Gerard said quickly. “Bert was my friend, Frankie. And he's our ally now, we need to trust each other, for all of our sakes.”
Frank sighed. “I know.”
Gerard gestured for Frank to sit down beside him. Frank did so, and then waited.
Gerard cleared his throat. “Do you remember when we toured with Bert and his band?”
“The Used,” Frank prompted
“Yeah,” the other man acknowledged. “That was the time when I was partying hard, too hard. I got sick.”
Frank cringed. That was not a good memory. “I remember,” he said softly.
Gerard nodded. “Well, Bert and me, for a while we were drinking buddies...”
“That's a way of putting it,” Frank interjected.
“One night,” Gerard continued; “After a gig, I went and told Bert that I wouldn't be able to go partying any more. That I needed to get clean before I killed myself. Bert asked me if we could still hang out. I could see he was wasted. I told him maybe it would be best if we kept our distance for a while, just until I beat it. I didn't mean to hurt him; I just wanted to get better. I knew if I carried on seeing him, I'd give into temptation, and I knew it was unreasonable to ask him to give up the shit too. He didn't take any of that too well though.”
Frank raised an eyebrow. “I bet,” he replied.
“He lost it completely.” Gerard went on, staring into space, grimacing as he recalled something he had tried so hard to block out. “He pinned me down on the ground and just battered me. He screamed in my face, called me a whore, a user and a waster and beat the crap out of me. He was smart though, aimed all the blows at my chest and midriff, not my face. Not where you guys would see.”
Frank ground his teeth. He was trembling but kept quiet, waiting for Gerard to continue.
Gerard took a deep breath. “I pleaded with him but he was just so out of it, he wouldn't stop. He told me to shut the fuck up; I guess I didn't though when he forced open my mouth and made me drink a whole bottle of whisky. I nearly passed out. I really thought that he was going to kill me.” Gerard closed his eyes. “Mikey turned up, with Jeph. They got him off of me, probably saved my life. I was in such a state, and drunk out of my head; Mikey was furious. He went to attack Bert but Brian pulled him away...”
“Brian?” Frank exclaimed. “He knew about this?”
“Yeah,” Gerard replied quietly. “He covered the whole thing up, got me to a hospital and convinced Mikey not to go to the cops. He told you, Ray and Bob that Mikey and I had gone away for a while, to help me recover and get me clean.” Gerard rubbed at the back of his neck. “Mikey still wanted to go after Bert but I made him promise not to, but also told him to make sure Bert stayed away from me.” Gerard let out a deep breath. “And that was the last time I saw Bert or any of those other guys until he saved my life two days ago.”
Frank, his hands balled into fists, got to his feet quickly and walked towards the Trans, his hands deep in his pants pockets. “You should have told me, Gee.”
Gerard glanced away. “It was a long time ago, Frankie. And Bert turned his back on me, wrote that song for me, didn't want to know me. So, I tried to just keep going. We had another album to record.” Frankie looked at him then, and Gerard smiled. “Things went so crazy after that, you know? I just kind of blocked it out.” He looked over towards where the Ray and Mikey were sitting, the two of them close together, Ray with his arm around his brother. “Mikey never forgot though. Not what Bert did to me, or the promise he made. He hates him.”
“I don't blame him.” Frank muttered. “I pretty much want to gouge Bert McCracken's eyes out right about now.”
“He's been through a lot,” Gerard responded. “He's been punished.”
“Yeah? Well, not enough, he hasn't. He's still breathing.”
Gerard threw Frank an unimpressed look. “That doesn't do you any credit, Frankie. Thought you were better than that.”
Frank whirled around. “Are you kidding me? You just told me that the guy brutalised you and you expect me to-”
“He saved my life,” Gerard cut in. “I think he's changed.”
“You can't know that!” Frank snapped.
“We don't know his story, Frankie,” Gerard tried again. “Why is he alone? Where are his family? What happened to the rest of the guys?”
“He probably dumped them.”
Gerard shook his head. “We don't know what he's been through. I think he's had a tough time. I think Korse-”.
“You think Korse what?” Frank was exasperated. He didn't understand why Gerard wanted so badly to believe that Bert was a better person. And he didn't like it. “Hurt him like he hurt you? Or do you need to believe that? Does it help if Korse fucked him too?”
Gerard froze. He stared wide-eyed at Frank.
Frank was horrified with himself. He took a step towards Gerard, who recoiled.
“Gee,” he whispered. “God, I'm sorry.”
“It's fine,” Gerard mumbled.
Frank was devastated. He reached out to take Gerard's hand but Gerard moved away quickly, not wanting his boyfriend's touch at that moment.
Frank brought a shaky fist up to his mouth. “Please Gerard, I didn't mean that. Shit, I'm so fucking sorry.”
Gerard nodded. “I know. Don't worry about it, Frankie.” He wouldn't look the other man in the eye. “You've probably got a point, anyway. Maybe I don't want to be the only weak fucker who let Korse stick his dick in my ass.” He brushed his hair away from his red eyes. “Maybe it would make a difference if I knew I wasn't the only one he did it too. Is that so wrong?”
Frank shook his head violently. “Of course not. Gee, I shouldn't have said any of that shit. I didn't mean it. Please?”
Gerard met Frank's desperate gaze and saw the regret there. He knew in his heart that Frank would never purposely hurt him. Very carefully, he leaned forward and wiped a tear away from his lover's cheek.
“It's okay, Frankie,” he told him. “It's forgotten.”
And then Frank, passion getting the better of him, pressed his lips against Gerard's and gave him a gentle kiss. Gerard sighed into the kiss and returned it, holding onto the back of Frank's neck to hold the other man still. The kiss grew more passionate as the seconds ticked by until both men had to pull away, gasping for air.
Frank and Gerard gazed at one another. Frank could feel the desire coursing through him, knew how much he wanted Gerard, needed him, and in that moment, everything else fell away and all there was in the world was the two of them. Frank moved forward, kissing Gerard once more, though this time more hungrily, with more lust and before he knew it, he was pushing Gerard backwards, until the man was lying beneath him.
He was so lost in his passion, he didn't feel Gerard begin to writhe beneath him, or, if he did, he mistook it for Gerard returning Frank's desire. Then, he heard Gerard whimper, and he moaned the other man's name in response.
And then, he heard the word Gerard was trying to say: “No.”
Frank froze. He opened his eyes and stared down at Gerard, still pinned beneath him, and he saw the terror in his eyes, and the despair. He scrambled clear of Gerard in seconds, gazing at him in horror.
“Oh my God, Gee. I wasn't thinking.”
Gerard was panting. He pulled away from Frank, wiping at the tears that were cascading down his cheeks.
“Too soon, Frank,” he whimpered. “It's too soon.”
Frank reached for him and was devastated to see his lover recoil away. “I know, babe. I'm sorry. I just... I forgot and...” He let out a low sob. “I'm sorry.”
Gerard began to recover, and saw how distressed his boyfriend was. Frank should not have gone there so soon after his attack but he couldn't blame his boyfriend. He knew how Frank felt about him, he also knew that Frank just wanted to make him better, but that was not the way. Not sex, not now.
The red head sat up, wrapping his own arms around his middle.
“He made me feel helpless, Frank.”
Frank looked across at Gerard quickly. He knew who he meant only too well of course – they weren't talking about Bert any longer. The brunette didn't try to interrupt; he just let Gerard speak.
“I can't forget what he did. I close my eyes and I’m back in that room, with him on top of me. It eats away at me, always there, day and night. I always feel so used, Frankie. Like a piece of meat. He was going to share me around that fucking company, you know? From person to person, BLI's own personal slave. He was going to treat me like I was fucking nothing.”
Frank could feel the anger pulsing through him and, not for the first time, he wished Korse had suffered for longer.
“He did it to break me. That was the plan. Break me and then reprogram me and turn me into their little toy. Their assassin. He was going to order me to kill all of you, Frankie. To shoot you all down one after another.” Gerard bowed his head. “I feel so dirty, Frank. I don't deserve your love. You shouldn't touch me. I don't deserve it after what he did to me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't fight harder...”
And then the tears came in earnest and Gerard couldn't speak any more. Frank pulled his boyfriend into a tight embrace and just held him.
“You do deserve it, Gee.” Frank snapped, his own eyes also red from tears. “You deserve all the love I and anyone else can give you.”
Gerard whimpered. “All I can feel is him, Frank. I want to feel somebody else's touch other than his, but I’m so damned scared. I'm so scared, Frankie.”
Frank's heart was breaking, and as he gazed down upon his despairing boyfriend, he understood what Gerard really wanted right then, what he longed so much for. His boyfriend needed to feel some kind of real, physical love. He needed Frank to touch him and to block out the hated memories of Korse, just for a few moments. A kiss was not enough for that. Gerard needed more.
He needed Frank, but he was scared to allow Frank to touch him.
Stroking Gerard's hair and kissing his throat lovingly, Frank's other hand found Gerard's belt and he unfastened it, pulling it free.
Gerard didn't react. He just kept his eyes tightly closed.
Frank hesitated. What was he thinking? What if he scared Gerard again and this another example of too much, too soon? What if his still disturbed boyfriend mistook his intentions and he ended up doing a hell of a lot more harm than good?
Another voice whispered to Frank, and the voice made sense.
'He doesn't trust anyone. You have to give him his faith back. Make him feel worthwhile. If you can't satisfy him, or make him feel loved and needed again, then who else will? Stop being a coward and do this for him!'
Gerard let out a loud sigh as he snuggled against Frank's shoulder. The brunette took a deep breath and then slowly reached down. He was only a hair's length away from Gerard now; it was only a matter of slipping his hand between them...
Frank paused again.
'What the hell was he doing? This was far too fucking soon.'
He moved his hand away, feeling disgusted with himself.
Gerard could feel Frank's hand getting so close to his manhood, and when that hand stopped moving, he felt a crushing disappointment. He wanted to cry out in frustration. It was then he knew, with absolute clarity, that he wanted Frank to touch him. He wanted to feel something other than fear and shame. So, he took hold of Frank's hand, guided it inside his pants and boxers, and then placed it against his now throbbing cock.
He heard Frank's hushed tones: “Are you sure?”
He nodded in reply, breathing loudly.
He wondered how Frank would react. He didn't have to wait long.
Frank gently began to stroke and Gerard moaned with pleasure. Immediately it felt good. Very good. Hearing Gerard's moans, which to Frank were proof that he was enjoying what Frank was doing, he became more daring. His hand moved to take a firmer hold on Gerard's pants and boxers and with one fluid movement; he pulled them down Gerard's legs. He paused for a second, waiting to see if Gerard protested. When there was no protest forthcoming, Frank once again began stroking Gerard's cock. He heard Gerard's groans intensifying and he knew he was over stepping the mark. Within seconds, Gerard was thrusting furiously into Frank's hand.
Gerard knew he wouldn't last for much longer. He was panting, his thrusts erratic and frantic. Before he knew what was happening, he was coming into Frank's hand. His body trembled hard as his orgasm washed over him, and then finally, it was over.
Frank leaned down, and gave the still trembling Gerard a gentle kiss on his head.
Both men just sat there. Neither of them knew what to say.
Gerard recovered first. Almost mechanically, he reached out, his hand moving towards Frank's groin. Frank grabbed his hand, stopping him.
"Don't," he told him.
Gerard looked confused. "You don't want me to?" He looked down. "You don't want me touching you after what he did to me-"
Frank's heart leaped. Oh Gerard.
"No, never think that. This had nothing to do with him. This was about me doing something for you," he told him. "It was about what you needed. I don't matter right now, Gee. You do."
Gerard smiled shyly, and then reached down to pull up his clothes again. Once his trousers and boxers were fixed once more, he then moved his head back to rest against Frank's arm again.
“Thanks Frankie,” he said simply.
“My pleasure,” Frank replied, his lips against Gerard's ear. “Go to sleep, now sugar. I'll wake you if there's any news.”
As Gerard closed his eyes, Frank suddenly grimaced, and touched the side of his head lightly. A sudden, dull pain had come on abruptly and it had caught him unawares. He really didn't need a migraine in that moment.
Gerard was mumbling incoherently, so exhausted that sleep was already claiming him.
Frank couldn't help but smile, despite the unexpected and unwanted pain. He kissed Gerard's cheek and closed his own eyes. The pain lessened and he let out a quiet sigh. He was contented. If only things could stay that way. If only he could keep Gerard safe in his arms forever.
“Frank! Gerard! Get over here now!”
Hearing Mikey's excited cries, Frank's eyes shot back open. He looked over at his comrades and they were waving at him madly, and calling for both he and Gerard to joint them. Frank's heart stopped beating momentarily.
'Please, let this be about the Doc. Please let it be good news.'
“Gee,” Frank said, nudging the other man's arm. “Come on, look alive! There's news from the base!”
Gerard opened his eyes lazily and blinked. “News?” He mumbled. “The Doc?”
Frank pulled him to his feet. “Might be.” He tugged on his hand. “Come on!”
Together, they made their way back to Ray and Mikey, who were almost bouncing with excitement.
“There's a broadcast starting any second!” Mikey announced. “One of the Doc's friend's, that woman with the white streaks in her hair, she just came on and told us to stand by for a very important broadcast.”
Gerard's face was deathly pale.
“What if he's dead?” He managed, his voice trembling. “What if it's all over?”
Mikey and Ray's smile faltered.
Frank squeezed Gerard's hand. “Lets wait and see, yeah?”
The seconds ticked by and turned into minutes as they stood there. The wait was killing them.
Suddenly, just as it seemed Gerard was ready to drop where he was standing, having snapped at Frank that he didn't want to sit down, the voice they were so desperate to hear came blaring over the radio:
“Hello there, all you motor babies! Sorry, I've been laid low and out of the loop just lately but I'm back now and this one goes out to those Fabulous Killjoys. Listen up, Party Poison, Fun Ghoul, Jet Star and not forgetting the Kobra Kid. I hope you are all listening, I hope you're ready to rock! Get to Services 2 in Zone 4 and meet me there. A man with a plan is coming to your location to drop off the meds you need so sit tight and stay pretty. And I'll see you all soon. And for all you other rock'n'rollers out there, keep it shiny and keep it strong. I'm alive, you're alive and the pigs are running scared without their General. Things are on the up, children. Keep a hold of your guns and look lively. This is Doctor Death Defying signing off for now. Next broadcast usual dial, usual hour. Stay safe, babies.”
There was a stunned silence. Mikey spoke up first. “That was live, wasn't it? That was a live broadcast, right?”
Ray nodded, and then he smiled widely. In the next second, Mikey had rushed to Gerard and embraced him tightly.
Gerard whimpered his displeasure, cursing from the sudden, intense pain.
“Sorry,” Mikey said and released his brother. “Thank God he's okay!”
Mikey hadn't noticed that Gerard was not sharing his joy. In fact, Gerard was saying nothing at all. He was still looking at the now crackling radio.
Frank and Ray were grinning with relief too. “Now, we're back.” Ray announced. “And we have our orders. And a target to head for!” He beamed. “Services 2. Zone 4. That's a long fucking trip across three Zones. We'll get a few more hours sleep then head off...”
Ray noticed that Gerard was paying no attention. He was staring at the radio as if he'd seen a ghost. Frank touched his hand gently.
“Gee, what's wrong? This is great news.”
“He's gonna be stuck in a chair for the rest of his life,” Gerard replied, still staring. “And I did that to him.”
Mikey frowned. “You weren't flying those helicopters, Gerard.”
Gerard didn't reply. He turned his back, and paused when he heard the unmistakable sound of a motorbike, and it was getting closer.
“Bert,” Gerard muttered.
The others exchanged glances. This was not what they needed right then.
Within minutes, Bert had ridden up on his Yamaha and was pulling off his helmet.
“Hey guys,” he greeted them.
There was an uncomfortable silence. Bert looked from gaze to gaze, not seeing any sign of a welcome. He swore under his breath and then, brushing his hair out of his eyes, he took a wary step towards Gerard.
Mikey instantly moved forward, cutting off his progress.
Bert gave Mikey a frustrated glare, and then looked round the younger Way brother so he could talk directly to Gerard.
“Gee, can we talk? Alone?”
“I don't think so!” Mikey exclaimed, his arms crossed across his chest. “I promised Gerard that would never happen!”
Gerard frowned, his eyes meeting Frank's for a second.
“It's okay, Mikey,” Gerard told him. He then looked at the red-faced Bert. “I think it might be best if you just leave me the drugs and -”.
“Please?” Bert interrupted him. There was desperation in his tone. “I just wanna put things right with you. And there's things you should know, about what happened. I know you’re curious. Give me a chance, Gee?” His eyes were pleading. “For old times sake?”
Gerard stared at Bert. Was he taking the piss?
Mikey approached Bert then, his anger growing. “You want to make jokes about old times'?” The younger Way spat. “Do you know what, McCracken? You're unbelievable.”
Bert jerked his head in Mikey's direction. “Yeah, well, that's me. I think its easier to laugh at something then face it, you know what I mean?” His attention was once again focused solely on Gerard. “I just want us to be friends again. Give me five minutes, that's all I'm asking. Please Gerard?”
Gerard hesitated. Frank saw the uncertain look on his boyfriends face and he understood. There was so much unfinished business between him and Bert and he wanted it settled as much as Bert apparently did. But, at the same time, Frank could see that Gerard didn't want to upset or worry his fellow Killjoys. So Frank knew he needed to make the decision for Gerard, before this ended badly.
Frank took a deep breath and gave Gerard's hand a supportive squeeze. “It's okay,” he told him gently and then, he put one arm around both Mikey and Ray and gestured for them to walk with him.
“You sure?” Ray checked.
“Gerard and Bert have some stuff that needs sorting. Lets leave them to it.”
Mikey was unimpressed. “Frank, hold on. You know what Bert did-”.
Frank sighed. He gave Gerard an encouraging smile and then turned back to Ray and Mikey. “Bert saved Gerard's life, guys. And he's been though enough of his own shit. He deserves his five minutes.”
Mikey opened his mouth to argue some more but Frank gave him a warning look. “Gerard can look after himself, Mikey.”
Gerard's heart soared with appreciation for Frank then. Yes, he was weak, and he had definitely been to hell and back those last few days, but Frank still trusted his judgement and that meant the world to Gerard.
“Mikey,” he said to his brother. “I'll be fine. You guys wait over by the fire. I'll yell if I need you.”
Mikey still didn't look happy, but he nodded his acceptance. “Fine, but we'll be right over there.” He glared at Bert. “We'll still be able to see you two!”
Bert raised his hands in surrender. “Sure,” he replied. He then inclined his head towards Frank. “Thanks,” he told him pointedly.
Frank nodded. “No problem.” His large eyes bored into Bert's. Both men had a silent understanding. Frank was doing this for Gerard, to show him he still had complete faith in him, not only as a boyfriend but also as a leader. If Bert put one toe out of line or fucked up this chance in any way, Frank wouldn't ask questions. It would be simple for him; Bert would be a dead man.
Gerard watched the other Killjoys walk away, and then he glanced in Bert's direction. The other man was standing perfectly still, arms crossed, waiting for Gerard to speak first.
Gerard let out a tired sigh. “Okay then,” he offered. “You've got five minutes. Talk.”
“I'm sorry for the way I treated you, back at the base.” Bert replied, at once. “I was worried and upset from what I saw in that town.” He looked away, distracted. “Men, women and children, man. Fucking blown to bits for no good reason. I'll never forget what I saw.”
Gerard swallowed hard. He stared down at the ground.
Bert gave him a quick glance and then moved closer. “Look, Gerard. I'm not trying to suggest it was your fault. Any of it. All those people dead or dying, the Doc, the other rebels lost that day. None of it was your fault.”
“Wasn't it?” Gerard replied, so softly that Bert had to strain to hear him. “You might have had a point before.”
“No,” Bert answered, at once. “I was being a cunt.”
That made Gerard smile. He sat down on the ground and gestured for Bert to sit beside him, which he accepted gratefully. “Well, yes;” Gerard agreed, teasingly. “But I still went against the Doc's orders. I thought I knew better and I didn't. I should never have taken the guys or Grace through that town.”
“But you did.” Bert noted, staring straight ahead. “And you can't change it.”
“Tell that to the families who lost people because of me.”
“Because of Korse and BLI you mean-”
Gerard slammed his fist into the sand beside him. “The Doc risked everything, coming to the damned place. For me! I'm not worth that!”
The other man shrugged. “He obviously didn't agree.”
“He nearly fucking died!”
Bert frowned. “He's going to be fine, Gee. You heard his message, right?”
Gerard covered his face with his hands. “He's crippled, Bert. Because I got cocky.”
With a heavy sigh, Bert reached out and laid a comforting hand on Gerard's shoulder. Gerard flinched violently; he didn't mean to, but he couldn't help himself. Bert though moved his hand away as if he'd been burned.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
“No,” Gerard replied quickly, turning to face him. “It's not you. I don't like being touched right now.”
Bert hesitated for a few moments before speaking again. “I heard what Korse did to you,” he said grimly. “And I swear, if he wasn't already dead, I'd cut his balls off and watch him bleed to death for touching you.”
Despite himself, Gerard chuckled. “Sounds like fun,” he mused. He paused, before continuing. “You said you'd had 'run-in's' with Korse too.”
Bert grimaced. “Yeah,” he whispered. He looked away, and wiped at his eyes with the back of his sleeve. “You could say that.”
Gerard paused; he was itching to know more but also didn't want to rush Bert.
Finally, Bert turned and regarded him. “You want to know what went on?”
Gerard lowered his eyes. “If you want to tell me-”
“It's not a nice story.”
Gerard chuckled, despite himself. “Involving Korse? You amaze me.”
“You and the Killjoys started making a real name for yourselves, you know, Gee.” Bert said, at once. “People like us, who knew you before, we were a target. Korse himself got in on the search, but even he couldn't find you guys, so he started looking into your old lives. He wanted to know what made you tick, I guess. He obviously found out all about your past, and the band.” Bert looked down. “He searched a little deeper, and found out about us, and the close relationship we all had, back in the band days.”
Gerard swallowed. “He came looking for you because of me?”
Bert nodded. “Yeah, and he found me.”
Bert reverted his gaze from Gerard's and stared hauntingly down at the ground. “We were all caught. He asked me where you were, personal questions about you. I hasn't seen you for years and told him so but he didn't believe me. So he injected me with a drug. It fucking hurt.”
Gerard closed his eyes tightly. He could feel the drug coursing through his own veins, burning every inch of him. He cringed, as if he expected the agony to seize him once again at any moment. He had to remind himself that he was safe, Korse was gone and nothing was going to hurt him any more.
He reopened his eyes and stole a look to Bert. The other man was watching him intently.
“He used the drug on you too? Or a new version of it I suppose?” He grimaced. “It's all about 'state of the art' in that fucking city, right?”
Gerard couldn't reply. All he could do was nod.
Bert once again resumed gazing at the ground. “He didn't get the information he wanted. I didn't know where you were, I couldn't tell him, even if I wanted to.” He balled his hands into fists. “Which I didn't.”
“What did he do to you?” Gerard whispered.
“To me?” Bert answered. “Nothing. He knew that wouldn't get him anywhere. So, he tried another option.” A tear rolled down Bert's cheek. “He took me into a cell, and had Jeph, Quinn and Dan brought in. It was the first time I'd seen them for months.”
Gerard couldn't help but shudder. He didn't want to hear anymore. He knew what was coming.
“He told me it was you or me. He ordered me to tell him where you were. I didn't know. So, he took a knife, smiled, and killed each one of them slowly and painfully, right in front of me.” Bert gripped his own arm and tightened his hold, causing himself pain. “I begged him to stop. Quinn was crying, pleading with me to save him. I told Korse to kill me instead. He just laughed at me as he took his fucking knife and cut my best friend's heart out.”
Gerard had to look away. He felt sick. All of them, dead. And Bert had had to watch it happen, all because he had made the fight personal against Korse. They were all gone, thanks to him.
“I'm so sorry, Bert.” Gerard whispered to him. What else could he say? What could he possibly do to make this better?
Bert looked up quickly. “No. You don't apologise to me. None of what happened was your fault. That was all Korse. And I should have stopped him somehow; I should have kept them safe. They looked up to me, they trusted me to lead them, and I let them down.”
Gerard, hesitating for a long moment, finally put his arm around his old friend and embraced him awkwardly. Bert wiped his face and then regarded Gerard carefully.
“What I did to you, back in the day-”
“Bert, it doesn't-”
“Don't say that!”
Gerard was startled. He moved his arm away from Bert's shoulder and looked down, wriggling uncomfortably.
Bert took a deep breath. “Don't tell me it didn't matter. It did. I beat the shit out of you; I wanted to kill you, because you were turning your back on me. I didn't know how to deal with your problems and shit because I was such a stupid, selfish fucking ass-wipe back then, always looking out for number one.” He played with his fingers. “I lost it because I thought I was losing you. You never knew what you meant to me, Gee.” He glanced at him. “What you still mean to me.”
Gerard bit his lip. He'd always known on some level that Bert's feelings for him had developed to beyond a normal friendship, though Gerard himself had never returned those feelings. He had had his suspicions over the years that Bert's unrequited lust for him had been the reason why the singer had turned on him so violently that night, and had then led to the anger Bert had constantly shown for him in interviews and songs from that day on. And now, Bert was staring at him with renewed hope and Gerard didn't know how to feel in return. He felt something for Bert, he was sure of that, but whether it was anything more than pity and some guilt for what the man had been through, the Killjoy wasn't sure. And besides, he was with Frank. He loved Frank, and nothing could ever change that.
“Bert,” Gerard said softly. “I want you to know that I'm gonna be here for you. But I'm with Frank, and me and him, we’re-”
Bert stood up at once. “Oh yeah, sure Gee. Of course. I only have to see the looks he gives you to know you two are the real deal. No problem. I just felt that you should know that-”, he broke off, apparently unsure how to finish the sentence. He took a deep breath before continuing; “I just wanted you to realise how much I regret;” Another pause, “Everything.”
Gerard smiled. “I know man,” he said softly. “I know.” A thought had suddenly dawned on the red head, an idea that he knew would be unpopular with his fellow Killjoys but he felt like he owed something to Bert.
“Hey Bert,” he began, “I've had a crazy idea-”
Suddenly, another voice spoke up, causing Bert and Gerard to both jump and step away from each other. “We interrupting?” They turned to see Mikey, Ray and Frank gathered close by, all watching them intently. Frank was eyeing Gerard closely and Gerard cringed inwardly. His sudden leap away from Bert would certainly have looked a hell of a lot more suspicious to Frank that it had needed to.
All five men stared at each other in silence before Ray finally cleared his throat.
“Five minutes is up, guys.”
Bert reacted first. “Yeah, no problem.” He raised his hands, and smiled. “We've sorted what needs sorting, right, Gee?”
Gerard nodded. “Yeah, it's all cool.”
Mikey blinked. “Cool?” He shook his head in disbelief. “It's all cool is it, Gerard? The guy tried to kill you and-”.
“That was in another life, Mikes,” Gerard said firmly. He was growing tired of this. “He saved my life since then, didn't he? We've all got to move on now. I've made my peace with Bert and I think you need to do the same.”
Mikey stared at his big brother incredulously. “Do you?”
“Please, Mikey.” Gerard walked up to his brother and gripped his shoulder. “Do this for me?”
Mikey locked gazes with his brother, and then looked over at Bert. Bert gave him a tiny smile. Mikey crossed his arms over his chest and glared stubbornly at his older brother.
“Can't do it, Gerard. You might be feeling guilty or something, or maybe he suffered like you did and your feeling some kind of weird fucking connection to him. Either way, I don't feel anything except for deep hate, and that’s not going to change. And I won't forgive him.” He shrugged. “Sorry.”
Gerard bristled. He glanced at Frank, who was watching the exchange between the brothers with a defeated expression.
Bert sighed. “Look, I'm gonna go. I shouldn't be here. I just cause you guys problems that you don't need.
“You’ve got that right!” Mikey snapped.
“Oh, Michael, shut the fuck up!” Gerard had reached the end of his tether. “I'm actually wondering if you’re planning on growing up any time soon!”
Mikey's face flushed with anger. He looked like he was going to launch at his brother, and then caught himself. The younger Way steadied himself, and then leaned right into Gerard's face.
“I'm actually wondering if what Korse did to you has seriously damaged your brain?”
Gerard shoved his brother away from him furiously.
Frank instantly stepped between them. “That's enough!”
Gerard, breathing hard, moved around Frank and pointed at Mikey.
“You need to get used to Bert, Mikey, cos he isn't going anywhere. He's staying with us.”
Bert was so shocked, he actually laughed.
Ray closed his eyes, bringing a weary hand up to his face.
Frank stared at Gerard in amazement.
“Eh, Gee?” Frank asked, quietly. “You sure that's a good-”
“NO FUCKING WAY!” Mikey exploded. “He stays, I go!”
Gerard pursed his lips together. “Once you get over your tantrum, Mikey, you'll realise how stupid you're being.”
“Fuck you, Gerard.” Mikey's eyes were flashing. “Maybe it would have been better if Korse had finished you off! You've clearly lost control of your senses!”
And, without bothering to wait for any response, Mikey stormed off, tears already threatening to spill down his face. He wiped them away furiously.
Frank let out a frustrated sigh.
“Great,” he moaned. “Just great.”
Ray was already hurrying after Mikey. “I'll bring him back,” he told Gerard.
Gerard jerked his head in acknowledgement. “Please hurry, Ray. Tell him I want to talk to him, will you?” A look of concern flickered over his face as he watched Ray walk away.
'I didn't mean those things. I don't mean to take anything out on Mikey. I'll make it up to him.'
Taking a deep breath, he turned back to the others.
“You wanna be a Killjoy, Bert?” He asked the man facing him.
Bert smiled. “Sure,” he replied. “Sounds fabulous.”
Gerard chuckled, despite himself. He shook Bert's hand.
“Welcome to the team.”
Frank eyed Gerard. “I think you should go and get some rest, Gee, We've gotta set off first thing in the morning. You're still weak.”
Gerard knew it was good advice, despite how worried he was. “I won't be able to sleep until Ray and Mikey get back.”
“They won't have got far. Mikey will be fine. He just needs to cool down. Ray will look after him.”
Gerard nodded. “I know.” He looked over at his little area he set up as his camp and then, chewing on his lip, once again turned to Frank. “Come with me?” He asked, quietly.
Frank felt warm inside, Gerard wanted to be close to him and that was a relief. “I'll be right with you, babe.”
Gerard smiled gratefully and, with one last nod to Bert, he hurried away.
After he was gone, Frank looked over at Bert.
The other man winked at him.
“Gonna have some fun?” Bert asked, his eyes twinkling.
“Sorry?” Frank muttered.
“You gonna get some tonight, Frankie?”
Frank blinked. “After what he's been through, how can you even think I'd-”
“Whoa!” Bert cut in, grinning. “I was just messing with ya!” He shrugged. “Touchy!”
Frank stuffed his hands in his pockets. “He just wants me to hold him, that's all. He has nightmares.”
Bert smirked. “Cute.”
Frank turned to go.
“Gonna be good working with you, Frank,” Bert called to him. “Gonna be good working with all of you guys again. Especially Gee. Him and me always made a good team, ya know?”
Frank felt a sinking feeling deep in his stomach. He stared stonily at the other man, not bothering to respond.
Bert threw off his jacket and sat back down on the ground. “It'll be just like old times, huh?”
Frank couldn't wait to get away. Bert was suddenly reminding him of a reptile and he had never felt more uncomfortable. Not wanting to worry his exhausted boyfriend by making a scene, Frank merely gave the smirking former singer a tiny smile. Maybe Bert was just teasing him, trying to break the ice? Bert always was a piss taker.
Frank must have been reading too much into his words. There was nothing sinister about their newly instigated Killjoy, was there?
“Night, Bert,” Frank told him, pushing his hair behind his ear.
Bert simply smiled in return.
Frank turned on his heel and walked away quickly, the sickening feeling of deep dread he could now feel inside of him, and the ever increasing throb of the head ache he had started to suffer from, were growing stronger with every step he took.