Even the flowers couldn't raise his spirit today, as he watered and talked to them, giving them more attention than he would most people. A heavy dark cloud was hanging over his head, and even though he liked rain, he just wished the sun was out. Today wasn't the right day for bleak weather, not when he was all alone and no one was there to cuddle up with on the couch and watch nature outside the big living room windows.
Gerard was gone. He went to a meeting for some sort of comic book, maybe something he himself was drawing, wiL couldn't remember because all he knew now was that Gerard wasn't here and that blocked everything else out. WiL had asked if he could go with Gerard, he promised to stay in the car if he had to, but Gerard didn't let him, told him that it was only for a day and he was going to be back soon. He'd hugged wiL and just left, and wiL had no idea that anything could feel like this.
It was better when he didn't have anyone to miss. Tons better, and he wasn't sure that he could handle it if Gerard needed to go to another one of these meetings. His whole world was turned on his axis because he didn't know what to do in the hours he had to himself, he didn't want the privacy that months ago he would have killed for. The whole house was dead and desolute without Gerard in it, as if he was the very heart of the house and nothing could flourish and live without him. That seemed about right to wiL. He himself was a flower and Gerard was the sun and water that he reached for, extending his leaves and growing up in time to tilt his petals full on to the sun's rays and catch all the warm glow he could.
Nothing was right, it didn't seem like he should have been here alone, it was--it just wasn't his house. The flowers were his, and he felt a little bit better when he stood in the center of the kitchen and closed his eyes and searched for the residue of the cigarettes they shared the morning he left, but it wasn't the same. He had caught whifts of familiar grungy, stale air, but that was as far as it went.
He pushed himself up and glanced up once more at the sky, with a little pain in his stomach remembering how much Gerard liked storms and how he'd run outside in the rain and throw his hands up like he could catch it and drink it all in. Remembering the look of joy on his face as he scrunched up his nose against the droplets and stood still in the yard, the only one in the whole neighborhood outside and alone and just so beautiful in his nonpareil, black tentacles of hair slinking down in front of his face going unnoticed as he was so enebrieated with the rain.
WiL started, dropped the gardening trowel in his hand and turned to see an older man who was addressing him. He stood with the help of a cane, and wiL couldn't peg how old he was, it was past that point now, where the man's face was covered in wrinkles and it could have been any number.
"H-hello," wiL said cautiously, moving to lean against his fence but not getting too close to the man. Sometimes old men weren't all that feeble. He frowned when the man leaned on the other side of the fence close enough so he could smell the stale skin and rubbing lotion radiating off of him. He wasn't used to being this close to men without--well, other than Gerard, of course, because Gerard would never hurt him, but he wasn't so sure of this man. The man held out his hand for a handshake and wiL made himself extend his own hand, accompanied by a deep lurch of fear in the pit of his stomach.
"I'm Arnold. I live up the road." He didn't have the leering smile that was a tell-tale sign of a bad man, he had a kind smile, deep lines sinking below the cresents of his cheeks.
WiL nodded, bringing his hand up to his mouth so he could chew on the edges of his sleeve. He glanced up once at the end of the road like he was expecting Gerard's car to come into view. "I'm wiL." His voice was a squeak in response. The fence was starting to creak under his weight so he stood back up without it's help and his chest expanded a little with the relief of getting away from the permeated smell of the man. His legs started to twitch in a nervous little niche and he just wanted Gerard back, really.
Gerard would know what to do, he would know whether this man was bad or good. He didn't want to stand here in the permeated near-storm leaning as far away from the fence as he could, trying to figure out just what was happening.
"So, how are you, wiL?"
He sniffled a little and mumbled, "M'good," around his sleeve. He took another few glances up at the road and sighed. Gerard's car wasn't turning into the road that they lived on. He hadn't been expecting it, really, but it would have been nice to see Gerard's car. That meant that Gerard would be here, and they could go inside and not get soaked.
The man followed his gaze, smacking his lips together for some reason. "You lookin' at something?"
"I'm waiting for Gerard to get home..."
"Gerard? Issat the other boy who lives here? The...um, what is he?"
WiL didn't know what the man meant so he stayed quiet. He could mean a lot of things, he could mean the boy who takes the trash out, the one who drives to the grocery store, the one who makes comic books, anything. All of those applied to Gerard.
Despite preconcieved notions, wiL did actually know how to use a computer, somewhat. He stayed away from it mostly, because Gerard's laptop showed all of the words in English, and wiL really prefered French if he has to do any reading, but he'd settle right now.
God, he'd settle for anything that could give him the truth.
At first, he didn't believe the old man, because--well, old men could be senile and not know what they were talking about sometimes. Once, he'd had a man who thought he was a girl the entire time he had him, even though wiL was so obviously male and had male parts and a deep voice. So it wasn't such a big deal that the crazy senile man who smelled bad thought Gerard was a rockstar, nah. Gerard was pretty fucking hot, and had the same look that a rockstar might, but that didn't mean anything.
He dug Gerard's laptop out of his art studio and carried it downstairs to the kitchen so he could sit it at the table. It hadn't been used for a while, not since Gerard had logged onto it to show wiL some toy car he was buying off of Ebay, and took a long time to start up.
But when it does, after wiL has found the right buttons and was on Google, and typed in Gerard's name--
Wikipedia pops up first, telling wiL all about Gerard's childhood in Bellville, about his mom and brother and little things that wiL already knew, but then. Frontman for My Chemical Romance. And hell, why couldn't Gerard have told wiL this before?
Gerard rolled down the window of his small, eco-friendly Kia and took a deliberate breath, soaking in the wet weather of the town he lived in as soon as he passed the sign, Welcome to Derry, Maine.
And Gerard knew it was simply coincidental that he lived in the same town Stephen King transposed an evil brother-killing clown into. Until now, he hadn't even known the name of the town. But, as he looked upon it, scribbled in white on a dark green background with the rusted metal shining through reflected from his headlights, it felt like home, suddenly. There were so, so many little things that did that to him lately, made him start categorizing shit in either the Home box or the Other. WiL was home. The sign was home, their kitchen wallpaper was home, pancakes were home. The home of his past was filed under Other because it wasn't, just wasn't his anymore, it belonged to his mother. And it was sad to move on like this, so wholeheartedly, when just weeks ago he was laying around in Mikey's apartment, head buzzing, thinking about how desolate his own house seemed.
The scenery strolled by as if on a projector, shakily and nearly non-existant. Gerard watched from the corner of his eye as kids played around in the pre-dusk mauve air at the playground, wondering in the back of his mind just how many kids really did that anymore. The group was a tiny one, all gathered around the swings in a gang and taking turns pushing each other. A small red-haired boy was the only one not on the swings, trading the sharing and bonding for hanging upside down from the monkey bars like a bat. You could really tell that's what he was going for, too, because he started to flap his 'wings' and bare his teeth, and Gerard felt a fleeting moment of sympathy for him.
High school wouldn't be nice to the kid.
Soon that scene passed and he was faced with a street corner, a blaring red traffic light gleaming down on him to the front. Perched on the left, leaning on a wall was an unfortunate girl in fishnets and a faux fur coat. Enticing, dark lips chewed on the nail of her pointer finger until she noticed she was being watched and suddenly, it was a show. She straightened up, shrugging the coat halfway off her shoulders to bare the freckled tops of her arms, the deep V of her shirt as it dipped down into the crevace of her breasts. A thumb slipped into the top of her skirt and slid from just below her belly button to her tattooed hip then disappeared into her coat because, of course, that kind of stuff had to be paid for to watch. Every one of her moves from there on out were sexual, as Gerard watched half-heartedly and waited for the light to turn green.
It was only when she began the moaning, only reaching his ears faintly over the whip of wind and smog of water-clogged miasma, that it hit something familiar within him, replaying in his mind himself writhing on the ground, moaning in front of thousands (or millions, if you count Youtube) of fans and critics. Was he just selling sex appeal now?
Was he akin to the painfully explicit woman on the street?
A green light dragged him away from his thoughts long enough for them to become fodder for his next sleepless night but not bothering him now. At least.
The final scene was his own house, standing unlit and dead where he had left it yesterday. He slowly eased the car into the driveway and sat idle as the motor cooled and shut off, leaning on the arm he had resting on the steering wheel. Dark began to pool around him as the headlights faded away into the shadows and were replaced with empty nothingness, invading his senses, forcing itself down his throat.
The interior of the house wasn't any better. The kitchen was just as dark, just as unlived as the living room.
"WiL?" Gerard asked into the silence, gripping the ends of his staircase. He leaned over to flick on some of the lights so he wouldn't trip up the stairs and break his neck and die. The sudden rush of illumination blinded him and made his eyes tingle, so he threw his arm over his face to wait it out. "Hey, are you here?" he asked again, while the use of his eyes was temporarily suspended.
It wasn't like wiL to ignore him. He was actually expecting wiL to come barrelling out of the house the moment he realized that Gerard was back and make a big fuss out of him, and it was that thought that made Gerard drive excessively over the speed limit when he could to get here. He took the steps two at a time when he could open his eyes without his head spinning, hand fleeting out over the banister to steady himself.
At the top of the stairs he could see a wash of light peeking through the ajar door of their bedroom, and he followed it.
"Hey, wiL," he sighed when he found the boy sprawled out on their bed on top of the covers, picking at the ends of his tattered sleeves. The strings of the sweater had begun to unravel into delicate swirls encasing his fingers whenever they would move, twirling themselves into rings. His hair spilled over the pillow his head was on, his body cocked at an obscure angle where his hip peeked through a spanse of sweater and denim, tattooed and pale as the woman Gerard had seen on the street. His eyes blinked lazily up at the ceiling, not acknowledging Gerard as he sat down on the edge of the bed.
"You okay?" Gerard asked, leaning over to nudge wiL's knee. Outside, he could hear the rain pick back up from where it had left off hours ago, tapping a gentle melody against the windows. He pulled himself to the top of the bed and leaned back on the pillows.
"Mhm. Missed you," wiL whispered, tilting his head closer to Gerard's. He slipped an arm around Gerard's waist and tugged him until they were laying on their sides facing each other, leaving the hand there on his hip, thumbing at the seam of his pants.
"I missed you too." He pressed a kiss to the tip of wiL's nose and smiled at the scrunched up face wiL pulled. He did it again, and again until the wiL was laughing and the dark mood was gone.
"So," Gerard said, trailing his fingers along the skulls on wiL's suspenders. "What did you do while I was gone?"
"Um." WiL put on a thoughtful face and slid his hand over Gerard's, threading their fingers together. "J'ai travaillé dans le jardin beaucoup."
"What's that mean?"
"Garden. I worked in the garden. And a man said hello to me," wiL said solemnly, furrowing his eyebrows.
Gerard tensed, working a hand up and under wiL's sweater to trail his fingertips over his stomach. It was obvious the man had said something to wiL, something unnerving that had wiL twitchy and moody.
"Yeah? What else did he say?"
WiL looked down at him, pensively chewing on his lip. He shrugged it off and rolled onto his back. "Nothin'."
Gerard followed him, overlapping his body with his own and sticking his face into his neck. The smell of wiL--a mixture of make up and sweat and pomegranate shampoo--flooded his senses for several long minutes while he pondered what to say. WiL didn't normally hide things. There were no secrets in their relationship, Gerard thought.
Really, there was no way secrets could weasle their way into their lives, right? They lived so closely together, their actions melting into each other's, so one always knew what the other was doing. One day apart from each other shouldn't be able to fuck with that.
"You sure?" he mouthed onto wiL's skin, nipping the punctuation onto his throat. Suddenly his own words sounded so loud in the not-quite dark and he wished life had a volume control so he didn't sound so incriminatable.
"Oui. He--mm said nothing else." WiL squirmed a little under the blanket of Gerard and tilted his neck further to the right. "Just--asked who was I."
"What'd you tell him?" Gerard asked, lifting himself up into a sitting position, raising an eyebrow at wiL. They had yet to talk about the fact that they weren't married, and Gerard was hoping that wiL hadn't gone and told someone that they were. He wasn't ready for that yet. Not--just not yet. There was still so much planning, and he would have to call a press-conference, and pray his band members don't kill him for not letting them know sooner, and hope that the record label doesn't have too much cleanup work to do because of him.
"What am I supposed to tell?" wiL asked, cocking his head to the side though he still wasn't looking at Gerard, his attention was focused somewhere over Gerard's shoulder towards the window.
Gerard slid his hand into wiL's hair and said gently, "Anything you want, okay? But what did you say?" Because that was the important part, and Gerard needed to know how deep he was sunk. Married. To a boy.
That shit's big, and he knew it. It wasn't like if he had just decided to marry a girl, because by default he was straight. But this was getting secretly married (or not?) and being secretly gay (so not.), and just all in all a fucking double whammy. Sure, it was maybe the biggest and coolest way to say 'fuck you' to all the homophobes, and he and Frankie could probably dial down the on-stage gay from now on, but it still wasn't like Gerard was seriously into guys in general. This, coupled with Frank and Adam and Bert and whoever else had happened on his whirlwind of 'piss everyone off', didn't bode well for his struggle to remain straight in the public eye.
"I told him I was wiL," he said, like that part should be obvious, and really? Maybe it should be. He was wiL, he didn't fucking belong to Gerard, and Gerard shouldn't have assumed that he would ever introduce himself as 'the husband of' or 'the boyfriend of' anyone.
"Oh, okay." Gerard nuzzled back into wiL's neck lazily, with a feeling that things were accomplished and he would finally be able to just relax like he wanted to all day. WiL's fingers played at the hair on the nape of his neck for a while, and more fingers were behind his ear, caressing at the sensitive skin, and this was the best part of home. His bed, his sheets, his wiL.
He was slipping into a half-conscious drip of reality, one where the walls moved along with the shadows and the floor was made of chocolate and he couldn't move but wasn't in any great need to, when wiL's voice reached the outer regions of his consciousness with an obscure question.
"What do you do, Gerard?"
"'Bout what?" Gerard mumbled helplessly as wiL slid out from under him and sent him rolling onto his back. He burrowed under the covers because, fuck, now his front was cold.
"Job. What is your job?" wiL asked, sounding annoyed.
What? Didn't Gerard just come back from his trip where he had to go present the storyline for his new comic?
"I draw comics, wiL, you know that."
"Shit," Gerard grunted. He sat up, rubbing at his face furiously to bring back some sentient of life that had left him the moment his eyes closed. And, rather than ask wiL how he knew (because, duh, the man), Gerard slipped his hand into wiL's and squeezed it. "That."
"You play music." It sounded so less of a big deal than it really was phrased like that. Maybe--maybe wiL doesn't know how big his band is. "I went on the computer."
"Shit," he repeated, finally figuring out that life hated him and didn't want him to get any sleep tonight. WiL pulled his hand away and sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He huffed and sighed, and waited for Gerard to, like, explain, or something.
But Gerard really didn't fucking know how to breach this. See, this is one of the reasons why he decided against having relationships, because no matter what, he would always have to apologize for something or other. Despite all the precautions he tried to make, he was always going to fail in one area and he knew that, and it was complete bullshit to try and make a relationship when you already know it's going to fail.
Particularly when one party is secretly famous and neither grew up speaking the same language.
"Gerard," wiL sighed into his hands, and Gerard winced at the disappointment in his voice.
"No," said Gerard, reaching out to touch wiL's shoulder. He had to explain, had to. Because wiL had to know that he actually had a slightly valid reason for not telling him. He didn't know what wiL had made up in his mind about why Gerard didn't tell him, but he knew it musn't have been very good.
"Hey, it's not that I didn't want to tell you, you know," he said, slipping his hand down the clothed from of wiL's chest and tucking his hand under the suspenders. "I just didn't want you to think of me as--as a fucking famous dude, alright?"
He leaned forward to kiss at wiL's ear, to nip at the cartildge and sigh onto the nape of his neck. "Don't be mad, please. I just wanted someone who liked me for me." And he felt a little like a whining child clinging to its mother. A child who had done something wrong, like play ball in the house and break a lamp or a family portrait, one of those things that mothers seem to care so much about.
"Let go," wiL replied, twisting his head to look at Gerard, to frown at him. He put a hand on Gerard's chest and pushed a little bit, enough for him to worm his way out of the hold and stand up. "You should have told me..."
Gerard scrambled to his feet quickly after wiL, nearly slipping to the floor in the process, but caught himself on the bedside table and straightened himself out. "I know, I know, wiL," he agreed automatically, putting a hand up. "I'm an ass, alright? But don't be mad, please. I didn't mean to upset you by not telling you, I just didn't think it would be so important."
WiL stayed put, not talking, chewing on his lip and jutting his hip out to the side, his whole body language saying what his mouth wasn't. Gerard was a little shit. Gerard really knew better and he didn't say anything for the whole time that they had been together, and it would have been nice to be in on everything. Especially since wiL was still under the impression that they were married. And that was a conversation that was going to have to wait, because deployed now, it could end their relationship, seriously.
Gerard could try and fool himself into thinking that wiL had nowhere else to go, and that no one was willing to take in a boy who doesn't work and speaks French half the time, but it wasn't working, he couldn't make himself fall for the comforting ruse. Alicia would take wiL in in a heartbeat, faster, even, if she knew that Gerard fucked up.
He hid his face behind his hair, keeping his head tilted down so he wouldn't have to see the disapproving look any longer. "WiL, just forget about it, alright?" Inching forward, he put another tentative hand on wiL's shoulder, holding his breath for some kind of outburst. His heart ached--and that was something he thought he'd never really have to admit--and he couldn't breathe, because what if wiL wasn't going to forgive him? And for this? This, this thing that didn't even seem like it should have been a big deal. So Gerard lied a little bit about what he did for a living. So? At least he wasn't selling crack on the street, or prostituting--
"Vous ne comprenez pas," wiL choked, and Gerard would have given anything to not hear the crack in his voice, to not see his nose pinken with the promise of tears yet to come. Not to see his dark eyes swimming in a pool of limpid liquid, not to see the tremble in his lower lip. Gerard stepped forward, closer, drawing wiL into his arms despite his protests and thumbing away the little dot of water collected on his bottom lashes.
"Then tell me," he prompted softly, as gently as he could manage while going mad with the slew of emotions that he really hadn't felt so clearly since he was a teenager. He felt like a complete failure, that it was never going to get better, that he would never change into someone who really deserved to have wiL. It was like he was a ghost of his former self for those long minutes while wiL caught his breath and looked down and chewed on his sleeve and didn't answer Gerard.
"B-because," he started finally, tugging on a loose string with his teeth, threading it through his front ones, "I have to share." His hand trailed a scorching line down the front of Gerard's shirt, toying with a button at the bottom. "With the world." His hand clenched into the front of the shirt. "Mine," he said firmly, tugging until the two were pressed stomach-to-stomach and there were fucking fairies in Gerard's stomach, sprinkling their magic never-get-old dust on his insides and invariably enprisoning him in a life where he will always feel like a failure.
"You're not sharing me with anyone, wiL." He slid his hand to cover wiL's, tugging it free from his shirt enough to thread his fingers through the other man's. "I'm yours, 'kay?" Eyes slipping shut of their own accord, he leaned forward for a small kiss.
And maybe, if he had spent a little more time reassuring wiL, or maybe if life wasn't so full of fail for Gerard, it might have kept wiL occupied, but no. WiL pulled off with a little pop and sighed, wrenching himself from Gerard yet again. He looked up at Gerard for a moment, maybe, just maybe contemplating forgiving him on the spot, but that's just not how Gerard's life works, and wiL was out of the room.
Gerard, completely frustrated, slumped down on his bed and shoved his hand into his pocket to fish for his ugly, fucking gay pink Razr. He hated that thing now, really. Hated it. He pushed speed dial 3.
"Mikey?" He licked his too-dry lips. "Mikey, I think I fucked up."