Status: In Progress

The Majesty of Choice


When Ray gets back from his errands, he’s not entirely expecting to find Gerard huddled on the ground of his room crying but then again, it’s not entirely unexpected either. This had to happen sooner or later. With Hattie and Olive being the new menaces of the household, one can expect at least a little bit of existential sorrow heading their way. Ray hadn’t expected it to be soon, but it was inevitable all the same.

Nevertheless, when he walks up the stairs and hears Gerard weeping to himself behind the door, the door that Ray knows he’s still not comfortable living behind, he knows that shit has happened.

Ray knocks first, and Gerard stops suddenly, like he’s expecting a hurricane to sweep in and carry everything else away. As soon as Ray speaks up to Gerard to inform him that it’s him, and not one of the other three, Gerard seems to have an audible sigh of relief even though a huge hunk of wood stands between the two of them.

“I’m coming in,” Ray says, and Gerard moves out of the way so as not to get squished by the door as it creaks open. So maybe he wouldn’t be smashed but it might ding his elbow and Gerard is in a very fragile state right now so he really doesn’t want to be injured again in any way.

“I’m guessing that something really bad happened?” Ray asks, which deserves a few eye rolls but Gerard seems too lost in his own thoughts to even muster up the energy to do that.

“They made me…” Gerard starts and then he drifts off looking at the wall in front of him like he’s lost in it. Ray closes the door quickly but there’s really not enough room for two people in this tiny little closet of a bedroom, and he doesn’t know how on earth Gerard has managed not to stub his toes enough times for them to just give up and fall off. It seems like a very serious danger in this place.

“Made you what?” Ray asks, and he lowers himself to his knees but there’s even less room when he does that then there was before. He doesn’t know where else to go so he just resigns to stand against the door in as sympathetic a fashion as he possibly can when Gerard is lying on the floor like he’s just been stabbed. Ray, after quickly assesses to the situation to see that Gerard is not bleeding so thankfully, this is not the case. Though he wouldn’t be surprised given the state of him.

“Patrick,” Gerard mumbles.

“Yeah?” Ray asks. Gerard doesn’t continue, he just blows his nose into his sleeve which doesn’t seem entirely sanitary but he’s a mess right now so Ray decides to let it go for the time being, but he most definitely will be washing that shirt extra thoroughly.

“They said something really shitty to Patrick didn’t they?” Ray asks.

“Made me,” Gerard says, and Ray starts to understand why Gerard’s on the floor like this. Who wouldn’t be?

“They made you say something mean to him?” Ray guesses.

Gerard just nods and Ray curses a million times to that damn fairy who’s ruined Gerard’s life so many times over, but this is a new low. This is an entirely different attack on him. Before, it’s been petty, sure this isn’t the first time Gerard’s cried over what he’s been told to do but it’s surely the worst of it yet.

Gerard’s been told to do some awful things, he once had to mouth off to a teacher which ended disastrously, and he broke his foot jumping from a window, and he once even had to stay quiet for almost a week when someone told him to stop talking, but this is a new level.

“Ray,” Gerard says, sniffling and sounding like a wreck which is what he is at the moment so it’s a fitting term to describe him.


“My life hasn’t been all that easy. I’ve been made to do some awful things. But this… this is the worst thing that the curse has ever made me do.”

“I get it,” Ray says, and he doesn’t disagree. He’s not a parent, he doesn’t know he’s supposed to be. It’s not really Ray’s job to be a parent, because it shouldn’t be expected of him but he’s known Gerard since he was a baby. Hell, he knew Gerard before he was born. Ray doesn’t have to be a parental figure, but it’s a position he wouldn’t dare neglect, because he cares too much about Gerard not to be. Ray’s been pushed into the position of being a parent and the sad truth is that he thinks he’s doing a bad job, but he’s probably the best thing that could have ever happened to Gerard.

But the thing that kills Ray more than anything is the fact that he can’t do anything to stop Gerard’s misery. He can’t take the curse away, even though Ray would die trying. He has tried, he’s done everything. He’s begged for Gerard, and he’s begged some more and it hasn’t paid off. But this time, things have gone too far.

Ray thinks quickly on his feet as he evaluates the situation, and he comes to an idiotic and surely unconventional plan, but it’s the only plan he’s got.

“Okay, I think it’s time,” Ray says, looking torn up with himself.

“Time?” Gerard asks, “for what?”

“Oh, something long overdue. Shit, he’s going to kill me. Or well, I mean he can’t, and even if he had the capability to kill me this would not be the first on his list for why he would do so.”

“You’re talking crazy, Ray,” Gerard warns him, momentarily disarmed by his own confusion. He forgets for a moment to be depressed as all hell as he looks at Ray who is balancing something or other out in his head.

“Okay, I gotta do it,” Ray says. “I mean, it’s about time, this has gone on for far too long.”

“What has?”

“Just…” Ray pauses, “okay, hold on, there’s something I need to go get.”

“What?” Gerard asks, even more confused as Gerard is left alone in his room when Ray leaves and turns to go down the hall, presumably into his room to get whatever the hell it is that’s making him seem like he’s lost his mind. To be fair, it’s quite impressive that neither he nor Gerard have actually lost their minds yet considering these conditions. What with Hattie, Olive, and Buggy around here, it’s a real wonder there hasn’t been a triple homicide at this residence.

Ray comes back a minute later with a very bulky book. It’s one that looks like it could be relatively old, or fairly new, and Gerard is completely lost as to why a book is what this situation really needs.

“I’m confused,” Gerard says.

“Okay, so well, alright, so you might be kind of angry with me after I explain all of this, but trust me, I’m not the one pulling the strings here. Or well, I mean I kind of am. I’m the person to blame for this happening, so I guess I do deserve some of the blame, but like, it was an accident I promise. You know I’m not very good at magic, and I try, I really do, but I’m only a household fairy, I’m not as great as others, and I’m actually pretty bad at it for a household fairy, honestly, I’m just really bad at magic, and it’s astonishing to me that I haven’t accidentally blown up the town, but to be fair, you have to at least have some amount of power to be able to blow up a town but-”

“Ray!” Gerard snaps, “you’re rambling. Get to the point.”

“Sorry, okay. Right, well, I uh, it was some time ago, that I… I made a big mistake, and it just didn’t… I don’t know how to do this,” Ray says, shaking his head, “Mikey, how about you tell him?”

Gerard, looking very concerned, asks, “Ray, who are you talking to?”

“He’s being a dick,” Ray says, groaning and looking at the book. “I get it, dude, I’m embarrassed too, but he’s having a bad day.”

Gerard is very worried now that Ray has officially lost it because the dude is talking to a book and it’s getting kind of unnerving. Gerard doesn’t know what to do if his best friend and guardian has literally gone insane. That would be quite a demise for the both of them considering how the rest of Gerard’s day has gone.

“Ray?” Gerard asks.

“Okay he thinks I’m crazy, would you just stop fucking around and say hi to your brother?”

So Gerard is officially about to jump out the window when someone responds to Ray, and it’s not a voice Gerard has heard in quite some time.

“I told you I didn’t want him to see me like this!” the voice hisses back at Ray and Gerard is confused and terrified out of his wits.

“I know, you’ve been saying that for like five years, how many times do I have to apologize to you?”

“Endlessly,” the voice responds, and Gerard realizes that the voice is coming from the book.

“What’s going on?” Gerard asks.

Ray looks up, as if he’s only just remembered Gerard’s presence and he seems to realize how confusing he’s being. So, he turns the book around and Gerard sees a literal floating head inside the book, and Gerard really isn’t sure at what point he consumed a very large amount of drugs but it must’ve happened because this is unreal.

There’s an actual head in the book. And it’s a familiar head too. It looks eerily like Gerard’s brother? But it’s not. But it looks like what Michael would look like nowadays, because obviously he will have aged since Gerard last saw him. But why is his face on a book?

Then Gerard notices that the face on the book is not a drawing or anything of the sort. It moves. It’s looking at Gerard. That face, and those eyes are looking at him, and there’s no way for a face to look that realistic when Gerard knows it can’t actually be there.

“So this is your brother,” Ray says, awkwardly, holding the book and biting his lip while he does his best to avoid eye contact with Gerard.

“Michael?” Gerard asks, with very wide eyes glossed in sheer disbelief.

“Ew, what am I? An old man?” the book responds, “It’s Mikey.”

“Mikey?” Gerard asks, still very confused and weirded out.

“Yeah, he prefers Mikey,” Ray says. “It’s a puberty thing or something. Hell if I know, I’m not good at this sort of thing. Obviously.”

“What the fuck is going on?” Gerard asks.

“Valid question,” Ray nods.

“So Ray turned me into a book,” Mikey says, and Gerard is still perplexed by this actually talking book. He’s looking at this floating head inside this huge book with a moving mouth, and a face that looks so familiar and so similar to his presumed dead brother, and he doesn’t know how to handle this situation. He’s being told that this floating headed book thing is his brother and he’s just supposed to accept that?


“That clears literally nothing up!” Gerard exasperates.

“Okay, so I get this is a little hard to grasp,” Ray starts.

“A little? My little brother is in a fucking book,” Gerard says. He doesn’t know if he believes that right now, but what he does believe is that this person inside of this book does look a heck of a lot like his brother. He’s got the same voice that Gerard remembers.

Maybe the reason Gerard can’t accept this is because he’s so stunned that he’s looking at Michael that his brain has just decided that it’s too good to be true. Gerard has been so sure that Michael’s not dead, fighting against a larger part of him that was sure he was, but here he is. Maybe. It looks like Michael, but Gerard’s still not sure he’s ready to believe that it really is.

Also, he does not know how to adjust to the name Mikey. It makes him feel like he’s meeting a completely different person to the one he lost years ago. He doesn’t know what might have changed about the personality of the Michael he remembers, because it feels like it’s been so many lifetimes. The fact that he looks older, is inside a fucking book, and has given himself a new nickname is just all too much for Gerard’s already weakened mind. He’s too numb and hurt to have to take more pain, and he’s not sure if this is pain, but it’s causing him some sort of knot in his stomach in any case.

“Excuse you, I am a fucking book.”

“Watch your language!” Gerard says.

“My only company for the last few years has been Ray, do you really expect my words to be clean?”

“Okay fair enough, but still,” Gerard says, still not sure that this is all even in happening. It’s really hard to come to grips with the fact that your brother had been turned into a book. Not that anyone can really empathize with what Gerard is feeling. This is sort of a unique situation.

“Why have you been absent for that long though?” Gerard asks, suddenly feeling offended and hurt that Mikey has been here this whole time. Now granted he is a fucking book and all you can see of him is his face floating in this little oval on the cover, but it would have been nice to at least known he wasn’t dead.

“Gerard,” Mikey says, “would you want me to see you as a book? It’s embarrassing.”

“You avoided me for this many years because you were embarrassed?” Gerard asks, “I thought you were dead!”

“Yeah I get that,” Mikey says, “but I’d preferred you thinking like that than to be some poor little sympathy case stuck inside a book. I mean no one wants this, this is hell.”

“Sorry,” Ray says.

“I’m not angry. I’m bitter, but anger is another thing altogether,” Mikey says, and Gerard is still completely lost. He’s got so many different emotions. Grief, and loss, and anger, and incredulousness, and fear, and a little bit of joy that his brothers not dead, but mostly just anger at the fact that he’s been in this house the whole time and Gerard never knew.

“I feel like this is about the time where I should mention that Mikey’s a magical book?” Ray says.

“Magical book?” Gerard asks, so full of skepticism and white hot anger that he’s not sure what’s preventing him from punching someone in the face. Given that Ray is the only non-book in the room other than himself, Ray should find it a very real concern that Gerard might accidentally forget to restrain himself. A broken nose is, in Ray’s opinion, the least he deserves.

“Will you just hear me out for one minute?” Ray asks, “then you can be as angry with me about this whole thing as you need to be. I’ll understand completely.”

Gerard sighs, not happy about it, but he’ll hear him out because curiosity has gotten the best of him.

“Well,” Ray starts, “Mikey can show you people.”

“Show me people?” Gerard asks.

“Yeah just ask for a name and I can find them,” Mikey says.

“In what way?”

“Mikey,” Ray asks, “can you show us Brendon?”

“Sure thing,” Mikey nods, or bobs or whatever the heck you call it when a books disembodied head starts moving. Ray pulls the book open to a random page and what appears in front of Gerard is an image of a man he’s never seen before. It never occurred to him that he actually has no idea what the fairy who cursed him looks like until now. He’d been picturing some ugly old man with a wispy beard and bags sunk into his eyes, but this guy doesn’t look much older than Gerard himself. Of course that’ll be the eternal youth, but even Ray looks like he’s out of his teens, this guy could be Mikey’s age for god’s sake.

That’s him?” Gerard asks.

“What? Were you expecting red eyes and pointed ears?” Mikey sasses as Ray closes the book again.

“Well, I just expected more from the man who’s ruined my life you know,” Gerard says, shrugging, and then realizes that Mikey, or the Michael that Gerard used to know, shouldn’t have any idea about the curse at all.

“Wait how do you know who that is?” Gerard asks.

“Please,” Mikey says, “I have a wealth of unlimited knowledge.”

“What he means by that is that I told him about the curse,” Ray says, “You may not be able to, but I can. I thought it might convince him to let you see him. It didn’t. And by the way, his wealth of unlimited knowledge is very much finite. He can’t tell you exactly where someone is. He can just show you where they are.”

“Yeah but I can give you a good guess as to where that dickhead is,” Mikey says, and Gerard would like to say something about him watching his language, but he thoroughly agrees in calling Brendon a dickhead.

“Okay, so say you actually could tell me where Brendon is, what am I supposed to do with that information?” Gerard asks.

“Well, Gerard, I’m proposing you an idea,” Ray says.

“And what idea is that?”

“To find Brendon and break your curse.”
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So life's been pretty shitty around the world the last couple of days and I can't really encapsulate what that means for a lot of people, but I just want to say that I hope everyone is well, and I hope the world gets better than it currently is soon.