Fandom: Bandom. MCR
Summary: 1000 words of Way bros post apoc.
Spoilers:(if any) None
Notes: Thank you to themoononastick for the beta. ♥
This challenge is a special one for me. Back in the day I posted my first official bandom story for picfor1000. It was Way bros centric and ever since then it's been my tradition to write something for the challenge focussed only on them.
This is also for dr_jasley. Happy birthday, bb. This may not have been written specifically for you, but it's very much dedicated to you.
“Seven minutes.” Gerard picks up his mug and turns it so the chip on the rim will be away from his mouth. “We need to get going.”
Mikey’s mug is already empty. He shakes out the drips and picks up his bag, looks away when he says, “We could stay.”
It’s tempting. This section is better than most, with actual businesses and private places to sleep. Gerard still shakes his head and says, “No.”
“You made friends. Last night I saw you laughing.” Mikey puts his bag on his lap, head tilted forward as he unfastens the zip. “I know you’re tired.”
Gerard’s more than tired. He’s fucking exhausted. Draining his mug, he shoves it deep into his bag, Gerard’s hand brushing past bottles of pills. By touch he takes out the largest, shakes out two tablets onto the flat of his hand.
Mikey takes one, puts it into his mouth and dry swallows.
“The jump map says the next viable section is half a days walk.” At least it is if you’re feeling your best, for them it’ll be nearer a day -- and that’s pushing safe limits. Gerard swallows his tablet, breathing through the bitter taste that clings to his mouth.
“I heard they’ve established a grow bubble in the next section,” Mikey says. He’s tightening the straps on his boots, ensuring there’s no possibility of exposing his skin. “They’ve grown apples.”
Gerard remembers apples, in a faint way, like a memory of something he liked but doesn’t know why. What he does know is they’re nutritionally sound, and something they both need. Not that vitamins will help at this stage, but it has to be better than nothing. His own boots checked, Gerard stands, his bio suit rustling as he tugs it up from his waist.
Immediately Gerard feels hot, his skin prickling as he pulls on his gloves and head-piece, the hood and re-breather left off for now so they’re lying heavy against the nape of his neck.
“Five minutes,” Gerard says, and looks away from the clock to watch Mikey. He’s using his knife to make another hole in the waist belt of his suit, a fresh tear in the material to match the previous two.
Knife back in his bag, Mikey tugs up his suit, quickly pulling on his gloves and double fastening belts and snaps. It’s second nature by now, the instruction cards long forgotten, not needed. Within seconds Mikey’s finished and he puts his bag on his back. “I’ll miss this place.”
Gerard will too. It’s rare they find sections with soft beds and places to exchange credits for hot food -- but they can’t stay.
“The shield is engaging.” Gerard can feel it, it makes his teeth ache and his stomach roll, sweat trickling down his back as he shrugs on his bag. “We need to get to the lock.”
It doesn’t take long. Less than a minute and they’ve left the rec zone and are standing close to the lock, joining a handful of others. They’re all suited up, some already wearing hoods and re-breathers, others taking these last moments to breath the freely available air.
Gerard looks at them all, taking in their battered suits and closed-off expressions, how every one is standing alone. Gerard reaches out, grabbing Mikey’s arm. “When we get out, go north.”
Mikey nods, saying nothing as Gerard stands in front of Mikey and pulls up his hood, arranging it until it fits perfectly and ensuring every strand of hair is tucked safely inside. When Gerard’s finished, Mikey says simply, “You know I can do that myself.”
“I know.” Gerard’s still standing close, his hand on Mikey’s shoulder. “I know that you can.”
“Good.” Mikey waits for a moment, looking past Gerard to the rec zone. “Last chance. We could stay.”
“No.” Gerard cuts Mikey off, knowing where this is going. “We’re not staying. I’m not staying.”
“Self-sacrificing asshole,” Mikey says, his mouth curling up into a small smile. “Don’t come bitching to me when you’ve got crease rash again.”
Instantly, Gerard rubs at his armpit and scowls at Mikey. “You had to bring that up.”
Unrepentant, Mikey stares back, startling as a siren starts wailing. This close it’s painfully loud and Gerard pulls on his hood, muffling the sound. “North, remember.”
“I know.” Mikey reaches behind him and grabs his re-breather, bringing it close to his mouth. And this is the part Gerard hates the most, when Mikey’s so anxious but trying to hide it.
“Half a days walk. We’ll be there by next shield close.” Gerard’s holding his own re-breather, taking these last moments for reassurances that neither believe. “When we get there I’ll buy you an apple.”
“I’ll share it with you,” Mikey says, and gives a last smile before slipping the re-breather into his mouth.
Gerard watches, ensuring all of Mikey’s warning lights remain green. They do, and Gerard puts in his own re-breather. It’s something he hates every time, long practice doing nothing to dull that first unpleasant taste of chemicals and the feel of plastic filling his mouth.
A deep breath and Gerard’s eyes water, his lungs adjusting to the changed oxygen levels as he keeps breathing and pulls down his hood. It’s the last step in ensuring his whole body is enclosed, and Gerard feels claustrophobic and clumsy as he walks to the lock.
Main doors in three a voice announces, and Gerard touches Mikey’s hand, unable to feel but needing the reassurance he’s there.
Main doors in two. Mikey turns, and his eyes are wide, the shadows under them dark as he looks at Gerard.
Main doors in one. Gerard’s heart is pounding, his chest tight as they both face forward.
Main doors are open. There’s no going back now, brilliant light spilling into the lock as the small group shuffle forward.
Gerard walks, stepping from metal to scorched grass.
Also posted at Dreamwidth. Reply where you wish.
Tags: my stories: bandom