Rating Hard PG-13
Pairing non-explicit Gerard/Mikey
Word count 4,800
Summary Gerard and Mikey have been captured by Draculoids, but they're not going down without fighting.
Notes This story took hold and wouldn't leave until I wrote it down. Thank you to inlovewithnight and greedy_dancer for support and helpful comments, and to themoononastick and egelantier for beta reading and indulging this shameless excuse for h/c. Next time I'll beat up Gerard more and have an ending with puppies, rainbows and hot chocolate just for you guys ♥
Any remaining mistakes are mine and mine alone.
They’re being kept in a room in an abandoned motel on the outskirts of zone 4a. The windows are boarded closed: rusty nails driven through criss-crossed planks, the wood splintered and in some places darkened with blood.
Mikey sits still, breathing through aching ribs and a pounding headache, as he tries not to think of what happened to cause those stains, the same way he tries not to see the gauges at the side of the door and the dark splatters that decorate the faded pink walls. Instead he stares at the iron framed bed, making pictures out of the stains on the mattress. A dragon along the right side, a yeti crawling over a seam, a horse where the pillows should be.
“Can you remember Mr Plinkinton?” Mikey asks suddenly. He twists his bracelet around his wrist and looks over at Gerard, who’s standing close to the door, arms crossed and so tense Mikey fears that one careless touch will cause him to shatter.
Gerard blinks, brought back to the here and now, as he says, “That horse we saw on vacation?”
“Yeah,” Mikey replies, and remembers touching a velvety nose, the sound of Gerard’s laughter when Mr Plinkington snorted and startled Mikey, making him fall on his ass. “Horses are fast.”
“And strong,” Gerard says. He looks at Mikey and forces a smile. “He’ll have ran away.”
Mikey knows it’s a lie, the animals were some of the first to go, most kinds picked off and hunted for food, but he doesn’t call the deception. Instead he looks from Gerard back to the bed, picking stains and imaginary creatures over Gerard’s poorly concealed fear-fuelled anger.
“They’ll be coming soon,” Gerard says. He takes a step away from the door, stands still and solid, a human barrier against anything that attempts to come inside. He brings his hand to his mouth and bites at his thumbnail, adds. “Soon. They’ll be here before the Dracs get back.”
It’s another lie. The Dracs have gone, for supplies or to communicate or whatever else the freaky fuckers do. They’d thrown Gerard and Mikey spitting and screaming into this room and then left without saying a word. Now it’s only a case of waiting for transport back to Battery city, and public humiliation followed by an inevitable lingering death in one of the prisons.
Mikey pushes his hands under his armpits, grits his teeth to stop them chattering together, cold despite the stifling heat of the room.
Gerard takes another step forward, glances back at the door and straightens his shoulders. “They won’t touch you. I won’t let them.”
“Don’t,” Mikey says, stopping Gerard from making impossible promises. Mikey pushes his hair out of his face, tucking it behind his ears. “They’ll find us soon, they know our patrol.”
Gerard nods, says, “Yeah,” then twists in place, fists clenched when there’s a sound from outside.
Mikey scrambles to his feet, mouth moving in silent prayer that it’s the others coming to their rescue, reaches out and touches Gerard’s back as they stand side by side as a united force.
It’s not the others. It’s not Ray or Frank or Bob. It’s yet more Dracs, malice oozing through plastic frozen expressions as they crowd inside the small room, guns raised and silent. Cold sweat prickles at Mikey’s neck and it’s suddenly hard to breathe. His chest feels heavy while everything else is pin-prick sharp. Gerard’s tensing even further, coiled and ready for a suicidal attack.
Mikey readies himself to attack too, death pressing close.
It’s something he’s always expected, always thought himself destined to end in screams and violence instead of drifting peacefully away. Which is why having Gerard at his side is a bonus -- a constant from beginning to end -- but it’s also something that twists Mikey inside and all he can hope is he gets to go first.
“Mikey,” Gerard says, so low and quiet the word’s almost lost in the sound of harsh breathing and the Dracs crowding close, but Mikey hears and reaches out, his fingers curling around Gerard’s before Gerard screams, “Go!”
They both charge, running past the bed and at the Dracs, desperate for freedom. Mikey slams his elbow against a Drac’s chest, clawing at any part of a body he can reach. He never stops yelling, spitting out curse words as he refuses to go down.
He gasps when something slams against the side of his head, the world tilting crazily as he falls to the ground, knees and hands hitting hard. Bowed over, Mikey spits out blood and pieces of teeth, his vision darkening as he struggles upright, fighting to get close to Gerard who’s screaming Mikey’s name while being held by a Drac. It’s got its arm across Gerard’s neck, squeezing as another Drac lands punches.
It’s overkill to the extreme, violence for the sake of it because neither Mikey or Gerard are capable of actually winning this fight. But still the Dracs keep hitting, until Gerard slumps, head lolling to one side and his lips turning blue.
Frantic, Mikey keeps fighting, lands his own punches as somehow he manages to get to his feet. Which lasts for all of a second, and the last thing Mikey sees the butt of a raygun heading directly for his face.
It’s nothing unusual to wake up cradled close to Gerard. Or even to wake up feeling like shit, Gerard talking as he plays with Mikey’s hair. It’s comforting in its familiarity as Mikey tries to open his eyes, unable to repress a whimper when even that tiny movement hurts.
“Mikey? Oh thank fuck.” Gerard’s voice is almost non-existent; each word ruined like it’s been forced out through crushed glass. He moves his hand, thumb against the side of Mikey’s cheek. “I thought. You wouldn’t wake up.”
Mikey starts to say sorry, then gags and turns his head, spitting out congealed blood. He moves his tongue in his mouth, feeling the gap in his teeth and the new jagged edges. They’re yet more war wounds to add to the collection and he assesses his own body before slowly turning so he can look up at Gerard, anger hitting sudden and furious when he sees the dark bruising across Gerard’s neck.
“I’m going to kill them, every fucking one of them.”
“Get in line,” Gerard says, and despite the bruising, the way his hands are shaking as he continues to run his fingers through Mikey’s hair, he sounds deadly intent. “They’ll pay for hurting you.”
It’s yet another vow of vengeance and Mikey’s afraid that one day Gerard will collapse due to the weight of them. Not that Mikey doesn’t understand, he’s carrying his own vows of retribution, each one carefully memorized, for his friends and his family and a way of life that he continually mourns.
“Where’ve they gone?” Mikey asks at last, realising it’s too quiet. He curls on his side, drawing in breath through his nose as he leans heavily against Gerard.
Gerard wraps his arm around Mikey, and his knuckles are bloodied, his nails ripped and torn. “For transport I think.”
Mikey presses his tongue against the raw socket of his gum, concentrating on the resulting pain and not the knowledge that if they don’t do something soon they’re going to be end up in prison, and if that happens that’s it. All hope of escape is gone.
“We need to get out of here.”
“I know,” Gerard says, and he’s staring at the door, where the light that spills under it remains painfully bright, evidence of a day that seems to be stretching on forever. “We’ll run when they take us to transport. All or nothing. You’re not going to prison.”
“We’re not,” Mikey corrects, and makes yet another silent vow, this one solely for Gerard.
“I was stupid.”
Startled, Mikey looks at Gerard. His mouth is little more than a thin line and tension radiates outwards as he clutches Mikey’s t-shirt, circles of blood blooming from each contact spot, dark against the yellow. “Stupid about what?”
Gerard clenches his fist even harder, the clotting cuts on his knuckles breaking open. “I should have seen them coming. I wasn’t watching.”
“It was an ambush, we can’t watch everywhere,” Mikey says, he puts his hand over Gerard’s, wiping away a sluggish trail of blood with his thumb. “They’ve got the bodies to sacrifice, we don’t.”
“What if they’ve found the others? What....”
Mikey uses one hand to push himself up on his knees. It’s not the most graceful of movements and every part of his body protests as he straddles Gerard’s legs and rests his hands on Gerard’s shoulders. “No what ifs, remember?”
It’s a policy adopted through necessity. Nights already hard enough without the constant internal whispers of what if? and if only. It’s also a policy that’s hard to maintain and Mikey rests his forehead against Gerard’s, eyes closed and breathing him in.
“They’ll be watching,” Gerard says eventually, sure, like he’s reassuring both Mikey and himself. “Ray drew up the new rota, he’ll keep it going.”
“He will,” Mikey agrees, Ray’s reliability another constant in his world. Mikey opens his eyes, Gerard’s face blurred from being so close. “You shouldn’t talk, you sound terrible.”
Gerard attempts a laugh, one that’s abrupt and brittle. “I always talk, it’s what I do.”
“Well don’t,” Mikey says. Not that he expects Gerard to actually agree. It is what Gerard does, fighting with both words and guns, but right now he needs to be quiet, and distracted, even if it’s only a moment. Mikey brushes a kiss against the tip of Gerard’s nose, enjoying the way Gerard’s eyes widen in surprise. “Be quiet for once.”
Back arched, Mikey kisses Gerard’s cheek, then moves down, kissing over the blood dried under Gerard’s nose but bypasses Gerard’s mouth completely, placing his last brief kiss against Gerard’s chin. Then, twisting slightly Mikey braces his hand on the wooden floor, ignoring the ache in his ribs as he gently presses his mouth against the bruise on Gerard’s neck.
It feels warm and Mikey licks a long stripe, stubble and dirt against his tongue as he imagines blood pooling, separated by only a few layers of skin.
“Mikey,” Gerard says, and he’s got hold of Mikey’s hair, never tight enough to hurt as he allows the strands to slide through his fingers.
“I told you to be quiet.” Mikey’s headache is thumping now, a bone deep quickening rhythm that mimics the beat of his heart. It feels like his skin is too tight and something inside is fighting for freedom. Mikey shivers, says, “If this is it....”
“It’s not,” Gerard says. He’s breaking the rules, promising things that neither of them can control but Mikey lets it go. He needs this false reassurance as much as Gerard needs to give it.
The next kiss is instigated by Gerard. Careful, always so careful as he rests his hand on Mikey’s face, over the welt and bruising, his mouth bitter and dry. Mikey licks into Gerard’s mouth, touches his tongue which feels rough against Mikey’s.
It’s a kiss that says I love you. A kiss that if needed says goodbye.
The Dracs come back when the light under the door is more golden than white. Mikey’s not sure why they’ve been left for so long but it’s enough that he’s stopped feeling hungry or even sweating or feeling the urge to piss. He knows that’s a bad sign and fights to stay awake, watching as Gerard slowly paces the room in a wavering line.
Mikey wants to tell him to sit down, but he knows Gerard will refuse. He’s on guard, ready to jump into action. Or else try. When the Dracs do enter the room, the grind of a lock turning the only warning before the door slams open, Gerard’s only moved a short distance, and he’s easily caught, a Drac holding onto each arm.
Not that it stops him fighting, and Mikey feeds off Gerard’s defiance as he staggers to his feet and throws himself at the nearest Drac. It’s a battle Mikey’s destined to lose, he’s hurting too much, his strength depleted as he’s hauled outside, kicking out as he’s thrown to the ground, crying out as he lands in a heap.
It’s yet another act of cruelty, freedom just that touch out of reach and Mikey’s riding his own anger, adrenalin spiking as he attempts to crawl to Gerard.
The Dracs don’t speak, they never do, but they do fire off their rayguns, laser shots hitting up dirt and dust close to Mikey’s head. The intent is obvious and for a moment Mikey’s considers ending this now, going out fast instead of waiting for the seeming inevitability of prison and a lingering death. Then he continues to struggle, because even if he is destined to go out screaming he won’t do so willingly, especially when Gerard’s still alive and breathing.
Kicked hard in the side, Mikey reaches out, trying to grab a Drac’s ankle, his grip slipping when he’s suddenly hauled to his feet and held in an iron grip, hands on both arms. But even caught fast he keeps throwing himself forward as Gerard’s forced to his knees, a Drac holding him down by the neck as another approaches with a razor.
It’s a cut-throat kind, used more for effect than actual ease and Mikey stills when the dull blade is held against the side of Gerard’s head. One wrong move and Gerard could lose an eye or an ear, and Mikey’s holding his breath, time seeming to slow as the Drac slides the razor over Gerard’s head.
A clump of hair drops to the ground, a symbol of deliberate humiliation as the Drac keeps going, making no attempt at finesse, just hacking at hair as Gerard stares into the distance, his eyes narrowed against the still blinding sun, the revealed skin of his scalp pale apart from a tanned thin line cross the top of his head.
It’s a line that’s soon slashed across by thin lines of blood, the razor taking off layers of skin, and each time Gerard bites down on his lip, the Dracs almost writhe with silent excitement.
When the last clump of hair falls Gerard should look defeated. It’s what’s supposed to happen, identities stripped and defeat made obvious, but Gerard isn’t playing the game. He’s pulled to his feet and then stands straight, held by two Dracs, chin up and pose defiant, says icy cold, “If you hurt him I’ll kill you,” when Mikey’s pulled forward.
Forced to his knees, Mikey never looks away from Gerard. Keeps watching as one of the Dracs digs his fingers into Mikey’s neck. The first slice of the blade scrapes over Mikey’s scalp, dragging and catching and out of the corner of his eye Mikey sees his own hair fall to the ground.
It joins Gerard’s, clumps against sun-baked dirt and Mikey winces, biting back a gasp at the first slice into his skin. He can feel blood trickle down his neck, his scalp exposed in jagged painful patches.
It feels wrong, even in a world where few are looking Mikey’s always liked his hair. It’s part of him, his fuck you to a world he’s always fighting. Having it taken feels like a physical blow, but he won’t bow or buckle -- not today. Not ever.
A last swipe of the razor, a last clump of hair falling, and Mikey’s pulled to his feet. He itches to reach up and feel for the damage, but won’t give the Dracs the satisfaction. Instead he stands tall, sand and dirt clinging to his face and neck, the unfamiliar feel of air against his scalp.
“You look good,” Gerard says, and it should be a lie because Mikey knows his face is all harsh lines and planes, swollen bruises and bloody grazes. He can’t look good, it’s impossible, but he looks at Gerard and knows he’s telling the truth.
“It’s all milkshake,” Mikey says, and he feels like laughing when the Dracs look at one another and bring up their guns, like taking away Gerard and Mikey’s hair has exposed an insanity the Dracs don’t trust.
Truthfully they’re not wrong. Mikey’s angry, fury building and he knows Gerard’s feeling the same. It’s there in the tilt of his head, the look in his eye as he looks over at Mikey. A signal that, finally, this is the end.
Mikey lifts his own chin, knowing even if they do go down now, bald and bloody, it’s still on their own terms. Heart racing, he watches Gerard, how he remains still as one of the Dracs reveals a gag, the leather cracked and buckles glinting as it’s wrapped around Gerard’s head and pulled so tight that Gerard’s forced to open his mouth, his lips white and torn at the corners.
It’s the final indignity, their freedom, their hair, and now Gerard’s voice and Mikey knows he’ll be next. He smiles, feral and dangerous and then screams as he throws himself at the Dracs clustered around Gerard.
The ones holding Mikey are taken by surprise, but only for a moment and he’s expecting the agony of a laser blast to his back as he runs.
Then everything goes crazy. Mikey’s thrown to his knees when something close by explodes and tears stream down his face, his ears ringing as the air around him is filled with debris and smoke. Gasping for breath, Mikey keeps crawling forward, then punches blindly when someone grabs him around the waist and pulls him to his feet.
“Mikey. Stop, it’s me.” Bob’s already running, pulling Mikey with him but as much as Mikey needs to get away, he digs in his heels, trying to go back.
“Ray’s got him,” Bob says, and keeps running, coolly ghosting an attacking Drac with a laser blast. “Get on.”
Bob’s bike is parked next to the Trans Am and Mikey sees Frank standing on the roof, a bandanna wrapped around his face and goggles over his eyes as he keeps shooting, providing cover as Ray runs out of the smoke, hand in hand with Gerard.
Sure that Gerard’s safe, Mikey climbs onto Bob’s bike, sitting back as Bob fires off more shots before climbing on and starting the engine. Dizzy, Mikey wraps his arms around Bob’s waist and tucks his head against his back, breathing in dirty leather as finally they move.
They stop at some point. Mikey’s lost all concept of actual time, the only things that matter the feel of Bob’s body and the need to hang on. Mikey’s exhausted and hurting so much it’s taking all his efforts to even keep breathing.
He needs painkillers and water and a bed. He needs to be lying down close to Gerard. He needs his fucking life back, but that’s never going to happen.
Bob reaches back his hand, squeezing Mikey’s knee as he yells. “There’s shelter up ahead, we’ll be stopping there.”
Mikey doesn’t reply.
The shelter turns out to be little more than yet another abandoned shack in the middle of nowhere. They’re scattered all over the desert, old storage buildings and grocery stores picked clean years before. Sometimes they have working water but mostly not. This one looks like a not, nothing more than roof and walls surrounded by drifts of sand.
“I found it last week,” Bob says, kicking down the supports of his bike, in the sudden silence his voice is loud and he turns, looking at Mikey before standing and taking a step to the side.
Appreciating the gesture, that Bob’s sticking close by while giving Mikey the chance to walk on his own, Mikey eases himself off of the bike. Light-headed, each movement is deliberate but he stands up straight, hand braced against the seat of the bike as the Trans Am roars close, stopping in a cloud of dust.
Ray’s driving, Gerard in the front seat with Frank crammed in the back. Unusually, there’s no sound of the radio, just painful silence as the doors open and Gerard steps outside. He’s got Frank’s bandanna wrapped around his head and Mikey’s reminded of Elena, her quiet dignity at the end.
Except, while that dignity is there there’s nothing quiet about Gerard. He slams the door of the Trans Am and then runs over to Mikey, pulling him into a fierce hug. They cling together, Mikey’s face tucked against Gerard’s neck, feeling him breathe as the others move between car and shelter.
Mikey doesn’t want to move, right now he feels as safe as he ever gets but Gerard needs water and medical attention. Finally Mikey pulls back, says, “Come on.”
Inside is as bleak as outside. There’s an old sofa against one wall, any stuffing from the cushions long gone. There’s also Ray, who’s crouching down and unscrewing the top off a water bottle. He looks up and holds it out. “Here, drink, not too fast.”
“We know,” Gerard says, taking the bottle and handing it to Mikey.
It’s a cliché but the first sip of water is like nectar. Not that Mikey actually knows what that tastes like, so maybe it’s like an icy coke on a summer’s day or the first sip of black coffee on a morning. The second sip he swills around his mouth, tepid water washing over his raw gum and stripping away the top layer of old blood. Mikey spits out that mouthful and takes another, swallows and hands the bottle to Gerard.
“We need to report back,” Gerard says hoarsely, then takes his own sip. He winces as he swallows and then takes another before dropping his hand, waiting for the water to settle. “They ambushed us. The fucker’s are planning something.”
“We will,” Ray says, busy laying out supplies on the floor. “We needed to find you guys first.”
Gerard looks at Mikey and then heads for the door, and the radio inside of the Trans Am. “I’ll do it now, you patch up Mikey.”
About to follow, Mikey’s stopped by Bob’s hand against his chest. “You stay here, you look like road kill.”
Mikey brings up his hand, feeling the puffy line carved into his cheek. “That bad?”
“Worse,” Frank says simply, anger apparent despite his easy words. “I’m going to be the pretty one now.”
Mikey smiles on one side. “Not going to happen, scars are cool.”
“They’re fucking badass,” Frank agrees, and as if he’s unable to help himself, he hesitantly reaches up, brushing his fingers over Mikey’s shorn hair. “I’m sorry, we....”
“No if onlys,” Mikey says, ending this now. He remains still, letting Frank feel and then adds, “But next time remember this isn’t a movie, quit with the last minute cliff hanger rescues.”
“Then you and Gee need to stop thinking you’re some kind of super heroes,” Frank says, going along with the lame joke. “Taking on a fucking group of Dracs alone, fucking idiots.”
“They couldn’t have kept us,” Mikey says, and staggers when Frank drops his hand and pulls Mikey into a sudden, bone crushing hug.
“I thought we’d lost you both,” Frank says, and for a moment every fear is laid out and on show. Then he steps back, drags the back of his hand over his face before turning for the bags Ray’s set out on the floor. “Go sit down, I need to stitch you up, again.”
“Like I haven’t stitched you back together a thousand times,” Mikey says, gathering his energy for the walk to the couch. First though, he looks outside, through the broken, grimy window, watching Gerard who’s sitting bent over in the passenger seat of the Trans Am, radio in one hand, the other holding a lit cigarettee that’s little more than ash.
“We need to go to Battery city,” Gerard says. He’s still wearing Frank’s bandanna and the knotted ends at the back of his head shift lightly in the breeze.
It’s a wind that carries dust, the scent of rot and smoke and Mikey’s mouth feels coated, his lungs congested. It would be better to go inside, but Mikey’s not about to leave Gerard. On the surface he’s fine, bruised and battered sure but that’s something they’re all used to.
Underneath Gerard’s a mess. It’s there in the way he’s unable to sit still, walking the perimeter of the shack, chain smoking and talking too long and too quickly, forcing words past his swollen throat like he’s afraid the gag will come back.
Mikey wants to beg him to stop, but instead he waits, legs bent and arms wrapped around his knees, shivering in the dark as Gerard keeps constantly moving.
“I talked to the kid,” Gerard says, and his footsteps are muffled, soft thumps in the sand. “Ray’d told her we’re okay but I wanted to tell her myself. She said she’d raided some kibble, and that the thump-kick technique you taught her worked great.”
Stitches pull as Mikey smiles, thinking of Ray’s kid. She’s been with them for years now, and like Ray himself she’s all kinds of awesome, and a quick learn when being taught the fine art of vending machine robbery.
“Show Pony’s putting the word out,” Gerard continues, his back to Mikey. “He’s talked to the other crews. I’m thinking we’re going to have to band together soon, take the fight to the next fucking level.”
“It had to happen eventually,” Mikey says, and this is a conversation they’ve had countless times before. Yet another inevitability they’ve faced down with music and fast cars, forbidden messages and a zeal for life that no rules and regulations have managed to curtail.
It’s an end they’ve been building toward since the beginning, the foundations there for another revolution, but this one on their own terms. Gerard knows that, is saying things that matter, but not for right now. When he’s exhausted and tense, the cherry of his cigarette leaving wavering lines in the darkness as he takes another drag.
Mikey runs his hand over the side of his head, nails catching on fresh scabs. “Gerard, come sit down.”
Gerard stills, but he doesn’t turn to Mikey, just keeps standing, staring into the darkness as he finally admits, “I don’t think I can.”
“Yeah, you can,” Mikey says. “You can do anything.”
“I couldn’t stop them hurting you,” Gerard says, and Mikey knows this is it, the real reason Gerard’s so manic and unable to still. “I stood there and watched as they shaved off your hair.”
“You were surrounded by Dracs, they had their guns on you,” Mikey says, repeating things Gerard already knows. He takes a deep breath, frustrated and tired and wishing he had the words to make Gerard understand that nothing he did was wrong. “What were you supposed to do, throw them all off and scoop me up before running away?”
“I could have tried,” Gerard says and if Mikey’s head wasn’t hurting so badly he’d bang it against the wall.
“You’re a moron.” Mikey straightens his legs and struggles upright, even colder when he steps away from the meager shelter of the shack. “A fucking grade A moron. I was there, Gee, I saw how hard you struggled.”
Gerard turns to Mikey, expression set. “I should have tried harder.”
“In that case so should I.” Mikey stops inches away from Gerard, staring him down. “I should have stayed conscious when that fucking Drac pistol whipped me, or kept fighting when they dragged me outside.”
Gerard shakes his head, one hand against his throat. “They would have killed you.”
“And they would have killed you,” Mikey all but yells. “There’s no difference, Gerard. You don’t get to make this different.”
“Yes I do.” Gerard tries to yell in return, the effect spoiled when his voice all but collapses on the last gruff words. “I’m supposed to look after you. You’re my little brother. It’s my job to keep you safe.”
“That’s bullshit,” Mikey says, deliberate and firm. “Your only job is to love me and you do that just fine.” Gerard’s expression remains set, and he opens his mouth, as if he’s about to argue the point but Mikey doesn’t allow him the chance. “Don’t even, you won’t win that argument.”
“Says you,” Gerard says weakly, but he’s finally relaxing, the tiniest amount as he sighs and rests heavily against Mikey. “I’m tried, Mikey, so fucking tired.”
“So rest a while,” Mikey says, and wraps his arms around Gerard, keeping him safe. “I’ve got you. Always.”
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