March 15, 2050 A.D.
10:30 PM, the Toro-Iero Estate; Calthor City, California.
Frank Iero, age 24, sighed and stretched, before tiredly unbuttoning his waistcoat and shedding the shiny black material. He continued to undress, half asleep, yawning and rubbing his eyes periodically. Finally he was down to his underclothes, and with another sigh, he crawled into the huge king size bed in the center of the spacious bedroom.
He curled into a small ball on his side of the bed, kneading his pillow into a more comfortable shape. His still open eyes fixed on the machine on the bedside table. It closely resembled a computer monitor and keyboard, but several glass bottles, needles, and cords were piled next to it.
Frank stared at it a moment longer before shrugging and burying his face in the pillow. He didn't want dreams tonight. He could never think of what to dream about, anyway, and it wasn't like he was under the risk of dying from lack of REM. He was lucky.
He burrowed into the sheets, only stiffening a little when the door opened and the familiar, heavy footsteps of his husband, Ray Toro, came close to the bed before the mattress dipped slightly and he joined Frank under the covers, but only after Frank heard the swish of dreams in a bottle.
11:00 PM, the Bridges District; Calthor City, California.
Gerard Way, age 27, knelt over his little brother's limp form, huddled in ragged blankets that Gerard and his gang had managed to scrounge up. The only sign that he was alive was the soft rise and fall of his shallow chest, and the weak pulse in his trembling throat.
"Gee, I-I can't-" said Mikey hoarsely, only to interrupt himself with a powerful boat of coughs. Gerard knew his eyes were filling with tears, but he willed them away with the remaining strength he had.
"Shhh, shh, I know," Gerard whispered back, stroking the brown hair away from Mikey's face, where it was plastered there with sweat. "It...it's going to be okay."
Mikey smiled weakly, reaching for his brother's hand. His fingers were thin and frail, almost too delicate, thought Gerard. His heartbeat sped up in terror. Mikey wasn't going to make it much longer. They both knew that between the lack of REM and his breathing disorder, as well as the poor physical condition he'd always had, Mikey wasn't going to be able to hold on.
"I miss Mom and Dad," Mikey said suddenly, in that raspy, strained voice that made it sound as if the air was being ripped from his lungs.
"So do I..." Gerard said, his dark gold eyes tinted with shadow and sadness. A spark of anger ignited in him. "They wouldn't have let this happen...you wouldn't be in so much pain."
"It's not your fault, Gee," Mikey said urgently. "It was just a fire...nobody...nobody could've known."
Gerard was hardly listening to him, though. He was staring into space, eyes narrowed in concentration and resolve.
"Mikey, you're going to be okay," he finally said firmly after a few moments of silence.
Mikey sighed brokenly. "We both know that's not true."
"No," said Gerard. "It wasn't. But I'm going to help you, for real now. I can't...you're all I have left."
Mikey looked alarmed even through his exhaustion and sickness. "Gee, what're going to do?!"
"Help you," was all Gerard said, rising to his feet and looking down at Mikey. "Stay safe. The pager is right there," he pointed to a small black disk beside Mikey's ratty pillow, "in case you need the gang."
He turned and pulled on his black hoodie, not even bothering to smooth down his wild black hair. He started towards the lopsided door in the Way brothers' little shack, bracing himself for the bitterly cold winds of March.
"Gee, wait!" Mikey said, startled, struggling to sit up.
Gerard turned to him, dark eyes glittering with determination. "I'll come back. Promise."
And before his little brother could make any more protest, he slipped out the door and into the frigid world.
11:30 PM, the Toro-Iero Estate; Calthor City, California.
Frank couldn't sleep.
After an eternity of tossing and turning- but not too much, he didn't want to wake up Ray- he finally slid out of bed, being sure to step carefully over the polished floorboards and avoid the one that creaked.
He still didn't want to dream. He was just so restless, he didn't want to sleep at all. He glanced at the clock, which read: 11:45 PM. An involuntary shiver ran up his spine and he pulled on a shirt, covering up his pale chest.
He bit his lip and stepped out the door and into the hallway. He squinted into the darkness, hoping he was imagining the way the darkness seemed to writhe in the corners of his vision. He shook his head. He was too paranoid. He and Ray were perfectly safe here.
Slowly he made his way to the landing and down the grand staircase.
Gerard slunk through the mazes of carefully pruned hedges, shuddering at the somehow eerie shapes of animals around him- a giant elephant of dark green, a giraffe studded with yellow flowers that looked sickly in the moonlight, a dragon with wings outstretched.
He swallowed and stepped ever-so-carefully across the mint green lawn, shrouded in night. The pollution was bad tonight- the only light came from the cloudy face of the moon, which was nearly full.
Gerard crept towards the grand front doors of the mansion before him. It must have been at least four stories tall, with grand Victorian decor and wrought iron decoration. Huge windows arched around the sides, exposing the dark interior of the building.
Gerard could've sworn he saw a flicker of movement somewhere inside, but when he squinted there was nothing there. He shook his head. He was being silly. He just needed to calm down...he could do this. He had to do this, for Mikey.
Just a few bottles of dreams...that was all he needed.
Feeling the safety pin and the knife in his pocket, he headed towards the door.
Frank froze from where he was in the kitchen.
His eyes widened and he held his breath, trembling when the unmistakeable groan of the front door opening came next....and then footsteps.
Frank, terrified, fumbled around for some sort of weapon. His shaking hands closed around the rubber handle of a knife. He edged towards the hallway, breath catching in his throat when the dark shadow of a tall, slender figure fell across the wall.
Gritting his teeth, he burst into the hallway-
-only to be met by a taller man with long, messy black hair, a pale face, and dark, menacing eyes.
And he was also holding a knife. A much bigger one.
Frank lost all senses and without much thought at all, he screamed at the top of his lungs.
The grandfather clock in the parlor chimed midnight.