Death-Wish Kids


Mikey's mom was sitting in the living room with a book perched on her lap when Mikey led me inside. Frank sat next to her, talking animatedly about something, his eyes flashing to me.

Mikey's mom turned and looked at me. A smile lit up her face and she stood up, walking around the end table towards us. "You must be Cyren," she greeted, wrapping her arms around my shoulders warmly, "You can call me Donna. I'm Mikey and Gerard's mom."

"Isn't that obvious?" Frank asked from the couch, laughing as Donna shot him a look.

"I'm also Frankie's surrogate mother," she stated, not sounding particularly thrilled about the idea. She covered her smile with her hand as Frank rolled his eyes and climbed over the back of the couch.

"You love me, Donna," he exclaimed, wrapping his arms around her shoulders from behind, "You love me more than you love Mikey."

Donna patted his hands, secretly rolling her eyes at him. "Sure, Frankie," she murmured, "You're my best boy."

Mikey didn't mind his mom being so affectionate towards his best friend. It was easy to see that Donna Way was that way with most people. She offered me a seat on the couch in their living room and grinned as her son politely asked her if she would be watching the movies with us.

"The old woman is just getting to know your new friend, Michael," she joked, sitting down next to me on their couch, "I just want to know why such a beautiful young girl is hanging out with you and Frankie."

Frank pouted dramatically. "Donna, are you saying that we're not good enough for Cyren?" he asked, jutting his bottom lip out at the woman.

I looked behind me in surprise as Gerard spoke up, leaning against the edge of the wall. "Obviously she's got to have some defect if she thinks you two are suitable friends," he said as he walked into the room, seemingly coming in from the kitchen.

Donna scolded her oldest son, "Gerard, be nice to this girl. She's a guest in our home and you don't know her half as well enough to be picking on her. Mind your manners."

Frank paraphrased as he pulled blankets out of the closet and threw them on the unused end of the couch. "What she's saying is that you can't pick on strangers, but Mikey is anyone's game."

Mikey glared at his best friend as he plucked a movie from the stand beneath their television.

"Sorry, Ma," Gerard apologized, walking around the couch as he came farther into the living room. "So what are we watching?" he questioned as he scooped the stack of movies from the floor next to his brother. He tossed them to me one by one after he'd looked at each title.

I caught the first one instinctively, not realizing that more were going to come flying at me. "Thanks," I muttered, gathering them up into a neat pile as Donna shook her head at him.

"Which one do you want to watch first?" he asked, barely meeting my eyes as he glanced up from the last case.

I had never seen any of these movies before. I scanned the images on the covers, hoping that one of them would seem more interesting than the rest. "Uhm, it doesn't matter to me," I said when I realized he was waiting for a reply, "I'm not a big movie person, so I trust you guys."

"Not a big movie person," Gerard repeated, climbing onto the free end of the couch and tucking his legs under him.

I scanned over his posture and nodded slowly. "I don't really watch them..." I trailed off, trying to clarify what I meant. "I don't really have time."

"What do you do instead?" he asked offhandedly, his eyes trained on something on the back of the movie case.

Frank met my eye. He'd been trying to yank the blankets out from under Gerard to no avail, but he stopped now, waiting to hear my reply since he already knew the real answer.

"Not a whole lot," I said, looking away from Frank's eyes, "I guess I'm just not a movie person."

Gerard looked up and held my gaze. "You will be," he stated, tossing the last case at me, "Trust me."

Donna left the room a few minutes later, claiming that she was going to start dinner for us. Frank pulled on the blankets and managed to get Gerard to move into his mother's spot, next to me, so that he was no longer sitting on Frank's blankets.

The short boy laid them on the floor neatly, making sure that the corners were lined up perfectly before he added another on top. Gerard directed from his spot next to me, pointing out that the blue fleece blanket Frank had just laid down was much smaller than the others and that Mikey would be forced to lay on the edge, feeling the lump under him.

Mikey, who was fiddling with the DVD player, turned to stare at his older brother. "Why do I always get the short end of the stick?" he questioned, sounding offended.

"Because you're the youngest," Gerard stated, rolling his eyes at the pointless question. "You've been asking that for years and you always get the same answer, so you might as well stop asking," he suggested, reaching for one of the extra pillows Frank had accumulated from down the hall.

Mikey helped Frank fix up the blankets a little bit before the two of them dropped the floor, remotes in hand. Mikey leaned back against the couch between Gerard and I, and tipped his head back to look at his brother.

"Can you get the lights?" he asked, hazel eyes meeting hazel eyes.

Gerard rolled his and huffed loudly. He climbed off of the couch and stepped over his brother, pulling his jeans up higher on his hips as he moved towards the dials on the wall. He turned a nob, dimming the lights until they were off.

He looked at the room, seemingly gaging it, before he stepped over the boys and pulled the blinds down over the windows, effectively darkening the room.

The main screen of the film came onto the TV as he climbed back into his spot, tucking his legs under him and leaning against the pillow he swiped from Frank.

He shifted continuously throughout the movie, every so often whispering to me about what was happening even though he wasn't really whispering at all.

"What was that?" I asked softly, glancing from their TV screen to Gerard, "Why'd she just hide that?"

He looked at me out of the corner of his eye. "She doesn't want anyone to find it," he stated, giving me the most obvious answer he could think of.

I rolled my eyes at him, knowing he saw.

He sighed as he sat up straighter, sliding closer to me so that he could talk quieter and not bother Frank and Mikey. "She hides that picture of her and Adam because she can't remember ever knowing him. She's living this entirely different life but has no knowledge of ever being someone else," he explained, his knees touching my thigh as he shifted. "Not only doesn't she want anyone else to find it, she doesn't want to find it. It's a secret she wishes would stay hidden."

I watched the character on the screen, trying to analyze her like Gerard had done so easily. I saw a frightened woman with no recollection of the things she was remembering, but he saw a woman who didn't want to remember for the sake of blissful ignorance.

I looked back at him. "You're good."

He smiled a crooked grin and shrugged. "I've seen this a hundred times." He turned his attention back to the movie.

All three of the boys shouted unhappily when Donna Way walked into the room and flipped the light on. She glared at them, demanding that they pause the movie for dinner. "Your father is on his way," she warned, pointing a finger at Gerard, "So stop giving me trouble and get in the kitchen."

"Ma, come on," Gerard whined, pressing the palms of his hands together like he was praying, "We've got under twenty minutes left. It ruins the experience if you take a break in the middle!"

She silenced him with a stony look.

He groaned loudly and smacked the back of his brother's head. Mikey sat forward on contact so that Gerard could get past him. Frank stood up and pulled Mikey up too. I got up, feeling slightly awkward about eating dinner with their family, but walked beside Donna into their kitchen.

"This is my favorite room in the house," she said to me as she lead me into the large room, "Don just redid it for our anniversary."

"It's so pretty," I murmured, running my fingers over the granite counter top of the center island.

Donna wrapped her arm around my shoulders and squeezed. "Thank you, Sweetheart. Do you like to cook? I could never get any of the boys to give it a try." She shook her head at Frank and Mikey, who were sitting at the kitchen table.

I frowned in confusion. "I've never tried," I said offhandedly, wondering where Gerard could've gone, "My mom wasn't really into homemade meals."

"That's a shame," she stated, gently pushing me over towards the table, "I could teach you sometime, if you'd like. Show you how to make the basics so you can take care of yourself."

I nodded, my eyes trained on the only door on the room. "I'd like that," I said honestly, turning my attention back to her, "I'd be nice to be able to cook for myself. I could surprise my dad with a meal or something."

I sat down on one of the chairs at the table as Donna buzzed around the stove, making sure everything was the way it was supposed to be. She looked across the kitchen at me as she asked, "What does your father do?"

"He's a chef, actually," I stated softly.

She smiled, wiping her hands with a dishrag. "Couldn't he teach you a thing or two?" she asked with a laugh, "I'm sure he's much better than I am."

Mikey cut in, "You should've been a chef, Mom. Sacrificing having Gerard would've been worth it."

His mom sighed. "Go get your brother," she instructed, nodding towards the door behind the table. "I don't know why that boy insists on skipping meals," she muttered to herself, shaking her head, "He's as thin as a twig."

Mikey opened the door and thumped down the stairs. I peered after him until the darkness swallowed him up and hid him from me. Frank said my name, calling my attention back to him.

"That's Gee's lair," he joked, leaning against the wall, "Some people go down and never make it back up."

I smiled, glancing back at the stairs. "He sleeps down there?" I asked, looking back to the boy.

He shrugged. "He used to have Mikey's room," he explained, "But then one day he decided he liked the basement better." Frank rolled his eyes as he recalled the memory. "I dropped his fucking bed frame on my toes trying to get it down those goddamn steps."

Donna glared at Frank without saying a word.

Frank glanced at her sheepishly, resting his elbows on the table. "Sorry," he muttered, looking behind me as voices trailed up the stairs.

Gerard appeared first and charged right past the table towards his mom. "I'm not hungry," he stated, leaning against the island as she looked him over. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket and let her look at him. I watched too, wondering what the big deal was if he wasn't hungry and why his mom was sizing him up.

Finally Donna uncrossed her arms. "You're eating, Gerard," she stated in a tone a voice that didn't leave much room for arguing. "Your father will be home any minute now. If you have a problem with eating dinner, you mention it to him." She turned her back to him so she could wash her hands in the double sink.

Gerard stood at the edge of the counter, stunned, and groaned loudly. He walked over to the table and sat down in one of the chairs without a word.

The sound of their front door opening was heard just moments later. Mikey grinned and stood up from his seat as an older man walked into the room. "Hey, Dad," he greeted, walking over to him, "How was your day?"

He pulled his youngest son into his arms. "It was fine. What about yours? How was school?" He looked at Frank and Gerard as he directed the questions towards them too.

Frank and Mikey replied that it was fine, throwing in a couple comments that pointed out that high school couldn't get much better than fine, but Gerard sat stoic in his chair.

Mr. Way's attention turned to me after he noted his oldest son's terrible mood. "You must be Cyren," he greeted with a smile as he and Mikey walked over to the table, "It's great to finally meet you. I'm Don."

I shook his hand across the table. "Nice to meet you too," I replied, trying not to seem as awkward as I felt.

"She's going to let me teach her a few things about cooking," Donna piped up as she pulled plates down from their cupboard. "You know I always wanted the boys to learn..."

Don nodded eagerly. "You even decided that you were going to stop cooking until one of them made us dinner," he recalled, laughing as he walked over and wrapped his arms around his wife, "You gave in when you realized that they were just buying fast-food instead."

Dinner was on the table within minutes. Don kicked Gerard out of his chair and into the one next to me. His mom sat across from him with Mikey and Frank to her left.

Donna dished out the food, pushing a separate bowl of lasagna towards Frank. Upon seeing the confused look on my face, she explained, "He doesn't have cooties or anything," she laughed, patting the boy's shoulder, "He just doesn't eat meat."

"Really?" I asked, turning my attention to Frank as he scooped some lasagna out of the large bowl and onto his plate.

He nodded. "Yeah, I don't know how you guys eat them," he stated, wincing as he pictured something to do with dead animals in his head.

"My dad would never let me be a vegetarian," I said, flashing a smile at Donna as she filled my plate with meaty lasagna. "He's the one who cooks, so I pretty much eat what ever he makes."

"I don't know how he doesn't eat meat," Mikey said with a grin before he scooped a large bite of lasagna into his mouth. "It's so delicious."

"Actually," Frank answered, "It's all the flesh of a dead, malnourished, tortured -"

"That's enough, Frankie," Don cut him off, giving the boy a look, "We're proud of you for sticking up for the animals, but just don't ruin meat for the rest of us."

Frank grinned, turning his attention back to his plate, seemingly unbothered by Don's warning.

Don turned his to his oldest son. Gerard was picking through his food, eating little bites but not scarfing down like his brother. "What's wrong with you?" he asked, kicking his son's foot under the table to get his attention.

Gerard shrugged, his anger gone and replaced with apathy. "Nothing," he said, meeting his dad's eyes, "I'm just not hungry."

"What'd you eat for lunch?" Donald asked, leaning his elbows on the table as he waited for Gerard's reply. Everyone else was silent as they pretended to mind their own business. I did the same, focusing on my plate instead on the three members of the Way family.

"I ate at Lindsey's house," he said, looking between his mom and dad, "She asked me to meet her parents so we had a late lunch at their house."

Donna's face brightened instantly, obviously pleased to hear about Gerard and his girlfriend. "Why didn't you just tell us?" she questioned, "We would've backed off instantly, Gerard."

The twenty year old rolled his eyes. "Because you always get super excited," he muttered, running the palm of his hand over his short, bleached white hair. "It was just lunch. Nothing serious."

Don was grinning too as he rebutted, "Meeting the parents is a pretty big deal, Gerard," he stated, touching his son's shoulder, "If you don't want things to get too serious, you better be careful of what you agree to."

Gerard rolled his eyes. "Don't worry, Dad," he stated, pushing his plate away from him, "It was just lunch."

Frank and Mikey laughed at some joke that I hadn't heard, and Gerard shot them a look, unsuccessfully trying to silence them. Frank felt the need to clue me in on what they were laughing about. "Lindsey is his not-girlfriend," he explained, ignoring Gerard's glare, "But if you ask her, they're about to get married or something."

"Shut up," Gerard said to them before he added to me, "That's not true."

I held my hands up in defense. "It doesn't matter to me," I murmured, unable to keep the smile off my lips as Frank and Mikey laughed loudly, having thrown another joke onto the table.

Gerard sighed and gave in, crossing his arms over his chest. He looked pointedly at his parents and said, "This is why I didn't say anything. We have the two most immature teenage boys here and you want me to spill my guts."

Don replied, "Sorry, son," although it was obvious by the smile on his face that he wasn't really. It seemed that he was amused by Frank and Mikey's jabs towards Gerard. It was relaxing to see a family who could make fun of each other and not really be angry. Donna constantly stood up for who ever was the center of the jokes, but Don laughed along with them, not taking anyone's side as he laughed at everything through out dinner.

The four of us congregated back in the Way's living room after we'd eaten. Donna and Don remained in the kitchen, telling the boys that they would do the dishes for tonight. I sat back in my same spot on the couch, managing to swipe a blanket from the floor before Frank and Mikey could sit on it.

"Let us know if you need another one," Mikey said as he and Frank sat on the floor. "My parents don't know how to turn the heat on."

Gerard sat next to me again, curling his feet under him and covering his legs with the end of my blanket. "It's always fucking freezing in here," he agreed, "But I swear, if we so much as touch the thermostat, they'll disown us."

Frank laughed as Mikey quoted his parents. "You have have heat when you can pay the bill," he stated matter-of-factly, shaking his head like it was unbelievable.

"It's pretty much their only downfall," Gerard confessed, glancing towards the kitchen, "Otherwise, they're not half-bad parents." He grinned lopsidedly and added, "Don't you ever tell them I said that."

I pulled my knees up to my chest, looking in the same direction. "They seem pretty great to me," I confessed, picturing my own parents. "They still love each other and they obviously love you guys."

Frank spoke before either of the brother's could. "They love me more," he stated, pouting as Mikey's fist hit his shoulder. "They'll love you more than me if you keep coming over though. Donna always wanted a little girl. She got these two losers instead. You're going to take my place as the favorite though."

I smiled and offered him an apology. I couldn't help but hope that it was true. I wanted to be accepted here. They weren't like my own at all, and I couldn't help but wonder if that was why I liked them so much.

Gerard rolled his eyes at Frank and yanked the remote from his brother's hand.

I sat back against the couch as Gerard started the movie again, ignoring Mikey as he and Frank tried to wrestle the remote out of his hand.
♠ ♠ ♠
Not the best chapter. :(
But I wanted to tell you about a story that I'm thinking about starting. It won't be for a little while, but I've never really written anything like this new story, so I'm excited and nervous. :3

It's called From the Ashes & it's an Andy Biersack AU story.

I know a lot of people aren't really into Black Veil Brides stories because a lot of the plots are the same or most of them are slashes, but I promise this isn't like that. I'm not exactly sure what all the details are yet, but I'm working them out.

Please, please, at least spare a look at the summary!
From the Ashes