Pairing: Pikey (Pete/Mikey)
The tour was uneventful for nearly two weeks after that. Between Pete and the rest of the band, Mikey was kept busy and had little time to think about anything too serious. Pete's stunt in Houston seemed to have encouraged them to dial things up on stage because the next few shows were incredible. Their energy was a tangible thing and by the end they were all tripping and stumbling out to the bus. The physical and emotional exhaustion outweighed Mikey's symptomatic insomnia and for ten blissful nights he slept soundly. The dark circles under his eyes receded, he smiled more, he regained some color, and the mood around the bus noticeably shifted. Even Bob hid a smile when Frank dove into his bunk one night, announcing that he was tired of sleeping alone.
Pete and Mikey had started taking walks whenever they stopped somewhere. They tried to go at night so they had less of a chance of being spotted. All they did was talk. It was almost like being back on Warped for Pete. Muggy summer nights with crappy coffee and having to go back soon because Mikey would be late for practice if they didn't, but neither of them really wanted to leave. But Pete did love to watch the band practice. Mikey's big brother was slowly warming up to Pete and without the hostility coloring his opinion, Gerard was quickly moving up on Pete's list of favorite vocalists. Patrick would always hold the position of honor; of course, but Pete was beginning to really understand why the band was so well loved. A lot of that love came from Gerard thrusting his imperfections on the public instead of playing up his strengths. It was
different, and Pete found a growing respect for Gerard that wasn't based solely on how much mutual adoration he and Mikey had for each other. And there was certainly no shortage of that either.
The only time in that week following Houston that Pete woke up alone, it was three AM and a stiflingly hot early morning in Florida. He swung out of their shared bunk as quietly as he could, figuring that as long as they were both awake, they might as well have a quickie in the bathroom while they couldn't get in trouble. That plan went out the window almost as quickly as it occurred to him, as he noticed that Gerard's bunk was empty too. Shrugging, he moved out to the living area and loitered in the doorway for a moment. He smiled. Gerard was leaning sideways on the couch, resting a sketchbook on the arm of it. The shadows that prevented Pete from being seen by anyone in the room did nothing to hide Mikey, who was sprawled across the couch with his head in Gerard's lap, smiling softly with his eyes shut. Gerard glanced down every once in a while, then looked back at his sketch and made a few new lines or erased some. While he contemplated the page, he set his pencil down and ran his fingers through Mikey's short black hair absently. Mikey's smile widened and his nose wrinkled a little. Pete grinned and quietly made his way back to their bunk; clearly Mikey was in good hands.
He woke alone later that morning with a headache and a piece of thick sketch paper on the edge of the mattress. He groped in the dark for the ceiling light and turned it on, covering his eyes while they adjusted to the light. He blinked away spots to confusedly look at what he'd been sure was a drawing. Now that he could see it, it looked more like a black and white photo of Mikey's sleeping face. Studying the angle, he concluded that it was the one Gerard must have done earlier. He admired the confident strokes of the pencil with a surprised eye. Gerard was an excellent artist, Pete knew that, but this was a level of talent he hadn't realized his brother-in-law possessed. He could see Gerard's signature in the corner and curiously turned the paper over. In scribbled handwriting that vaguely resembled the calligraphic script on the front, Gerard had written a message. "Don't ever forget how lucky you are."
It was an olive branch. And one Pete was more than happy to accept. He reached for one of his notebooks and carefully settled the drawing inside the front cover, packing it away safely in one of his tougher suitcases. When he walked into the kitchen moments later, Gerard was sitting at the table with a laptop in front of him, checking fan-mail, Pete suspected. The look of shock on Mikey's face was more than priceless when Pete headed straight for Gerard and held his hand out. After a long studying look over the top of his coffee mug, Gerard took it. They shook hands as Frank and Mikey observed with wide eyes. And just like that, there was peace in the My Chem family.