Will they give me the chair?
Gerard went without a fight.
It was a rare thing for him to do, but every second that his instincts screamed for him to fight back, for him to just throw that burly cop a few punches, take his gun, get him on the ground, and shoot his brains out, his own brain kept up a steady whispering chant of Mikey, Mikey, Mikey.
He was hustled into a black Hummer, a car so hard to miss, so large, that it gave him the smug sense of being too important for your run of the mill police car. Of course, he was. He was a mass murderer, among other things- he bet these 'smart' FBI agents hadn't the slightest idea as to the real number of lives he'd destroyed. All with good reason- most of them.
He was right- at the court hearing, which passed in a blur (he didn't know why they bothered with it, really, legal niceties or some other nonsense), he was accused of killing ten persons. He couldn't help the manic little smile at that- ten, really? Only ten? It was almost shameful.
Even so, the FBI agents on the prosecution were vying for giving him a spot in the electric chair. Gerard was fairly sure they were in Washington D.C. at the moment, and in Virginia such execution was perfectly legal. Not that it mattered, he thought with a strange sort of excitement- if he were executed illegally, it would make his death all the more ironic.
He loved irony.
His poor, poor defense lawyers did a sorry job. They couldn't help him, he didn't mind. He knew they all thought he was not entirely sane, and they tried to use that in their defense- one silly little blonde woman tried to convince the jury he was a schizophrenic who believed that everyone was out to kill him, and so did the natural thing- he fought back. Of the prosecution, they called him psychotic and a man who killed for sport.
None of them guessed the truth. Not even close.
And so it was with a sense of barely contained glee that he was driven away in the wonderfully obnoxious Hummer, handcuffs tight around his wrists. He just kept smiling, looking out the window and staring at his escort with interest. The blonde, burly man in the seat next to him shifted and squirmed, his eyes nervous under dark sunglasses. The smaller man in front of him was, as much as he hated to admit it, intimidating.
He wasn't at all strong-looking....a bit lean, the man supposed, and he could see the muscles under his pale skin whenever his arm shifted, exposed to the air by his black T-shirt. His hair hung down far, almost to his shoulders, brushing them in fringes of shiny, messy raven. He had a small nose, thin lips, a rather feminine face, all in all. He wasn't a masculine, testosterone filled type of criminal.
It was his eyes that made you do a double take, the eyes that had the big, scary, FBI agent inwardly crying for his mommy. They were amber and green, and they were fixed on him with an uncanny intelligence. They were like cat eyes, without the slitted pupils, of course, but the feral understanding and the animal need to kill, the acknowledgement that this- that he- was prey, remained. The man hardly seemed to blink, so that the full power of his terrifying eyes rested upon the other man's.
And Gerard knew it. He knew just how to make everyone his victim, even his allies. He had this way of persuasion that made people flinch and try to wriggle free, only to be pinned down again by another emerald glance.
The drive was a long one. Gerard didn't feel at all sorry for his escort, though, who was probably almost in tears under his fancy schmancy Armani shades.
He was hustled out of the car and onto the concrete, the light nearly blinding him after being behind tinted glass for so long. His escort, as well as several other officials, guided him along the gray path to the ominous building before him.
It was called Red Onion State Prison, which made Gerard simultaneously amused and disgusted. Red onions were excellent for making people cry, but he despised the taste of them. He told this to his escort, whom he decided to name Shades, and he was glad to see him shudder.
He knew he should probably be afraid, at least a little. Red Onion was Virginia's one and only supermax prison- a prison that was the most secure, most effective, a prison for the worst of the worst. He was vaguely curious as to who else he would meet there.
He was pushed through doors and into an air conditioned room which could hardly count as a room. He was taken aside and into another room, where a man with angry eyes read him his rights and told him he would have appeals to use before they were exhausted and he was put to death.
Gerard politely asked him how long exactly that would take.
The man explained (still with angry eyes) that the capital punishment process could take years. "But, in your case," he said mockingly, "those FBI agents are pretty persistent. At this rate, I'd say that they give you the chair in a month or two. Until then, you're in death row."
He couldn't help but smile. Good. That gave him plenty of time.
The angry eyed man took him to another room, where a tall woman with a long nose handed him a pair of orange pants (ugh, why orange, the color just looked so bad) along with a white shirt and an orange jacket. She didn't leave the room, so Gerard ruefully changed in front of her. Not that it mattered, she was a woman, after all. Very much not his type. And besides- he managed to hide the cross around his neck from her, tucking it under the collar and hiding the chain with the ends of his hair.
Then he was taken away again, and put in handcuffs- although these handcuffs were more like padded hand socks, supposedly to better prevent escape. He was annoyed by them but decided not to voice it. All of this was just such an inconvenience.
And then, after a maze of hallways, they emerged into a gigantic space, roughly octagonal in shape, with a domed roof with dim lights and large metal beams. Hundreds of cells lined the walls, and if he squinted, he could just make out their occupants, spots of orange against the overall gray. Echoes of noise filled his ears, made louder by the metal surfaces all around.
He opened his mouth to ask if this was where they parted ways, when he found himself being shoved (rather rudely) towards another door.
This led to yet another hallway, equally gray and dreary. Gerard was quite put off from the lack of color here. Even a spot of red would bring some variation, a puddle of blood would do quite nicely....
There was a sound of grinding gears, and he looked up to see that a grille was being raised in front of them, leading to a more closed off, private, quiet (thank God) part of the prison. He was led inside.
There were much less cells, maybe twenty or thirty at the very most. They were bland, gray, with barred grates for the fronts and no visible windows. Through the almost opaque fronts, he could see people peering at him as he walked past, eyes sparkling dark in the shadows. Dim lights lit the area. It even smelled of death, despair- silly people who had slipped up, made a mistake, and were about to pay the ultimate price.
The people appeared to have a cell to themselves. Gerard was glad for that. He didn't think he could bear an inmate without possibly finding a way to kill him and then ending up in even more trouble.
He was pushed into a cell near the end, with a bunk bed and a toilet and a sink and a shower and a small shelf, along with a barred window, high off the ground. There was nobody else inside of it, and he exhaled in relief. Still, the bunk bed was a little silly if only one person would be living here.
"There you go," one of the men who had brought him there said gruffly. "Home sweet home, until you die."
Gerard said, "Thank you," and smiled at the man before allowing the metal grate to be shut, cutting him off from the world. He listened to the receding footsteps, shoes on stone, and stood there thoughtfully, analyzing the cell.
He was snatched from his thoughts by a whisper from his right.
Turning his head slowly, he heard it again.
"Hey. Hey, you with the girl hair."
He raised an eyebrow and crouched down, looking through the slats in the cell. He saw eyes across the hall, looking back at him. They were dark brown, and just beyond it he could make out a fuzzy mass of dark curls for hair.
"Yes? Yes, you with the...something for hair?"
The guy snorted and blinked at him. "Yeah, the name is Ray."
Gerard didn't provide his own name. He just waited. Either the guy had something important to say, or he wanted a bit of small-talk, which Gerard decided just wouldn't do.
"You got lucky," Ray said after the pause.
Ray sighed. "You got Frank's cell, I mean."
Gerard froze. "This is my cell."
"Uh, no. That's Frank Iero's cell. We have shifts for going out to exercise, and in death row they do it one at a time so the cellmates can't be out together. So, he's out right now."
"What makes Frank Iero so excellent?" Gerard asked, leaning a bit closer so that the cool metal dug into his collarbones. So, alright, he didn't have a cell to his own. But Ray seemed almost reverent by this point, all because of who was now apparently his cellmate.
Ray lowered his voice, although it was hardly necessary, because some eavesdropping fool called across the way from a cell on the other end, "He lets you have sex with him."
Gerard raised an eyebrow again. Ray was nodding emphatically. "He does. I think he's good at it, too, because we all hear him. And you know, whoever else. But it's cool, I mean, it's like free porn."
"Gross, Toro," someone called out.
"You know you like it!" Ray called back. Silence answered him.
"Why in the world would he let me have sex with him?" Gerard asked, a little bewildered. Prison rape was one thing, but willingly? He hadn't heard of that.
Ray shrugged. "It's clever, actually. His cellmates like him more, and I guess offering it to them is better than having it done forcefully. Which has happened, too."
"Doesn't he get in trouble for it? They see it on the security tape, right?"
Ray laughed hollowly. "In trouble? For having sex? Trust me, there's a lot worse done in this prison. Besides, I'd bet that the guys at the security camera jerk off to it."
Gerard wasn't amused.
"What happened to all the other people? All his other cellmates, the ones he had sex with?"
Ray sort of went quiet. "Well....they all died. Death sentence 'n all, y'know."
Gerard tilted his head. "How long has Frank been here?"
"Four years. I think they've forgotten about him."
"What did he do?"
"What did you do?"
Ray sniffed. "Killed someone. Most of us did. You?"
"A few people."
Biggest understatement of the year. But then, would anyone believe him if he told them the truth?
"How much longer do you have?" Gerard added.
"A month, maybe. I've been here a while."
"How're you sentenced to go?"
"A lethal injection, probably. You?"
Ray whistled. "You must've killed some important people."
Gerard smirked. "You could say that."
Suddenly Ray stilled, then, "Shhh. The others are back."
Ray sort of smiled. "Frank, too."
Footsteps filled the hall.