Someone Out There Loves You After All (Gerard Way)
Chapter 23: Happy Birthday
After all the drama at the coffee shop went down Gerard, my Mother and I went back to the apartment I'd been staying at.
Sticking to her typical personality I didn't get to ride back in the car with Gee, I was forced to sit in the passenger seat while she questioned me like never before. To make sure I didn't get myself in to much trouble I just kept agreeing with everything she said, not wanting to enter an argument in seconds like we normally could.
An interesting thing about my Mother and I is that as well as we could get along really well...then the next moment we could be wishing death on each other.
I didn't want drama, I just want to go back to Gerard's apartment and be in a place where Mum can't ask the questions she'd been keeping to herself around him.
"So did you use protection?" I looked at her, the stereotypical teenage whining of 'mum' ready to leave my lips at a moments notice.
"No." I decided it'd be wisest to just tell her so she could drop it.
We've always been more friends than mother and daughter so it's been easy for us to talk about sex before but now that I'd done it things were completely different.
"Do you love him?" Was her next question and I didn't even have to think before answering.
"Yes, of course I do."
"And are you prepared for how the fans will react to hearing that you're dating him?" I frowned, she'd confused me and I wasn't sure how to respond.
"Sweetheart, you heard about Yoko Ono, Beatles fans hated her for marrying Lennon. There's a good chance some people will hate you for being with Gerard." I wasn't willing to give him up for anything in the world, it didn't matter what people thought of me.
"That's their problem," I shrugged, "I love Gerard and if they don't like it then they'll have to get used to it."
"Well what are you planning to do about those people who want to kill you? You can't stay in hiding forever, you have to do something." I don't know, I think I could happily live with Gerard for a few more years.
"I think you should go to the police." I shook my head, Gerard and I had explained to her that we couldn't do it.
"What if he gets arrested? He didn't mean to shoot that guy but they won't care, he could get in trouble. Besides, you've seen movies, I bet the mafia will be in cahoots with the police." Really, I just said the word cahoots, I'm teenagering wrong.
"You might need to risk it. That man was trying to kill you, what Gerard did was manslaughter and it was to save your life." She didn't understand, I don't know how but I could just feel that something bad would happen.
"What will they do then? Put us in witness protection until they can find who wants to kill us? Gee has an album to record and friends, he can't drop everything and neither can I." I have Dayna and school that I've been ditching, a job, I couldn't throw it away.
"In that case I want you to come back to Australia with me." I felt my eyes widen at her statement, not believing she'd go to that degree.
"No, no, Mum, I can't. Please don't make me." I was almost begging, already imagining how horrible it'd be to say goodbye to Gerard, knowing what he has done to himself in the past.
"It's either that or going to the police, you have two choices." It was a cruel ultimatum and I didn't want to say yes to either options.
"Maybe they'll forget! The mafia are busy people, they could just forget they need to kill us!" I was almost shouting, panicking, knowing my Mum would drag me into the plane if she had to.
She looked at me with a sad expression that pulled the corners of her lips down, "they don't forget, those kind of people never do." Her eyes went back to the road, hands tightening on the wheel and signalling it was the end of the conversation for the moment.
The car remained silent until we got to Gerard apartment building, him waiting out the front in a black beanie with his hands in his pockets. I got out jogged over to him in my eagerness to escape the awkward silence between my Mother then grabbed his hand, holding it tightly.
"Whats the matter?" He asked, knowing something had gone wrong during the car ride.
"I'll tell you later." I murmured, not wanting Mum to hear me and bring the topic up right now, I wanted to have a nice birthday, make a cake with Gerard, hang out with the guys, that's it.
He keyed the code to the building in and the door opened, allowing us to enter.
The short trip to his apartment was quiet until we got inside, then Mum wanted a full tour from both of us.
It was short and sweet, since the flat wasn't too big and there wasn't much to show her. Of course things got weird when she asked if we slept in the same bed or not and I was forced to mumble a response.
Now I was in the kitchen with Gerard both of us attempting to follow a recipe from a book while Mum was in the other room looking at Gerard's artwork.
I'd taken her ability to get distracted easily as a blessing and had a low volume conversation with Gee about the choices I had forced on me in the car.
"Mum said I had to either talk to the police about what's happened or go back to Australia with her." I said, giving him the flour from the pantry and grabbing a mixing bowl at the same time.
As I'd expected he was surprised and froze for a moment before blinking and leaning against the bench.
"I think we should talk to them." He turned back around the dumped some flour into a bowl before taking a glance into the book on the bench.
"What happened to 'it'd be better if we just pretended nothing ever happened.'" I quoted him word for word from a conversation we'd had a while ago about going to the police.
"I didn't think I'd return to the band then, now I'm going to be onstage and the mafia or whatever you want to call those people will see me. They'll know who I am and since you're staying here, if they find me they'll find you, I refuse to let you get hurt." I didn't care about myself and as I've thought and said a million times now, it was my fault he was in this situation.
"But there's a chance they won't." I murmured, he moved towards me then placed his hands on my shoulders and smiled sweetly.
"It's still not a risk I'm willing to take," he told me, his tone sounding final, "you mean too much." I sighed and nodded before he leant down and brightly pressed his lips to mine, warmth spreading from my mouth outwards.
"Gerard, these drawings of yours are incredible." Mum said, walking out of the hallway and holding his beloved art book.
I knew well from the time I'd spend with him that he really hated having anyone touch his art so it was of no surprise when his hand on my shoulder tightened ever so slightly.
"Thank you, Margo." He replied, loosening his grip on me so I could walk over and take the drawings from my Mother before he had an aneurysm.
Being careful with them I carried the book of intricately inked cartoons and sketches back to the their proper place and put them away.
It wasn't his drawings that he was as sensitive about as much as the art book. If he'd tacked the sketch to the wall then you could basically do anything you wanted with them.
It was just the ones that were put away which held a different level of importance.
I could totally understand how he felt, after all I'm an artist as well that the thought of anyone touching my mural or seeing it before it's finished terrifies me.
If I could I would have shown it to Gerard by now but I haven't had the chance finish it so as far as I know it'll never be completed.
I walked back to the kitchen and the originally powdery makings for a cake were now ready to be put into a mould.
Mum was sitting by the breakfast bar, holding an album, turning it over in her hands and squinting to read it while Gerard mouthed something or other to himself.
"Lyx, could you send a message out to the guys? All their contacts are there, just invite 'em over, say we're at the old art flat." I nodded and picked his cell up from the bench before going to messages.
'Gerard says to come over, we're at his old art flat - L'
I linked the text up to the bands numbers then hit send, it shouldn't be that hard for them to figure out who L is. One I was sure the message had been sent I put his phone down and leant on the counter.
"Need any help?" I asked, for once in my life wanting to do something, maybe the fact I'm seventeen is starting to kick in.
"Not really but do you think this tastes good?" Gerard scooped some of the cake batter up on his finger and held his hand out, wanting me to try it.
He could have just used the spoon but oh well.
Trying to not make it look suggestive since my Mum was sitting right next to me I licked the batter from his finger.
"Almost perfect, maybe a bit more vanilla though." He nodded and added some to the mix as Mum put the cd down.
"How is the bands album coming along?" She wondered, neatly folding her arms on the counter and watching while Gerard put the cake into the heated oven.
"Fantastic, we're thinking we'll be ready to get it out by August at the latest. I'd like to aim for early July." From what I'd gotten to hear while at the studio I reckon July would be the most likely month of release.
"There's an amazing song called Famous Last Words," I told her, getting a smile from Gerard, "some of the lyrics were inspired by a, um, close source." He laughed and walked out of the kitchen, stopping behind me, putting his chin on my shoulder and both arms around my waist.
"I see you lying next to me, with words I thought I'd never speak. Awake and unafraid, asleep or dead." He murmured into my ear and my heart fluttered.
"I'm feeling really excited for this album, I think the tour's gonna be big." He added at a normal volume but I frowned at mention of a tour.
I'd completely forgotten he would be going on tour once the album was out, it'd mean travelling across the world.
I wouldn't get to see him everyday.
It'd just be school, school and more school with Skype thrown in if he wasn't tired after a gig.
World tours, they could last for years, not to mention any other shows My Chem might be asked to perform.
"There's definitely going to be a music video or two. There's some ideas we've been thinking over for a while actually. I'm just looking forward to seeing the fans to be honest." It was nice to hear the happiness in his voice but the thought that I'd have to give him up for a while so he could tour weighed heavily on my mind.
The doorbell rung and Gerard let me go, looking like he was going to answer it but I told him not to worry and went myself.
I didn't even have to open the door to know who was standing behind it, the loud voice was enough.
"Hi, Frank." I greeted him, opening the door to see the noisy guitarist who seemed to have been talking to himself.
"Hey, Lyric. What are you doing here?" He asked, putting his hands in his pockets and taking a step into the apartment.
"I'm living with Gerard." I don't know how he could have forgotten, I'd told the whole band I'd been staying with Gerard only yesterday.
"I know, I'm just mucking around." Frank laughed, ruffling my hair in a slightly condescending manner that left me feeling insulted, "happy birthday by the way." He leant in and gave me a squashing hug.
Alright I definitely don't remember telling anyone that it was my birthday today.
"Hi! Who are you?" He walked over to my Mum while I closed the door and tried to guess when he found out it was my birthday.
"This is Lyric's mother Margo who is here from Australia and Margo this is Frank." Gerard said, introducing the two who waved to each other before Frank got distracted by something out a window.
"Can I show you something?" Gerard asked, taking my hand and stopping me from staring at Frank.
"Sure." I smiled, following Gee away from the kitchen and into what was pretty much just his art room now.
He closed the door behind us and I sat down on the bed that had been returned to its original state as a couch.
"I was planning to keep it to myself but I decided since it was your birthday that I might as well show it to you." Gee started searching a filing cabinet, muttering to himself at the same time, I crossed my legs and leant back against a pillow, watching him pull hundred of papers out a drawer before making a sound of satisfaction when he appeared to find what he was looking for.
He sat down next to me, a thick art book not too different from the one I'd seen earlier in his arms.
"I'd never been planning to complete it but I remember how liked my artwork so I decided to finish what I started." He placed the book on my lap, a somewhat nervous smile on his face as I opened it.
'The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way'
The art was absolutely amazing, I didn't have enough words for it.
Different characters completely inked and coloured filled the pages that I flicked through, each one more captivating than the last. Gerard pointed to one of the drawings, it was a men with the head of a human and the body of a monkey.
"That's Spaceboy," he then moved his finger to another character, "Rumour..." He continued to list names, telling me about their powers and their backgrounds, what roles they had in each other's lives, what they would do.
We must have been in the room for an hour, just talking about the comic.
"I'm thinking I'm gonna try to get this published," he said, taking the book back when I handed it to him, "do you think I'd have a chance?"
"Hell yeah, if I were to see a comic like this for sale I'd buy it." I told him, happily grinning, feeling in a good mood from the conversation.
"Alright, I'm gonna do it. I'll try to get The Umbrella Academy published." He got up and put the comic on top of the filing cabinet, I stood and walked over to the door, assuming we'd finished talking.
"By the way, if the guys start any inappropriate behaviour, feel free to kick them out." I laughed, it was nice of him to say I could do it but I would have kicked them out anyway.
"Sure," I stepped into the hallway, leaving the door open for Gerard, "the cake should be ready by now shouldn't it?" He nodded and followed me into the hallway then into the living room.
The rest of the band had showed up, Ray and Bob were sitting on the couch talking to Mum while Mikey and Frank were in the kitchen doing something that involved them having their backs turned.
Ray stopped talking to my Mum for long enough to look at Gerard and I and wave.
"Oh, Lyric. We got you a present, sit down and wait if you want it." Frank called out over his shoulder, continuing to mess around in the kitchen with Mikey who was surprisingly laughing.
Gee took my hand and tugged me to an armchair in the corner of the room, the last available sitting space left, at least without Ray and Bob having to squish together on the couch which I don't think either of them would enjoy.
Instead of taking the spot for himself, Gerard sat in the giant chair and with a sharp pul sent me tumbling into his lap, a blush spreading easily on my cheeks thanks to how shamelessly he was flirting.
"Mikes, you can do the honours. I'll finish up here." I overheard Frank talking to Mikey and got interested, assuming the 'honours' was the present he'd mentioned.
The ganglier of the Way brothers picked up a small, square gift and walked over, holding the it out and smiling, "happy birthday." I took the present with a 'thank you' then turned to Gerard, getting a nod from him to open it.
With an uncontrollable grin on my face I hooked a nail into the wrapping paper and easily ripped it off, uncovering the plain and simple album. The front and back were black with the exception of 'The Black Parade' written clearly across it in a silver marker, it was minimal and pretty.
"It's the first finished copy of the album," Gerard explained, "since you were the one who made me able to finish it, I want you to be the first fan to hear it." My grin managed to get wider and I opened the case, looking at the plain cd inside.
"You guys are some of the awesomest people in the world." I announced to the whole room, seeing Ray and Bob, who had stopped talking to my Mother, smile.
"Put it on," Gerard encouraged me and I quickly went to the stereo, feeling eager to hear the album, "try track thirteen." I had planned to listen to each song but I decided to do what he said instead.
I adjusted the volume so it'd be loud enough for the whole room to easily hear the music but not to the point of the neighbours wanting to file a noise complaint.
"Now I know that I can't make you stay. But where's your heart? But where's your heart? But where's your...and I know. There's nothing I can say, to change that part." It took me a second to recognise the song since I wasn't used to hearing it with an instrumental accompaniment but once I caught on I felt like a kid who had free rein in a candy store.
"This is the song!" I yelled jumping up and down excitedly, not caring who was watching or listening, this is the song he improvised, the one I got to hear him record the vocals to in person, this is so awesome!
I ran over to Gerard, jumped on him and he laughed before pinning me down by wrapping his arms around me, I didn't mind though.
Mum looked fascinated, her eyes slightly narrowed and her head cocked to the side, absorbing every word like I'd seen her do when I introduced her to new bands. Then there was the band of course who were being very macho and doing a lot of high fiving and back clapping.
Then there was Gerard and I, we were waiting for a very certain line and remained completely silent until it came up.
"These bright lights have always blinded me, I say. I see you lying next to me, with words I thought I'd never speak. Awake and unafraid. Asleep or dead." His arms got even tighter and I snuggled into him before turning my head enough to kiss him, hoping everyone in the room would be more focused on the song than us.
"I love you." I told him between kissing, taking an opportunity to catch my breath.
"I love you too, and huh isn't that funny? They're words I thought I'd never speak."