Hang the Moon - Saving the Vorwuls since 3289 a cage!
Hang the Moon
My entry for picfor1000 A challenge where you have to write a story based on a picture using exactly 1000 words.

Title: Hang the Moon
Author: turps33
Fandom: bandom
Pairing: gen. Mikey and Gerard Way centric
Rating: PG
Spoilers: none
Author Notes: One year ago I posted my first Way centric bandom story for this challenge. I decided to try and mark that occasion by doing the same today. Just, this time it has added mer people.
Thanks go to ephemera, nopseud, msktrnanny and crowgirl13.
Summary: A story where MCR are mer people and Gerard faces an impossible choice.


Mikey lies back and stretches out his arms, moving his hands and tail-fluke in small lazy circles, just enough that he can float in place and stare up at the moon. It’s one of his favourite positions, the waves tickling as they lap against his chest, and if he looks to the side he can see his hair trail through the water like wavering fronds of seaweed. It’s peaceful, calm; at least it would be if it wasn’t for Gerard.

“I’m going to make it tonight,” Gerard says

“Yeah,” Mikey agrees.

The problem is, Gerard doesn’t really approve of the whole ‘lure people to their death with your singing’ thing. He does it: he kinda has to being as that’s what the Mer people are about. The simple truth is, Gerard’s good at it -- unlike Frank whose singing is more a snarl of rage than melody or Bob, whose voice makes the waves foam and surge, or Ray, who’s a good singer but prefers to stay submerged, hating the feel of wet hair.

Mikey’s singing is okay. Just okay. But that’s fine; Gerard makes enough noise for them both.

The point is, Gerard's the best singer by far, but that's as much a curse as a blessing. Every time he sings, his skin cast silver by the full moon, hair and eyes dark, his voice perfection, every time bewitched humans leap forward, jumping towards that which they crave, his sorrow is as evident as his talent.

The splash of the humans hitting the water is swallowed by the regular crash of the waves, and they sink, going under with their faces raised, their hands reaching for both Gerard and for air. Mikey doesn't know, even now, which one they want the most. Every time, Gerard watches them drown, stricken and guilty.

It’s why Gerard spends a lot of time hiding in the caves at the ocean floor. The elders don’t go that deep – it’s too dark and too cold and the sand is always churned up by the creatures that slink along the bottom. Except he has to come up sometimes, when the moon calls and light shimmers over the ocean and the call to sing is too strong.

The Mer people gather together and lure in the unwary. They compete for each boat, singing louder, beckoning, beautiful in face and song. It’s only when you look closer you see the truth, flickers of sharp teeth and nails, a darkness where there should be light.

The humans never really look. Sometimes Mikey envies them that.

The moon is shining tonight, but Mikey and Gerard aren’t singing. They’ve left the main group and have swum close to the shore, to the place where the lighthouse stands tall, projecting brilliant light that slices through the dark. Most of the Mer people keep away, detection too obvious a risk, but Gerard comes here often, and Mikey always follows.

It’s near enough to land that the crash of waves against sand is a constant sound. Gulls call from overhead and the scent of the ocean is merged with that of the shore. Gerard is motionless in the water; watching the land that’s always still, so steady and secure unlike the water that surrounds them. Occasionally his tail flashes into view, emerald scales gleaming before being submerged once more. He’s breathing hard, psyching himself up, and Mikey twists so he can rub the edge of his tail against Gerard’s arm.

Gerard smiles and runs his fingers lightly over Mikey’s scales, says desperately. “It’ll be better there, it has to be.” There’s a strand of hair plastered against Mikey’s cheek, and Gerard pushes it back, tucking it behind Mikey’s ear. “I’ll have legs and live on the beach.”

“I’ll wave at you,” Mikey says.

“And I’ll wave back.” Gerard looks over Mikey’s shoulder, at the boats that bob in the distance. “No more deaths.”

Sometimes Mikey wonders how Gerard swims at all, when the weight of guilt hangs so heavy, but he hasn’t sunk yet, despite coming close. Mikey smiles then, the slightest curl of his lips and then arcs back, diving down. He splashes as he does so, grace lacking in both water and air. Submerged he opens his eyes, wiggles his fingers at a seahorse before surfacing next to Gerard, still pressing close.

Gerard slips his arm around Mikey’s shoulders and holds him securily, a solid presence in the currents and constantly shifting motion of the sea. Mikey wants to turn and hold onto him forever, but he doesn’t. He can’t. Not when Gerard needs to go.

“I should go,” Gerard says then, and his mouth is cold against Mikey’s. “Watch me?”

“Always,” Mikey says.

Gerard darts forward then, thrashing his tail furiously until he hits land. Waves break over his body as he pulls himself onto the sand and he crawls forward, the muscles in his back flexing, his hair trailing in wet strands.

Gerard keeps going, hands clawed and panting for air. Mikey can hardly breathe as he sees the green of Gerard’s tail begin to fade, the lines of his tail-fluke blur, exposing bones and scale-free skin, toes digging into wet sand as he collapses forward, caught between sea and land.

Which is when Gerard looks back, eyes wide and panicked and Mikey knows he has to urge him on. “Go, Gerard. Go!” he yells. Mikey doesn’t think Gerard notices the initial hesitation at all.

Except, Gerard rolls then. He flops inelegantly on his back and pushes himself back into the surf, the wash of water bringing back the colours of his tail, making it solid once more as he swims, defeat obvious in the set of his mouth, the way he’s moving so slow.

“Gee?” Mikey says, swimming forward and meeting Gerard half way. “Gerard?”

Gerard cups his hand against Mikey’s cheek, says yet again. “I’ll go tomorrow.”

They start for home; Mikey knowing one day Gerard won’t look back, and that’s the day he’ll break Mikey’s heart.


37 mutant blasts or blast me
fuschia From: fuschia Date: January 10th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is so beautiful. I love your language and imagery so much.
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 11th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. That's such a lovely thing to say.
crowgirl13 From: crowgirl13 Date: January 10th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
\o/ Victory!

Oo! Oo! Oo! I love all the additional details, the underlining of the dangerous nature of the mer people and the added emphasis on *why* it's so important to Gerard to go. And Mikey, oh Mikey - my heart aches so much for him.

Lovely work, my dear. I'm so glad you posted this! ♥
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 11th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, we got there in the end.

Thank you so much for all the encouragement, you're a star <3
hammerhead22 From: hammerhead22 Date: January 10th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is really, really lovely. As a scuba diver myself, I'd say that you captured the underwater world beautifully. The feel of being in the ocean is like no other and you've delivered that feeling in words. Lovely!

And my heart is breaking for the boys!
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 11th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad it felt right to you. That's such a great compliment to receive.

Thank you for reading, despite the lack of Bob.
hammerhead22 From: hammerhead22 Date: January 11th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for reading, despite the lack of Bob.

Oh man, if I only read stories prominently featuring Bobert, I'd only read one or two stories a week! I love all MCR guys equally. Period. I just love Bob more equally than the others:)
From: turlough Date: January 10th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is so sad and so beautiful. I love the way you write Mikey as so conflicted, loving the sea and everything in it and not really minding singing humans to their deaths, but loving Gerard even more and hurting so much because Gerard is hurting. Wanting Gerard to be happy but knowing that it will only happen at the price of his own happiness. Poor Mikey. And poor Gerard! Hating what he's so good at, longing for a state where he doesn't have to feel guilty all the time but knowing that this will means giving up Mikey. And not even knowing that things will get better on land, just hoping. I think that's the thing that made me cry. Perhaps moving on to dry land won't make Gerard happy, then EVERYONE will be unhappy. Please tell me things will turn out well for them?
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 11th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for the lovely comment, even if I've made you sad yet again.

Of course it turns out well! Gerard grows his legs and he'll make himself a little hut on the beach. He'll furnish it with one bed and fronds of seaweed at the windows and at night he'll sit and the waters edge and let the waves roll over his feet as he watches Mikey.

Then a few weeks later Mikey comes to shore too, when he decides that as much as he loves the ocean, he loves Gerard more. Then, over weeks and months, the other three arrive too.
From: turlough Date: January 11th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course it turns out well! [...] the other three arrive too.

*sniffle* Thank you!! :-)
crowgirl13 From: crowgirl13 Date: January 11th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, this made me tear up a little. At work.
[which is what I get for scrolling the flist then, but still...]

This is what I was telling myself would happen! All the way home on my commute yesterday I was going "yes, but THEN..." and looking for a happy ending. Now I get to see Gerard and Mikey standing in the doorway of the hut, watching the other three walk up the beach. \o/!
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 12th, 2009 11:03 am (UTC) (Link)
If I'd had the words to do so I'd have written the happy ending. But it does happen. It just takes time.

You? So wonderful to me.
crowgirl13 From: crowgirl13 Date: January 12th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I realize there's that word limit thing - which you really made work for you, darling, I'm most impressed. *Would* you consider writing more? Not that you have to, since you sketched out the ending above, but I know you've got that Frank bit, and it's always good to see your mad ensemble writing skillz in action... [See how I'm all subtle and don't mention Bob? I'm sneaky.] ;D

I keep thinking about that singing scene - I can't get the visual out of my head. Gerard on the rocks in the moonlight [I'm assuming there are rocks, since that's traditional and you need somewhere to run the boats aground too], the contrasts of skin, long and sea-drenched drenched black hair, and the emerald of his scales shifting to darker hues where submerged. It's a pretty image to get stuck in my brain, I have to tell you.

You make it so EASY, Terri. :D *smoooches*

turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 12th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is as rough as rough can be, but, here's a tiny bit at least. I'll think about how I can use the Frank bit.

What Gerard never expected was, living on land is lonely. He's used to the constant sound of the sea, the blub of bubbles as Frank giggles, the splash of water as Bob dives through the waves, the splatter of drops as Ray emerges into the sunlight and shakes his head, the way Mikey hums as he lies on his favourite rock, his hands in the water as he looks up at the sky.

Those sounds had been part of Gerard's life, and now they're gone. He sings to himself as he fixes dried seaweed to the windows of his new home -- a small shack made of driftwood, the walls uneven and decorated with shells. Listens to the crash of waves as he sits in the shade of a rock and digs his feet into the sand, letting the grains trickle through his toes -- but the fact is, it's not the same.

He knows that leaving the ocean was the right thing to do, but that doesn't help when he's feeling so alone.

It's sunset when Gerard hears the noise -- a frantic splashing and he trips as he runs outside, falling to his knees. Expecting a wounded gull or lost seal, he bites back a cry when he sees Mikey. Mikey who's lying in the breakwater, his hair covering his face and shoulders pointed as he pulls himself forward. Slow, so painfully slow in contrast to the frantic way he flaps his tail, scales shimmering green, then becoming paler, fainter, smooth skin showing between the flicker of tail and legs.

Gerard wants to run and haul Mikey in, drag him from the sea and hold on,, but this is Mikey's decision. His alone, and Gerard digs his nails into the palms of his hands and keeps watching as Mikey gasps and flounders and then, finally, collapses to the ground.

He looks up then and there's sand caked to his cheek, a strand of seaweed lying across one shoulder as he lifts his hand, waves and says simply, "hi."

That image of Gerard. GAH! So beautiful. You paint the most gorgeous pictures with your words.
crowgirl13 From: crowgirl13 Date: January 12th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Funny - the squeaky dolphin noises and seal flaps I made while reading this are thematically appropriate!

EEEE! Oh, I'm so excited! This is marvelous- that end bit is so, so Mikey. And I love that Gerard knows that, as much as he wants to help, he has to let Mikey make his own decision about leaving the sea. Shiny, Terri, SHINEEE!

Well, the source material kicks ass, so.. :D

turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 12th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, it has to be your own decision to leave the sea. But Gerard's a pretty big draw, and now both of them are on land, the others will follow :)
crowgirl13 From: crowgirl13 Date: January 12th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, there's something vastly appealing about choice/free will as a fic theme. I really dig that sort of thing.
nopseud From: nopseud Date: January 11th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Really nice. I love the changes, and I think it works much, much better now. And the all the description is still beautiful.
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 11th, 2009 10:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

Yesterday was a very frantic day and the story changed so much. Totally for the better, I love that you're always so honest <3
frausorge From: frausorge Date: January 11th, 2009 10:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, the thing about Frank's singing made me snorfle. (♥ PENCEY ♥) But the rest! Gerard and his conscience making Mikey's life unquiet! Mikey having to let Gerard go OVER AND OVER AGAIN! That's heartbreaking right there already. And “I’ll wave at you,” Mikey says. just *killed* me. oh, Terri.
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 11th, 2009 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Before I started big time editing this, Frank had a much bigger part, getting himself stuck on the deck of a boat after trying to leap it. He was all fire and rage. Sadly 1000 words doesn't give you wiggle room so I had to cut it all :(

One day I'll write a happy Way story. I'm sure I have one in me somewhere. Thank you for such a lovely comment.
(Deleted comment)
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 11th, 2009 11:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!

Though notice how it's as sad as the other idea? I will write happy fic for them one day.
paperdollkisses From: paperdollkisses Date: January 11th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh! So very telling.

Mikey's heart won't be broken because he will follow. They all will.
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 12th, 2009 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
They will follow, and they'll be happy, eventually.

Thank you :)
castalie From: castalie Date: January 11th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know I'm still sick and a bit feverish but you did mention being unsure to post your MCR mer people story because it was 'ridiculous', didn't you?

Ok, so I have a question, where is that ridiculous fic you spoke of? Because all I see is a gorgeous and heartbreaking story with an edge and darkness to it that makes it, as I said, gorgeous but also chilling.

Dude, you totally lied to us! Not that I'm complaining lol
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 12th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC) (Link)
It is ridiculous!

But man, your comments. Thank you, because that was pretty much the feel I was going for.

You're the best <3
mwestbelle From: mwestbelle Date: January 12th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is really wasn't what I was expecting, but it's gorgeous and I loved it.
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 12th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much.

I suspect people will expect something really cracky, which admittedly this is, but it's also sad. I have no idea how to indicate that within a summary.
tabula_x_rasa From: tabula_x_rasa Date: January 12th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was just gorgeous. The imagery was very vivid and I could really see it all in my head. And it was kind of heartbreaking-- poor Gerard, and poor Mikey-- but then I read your extra ending in comments and I feel a lot better. ;)
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 12th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much :)

I cheated so badly adding that ending in comments, I should get a hand slap from the challenge mod. But, they need to be together!
moondarri From: moondarri Date: January 13th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)
nuh. no words. that last line. the whole concept. ohman. ♥
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 13th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much ♥
indicinderelly From: indicinderelly Date: January 14th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
lovely ♥
turps33 From: turps33 Date: January 14th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you :)
lobsterclaaaws From: lobsterclaaaws Date: February 28th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
turps33 From: turps33 Date: March 1st, 2011 12:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I will take that heart!

Thank you :D
37 mutant blasts or blast me