A few days ago over at Dreamwidth I was discussing the sad lack of bandom h/c stories with mahoni. In those comments she described some stories that made me flail. She then went on and wrote one.
Bob Bryar's Worst Day Ever, which is Bob getting caught up in a bank robbery.
In the comment conversation she also described a story where Bob, Mikey and Frank crashed their car on a mountain. Which I really wanted to read, but instead went ahead and wrote, because I'm shameless.
All credit goes to mahoni for the idea. Thank you to sperrywink for reading it over and telling me I wasn't insane. Since she saw it I've added much more, so any mistakes are all mine.
This is ridiculously cliched h/c fic which I had fun writing, and I'm making no apologies for that.
MCR gen 4,200 words.
"We should turn back," Mikey says, his voice slightly muffled, like he's talking from under a layer of clothes. Bob looks in the mirror, unsurprised to see Mikey with his head tucked down close to his chest, chin and mouth hidden beneath the neck of his hoodie. He's looking down, his face lit by the weak light from his phone screen. "There was a hotel a few miles back."
"Over twenty," Bob says shortly. He leans forward slightly, trying to see the road through the rain that pounds against the windshield. If he wasn't so tired and desperate to get back, he would have stopped an hour ago. Or better yet, he shouldn't have agreed to this trip at all. Fucking Mikey with his hopeful smile and Frank with that pleading expression, Bob should be immune by now, but no. He was the idiot that agreed to a trip to the donkey sanctuary while Gerard and Ray got to stay behind.
Frank looks back over his shoulder. He's got his leg tucked up, the heel of his sneaker hooked on the seat and is huddled inside a jacket that's far too big, the sleeves completely covering his hands. "Frightened of the rain, Mikey?" Frank grins and his face is mottled with shadows. "Worried a swamp monster's about to come lurching onto the road?"
There's a rapid-fire patter of buttons being tapped, then Mikey says, "We're nowhere near a swamp."
Frank laughs. "Fine, some water monster then. An evil fucker with ten arms, big teeth and a fucking huge head."
"Like the squid monster from the end of Watchmen," Mikey says, sounding more engaged than he has for almost an hour. "That thing's awesome."
"Yeah." Frank turns even further in his seat, his arm wrapped around the headrest. "Something like that."
"I think it's too isolated for the squid, it needs populated areas."
"That's one less thing to worry about, then." Bob rolls his shoulders, trying to ease the knot that starts at the nape of his neck. "If this fucking rain would stop we'd be golden."
"It has to stop soon," Mikey says, and the lighting in the back dims, enough that Bob knows Mikey's put away his phone. "I can take over driving for a while if you want."
"Hell no," Bob snaps, because the only thing worse than driving in this downpour is being driven in it, especially by Mikey.
"If you change your mind." Bob looks in the mirror again and see Mikey's curled up in the corner of the seat, resting his head against the window as he looks outside.
Bob eases his grip on the steering wheel, because none of this is Mikey's fault, it's just a combination of bad information about the weather and a burning desire to get back. "You'll be the first to know."
Mikey nods, and Bob looks back at the road, squinting as he tries to see the markings. It's almost impossible, white lines reduced to nothing but blurs through rivulets of water, and Bob knows if it doesn't stop raining soon they'll have to pull up and wait. Until then, though, he intends to keep on going, there's only so long he can take the stench of mule.
He yawns and reaches out, turning up the volume of the CD. It's one of Frank's, the song more screaming than actual tune, but Bob beats out the rhythm with his fingers, the repetitive motion helping him relax as they approach a tight corner in the road.
Which is when things go to hell. There's a brief moment of quiet as the song changes -- rain pounding against the roof of the car, Frank fidgeting in the front seat -- then suddenly there's the sound of an air horn, loud and prolonged. The screech of breaks. Twin lights shining in the gloom. The squeal of tires against wet asphalt. A truck suddenly just there. Its trailer wobbling crazily as it slides across the road.
It's inevitable they're going to collide and terror rears as Bob frantically steers away while yelling, "Brace yourselves!"
The actual collision is almost anti-climatic, the edge of the trailer hitting the front of the car, then there's the sound of metal crumpling and as hard as he tries, Bob can't stop the car spinning out of control, pain flaring in his wrists and shoulders as the steering wheel jerks under his hands. They keep spinning, so fast that Bob's head is swimming, rain streaking across the windows and he reaches out and puts his arm in front of Frank's chest.
They hit the side of the road then, and the CD changes tracks, this new song drowned by more familiar screams as the car violently flips. Bob is flung toward Frank, then back against the door on his side. Over and over again. The world is nothing but explosions of sound, windows breaking, the ground becoming the sky. Grey and red and shattered glass.
Finally -- seconds, hours later -- they stop.
Bob feels sick and his hands are shaking violently as he turns his head, throwing up the soda from the last rest stop, gaging as he finally stops and presses his hand against his face, feeling the blood that's flowing from his nose and dripping into his open mouth. He wipes at his face, gasping when the slight movement makes pain surge in his ribs and arm.
"Bob, fuck. Bob! Frank!" There's the sound of someone moving from behind Bob. "Bob!"
"I'm alive," Bob slurs through a mouthful of blood and loosened teeth. He pokes one with his tongue then steels himself to move. Needing to know that Mikey and Frank are okay. "Are you okay? And Frank?"
"I'm fine," Mikey says. He's leaning between the front seats, looking young and scared, blood trickling from a cut at his temple, his eye already starting to swell. But he seems to be moving easily enough as he looks at Bob. "You don't look too good."
"Then I look better than I feel," Bob says, and starts to turn to look at Frank. "Frank?"
"Going." Leaning further forward, Mikey turns toward Frank, who's held in place by his seat belt, his head against the door of the car, his hair already wet through from the rain that's pouring through the broken window. Blood and water is trickling down Frank's face, but he's not moving at all, is deathly still and Bob's never been so afraid, can hardly breathe as Mikey presses his fingers against Frank's neck. "Frankie? Come on, you fucker. Don't sleep on me now." Mikey looks over his shoulder, his voice wavering as he says finally. "He's alive."
"Thank God." Bob takes in a breath, shallow but there. "Does he look hurt anywhere else?"
"I'm not a doctor," Mikey says shortly. "I don't know." But he's carefully feeling along Frank's arms and chest, talking all the while. "Come on, Frank. You need to wake up. We need to get out of here and I'm not carrying you. Come on. Frank, c'mon. You need to wake up now."
"Listen to him, Frank." Bob spits out another mouthful of blood. "I'm not carrying you either."
The reply is faint, but there, and if Bob's mouth didn't hurt so much he'd smile. "Hey, Frank."
"We need to go, the show starts in five minutes." Frank tries to sit, but is held in place by his seatbelt. "Come on, Gee. Let go."
Mikey shuffles behind the seat so he can crouch over even further. He places his hand against Frank's cheek. "Frank. Do you know where you are?"
"I told you," Frank says, and he smiles, his teeth slick with blood. "You're not getting me again. I know we're not in Philly."
"Right, we're not." Mikey runs his thumb over Frank's cheek, wiping at the blood that's collecting at the corner of his mouth. "You've caught me out. You win."
"I always do." Frank looks at Mikey, his eyes fluttering shut as he frowns. "Have you broken your glasses again?"
"Yeah," Mikey says, trying to keep his voice light. He turns and reaches behind him, fumbling around until he holds up a stack of napkins. "Hey, Frankie, you've cut your head." Pressing the napkins against the gash on Frank's forehead, Mikey takes hold of Frank's hand, guiding it so Frank's holding the napkins in place. "Keep those there, yeah?"
"Will, do, Gee." Frank's eyes keep closing until he's looking at Mikey through slits. "Hey, Mikey's broken his glasses again."
"Grass," Mikey says, patting Frank's shoulder before moving back so he's between the seats. He pulls off his hoodie and holds on to the sleeve. "I'm going to wrap this around your head. It's make-shift but it's all I've got."
"Go for it," Bob says and tries not to whimper when Mikey wraps the sleeve tightly around his head.
"Sorry, sorry," Mikey says, pale as he fashions the hoodie into a bandage. "I have to. You're bleeding, like a fuck of a lot."
Bob's head is pounding and the left side of his body is agony. He's also wet through and cold, a combination that makes him shake and feel sick. "You need to get help."
"I know." A last touch, his palm cool against Bob's cheek, and Mikey sits back, and Bob can hear him moving around the back. "Got it." When he moves back into Bob's view Mikey's holding his phone, looking expressionless when he checks the screen. "There's no reception, the rocks must be blocking it. I'll have to climb up."
"What? No!" Bob bites back a groan as he tries to look at Mikey. "We're at the bottom of a cliff and it's still pouring down."
"I won't dissolve in the rain." Mikey smiles slightly and checks his phone again. "And it's not a cliff, just a slope."
"Made of fucking big rocks and a long way down. What if you fall? How am I supposed to tell Gerard I let you go to your death?"
"I'm not going to fall," Mikey says simply. "And if I do, tell him I couldn't stay here without trying. He'd understand."
"Mikey, you can't...."
"Hey, Mike.... Mikey, you going out?" Frank says. He laughs, the sound so wrong in this space that all Bob wants is for him to stop. "You g'ing with, with, that guy. You know. Cleet. Tell him I like rabbits, and have fun. Nothing I wouldn't do."
"I'll tell him," Mikey says, and smiles at Frank before turning back to Bob. "I'm going. I'll be careful and I'll be back as soon as I can."
Bob can feel a pressure in his chest, something more painful than any physical hurt. He wants to grab Mikey and hold on, he wants to climb out of the car and go for help himself, but he knows he can't. The only thing to do is let Mikey go. "I'll be waiting."
Mikey says, "I know."
It takes Mikey a while to actually get out of the car. The back doors are jammed shut and in the end he has to wiggle through one of the broken windows. Bob watches all the while, seeing how Mikey's immediately drenched, his t-shirt clinging to his body as soon as he slides into the open. He also sees the cut along the length of Mikey's arm, and the red-stained glass that's left clinging to the window frame.
"Has Ge'rd gone," Frank says, and his hand is shaking where he's got it pressed against the napkins, the stack already soaked through.
"Yeah," Bob says. "He'll be back soon." All he can hope is that's true.
Bob's watch is useless, the face cracked and the hands frozen in time. He doesn't know how long Mikey's been gone, but it's been enough to tell Frank five stories about Bob's past, demanding he stay awake and reply all the while. Which gets increasingly difficult, especially when Bob's so exhausted, too, his vision edged with black. He knows if he's not careful it'll be all too easy to give in and just sleep. It's why he keeps talking, even when each word is painful and his tongue feels swollen and alien inside his mouth.
"So Bert used Jepha's sock, but didn't tell him. Not until he put in his foot, it's why...." Bob stops talking, sure he's heard something from outside. "Mikey? Mikey, is that you?"
"Yeah, it's me."
Mikey's wet through, his hair plastered to his head and when he crouches next to the car Bob sees the palms of his hands are scraped raw and the knees of his jeans torn. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," Mikey says and looks past Bob to Frank. "How's he doing?"
"Hanging in there, telling me about how he likes to dance with jelly beans."
"Nothing unusual, then," Mikey says, and braces his arms on the side of the car. "I'm still getting no reception, I think the crash must have broken something, and there's no one passing. I'm going to start walking for help."
"To where?" Bob demands. "We're miles from anywhere."
Mikey shrugs. "I know, but we can't just sit here. Frank needs help. You need help."
"Sure you are." Mikey stands and starts to move away.
"Mikey, wait," Bob says, the faintest of plans forming in his mind. "Take us with you. We can walk and we'll get to safety faster."
Mikey shakes his head. "You'd never make it to the road and I can't carry both of you." He pushes his hair back off his forehead and looks up the side of the slope. "I'll go up again, if I don't get help within ten minutes I'll have to walk."
It's not a compromise Bob wants to make, but he knows he's got no choice. "Promise you'll wait a while."
"Promise," Mikey says.
Frank stops talking, and no matter what Bob says, what he threatens, he won't wake up.
Bob lists painfully to one side, rests his hand on Frank's arm, and tries not to cry.
"I've got them!"
Bob wakes to a light beaming into the car. It's bright, almost unbearably so and he screws shut his eyes, opening them just enough to see as shadowy shapes approach from the slope. Heart thundering, he tenses, then relaxes when he sees Mikey, unmistakable despite the luminous yellow jacket he's wearing, so over-sized that it falls to his mid-thigh. There's two men walking behind him, one of whom is holding up the light.
"I found help," Mikey says, hurrying to the car. He looks at Bob then at the men. "That's Bob, and Frank's on the other side. They're hurt."
"We'll look after them," one of the men says. He's carrying a bag which he sets on the ground before gently steering Mikey to the side and kneeling so he can see Bob. "Hi, I'm Simon, that's Mark who's looking after your friend. We're part of the rescue team, we've others bringing the stretcher."
"Hi," Bob says faintly, and looks to where Mark's efficiently checking Frank over.
"We'll get you out of here as soon as we can." Simon leans in the broken window. "Where does it hurt?"
Bob wants to laugh, because it's more a case of where doesn't it hurt? He says, "Head, ribs and shoulder mostly."
"What about your neck and back?"
Bob winces as Simon carefully feels over his neck. "Sore but not too bad."
"Good," Simon says, and looks past Bob to Frank. "How's he doing?"
Busy taking vitals, Mark glances up. "He should go up first."
"He should," Bob agrees.
"He will." Simon steps back and looks at the car door. "I'm going to try opening this. It'll be easier to get to you."
Bob doesn't expect the door to open, but it does so easily, glass falling to the ground. Immediately rain gusts in, and Bob shivers harder.
Simon's rummaging through the bag and pulls out a silver blanket which he unfolds and places over Bob before folding up one side so he can feel along Bob's side, which is all kinds of uncomfortable leading to a flash of blinding pain. "Sorry," Simon says, and he looks toward the slope, where another two men are carrying a stretcher. "Once we get you up top I can give you the good drugs, you'll be feeling better soon." He pats Bob's arm gently. "We can only take one of you up at a time and your friend should go first."
Mikey steps forward. "That's okay, I'll look after Bob until you get back."
"He will," Bob agrees, one hand fisted in the blanket.
Things happen fast after that. Bob's never felt as helpless as he watches Frank be carefully eased out of the car and onto the stretcher. Then he's wrapped up in blankets and secured in such an efficient and careful way that Bob has to be reassured; a little. It still feels like his heart is being ripped out when the men lift the stretcher -- one at each corner -- and Simon looks back toward the car. "I'll be back soon."
"I'll be right here," Bob says, and he will be, because he can't even imagine moving right now. He hurts everywhere and he feels sick, the world swaying each time he moves his head.
"Be careful with him." Mikey takes a step toward the group taking Frank away, like he's torn between following and staying with Bob, then he turns, moving back to Bob's side. "He'll be fine."
"I know," Bob says, and swallows hard, wincing when a gust of wind sends the rain lashing against his face.
"You're going to catch your death of cold," Mikey says, and he unzips the jacket. Bob's about to protest, sure Mikey's about to take it off but all he does is crouch in front of the door and open his arms, holding out the coat so he's making a physical shield against the rain.
"It's one of my skills," Mikey says, standing steady against the rain. "Playing bass, styling my hair, shielding people against the rain."
"You're good at it," Bob says, and he focuses on the sound of Mikey's laughter, distracting himself from the way his whole body throbs with pain.
"I'll put it on my resume."
Bob starts to reply, but the words are lost in a new wave of pain and all he can do is try to remember how to breathe.
"You'll be out of here soon." Mikey moves closer, enough that it's like he's holding Bob close without any actual touching. "I promise."
Bob believes him.
It doesn't take long to get Bob up to the waiting ambulance. It just feels like it takes forever.
Despite the care as he's carried each bump hurts and he can feel tears tricking down the side of his face.
There's only so long he can hold on.
When Bob gives in to the darkness, the last thing he sees is Mikey, looking determined as he walks at Bob's side.
Waking up in hospital is awesome, in the way that Bob's warm and pain free and not stuck in a crushed car on a mountain side. What's not awesome is he feels like his head is stuffed with cotton, he's bandaged all over and there's tubes sticking in his body everywhere. Slowly, only moving his eyes, he looks around. At the displays of flowers that seem to be on every surface and the bunch of balloons that are floating in the corner. Happy Birthday, It's a Boy, Congratulations written on the ones Bob can actually read.
There's also his band. Ray sitting in a chair, hunched forward over his laptop that he's got resting on one of the over-bed tables. Gerard, wearing sunglasses and leaning against the windowsill, a dark shape against the sunlight that floods into the room and finally, Mikey, who's sitting next to the bed that's opposite Bob's, and while he can't see who's in it, Bob knows it has to be Frank. Bob sends a quick prayer of thanks.
"Is Frank okay?" Bob's voice is more croak than recognizable words, and immediately Gerard jumps up, grinning wide.
"About fucking time you woke up. Don't you ever do that again." Despite the smile, Gerard sounds stern, and he moves to the side of Bob's bed -- the one that doesn't have the drips and tubes leading down into Bob's hand. "You crashed the car, on a fucking mountain, in the rain."
"I know," Bob manages, thankful when Ray appears holding out a cup complete with a pink bendy straw. About to reach for it, Bob stops when Ray glares. "Don't even think about it."
If he didn't feel so weak and floaty Bob would protest he wasn't a baby, as it is he allows Ray to guide the straw into his mouth then takes a drink.
Ray pulls away the cup. "That's enough, you don't want to be sick."
"Again," Gerard adds. "When they first brought you up you were puking so much I thought you were going to bring up a lung. It was gross, and also fucking impressive. I've been trying to match the colour but no go yet."
Bob lets that go -- for now, asking again, "How's Frank?"
"He'll be fine," Ray says. He pushes aside two vases of flowers and sets the cup down on the cabinet next to Bob's bed. "Things were a bit frantic for a while but he's over the worst. Jamia and his mom are on their way."
"Right," Bob says, and while he believes that Frank will be fine and that Ray's not lying, he's obviously glossing over some truths. "Frantic."
Gerard sighs and pushes his sunglasses to the top of his head, exposing the shadows under his eyes. "He survived, he'll be fine, that's all that matters."
"So no brain damage?"
"No more than he already had," Ray says. "The fucker has a hard head."
Which is true, and Bob nods slightly, already exhausted and ready to sleep, then blinks hard, says, "How's Mikey?"
"Ask him yourself." Gerard steps away from the bed. "Mikey, Bob wants to see you."
It takes a while, but eventually Bob sees Mikey stand, which shows that he's wearing scrubs, but the kind you get from a children's ward, with happy-faced puppies printed on the top and pants.
"They could only find those in his size," Gerard says. "At least, that's what he said. I think he picked them purposely."
Which sounds a very Mikey thing to do, and something worthy of teasing, but Mikey's stopped at the foot of the bed, his arms crossed across his chest and looking so hunched up and defeated that Bob doesn't have the heart, especially when Mikey's hair is falling into his face, doing a poor job of concealing his black eye and the bruise that discolours his cheek.
"Hey," Bob says. "How are you?"
"Fine," Mikey says, and Bob's used to Mikey being quiet at times, but this seems more than that, and he looks at Gerard, hoping for answers, but all Gerard does is shrug slightly and try to convey something through eyebrows and widening eyes, which is frustrating because Bob's not Mikey who can get Gerard through expressions alone. Eventually, Gerard seems to give up, throwing up his hands and slipping his sunglasses back over his eyes.
"I need more coffee." Ray, come on, you can help me bring it back. We'll leave them to talk."
"Your brother's not very subtle," Bob says, watching as Gerard almost tugs Ray out of the room.
"You have met him before?" For a moment Mikey smiles, then it fades as he looks at Bob. "I'm sorry."
Which is something Bob never expected, and all he can say is, "What for?"
"For taking so long to get help." Mikey runs his hand through his hair, his hand shaking as he looks at Frank's bed and then back at Bob. "My phone wouldn't work and no one drove past."
"You got help, Mikey."
"I did," Mikey says. "I did, but it took so long." He sways in place, and Bob considers hauling himself out of bed as Mikey shakes his head and presses his hands against his face. "I though you were both going to die, that I'd come back and you'd be dead."
"We didn't," Bob says, but Mikey isn't listening and Bob knows there's only one thing he can do. He slowly moves over and pats the bed, ignoring the pain that surges through the haze of drugs. "Come here before I embarrass myself by fainting."
"We crashed," Mikey says, but at least he's moving, stumbling toward Bob and sitting on the bed.
"We did." Moving the least he can, Bob urges Mikey close, pulling him into a loose one-armed hug. "We survived. You saved us, we're all fine."
"I thought you'd both be dead," Mikey says again.
"But we weren't," Bob says and rests his head on Mikey's shoulder, prepared to repeat that as often as it takes.