Are y'all gonna welcome me back with open arms?
“Helloooooo!” was the enthusiastic greeting Donna flung at them from the kitchen when they entered the house. Egan sniffed tentatively; the scent of something cheesy and undoubtedly rich wafted through the house. It worked like an inhalable muscle relaxant and she felt instantly at ease.
“Hey Ma!” Gerard yelled from the doorway, “Smells good!” Donna entered the front hallway seconds later pushing her bangs to one side.
“That’s my son,” she smiled as she hugged him, “Always tell your mother what she wants to hear.” She turned to Egan, still beaming. “Hello again,” she said warmly, “I’m very happy you’re here.”
“Thanks so much for asking us here” she replied softly. This wasn’t her normal self; generally new people didn’t frighten her much at all, but being here in Gerard’s old home and meeting all the people that mattered most to him, she was scared out of her mind of fucking it up. That would be like her, to fuck up something this big.
Gerard could feel Egan’s arms clamped tightly around her torso next to him and put an arm around her small shoulders, willing the muscles to unbunch. Her felt her relax minutely and rejoiced in this small victory. With Egan he would take what he could get.
“We’re almost ready to eat, the boys are acting like ungrateful bums in the living room if you want to go join them.” Donna feigned indignation.
“Wouldn’t dream of it mom. What can I do to help?” Gerard was good on his feet and Egan giggled silently at his sweet talking.
“That’s my son,“ Donna repeated, “Always tell your mother what she wants to hear. You my darling can come in here and stir the pots for your tired mother.”
“My pleasure Ma. Just a second, okay?” Donna cast a sideways look at Gerard wrapped half around Egan and Egan thought she saw her smirk.
“Of course” Donna smiled and departed for the kitchen.
“So…” Gerard returned.
“So, I’m on my own?”
“Go get ‘em Tiger.”
“I think it’s cute when you say that.”
“I think it’s cute that you think it’s cute that I say that” he replied.
“We’re fucking obnoxious.”
“Like a pair of love struck trolls” he agreed happily, pointing her in the direction of the living room (Not that hard to find; something akin to the bellows of a wounded wildebeest were coming from a door down the hall) and gently pushing her off, as one might push off in a ship when setting sail.
“I thought you played the bass!”
“Then why the hell do you suck at this game?”
“Because playing this fake guitar is nowhere near the same thing as playing my real bass!”
“Yeah, it’s easier you sissy!”
Egan entered the room to see a curly haired man berating Mikey as he failed beautifully at Rockband.
“Don’t give me shit, you suck at Guitar Hero! What is it that you play, Ray? Is it the guitar? I think it’s the guitar!” Mikey was still attempting to win and taking into consideration that he was being forced to simultaneously ward off the curly haired man’s (Ray) jabs at his ribs as well as dodge the errant pillow missile, he was doing all right.
She saw Frank lounging on the couch, watching the spectacle before him and emitting the odd giggle. Next to him banging away on the drum controllers was a blond haired man Egan didn’t recognize. A look of intense concentration was plastered on his face and his tongue was stuck out of the corner of his mouth as his entire body vibrated with the force he was using to crash the automated sticks into the touch-sensitive surfaces of the drums. He was clearly doing much better than Mikey.
“Poor unmusical thing” she murmured from the door way. Frank turned immediately and bounded up off the couch when he saw Egan.
“Hey shorty! Long time no see!” he cried, hugging her tightly.
“Make all the jokes you want piccolo,” she responded smoothly, fighting a very insistent grin. Frank just made her smile. “I’m short and cute. You’re just dwarfish.”
“Who told you you were cute?” he asked innocently, head cocked.
“Piccolo” she said once again.
“The hell’s a piccolo? Isn’t that some kind of wind instrument?”
“It means tiny in Italian.”
“Shut the fuck up. That means ‘zip it’ in English.”
“Oh, go find Snow White.”
“Get back to the yellow brick road.” He grinned mischievously at her and she hugged him again.
“Good to see you Frank.”
“It’s only been about a week.”
“You too. I missed you too.”
“That’s more like it. You gonna introduce me?”
“To whom? Oh, well alright. So, you know my little brother Mikey—“
“Man, if you don’t quit fucking saying that…”
“It’s true! You’re my brother! Why won’t you claim me? Are you ashamed? Do I ashame you?”
“Do I shame you.”
“Not at all!”
“No, you said it wrong, it’s not ‘Do I ashame you’, it’s ‘Do I shame you’. And yes. Without question. I’m serious, someone’s gonna actually believe you one day. I don’t wanna be saddled with you.”
“Okay, whatever,” Frank said with an eye roll. “So this charming young man here,” he said pointing to the blond, still drumming, “Is called by some Bob Bryar, a few the Scandinavian Wonder, and most just yell ‘Chump!” when they want his attention.”
“I’m coming after you next. These sticks are deadly” the blond man said quietly, eyes glued to the screen of the TV.
“He acts tough,” Frank muttered rather conspicuously to Egan, “But he sleeps with a blanket.”
“It is a heating pad and it’s for my leg!”
“Yeah, or your PMS cramps.”
“Fuck off” Bob muttered sullenly. His attention could only be focused on one thing and Frank wasn’t worth it. Beating Mikey’s ass at this game was. Shortly after his return to the game, it was all over. Bob shimmied grotesquely in victory while Mikey cursed and grumbled good naturedly and Frank and Egan laughed at the both.
“Bob, you know I’m an advocate for free expression, but that’s obscene. Stop it.” Bob ignored Gerard’s jibe sent his way as he came into the room and continued to dance, but flung a stick at him as he executed a twirl. Gerard ducked and the stick thwacked against the wall.
“WHAT WAS THAT?” Donna called from the kitchen.
“SORRY MAMA DONNA!” Frank called, “MIKEY’S SKULL IS UNUSUALLY SOFT!” They could hear Donna’s voice growing louder as she approached from the kitchen.
“FRANK ANTHONY IERO, HE IS MY ONLY SECOND-BORN SON AND SO HELP ME GOD IF YOU HAVE—“she entered the room and stopped shouting. “Frank, go wash your hands” she said a bit tiredly, rolling her eyes. He shot her a sideways grin before slinking out of the room.
“The rest of you can use the kitchen sink,” she said, “Food’s ready.”
“Wait, mom, he’s not in the kitchen?” Mikey asked a bit frantically.
“No honey, he went to the upstairs bathroom.”
“Shit! He’s going in my room, I know it!”
“Michael, language” his mother warned.
“Paranoid” Frank called from the top of the stairs. “All I did was wash my hands.”
“I bet that’s all you did” Mikey mumbled.
“And,” Frank continued, “Perused your periodicals. Anyone want to do a little light reading?” he asked holding up a long forgotten Playboy Mikey had stashed somewhere long ago.
“Fucking hobbit, I’m going to send you back to the shire for real this time” Mikey howled, darting after a swiftly fleeing Frank as Donna called behind him “Language!” Gerard moved next to Egan and held her hand as the entire party watched the hunting of the Frank.
“So?” he asked softly.
“So?” she asked back.
“What do you think?”
“I like them.”
“I had hoped you would.”
“I’m glad we came.”
“Me too. Nothing beats watching Mikey and Frank fight. I had no idea he read Playboy.”
“He’s not gonna really hurt him is he?” Egan was worried for her little friend. It appeared his ship was sunk as Mikey advanced on him with a couch cushion and the remaining drumstick from Rockband.
“Eh. Frank’s had worse. Mama,” he said turning to Donna, “I’m hungry. Let’s eat.”
“Deserter!” Frank called to him.
“Shut up you, and take it up the ass like a man!” Mikey yelled at him, swinging away violently with the cushion.
“Gerard! I think he’s going to violate me with the drum stick!”
“You brought this on yourself” he returned over his shoulder. “It’s a figure of speech,” he assured Egan after catching sight of her face. “He won’t really put that drum stick anywhere inside Frank. Bob’d kill him. He just means for Frank to come quietly” he added when Egan’s fears weren’t immediately assuaged.
“Welcome back” Donna said to her, leaning forward and patting her bracingly on the shoulder. They all, with the exception of the warring band mates, made their way to the dining room.
“Welcome home” Gerard chuckled.
Author's Note: I've returned. I know I went on hiatus for a long time, but last week I got the urge to come back and work on this story some more. Now, this is very temporary. I might leave it at a quick ending that you'll all hate, or I might just leave it alone here. And then, there's always the possibility that I'll continue. I honestly can't tell you. All I want is to still have readers after all this time. So if you forgive me for walking out, read, rate and review, huh? And also, please don't expect another update too terribly soon, as I'm going out of town Saturday and not coming back until Friday night. And as it's a church mission trip, I don't think I can be writing any sort of anything I normally write while I'm there.