A/N: Hey again! And as always thank you for reading!
Oh my God... I have to get quicker at this, I am so sorry everyone, but I hope you think this chapter is worth it.
Thank you everyone who has reviewed! :D
ThisRomanceIsChemical: I know, I'm always so mean to Fun Ghoul, aren't I? Well... to everyone I guess! And, well, I can't say if they get together... You'll just have to wait and see...
MacabreWish: Thank you! I'm glad you've enjoyed it so far, and hmmm, maybe you'll get what you're hoping for soon :)
GasolineDiamond: Sorry for making you wait! Here it is now. Hope it's worth the wait!
Same goes to 'Guest', hope this was worth waiting for.
I can assure you all chapter 22 is already in the works, and I'm gonna make a huge effort to update more quickly from now on. You have the patience of saints. (Not as in Saint Jimmy, of course, who has no damn patience ;) )
Right, well, let's get on with it, hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think.
Also, thank you Jo for your suggestion, it works so much better now. :)
The title for this chapter is so damn obvious, I'm not even gonna state it.
And, finally... I do not, have never (and sadly, almost certainly never will) own the boys.
Chapter 21 - The Only Hope For Me
It wasn't easy getting Fun Ghoul to his feet, but he was as determined as always, so naturally he managed it. "Ghoul, I am really not sure about this." Rave told him, worriedly as she watched him straighten up a little more. She'd fetched him a cane from the collection of stuff they'd collected over the years. Fun Ghoul ignored her protests, shifting his weight from one leg to the other, testing which one felt like it'd support him more. "Ghoul! Listen, I know I said I thought this might work, but I'm really worried you'll-"
"My foot isn't hurting so bad right now, I might be able to walk on it for a while, and anyway it's my other arm that hurts too, so this should work." Fun Ghoul had ignored her again, though he had heard her. "Ghoul…""I'm being careful Rave." Fun Ghoul said, finally looking at her. "But we can't be down another number right now, not with Poison…" He trailed off as he looked beside him, Party Poison's eyes were still closed, he still hadn't moved. "We need all of us, at the best we can be."
"And that's my point too. If you rest-""No. Rave. I have done my resting, let me get back to being useful." Rave continued to look at him sceptically, eventually she smiled, shaking her head. "You're all so fucking stubborn." She said. "How the hell do I put up with the four of you?" Fun Ghoul grinned, "Because you love us really."
"I guess so, huh?"
The two of them did come to a compromise. Fun Ghoul would stay in the room, effectively 'resting' while keeping an eye on Party Poison. It's what Fun Ghoul wanted to do anyway, but he refused to stay on his own bed, and he insisted on Rave letting him check over Party Poison. "You did it all yesterday. I'm sure there's plenty of other things that need doing, let me do this."
"Yes, but-""Enough buts! Go, get outta here. Make sure Saint isn't antagonising anyone again." Rave laughed, and though Fun Ghoul had meant for it to be funny, he couldn't help feeling uncomfortable when talking about Saint Jimmy.
Fun Ghoul was almost scared to pull back the covers again. What if Party Poison still wasn't getting any better? What if, somehow, he had gotten worse? Fun Ghoul didn't trust what Saint Jimmy said, not even slightly. He believed there was still something inside Party Poison. He just wasn't sure if it was the stuff BL/Ind had put in him, or if it was the 'antidote' Saint Jimmy had administered that they should be worried about.
When he did look, Fun Ghoul was greeted with a pleasant surprise. "Finally, Poison." The bruises where changing their colour, darkening. As Fun Ghoul carefully checked under each bandage he saw they were healing, if only slightly. If he'd brought himself to take a closer look at Party Poison's face, he would've realised this all before. The cuts were closing, he was clearly, finally making some progress.
Happily focusing on redressing some areas that needed it most, Fun Ghoul said, "Ok, Poison. Now all we need is for you to wake up."
Fun Ghoul stayed with him a little while longer, but he knew the others would want to know about this. Pleased to discover he found walking to not be quiet as painful as he thought it would be, Fun Ghoul, took one last look at Party Poison, "I'll be right back, or, someone will."
Rave practically pounced on Fun Ghoul as soon as he walked in the room. "Are you ok? Are you sure you-""I'm fine, Rave." Fun Ghoul told her, smiling. "And, I have some good news." He added, addressing everyone else now, Kobra Kid stood up, looking hopeful. "Is he-?""Not yet." Fun Ghoul interrupted, not wanting his friends to get their hopes up too much. "But… He is healing now, he's getting better. Poison is on his way back to us, finally." Rave closed her eyes, and smiled. Fun Ghoul looked to the others, they were also smiling, it was about time they had some good news.
"So, anyone want to take over from me?" Fun Ghoul asked, he didn't really want to let someone else take over, but he knew he wasn't the only one who wanted to stay with Party Poison, they all did.
The voice that piped up first was not one he'd been expecting.
Their attention was drawn to the doorway, through which Saint Jimmy was just coming through. "And where the hell have you been?" Rave asked him, icily. Saint Jimmy just shrugged. "Around. Anyway, figure it's about time I took on my responsibilities, must be my shift to watch over poor defenceless Cherry Top."
"No." Fun Ghoul snapped, without hesitation. "Ghoul." Rave said, soothingly, "Jimmy just wants to help."
"Bullshit." Fun Ghoul muttered. "Ghoul! Surely Jimmy's done enough by now to earn at least some of our trust." And once again, he had the overwhelming urge to just tell her. Tell her everything, tell them all everything. To shout it, scream it. Tell them everything Saint Jimmy had done.
They'd tear the Saint to pieces.
It was the only thing gagging him.
"No, Rave, I don't want him being the one Poison wakes up to." Before there could be any further protest, Kobra Kid said, "I'll take over." Fun Ghoul was slightly surprised, though he knew she shouldn't have been. Apparently Kobra Kid had finally accepted whatever it was Party Poison was keeping from him, and decided to move past it. Then, as he headed toward the bedroom, "I don't like not being with him anyway." And that was, ultimately, the point.
Kobra Kid walked through the door, caught sight of the bed, of his brother, and hesitated. Ghoul said he was getting better. He's gonna be alright. Kobra Kid just had to hang onto that, anything else would scare him too much.
Finally he walked over, getting a chair and dragging it behind him. He waited until he placed it beside the bed, sat down, then, finally, he looked up at Party Poison again. "Hey, Poison. Missed you."
Later on, and Fun Ghoul was managing, often under the ever-watchful eye of Rave, to get on with some of their usual tasks. When Poison wakes up, she's not gonna let him move for a week. Fun Ghoul thought, with a grin.
He'd gone outside, finally alone for a little while. Though, of course that was dangerous. Meant it let his mind wander.
It was dangerous for another reason too.
"So." Fun Ghoul pretended he hadn't been startled by Saint Jimmy's voice. Turned slowly to face him.
Saint Jimmy was sat on the hood of the car, his legs straight out in front of him, his ankles crossed in a way that should've looked feminine, arms stretched behind him, hands planted firmly on the hood. Fun Ghoul didn't quite know why, but seeing him lounging there, on the car, made him furious. "Get the fuck off that." Saint Jimmy ignored him, carrying on as if Fun Ghoul hadn't said a word. "Tell me, Ghoul. Why didn't you want me and Cherry Top alone?" What the hell was he asking that for? Surely he knew the answer. "You know why."
"Worried I'd do something?"
"Basically? Yes." Fun Ghoul tried to shut out the images of last night. He was still disgusted by what he'd seen. And he knew Saint Jimmy would've gone further if Fun Ghoul hadn't stopped him. How far would he have gone? "What're you worried I'd do?" Saint Jimmy pushed. "You really have to ask?"
"No." Saint Jimmy said, shrugging. Then he looked up, fixing Fun Ghoul with a nasty, pleased look. "But I want to hear you say it."
"I'm not playing your stupid game, Saint." And he turned his back, turned to leave.
Far too quickly, unnervingly quick, Fun Ghoul felt a hand grab his shoulder, stopping him. Fun Ghoul froze, something told him he'd made a wrong move, now he had to play it smart. Saint Jimmy's other hand on his other shoulder, both hands gripping a little too tight. Saint Jimmy's mouth to his ear, "Go on." He purred. "Say it. Say what it is you're so worried I'll do to your precious leader, your darling fuck buddy.""He is not-!" Fun Ghoul forced himself to calm down, to not rise to this. Saint Jimmy wanted a reaction, he had to resist giving it to him. "Don't talk about him like that." Fun Ghoul said, instead. Again, Saint Jimmy ignored him. "What're you scared of?" Saint Jimmy asked, his grip loosening on one shoulder, then moving his hand to brush back Fun Ghoul's hair, away from his ear. Fun Ghoul held back the shudder, somehow. This is how it started for Party Poison, Fun Ghoul guessed. Light touches, too slow to be innocent. "C'mon." Saint Jimmy urged, his lips practically touching Fun Ghoul's ear now. "It's just you and me. You can say it, out loud. It won't make it real. Just say what it is you're so scare-" Fun Ghoul couldn't take it anymore, he didn't care what might happen to him now. He shoved Saint Jimmy off him, miraculously turning around quickly enough to face him before Saint Jimmy could get over what just happened. "That you'll touch him!" Fun Ghoul shouted at him, while he was still straightening up. "That you'll finish what you started and this time you'll actually…" He couldn't say it though. He couldn't bring himself to finish that sentence. And Saint Jimmy knew it. Grinning wickedly, he taunted, "Say it. You fucking coward, say it!"
"Rape him!" The words fell out of Fun Ghoul's mouth before he could stop them. How the hell did Saint Jimmy always do that to him?
The grin turned triumphant, Saint Jimmy knew he'd won, again.
Kobra Kid kept his eyes steadily on Party Poison, he felt awkward, just watching him. But then he started talking to him, and that felt a little more natural. "So… Finally getting better, that's good. I wasn't sure when… I guess that means you're coming back to us soon, right?" Then he did feel stupid again. Why was he asking questions? It only made it harder when he didn't get a response. "This is weird… It's not supposed to be this way round. I'm the little brother, remember? You're the one who should be here… You should be…" Kobra Kid paused, and started to look away, forced himself to keep focused on Party Poison. "I remember when it was the other way around… Do you still remember it? So long ago now… When we first ran. We were all coming off the drugs then, and it was so fucking hard. I remember you telling me day after day after day 'It will get better, I promise. Just hold on.' And it did, for the rest of you, got easier, each day. I watched you all get stronger, better. You all stopped getting the headaches, you stopped shaking and shivering, you stopped crying out. All of you, except me… I stayed exactly the same. Until I got worse."
"Ray, what do you think? Today a good day to head out? Maybe finally get an idea of the area?" Ray looked up at Gerard, and nodded. "Seems like a good time to do it." Gerard smiled, something he hadn't let himself do for a while now, but it finally felt like they were getting somewhere. They'd escaped the city, escaped control, escaped the drugs. The future was stretched out ahead of them, and it felt like nothing could get in their way anymore.
Then Frank came running in, the white, terrified look on his face immediately tearing the hopefulness out of Gerard. Before he could even ask, Frank said. "It's Mikey." Gerard felt himself freeze, completely. He knew his brother was finding it more difficult than the rest of them. He knew he wasn't getting past the effects as quickly, but he'd always expected him to get past it. So why was the look on Frank's face so clearly telling him things had got worse?
Mikey had begged Frank not to get Gerard. "I'll be fine, honest, Frank, please, don't-" But Frank had ignored him, gone to find Gerard anyway. Leaving Mikey alone. That's what scared him more than anything, being alone. He'd grown used to the constant, throbbing headache, to the awful urge to find more drugs, take them, take the pain away. He'd got used to feeling weak and slow, got used to feeling cold. All. The. Time.
But this morning… Something happened. He felt like a switch had been flicked inside him, inside his head, inside his body, turning the intensity up. The headache had increased, to the point where it was practically audible, ringing in his ears. And now the urge had a voice, a nasty little voice. He didn't want to think about the things it was saying, they were horrible, horrific things. He'd rather listen to the thumping of his brain instead.
When Frank finally came back with Gerard, Mikey was curled up on his bed, hidden under the covers, like a small child hiding from imaginary monsters. "Shit." Gerard muttered as soon as he caught sight of him, already heading over, then dragging the covers off him. Mikey fought him at first, but soon gave in, his brother was stronger. Instead Mikey curled up tighter, hiding his face. "No. No. Please. Don't."
"Mikey. Stop it, let me look at you, you're scaring me." Gerard told him, firmly, trying not to let his voice betray just how scared he really was, his hands trying to gently coax Mikey into sitting up, untangling himself. When he finally was sat up, he still hid his face, he didn't want anyone to see him, and he didn't want to see anyone. Gerard kept one hand on Mikey's back, he could tell his younger brother was having trouble supporting himself, just wanted to collapse again. With his other hand, Gerard attempted to stop Mikey from covering his face. "Just let me see you, please, Mikey, c'mon." Finally Mikey gave in, his hands dropped.
He looked… Drained. Impossibly white, tired, and very, very ill. Gerard put his hand to Mikey's forehead. "Fuck, Mikey, you're burning." Mikey shook his head. "Freezing."
Carefully holding Mikey as best he could, Gerard looked to Frank, "What the fuck do we do?" Frank's eyes went wide. "You're asking me? I don't fucking know! None of us do, Gerard, this whole 'rebelling' doesn't exactly come with fucking instructions!"
"Then help me think of something!" Frank looked away, rubbing his face, trying to think. "Gee." Mikey said, quietly. "Let me go a second, please." Gerard frowned. "Why? What do you-"
"Please!" The force of the word made Gerard do it automatically. Then Mikey leaned over the other side of the bed, and was sick.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck." Gerard muttered, helping Mikey back up again. "Stop holding me up, please." Mikey begged. Gerard ignored him, moving slightly so Mikey could lean back against him. He was looking at Frank again, who looked shocked at what'd just happened, his face also pale, though nowhere near as much as Mikey's. "Now this is not fucking ok. Frank, help me, what the fuck do we do?" Gerard was panicking more than he was letting on, and Frank could tell, he could see the fear in his eyes. He didn't know what was happening and he didn't know how to help his brother. Unfortunately, neither did Frank. "Gerard, I don't… I don't know!"
"Gee." Mikey said, quietly. He knew what he needed, he knew what would make things ok again. But he also knew what Gerard's answer would be. He needed the drugs, and he knew Gerard would flat out refuse. So instead of asking, he said, "I'm sorry."
Then he'd passed out entirely.
"You stayed with me… For days, all that time. You think I don't remember. The withdrawal. You thought I was too far gone. I wasn't. I came in and out, but I knew what was happening. And… I could hear you… All the time you were talking to me. And… Just a few times… I saw you too. I'm just hoping…" Kobra Kid trailed off, watching Party Poison's eyes especially, hoping for a tell tale twitch, something, anything. "C'mon, Poison, please, give me something. I'm not as good as you, I can't wait as long. I need you, Poison, please! I need my fucking brother back!"
Shit, when had he started crying? Again. Fucking hell, what'd happened to him? Where was the strong, not afraid of anything, doesn't take anyone's shit Kobra Kid he'd become so long ago?
But… He was afraid of one thing. And it was something that made him feel so small again. "Please, Gerard, I fucking hate missing you."
If he hadn't taken a second to angrily swipe away his tears, he might've seen what he'd been so desperate to see.
Party Poison's eyelids twitched slightly. Fluttered. Opened ever so slightly. Closed again.
Kobra Kid looked back just in time to see Party Poison's eyes open again, slowly.
He couldn't believe it at first, couldn't believe it was finally happening. His heart pounding, Kobra Kid leant forward, close as he could, his hand grabbing one of Party Poison's, holding it tight. I'm here, I'm here, come on, please, I'm here. "Gerard, Gee? Gerard, can you hear me?" And finally, though it'd clearly been a struggle, Party Poison opened his eyes completely, immediately focused on Kobra Kid. He smiled a little, and, very slightly, squeezed Kobra Kids hand. Kobra Kid's eyes were wide, happy, astonished. "Gerard! Oh holy shit, I-""Doubting me, little brother?" Party Poison's voice was small, sounded like it was hard to talk, but he got those words out, and Kobra Kid was more than grateful. And though every bit of sense told him not to, Kobra Kid couldn't stop himself, he threw himself forward, and took Party Poison into his arms.
Party Poison winced. "Sorry." Kobra Kid told him, though barely loosing his hold. He didn't want to let his brother go. "Fuck." He muttered, "I missed you Gee."
Then, suddenly remembering there were other people who'd been missing Party Poison, he gently let go. "I gotta get the others!" Kobra Kid said, excitedly, big smile on his face. "I'll be right back, I promise." Party Poison smiled back, didn't bother trying to reply, Kobra Kid was dashing out before he got the chance.
He couldn't wait to see everyone again, they might not understand how exactly, but he'd missed them too.
Especially one of them.
"Guys!" No one even had to ask, they saw the look on Kobra Kid's face, could hear the excitement in his voice.
Party Poison was back.
They all hurried after Kobra Kid, but once they got past the door they slowed, as if everything suddenly hit them. They finally, really, had Party Poison back, it's what they'd been waiting for, but none of them knew how he was going to react to them. None of them knew exactly what he'd been through. What they did know was they'd have to be careful with him, as much as he'd probably hate that. And they also knew they'd never been happier to see their leader than right now.
Kobra Kid hurried back to Party Poison first, he had none of the reservations of the others, possibly due to the fact that he'd been there when Party Poison woke up, this wasn't as new to him. "Told you I'd be right back." Kobra Kid said. Party Poison smiled, "Help me up, Kid?" His voice was sounding stronger already, something they could take to be a good sign. As Kobra Kid did as his brother asked, taking some of his weight, helping him sit up, moving the pillow behind him and guiding him back, the others crowded around the bed, all desperately wanting to see Party Poison, to see how he was. "Hey." Party Poison said, as Kobra Kid sat back finally, "C'mon, I'm not that pretty." The other Killjoys laughed. "Oh yeah." Jet Star said. "He's back." It was more than a relief to hear Party Poison say something like that, so casual, joking. It felt like things were already back to normal. Jet Star came closest first, boldly reaching out a hand to place on Party Poison's shoulder. "It's good to have you back." Party Poison nodded. "Trust me, it's good to be back." Then Jet Star moved back, allowing Rave to come forward, though she was hesitant.
She'd been as anxious as anyone to see Party Poison again. But now he was back… What if he was still mad at her, for staying behind? What if he thought she was mad at him for leaving her? She edged closer, and finally, quietly said, "Hey." Rave looked up at him in time to see him smile at her, as he replied, "Hey." And that was enough. A rush of emotion, and the words started tumbling out of her mouth "Poison, I'm so sorry I-""I know." He interrupted. He understood. And, completely unexpectedly, to any of them, including Rave herself, she moved forward, one hand lightly on Party Poison's face, and kissed him.
Fun Ghoul had been the one to hold back the most. He wasn't exactly sure why, this was what he'd stayed awake at night for. Seeing Party Poison, awake, again. But in reality, he was just as scared as Rave had been. So much had happened, there was so much they needed to talk about, so much neither of them would really want to talk about.
And then, of course, there was the small matter of the fact that Fun Ghoul had finally admitted his feelings towards Party Poison to himself. Seeing him awake, and relatively alright again reminded Fun Ghoul how hard this was going to be, being around him, having to push those feelings away.
When Rave kissed Party Poison, Fun Ghoul looked away, and hated himself for it.
Then he heard Party Poison's voice, addressing him. "What's the matter Ghoul? Not pleased to see me?" He teased. Fun Ghoul smiled, a ridiculously easy smile as he looked at Party Poison again. He shrugged. "It's alright, I guess."
He could've kicked himself for that reply. All he'd wanted was to tell Party Poison how much he'd missed him, how scared he'd been, how pleased he was to have him back. Over and over again over the past few days Fun Ghoul had run though what he was going to say to Party Poison when he finally woke up.
'it's alright, I guess' didn't even come close.
"Don't let him fool you, Poison." Rave said. "Ghoul's barely left your side since we got you back here. He's just trying to be cool. He's as pleased as all of us to have you back." Party Poison's gaze hadn't left Fun Ghoul, watching him steadily, watching his reaction. Fun Ghoul found it difficult to look back at first, but when he did, he saw Party Poison smiling at him, and he couldn't help but wonder…
Did Party Poison already know?