I Am Not Afraid To Walk This World Alone.

Riley Hicks is a different type of teenage girl. She wants to fit in, but no one likes her. To get through the day of torture she suffers at school, she listens to the words of her saviours. My Chemical Romance. When listening to them, the school's horror fades away, but that all changes when she gets home. With her mother gone from the fear, Riley is left in her father's abusive hands. But what will happen when she finally escapes, just to find a "stranger" that helps her... *My entry for the Battle Of The Fandoms competition.*

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10. Chapter Nine - Young Volcanoes

"What?"

"What?"

"You said, for Gerard..."

"Don't worry about it."

I look at him, cautiously. Something isn't right. Why 'for Gerard'? I brush it off. Standing up, I grip Frank's arm to steady myself. My Dad. He caused all of this.

"You okay?"

"Yeah. Just thinking."

"About?" 

"Don't worry about it." I wink and straighten up, walking back towards the kitchen. Frank just laughs. We both enter and everyone looks up.

"You good?" Ray asks, concerned.

"Yes. Thank you." As I sit down, Mikey turns to me.

"So, you're British?"

"Uh... Yes?"

"Gerard told us. Why'd you move to America?"

"I don't know... I think it was because of my Dad. He started to hurt me when Mum left and then people started noticing and -" My voice cuts off as tears well in my eyes. I feel Gerard's hand on my back and flinch. Dammit! Why can't I act like a normal person when it comes to this! I sit up straighter.

"Sorry..." Mikey says looking down at the last dregs of maple sauce on his plate.

"Don't worry. You didn't know." I sigh, taking a final bite from my breakfast. "Excuse me." I head back up to Gerard's room and sit on the bed. I sit and just breathe, willing myself not to cry. I'm safe now. I don't need to worry. They'll all protect me. I look around the room, taking in pictures of the boys, Gerard's daughter and wife and so many others. As I continue to scan I see my phone on the bedside table. It is plugged into a charger. As I open it, it begins to ring. I squeal and throw it back when I see the caller ID. Why can't he leave me alone? Why does he have to get involved in everything? I feel tears welling again and press fists into my eyes to stop them from falling.

"Riley? You up here?" I hear Gerard calling from the stairwell.

"Yeah, I'm in your room." He walks in and sits next to me. "Sorry, I jus-"

"Don't worry. Listen, me and the boys are going to the studio to practice. You wanna come?"

"Uh, yeah! If that's okay with you guys? That'd be awesome! But I do need clothes, Gerard."

"Right, uh... I mean I have sweats, skinny jeans, lots of hoodies..."

"I'll take some sweats if that's okay?"

"Yep. Get changed and come on down." 

I quickly slide into grey joggers and a black hoodie, tying my hair into a ponytail with that band on my wrist. I head down stairs and meet the boys.

"Ready? Great! Come on then." We make our way downstairs and out of the house.

****************

After half an hour practicing at the studio, the boys one side of the glass, me the other grinning stupidly the whole time, Gerard calls me in. I try to object, but he insists. 

"You play an instrument?"

"Uh... I guess I can play acoustic guitar..."

"Great! Show us what you've got." Mikey grabs a guitar and passes it to me. I sit on the stool in the middle of the room and place the guitar comfortably on my lap. I gauge the distance of my fingers with the strings and laugh. 

"It's been a while since I've played. My Dad smashed my guitar a few years back." Mikey gasps and pretends to faint, I giggle some more. "If I start crying during this, I am putting the blame on you Gerard!"

"One, that's fine. Two, call me Gee."

"Sure." I laugh and start to strum, I decide on Young Volcanoes by Fall Out Boy. Before I know it my feet are tpping and I'm singing the words.

When Rome's in ruin,
We are the lions free of the coliseums
In poison places, we are anti-venom
We're the beginning of the end
Tonight, the foxes hunt the hounds
It's all over now
Before it has begun
We've already won
We are wild
We are like young volcanoes
We are wild
Americana, exotica
Do you wanna feel a little beautiful, baby?
Come on, make it easy, say I never mattered
Run it up the flag pole,
We will teach you how to make boys next door out of assholes
Tonight, the foxes hunt the hounds
And it's all over now
Before it has begun
We've already won
We are wild
We are like young volcanoes
We are wild
Americana, exotica
Do you wanna feel a little beautiful, baby?
We are wild
We are like young volcanoes
We are wild
Americana, exotica
Do you wanna feel a little beautiful, baby?
  I look up after finishing the song to see the whole band in front of me, mouths gaping. I freak out.   "Was it bad? Oh God. Sorry, your ears are probably bleeding now. God, Riley, you're such an idiot. What're you thinking ruining an amazing song with your stupid voice. Dammit, dammit, dam-" Gerard grabs my arms and looks me dead in the eye. "Riley, you have the most amazing voice. You're voice just connects with that song and you play the guitar beautifully." I tear up, moved by his words.  "Hang on, I'll be back." Ray runs out of the room, pulling his phone out of his pocket. "Where?-" "That was seriously amazing!" "How come you didn't tell us you could sing like that?"  I became overcome by questions and felt like crying, but just smiled like the Cheshire cat. 

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