No plot. None whatsoever. Just me, bored: this is the result. Basically all it is is Gerard, bless his little heart, having some not-so-great times. Hopefully you'll find parts at least remotely fu...
There's a bit more. If you like it, I'll think about uploading it. Rate and review, and I will love you forever. (We all know that's a lie. But it'll definitely help.)
**Edit: I'm thinking maybe I'll just have this as the first in a series of mini-episodes. Still no title for the moment...will think of one--eventually.
I was unmercifully yanked from the blissful darkness behind my eyelids by an insistent voice, accompanied by a sudden huge weight on my chest. I opened my eyes to find myself face-to-face with Frank. He was sitting on top of me, leaning down to look me right in the face--about a foot away.
Oh, great. Frank was probably the last person I wanted to see right now. Don't get me wrong, I like Frank fine. In fact, he's one of my absolute best friends in the whole world. Unfortunately, however, he's also capable of being the most annoying person in the world as well. Particularly when it comes to me attempting to get some rest.
I hadn't gotten to sleep until 3 A.M. last night, and so all I really wanted to do right now was sleep until at least noon, then maybe get up for a bit, get a cup of coffee, and just sit around doing absolutely nothing all day. The lack of sleep had me reluctant to get off my ass anymore than absolutely necessary. So I had planned to just take it easy today. Needless to say, 150 pounds of Frank Iero kneeling on my rib cage was not how I'd intended to start my morning.
I stared up at him, my face utterly expressionless. "What. Could. You. Possibly. Want."
Frank's voice, in contrast to my dull, flat monotone, was, as always, fully alert. "Get up, sleepyhead. We're going out for coffee and breakfast, then we're going shopping. We're waiting on you."
I closed my eyes. "Go without me."
"'Cause we're gonna be gone all day, and we ate the last chips and pizza last night, and Mikey said you'd starve," Frank replied matter-of-factly.
I groaned. Why we rarely ever bothered to keep any more food in the house lately than a box of cold pizza and a couple bags of chips, I don't know. Maybe this whole problem could've been avoided. Even so, at the moment, I didn't much care if I starved the whole day--I just wanted to sleep. And as far as the whole facing starvation thing--yeah, that was considering I even woke up at all throughout the day in the first place.
However, I knew this excuse was going to get me nowhere.
So I tried to compromise. "Well, then, at least let me sleep for another hour, then I'll get up and we can go," I said.
"No!" Frank sounded horrified at the idea. "We've got to go now. It's already 8:30, and I'm starving."
When aren't you? I thought irritably, but I didn't say it. Instead, I just moaned and pulled my arm up to cover my eyes. "Frank," I asked, the top half of my face completely obscured by my arm, "did it ever occur to you that, once in a while, you could just ignore your stomach and let me get some decent sleep?"
"It's kinda hard to ignore it when it keeps growling at me," Frank retorted, not moving off of me at all. I wondered if I just imagined that he actually tried to increase his weight on me even more.
I scooted my arm to the side just enough so that I could see him. Though my eyelids were only half-open, I raised an eyebrow at him. "Not my problem," I said flatly. Although I guess it kind of was, seeing as how that's what was causing him to be so determined to get me up that he was sitting right on top of me, squashing the air out of my lungs and making it difficult to breathe.
"Well, I'm not moving," Frank announced, settling down on top of me with a slight bounce. He folded his arms across his chest and gazed down at me, his expression a mix of superiority and smugness, along with a touch of annoyance at my disobedience.
I sighed heavily in exasperation. He was really starting to piss me off. "Why is it," I demanded, "that every time you want to go anywhere, I'm always the one that gets picked on?"
"Because you're the only one that doesn't cooperate," Frank said simply, a hint of accusation in his tone.
I fixed him with what I hoped was a withering look (kinda hard to be certain when I'm only half-awake), and he returned it with equal heat. For about fifteen seconds, we just sat there (well, Frank sat; I laid), glaring at each other.
Frank's stomach growled.
"I'm starving!" he whined. "Ge-rard, will you get up!"
Not like I could have anyway with his full weight crushing down on me like that.
"No!" I snapped. "Just leave me alone, and let me fucking sleep! Get off me, asshole!" I glowered up at him, my eyes burning.
"You can't make me," Frank shot back defiantly, staying right where he was.
That did it. I pulled my other arm out of the blankets. I shoved Frank violently, catching him by surprise, and he toppled sideways off the bed. I heard a yelp and a thump as Frank hit the floor, then I flipped over and buried my face in my pillow.
Just when I started to relax again, thinking Frank had gone, the weight suddenly reappeared. I cried out in surprise, and turned my head around to the side as much as I could. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that Frank had returned and was sitting on my back, his expression exceedingly smug.
"Get off!" I shrieked, trying unsuccessfully to bring my arm around to smack at him.
Frank just laughed.
I tried to push myself up off the mattress, hoping to dislodge him in the process, but my arms couldn't take the weight. I struggled on like this for a minute or two, Frank laughing all the while at my pathetic attempts, before my arms gave way yet again and I flopped back down into the sheets, exhausted.
"Having fun?" Frank asked me, still snickering.
I was panting too hard to make a reply.
When I finally had my breath back, instead of answering his question, I asked short-temperedly, "Are you done yet?"
I rolled my eyes in irritation, but unfortunately, that was pretty much all I could do. I didn't say anything more, just laid there, fuming, the lower half of my face smashed in the pillowcase.
Finally, Frank got impatient. "Come on, get up." He bounced a little.
Ow, fuck. I gritted my teeth at the pain, but remained silent.
Frank bounced again.
This time, I said, "Ow, stop it."
"Frank, knock it off!"
Instead of doing that, of course, Frank just started bouncing more. It hurt my back and the constant, rhythmic jarring made my teeth clack together.
"Frank, you little shit! Stop!" I shouted.
"Get up!" he yelled back, sounding as if he was enjoying this.
I didn't doubt that he was.
The bouncing continued. "Come on, Gee!"
I didn't move. Well, not voluntarily. I was springing up and down with the bouncing, flopping around in the bed like a dead fish.
Frank bounced a little harder. "Up!"
"Ow, ow, ow!"
"OW, OW, OW, OW, OW--!!"
"Up, up, up, up, UP--!!"
Our shouting match continued for at least two minutes, the bouncing never faltering. My spine felt like it might snap.
"OW, OW, OW, STOP, STOP!!"
"UP, UP, UP, UP, UP!!"
"YOU LITTLE SH--!!"
We both froze. The shouting and bouncing halted abruptly as Frank and I simultaneously turned our heads to see who had spoken.
Ray stood in the doorway, regarding us with a quizzical look on his face. One eyebrow was raised, and he looked a little amused as well as slightly puzzled.
I imagined we must have looked pretty ridiculous, not to mention a little awkward, me pinned flat on my stomach helplessly with Frank perched on my back. Like some pathetic cowboy whose horse had collapsed and wasn't getting up again, despite all the urging of its rider.
For a moment, none of us said anything. Finally, Ray broke the silence. "What's...going on?"
Frank spoke up immediately. "Gerard's being an ass and won't get out of bed." He turned to glare down at me accusingly.
I rolled my eyes. Oh, I was the one being an ass. "Why can't you just leave me here? I'm obviously just slowing you down anyway," I protested.
Ray just shook his head. "Uh-uh. We're gonna be out all day, and you'd starve."
That bullshit again. I let my head go limp against the pillow. "I don't fucking care! I just wanna sleep," I moaned plaintively.
"We need you along anyway," Ray continued, ignoring my whining. "We're going to get a new stove, and we'll need help picking one out."
"I don't know shit about stoves! It's not like we do much cooking anyway--"
"Yeah, and you know why? 'Cause the stove doesn't work. Last time we tried to do anything with it, it was a disaster."
I did remember, now that he brought it up. Bob had tried to cook dinner in the oven, but the piece of crap had fucked up big time. The house had filled with smoke, and the ensuing chaos--of blaring smoke alarms, shouting, and the five of us rushing around with limited visibility, attempting to turn off the oven, open windows, and avoid fire (we'd thought we'd burnt the house down)--had...let's say, taken its toll, on all of us. When we finally had things under control again, we were left with a mound of ashes that, supposedly, had once been edible, and since it was too late to go anywhere, we'd all ended up pretty much going hungry that night.
I did not want to repeat that episode.
But that didn't change the fact that I still knew nothing whatsoever about kitchen appliances, and therefore would be no help whatsoever in picking out a good one. Bob was better at that shit than I was--fuck, any of them were--so why it was so imperative that I came along was beyond me.
When I stayed silent, Ray said, "Come on, man. It'll do you good to get out of the house anyway."
However, I knew this argument was not one I was going to win. I sighed heavily in resignation.
"Fine," I surrendered reluctantly, my voice still muffled by the pillow.
"Yes!" Frank shouted triumphantly, like he'd won some huge victory...as though the dipshit didn't realize that he wasn't the one who'd convinced me.
Five seconds passed.
"Well," Frank said impatiently, staring down at me, "get up!"
"You're still on top of me, dumbass," I growled through clenched teeth.
"Oh." Looking the tiniest bit sheepish, Frank crawled off of me.
Unwillingly, I pushed myself up and hauled myself out of bed, my eyes still only half open. I swung my legs over the side of the mattress and yawned hugely.
Before I even had a chance to stand up, Frank grabbed my left arm and tried to pull me up onto my feet. "Come on, Gerard! Get your ass out of bed and move it!" he snapped.
"Hang on!" I snarled, snatching my arm away and glaring at him. "Just give me a fucking minute, would you? God."
"Give him a second, Frank," Ray said, already halfway out the bedroom door. "Let him wake up."
That wasn't going to happen for a while yet. Nevertheless, I pushed arduously to my feet and started for the door.
The next thing I knew, Frank was behind me, shoving me down the hall.
"Hey!" I yelled in surprise, staggering down the hallway, trying desperately not to trip over my own feet. "Shit, man, what is your problem?!"
Frank didn't stop pushing as he answered. "I'm hungry and you're stalling. Get a move on."
"Dude, I'm not even dressed yet!" I protested as I was thrust out into the living area, where Ray, Mikey, and Bob all turned to look at me in slight confusion.
"Frank," Mikey began slowly, his expression uncertain, "what are you doing to him?"
"Getting him ready to leave," Frank replied, shooting Mikey half a glance. Then he turned around and fixed me with a look that a drill sergeant might've given an incompetent army cadet. "Get your shoes on," he commanded firmly.
Bob raised an eyebrow. "Frank, he's still in his pajamas."
"Thank--," I started to say pointedly, but Frank didn't pause for a second. Instead, he began propelling me back the way we'd come.
"Well, go on then, get ready!" snapped Frank impatiently, as if it was my fault. "Hurry up! We've got to go! If you're not ready in five minutes, I'm gonna kick your ass!"
Consequently, given the time limit, I barely had time to get through the bathroom and trade my shorts and t-shirt for a black long-sleeved shirt and a pair of black jeans. I also took a couple extra minutes to shower, hoping the water would wake me up a little. Besides, I wasn't intimidated by Frank's threat to kick my ass.
As soon as I stepped out the bathroom door, Frank clasped my shoulders and began driving me back down the hall once more. "Go, go, go," he muttered.
The next thing I knew, I was being shoved out the front door, my long hair still damp and my shoes still untied, and crammed into the backseat of the car between Frank and Ray.
"Move it, Bob," Frank ordered the driver, and fastened his seatbelt, punching my thigh and elbowing me hard in the side in the process. Somehow, it didn't really seem like an accident. I swung my wet hair in his face in retribution as I fastened my own seatbelt, not caring if I was acting immature.
We started down the road. I was hoping I'd be able to snag a few more minutes of sleep on the drive, but squashed between Ray and Frank, it wasn't quite as easy as I'd hoped. Especially since Frank kept lunging against his seatbelt, as if he could make the vehicle move faster in doing so.
For the first couple minutes, I did my best to ignore him, but I was sadly unable to drift off with the bouncing body pressed against my left side.
Finally I lifted my head off the headrest and turned to glare at him. "Frank! Quit it!"
"Quit what?" Frank asked, turning to look at me without going still.
"Jumping around! I'm trying to sleep, and you keep hitting me!" I answered in exasperation.
Frank ignored my command. "Bob needs to go faster!" he declared instead.
Bob didn't turn around as he replied, "Dude, there's traffic. What do you want me to do, just drive over all the other cars?"
"Yes!" Frank exclaimed. "I want food!"
I rolled my eyes.
"Stop fidgeting," Mikey said calmly from the front passenger seat. "It burns calories."
Frank hesitated for a moment, then stopped jumping.
Ray and I sighed in unison, relieved. I let my head fall back onto the headrest and closed my eyes.
I must have dozed off, because the next thing I knew, Ray was telling me to wake up and pushing gently at my right shoulder.
"Uhmm?" I asked dumbly, sitting up and blinking at him.
"I'm going in to get stuff to take on the road," Bob informed me from the driver's spot. "Just coffee and something to eat?"
"Uh, yeah," I replied, still a little drowsy.
Bob opened his door and climbed out of the car. "Okay, then; be right back," he said, slamming his door and starting across the Starbucks parking lot.
"Hurry up!" Frank yelled after him, his voice made sharp with impatience. If Bob heard him, he ignored him.
For the first few minutes of waiting, Frank sat with his arms crossed, clearly pouting, but remained silent. When Bob still hadn't returned ten minutes later, Frank lost all patience. "Where is he?" he growled furiously, lurching in his seat.
I turned to glare at him when his not-so-little lunge caused him to bump into me. I had started to lose consciousness again, so I was slightly miffed at him for jarring me out of it. Again.
"Calm down," Mikey told him patiently. "There's a lot of cars here, so it's probably busy."
"But I'm hungry!" Frank moaned plaintively, going limp and flopping his head against the back of the seat with his eyes scrunched shut and a pained look on his face.
"Chill out!" Ray said in exasperation at the same time I snapped, "No one cares!"
Frank scowled at us.
"Frank, just be pa--" Mikey began, but was cut off when Frank's stomach growled loudly. Mikey raised an eyebrow at him, Ray rolled his eyes, and I glared at the ceiling.
"Mmnn-mmnn-mmnn-mmnn-mmnnnn," Frank moaned again, doubling up with his arms crossed tight across his midsection. His eyes were squeezed shut and his expression looked even more pained than it had five seconds ago. He glanced up at Mikey, who was still staring at him with one dark eyebrow arched high above his left eye, and whined, "Where the fuck is Bob?!"
"Coming out the door right now," Ray answered instead, his tone still slightly annoyed, sounding like he just wanted Frank to shut the hell up.
Oh, if only.
But sure enough, there was Bob striding across the parking lot toward us with a paper bag in his left hand and a drink holder that held five cups in his right.
Frank shot upright immediately, eyes wide open.
Bob walked around to Mikey's door, then passed off his load to him through the window when he rolled it down. "Sorry about the wait," Bob said, carefully transferring the drinks. I inhaled appreciatively as the delicious scent of coffee filled the car.
"Not a big--" Once again, my brother was cut short as Frank lunged at him, groping wildly for the paper bag that contained food. I shouted angrily in protest when the move caused Frank to have his whole upper body stretched across my lap, then I had to duck sideways to avoid being whacked in the face by flailing arms.
"Aah!" Mikey jumped in surprise, rescuing the precious coffee at the very last moment. "Shit, Frank, get a grip!" he exclaimed, shooting him a look that was half-pissed off and half-freaked out and leaning as far away as he could.
"Gimme my food," Frank demanded, his crazily intense gaze still locked on the bag. His fingers clutched at it, but they came up short--by now, Mikey was holding both food and drinks forward above his head, out of Frank's reach.
Bob, meanwhile, was still standing alongside the side of the car, looking a little shocked at what was, to him, a rather unexpected turn of events. "Umm..." he said, but soon trailed off.
Wearily, Mikey glanced at him. "Don't ask," he sighed heavily.
Bob shrugged. With a last puzzled half-glance at the apparently-and-probably-insane Frank, who was still draped over my legs with his arms outstretched and me slapping at him futilely, he turned, walked around the front of the car, opened the door, and got back into his seat.
"MIKEY!!!" Frank's impatient shout about pierced my eardrums as he glared at Mikey. By the look on his face, Mikey was probably going to be either brutally murdered or eaten himself if he didn't hand over some food in the next two seconds.
"I'm working on it! Jeez." After setting the coffee carefully up on the dashboard, Mikey opened the bag, reached in, and pulled something out. I don't think he had a chance to even see what it was before Frank's greedy little hands snatched it away.
Once he'd seized it (oh, and I saw now that 'it' was a muffin), he attacked it with such savagery that you would've thought he hadn't eaten in twelve days rather than twelve hours. At least once he was eating it, he sat up once more, releasing my legs, though he continued to cram muffin into his face like there was no tomorrow.
Fortunately, we started down the road and managed to get everyone else's stuff distributed without any more mishaps other than Ray's coffee almost accidentally getting dropped all over him and me. Yeah...that wouldn't have been good.
I took a long drink of my coffee, letting it warm me from the inside out. Mmmm. That felt good. I was still a tiny bit chilled from having been shoved out into the morning with wet hair and no jacket (thanks, Frankie), but the hot coffee definitely helped that.
Finally, I turned my attention to my muffin, realizing I was hungrier that I'd thought. As I ate, I noticed a mess of chocolate muffin crumbs all over my lap. They weren't mine.
Slowly, I turned to look at Frank, who'd demolished his meal in approximately thirty seconds (which is pretty much a record, because, you know, Starbucks--they got big-ass muffins) and was currently busy licking the last smears of chocolate off his fingers. He glanced up and saw me looking at him, and frowned questioningly. Without saying a word, I glanced pointedly down at my lap. Frank followed my gaze and noticed the crumbs. Without another look at me, he brushed them off into his hand and then dumped them into his mouth.
I stared at him, a strange look on my face.
Frank shrugged. "Waste not," he said. As he spoke, I was awarded an unwanted glimpse of his chocolate-packed teeth, the sight of which was disgusting enough to almost make me lose my appetite. Almost.
We drove in silence for a while, mainly because we were focused on eating. Finally though, unsurprisingly, Frank felt the need to break the silence.
"Where are we going?"
Bob answered without taking his eyes from the road. "The mall."
"What kinda stove are we getting?"
"Don't know. One that works."
"Will it be a pretty color?"
Everyone looked at him, even Bob, though he used the rearview mirror to do so. But then again, it was Frank, so we probably should have been used to such remarks by now.
"What?" Frank asked innocently, as if he didn't know.
"Frank, just...stop talking," Mikey said, returning his attention to his coffee.
For a minute, Frank did. Unfortunately, though, all good things must come to an end. Particularly when that good thing is Frank being quiet for a few seconds.
"Let's play a game," Frank suggested suddenly.
There was a five-second pause from the rest of us.
"A what?" I asked finally, not sure and certainly not hoping I'd heard right.
"A game," Frank repeated, sounding as if it was perfectly normal.
"Like what?" Ray inquired carefully.
"How about...I Spy?"
At that, Bob's foot faltered on the gas pedal, Mikey came close to shooting coffee out his nose, I choked on a bite of muffin, and Ray nearly dropped his drink.
"What?!" Frank said again, like we were way overreacting or something. I guess maybe we could've been, but...what the hell?
For a moment, no one said anything, I think because we were all afraid that we'd say something stupid that'd encourage Frank. Even though we've been around him for years, and so have witnessed his...strangeness...on many levels and on countless occasions--somehow, you never really get totally used to it.
Bob recovered first and was about to say something, but unfortunately he'd hesitated too long. "Why don't--"
Frank talked right over him. "Okay, great! I'll go first." He paused, apparently deep in thought as he scanned the interior of the vehicle for a suitable subject for the rest of us to find. After a few seconds, he announced, "I spy, with my little eye, something...small."
The rest of us rolled our eyes. "Wow, thanks, Frankie, that really narrows it down," Ray said sarcastically.
"Fine, then. I spy, with my little eye, something small and brown."
Ray, Bob, Mikey and I remained silent, each hoping the other would answer.
Frank glared at us impatiently. "Guess, you idiots!"
There was no point in arguing. If we didn't guess, Frank would just keep bothering us until we all went insane. I was especially in danger of becoming the main target, for two reasons: one, I was sitting closest to him, so I'd likely be the first one subjected to the torture; two, Frank just likes to pick on me.
Luckily, my wonderful little brother came to the rescue. "Uhh...a rock?" Mikey guessed uncertainly.
Frank grinned. "Nope."
"Dirt?" Bob asked unenthusiastically.
"A mud spot?" I suggested quickly, utterly without excitement but desperate to pick up some kind of guess before someone else took it, even if it was virtually the same as Bob's.
"Uh-uh." Frank shook his head. "Your turn, Toro."
"A turd?" Ray droned flatly, his face expressionless and his voice brimming with sarcasm.
"Ha ha, no," Frank laughed. "You guys give up?"
"Yes," we all said in unison, seizing the opportunity to end this whole thing. Actually, though, in my opinion, the turd had been a pretty decent guess.
"That bug," Frank disclosed, pointing at the windshield.
We all looked. Sure enough, right smack in the middle of the windshield between Bob and Mikey's heads, some unfortunate insect had splatted on the glass. Wildly splayed and contorted legs, shredded wings, and what had probably once been its ass were all jumbled together amidst a dark brown smear of dried bug guts.
Frank sat erectly beside me, smiling and looking very proud of himself while the rest of us stared dumbly at the smashed bug, blinking, jaws hanging slightly open, brows either raised or knitted together.
There was another moment of silence before Mikey went, "...Oh."
Then, when nobody volunteered to go next, Frank didn't object. "I spy, with my little eye, something shiny."
Immediately, Bob put a hand over his ear piercing and gave Frank a stern warning look through the rearview mirror.
"Don't worry, Bob, that's not it," Frank reassured him, though it was probably a wise move anyway. "Guess again."
"The mirrors?" I asked.
"The zipper on Mikey's jacket."
"Nope, car keys!" Frank replied happily. Without skipping a beat, he then declared, "I spy, with my little eye, something honky!"
"'Honky'?" Ray repeated incredulously.
Unfortunately, though it was pretty obvious what Frank meant, he took the incredulity as bafflement, and was unable to contain himself.
"THE HORN!" he yelled joyously, and sprang up.
I have no fucking idea. I don't think any of us could have seen this coming, but upon releasing his triumphant cry, Frank jumped out of his seat (what happened to his seatbelt, you ask? Again, no fucking idea.), reached over the back of Bob's seat, and smacked the heel of his hand down hard on the steering wheel. The horn blared.
Bob, of course, was caught completely by surprise, which is probably what caused him to freak and jerk the wheel sharply to one side.
Without warning, Mikey and Ray were flung against the right side of the car, and I against Ray as the car swerved to the left, horn still blaring. I caught a fleeting glimpse of the other cars as we careened sideways across two lanes of traffic, narrowly avoiding being broadsided by a huge black pickup. Bob fought for control of the steering wheel, which, by the way, Frank was still pressing on relentlessly. At least the continuous blast of the horn alerted the other drivers, who were probably about to smash into us and kill us anyway, that there was a possessed car coming straight at them.
Car horns blared.
Frank laughed like a maniac.
Ray, Mikey, and I screamed.
Finally, beating Frank off the steering wheel and back into his seat, Bob somehow managed to regain control and made a sharp right turn to get us back into the lane of traffic. Though our tires definitely left a few screech marks on the pavement, the car itself was miraculously untouched, all of us amazingly alive.
Though we were now safely back in our lane, the terror took a few moments to loosen its deadly grip. My eyes were like saucers and my heart was pounding about a million miles a minute, battering against the inside of my rib cage as if it would punch right out of my chest. Mikey and Ray looked as if they were in a similar condition. Finally, however, the adrenaline rush subsided and I collapsed against the back of my seat, weak with relief.
Up front, as usual, Bob had recovered first. Slowly, he looked up into the rearview mirror to fix Frank, who alone seemed perfectly calm, even having enjoyed the whole ordeal, with a murderous glare. "Don't. You. Ever. Do. That. Again."
"Sorry," Frank chuckled, not sounding apologetic at all.
Right then, I was tempted to beat the shit out of him for nearly killing every single one of us, but then decided it wasn't worth it. At the moment, my limbs were too slack to get in a good hit anyway. But at least my breathing and heart rate had pretty much returned to normal.
Even though I'd managed to survive our little incident, however, I really wished I'd just stayed in bed. I wouldn't have even cared if I was starving. Well, maybe I would have, just a little. But still, a little hunger was definitely preferable to how my morning had gone so far.
I had a bad feeling that this was going to be a long day.