I wake up next to Pete. As I turn my head to look at him I notice something off about him. I sit up, wincing from the pain in my stomach. Instead of looking at me when I make a noise, Pete keeps his head down.
"Pete?" No reaction. Maybe he's asleep? I reach for his hand. Ice cold... "Pete?" I say with more urgency. I lift his head only to see a hole through the middle of it. "Pete? No! PETE! Pete, you can't leave me."
His eyes open and I see he has no iris or pupil. They're just white. His face is almost blue and his mouth doesn't move when he talks.
"Riley. Riley. Riley." It sounds menacing the way he says it. "You're okay. I'm here." He leans forwards, putting his hand on my face. I pull away.
"Leave me alone. Pete! What happened? Why are you-"
"Wake up, Riley. Can you not see? It's not real! You're at home with your Mum and Dad. None of this happened. They don't know you exist! Why the hell would Gerard Way protect you? You know none of this is real. Just. Wake. UP!" He yells the last part and I scream.
"Riley?" I wake up, to Pete shaking me. I pull away from him and cry out at the pain. "Riley. It's me. Pete? Are you okay?"
"Pete? You aren't gonna go all psycho are you?"
"Well, I don't think I had gone psycho?"
"You had a hole in your face and your eyes were white and-"
"Ri, you were dreaming. Look I have normal eyes and my face is whole." He chuckles. "Okay. I'm gonna get the others. Don't worry. I'll be gone for a second and then I'll be back."
"Okay." I say, watching him warily. "Wait. Lemme feel your hands."
"Lemme feel your hands." He holds out his hands and I grab them. Warm... I guess he is alive. It was a dream... "Okay."
He walks to the end of the room and opens the door.
"She's awake." I hear whoops and cheers. Chairs scrape and I hear footsteps come in. Everyone comes in, but at the front of them all I see Bandit. She smiles at me and I smile back, attempting to push myself up on the bed, but wincing and laying down again. Everyone stands round the bed I'm on and Bandit pushes herself onto it. I wince and try as hard as I can not to show it, but I fail miserably.
"Sorry." Bandit whispers.
"Hey, don't worry about it. If it wasn't for me none of us would be here now anyways."
"Hey!" Gee says, hitting my foot.
"Sorry. Does anyone know how to sit this bed up, by the way? I mean the ceiling is pretty, but I wanna see your faces." Everyone laughs as Pete uses the bed controls and sits me up. "Ah! I can see you!"
Bandit crawls up the bed and sits next to me, careful not to nudge me. I wrap my arm round her, gently squeezing her shoulder. She laughs and rests her head on my shoulder. Everyone looks at me dumbfounded.
"What?" I ask, looking at them each individually.
"She hasn't allowed anyone that close to her since we got her back." Gerard says. I look down at Bandit, who is now playing with her hands, avoiding everyone's eyes.
"Bandit? Is it true?" She shrugs. "Why, sweetie? It's only Daddy and his friends." She looks up at me.
"What about your Daddy? He did that to you." She points at my stomach, "And hurt your eye and neck and he took us both and my Daddy had to come and get us."
"Honey. My Daddy isn't a problem. We don't need my Daddy. That's why I stay with you."
"But he still got us."
"Bandit," Pete crouches near her, so he is the same height. "Riley's Daddy is in prison now. He can't hurt you or Riley or any of us anymore." I stare at him.
"What? Dad's in-"
"Yeah, police were there and Mikey-"
"Yeah, let's talk about that when the seven year old isn't around!" Mikey says, quickly. I look at Gerard who is staring at his feet and then back at Bandit.
"Sweetie, can you give your Daddy a hug? I think he misses you." She looks at me at the same time Gerard does. She nods and crawls back to the foot of the bed. She jumps into his arms and hugs him tightly. Gerard looks at me over her shoulder and mouths thank you to me. I just smile back. My face drops.
"When can I leave?" I ask.
"Doc says in a week." Pete says.
"It would've been three, but I pestered the doctor as I knew you wouldn't be comfortable." Patrick smiles at me.
"Thanks. Yeah, I would've gone crazy!" I laugh.
"What did I say about two people at a time?" A nurse walks in looking stern. "The doctor said two at a time! Just because you're famous doesn't mean you get special treatment!"
"But she just woke up! We all wanted to see her!" Ray complains. She gives him a stern look.
"I don't care. Seven of you need to leave."
"I'm staying!" Bandit cries, dropping from Gerard's arms and holding the bed.
"No you're not. Patrick and Mikey can. Mikey can fill you in on what happened and Patrick has a surprise."
"Gee, the whole point of a surprise is that you don't tell them?" Patrick says, looking at Gerard angrily.
"Well, I didn't tell her it was a-" Everyone starts yelling as they push Gerard out of the door. I laugh so hard I cry out in pain.
"You have to be careful!" Patrick says, sitting next to me.
"How long have you guys been here?"
"As long as you have."
"How long is that?"
"Hey! I'll tell ya! I have to catch you up on everything that happened anyway. How much do you remember?" Mikey says standing my other side.
"Uh, I got a call from Dad, he got me and Bandit. You came and got Bandit. I saw Pete in my window, then Dad handcuffed me and chloroformed me. At least I think he did... Then I woke up here."
"Ah, right. You don't remember the car journey either? Damn that sucks. That was a fun journey... Well, not fun, but you know what I mean."
"Uh... Wait what? Why am I actually here? Like my stomach hurts, but I don't think I want to know why."
"Oh, yeah. Well, we came to get you. And by "we", I mean Andy, me, Gee and Pete. Andy drove, me and Gee distracted your Dad and Pete got you. Obviously, you were chloroformed and so Pete carried you, but your Dad heard walked out and threatened to shoot you both. Pete then said something stupid about how you Dad has worked so hard to get you back, blah blah... Anyway, your Dad was gonna shoot Pete and Gee had taken a gun, because he really hated your Dad at this point, but he was gonna shoot him in the head. I took the gun off him and shot your Dad's leg. We left and called 911 and the police came, but your Dad dragged himself out the door and fired a shot in our direction. We all ducked, but you were in the car with Gee and he didn't realise that your Dad had made it to the door and you got shot in the stomach. We got a police escort here and we've been here since." Mikey takes a deep breath and I stare at him trying to process what he just said.
"How long have we been here?" Mikey and Patrick share a look and Patrick squeezes my hand. "How long?"
"A week." Mikey looks down.
"A week! Bandit has gone that long without hugging her parents!"
"She hasn't-" But he doesn't finish, because Patrick gives him a death glare.
"She hasn't what?"
"She hasn't slept much either. She refused to go home and stayed here with you." He says quickly.
"Mikey!" Patrick cries. I look down. What have I done? Maybe I shouldn't have woken up. I should've just slept and left, but no! I had to keep FUCKING FIGHTING!
"I remember the car journey." I say quietly. "You kept telling me not to shut my eyes. We sung Famous Last Words. I should've shut my eyes. Why didn't I?" I look up.
"Because Bandit needed you. You stayed awake, because Bandit wouldn't have ever been herself again without you."
"I'm the one that caused her the pain in the first place!" I feel the tears down my cheeks and go to pull my tubes out of my arms. "I'm a failure! There's no point!" Patrick grabs both of my arms.
"There is always a point to things, Riley. We just have to fight through until we find them." It's then that I realised an oxygen mask had been put on my face. I can see Patrick next to me going fuzzy. The tears stream down my face more.
"I'm sorry." I manage to say, before everything goes black.