solarbaby614: (MCR-Party Back)
solarbaby614 ([personal profile] solarbaby614) wrote2011-12-16 11:34 pm

Fic: These Kids Are A Disgrace (1/2)

Title: These Kids Are A Disgrace
Author: [livejournal.com profile] solarbaby614
Word Count: 12912
Summary: How Gerard became Party Poison and then Gerard again. A.k.a the exterminator!Gerard fic.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: All I own is the plot.
Author's Notes: I originally started this fic for [livejournal.com profile] bandombigbangbut it didn't get finished in time so I finished it for [livejournal.com profile] journeystoryinstead. This is the first time I've actually finished a fic for a bigbang before and I'm excited! Thanks so much to everyone who put up with all my whining about finishing this fic, especially [livejournal.com profile] dj_rocca, [livejournal.com profile] m14mouse, and [livejournal.com profile] nightswhisper. Also, I can't remember the last time I wrote a gen fic. Have I ever wrote a gen fic?

Art: Podfic by sylvaine



After

" Listen up, all you dust angels and turf chasers. These waves are carrying bad news today. It seems that the leader of the Killjoys himself, that's right our very own Party Poison, has gotten himself ghosted trying to return everyone's favorite motorbaby back to her place in the zones. So we raise our glasses to you and bid to a fond farewell for the time being. Smile now, zonerunners, and remember that it's never over until we stop coming back."


The diner is too silent when they get back, too empty. Kobra can hear Grace muffling her sobs against Jet's jacket and Ghoul doesn't even look before he heads to the back room, probably gonna try and send a wave Dr. D's way. He strips off his jacket the moment he gets inside, and then his shirt, which he chucks across the room, wanting to be as far away from the red stain on the chest. His hands are shaking when he tries to get the gun belt off and he has to press his hands on the counter to make them stop.

Kobra can't close his eyes because when he does all he can see is Gerard getting shot, hear his own shout, feel the blood as he tries to stop the wound. He can still hear his brother tell him to go, to take Grace and get out, that he would just slow them down, get them all killed.

He looks back when Ghoul pulls him away, even though he knows better. It was stupid and sentimental and he sees it when the Korse and the Dracs converge on Gerard.

The shaking hasn't stopped, if anything its gotten worse, and Kobra closes his eyes as he feels them start to get wet.

He lost his brother, again.

* * *

Show Pony shows up at dusk.

"I'm sorry," is all he says, but that's enough for Grace to start crying again.

He brings supplies with him, some of the good stuff from the flea market down in Zone 4. He's sweaty and there's glitter stuck to his skin, which makes Kobra realize that he must have come straight from one of the Fuck You houses in Zone 3 after hearing Dr. D's broadcast, since there are only two or three that could get their hands on the substance.

Jet Star just nods when he takes the supplies.

* * *

Kobra hates to think about the fact that there was ever a time he didn't have his brother, that there was a huge chunk of his life he knew nothing about. But he knows that life went on after he left the city, abandoning his brother to his nine to five job in Marketing. Things had been so boring back there, so tedious, and there had been times when he just wanted to scream just to break the monotony. He had always wondered what was beyond the walls and even Party had been curious when he'd been younger.

After the medication had changed he stopped caring though. Anytime Kobra would even mention going outside, Party would just look at him like he was crazy.

He joins the others in one of the booths, half eaten cans of pulp in front of them. After poking at his own for a new moments, he sets it down and looks at Grace. "What was he like?" Kobra asks her, because he has to talk about it, has to know, and no one else can tell him. "Back in the city, I mean.”

"He's always taken care of me. He was trying to protect me from Korse when we left." She still sniffling has she talks, wiping her face on the sleeve of her shirt. "I never liked Korse. He always freaked me out." She curls up against Ghoul, closing her eyes and for a moment Kobra thinks she's fallen asleep. "Party never liked him either. I think Korse realized it too. He was really bad a pretending."

"Pretending?" Jet asks, looking as confused as Kobra felt.

"Back when we lived in the city," Grace replies, "Party had to play nice cause they worked together."

Ghoul laughed, a bit sharp and empty but still real and Jet snorted. Even Kobra felt himself amused by the idea. "I never would have thought that Korse would have had much to do with marketing."

"What are you talking about?" Now Grace is wide awake, sitting up and looking between them all, confused. "Party used to be an exterminator, back when he was Gerard."

* * *

He can hear the humming of machinery when he struggles back to consciousness. His body hurts, likes he's spent too long in the training simulator, and he can hear a female voice above him.

"Welcome back, Agent Way."

Gerard blinks up at her, screwing up his face against the harsh light. It dims immediately and he can start to make out his surroundings as they snap into focus. "Did I go somewhere?"

* * *

Before

It starts out in zone three.

By the time Gerard gets there, the cleanup crew has already arrived. There are bodies littering the area and the transport van is full when it passes by. All in all, it looks like it had been a successful raid. Gerard almost feels sorry he missed it.

The dracs avert their gaze as he comes through, heading for the building. One of the bolder ones approach him when he gets inside. "It's completely clear, sir."

"Good," he replies, sparing him a look. Still, he takes a look himself.

The building is run down, dirty, and he can almost taste the germs in the air. It disgusts him how the desert rats live.

He's almost out the door when the crying begins. Gerard immediately looks over to the group of dracs, but they just glance between each other, confused. He rolls his eyes and heads toward the noise, pulling his gun.

The source is in the corner of the room, blocked from view by a couple of boxes. A pair of wide eyes blink up at him, startled when he shoves the boxes away. "Ugh." He holsters his gun and spins back around to face the dracs. "I thought you cleared this place," he spits.

"We did," one of them says, sounding sure.

He shoots them a look that has the group cringing back before biting out, "Obviously not."

The child starts crying again, this time louder. None of the dracs step forward to take the child so he bends down and picks it up. It stops crying, instead just watching at him speculatively.

One of the zonerunner's, no doubt. He shouldn't be surprised that one of them would abandon a child on its own to die while they saved their own skin. Maybe its parents were among the bodies being piled onto the trucks. Or it could have been among those who were in the transport, heading back for rehabilitation. It's possible that it was none of the above as well.

They stare at each other for a few moments before Gerard shoves it into the arms of a drac. "Just... do something with it."

He waves the group off, heading out the door. He doesn't pay attention to the way the child follows him with its eyes.

* * *

He’s completely forgotten about the whole incident when the file lands on his desk. It looks like the rest of the files sitting there, generic pale blue with a label neatly stuck to the tab. The only reason he even notices it is the fact that it’s sitting crooked on top of the stack, causing it to stick out like a sore thumb.

No one is stupid enough to mess with his desk and everything is always neat, organized, perfect and pristine. All new files are handed straight to him and his mail is always waiting for him on the table beside the office door, untouched.

There’s only one person who would even dare.

When Gerard looks up Korse is smiling at him from his own desk through the glass. It’s not pleasant, sharp with far too many teeth, and he has to bite his cheek from snarling back.

He opens the file, reads the cover page, then slaps it shut.

Korse is clearly amused when he slams on his desk. The smile is still there, mocking. “Is there a problem, Gerard?”

“What the hell is this?” he replies, motioning toward the file on his desk. He clearly recognized Korse’s signature as one of them who signed off on it.

He just leans back in his chair, looking smug. “They appear to be guardianship papers.”

Gerard slapped his hand down on the file, leaning over the desk. “I don’t need some desert brat wasting my time.”

“I’m afraid this isn’t an option, unfortunately. These orders come from above.” He waves his hands as if to say ’what can we do’. “It’s an experiment to see if this resistance is hereditary or if it can be raised out of them. Several other employees were also chosen for this as well if it makes you feel any better.”

There’s anger rising up inside him, boiling under the surface of his skin until he itches to lash out at the exterminator. He takes a couple of deep breaths to try and bring it under control. Straightening up, he readjusts his vest and brushes invisible lint off the shoulder. The anger was still there but buried deeply, under his control. Maybe he should see about upping his dosage.

Gerard takes the file back to his office, ignoring the way Korse watches him leave, the way he studies him, looking for a weakness to exploit.

There were no weaknesses there, Gerard is sure of that, and he is going to make sure it stays that way, he thinks as he props his feet up on his desk and opens the file.

It’s sparse, filled with vaccination records and basic information. There’s a snapshot pinned up near the top and he recognizes the kid. She looks better fed and is dressed in white. Clean and neat.

Her name is typed across the top of the page, along with her identi-number.

Grace.

It be worse, he supposes.

* * *

The case worker brings her by a few days later.

She keeps any disapproval over this to herself when he lets her in but he’s sure he sees it in her expression when she thinks he isn’t looking. But the woman, who introduces herself only as Case Worker 472, answers his questions as thoroughly as she seems to be able to.

Grace just sits on the floor through all of this, playing with a few of the learning toys that BL/ind produces.

The case worker leaves a stack of papers behind with her, this one thicker, filled with the mandated psychiatrist evaluation, which isn’t very long, mostly filled with social assessments, and dietary instructions. Gerard learns that she’s advanced for her age, though how they can tell he can’t be sure, and she’s malnourished.

There is a lot of stuff he still needs that he wasn’t aware of but he apparently knew enough to at least have the basics right. He makes a quick list of stuff that’s still missing and it comes out surprising long. If he delegates it to one of the dracs he can probably have everything he needs delivered to the apartment by tomorrow afternoon.

Gerard crouches down next to her, watching her work the blocks. “I guess we’re stuck with each other, huh?”

She throws a block at his head.

* * *

Gerard’s office sits on the 68th floor of Batter Towers, encased in glass and it overlooks the rats cubicles on the floor below. It’s a sign of his place, of his importance, of his job to make sure the city stays clean.

He’s always made sure that Grace knows that. Whenever she is there she has to maintain a certain respectable composure even though Gerard has never let her have any lingering contact with the dracs that work there.

Grace always stays in the office whenever he has to run out, working through one homework problem or another from her holopad.

This is why he freezes when he catches sight of them, stunned.

He can’t hear what’s being said, the glass is soundproof for security reasons, but from the look on Grace’s face he can pretty much guess what Korse is saying to her. Her fingers are white where she’s gripping her holopad and he can tell she close to saying something.

Grace isn’t stupid. This is something that Gerard is sure of. He’s raised Grace, watched her take in her lessons with great enthusiasm. She knows right from wrong, good ideas from bad ideas, what is acceptable and what isn’t.

But she is a kid, still not in completely in control and too young for most of the medication that could help her control her emotions.

Which is why he has takes the rest of the stairs two at a time and he’s still not in time to stop her from saying anything.

Gerard catches Korse’s wrist before he has a chance to backhand her. “I believe that is enough.” His grip on Korse is tight and he finds himself hoping that it’ll bruise before he lets go. He grabs Grace by the arm and pulls her away from Korse, wanting her as far from him as possible.

“You need to keep her under control, Gerard,” Korse says, his words low. “Or I will find someone who will.”

That‘s a threat, there are no two ways about it. His clutch on Grace‘s arm tightens slightly and she whimpers slightly but doesn‘t say anything. He doesn’t loosen his grip much, needing to make sure she won’t move. She seems to understand though because she stills. “I will make sure she’s properly punished,” Gerard bites out.

“You do that,” and that’s all he says before straightening his jacket and walking out.

Gerard glares as him as he leaves. By the time Korse has made it back to his office Gerard is pulling Grace out of the office, down the stairs, past the elevators and into the stairwell. It’s not likely that they will be found since it’s rarely used but he still has to be quiet. He spins around, keeping his back to the camera.

Grace is staring up at him, petrified. He can see tears starting to form in her eyes. It takes him a few moments to realize that she’s actually scared of him.

He lets go of her arm and takes a deep shaky breath. When he finally feels back in control, he kneels in front of her, placing his hands on her shoulder. “You can’t do that.”

There are tear tracks down her face. “He was being mean. He said bad things about you.”

She was defending him, he realizes. That was sweet. Stupid, but sweet. “It doesn’t matter,” his voice is loud and echoes down the stairwell making him cringe. He starts again, lowering his voice considerable. “I need you to understand, Grace, that he could take you away from me. All he’d have to do is say a word and you could be sent off packing to one of the children’s homes.” His hands get tighter at the thought. “I can’t protect you from him.”

Grace looks away from him, ducking her head down. “Don’t be mad. I’m sorry,” she sobs. Her tiny body begins to shake and he feels bad for telling her this, for making her cry. But she has to know this. He knows that Korse would take her away if he saw a reason to.

“Look at me.” He takes a hand and lifts her head up to look at him. “I’m not mad at you, okay? But you can’t say stuff like that to him again. I want you to promise me, Grace. Promise me that no matter what he says you won’t talk back.”

She throws herself at him, burying her face in his neck. “I promise. I promise, Gerard,” her muffled voice says into his neck. “Just don’t let him take me away.”

“I won’t.” He hugs her back as she cries against him. “I won’t let him take you away.”

* * *

She finds the broken piece of machinery out in zone two, picking through the rubble of the trashed building while Gerard supervises the draculoids that are loading up the prisoners. It's the knobs that catch her eyes first, the way the sun glints off of them, somehow still shiny and unrusted despite the elements. Grace carefully pushes aside the pile of clothes on top of it with her feet, Gerard's warning about desert predators other than zonerunners still ringing fresh in her mind. Nothing comes slithering out though and she grins, leaning down to wipe some of the dirt off of her new find.

"Wicked," she mutters in a low voice. She carefully picks it up, frowning when the back falls off, exposing a tangle of wires. Some of them look like they have been chewed on but there are a few that are still in good shape. It wouldn't be that hard to put it back together, to figure out how it works.

Just as soon as she figures out exactly what it is.

"What have you got there?"

Grace turns to see Gerard's familiar form standing in the doorway, the glaring sunlight making him look even paler, like some sort of phantom. It's comforting illusion. "I don't know," she replies, holding it up. "What is it?"

He frowns and crosses the room, kicking aside anything that gets in his way, and grabs it. Disgust crosses his face as soon as he recognizes it. "It's a radio," he spits and then he gives a snort as he gives it a closer examination. "Well, it used to be one."

"So..." Grace trails off, rocking back on her heels nervously. "Can I have it?"

He frowns. "Why would you want it?"

She shrugs, trying her best to look disinterested. From the look on Gerard's face it doesn't work very well. "It looks interesting. I want to see if I can put it back together."

Gerard shakes his head. "Not a chance. It's too dangerous for you to have." There was no way he could let her have it. Evaluations were already becoming more frequent as was the not so subtle remarks about letting her have too much freedom.

"It doesn't even work. What's so dangerous about it?" she asks. There’s nothing in her voice but pure curiosity and that’s the only thing that makes him falter slightly.

But he just shakes his head and holds it up. "This right here?” He shakes it a little. “This is an instigator and it creates nothing but trouble."

“I’ll be really careful with it! I promise! I just want to see how it works!” She seems excited about the idea, which doesn’t surprise him even a little bit. Putting things together, taking them apart. She liked to figure out how things worked, which he had always encouraged.

There‘s a heavy sigh and he can already feel the beginning of a migraine starting to form behind his eyes. “You’ll have to be careful to hide it, alright? And the moment you figure it out, it’s gone.”

She nods and reaches out to take it only to have him pull it away again, looking at her seriously. "You understand what kind of trouble you could get into just by having this, right? Working or not, it will be considered contraband."

Giving a long suffering sigh, Grace nods. "It'll be fine. I'll trash it as soon as I figure out how it works."

Indecision is still lingering on his face as he shakes his head and hands it over. "Just make sure you hide it," he hisses through his teeth.

She nods again, smiling animatedly, "I will. I promise." Shooting forward, Grace gives him a quick hug before heading for the door, glancing outside to make sure none of the draculoids are lingering nearby, and making a break for the car.

"I'm going to regret this," Gerard mutters under his breath, following her out.

* * *

“…listening to WKLI 109 live from Wolfblood Beach. The zones are running hot today, dust chasers, and the meters are off the scales. We’re checking our intake while the rats are running for cover. So head for the overhang and bump up your transmission modules as I pump out this new one from Mindless Self--.”

“What are you doing?”

Grace has the decency to look panicked as she jumps and spins around. Her hands slap at the radio, cutting off the noise and she moves in front of it, as if he couldn’t see it and then she wouldn’t be doing anything wrong. “Nothing?” she offers.

Gerard clinches his fist, knowing that the anger wouldn’t do any good. He still manages to bite out, “Is that a question or a statement?”

“Um,” she starts nervously, “yes?” At his incredulous look she straightens up, knowing he’s serious. “I mean, yes. It’s a statement.”

“And a lie,” he says. “Move.”

For a few seconds, he thinks she isn’t, that she’s just going to stand there and defy him, but finally her shoulders drop and she scuffles out of the way. Gerard moves over to the desk, devoid of the tools that are normally strewn on it. Things are nice and neat and he would have been proud if he the repaired radio wasn‘t sitting in the middle of it, standing out in the lack of chaos.

He turns the knob, needing to be sure, and music echoes through her room. It’s an interesting sound and he finds himself keeping the beat in his head. When he realizes just what he is doing, he hisses under his breath and turns it back off.

Then he snatches it up and turns to Grace, deadly serious. “This is gone. Now.”

“No, wait--” she starts but he cuts her off.

“Absolutely not. The agreement was that you fix it and you trash it.” His grip tightens as she actually starts to look alarmed at the idea. Anger, he could deal with, or even sadness, but the fact that she was already so enraptured by the machine was enough. “And this machine is clearly fixed.”

Tears start to fill her eyes and he has to look away. “Please don’t,” Grace begs.

He had known he was going to regret letting her have it. “I’m sorry,” he responds carefully. “But this is the way it has to be.”

She’s crying as he heads out the door, cutting the sound off as it closes behind him.

Gerard shoves it in a pillow case, intending to take it straight to the incinerator; sticking it in the trash compactor is too dangerous, there is too much of a chance someone could still find it. But at the last moment he pauses, looking down at the white fabric in his hand.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he remembers singing along. It was just the two of them, listening to some old records they had found in the basement, probably missed during the Wipe. He remembers being curled up, side by side, having to be quiet even when their parents weren’t home.

Gerard wraps a second pillowcase around the radio for good measure and shoves it in the back of the closet.

* * *

Grace is seven when the file ends up outside his apartment door.

He has no clue where it comes from, who sent it. It just appears there one day, tucked inside an envelope that’s placed inconspicuously under the BL/ind welcome mat. He completely misses it at first and Grace is the one who ends up pointing it out to him.

It was probably sitting there that morning, missed in the hurry of heading to drop Grace off at the pick-up point before heading into work.

She hands it over to him, looking only vaguely curious. They’d put her on a new prescription; she was finally old enough that she could tolerate something to ’even out her moods’ as they had put it. As far as he can tell all it does is make her less lively, less happy, less… everything. That’s probably the point, he guesses.

Gerard takes it from her as he pushes open the door and she heads in without a word, settling on the couch to work on her studies. He shakes his head as he rips it open, then frowns when he sees the blue folder inside. After a quick glance around, he slips inside and lets the door shut with a reassuring click. Only then does he pull the folder out.

There’s a confidential stamp on the front of the folder that only makes him pause momentarily before he flips it open. Many of the lines are blacked out, but he manages to get the gist of it. It’s a training order; he’s seen enough of them for the new draculoid recruits. Nothing really stands out to him and while he flips through it Gerard wonders if this is some sort of joke.

It’s not until he hits the ID list on the last page and the signature signing off on it that he realizes why this is important.

Grace’s ID number is one of them listed.

“Aw, hell.”

Grace doesn’t even look up.

* * *

He doesn't even think about what he's about to do. It's all on instinct, knowing exactly what he has to do. There isn't any other options; Gerard knows that he can't afford try and fight it. It would be a complete failure and put him under suspicion.

Gerard sends Grace to her room with the explicit instructions to pack a bag. She sends him a curious look but does as he says.

They can't take a lot with them and he only pauses for a moment before deciding what to take. It's not the first time he's been out in the zones, but it's the first time he's gone out there to say. There's water and food definitely, clothes too. He grabs the pillow case from the back of the closet before he can think about it and adds it to the bag.

He starts going through the drawers, making sure he hasn't missed anything he needs, and by the time he starts going through his closet he realizes that he has almost no personal possessions aside from clothes.

It's a startling revelation and he has to wonder when exactly that happened. Gerard knows he had quite a few when he moved in a few years ago; mementos from is childhood, pictures mostly.

He can't remember what happened to them, when they disappeared. He can't remember the last time he looked for them either.

There isn't time to contemplate it, unfortunately. They need to get down to the offices before the shift changes and he has to deal with unwanted questions.

Grace has clothes strewn out on her bed when he peers through the door. She's frowning, looking from them to her bag, unsure. When he enters, she looks up from the mess. "Where are we going?"

Gerard can hear actual emotions actually tinge her voice, confusion and excitement most likely. She's never gone anywhere with him before where she actually had to pack clothes. He usually leaves her under supervision whenever he goes anywhere where he's required to be gone for more than a day.

He shakes his head. "Just pack as much of your clothes as you can," he says. She nods and begins to shove stuff in there. He stops her when she starts to add her holopad. For a minutes he thinks she's going to argue but doesn't.

"Take a jacket," Gerard adds as an after thought.

They manage to get down to the SCARECROW offices and into the garage without a problem. The dracs don't even glance his way when they enter, knowing that they couldn't have gotten through without the proper security clearance.

Normally the breach in security would have him upset but right now its a complete relief.

Gerard takes the first key off the rack, not even looking at it until they reach the cars. It goes to a trans am, one of Korse's favorite cars, which Gerard finds himself amused to notice. It doesn't take long to pull the tracker from the engine and then they're gone.

They're heading through the tunnel when Grace speaks up, her voice quiet, "We're not going back, are we?"

He risks a glance her way, "No," he tells her, "we're not."

She contemplates that for a few minutes before nodding. "Good."

There's a light at the end of the tunnel and Gerard presses the gas a little harder.


* * *

The tank is running far too close to empty when he turns into the gas station in Zone 2. It looks like it should be abandoned but Gerard has, had, been an exterminator long enough to tell whether or not a building was occupied.

He’s never been here before but he picked it from the ripped page he took off the list of required shutdowns. Gerard carefully folds the page and slips it into his pocket.

No one comes out when he exits the car, and glances back, telling Grace to stay put.

The door is slightly ajar and he pushes it the rest of the way open, slipping inside carefully, one hand on the gun strapped to his hip. Maybe he’s wrong, maybe it is abandoned. If he’s lucky there’s still gas in the pumps; at least enough to get him to the next station on the list.

He makes it as far as the counter before he hears the noise. By then it’s too late and he can feel the gun at his back. “Exterminator scum,” the owner of the gun says.

Gerard takes his hand off his gun and raises them both in the air. “I didn’t come to make trouble,” he tells him, “We just need gas.”

The man snorts and the barrel of the gun is shoved harder into his back. “Yeah right. And let you run back to the city? I’d have the dracs here before nightfall.”

“We’re not going back to the city,” Gerard snaps at him.

There’s a disbelieving chuckle from behind him. “And why is that?”

For a moment Gerard wants to tell him why, wants to tell someone else just so he doesn’t feel like he’s completely crazy, but he doesn’t. It’s not safe. “We couldn’t stay there.”

It gets quiet behind him for a few seconds. “Move,” the man finally says, pressing the gun into him to get him moving. “Monkey’ll get pissed if I get blood on the floor.”

He lets the guy maneuver him towards the door. If he can just get outside he knows he can get back the upper hand. It’s only one zonerunner.

When they reach the door, the man freezes. “Fuck, that’s a kid.”

Grace hadn’t listened to him and was walking around the car, looking at her surroundings. The blank look she had been sporting since they’d left the city had faded some to Gerard’s relief. She freezes when she sees them and her eyes widen. “Gerard!” she calls.

“Grace,” he tells her firmly, “get back in the car.”

The pressure at Gerard’s back disappears and he spins around and backs away, putting himself between the man and Grace, drawing his gun. But the man is putting his own gun away, watching them with something akin to curiosity. “You really are runaways, aren’t ya?”

“Yep,” he says, and sees Grace nod as she peers around him.

The man nods, then glances toward the desert, where the sun was setting on the horizon, making the scene almost pretty. “Right then, you gotta place to crash? You really don’t wanna be out in the dust at night.” When Gerard doesn’t reply he continues, “We’ll get you gassed up and sent on your way in the morning.”

It sounds too good to be true, but the car is sitting on E and he really doesn’t enjoy the idea of him and Grace sleeping in his car tonight. Gerard can hear himself accepting the offer before he thinks about it. He knows he won’t sleep tonight but Grace will.

“Good,” the man says with a grin as he motions for them to follow him inside. Grace clings to him as they enter, watching the zonerunner with a strange look. “They call me Train Wreck.”

Gerard doesn’t have time to respond before another man come into the room, stopping short when he sees them.

“Another stray?” the other man asks Train Wreck, completely ignoring Gerard

Train Wreck glares at him, “Fuck off, Monkey.”

Monkey laughs.

* * *

“Where’s Gerard?”

Train Wreck turns and looks at Grace, who’s frowning at him, clutching her doll to her chest. “Up in front, watching the store.”

She shakes her head. “I checked. There’s no one up there.” At his alarmed look, Grace continued, “I locked the door so no one can come in.”

“Monkey’s probably conned him into helping him with something,” he growls, heading toward the garage. They both know better than to leave the front empty and vulnerable because shit like that is how they are going to end up getting robbed blind someday. He’s going to chew them both the fuck out when he finds them and he wonders momentarily if he should let Grace see this; it’s not going be fucking pretty.

Grace just shakes her head. “He told me he hasn’t seen him. That’s why I came to ask you.”

That makes him pause and turn to look back at her. “Well, that’s… not good.”

When they find him, Grace screams.

Train Wreck jerks at the sound and runs over to him.

Gerard is pale, even more so than usual. He’s cold but there’s a pulse and when he tries to move him he can see that Gerard is shivering slightly. His whole body is clammy but his clothes are damp with sweat. This is something that Train Wreck has seen a thousand times before.

“What the hell was that?” Grease Monkey glares that them, shoving his way into the room with a loud bang of the door, but any actual distain on his face drops away when he sees Gerard laying there. “Shit, is he dead?”

“Dead?“ Grace‘s eyes widen at this and her arms tighten around the doll. “Is he dead? He’s dead, isn’t he?” comes from Grace, her voice cracking. Just the idea seems to devastate her.

He shakes his head at her. “He isn’t gone on us yet.” Turning toward Monkey, he says, “We need to move him. Give me a hand. ”

Grease Monkey gains a look of disgust as he helps Train haul him up. “Fucking nitro popper,” he mutters under his breath, “should have dumped his ass in one of the fuck you houses and got it over wi-- ow.” He automatically grabs his leg, cringing, because jesus can that little girl pack a punch when she needs to. Gerard almost falls to the floor. “Crap!”

A groan comes from the unconscious man but he doesn’t wake up.

It takes some doing but they finally manage do get him back to his room, dumping him on the cot. Wreck can’t help but cringe when his head bounces.

“Is he going to be okay?”

He starts to tell her that he might not be, that junkies sometime crash so hard they never make it back up, but when he looks at her he realizes that he can’t. She’s a little kid, one that doesn’t deserve this and he sure as fucking hell isn’t going to be the one to tell her that he might not wake up. Wreck smiles, hoping it doesn’t come off as fake as it really is. “He’ll be fine.”

“If he ever wakes up.“ Monkey doesn‘t seems to have the same problem, though.

Wreck sends him as nasty look and hisses, “Shut up.”

“What did I say?” He seems legitimately confused so he motions over to kid and he finally seems to get it because he just goes, “Aw, hell.”

Grace is just watching them with clear alarm. There are tears starting to form in her eyes and he sees Monkey wince. It would serve him right to have to deal with it. Him and his big mouth.

“He’s strong,” he tells her as she starts to sniffle. “There’s no use worrying. That boy is no dust angel.”

She nods and even tries to smile through her tears but even he can tell that she really didn’t buy any of it.

“There’s nothing more we can do for him except try and keep him comfortable.“ When he glances over Monkey is already half way out the door. Wreck rolls his eyes and follows him.

From the corner of his eye he can see Grace wonder over to the bed and run a hand through the black hair.

He pauses in the doorway. “I’m gonna go open the station back up. You gonna stay back here keep an eye on him?” There’s a nod in response. It’s not like he really expects any other answer but he still has to ask.

Hopefully, Gerard will be strong enough to survive. The kid would be devastated if he ends up ghosted and, to be honest, he’d be a little disappointed. It’s nice to have the extra hand around, especially one that doesn’t want to steal him blind.

He’s gonna have to stop bringing in strays. They seem to bring him nothing but trouble.

As they leave, Grace curls up on the cot next to Gerard.

“Wake up,” Grace cries, burying her face in his shoulder. “Please wake up.”

Part 2
 

Post a comment in response:

From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.