anatratrope: Gerard standing defiantly, yellow mask on with red paint under his jaw (Gerard)
[personal profile] anatratrope
Title: Keep Running
Fandom: Bandom, MCR Killjoysverse. Based on the Na Na Na and SING videos, with reference to other songs on the Danger Days album.
Pairings: Gerard/Korse, Gerard/Frank
Rating: explicit
Length: ~8000 words
Disclaimer: This is a work of utter fiction loosely based on the public personas of real people, set in the fictional world of their music videos, which I do not own. No disrespect is intended, and no money is being made here.
Warnings: (skip)Torture that leads to permanent physical damage, character death (from video canon)

Notes: Written on a whim for [personal profile] green, who wanted torture and healing in this fandom. Thanks to [personal profile] epershand for reading through early drafts and kicking me in the tense, to [personal profile] green for being all <3's when I sent her the doc, and to [personal profile] sasha_feather for final beta and rolling her eyes at my dithering and telling me to post already. Any remaining mistakes are my own.



1
The man on the table is letting out a constant stream of babble, his eyes overbright and panicked.

Korse knows him, of course. The voice is familiar, burr-edged and liquid mercury, the voice of the man who's been inciting the rabble to violence, to revolution, over pirate airwaves. It's a voice that's sung hundreds of company citizens to rebellion.

The technician in white checks the monitors, then at a nod from Korse sends a brutal shock through Way. Korse listens dispassionately to the screams, mentally comparing them to the wails and vocal rage in the man's music. They sound completely different, he concludes.

When Way has had a moment to recover his breath, eyes filmed with pain and glaring furiously, Korse steps closer. He's not ready to get to the heart of the interrogation, not yet. His training in this area is clear. Break the prisoner before showing your true interest.

"You and your little friends are responsible for at least three direct attacks on S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W bases, Mister Way," Korse says conversationally. He picks up a tool from the sterile kit. It's a long needle probe, and the steel flashes brightly in the glaring overhead lights. "For that, the company will wipe you, there is no question."

"Fuck you. That supposed to make me tell you something?" Way grits out.

Korse raises an eyebrow at him. "You're a bit small for the uniform, but you displayed astonishing eye-hand coordination while resisting arrest. With enough recuperation BLI may find you a spot on a draculoid unit.. As a sniper, perhaps." Korse glances down at Way's stained fingernails, some of which are bleeding from the previous round of pressure applied.

But that isn't why he's here on the table. The man knows it, too, and snarls, "what the fuck do you want from me, you creepy fucking horrorshow?"

Korse grabs a fistful of greasy black hair under the man's left ear and yanks up, jerking his neck at a painful angle. He feels some of the hair tear away from Way's scalp. The man hisses, and his eyes widen as Korse wraps his fingers around that gorgeous throat. He smiles, and knows it's cruel to dig his fingers in like this, certainly it's stretching the boundaries of his training, but does it anyway. "You know what I want, Mister Way. If you do not surrender the child, I will be forced to take drastic measures against you and your gang of rabble-rousers. You know that they cannot evade me for long, not without you. Tell me where she is, and I will spare them your fate." He sighs, almost disappointed, when Way clamps his jaw shut mulishly.

The technician, impassive and anonymous behind her white mask, adjusts some settings and now Way is screaming again, his voice hitting registers Korse has never heard from him before.

"I don't fucking know what you're talking about. You think I know where some kid is?" Way gasps out, Korse can feel his pulse speeding up under his palm, the shallow breaths.

"You are lying to me, Mister Way. I do not appreciate being lied to. If you cannot tell me the location of the girl, you will tell me the location of the pirate broadcasting center of one so-called 'Doctor Death-Defying', and also the whereabouts of your companions in social terrorism."

Korse can feel his own pulse racing, and something in his gut is clenching. It's an odd sensation, quick and startlingly terrible, and suddenly the room feels slightly too bright, and the man on the table stares into his eyes, pupils blown with pain and tears leaking out of the corners of his eyes.

"I would never tell you, you traitorous motherfucker. She's better off here than she ever was in your fucking labs. I heard that much from her mother before she died of withdrawal from the fucking zombie drugs you had her pumped full of. She was gorgeous, and strong, and you motherfuckers broke her, used her, and killed her. Fuck off and kill me, fucking coward. You'll never have her or her daughter, I've made sure you won't ever find any of them, you cold-hearted, evil fucking bastard," Way snarls, then spits in Korse's face.

Korse feels rage slam into him, wanting to shut off the bitter stream of words, and before he can even think he grips the needle probe and stabs Way right through the neck.

Korse stares down as blood wells from Way's neck, dark and viscous, staining the steel jutting out on each side of the join of his jaw, his chapped lips parting for a gurgled, pathetic cry.

Korse can feel the odd leveling sensation coating his mind as his high emotional state triggers the chempack, drugs hitting his bloodstream to bring him back under perfect control.

He tears his gaze impassively from the shock dimming out of Way's eyes, dropping the probe disdainfully into the pristine tool set, blood spattering over the sterile instruments. He motions the technician over. She takes over efficiently and silently, pressing the call button that brings several attendants in to aid her as Way begins to convulse on the table from lack of oxygen and shock.

Korse leaves the complex, brushing a layer of dust from his vehicle before nodding brusquely to his henchman to get in the passenger seat. They're three miles away, en route for headquarters, when the call comes through.

"Exterminator Korse, sir, this is Lieutenant Covacs here at Station Six. Sir, there's been an incident. The medical staff were compromised, sir. They escaped with the patient and killed three attending nurses. They're heading north, and we have a squad in pursuit, but I thought it best to contact you for orders, sir..."

Korse thinks distantly that if his levels hadn't recently adjusted themselves he would be squealing the car around in rage. Instead, he merely thins his lips and hangs up on the distressed underling. If the Killjoys have escaped with Way, there'll be no catching up to them today.

Korse pulls on his radio, thumbing the antiquated side button, flicking to the channel he often uses with his draculoids, the channel he knows the Killjoys will be monitoring.

"Keep running--it won't be fast or far enough. I will find you." He snarls into the line, and slides the radio back into its clip.

2
"Shit shit shit shit," Grace says, her voice higher and more afraid than Frank has ever heard it. She's wriggling against Mikey's grip on her in the shotgun seat of the Trans Am, trying to escape and launch herself into the backseat.

Frank presses his lips together and drives, swerving off the road and into the dust at the cliff face. It's fucking dangerous to drive offroad with shit-patched tires like theirs, with a kid screaming and kicking around dangerously close to the gearshift. There's not a lot he can do about the first thing, but... "Sit the fuck down, Grace! You'll get us all fucking killed kicking around like that."

She settles, wedged between Mikey and the console, wrenching around to stare back at Gerard. Frank glances up at the rearview mirror, and he can see a bloody patch on the side of Gerard's head, more blood caked down his neck. "Ray?"

"He's lost a lot of blood but it looks like the tech did a fair job closing him up before we took her out. Too early to say if he'll be okay or if there's lasting damage but he's breathing," Ray reports from the backseat.

"Thank Fuck. Mikey?"

Mikey's relaxed his hold on Grace and gone for the radio, scrolling through the drac channels. They all go silent as Korse's dare crackles through the waves. There's no other activity on any of the known channels, which means they've probably given up pursuit for now.

"Shit," Ray whispers, and Frank glances in the mirror again to see Gerard shivering, fresh blood leaking from the wounds in his neck, and his lips, his lips are bright red and wet and fuck. Ray sounds upset but Frank can see his hands are as steady as can be in the rattling car, dabbing at the wound and turning Gerard's head to the side. "That motherfucker tore him up good, fuck. Gotta get back to WKIL, Frank. This is out of my league."

Frank grits his teeth and veers north, knuckles white on the steering wheel, trying not to think about the life flickering behind him, about what the fuck he'd do if those drac motherfuckers had snuffed it out. Home. They'll have to get him home, and then Frank is going to make the motherfucker live if it kills him.

3
It's five months before Korse picks up a lead on the Killjoys.

They've been unusually quiet, no new guest broadcasts or worse, rabble-rousing songs on WKIL. Dr. Death Defying seems to take perverse relish in playing the Killjoy's most traitorous back catalog, however, and Korse has to send one monitoring tech back for recuperation when he catches him singing "gravity don't mean too much to me" absently under his breath.

No rumors through his usual sources planted in the crash queen and motorbaby networks. He'd almost begun to believe Way had died from his injuries after all, until a tip came through from south of Route Guano.

It's not much, just a reported hack on a company vending machine outside of a derelict diner. It's the sort of thing he hears about with annoying frequency, but it happens the same day an automata service/surveillance drone at a borderzone gas station shorts out. He signals Jimmy, handing him the file and motioning him to dig up further information from surveillance tapes. The last image it transmits is of two men wielding BLI-issue rayguns.

"Close-up on that one," Korse says, leaning in over Jimmy's shoulder and squinting. One of the men is short, with greasy black hair and a grim challenge in his eye. "Hello again," Korse breathes, touching his fingers to the screen. It's Way's pretty little bit on the side, the tiny so-called Fun Ghoul. Frank Iero. He recognizes him from the bordercams that picked up his admittedly flawless bombing of Station 43.

Jimmy, his new second in command, is a fresh recruit recuperated from a gang of waveheads crashed up outside of Battery City just six months ago. He's still adjusting to the leveling of the chemipack, but he's quick and thorough, albeit a bit rash. Korse thinks he's ready for the road, so he nods at him and they head for the BLI car.

4
"Mad Gear!" Grace yells into Gerard's ear, leaning forward over the console to poke at the radio. The Trans Am hits a pothole and she misses the volume control, bumping the tuner to a loud hiss of static.

"The fuck, motorbaby!" Frank complains, laughing and pushing her back into the backseat. "Now you lost the station." Gerard grins, already twisting the tuner with a deft flick of his wrist, and the filthy punk of WKIL comes blasting back through the speakers.

He obligingly turns up the volume when Grace pounds on the back of his seat, and pats Frank's cheek when he mutters something about spoiled kids. Grace has Ray and Mikey singing along, and Gerard can see that Frank's mouthing the words, too, under his scowl. Poor Frank is always looking for something to bitch about when he gets bored, but Gerard knows he fucking loves that kid and she's got him wrapped around her little finger.

Gerard tries to laugh, but it fucking hurts and makes him cough. He glares through his new red hair at the road, not returning the fucking concerned look he knows Frank is wearing. He does take a swig of the water bottle Mikey passes up to him, though, and doesn't shake off the hand Frank drops on his over the gearshift, fingers lacing through his.

When "F.T.W.W.W" ends and Dr. Death Defying introduces "SING", Gerard winces but doesn't let Frank's fingers go when he twitches toward the dial. He listens distantly to his voice from long ago, thinking he doesn't really recognize it anymore. He glances over at Frank, and Frank meets his eyes, steady, and Gerard feels his heart bottom out. Frank smiles at him, tentative but true. It gets Gerard through the song.

They haul in at an old motel, because Mikey's bitching about wanting to sleep somewhere with actual beds for once. Grace cheers and picks the service entrance lock with disturbing ease. Gerard shoots Frank a wry look, knowing where she'd been honing that particular skill. He can't help but be proud.

Ray and Mikey take the first watch. Mikey's got some powerglove maintenance to do, and the days are so long he'll have plenty of daylight to work with. Ray laughs and grabs Grace, promising to finally install the voice control chip he'd lifted for her robot. He winks at Gerard as he herds Grace out the door.

"You think they planned this?" Frank murmurs into Gerard's ear. "'Bout time we got some time to ourselves." He nips, hard, on Gerard's bare shoulder, then licks at the mark he left. "Come on. I think I found the least disgusting room in this wing. Fucking change of sheets and everything."

He grabs Gerard's hand and leads him into the dark hallway, brushing little circles into Gerard's wrist. It makes Gerard's pulse quicken, because yeah, a fucking bed.

The doorknob rattles loose and ineffective under Gerard's hand as he shoulders open the last room on the right. The room is dim, only a little light coming through the windows to the west. He grabs Frank and wastes no time pinning him up against the door, kissing the hell out of him.

Frank is moaning, digging his fingers under the hem of Gerard's shirt and tugging his hips closer. Gerard smiles against his mouth and grinds him, teasingly, and Frank growls a string of profanities, tipping his head back against the door. Gerard scrabbles at his belt and button, not bothering with the zipper on the loose pants and tugging it all down past Frank's knees.

"Gerard, fuck, wait, are you...?" Frank says, his voice catching in a gorgeous little gasp as Gerard eases his cock out of his boxers. Gerard just smiles and drops his mouth to Frank's dick, licking at the head and wrapping one hand around the base, jerking him. Frank's cock is full and flushed, already leaking a little--fuck, Frank must have been thinking about this from the minute they pulled up to the motel, Gerard thinks, and the thought of Frank getting all excited over this makes Gerard's cock twitch, already more than half-hard despite the lack of any real attention.

Gerard strokes Frank's thigh as he goes down on his cock, gratified by the long broken moan that escapes Frank, and the insistent little jerks of his hips in Gerard's mouth. Gerard tries to take more of him in, but his throat aches when he drops his jaw too far, so he settles for sucking and licking and pinning Frank with his free arm.

Frank pants "Fuck, Gee, please, I'm..." and Gerard pulls off, closing his eyes and opening his mouth, Frank's thighs shuddering under his hands as he comes on Gerard's face and tongue. Gerard looks up at him through lowered lashes and licks at the corner of his lip, swallowing deliberately.

"Oh fuck," Frank says, grinning helplessly and hauling Gerard to his feet, his thumbs wiping at the come on Gerard's eyebrow and licking into his mouth until they're both flushed and gasping. Gerard presses his hand against Frank's neck, second and middle finger folded down, the tips of his thumb, forefinger, and pinkie gently brushing his skin. Frank shivers and whispers, "I fucking love you, too, you know."

Frank's cock is soft, now, and he giggles a little as Gerard's jeans brush it, and tucks it back into his boxers. Gerard smiles, licking his lips for the last traces of Frank's come. Frank tastes like salt, and sweat, and sex, and that's so simple but it's like fucking heaven in Gerard's mouth. Emphasis on the fucking.

Frank grabs Gerard and tumbles them both onto the bed, tugging Gerard's jacket down to his elbows and flattening him on his back on the bed before climbing up onto him and sitting on his thighs. Gerard grins and tests him, trying to sit up but finding no leverage against the weight of Frank's hand on his chest. His arms are trapped by his sides--all he can do is grab at Frank's calves from this angle.

Frank grins his shit-eating grin, the sly little fucker, and pulls Gerard's cock out of his jeans. He jerks him twice, slow and lazy in the way he knows drives Gerard a little crazy, and Gerard squirms under him, trying to find a way to thrust up from this angle.

"Uh uh," Frank says, and leans over and kisses Gerard breathless. When he finally comes up for air, his hand is jerking Gerard ruthlessly, and the lack of oxygen has them both dizzy.

Gerard twists against Frank, finding just the right angle and friction. He stares at Frank, eyes huge and locked with his. Frank presses down over him, hips grinding down, and says intently, "Come on, Gee. Now." At the sound of Frank's fucked out voice, Gerard feels the familiar tightening and lightning release in his gut, and comes in long stripes over Frank's fist and belly.

They lay on the bed for a while, window open and listening to the distant giggling of Ray and Grace on the other side of the parking lot. Finally, Frank kisses Gerard sloppily and rolls over to fall asleep.

Gerard gets up, cursing his inability to fall asleep after sex, and shrugs his jacket back on, making sure he's decent before slipping out into the hall. He wants to see Grace bossing her robot around with the new voice chip.

5
Korse swears under his breath.

The Killjoy in the rebreather mask wasn't Way or any of his posse, just another wannabe punk. He hadn't even offered up useful information before he had died, too quickly, under Korse's interrogation. Pitiful.

Further, the suspect had damaged Korse's chempack with his flailing, useless attempts to escape. He could already feel the effects of the lack of conditioning, bright flashes at the corner of his vision, unexpectedly strong emotion. He can feel his will coming apart, fraying at the edges, and he tries resolutely to ignore that. He drops his hand to his radio, about to call for a status update from Jimmy and request a replacement pack when he hears voices outside.

He unholsters his raygun. He hadn't thought the dead man had any contacts, certainly none in the area who would investigate his whereabouts, and as such he's been caught unguarded, alone in the motel. He's on the wrong side of the building, unable to see the old gas pumps from this room.

He presses an eye to the hole in the door. Two men are walking by, one dark haired and one with flaming red hair on top, buzzed along the sides. He sucks in a breath as he recognizes the shorter man. Iero.

Which means the red hair belongs to Gerard Way. Korse tries to damp down the swift rush of elation, knowing it's flushing the control drugs from his system too quickly. The man is alive, then, and active. Korse thought he might have crawled into a hole and died somewhere, leaving his friends to carry on in his memory and his pirate radio DJ to spin the same old anthems exhorting good citizens to rise up, to speak their minds, to perform dangerous and criminal acts. Korse has been well-briefed by his superiors on the threat such rebels pose to the company, to the people.

Korse can see them fumble into the room two doors down and across the hall from his vantage point, and from the sound of it they will be preoccupied for a small while.

Korse lets his lips curve into a grin, and he steals into the hallway, pressing an ear against the door. Iero is loud, giggling and cursing, but Way is curiously, uncharacteristically silent. Korse sucks in a breath as the door shudders under his cheek. He can hear from the sounds that Iero has found some way to shut the babbling Way up.

Korse can't help but think of how Way would look, on his knees, lips open in an obscene wet O, waiting to be filled, those long eyelashes shuttering a gaze of pure insolence. Challenge.

Korse closes his eyes for a moment, his dick suddenly erect for the first time since... he stumbles back, knocking into the door across the hall, and fortunately the loud breathy obscenity of Iero's ejaculation covers the sound. Hands shaking, Korse forces the door and ducks into the safety of the room.

He shakes the useless chempack, unaccustomed adrenaline filling his body, and his breath stutters in his throat. It will have to wait. He will probably have to undergo a full recuperation after this, his body's rebellion against BLI's conditioning has now gone further than he'd ever experienced since...

There are more sounds coming from across the hall. Korse groans, palming his cock, and gives in to the swell of conflicting images; Way on his knees, Way pinned against the wall, Iero fucking him into the mattress, on his back on the floor, knees flung over Korse's shoulders, hair fanning on the floor around him as he moaned, fingernails digging into his arms and shouting his name.

Korse stares down, horrified, at the streaks of white covering his hand.

There is silence across the hall. Korse hurriedly wipes his hand on the bedspread in the abandoned room, tucking himself away. He peers through the eyehole, and waits until Way closes the door before flinging his open and grabbing him by the hair, clapping a hand over his mouth and hauling him into the room.

Way stares up at him, horrified, nostrils puffing shallowly over Korse's hand, breath hot against his palm.

"I told you to keep running," Korse says, voice rougher than he intended. He winces as Way surges against his hand, biting. Korse lets go at the sharp pain of teeth on his palm, but recovers quickly enough to pin Way's arms by his sides. He braces himself for the inevitable yell for help, already gauging the window as an exit point.

No sound comes.

Way is simply glaring mutinously at him, his mouth closed, pupils still blown from his dalliance with Iero. Korse can see the livid scars, mostly healed, on his neck from their last encounter. He lets his lips curve into a grin, reaching for bravado he doesn't feel. The scars make his belly feel tight, uncomfortable. He's not in control here.

"I see you've kept a souvenir of me, Mister Way," Korse growls. "I know you and your little friend are here, so the child must not be too far away. Tell me where she is." He drags a fingernail down Way's face, letting it scrape over the light, raised skin of the scar.

Way just licks his lips, and then his eyes widen. He glances down at Korse's hand, which, yes, had a small spot of white drying, just above his knuckle. When he meets Korse's gaze again, it is remote, a little thoughtful, and Korse feels what little control he had left slip.

An angry howl tears out of him, up through his chest, and he grabs Way's face, heels of his hands pressing against the raised scars under his jaw, and screams down into his face, "Where is she? You fucking shit, tell me where she fucking is! Who the fuck do you think you are! Fucking say something, you sniveling creature!"

Way clutches at Korse's wrists, eyes huge and locked with his, lips parted and he looks... Korse blinks and finds himself kissing Way, shoving him against the dresser, old useless television crashing to the floor. Way is biting at him, trying to wriggle away, but then he stops, melting a little bit, and Korse feels him go still, as if hearing something very far away. They pause, lips stilling, pulling a breath from the sliver of space between them.

Then, Way kisses him back, wondering and bold. His fingers are like vises on Korse's wrist.

That's when Iero hits him with the butt of his gun.

6
"Come on," Frank says, grabbing Gerard and hauling him out of the room. Korse is moaning on the floor, and Frank turns and aims his gun, but Gerard slaps it down, shaking his head.

Frank stares at him, then snorts and shakes his head in disbelief. He can't believe Gerard would want to spare this motherfucker after what he'd done to him, but something in Gerard's face convinces Frank that he meant it. He lowers the gun, flickering his eyelashes in acquiescence, and they run out into the courtyard.

Gerard seems to have no compunctions about draculoids, though. He gets a clean shot off at the drac aiming a kick at Ray's head, while Frank takes the other one out. Frank points at the cloud of dust coming along Route Guano from the west, and they haul Ray to his feet, dragging him to the car which is mercifully intact.

"Grace got away, I held them off that long," Ray pants. His face is streaming blood.

"Those motherfuckers," Frank says, softly. Ray's eye is a fucking mess behind his aviators, but he pulls away when Frank reaches for them. "Not now. Grace," Ray grits out, teeth clenched in pain.

Mikey comes scrabbling down the hill, powerglove still attached and humming its weird hum. "I just took out a drac on the other side of the cliff. What the fuck happened to you?" He says, gesturing at Ray.

Gerard is already pulling Ray toward the Trans Am, the sounds of sirens getting closer. Frank can hear noise inside the motel. They have to get the fuck out of there.

"We have to move. Grace... they've fucking got her, and who knows what the fuck Korse and his fucking overlords want with her," Frank says, climbing into the backseat with Ray. Frank pulls his raygun from its holster and checks the charge as Gerard revs the engine and peels out of the motel parking lot.

7
Korse catches up to them, after several useful henchmen have been ghosted, in a small valley on the edge of Zone 6. His emergency chempack doesn't seem to be functioning, because his hands still shake and something feels like a needle driven through his chest at the sight of the four men prone on the ground. If his men hadn't followed his instructions, they would all be dead now, beyond hope of recuperation or interrogation.

But then Way stirs, his eyes glassy but still heavy and present, locked with Korse's as he bends over him. The red paint smeared under his jaw doesn't stick well to the keloid of the scars. Korse resists the urge to reach out and smudge the paint, to see it flake away from Way's skin. His vision wavers, and for a strange moment he sees two of Way, the same man, but he means two different things, both of them spilling over the vestiges of the conditioning in his system.

He shakes himself, remembering his conditioning. He has his objective. The child is struggling against Jimmy, her profanity-laced cries dulled by horror at the violence she's just seen. She's in shock, and will soon be docile with the patch Jimmy has pressed into the back of her neck.

Korse leans closer over Way. He's probably too stunned to see the way Korse's breath is catching with relief, can't see the struggle between the cold, vicious edge of his conditioning and the boiling heat of his emotions, chaotic and completely at war within him.

"Keep. Running," he finally grits out, teeth clenched against the words. He isn't sure if it was a gift, or a threat. He knows that the next time they met, he'll be recuperated, and there'll be nothing he could do. Either Way will fall, or Korse will. But in this moment, to set the scales even for what happened in the motel, and because there's something happening here Korse can't quite figure out, he raises his gun and motions the draculoids back to the waiting vehicles.

8
Gerard can't even meet Show Pony's eyes when they crawl into Dr. D's station, Trans Am coasting on fumes and all four Killjoys tight-lipped. He thinks he might be in shock, but he is pretty sure it was cold rage settling in his gut. He let the motherfucker go, and now Grace is lost.

Show Pony takes one look at him, glancing at the empty spot in the backseat, and says only, "You motherfucker. You better have a plan."

Gerard nods, and allows himself to be wrapped in a long-limbed, brief hug, Pony's hands running automatically over him, checking for injuries and squeezing the back of his neck briefly before moving on to inspect Ray's eye.

"Killjoys, intel from the crash queens. I got news. And a map," Dr. Death Defying rumbles, wheeling up and waving a crusty piece of paper at them. "It's not much, but it'll get you into HQ. Just gotta get by the checkpoint, storm the castle, and get that hellion out."

Gerard can feel his lips twitch automatically at the fond mention of Grace, but he doesn't smile. He has a plan. It is a really stupid plan, but it might work. It just might. He waves Mikey and Frank over, digging a pen from his inside jacket pocket, and starts sketching out the diagrams, making lists of known obstacles.

"That's a fucking suicide mission, Gee." Frank says, soberly.

Gerard just nods. He glances over at Show Pony, whose face is totally unreadable. They hold one another's gaze for a long moment, until Pony ducks hir head infinitesimally.

Gerard's answering smile is just as grim.

9
Korse emerges from the recuperation chamber, muscles stiff in reaction to the new wash of chemicals flooding through him. His mind is foggy, full only of cold duty. He knows in an abstract way that eventually it will fade, his thoughts will sharpen and some will even originate with him, but right now he can't really understand that. The drugs are like tiny frozen particles animating his body through his brain. He gives himself over to them.

He leads a squad, Jimmy at his side, down familiarly bland corridors. A team followed them, backup with laser rifles. He doesn't think he has the reflexes for a quick fight, and he knows these Killjoys are sharp shots. He lets the drugs wash away any concern, and steps right into the fray, bolts dancing past like fireflies.

He sees Way, his quarry, hair flashing like a beacon. He's still across the room when Way shoots Jimmy in the back unhesitatingly. Korse grins. He will make a fine recruit.

It is like a dance, stepping around the bodies of his men, hand reaching up as if to take Way's, then going higher to press up under his neck, leaning in against his windpipe. He imagines he can feel the damaged muscles twitching under his hand, useless for expressing the scream of rage Korse can see burning in Way's eyes. He shoves his gun under Way's chin, tilting it up just a little to appreciate more the line of his neck.

He can feel his lips stretching into a rictus of a smile just as his fingers brush the tiny raised scars on Way's neck, just as something jabs him in the stomach with a slight hiss. He pulls the trigger, watching as if in a trance as Way crumples, gaze still locked with his.

The sound comes rushing back in, and Korse falls to the floor, hearing the scream of Way's brother as the bolts hit him. Everything in his body feels like it's on fire, pain burning through his bloodstream and pouring through his heart. The last thing he sees before he dies is an empty drac mask, a tiny wisp of Way's bright hair visible through the empty eye holes.

10
Frank is dead.

He knows he is dead.

The motherfuckers had killed Gerard and Mikey, he remembers that. It had taken them a long time to bring him down. A long time. Long enough. He hoped.

So why does everything still fucking hurt?

Something presses to his lips... familiar. Gerard. He kisses back, tentative, dry, squeezing his eyes shut. The fuck. Gerard is kissing him and they are dead.

"Let him up," a gravelly voice insists, and then there is water. Frank chokes on it a little, coughs, then decides he may as well open his eyes. He almost regrets that decision a moment later.

Gerard's hair is lank and bright, framing his face in tangled knots, hanging down around the worry crease that Frank always wants to smooth away when it appears. Gerard is standing next to fucking Korse. And smiling down at Frank.

Korse has his fucking arm around Gerard. Holding him up, maybe, but it fucking pisses Frank off.

Frank narrows his eyes. "What the fuck did you do? Where the fuck are Ray and Mikey. And Grace?" Gerard shakes his head and gestures, his pinkie finger sticking out funny the way it does when he's excited. Frank blinks several times and looks where Gerard was pointing.

The lights in this medical bay are too fucking bright, even if half of them are turned out. Frank has to squint to see Ray, who has his head between his knees and is breathing like he's going to throw up. Maybe again, judging by the smell. "Fucking Show Pony, motherfucker could have said something, goddamnit Gerard you should have fucking said something," he groans.

As if on cue, Show Pony slips in the door Mikey holds open for hir. "Look alive, sunshine!" ze says, bestowing a smug smile on all of them.

"Please tell me you brought reinforcements. We have to get the fuck out of here," Mikey responds, peering through the doors into the hall. He glances back at Gerard. "He's coming with us, huh."

Gerard nods firmly, and then he and Mikey engage in that telepathic brother eyebrow conversation thing that always pisses Frank off. Finally Mikey shrugs and glances at Korse. "Fine," he says, staggering a little against the door as he pulls his jacket on. "I think you're going to have to explain that to Frank, though," he says, and Gerard rolls his eyes before giving Frank an earnest, imploring little look, jerking his chin at the door.

"Yes, oh I'm there baby," Frank mutters, glaring at Korse and hoisting himself off the table. None of his limbs seem to want to work. "Fucking stunners," he mutters. "So why the fuck are we awake and not fucking Robocop like Smiley over here?"

Show Pony holds up a stimtab. "This shit is just coming through the circuit. It's geared to take down the BLI drugs, doesn't let them bind into your bloodstream. Flush 'em all right out." Ze glances sympathetically at Ray, who's trying to lose his lunch into a sink with as much dignity as possible while Gerard holds back his hair. "Well, it's easier on the way out for some than others. First trial in the wild, junkpunks. Congratulations."

Frank stares. "You mean you didn't even know if this would fucking work?"

Gerard helps Ray over to Mikey, waving everyone to silence as he listens at the door. There's nothing for it, Frank realizes, seeing the tight line of Gerard's mouth--they'll have to make a break and hope they avoid the night watchmen. At least Show Pony's handy with hir raygun, as it's the only weapon they have. Frank refuses to count the white handle poking out from Korse's hip.

They go.

Korse takes out four security teams like he's swatting flies. The man has unbelievable precision.

He's also a vindictive motherfucker. He takes them on a detour to blow out the BLI mainframe, with the help of Ray's quick fingers and Show Pony's raygun. It's impressive, and Frank wants to believe the fucker was just acting on his conditioning, but he can't help his suspicions.

Grace tumbles out of the van into Gerard's arms as they break across the parking lot, and she doesn't take her face away from his chest for the whole trip back to Dr. D's lair. Frank can't blame her. He's not sure he'll ever let go of Gerard's hand.

Show Pony slams the door and Cherri hits the gas, the van creaking under its heavy load but making for the gate to the zones.

Frank grabs Show Pony's gun from hir hand and aims it at Korse's head.

"One wrong move, motherfucker, and you're ghosted. And there won't be any coming back from this," he growls, dialing the gun up to full power. He's cruelly gratified at the surprise and little glint of fear in the creepy bastard's eyes.

Gerard just watches, his mouth buried in Grace's hair, his expression unreadable.

11
The Killjoys don't know what to do with him. Korse twists his mouth bitterly and shakes his head at Way when he tries to stop Iero from handcuffing him and locking him away when they arrive at the band's hideout. He doesn't trust any of it, not them, certainly not himself.

Iero bares his teeth, and it's not a smile. "Do you forget that this fucker tried to kill you, Gerard? He would have killed all of us, and taken Grace, and done fuck knows what to her." Iero's up in Way's space, now, his hands waving at the sides of Way's neck. They have a brief stare-down, and Korse notes that Iero won't touch the scars. Something flushes in him, he can't tell if it's jealousy or tenderness.

All he feels now is rage at the way BLI had controlled him, had taken him over so thoroughly. His mind still veers away from all the horrible things he's done, and he buries his face in Way's thigh when he brings him water, babble spilling from his lips. He doesn't remember later what he says, but he thinks he begs Way to turn him in, to let Iero kill him, to do something, anything. He remembers distantly the list of side effects of withdrawal from the conditioning, and knows that many don't survive at all, sanity or no.

"Help me?" he says, one day, in a fit of calm. "I think... I can feel it all, Gerard. I need... I don't know... please."

Gerard doesn't say anything, but later that night he comes into the back room and wraps himself around Korse, holding him tight. He's written "I'm still here" in black marker on the inside of his arm, and Korse bends his head, pressing his lips to the ink gratefully.

The shaking gets better after the first week, and he begins to feel more in control, his surroundings begin to feel familiar. Toro and Show Pony check on him regularly, and Toro even sits with him and reads to him from a battered copy of Lord of the Rings from time to time. When he hesitantly offers to release Korse, Korse just shakes his head and asks for the next chapter.

It's worst when Way comes to him. Korse can't control his emotions. Everything slips like mercury through his head, and one moment he's snarling in Way's face, the next he's weeping into his jacket, clutching him and whispering a litany of apologies.

Korse doesn't see the child at all, and he's grateful for that. He's put her through enough hell already, no reason to terrify her any more.

Gerard allows the ropes to continue, but checks them several times a day. His lips are tight as he chafes Korse's hands in his to speed up his circulation the day Iero ties them vindictively tight. Korse thinks he might hate Gerard, if he can remember if 'hate' is what this feeling is. It makes him want to run every time those dark eyes catch his.

He finally requests a cot outside the gas station, and sleeps there handcuffed to the flagpole. He doesn't mind, because something about the sounds and the familiar dust and stone and stars calm him. One night, he kicks off the army blanket Show Pony had tucked over him, then spends most of the night shivering until Gerard stumbles up and crawls onto the too-narrow bunk, pressing himself against Korse.

Korse can barely stand it, feeling the coarse rattle of Way's breath as he pulls it through his ruined throat to spill over the skin on the back of Korse's skull.

Everything is quiet, but the silence feels like a roar in his ears as he whispers, "I'm sorry. It... That is not who I am, Gerard. It was, but it's not anymore. I'm sorry." It's possibly the most pathetic and true thing he's ever said. His fingers are still trembling, tendons tight as his body finally begins to adjust to the absence of drugs that controlled him for so long.

12
Gerard sees the moment Frank finally believes Korse isn't fucking with them.

Frank comes over the hill above them, looking for a spot to piss or light up a smoke, and there's no way he misses Gerard on his knees in the dirt, Korse's dick in his mouth.

Gerard catches him when his eyes flick to the side, automatically scoping the surroundings even though all he can think about right now is the cock in his mouth, the way Korse is staring down at him, rapt, hands still and twined through Gerard's hair, and the expression on his face is so full of fervor, the kind of tenderness laced with lust that's impossible to feign.

He turns away before he sees Gerard notice him.

That night, Gerard hangs around the bonfire, swallowing down some of Ray's hot bean stew, which even has something green and leafy mixed in. Mikey sprawls next to him, dropping a package of markers in Gerard's lap. They're fucking old-school, Sharpies, practically antiques. They're even in fucking color, like neon pink and orange and blue and green. Gerard can't remember the last time he saw pens that weren't plain black, lifted from BLI offices and traded out into the Zones. Spraypaint, cheap acrylics, sure, but not markers. He looks up at Mikey, breaking into a huge grin.

Mikey ducks his head. "Yeah, I know. I tried them, they even work." He holds up his hand, an awkward unicorn with a pink and green mohawk scribbled across the back. Gerard selects three of the markers and tucks them in the waistband of his jeans, the leans over and drops a happy kiss on his brother's cheek. Fucking Mikey, he even blushes, and Gerard pokes his cheek until he finally lets out the tiny smile he was holding back.

Gerard plots his move before Frank can start in on Cherri's celebratory moonshine. The zones are ablaze with fire and jubilant anarchy tonight, but despite his role in planning the successful attack on BLI headquarters, Gerard has more important things on his mind than watching his band get drunk.

He grabs Frank and drags him out among the Joshua trees, their silhouettes stark and alien against the setting sun. He can hear Ray's fingers dancing over guitar strings, his clear high voice wrapping around the lyrics of the last song they'd sent over the waves. Gerard pauses, smiling gently as Ray and Grace croon in harmony, "You only hear the music when your heart begins to break." He's grateful when Frank's fingers tighten in his, and he turns to him, kissing him softly.

"I know you brought me out here for a reason, and it wasn't just to make out with me," Frank murmurs, and Gerard can hear a note of uncertainty in his voice. Gerard huffs against Frank's mouth, deepening the kiss and rubbing against him to show him just how wrong he is.

"It's to do with me, I'm sure," an amused voice says from the shadow of a boulder. Gerard strokes Frank's neck, trying to rub away the tension. Frank's vibrating under his hands, and Gerard grips him as Korse comes to them.

"We saw you watching us yesterday, Frank," Korse says, his voice like whiskey tumbled over gravel. Gerard nods, trying to hide the shiver that runs down his spine at the memory of Frank watching him like that, on his knees and blissing out on another man's cock.

Frank just nods, stepping away from Gerard and ducking his head. There's an awkward silence. "Thanks," he says, finally. "I... it's fucking big what you did back at BLI. You're an outlaw like us, now, and I guess... I can respect this." He scrubs his hand through the back of his hair, pulling back a little more and waving his hand significantly between Korse and Gerard.

"Frank," Korse says, disapprovingly. Gerard tugs on Frank's hand and kisses him again, hard, because this is no fucking time to be changing the subject. He feels the heat of Korse settle against his back, and watches as Korse reaches out to touch Frank's wrist. They're all holding their breath.

"I, ah, listen, I can't... um. Gerard," Frank says, a little helplessly, and his eyes are big and pleading. Gerard waves his hand, motioning decisively between them. He knows Frank, knows that he's hesitating because he thinks Gerard is moving away from him, which isn't the fucking case at all. He gives Frank his best "Don't be a fucking idiot, you know I'm stupidly in love with you" glare.

"Well," Frank says, his eyes softening a little and smiling up at Gerard. "If you say so."

"Is there a guide to Gerard interpretation? Or possibly Frank?" Korse inquires, amused.

Frank reaches over Gerard's shoulder and pulls Korse down, so their faces are all inches apart. "It's an immersion course," he says, and presses his lips firmly to Korse's. Gerard grins and watches, waiting for the moment Frank relaxes into the kiss and pulls one of his patented dirty tricks.

Frank finally breaks away, giggling a little smugly, and tugs at Gerard's hair. Gerard wants to turn around to see the look on Korse's face, but he can't quite bring himself to stop smiling at Frank right now.

Korse's hands run along Gerard's jeans, stilling when he reaches the pens. He pulls out a pink one and uncaps it, laughing and coughing in surprise at the smell.

"Sometimes there's hieroglyphs. And whole fucking comic books. Just wait until he starts drawing all over you," Frank says with a wicked grin and a kiss for Gerard.

Gerard grabs another pen from his waistband and tackles Frank to the dirt, pinning him and pulling up his shirt.

Korse kneels down and starts distracting Frank, whispering the most filthy things and stroking along his spine until he shivers and whines. Gerard doesn't mind a moving canvas, he decides smugly, and sets to work on Frank's back.

Epilogue
When they get back to camp, the sun has long set and the bonfire has died down to hot coals. Show Pony, Mikey, Cherri Cola and Dr. Death Defying are having an intense, drunken conversation over by the gas pumps, and Gerard takes a dozing Grace from Ray, her lanky weight awkward and perfect cuddled against him.

"What did you do?" Ray whispers, a grin tugging at his lips as Korse pulls Frank over to the fire, pulling up the hem of his shirt and down on the back of his pants to squint at the brown and gold marks Gerard had scrawled just above his ass.

"It looks like Old English runes," Korse says, voice low and amused.

"Hah hah what the fuck is this, Gerard? Fucking Lord of the Rings?" Frank giggles in mock outrage.

Ray comes over to peer solemnly at the runes. "'Speak 'friend' and enter', I believe," he says, with the air of a guy who's been waiting his whole life to show off his Elvish.

Grace giggles and says, "Mellon, good one, Gerard!" from Gerard's lap. He stares down at her, flushing, and she laughs at him. "Ray and I are on book two, now!" she announces, and snuggles closer.

Korse just shakes his head at Gerard, and Gerard sticks his tongue out at him.

Ray returns to his guitar, plucking a sweet little lullaby as everyone settles down in awkward piles around the fire.

Gerard pulls a pen out, blue, and adjusts Grace against his chest. She's sleeping, but the song is for her--he can see it in the way Ray glances up at them both. Words are tumbling in his head, clicking gently into place. He can hear them, he thinks, sung in her clear girlish soprano. Gerard takes her tanned arm and lets them spill through his pen onto her skin as Ray strums out the music.
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anatratrope: Gerard standing defiantly, yellow mask on with red paint under his jaw (Default)
anatratrope

June 2011

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