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Gerard Way: Artist


The sliding doors open with a start. I weave my way through the exiting commuters until I make it into the carriage. Mothers with their small children and the elderly with their walking frames rush to occupy the recently vacated seats. I choose to stand; I’ve only got to stand for two platforms before I reach my stop. The train lurches forward with a screech, moving on to its next destination.

I’ve been visiting my brother – not as easy and thrilling as it once was. This past Christmas he was diagnosed with cancer. It’s taken a lot out of him – out of everyone – but I know he’ll make it through.

The faces of the surrounding masses are nondescript as I think about my time with my brother Mikey this morning. I don’t even make it to the first stop before my phone vibrates in my pocket. I roll my eyes as I see the caller ID.

“Marty,” I answer, not bothering to conceal the irritation in my voice.

Marty is my personal assistant, but the title is a far cry from what he actually does. He does very little for me. I am under no illusion about the kind of person I am; I’m by no means a delight or a pleasure to work for – I’m a hard ass, if no other description would suffice. I, however, know that what I ask of my employees wouldn’t make the P.A. of someone of the likes of Beyonce or Kanye West even blink. My demands are very reasonable.

“Uh, that cheque for the hospital, did you say you wanted me to mail it, or was it hand deliver?” he asks me in that moronic voice of his.

I sigh irately. It’s this kind of crap I’ve been putting up with for far too long. I give him a simple instruction and he struggles to follow it. This week alone I’ve asked him to take the cheque to the hospital at least six times. Today is not the day for him to ask for clarification for a seventh time. This just adds to a long list of issues I’ve been having with him since I employed him six weeks ago. I’ve had enough.

“I don’t have time to deal with idiots who can’t follow simple instructions,” I bark at him.

“Oh, Mr. Way, please just help me out this last time... I’ll get it right next time, I promise,” he tries. I’m not repeating another instruction for him.

“Marty, stop begging; you sound pathetic – you knew this was coming.”

“But, Gerard – Mr. Way – I need this job! My family needs to eat, and we have a huge mortgage...”

“Quite frankly, Marty, I don’t give a shit that you’ve got a family to feed and mortgage to pay – I have art that needs to be sold and you’re not selling it,” I tell him pointedly.

“I can do that for you, I swear!” He sounds desperate, but I’m not putting up with his lackluster work performance any more.

“Don’t bother coming to work tomorrow; you can now consider yourself unemployed.”

I end the call and stuff my phone back into my pocket. I’m glad to be rid of him, but now I need to go through the annoying task of finding another replacement; I’ve had to do that three times in the past year. The problem seems to be that there is no one out there willing to devote their time entirely to my needs; it’s not that difficult a task.

“Isn’t there anyone in this town that can answer a God damned phone?” I mutter to myself.

“I can answer a God damned phone.”

A young man is suddenly before me. I hadn’t seen him on the train before, which makes me question where he came from; it would be impossible for me to miss a face as beautiful as that. My eyes travel the length of his body slowly, taking in every element of him. He is hot – short, dark hair, gold flecked eyes, the odd tattoo – dressed in torn jeans and a faded black shirt.

I narrow my eyes at him and place a hand on my hip. “Have you heard of Gerard Way?”

He reacts to the name like it is a putrid smell. His nose crinkles up and his left eye twitches, just

“He’s that cock-sucking, pompous, so-called artist that everyone is tripping over to try and get to. All the girls want him even though they have no idea what he looks like. He’s pretty cocky for someone without a face. His art is pretty shitty, too.”

I glare at him. How could I not? I am Gerard Way, and I’ve never had anyone speak of my work in that manner. My art is great – that’s why people buy it and write about it in high quality publications. But as this goes through my mind my mouth curves into a small smile. People I deal with on a day to day basis are constantly sucking up to me for what I can do for them; this man, whoever he is, is the first I’ve encountered who isn’t trying to please me. I like that.

There is a small collection of business cards in my trench coat. I dig one out along with a pen and jot down my address on the back of the crisp ivory card.

“You better be good at answering phones.” I hand the business card to the young, hot stranger. “You start tomorrow, eight o’clock.”

Just as the card leaves my hand, my stop is announced. There’s no time left to chat as the doors slide open. I don’t want to get off just yet but I’m left with no choice, so I quickly move through the fast forming crowd around me until my feet are both planted safely on the platform. It takes me a few seconds to manoeuvre through the disembarking passengers. It hits me when I’m finally able to breathe again – I didn’t ask my sexy stranger his name.

Well. Fuck.


I arrive back at my home - this large building enclosed completely by large hedges and wrought iron gates. From the front it appears very uninviting, and that was exactly what I was going for when I purchased it a year ago. I punch in the code to open the nine foot high gate that protects my home. It was recently installed when I discovered a reporter in my garden with a pair of bolt cutters. The gravel driveway crunches under my shoes as I make my way up to the porch.

People in my life have often criticised me for my insistence on walking everywhere I go. Whether it is to the shops, to my brother's house, or a gallery opening, my preferred method of transportation is walking - public transport is a close second. The criticism comes from the beast of a car I have sitting in my garage. I've owned my black Maserati for almost as long as the house. It's shockingly expensive, and that was the precise reason why I bought it. Sure, it's powerful and looks good out the front of the Museum of Modern Art, but it's pricetag was the key selling point. I could count the number of times I've driven it on one hand.

So why spend so much money on a car I don't use?

It's simple.

There's a certain kind of lifestyle that is expected when you have the kind of career I do. People want to see a flashy house, obnoxious cars, and a woman hanging off each arm. If you don't own the expectation, people stop investing. It's your status that keeps them coming back, you're poor appearance that drives them away. If I look like I am overcome with wealth, and someone is seen in good dealings with me, the reputation of my stature is reflected upon them, and they then appear to be as wealthy as I.

I don't really want the money, though, but the fact is I need it for someone else.

My brother.

He is the centre of my universe, the axis upon which I rotate, but my axis is infected with an awful, relentless disease. Cancer – Leukaemia.

Mikey was diagnosed with cancer a week before Christmas, two months ago. No one expected him to be struck down with something so scary; he is only 20 years old. My brother, like myself, always grew up faster than he should have, but he was ready for and chose the things he's experienced. Mikey had no say in cancer; he was not ready, not prepared. He has a wife, soon he'll have a baby – his life is only just beginning and it so unfair for life to throw this at him.

Since his diagnosis, I have been on hand to provide financial support for his medical expenses. I organised the best doctor in New York for him at the best hospital. They will cure him and he will get to live out his dreams, but first he has to go through this hell.

“Ellie!” I call as I stroll through the entryway.

The thin woman, who is both my housekeeper and the only woman I would ever consider to be my mother, comes out of the downstairs bathroom. There is a damp cloth in one wiry hand and a bottle of hospital-grade cleaning solution. Several strands of silver hair have slipped from the loose chignon at the base of her neck. She looks exhausted, but despite it she plasters a broad smile on her face.

“Bonjour, Gerard,” she says. My French isn’t as good as it once was, so Ellie refrains from using her native language around me too much. “How was Michael?”

It was such a whirlwind visit this morning that I barely had a chance to ask Mikey how chemotherapy was going and he was asleep for the majority of the time I was there. He has only had two sessions since being diagnosed, so there’s still a lot for him to adjust to.

“Queasy and tired mostly,” I reply. “Alicia said he hasn’t really moved from the couch since they came home after his session on Tuesday.”

Ellie’s face falls. “Has he been vomiting much?”

I nod. “She empties his bucket at least twice a day.”

“Hopefully he’ll be back on his feet again soon,” Ellie replies.

It doesn’t sound like she has much faith in her own words. She walks back into the bathroom and returns a moment later, her hands now free.

“You were gone a while; what else did you get up to?” she asks me, now heading down the hallway toward the kitchen. I follow.

“I found a replacement for Marty,” I tell her.

She stops in her tracks and turns to look at me. “He only walked out of the house ten minutes ago.” She looks confused. “I haven’t even put together an advertisement for you. Who on Earth did you find?”

A small chuckle escapes my throat. “It’s a funny story, actually. There was this man on the train – quite young, by the looks of him. He just popped up out of nowhere and said he could answer phones, right after –”

“Oh, no – I know that face,” Ellie interrupts. I look at her with a perplexed expression as her eyes narrow. “That’s your ‘I have just spotted an attractive man and will become obsessed with him’ face.”

“I do not have a face like that,” I snap back, “nor do I become ‘obsessed’ with men. All my interactions with men are very controlled.”

“Don’t you lie to me, Gerard – I’ve know you since you were five years old,” Ellie says firmly. “It is your pattern. You meet some handsome, young thing and jump into a relationship with them, then you get from them want you want – which I am far too sophisticated to say aloud – and push them out of your life when you’re done.”

I glare at her. Some of what she says is, unfortunately, completely true, but I don’t need her to remind me of it.

“And they’re always the same kind of men – attractive and clueless opportunists. They are always after the next best thing. Look at that connard Toby that you’re courting now; he would never come around here until he found out who you were on the internet. I am sure if Tom Cruise walked past him he would leave you in a second.” Seeming satisfied with herself, Ellie crosses her arms over her chest and looks at me.

I suck in a breath to steady myself before I lose my temper. “Ellie, this man I met today is different. It’s just business; he’ll be working for me, and you know I don’t get close with my employees.”

She smiles. “What about me?”

“Oh, Ellie,” I walk towards her and place a kiss on her forehead. “You and I were close long before you came to work for me.”

She sighs. “I hope you do the right thing, Gerard. Tell me, what is this new one’s name?”

“I don’t know, but sexy stranger will be here tomorrow.”

Ellie begins to swear at me in French. She’s speaking too fast for me to pick most of it up, but from the few words I am able to understand I can gather she believes I am an idiot and that she’ll need to write an advertisement for a new P.A. before the end of the week. There may have also been a mention of fish, but I really do need to work on my French.

I leave her to fume and head up the marble staircase to the second floor. This house has far more space than I need, with four enormous bedrooms upstairs, but it has allowed me to turn one of the bigger rooms into an art studio. It is the room furthest away from the rest of the house and has large windows that allow me to see across the expanse of my front yard. I often find myself staring out there, day dreaming mostly, watching the world go by. It inspires my art, and most of my time is spent in my studio drawing and painting to my heart’s content. That’s why I need an assistant; they can deal with all the journalists and buyers so I’m left to do the things that I do best.

My studio has very little furniture in it, simply a few easels, a desk, stereo, and some shelving to store supplies on. Some of my favourite works are on the walls, but the subject matter has to be truly special to me to make it up there. I’m currently working on a piece for the Museum of Modern Art. When I started making it big the MOMA cleared a wall for me; at the moment there’s six of my works hanging there. The curator told me I had enough room for eight pieces, so right now I’m trying to churn out enough to fill the space.

I feel like creating something new. Ignoring the unfinished canvas, I walk to the corner of the room and erect another easel. There’s a stack of fresh canvases leaning against my desk; I grab one and get straight to work. The moment I pick up my pencil an image of my sexy stranger appears flies into my head. Despite what I told to Ellie, there is no denying his attractiveness played a key role in my decision to give him the job.

It wouldn't hurt to sketch him once, just for fun until I get the inspiration to draw something worth selling. The man, although the term is used loosely (he couldn't be much older than 18), has many drawable parts. His face has character, from his intriguing golden eyes right down to his his defined brow, and there was no overlooking his bold choice of tattoos. The scorpion on his neck stood out like a black smudge on a white wall, sort of like its owner; there were hundreds of people on that train, yet he was the only one I recognised, or perhaps that should be the only one worth recognising.

My hand moves naturally over the canvas, drawing my sexy stranger from memory. Our conversation was very short, but I remember everything about him exactly. I've always had as close to a photographic memory as you could get. I rely on it heavily when I create landscapes and portraits, but thankfully I have also been blessed with an imaginative mind that allows me to draw original pieces. I'll just draw him for half an hour or so, then I will scrap it and move on to something new.


It's been eight hours since I said I'd stop drawing and I am now hanging my completed canvas up on the wall of my studio. My sexy stranger looks good.
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Hi all!

Here is the second chapter. I hope you're all loving it. Comment like crazy and I may bring the next chapter to you early ;)

Coming up in Gerard Way: Artist...

I nod. “Show him through.”

“Show who through?” she asks, smugly.

I narrow my eyes at her. “I will learn his name, Ellie.”

She mutters something in French under her breath as she leaves my office. A moment later I hear her greet the sexy stranger. She doesn't waste time with small talk as she leads him to my office. He looks as gorgeous as I remember, but the trousers he is wearing don't cling to him the way his jeans did on the train. I'm a little disappointed.