*1 week later*
I'm walking out of the hospital on crutches, Gerard and Patrick either side of me for if I slip. We walk through heavy rain, Patrick holding an umbrella over us. I look forward, putting all of my efforts into walking. I see Frank ahead of us, car door open. I'm going to make it. I will get to the car. I reach the car and lift one arm, then drop it and wince from pain.
"You're so dumb." Gerard says, smiling at me.
"I would punch you, but I can't. So prepare for when I'm better!" If I get better.
I climb in the car and put the crutches in the middle of the back seats. Patrick climbs in next to me and Gerard and Frank get in the front. We drive away from the hospital and I lick my fingers twice before saluting.
"I am going to act like that didn't just happen. Of all people, you copy Pete's moves?" Frank looks at me in the mirror, horrified.
"Well I've seen the video for Dance, Dance, so I am definitely not gonna copy his moves!" I point at Patrick.
"Oi! That's it! You don't get your present!" Patrick says, turning away from me.
"What? Patrick! You know I didn't mean it!" He turns back to me and I give him my best puppy eyes.
"Dammit Riley! Why does my heart melt when I see puppy eyes?"
"Because I'm adorable!" I say, leaning over as much as I can without causing myself pain."
"Oh!" Gerard turns around in the front. "Riley, you and Pete are swapping rooms for a couple weeks."
"Because the doc says you have to move as little as possible. Therefore, two flights of stairs every day is out."
"But Pete is a guy! He stinks!"
"I'm so gonna tell him that!" Frank laughs.
"Do it. You stink as well."
"Well, that was uncalled for!" Gerard laughs.
"Your face was uncalled for." I retort, looking out the window.
"Ouch, but tough. If you want to get better, you have to."
I sigh. The boys turn on the radio. Just as they turn it on Panic! At The Disco comes on and they start singing along.
"Oh well imagine,
As I'm pacing the pews in a church corridor,
And I can't help but to hear,
No, I can't help but to hear and exchanging of words-"
They all look at me,
"What a beautiful corner store!" I cheer, "Let's go in!"
"Not the lines." Frank laughs.
"I know, but I wanna buy something!"
"With what money?" Patrick asks. I look at Gerard and he is already getting his wallet out. He passes me his card.
"Bank of Gerard. You should try it sometime. It's awesome."
I pick up my crutches and open the door. Gee gets out and helps me. I hobble away from the car and Gerard shuts the door.
"We'll be five minutes tops." He says to Frank. We walk into the shop and I head over to the magazine corner. "What are you looking for?" Gerard asks. I scan the shelves until I see it.
"Bottom shelf. Kerrang magazine." I say, kicking my foot towards it. He picks it up and looks at the front cover.
"Are you kidding me? There is a massive picture of me on the front!"
"And? I always get this magazine. I've missed the last few weeks. Can I get some Pringles? Ooh and ice cream!"
"Jesus, Riley!" I tense at his use of words. I know that my father is in prison, I can't help feeling like he's watching. Gerard realises what he's said and apologises.
"See. Now I need ice cream and Pringles!"
We buy ready salted Pringles, BBQ Pringles and two tubs of Ben and Jerry's. We go to the counter and the woman at the till recognises Gee. She starts hyperventilating and crying and Gerard tries to calm her down. She asks who I am, but Gerard refuses to answer. Gerard signs a magazine for her and talks to her for a while.
"Gee. My stomach hurts. And it's been longer than five minutes. Frank's probably freaking out. If he isn't, then Patrick is."
"Okay. Can we just pay now? Thanks." Gerard pays and we turn to leave. The girl calls a thank you after Gerard and we leave. When we get back to the car, I was right. Patrick was freaking out.
"Where were you? What did you buy? Are you okay? You were gone for a while!" He asks, hurriedly.
"Whoa, Patrick. Calm down. The cashier recognised Gee. We're okay." I laugh. He just looks out towards the shop, where the cashier is taking photos through the window. I tense up. "I think we should go though." I say, trying to avoid my face being in the pictures.
Frank starts the car and drives off. We sit in mostly silence the rest of the journey, the only noise is Gerard telling us places that he has to take me. I smile and nod occasionally, mainly trying to focus on my breathing and the pain in my abdomen.
"Riley? Are you okay? You haven't said much." I grit my teeth and try to look happy and nod in Patrick's direction. Gerard turns round.
"You do look pale. Are you sure you're okay?"
"I-I'm not g-gonna lie," I manage to breathe, my stomach pounding. "I was k-kidnapped b-by my own f-father, d-drugged and t-then s-shot. I'm i-in a b-bit of pain."
"Crap," Gerard whispers. "We're almost home. Don't worry." Home. He said it like I live there too. I smile to myself. "Riley? You're staying awake, yeah?" I look up.
"Yeah. Just thinking about something."
"Wanna share?" Frank says, looking at me in the mirror, obviously intrigued.
"What happened to being my guardians, not my interrogators?" I look at him.
"Sorry. Just curious." I groan as we go over a bump and my stomach wrenches.
"Riley?" Gerard says, quickly.
"I'm fine. Just sore. When can I take my next tablets." Gerard looks at his watch.
"When we get home. We'll set you up on the couch and give you them."
"I can't be trusted?" I stare at him. He looks down, going red.
"It's not that..." He looks up more determined. "It'll be easier than you continuously getting up. That's all."
"You think I'm gonna try and overdose." I say bluntly, staring him in the eye.
"Riley. We want you safe. We don't want you to be hurt again." Patrick cuts in. "I know that you don't want to be in hospital."
"I wouldn't have been there if I'd listened to Dad in the first place." I mutter.
"Don't say that! You did nothing to deserve that! He is a twat for treating you like that!" Gerard shouts at me. The words reverberate around the car and I pull into myself.
"Gee!" Frank and Patrick say at the same time.
I feel my heart beating hard in my chest. The tears prick my eyes, but I refuse to let them flow. I won't show Gerard my tears. Not again. And definitely not when he is the cause. He wouldn't forgive himself. I can't do that. I blink hard and breathe, feeling the pain in my stomach again.
"Sor-" Gee starts, but I cut him off.
"How long of the journey is left?"
"Bout a minute." Frank replies, staring at the road.
We pull into the drive and I push myself and the crutches out of the car. I cry out in pain, but stop Patrick when he rushes to my side. I look up at the window and see Bandit stood smiling. I wave and she waves back, leaving my view. I start to make my way to the door and see it pull open. Bandit, Lindsay, Pete, Mikey, Ray, Andy and Joe are stood waiting. They all wave at me and push each other. Bandit is the first out. She hurtles towards me, but stops before she hits me. She holds out her hand.
"It's good to see you! I missed you."
"I missed you to." I laugh, shaking her hand. Everyone comes up and whoops and shakes my hand. "Why are we all shaking hands?" I laugh.
"Because we aren't allowed to hug you yet, but when you get better, you'll love it!" Joe cheers. I laugh as Gerard walks past us all, the shopping bag in his hand. He stays silent as he passes and I'm the only one that notices.
"I'm gonna crash on the couch." I say, hobbling past everyone. They take this as an opportunity to crowd Frank and Patrick. I mouth a sorry to them, but they nod and laugh. I hobble in the house. "Gee?" I call, I hear him in the kitchen. "Gee, it's me."
"I'm in here. I'll be in the front room in a sec. Go sit down."
"Yeah. I'm putting your ice cream in the freezer."