Title: A Most Interesting Conversation
Masterpost: We're All Part of a Chemical Equation
Characters/Pairing: Gerard Way/Frank Iero, Ray Toro, Bob Bryar, Mikey Way, Brendon Urie, Pete Wentz, Patrick Stump, Mark Pellegrino, Samantha Ferris, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver, Traci Dinwiddie, Robert Wisdom, Kate Cassidy, Richard Speight Jr., Alona Tal, Lauren Cohan, Chad Lindberg, Kurt Fuller, Rob Benedict, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Samantha Smith, Lindsey McKeon, Matt Cohen, James Patrick Stuart
Word Count: 4204 (this chapter), ~50K and counting for entire series.
Warnings: Frerard, slash,cursing, hurt/comfort, angst, war, violence, mentions of rape, science fiction, war, discrimination
Notes: Futuristic fic, MCR, band slash, Supernatural RPF
Disclaimer: The lovely boys (ex/current members) of My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco do not belong to me. Neither do the cast of Supernatural...no matter how much I want them to. Scientific information in this story is based on 50% fact and 50% imagination.
Summary: Frank has a very interesting conversation with someone unexpected.
Wednesday, May 18th, 2112
Frank was nursing a cup of coffee as he sat in the pantry, on one of the soft and comfortable blue window-seats. He was sitting cross legged, one side of his body leaning against the large glass window that stretched across the room as he stared out of the windows into the fields in front of the Immunology Building. It was 8am in the morning but there were already people moving about the school. The sun was blazing, and clouds drifted lazily across the azure sky. Frank could hear joyous birdsong through the window, and he felt relaxed and contented. In another hour, he would head towards the Animal Unit to begin his Animal Training Course.
There was the sound of footsteps as someone entered the pantry. Frank turned around and tensed when he saw the newcomer. However, he greeted him politely.
“Good morning, Professor Way!”
“Good morning! Ah, you’re the one I ran into a few days ago! So you’re in Genevieve’s lab now, aren’t you?” Professor Way enquired.
“Yes, sir, sorry about that! I’m Frank Iero, an Honors-Year student from Dr. Potter’s lab.”
Mattie chirruped loudly from his perch on Frank’s shoulders.
“Your Anima is quite handsome. What’s his name?” Professor Way remarked.
“Thank you, Professor.” Frank responded automatically. “Mattie’s a red cardinal.” Frank had always felt weird thanking people for complimenting Mattie’s beauty, as though he was the one responsible for it. But apparently, it was the polite thing to say in such situations and Frank had been raised well by his parents.
Professor Way smiled, and turned to get his own cup of coffee.
He tapped the top of the dispenser, and said out loud, “Black.”
There was a soft whirl of noise as the coffee dispenser spat out the black liquid into a paper cup. Frank secretly admired the handsome profile of the Professor. Thick black hair framing a round face, thick eyebrows over brown hazel eyes which were hidden behind his black-rimmed glasses, a small nose and pouty lips that looked extremely kissable. As the Professor bent to get his coffee, Frank’s gaze automatically went to his ass before he could stop himself. He blushed and quickly looked away before the Professor turned and caught him in the act of oogling.
Dammit, Frank, he’s ten years older and definitely not interested in you! He thought desperately to himself.
Professor Way sat down next to Frank at the window seat, gazing out of the window as well.
“Lovely morning,” The Professor commented off-handedly.
“Yes, it is.” Frank answered quietly. He couldn’t help himself but admire the way the sunlight fell across the Professor’s face.
Mattie suddenly chirruped slowly in sweet lilting tones into Frank’s ear. Frank reddened as Professor Way gazed at the both of them, intrigued.
“You want to mate with him!! Sing to him! Enthrall him with a love song!” Mattie teased, his red head nudging the side of Frank’s cheek gently.
“Mattie!!” Frank exclaimed, unable to contain his utter mortification. “Behave!”
Mattie let out a soft whistle like a little snort of laughter.
Professor Way smiled at Frank but his hazel-eyes looked alluringly confused.
“Thank goodness he doesn’t understand you!” Frank thought furiously at Mattie.
“Should I give him a hint?” The playful bird replied joyously.
Before Frank could stop him, Mattie flew towards Professor Way and landed gracefully on top of his right shoulder. Professor Way looked a little alarmed and his hazel eyes widened in amazement. He seemed unsure of how to react.
Animas seldom interacted with other people other than their Masters and family members. They responded only towards people that their Masters had strong feelings for, such as hate or love.
Or in this case, lust.
Frank groaned at this faux-pas.
As Mattie hopped closer towards Professor Way’s cheek, he let out a cheeky trill.
“Oh, beautiful one, won’t you mate with my master?"
Frank groaned yet again as Professor Way looked curiously at the little red bird. Mattie pecked him lightly in greeting and rubbed his feathered head against his cheek as Professor Way laughed loudly.
“He’s quite spirited, isn’t he?” Professor Way asked Frank.
“You have no idea…” Frank muttered softly.
“Mattie, if you don’t stop that this instance, I will tie you to a rope and dangle you over hot cooking oil when we get home. A fraying rope.”
Mattie ignored Frank as Professor Way started coo-ing to him.
“Hello there, aren’t you a handsome fellow.” He lifted a finger from his left hand and offered it to Mattie. Mattie looked considerately at the finger as though being offered a tasty treat, cocking his head to one side, his brown eyes bright with pleasure. He hopped over to Professor’s Way outstretched finger, and started to preen himself.
“MATTIE!!” Frank yelled furiously in his head.
The sound of what sounded suspiciously like unbridled laughter echoed in his head as Mattie sang gloatingly. Professor Way petted the bird gingerly, stroking the raised crest on Mattie’s head. Frank liked to call the little tuff of red hair that stuck up at the top of Mattie’s head a Mohawk instead.
Mattie trilled happily under the Professor’s attentions as Frank fidgeted, blushing hotly as he pulled the collar away from his neck uncomfortably.
Professor Way then offered Mattie to Frank and Frank impatiently crooked his neck slightly to expose his shoulders a little more for Mattie to hop onto. Professor Way looked amused as he adjusted his glasses, chuckling as Mattie hopped back onto Frank’s shoulders.
“Good choice, Master. He’s gentle and he smells nice. I approve!” The little bird crooned mischievously.
Frank wanted to dig a hole in the ground and bury himself alive.
“YOU’RE A DEAD BIRD.” Frank thought. He gave the mental equivalent of a hard jab at Mattie.
Mattie started to preen himself peacefully, unconcerned.
“Fascinating.” Professor Way mused. “Has he always been like that? Interacting with people?”
“Yea,” Frank lied, “He’s different that way.” Frank thought that it was probably unwise to tell Professor Way that he was the only individual that Mattie had chosen to interact with apart from his parents. Even Richard Speight, his best friend, did not have this much contact with Mattie. Mattie hadn’t liked any of his ex-boyfriends either, and kept close to Frank all the time.
“Mattie’s quite unique then!” Professor Way looked deep in thought for a long moment. Frank took a sip of his coffee as he waited for Professor Way to comment further.
“Most Anima I have seen tend to keep to their Masters and their loved ones.” Professor Way added absent-mindedly. “Strange…”
Frank almost choked on his coffee. Mattie took off from his shoulder and began to fly in circles around his head, chortling loudly.
Professor Way looked up at the agitated Mattie with a look of bewilderment.
“He knows, he knows!! He knows that you want to mate with him!”
Frank had conveniently forgotten that Professor Way’s primary research interest was in Animas.
“Uhm, yea.” Frank responded intelligently. He took another sip of his coffee. Professor Way looked consideringly at Frank as he tapped the bottom of his chin contemplatively.
“Would you mind if I studied you and Mattie?” Professor Way asked enthusiastically.
This time, Frank did choke on his coffee. He sputtered, gasping for air and his shoulders heaved forward with the effort of expelling the liquid that had gone into the wrong passageway.
“I’m so sorry! Are you alright?” Professor Way thumped Frank’s back apologetically. “That was way too abrupt and presumptive of me, I apologise. I always get excited when I see a living Anima.”
Frank waved his apology away, gasping slightly.
“No, Professor. It’s all right.”
He waved his hand over his white-shirt absent-mindedly, feeling the usual surge of Power radiating from his ring as he removed the coffee-stain from his shirt. The patch of liquid decreased in size, coalescing on itself as the brown stain slowly diminished into nothing, leaving his shirt clean and unblemished. Mattie continued to fly in circles around the two of them.
Professor Way looked puzzled for a moment, his head flicking between the flying bird and Frank’s hand before a look of intrigue flooded his hazel eyes again.
“Wow, you have two Animas!” His eyes shone with unconcealed… delight?
Frank grimaced. In the heat of the moment he had forgotten to use Mattie as a conduit for his Power. Professor Way was a member of the Seniorum Concilium! Hadn’t he already promised his father to stay hidden as much as he could?
Frank bit down on his lip hard. He looked at Professor Way, who was still waiting for his reply. He sighed inwardly.
“Yes, Professor. One living, and one inanimate.” He waved the silver Ouroboros ring on his right hand at Professor Way a little warily, uncertain as to what the Professor might feel about him.
“Interesting!!! I’ll love to study you and your Animas.”
Frank’s heart almost stopped in terror at those words.
Mattie twittered as he stopped in mid-air, flapping his wings happily.
“Yes, please, you can study every inch of my Master!”
Frank snapped at the bird, his nerves frayed by the situation.
“Get down here this instant, Mattie! You’re giving me a headache.”
Mattie landed on Frank’s shoulder again, his feet clutching the fabric of Frank’s shirt. Sensing Frank’s mood, Mattie silently rubbed the side of his coned coral beak against Frank’s cheek in an apologizing manner, his Mohawk tickling his skin. Frank sighed as he stroked the top of Mattie’s head.
Professor Way peered at Frank, and the laugh lines at the edges of his eyes deepened as he frowned in concern. Professor Way looked a little abashed as he asked, “Are you alright? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to overwhelm you. Don’t worry about it, Frank. No pressure.”
“Ah, I’m sorry about that, Professor.”
“As I said, don’t worry about it.” Frank thought that he had seen a look of disappointment on Professor Way’s face but it was replaced by a warm, sincere smile.
“I’m not too comfortable with being a test-subject.” Frank admitted. He stared calculatedly at Professor Way, and then decided to tell him the truth. “I don’t really want to get into trouble with the Seniorum Concilium... or the Osores either.” He said softly.
Professor Way’s expression cleared in understanding, and he nodded.
“Of course, of course. I’m sorry. Don’t worry about it, Frank.” He cleared his throat. “Don’t tell anyone, but I never liked the Council’s stance on Animas.” He whispered conspiratorially, spoiling the effect by winking at him.
Frank laughed a little weakly. Since the Death Plague, every individual had been required to register the type and the number of Animas they owned with the Registrar’s Office. These records were known as the Anima Records. People with more than one Anima, or Multiples, as they were more frequently called, had been discriminated against for decades. As Multiples were thought to be generally more powerful, the public tended to be more wary and distrustful of them. The Seniorum Concilium also cracked down hard on these individuals, placing severe limitations and restrictions on them. Movements were limited and the use of Powers were recorded and tracked by the Registrar’s Office relentlessly. There was no privacy for these individuals.
Frank understood that fear and mistrust.
Condemnant quod non intellegunt… They condemn because they do not understand. It was human nature to doubt and view with suspicion something that you weren’t familiar with or couldn’t control. It hadn’t helped that a couple of Dark Powers had risen over the years. Most had risen due to this prejudice. The most memorable and earth shattering rebellion that had occurred was the Anima War.
The Anima War had taken place twenty years ago, just a few months before Frank’s own Ascension. A Multiple by the name of Xavier Inius had risen. Inius had been a rich businessman, dabbling in many industries. A rival company somehow managed to find out that Inius had more than three Animas, and that he had lied to the Registrar’s Office that he had only one. His family had kept this secret for many years. Inius’s secret was gleefully leaked to the press by his rival company. Public outrage over Inius’s deception had caused a tragedy. Inius’s family had been mobbed, lynched and killed in public. The public hanging had driven Inius mad. A charismatic individual, Inius had stepped out into the public eye and urged Multiples like him to fight back for the injustice that had been committed to people like them for decades. He cried out for the need of equality, and the need to abolish the Anima Records to protect the families of Powers who owned more than one Anima. It had sparked the beginning of a long, bloody war as Multiples rose to meet him in battle. The Anima War finally ended when Xavier Inius had been killed six years ago. But the devastating effects of the war had already made its point.
The Anima Records had been expunged three years ago. The current law in place was that no one should be judged on the type of Anima or the number of Animas that they owned. Each individual would be judged based on a system of meritocracy instead. Discrimination against people based on their Animas was an offense.
It was well-known that Professor Gerard Way was one of those who had pushed for the bill. In addition to being one of the youngest members of the Seniorum Concilium (he had been twenty-seven when he had been accepted into the Council six years ago), he was also one of the main spearheads in Anima research. His work had led him to the fact that Power was innate, and a gift of nature. All individuals were born with differing levels of Powers. Animas were simply a conduit to channel the raw Power each individual had. Professor Way established that one could have many Animas without being any more powerful than the average individual owning one Anima. Thus, his research had led him to conclude that the number of Animas did not contribute to or affect the level of an individual’s Power.
Although the Seniorum Concilium passed the bill based on the strong results of Professor Way’s work and his scientific expertise, it was no secret that the Seniorum Concilium still kept strong tabs on indiscrete individuals who had more than one Anima.
Frank’s heart swelled in worry. How could he have been so stupid to reveal his secret to Professor Way? The War had ended, but there were many who were still bitterly reminiscing the past where they had lost loved ones, and many who were still strongly discriminating Multiples. These people, who were known as Osores, still existed. The Osores were a terrorist organization that had risen after the War. They carried out executions or hate crime against Multiples. Frank had never seen one of these individuals before, but heard many stories about them. They came in groups, dressed uniformly in black and midnight-blue leather half-masks obscuring their faces etched with the silver words Stamus contra malum – we stand against evil – like black crows circling carrion, leaving a wake of destruction, terror and death behind them. His heart started beating wildly in horror.
“Don’t worry Frank,” Professor Way said softly, when he realized that Frank had been utterly silent. “If it helps, I have a brother in the same situation as you.”
Frank’s eyes widened in surprise.
Professor Way nodded.
“I understand how it feels like. I may be a member of the Council, but I will keep this secret for you. Please trust me.” He said sincerely.
Frank felt relieved.
“Thank you, Professor Way.”
Professor Way shot him a shy grin, his lips twitching at the corners in amusement.
“I’m sure my brother will love to meet you,” He chuckled.
“I’ll like to meet him too,” Frank answered slowly. “I don’t know many people like me… It’s not exactly… normal…”
Professor Way looked stern for a moment.
“It’s not an illness, Frank. Don’t say it like that. It’s a gift.”
Frank shook his head sadly.
“No offence, Professor. I’ll love to see the day when it is regarded as a gift. But currently? I don’t see it that way. I don’t wish to be pessimistic, but… the War is still too fresh in our memories.”
Professor Way sighed, but nodded.
“You’re right, of course. I hope we will both live to see that day.” Professor Way said dejectedly. “Well, it’s been nice talking to you,” he brightened as he finished his own coffee. “It’s been lovely to meet you too, Mattie.” Professor Way chuckled as Mattie bobbed his head intelligently in reply, trilling softly. Frank could feel the waves of approval rolling off the bird towards the man. It wasn’t often that Mattie was acknowledged as a separate entity in Frank’s conversations as well, and he knew that Mattie felt respected and recognized by this charming man.
Professor Way crumpled the paper cup in his hands and it vanished with a surge of Power as he tossed it upwards in mid-air. Frank caught the sight of a flash of silver on his left ring finger.
Ah… Is that his Anima? Or does that mean he’s married? Or both?
“I need to head back to my office to finish up my paperwork.” Professor Way grimaced. He reached over and patted Frank’s shoulder, the one that was Mattie-free, and said firmly, “Don’t worry about it, Frank. I’ll keep your secret safe.” He smiled and turned away, his black shoes clicking smartly against the floor as Frank called out his thanks.
The earliest part of Frank’s childhood that he remembered was when he was three years old. The Ascension of Power took place when a child turned three. The family members of the child would choose an object to gift to a child. During the Ascension, these objects would be placed before the child, and the innate Power within the child would be triggered into maturation when he touched an object of his choice. That object would become the child’s Anima, and would be used as a conduit for his Power.
Frank remembered his Ascension, albeit faintly. His family had provided the candidate Animas in the form of jewelry. He had grown up to be thankful for that. The fact that jewelry was personal and could be carried close to his body made it easier to conduct his Power whenever he needed it. He had met a couple of friends who had been gifted things like books and toys, which was terribly annoying to carry around most of the time. That other time when he realized that one of his classmates had a rubber ducky for an Anima (given to him by one of his uncles who had had a falling out with his classmate’s parents), he had to control his laughter until he had walked away from his friend. Then, when he had calmed down, he had gone home to hug his parents tightly, thankful that they had not taken any liberties with the choice of his Anima objects to make their son’s life a living joke.
For his Ascension, his mother had given him a necklace, a dragon coiled around an opal, his birthstone. His grandparents had given him an earring, a simple silver stud. His father had commissioned a silver Ouroboros ring for him, a silver serpent with ruby eyes swallowing its own tail. The Ouroboros ring was a thing of beauty. His father’s own Anima had been a golden Ouroboros ring, and Frank Sr. had custom-made the gift for his son, hoping that his only child would also Ascend into his Power via the Ouroboros silver ring.
Frank remembered his parents setting him down in front of the three objects in the garden. It was a beautiful, bright and sunny day. Frank remembered feeling happy in the presence of his loving family. His grandparents had come by with their gift, and to watch their grandson’s Ascension. He remembered being hugged and kissed by them. He could remember how his grandmother smelled like, a faint scent of roses and lilies, and his grandfather smelling like smoke and the ocean. His grandparents had enlarged the small earring with their Powers as it had seemed tiny next to the necklace and the ring, so that three-year old Frank could look at the three objects properly.
Well, at least as objectively as any three-year old could.
Three year old Frank had at once been captivated by the ring. But at the same time, a curious thing happened. Frank had been reaching out to touch the ring as his family watched with bated breath when a songbird suddenly flew down from a tree, curious as to the fuss that was happening in the garden. It hopped right in front of Frank. A brilliant crimson red, with tinges of blue and gray down his lovely plumage, the cardinal had a black face mask that extended from between his eyes to slightly above his chest, making him look like a tiny masked robber. He had a raised prominent crest, like a Mohawk that stuck up at the back of his head. His bright, coral beak opened to sing, twittering a lovely tune that sounded joyous.
Three year old Frank had started clapping happily, affected by the little bird’s merry tune. The bird had at first been startled, hopping anxiously away, but after observing the toddler and his family members (who had been watching this unexpected circumstance with growing interest and excitement) for a while longer, and appearing to come to the conclusion that they would not do anything to harm him, the little bird opened his mouth again, chirping conversationally at Frank. The toddler had innocently reached out to the bird to touch him, calling the bird Mattie – and to the astonishment of his family members, the cardinal flew towards him in response, landing on his shoulders and rubbing his red Mohawk lovingly across the young child’s face.
His parents had later told him that they had not expected Mattie to appear during Frank’s Ascension. It was quite rare for Anima to be living. What was even more unexpected was that three year old Frank had also reached out for the Ouroboros ring at the same time, and there had been an instantaneous burst of Power, a golden, iridescent aura which pulsated in all directions. His family members had been taken aback by strength of the Power that they had felt. Soon, they realized that Frank had gained two Animas… One living and one inanimate.
As Frank grew up, his father taught him the meaning of the Ouroboros. It depicted the cycle of life, symbolizing the never-ending continuity of life; and the struggle between darkness and light, the joining and co-existence of opposites. Frank understood what his father wanted for him, to understand the meaning of life, the never ending struggle between good and evil. It served as a reminder to Frank now, to use his Powers only for good.
At the same time, because of the War that had sparked on earlier in the year, Frank’s family decided not to register the fact that he had more than one Anima. For the sake of his family, and his own safety, Frank’s father had fiercely drilled into Frank the need for discretion. Since they couldn’t possibly hide Mattie away, Frank had been taught to use Mattie as a conduit for his power in public. As for his Ouroboros ring, Frank’s father had charmed it so that it would fit his right index finger as he grew, and Frank learnt how to conduct his Power through his ring secretly. However, he learnt to use it only when he was alone or with his family members. Frank didn’t even conduct his Power through his ring in front of his best friend, Richard Speight. Frank had simply confided in Richard, after years of friendship and knowing that Richard was a reliable friend who would do anything for him.
The War was a constant reminder of the possible dangers to Frank. People died. He knew people around him who died because of the war. Every day, the young child lived in constant fear of being discovered. Frank matured too young because of it. He knew that any outsider who found out that Frank had two Animas could severely endanger his life, or even worse, the lives of his beloved family members.
Had it been the right decision to trust Professor Gerard Way?(Richard)