Generation Nothing

Chapter twenty-four

The next week was horrible, passing slower than it should have. The day Korse had raided the diner I had gone and retrieved Mikey. Of course, Lady couldn't miss the action and had to come along to, so we were all back to our cramped little sleeping conditions. Grace refused to leave either mine or Frank's side, always holding our hands and never hovering very far away from us unless it was absolutely necessary. At nights she slept between us, and she wouldn't leave in the morning unless one of us was with her. She had even woken me up once in the middle of the night because she needed to use the toilet. Late one night while Grace was asleep on my chest, arm clamped tightly over Frank's stomach, I couldn't help but muse to him how close we all were, like some little messed up family. Grace had become like a daughter to us, and us like parents to her. I would have liked to have considered myself the father but I knew it wasn't true. It was hard to decipher which of us would play what role, but I had a funny feeling in the end I would end up the mother. Then you have Mikey, the uncle, and Lady, the aunt. They damned well acted like it, too. Of course, Doctor D was definitely the grandfather, you could see it just looking at the pair. Show Pony seemed to be somewhat like a bigger brother. The pair, in their own way, made fun of both Frank and myself behind our backs, and they had even teased Mikey in front of me once. They always laughed and played together, Show Pony often twirling merely for her delight. Yes, it was clear that they would have to be the siblings in the family. Though the thought of Show Pony being my child, and more or less coming from my abdomen made my stomach lurch. And then there was Jet Star. He was the cousin, I'd say. The way he'd might light conversations in the zone heat, laughing at the stupidest things and always trying to keep Grace's smile on her face. Definitely her cousin.
As soon as I told Frank he laughed. I had thought he was laughing at the absurdity of the idea. Turns out he was laughing because it was so “blindingly obvious” he had been amazed he himself hadn't picked it up. With that he had reached over to pat Grace's hair a bit, before bringing his hands up to my cheek.
'I wouldn't have it any other way, Gerard.' He gently picked himself up, leaning over me and placing a chaste kiss on my lips. When he pulled back he frowned slightly. I returned the expression.
'What's up?' I asked him softly. He shook his head.

That had been three nights ago. Today was the day we were to face off with Korse, and I woke up to see Grace sitting up between Frank and I, a small frown on her face. She didn't realize I was awake, and I lay there for a moment just watching her before I finally spoke up.
'What's wrong, Gracie?' I asked softly, as to not disturb the sleeping form of Frank beside me. She looked up at me with sad eyes. I watched her for a moment, as tears began to well up in her eyes.
'Gerard, what if you don't come back?' She whimpered, 'What if you and Frank don't come out of this alive?' She broke down into sobs, flinging her arms around me as she fell back down onto the bed. I heard Frank grunt, as I pulled her into a tight hug and shushed her.
'Honey, we've faced more Draculoids than this before, not to mention we've been face to face with Korse two other times. He's a chicken, I wouldn't even be surprised if he brought more back up than shots he'll fire. Alright, honey? Don't worry about us. I've survived the Zones for this long, I'll survive for that much longer.' She nodded, sniffing slightly. I looked passed her to see Frank with his eyes open and misty, staring at the back of Grace's head. He reached over to gently brush her back, and she turned her head to look at him for a moment before hugging him.
'Gracie, could you go make sure the others are up?' He sounded horrible, his voice thicker than normal.
'A-alright.' Grace nodded unsurely, hesitating for a moment before standing up and leaving the room. We both remained unmoving until we heard the door shut behind her, and Frank wiggled over to wrap his arm over my stomach. He kissed my chest softly, before shutting his eyes and sighing gently.
'You know, she just said what we're all thinking.' He whispered. I sighed, reaching up to brush his hair with my fingers.
'Believe me, Frank, I know. You really think I want to lose you or Mikey, or even Jet Star? I can't bare losing strangers, I don't even want to know how I'll handle losing any of yous.' He nodded.
'Nor do I. I don't think I could handle losing you, Gerard.' I looked down at him, a heavy sigh lingering in my throat. I weaved my hand through his hair, gently grabbing it as I wrapped my spare arm around his back tightly. We were both on the same page, and we knew it.
'Frank, if I die...' I swallowed the saliva in my mouth, 'I want you to take care of my little brother. I want you to make sure him and Lady fall deeply in love and get married and have evil little spawns and then let them grow old together. I want you to make sure Doctor D keeps his radio station -- and the hopes of every Killjoy – alive. And most importantly, I want you to take care of Grace and teach her to grow up into a wonderful little killjoy. Oh, and also make sure you avenge my death by bringing down Better living Industries and whatnot, but those others are more important.' He chuckled soberly.
'Please, Gerard, don't even say that. You make it sound like you know you're not coming back.' I let go off Frank suddenly and pushed myself up slightly, arching an eyebrow.
'Wait, wait, wait. I hope you realize that I do plan to come back alive. I just said that for dramatic effect.' I laughed, and he rolled his eyes, pushing himself up into a sitting position. I could still feel the gloomy atmosphere he presented.
'Frank,' I sighed, leaning over to take his face in my hand, 'please don't be like this.' He sniffed.
'Gerard, I-I...' He looked at me, torn. He quickly shook his head, his cheek brushing up against my hand. He suddenly threw a leg over my lap, straddling me. He wrapped his arms around my neck and quickly kissed my vein, as I wrapped my arms around him.
'In case one of us doesn't come back, Gerard,' he sighed, hugging me tighter still, 'I want you to know I love you. I've loved you ever since I met you. Before I even fucking met you. You and Kobra Kid, along with Dr D, you guys were my inspiration, my hope, my dreams. You guys kept me fighting.' Frank broke down into tears in my shoulder, and I was fucking close myself, 'Ever since I lost Jamia fighting I've had nothing to live for. I had no one in Battery City, no one to go home to at night. It just helped me to know that there were good people out there like you three not just fighting for yourselves, but for everyone else out there. They're right, Gerard. Your a beacon of hope for so many people, and I know that first fucking hand. God I love you and I don't know what I'll do if I lose you.' I hugged him as tight as I possibly could.
'Fuck, Frank. just...fuck, I love you too. God, why didn't you tell me this before? God I feel like such a self-centered jerk now.' I chuckled, reaching up to wipe at my cheeks. Frank pulled away.
'You're not a self-centered jerk, you've just got so much weight on your fucking shoulders you don't know what to do with it.' With that, he pulled me into a deep kiss.
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