The sidewalk is cold and rough and Gerard doesn’t like it, but yet, here he is, in the very early hours of the morning, doing his best to not hate Andy as much as he’d really like to right now.
Oli is leaning up against him, barely awake, muttering curses at Andy, who’s on the other side of Gerard. Vic is sitting next to Oli, occasionally smacking him in the leg and saying ‘shut the fuck up’.
“We are here because?” Oli whines, shifting more of his weight on to Gerard.
“Why don’t you guess?” Andy says.
“Because you hate us all,” Oli says.
“Try again, fucknut. Anybody else got an idea?” Andy says. He’s in the mindset Gerard sincerely doesn’t like, the one where he’s a fearless leader with an ice cold heart, his voice as emotionless as his expression. There is no way anyone could get him to be human right now. Not even Oli.
“This isn’t our territory,” Vic says, scrutinizing the side of the abandoned warehouse that is heavily graffiti’d in many colors, an entire rainbow with the addition of many colors that appear to be mixtures, colors that could only be created by combining paint can after paint can.
“Correct. This sidewalk we are sitting on happens to be the very literal line between what is our territory and what is not. Any other observations?” Andy further presses.
“There’s an excess of graffiti from different gangs. I don’t see more than one marking per gang,” Gerard says, his voice just about as quiet as the world around them.
“Excellent job. Anyone else?”
“Well, I do know one thing,” Vic says, after far too long.
“What would that be?” Andy says, his voice cold, nearly mocking.
“That graffiti freaks me the fuck out.”
“And why is that?”
“About 95% of those markings are a whole new level violent. They are most definitely threats. Fucking promises to hurt whoever this is directed at,” Vic says.
“Ding ding ding! We’ve got ourselves a winner! Good job Vic,” Andy says, feigning jubilance.
“These are indeed threats,” Andy continues. “Threats against us, our alliances, everything and everyone associated with us.”
Andy stands, pushing himself up from the cold cement and gesturing for the others to do the same.
“This is more or less an official warning. What this graffiti communicates is that if we don’t get ourselves off the headlines and if we don’t stop bringing all the attention to us, they’re going to do whatever they have to do to get rid of us.”
“Why would they want us out of the spotlight?” Gerard asks.
“The more attention we get, the more powerful we are. We get more and more untouchable with every headline and arrest warrant, and they don’t want that. They don’t want us to have too much power. Thus, this lovely mess in front of us,” Andy says.
Vic shudders. “Let’s just get the fuck out of here before the sun is up and the targets on mine and Oli’s back are flashing fucking neon signs. Besides, we gotta fucking walk back.”
“He’s right,” Oli says.
“Well, get going then,” Andy says.
With that, Oli and Vic leave, silently, an invisible darkness weighing down the world around them.
“Did you remember to grab the house key?” Vic asks as they approach Kellin’s house.
“Nope. We get to pick a lock,” Oli responds. Vic groans.
“Come the fuck on man! You forgot the fucking key?”
“Yup. I suggest picking the back door so we don’t get the cops called on us.”
“No shit,” Vic says as they walk around the back of Kellin’s house at godforsaken in the morning.
Oli hums cheerfully while he wiggles the bobby pin in the lock, leaning against the door until he hears the telltale ‘click’ that means the door is open.
“Sometimes I can’t fucking believe you,” Vic says as they walk into the house.
“You know what I can’t fucking believe?” Oli says.
“What?” Vic responds.
“That no one fun is awake.”
And with that, Oli practically sprints upstairs, gone before Vic’s brain can really register what he’s about to do, and when it dawns on him, he swears to himself and bolts after him, but it’s too late.
Oli has barreled through the door of the room where they were all sleeping, jumping on top of Kellin and Frank and yelling like a madman all the while.
“GOOD FUCKIN’ MORNING!” Oli shouts at the top of his lungs, earning himself a rather vulgar response from Kellin.
“WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?” Kellin screams, and Vic runs faster, losing his footing a little as he rounds a corner.
The sight once he gets inside the room is one to behold. Oli is standing on the bed, in between Kellin and Frank, with a maniac grin. Kellin is glowering at Oli, arms crossed, sitting up, awake, but Frank is still curled up on his side, probably conscious, but not giving Oli the satisfaction of getting him up, and this obviously bothers Oli.
“Frank,” he stage-whispers, jumping a little. “Wake up.”
Frank makes some sort of noise, but he makes no movement to sit up or open his eyes. Oli pouts and jumps a little again, hissing Frank’s name more insistently this time.
“Well screw this. If I have to be up, so do you,” Kellin says, standing up on the bed next to Oli, which earns him a smile.
“Don’t you fucking smile at me, I fucking hate you. But I hate suffering alone more,” Kellin spits at Oli, before nudging Frank’s back with his foot.
“Guys,” Vic whispers, opting to enter the room then. “Leave him alone. Let him sleep.”
“Fuck no. Frank, get up. Get up or I’ll cry,” Kellin says loudly, not quite shouting, but getting there, nudging Frank’s back again.
Once more, Frank only makes a noise in response, no real words coming from his mouth.
“I will cry Iero. And light things on fire in my sorrow. Fucking get up.”
“My lighter is in the front left pocket of my pants. Have fun,” Frank mutters, and Kellin hops off the bed, kicking around the pile of shit on the floor a bit, searching for Frank’s pants.
“Where the fuck even are your pants?” he asks, picking up a pair of jeans and then tossing them across the room when he decides that those aren’t the pair that he’s looking for.
“I’m still wearing them,” Frank responds, flopping over to lay on his stomach and bury his face in the pillow.
“You slept with a lighter in your pocket?” Oli asks.
“That’s kind of dangerous, don’t you think?”
“Nope. It’s more dangerous to even let that thing know I have a lighter,” he says, flapping a hand in Kellin’s direction without even moving his face from the pillow.
“So I’m a thing now?”
“When weren’t you a thing?” Vic says, and Kellin balls up a t-shirt and throws it in Vic’s face.
“If Andy didn’t scare me so much, I would shove you down the stairs,” Kellin says, crawling back up on the bed and tugging at Frank’s torso, trying to get him to roll over.
“Roll over dammit, I want your lighter.”
“You’re funny. No.”
“If you’d get up, I wouldn’t be sad, and then I wouldn’t have to light things on fire,” Kellin bargains.
“Fine. Fucking fine,” Frank relents, rolling over and sitting up.
“Good morning,” Vic says, and Frank glares at him.
“Shut the fuck up.”
Three hours and roughly two and a half dozen pancakes later, Oli and Kellin have built a fort out of couch cushions and have reached a temporary truce so they can conspire against their captors (their ‘captors’ being Vic and Frank, who have denied the two an adventure in to the outside world).
The two have been sitting in their fort for quite a while, brainstorming various ways to escape. So far, they’ve ruled out more than half of their ideas, most of which involved lighting fire to something or someone.
Kellin is chewing on the end of his pencil, spacing out in an attempt to form ideas while Oli combs through their list and crosses out everything that involves grenades.
“What’ve we got left?” Kellin asks around the pencil in his mouth.
“One thing. Annoying them until they’re forced to take us outside.”
He takes the pencil out of his mouth and sighs.
“There’s no fire involved, but I guess it’ll work.”
At that, Oli grins. “Who ever said that annoying them couldn’t involve fire?”
Kellin rolls his eyes and leans forward, tapping an item on their list with this pencil.
“Number eight. Lighting fires until they release us.”
Kellin is never going to admit it, but he’s found that Oli isn’t as annoying as Kellin first thought he was.
Both boys are crouched down low to the ground, peering around the corner of the kitchen, staring intensely at the back of Vic and Frank’s heads, loaded Nerf guns in both their hands, biding their time, waiting.
“When I count to three,” Oli whispers, “Jump up and just unload these motherfuckers in their general direction. As long as we hit them, we’re good.”
Kellin nods. “Got it.”
“Ready?” Oli asks.
“THREE!” Oli shouts, jumping out from behind the corner and hardly giving Kellin the proper amount of reaction time. Kellin stumbles to his feet, following Oli rather gracelessly, and Kellin starts shooting haphazardly at Vic and Frank.
Oli simply cackles in response, and Kellin can’t resist laughing himself, especially when he hits Frank square in the forehead and Frank turns on him with his face contorted in such a ridiculous angry expression that Kellin just about completely loses it right then and there.
They run out of bullets quickly, however. It dawns on him that they didn’t plan past assaulting Vic and Frank, and there’s a moment where nothing happens, but then Frank swears at Kellin and, in a sudden superhuman feat, picks Kellin up and slings him over his shoulder, walking in to the living room and throwing Kellin over the back of the couch, still swearing.
“What the literal fuck was that, Sykes?” Vic demands, throwing a foam dart back at Oli, who is kneeling on the kitchen floor, picking up the stray bullets.
“GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!” Kellin shouts, and Frank gives him the best nonverbal ‘what drugs did you take’ look that he has.
“In all the time that I’ve known you, you’ve never once paid attention in history class. How do you even kind of know that?” Frank says.
“Sometimes I pay attention. Very rarely. That time Mr. Robinson got all excited and ranty about Patrick Henry was one of them,” Kellin explains.
“I’m going to pretend that that makes sense. Oli, what about you? What’s your side to the story?”
Oli shrugs. “He’s pretty much got it.”
“Well what does that mean? What does Kellin quoting dead white men have to do with trying to kill Frank and I with Nerf darts?” Vic inquires, gesturing wildly with his hands, his frustration getting the best of him and as well as the best of his motor skills.
“It means that you either liberate us, or we kill you,” Kellin says.
“I don’t think that’s what Patrick Henry meant,” Frank says kind of quietly, shaking his head.
“It is now,” Kellin retorts.
“What does liberating you entail?” Vic says slowly.
“Letting us the fuck outside,” Oli says.
Vic sighs heavily. He leans against the counter and silence weighs heavy in the room while Vic very nearly visibly gauges the consequences and potential outcomes of letting Oli and Kellin outside.
He exhales again and tilts his head up towards the ceiling.
“Okay. Fine. We can go to a park or something,” Vic relents.
Kellin and Oli both cheer in excitement, while Frank just looks at Vic for a moment, drinking in his expression and the miniscule clues in his body language.
Vic is worried. Very worried, on the verge of panicking.
When Oli and Kellin run upstairs to grab whatever it is they decided that they positively need to take with them to the park, Frank verbalizes his concerns.
“Are you going to be okay?” Frank asks, and Vic nods in response, kind of slowly, a little delayed, but it’s an answer, and it’s better than nothing.
“You sure?” he says, just wanting to be as positive as he can that Vic will be alright.
“Yeah. I... Yeah. I’m just a little worried, you know? Like, what if someone recognizes us? What if someone notices who we are and calls the police? We’re already risking it as we are, we’re breaking Andy’s rules, and I mean, Oli was going to do that anyway, but this is all of us. In public. For an extended period of time.”
“We’ll be fine, I’m positive. And even if the police do get called, you guys run from them all the time. Kellin and I can keep up just fine. We’ll be fine, Vic.”
Vic smiles, small, scared. “Yeah. Okay. You’re right. We’ll be fine.”
Kellin and Oli come running back downstairs then, muttering uncharacteristically hushed, and Frank can practically see the tension that hadn’t completely melted away from Vic’s shoulders return in a rush.
“Hey,” Kellin says, his voice startlingly gentle. “You guys ready to go?”
Frank and Vic exchange a quick look, and then Frank nods.
“Yes, we’re ready, now let’s get going before it gets too dark,” Frank says, and the group heads out the door and starts down the street.
Oli and Kellin hadn’t meant to eavesdrop on Frank and Vic, but it happened, and frankly, they’re both equal amounts secretly happy that they’d heard how Vic was actually feeling.
They knew that they were pushing it when they wanted to go outside. They were under strict instructions to keep their head down and keep themselves out of the public eye as much as possible, but the two couldn’t help that they felt trapped and that they needed to get outside and breathe new oxygen.
Now, looking back, there were many holes in their plan to be released: the first being what happens after they attacked Frank and Vic, the second being the emotional stress caused by their need to go outside.
“I’ve never seen him get worried like this,” Oli whispers to Kellin as they walk towards the park. “Vic is usually the one that’s all calm and collected. He just doesn’t let anyone know if he’s freaking out.”
Kellin flicks his gaze over to the back of Vic’s head.
"Can you tell if he's freaking out right now?" Kellin asks, and Oli squints his eyes like he's looking at the sun.
"I think that he's freaking out a little, but not as much as he could be. Frank calmed him down a lot, so he's not as... Panicky, or whatever. We might be in the clear, just don't do anything too stupid or extravagant and we'll probably get through tonight all in one piece," Oli says.
Kellin resigns himself to a small amount of guilt and challenges Oli to a rock kicking contest so he doesn't have to think so hard about making Vic panic like he did. He watches as the rock skitters across the sidewalk, the sound raw and harrowing in his ears, and he doesn’t completely understand why the sound is echoing in his head like it is.
Maybe his brain just needed to fill the pounding silence.
All traces of guilt are forgotten once Frank breaks the lock around the rusted chain-link fence and Kellin sets his sights on the imminently dangerous jungle gym, punching Oli in the arm and yelling “race you!”, sprinting towards the waiting death trap faster than he’s probably ever ran in his life.
He’s surprised that the bars don’t give out beneath his feet when he starts to climb the structure, but the lack of safety doesn’t spurn him. Kellin keeps climbing, and he hears OIi’s rushed footsteps and maniac screaming approaching him a significant amount of time before Oli himself joins Kellin on the jungle gym.
“Not fucking fair,” Oli pants, getting a foothold on one of the progressively disintegrating rusted bars and hoisting himself up to where Kellin has perched himself at the very top of the jungle gym, sitting down next to Kellin on one of the less dangerous looking bars.
“Totally fucking fair,” Kellin says, stomping hard on a bar below them, doing his best to actually break the precarious structure, but it hasn’t been relenting.
“Wanna see something cool?” Oli offers, stomping his foot on the bar next to the one Kellin has been stomping.
Kellin looks up at him cautiously. “I feel like the answer should be no, but I’m going to say yes.”
Oli grins. “Glad you’ve got sense enough to agree, because I would’ve done it anyway.”
He climbs off of the jungle gym and gestures for Kellin to do the same. Once the two are both on the ground, Oli ducks underneath the jungle gym and grabs two of the rusted bars above his head like he’s going to do a pull up, then he jumps and wraps his legs around a pair of bars next to the ones his hands had been on a few moments before.
The result is Oli hanging upside down like a bat, and Kellin is, admittedly, unimpressed.
That is, until Oli drops his hands lower to one of the bars that they’d used to climb up the jungle gym and arches his spine to accommodate the stretch, and Kellin is left wondering how the fuck someone learns that they can do that.
“Oliver! Fucking stop that before you break your spine!” Vic shouts, and Oli frees one of his hands to flip Vic off.
“You ruin all of my fun!” he shouts in response, but he relents, and undoes himself slowly as to not break himself or the structure and crawls out from beneath the jungle gym.
“C’mon,” Oli says, “Let’s go have fun on the swingset,”
Kellin smirks. “Bet I can jump further than you.”
“Hell fucking no. You’re on.”
Frank and Vic are sitting on one of the mossy, long since abandoned park benches, watching Kellin and Oli launch themselves off of the swings, shouting about how the other had cheated by either levitating, flying, or some kind of ethereal force that neither of the boys had bothered enough to peg. Vic’s phone starts buzzing furiously, and the look on his face when he sees who’s calling is an odd mixture of puzzlement and dry, untainted fear.
“It’s Andy,” he mutters.
“Well then answer it!” Frank says, hoping to kick Vic’s brain in to starting.
He answers the phone, and then puts it on speaker so Frank can hear it too.
“Hey,” Vic says, and the voice on the other end of the line sounds distressed and haggard.
“Are you guys at home?” Andy asks, and at this moment, Oli chose to scream very loudly about how Kellin was part bird and he should just fucking admit it already.
“No. Oh, and you’re on speaker phone.”
“Get home right the fuck now before I track your fucking call and come find you and shoot you all myself. And I mean right the fuck now. Like, you should be heading to your house as we finish this call,” Andy spits.
“Okay, okay, Jesus Christ. We’re going. Frank, get Oli and Kellin? They’ll probably listen to you better than me,” Vic says as he stands and begins to leave the park, his friends close behind.
“What’s going on, Andy?” Vic asks, concern bubbling in his throat.
“I’m meeting you at Kellin’s house.”
The dial tone buzzes in his ears and Vic just about throws up then and there.
True to his word, Andy is already there when the group returns home.
“What’s happening?” Oli asks, voice borderline monotone and terrifyingly serious.
Andy doesn’t speak, instead, he turns on the television to the local news channel.
“The gas station that was held up and robbed just three weeks ago has burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances. There is currently no evidence that the two crimes were committed by the same people, or that the crimes are connected in any way. The county sheriff is offering tips on how to protect your business from vandiliza-”
The blonde woman on the screen is cut short as Andy turns the TV back off. He turns to the group with a blank expression without having said a word since Vic got home.
“Does anyone know what this means?” he asks, his voice cold, like ice.
His question is met with silence.
“It means that there’s another gang out there that wants to hurt us. That was a warning. That was a final warning. And I have a feeling that they’re going to take us just breathing as an offense and do something against us no matter what we say or do. Our days are numbered now, because no one fucking knows who or what or when anything is going to happen.”
Once again, his statement is met with silence.
“Right. That’s it. See you,” Andy says, voice still colder than the arctic wind.
He turns and leaves in one breath, leaving the four boys he’d left behind stunned with seeds of fear growing deep in their stomachs.
♠ ♠ ♠
i am so sorry that i haven't updated for a hundred years like wow

thank you all for still reading this story, your dedication means the world