The title is totally irrelevant ^_^ Enjoy!
A month had passed since those terrible two days with Lyn, and Frank had moved in with me. We had spun some ridiculous tale about him wanting to live closer to his job - he was now a cashier at a music store - and mom had bought it, but I knew she was suspicious of us. Which was why she was coming over for dinner tonight. I had never felt the urge to impress my mother with my cooking, but tonight was a big deal for us, and so if I could sweeten her up with good food maybe things would go better...
"Well... I think you should put them both back." Frank said with a shrug and I raised my eyebrows. Since Frank had been living with my mom he had learnt to cook... and learnt to cook well. Even so, this decision confused me. Frank giggled at my expression and pressed a quick kiss to my cheek when no one was looking.
"If you want to impress her, then make the sauce from scratch." He explained and my stomach churned at the idea. As if I wasn’t already nervous enough.
"But... I can’t cook." I whimpered. My cooking skills were not the best; I mean... they were average. But my mom was an amazing cook, and I knew she'd be acting like a critic tonight.
"Yeah. But I can." Frank laughed with a wink and I pouted. "Don’t worry; I'll let you take all the credit." He smirked, grabbing the basket from my hands and practically skipping down the aisle to go find some vegetables. I stood where I was for a moment, watching him with a small smile playing about my lips before following him.
The month we had spent living together had been amazing. It had taken a while to get over the Lyn thing, and I did forgive her. Though I hadn’t talked to her at all, we had sent a couple of emails, her apologizing again, and me saying I understood and that I forgave her, and I did want us to continue being friends. But when she asked us over for dinner one night I politely told her I'd prefer it if she would stay out of our lives until we had faced all the other hurdles - like telling my mother for one. She said she understood, and to let her know when we were ready to meet up with her again. I hadn’t expected her to be so understanding, and it only made me more certain that I was prepared to give her another chance. Frank had taken a little longer to forgive her, but eventually he agreed with me, and that was one more weight off our shoulders.
I knew after we had told my mom tonight, she would be the one to tell all of my relatives - most of them I rarely ever saw anyway - and so at least then we would only have Ray’s parents and Bob left to tell. I was worried most about telling Bob, since he was a police man. But he had become a friend of the family and I was sure he would understand... I hoped he would understand.
"Okay... I was thinking we should go for the whole Mediterranean flavor, what do you think?" Frank asked brightly, already piling vegetables into the basket and I shrugged.
"I don’t mind. You’re the expert babe." I replied, an old woman walking past raised her eyebrows at us and Frank giggled. In the past month he had matured somewhat, and now he looked closer to my age than he was. But that could be because we had been especially lazy this week and he had stubble coating his chin and cheeks, something I didn’t mind seeing, but didn’t like feeling when I kissed him. He promised me he would shave for when my mom came round, but not until he teased me for a day, saying he had been planning to grow a beard so he could plait it Jack Sparrow style.
"I know your mom likes tomato based sources, especially when she was making vegetarian stuff for me." Frank said, more to himself than to me. When he got surrounded by food he was in his element. I guess part of him saw food the same as he saw his music, something he could create and share with others. And I loved to watch him cook, there was just something about seeing him set a pan on fire and then assuring me he had done it on purpose when I nearly called the fire brigade that I loved. The food hadn’t been bad that night either... he called it Cajun.
"Okay... I think that'll do." Frank said finally, smiling proudly at his haul. I grinned and kissed his cheek, the same old woman who had heard me earlier giving us a death glare.
"Awesome. Let’s go pay." I said, ignoring the old bat. Frank poked his tongue out at the old lady and giggled brightly to himself as I swatted him playfully round the head, making our way through the store to pay for the food, Frank 'discreetly' throwing a lolly into the basket. I looked at him and he gave me an innocent smile.
"It fell in." He giggled and I rolled my eyes, unable to fight the smile tugging at my lips.
The pasta sauce smelt delicious as I stood stirring it. I had taken a shower and got changed while Frank made it, and now he had gone to shower and change - leaving me in charge of stirring it and making sure it didn’t burn. I was slightly horrified by my task - What if I didn’t notice it was burning and I ruined Frank’s food? When I had said this out loud Frank had laughed at me and told me to just 'keep an eye on it'. I still didn’t see how that would help. But so far it looked fine still, and I kept stirring it to make sure it didn’t catch the bottom of the pan. I mean... I'm not totally useless in the kitchen.
"How's it looking Gee?" Frank asked as he returned to the kitchen, doing up his red tie.
"Its looking... saucy." I replied, turning to look at him and getting slightly distracted. He wore loose black jeans and a tight black shirt with his red skinny tie. His hair was straightened and fell sexily in his eyes, which he had outlined in eyeliner and he had shaved away his stubble. He didn’t seem to notice my staring as he was busy fussing over his studded belt, turning it so the buckle was on the side. The 'Halloween' tattooed on his knuckles catching my attention for a second. I had gone with him to get the tattoo with his birthday gift from me, and had nearly had a panic attack. I hated needles, and even though I had looked away, I risked a peek halfway through and - much to Franks and the tattooist's amusement - had to leave the room for the rest of the time, so that I could stand outside and get some air.
It had been horrible. But I did like the tattoo.
"Are you staring at me Gee?" Frank giggled, snapping me out of my thoughts. He stood with his hands on his hips, giving me an amused look.
"No..." I whined and he gave me a 'yeah right' look as he sauntered over and slipped his arms round my waist, kissing the base of my throat before looking into the pan and smiling.
"Wow Gee, it didn’t burn. I'm impressed." He teased and I glared at him.
"Did you ever doubt me?" I scoffed and he giggled, kissing me again before going to set up the table.
"Only a little." He admitted with a grin and I rolled my eyes, trying to think of a good come back but I wasn’t given a chance when there was a knock on the door.
"Oh shit." I sighed and Frank looked over his shoulder at me, our eyes meeting for a second. He didn’t seem concerned at all, but my nerves had kicked in.
"Don’t just stand there Gee, go answer the door." He urged, smirking a little. "And don’t look so scared, you know Mama Donna will be fine with us." He said confidently and I nodded, swallowing deeply as I left the kitchen. I hoped he was right. I knew he was right. But that didn’t stop me from being nervous, what if she didn’t accept us. Frank was practically her son, would she see this as incestuous, even though we weren’t related?
"Gerard!" Mom cried as soon as the door was open; she flung her arms around me and embraced me tightly. I choked a little and patted her back.
"H - Hi Ma." I managed to rasp out, my lungs still not used to the crushing hugs my mother gave me.
"Oooh, so what’s the occasion?" She asked brightly when she pulled back, keeping her hands on my shoulders so that she could look me up and down and fuss over my hair for a moment.
"No occasion." I said nervously and she rolled her eyes, pushing past me to enter the house.
"Well, you never usually invite me round for dinner, so I thought there must be an occasion. Either that or you've finally realized that you owe me more visits." Ma gave me a thoughtful look as I took her coat off her.
"I didn’t think I'd be lucky enough for the latter." She teased, the corners of her eyes crinkling as she grinned at me. I stuck my tongue out at her as I hung her coat up and she thwacked me on the arm.
"Now then, where’s my darling Frankie?" She asked loudly, making her way to the kitchen. "And the food smells divine." She added. I followed behind her as she entered the kitchen and opened her arms wide.
"There he is!" She laughed, Frank grinning at her and putting down the spoon he had been holding so that he could go and receive his hug.
"Hi Donna." He laughed breathlessly as she gave him the same back breaking treatment I had received. "How are you?" He asked when she released him and she smiled, patting his cheek.
"I'm just fine my darling, how are you? Not going stir crazy living with Gerard are you?" She laughed and Frank grinned at me over her shoulder.
"No, I'm fine." He laughed and Ma smiled brightly.
"Oh good. What’s for dinner then, I presume Gerard didn’t make it." She said matter - of - factly and I pouted. She always picked on me.
"Mediterranean pasta. And Gerard... helped." Frank grinned and Ma' snorted, looking over at me with a skeptical look.
"Huh. Would've been nice if he helped out when he lived with me." She noted and I huffed to myself.
"I used to try and help, but you would just tell me I was in your way." I answered and she nodded.
"That’s because you were." She shrugged and Frank giggled as I threw my arms up into the air in defeat. Ma' saw and laughed, 'awing' me and patting my cheek lightly.
"Don’t look so offended Gerard, lighten up." She laughed as Frank began serving the food. Ma offered to help and Frank insisted that she couldn’t because she was guest, of course - ma' being ma' - I was given the task of dragging her away to the table. Telling her to just relax and that we could take care of it. She smiled brightly at this, and asked me again if I was sure there wasn’t an occasion.
"Well boys, you truly have outdone yourself. Or should I say Frank, you've outdone yourself." Ma' laughed, patting her stomach as we all sat back in our chairs. Filled to the brim from Frank’s delicious meal and sipping sluggishly and cups of coffee.
"I helped." I insisted and Ma' raised her eyebrows at me and Frank giggled, to polite to speak up and take the credit. "A little..." I consented and Frank laughed fully, Ma' chuckling at me.
"So come on. Out with it." She said casually, stirring some sugar into her coffee and Frank and I looked at each other, frowning a little.
"Out with what?" I asked my heart beginning to pound.
"Out with what you brought me here to tell me." Ma' said, smiling gently as she raised her mug to her lips and regarded us over the rim. I hesitated a little, my lips trembling as I wondered whether I should deny it.
"Well come on... I didn’t raise you to hide things Gerard, and I know you well enough to know when you want to tell me something. Come on." She urged, sipping at her coffee patiently as Frank and I shared another glance. The look in his eyes was clear - he wanted me to tell her. We were both sick of hiding, and Ma' was the person we had wanted to tell first.
"Okay... Ma' I... We... do have something to tell you." I admitted and Ma' nodded, putting down her cup and leaning forward, clasping her hands on the table.
"Well, spit it out." She smiled and I wondered whether she already knew. I knew she had her suspicions, but she seemed so casual about this whole thing that I couldn’t help but wonder whether she thought she knew, but what she was thinking was completely wrong.
"Well... see... the thing is Ma'... Frank and I have become... friends..." I began, biting my lip as Ma' looked at me with cool eyes. "W - Well actually, more than friends." I observed Ma' carefully, waiting for her reaction. When she didn’t do anything I continued.
"What I mean to say is, Frank and I we're... we're sorta... dating..." I didn’t know if dating was the right word, but it was the gentlest way I could put it. Ma' nodded and sat back, picking up her mug once more.
"Ah..." She said quietly, looking down at the coffee inside the mug and my heart began to race faster, Frank gave me a nervous glance and our hands clasped beneath the table as we waited. Ma' sipped at her coffee and nodded again, seemingly deep in thought.
"Let me see..." She said quietly and I waited, my stomach churning. She looked up at us and there was a small smile playing about her lips. "You've been together for... ooh, I'd say... About a week or so after the court hearing." Ma' stated, giving us a questioning look as both our jaws dropped.
"Uhm... Yeah..." I mumbled and she grinned, nodding smugly.
"That means I win the bet." She cackled and Frank and I looked at each other in surprise.
"The... bet?" I asked and she nodded as if it was obvious.
"Uh huh. Me and Katherine - Ray’s mother, we've got a bet going. I said you two got together after the court hearing, and she said that you two got together about a week before the court hearing." Ma explained briefly and I stared at her, dumbfounded, trying to process the words.
"W - What?" I stuttered and Ma' looked at us both for a minute before laughing.
"Oh come on Gerard, it was obvious you two cared for each other. Ever since you brought Frank to live with me it was clear you had feelings for him, and not even a blind person could miss the way you two grew closer over the weeks. I'd be a bad mother if I didn’t know something was going on when it was. I'm offended that you thought I had no idea." She scoffed and slowly, a small smile broke over Franks face.
"You knew?" He repeated and Ma' nodded.
"Naturally. And now Katherine owes me twenty dollars." She grinned.
"B - But... how does she know?" I asked and Ma' waved her hand as if I had just asked a stupid question.
"Well, you know how we've become quite good friends, we used to sit and talk about the looks we'd seen you two sharing, or the way Ray used to talk about you Gerard. More like a friend than a teacher. I suppose you could say it was woman’s intuition, but we both knew." She nodded with a large smile and looked at us both.
"Aw, I've been waiting and waiting for you to tell me. I didn’t want to let you know I knew because I wanted you to come to me in your own time. But finally I can start telling all my friends!" She cried excitedly, clapping her hands and I stared at her in shock.
"You're such a lovely couple; I'll be wanting a photo of you together before I go. Oh, Katherine will be delighted that you've told me." She smiled and I stared at her.
"M - Ma'!" I cried and she rolled her eyes at me.
"Don’t be so shocked Gerard." She scolded and Frank laughed, more from relief than anything.
"S - So, does this mean Rays dad knows?" He asked and Ma' nodded.
"Of course. He was adamant we were wrong for a long time, and then when he saw we were right he was a bit off with the idea, but he's fine with it now. Oh - and that reminds me." Ma' got to her feet and suddenly thwacked me round the head.
"Ow! What was that for?" I cried and Ma' sat back down satisfied.
"That Gerard was for telling Mikey before me." She stated and I pouted.
"Mike told you?" I snarled and she shook her head.
"No, but I know Mikey well enough to know when you told him. You should really stop thinking I'm naive Gerard." She shrugged and I whined as I rubbed my head where she had hit me. Frank giggled and kissed my cheek, making Ma' smile warmly.
"So... you’re okay with it?" I qualified and Ma' rolled her eyes.
"That’s the silliest thing you've come out with all night Gerard." She snapped. "Of course I'm okay with it, as long as you're happy - I'm happy. And like I said, you make a lovely couple." She smiled again and Frank got out of his seat, going round the table and wrapping his arms around my mom and kissing her cheek.
"Thank you so much Mama Donna." He gushed and she blushed, patting his back and smiling to herself.
"Oh my dear, you've nothing to thank me for." She giggled, kissing both his cheeks and then turning her gaze on me. "Well - aren’t you going to come over here and give your mother a kiss?" She demanded and I smiled, the shocking finally beginning to fade into relief.
"Of course Mama." I grinned, getting out of my seat and going round to kiss her too.
That was it. We only had Bob to tell but Ma' would probably do that, Rays parents already knew and they were fine with it and I finally felt like everything was fine. We had nothing else to worry about.
Frank looked at me and smiled, his eyes sparkling with happiness and I brushed my fingers over his cheek, pulling him for a quick kiss as Ma' rummaged in her bag to produce a camera, taking the picture before we had chance to pull away. I blushed deeply as Frank giggled, Ma' looking at the little screen on the camera and grinned widely.
"Oh, that’s a keeper!"
A/N: Thank you guys for your awesome reviews - they make my day ^_^ The next chapter is probably going to be the last, and I've noticed the rates have gone down - so if there’s any suggestions you have as to how to make the last chapter the best it can be then let me know.
Love you all.