So we’re going to do this a little different
The sound of Bon Jovi’s You give love a bad name drilled till deep down his eardrums. Staring through his lashes he cursed the asshole who woke up him in the middle of the night. Just his luck, just his darn luck. He cursed once more when he read the name of the receiving call: Brian Schecter. It’s never a good thing when your boss calls you up in the middle of the night.
With that thought Gerard picked up his phone unable to suppress a deep angry sigh as he sleep drunkenly muttered: “Way here.”
“Hi Gerard.” It sounded creepily cheery on the other side of the line. One of Brain’s annoying little qualities, when duty calls there was not one slight hint of bad temper. Unless you grandiosely managed to fuck up, of course. “Did I wake you up?”
‘Isn’t that obvious?’ Gerard thought yawning and stretching his free arm. “No man it’s cool I was just jerking off.”
“Splendid!” Brian sneered after a fake chuckle. “Always the morning comedian.”
“It’s morning already?” Gerard grunted surprised, turning towards his alarm clock. Red neon light numbers it was 04:30 in the morning. “Someone better be dead.” After saying that he immediately wished he could take that back. It would pretty much freeze up the conversation if someone had actually died. “What’s the biggy?” He said, trying to save his face.
“I want you to pick your kid up.” Brian told him.
For a moment Gerard thought he misheard Brian. “Are we playing charades or something?” He snored cranky. Sure he was used to running on insomnia slash caffeine but is someone woke him up during the little nightly sleep he go he could be a motherfucking bitch. “If so I suggest we skip to twister just for the fun of it.”
“Shut your blowhole Gee-man, you’re the one who kept nagging me about wanting some ‘real work’. -I wanna have more responsibilities Brian, I want to do real field work and not sit behind a desk with my fat ass, Brian?! Brian are you even listening to me while I whine and bitch and nag to the greatest boss in the world?!” Brian pitched his voices which came frighteningly close to Gerard’s voice when he was having a bitch-fit.
“-I would never say I have a fat ass, sure chubby sure, but fat? Fat? Brian you’re hurting my feelings.”
“Yes, I’m sure I do. I should be charged for sexual harassment after insulting you’re boo-tay. Defiantly after you jerked off, I’m such vulgar piece of work.” Sarcasms dripped out of the phone.
“You should consider therapy.” Gerard said in agreement, a tiny smile lurking on his face. His morning temper started to lure down. “So kid right?” Slowly his mind started to defrost. “You mean the Frank kid, as in the kid I sort of freaked the fuck out today...?” He grunted rethinking how he felt like an asshole after leaving the Palmer’s house. “Shouldn’t his dandy new family like, pick him up?”
“Yes, well apparently he’s not that much of a cozy cuddly bear as we thought. He went missing after ten and got his ass dragged into the police station. Since Franklin is in our system its part of our job to mediate between whatever problems he gets into and his foster family. Which means we need to pick him up. And since you keep nagging me into a nerve wreck, because you wanna be one of the big boys…You figure where I’m going right?”
Gerard moaned, even his defrosting brains could tell where this conversation was going. “I should learn when to keep my mouth shut.”
“No you should learn how to kiss some ass, that’ll get you places.”
“Sure because everyone loves the suck-up.”
“Hm, that all depend on your blow-job skills.”
“Sexual harassment mostly gets your ass fired, or well jail… Just saying.”
“Yes, you’re right I’ll shut up before they’ll try to get me into some kind of therapy class.”
“Like that anger management class.” Gerard reminded him innocently.
“Yes.” Brian stated blunt. “Just like that, but I got the god damn paper so I’m off the hook. You’re not though so you better slip into something fresh and clean before the cops mistake you for a hobo.”
“Nice to know my boss fully respects my fashion statements…” Gerard rolled his eyes and sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of his bed he hissed when his bare feet touched the cold basement floor. “Anything else? Should I make a little stop at launderette, picking up your suits? Making a quickie at Denny’s to get you fancy breakfast? I mean as PA slave you say jump I say how high sire.”
“Way don’t be a douche, you don’t want to know many sleepless hours I spent in a police station. Or a hospital. Or in case you forgot, at the office, holding your fucking hand.” Brian said sharply with a hint of critic.
Gerard scratched the back of his head with a flush of guild on his face. “Sorry man, me and my morning moods, I’m getting up now.”
“Splendid!” Brian exclaimed probably a little overenthusiastic. “ I’ll see you at the office in a few hours.”
“Peachy.” Gerard yawned trying to build up some enthusiasm that could match up with Brian’s. “See you.”
“Bye Gee-heart.” Brian said with defiantly too much malicious. “Owh and Gerard?”
“Try to keep your eyes on the road and not crash into the nearest tree or traffic light, buy yourself some coffee if you have to. I need my dazzling intern to show up in one piece, ta.” His boss hung up the phone, probably ready for a few more hours of beautiful sleep.
“Good morning America.” Gerard muttered to himself as he got out of bed, gathering some clothes that still smelled fresh. If it wasn’t fact that he knew every inch of his piled up stocked basement floored room you’d think he’d night vision. Tiptoeing and avoiding the third step of the stairs he sneaked through the hallway crafty as a ninja. He then managed to hit his head against the doorknob as he dropped his keys and reached down and up. Cursing his clumsiness, the dark and God almighty he stepped into his truck ready for a trip to New Jersey’s Police Station.
“Kay, let’s get in get out without any trouble.” He muttered to himself as he took a left turn and drove up to a grey unwelcoming building: New Jersey Police Deparment, Bergenline Avenue 27th street. It was made out of grey brigs giving a very concrete and indestructible impression. Perfect for any police station, make sure to keep out.
He felt a little edgy walking inside a police station, willingly. The slight paranoia crept up his back. When he’d been young and restless he’d been dragged inside the same old building, not so willingly. Got his ass busted when he’d sprayed ‘Salute my cock’ on the wall of his old high school. He spend a night in a cell (mainly because his mother thought that would cure him from his bad habits) that smelled like piss and morning vomit, hadn’t closed an eye the entire night terrified some guy named Bubba would turn into his roomie. That nightmare never became true, but it kept his ass out of trouble. For a while.
While being told to take a seat he wondered where Frank had been up to. And why? Fresh out of juvie and already getting into trouble with the police, this case could turn into one very big trouble case. He also wondered if there had been something he’d done terribly wrong and if maybe he was the main problem for Frank. It didn’t take a lot of brain cells to get that Frank went from bored as fuck to uptight as fuck in 0.02 the moment he’d touched his hand.
After nearly drifting back asleep a friendly looking female officer shook him awake and informed him that a colleague of her picked his client up from hanging around a liquor store with little bits of pocket money. When he asked her around what time they picked up his clients he nearly chuckled. Client, the word felt fresh on his lips and slightly unreal. Because he wasn’t a lawyer and his ‘client’ was not even legally an adult.
As it turned out Frank had been picked up by the cops’ shortly after midnight but refused to give them any information, name or phone number. Eventually after spending most of the night behind bars he cracked and Frank gave the number of Brian, who was always greedy to leave a card from Hope House. To be honest Gerard wouldn’t be surprised Brian felt very CIA-agent every time he handed another living soul ‘his card’. And in all honesty Gerard wouldn’t be any different.
Frank visually was surprised to see him walk into the jail compartment. Hunched over he sat on a narrow bed staring grimly through the thick layer of glass as the female cop unlocked the door.
“You’re off to go Frank, make sure we won’t be seeing you again.” She said holding the door.
The teenager gaped at her and quickly pulled his hoodie up. Muttering something that could have been whatever or bite me he tottered out of the cubicle and measured Gerard up.
“Bet you didn’t expect me to show up huh?” Gerard said dryly, crossing his arms on his chest.
Frank only shrugged and bow he head in a see if I care gesture.
After a minuscule amount of paperwork and a dead silent client eyeing up every move he made Frank was off the hook. At least that’s what his client thought, because the moment he parked his ass back on the passenger’s seat from Gerard’s blue truck he said: “I’m just going to that again anyway.”
“Owh no you won’t.” Gerard answered back very calm and a little bit amused of the stubborn expression of Frank, which reminded him a lot of his own during his personal teenage riots.
“Yeah, I will.” Frank insured him rolling his eyes and probably flipping him the finger from under the fabric of his pockets. The kid really had a habit of stuffing his hands in his pockets and nearly disappearing in the oversized hoodie.
“What where you doing near that liquor story anyway?” Gerard asked propping the subject for the small time being.
“Admiring the view.” Frank responded glaring sideways: What do you think I was doing around a liquor store retard?
“Must have been a lovely view if you didn’t notice a police car driving by.” Gerard commented lightly, enjoying the angered look forming on Frank’s face.
“I’m new around here, hadn’t figured some doughnut eating fat ass would bust mine just for standing around.”
“That’s the thing Frank, you’re new and apparently not familiar with making a good impression. Seriously what were you thinking? You got a second change and now what, you’re just going to blow it?”
“Like I care…” Frank whispered staring at the tip of his shoes.
“Not yet, but you will. Because as much of you think I bailed your ass out, you’re not off the hook. You see…” Without minding Frank’s knees he yanked his dashboard cabinet open and fumbled around until he found what he was looking for. Frank, nearly bruising his kneecaps stared at him expressionless as he dumped a wrinkled leaflet on his lap.
“We-“ He pointed at the leaflet. “-As in, Hope House, don’t think jail does that much good. Like you said, you’re going to do it again anyway. So we’re going to do this a little different. Right now we’re going to drive back to your new home. And you’re going to apologize for behaving this horrible in your first week. Getting involved with the police twice in a row is way too much, -owh did you really think we wouldn’t hear about that playground mistake Frank?” He asked when he saw Frank’s shocked expression. “- Anyway, after you sincerely apologized to the Palmers you’re going to bust your ass at school, because whatever you do in your free hours shouldn’t inflict your school agenda. And after school I’ll be picking you up, yes Frank you’re coming with me to do some charity work.”
You’ve got to be kidding me! Frank stared at him, mouth hanging partly open. Then he sniggered and scoffed: “And what if I like, don’t do that?”
“Then you’ll be in big trouble, simple as that Frank. If you screw up bad enough you’ll be placed back into that rehabilitation centre and I don’t think you liked it much in there.”
Frank’s lip quirked and stubbornly he muttered: “And what if I just run away, been there done that.”
“Yes and you nearly died from pneumonia, didn’t really work out right?” He sneered, that only being the tip of the iceberg. But it was enough to keep Frank’s mouth screwed tight. ‘Great that makes it 1-1 for now my friend.’ Gerard thought as he noticed the sun was coming up.
“So honestly Frank why did you think it was such good idea to sneak out in the middle of the night and have a trip to the liquor store?” Gerard asked when Frank didn’t make any attempt to start a conversation.
“Like you give a shit.” Frank snored hiding deeper into his hoodie.
“Matter of fast Frank, I do.” Gerard said. This made Frank heave up and chuckle cold and venous.
“No you don’t, you don’t give a flying fuck about me. You’re just one of those guys who wanna flatter their own ego, thinking you’re doing such hell of a job making the world a better place, so you can sleep well at night. Don’t bullshit me, you’re just like all of those fuckers, around for checkups so you’ll receive a paycheck.”
Gerard kept silence until it started to become uncomfortable. “Yes, that could be.” He finally said. “Or I might be one of those guys who fucked up pretty badly themselves at the age of… Err let’s say fourteen, could be a few months more or less, but around that time I really fucked up myself. My nana died and let’s say I was a little more of an emotional rollercoaster then the rest of the family. Luckily the doc managed to get the ride a little steady for me with the help of medication. But after a while that mellow ride gets boring and I wanted that big high peek back ya’know? That gut-feeling you get when you’re going up, even when you know your stomach will drop when you go down? Booze and Xanax give you a nice mix of both for a while. Up until the low started to beat the high I never considered anything being wrong with me, or maybe I blocked it out because I was feeling swell and alive.”
Gerard smirked grim. “It’s funny to think you’re fully alive while most of the time you’re a zombie. Nothing solid seemed to get out of me man. Eventually that started to sink through my thick skull and I thought, on my way to the big downer, ‘jeez I’d be better off dead’. And well… I nearly did.”
He remembered how he woke up in a hospital, head banging so hard it felt like his brain was getting bruised up and turning into jelly. His stomach felt even worse and according to the nurse that was because they had to get his stomach pumped. He realized a lot that day, what kind of complete egocentric asshole he’d been to his friends and family. But also what a great people he had to live for, because although his mother had been a tyrant until he went to the AA, they stuck by him. He wasn’t all alone like he’d though, his almost-dead had felt like a rebirth, showing him there was reason enough to live.
He took out his wallet and fumbled around until he found that plastic golden coin. “Been clean and sober for two and a half year by now.” Frank barely watched him as he pushed his wallet back in his pocket. “I don’t care if you don’t like me Frank, it would be a pity if you ask me. But I do care, I do give a shit.”
“Yeah you are a true hero.” Frank snored, but with less sarcasm and attitude then before. A little tension left his bearing, although he still didn’t appear very relaxed the edge was off. The boy sniffed and rubbed his nose wavering and then suddenly blurted. “Are you a faggot?”
Gerard had to admit he was taken by surprise, not surprised enough to send his blue truck right into the crash barrier, but surprised nonetheless. “Must say I’d rather be called gay, but yes. Yes I am.” Not many people would guess his sexuality straight away, pun that inside joke. He didn’t suit the stereotypical gay guy, who would look fresh and dandy, knew the latest fashion trends, could dance all night all night long and well had good personal hygiene. And hair products, do not forget the hair products! For bystanders it was always a lot of fun if he went out at night and had to displease the single ladies, trying to explain why they didn’t make a change.
“Does it matter?” He asked eying from the road to Frank. There had been a time that his sexuality was his deepest darkest secret beside the prescription drugs and alcohol abuse. Or maybe those two went well together, one covering up for the other. But when he eventually came out to his parents, because there was no way of hiding the hickey and he couldn’t possibly get a girl nuts enough to be his fake girlfriend, the world didn’t end. Hell didn’t break lose, there was no apocalypse and no men came to his house with torches and pitchforks. His mom simply hugged him and pinched his cheek, muffling in his shirt she had always known and his dad awkwardly punched his shoulder muttering as long as you’re happy. His little brother simply smirked when he came out to him and said good, great now I don’t need to worry any of my chicks trade me for the fatter model. His baby brother Mikey, such sweetheart.
And after that, after everyone he cared about seemed okay with it he became okay with it. Sure every once in a while some asshole would make a comment, it could be hard checking out guys without being called a queer and at work some people, like Brain, would try to make at least one gay joke per day. But those occasional events didn’t really bother him anymore as he didn’t bother hiding the fact that he was gay, his motto I am what I am and that should be enough.
“No.” Said Frank casual. “As long as you keep you’re fucking hands off of me.” Although his words sounded harsh and nasty there was something so damn fragile underneath it. Something so hurt and left in pieces. Like a broken bicycle left on the porch that never got fixed and by the time you remember it laying there, rust and rain had damaged it enough to be beyond repair. So you left it there and would look at it every time you had to walk over to get to your car, pitying the fact you didn’t fix it sooner.
But unlike rusty old bikes people deserved a second change, a rebirth, some tough love and TLS. You don’t dump someone on the side of the road like trash, if there was anything Gerard had learned from Hope House and personal experience it would be that everyone person was exceptional. Special and carrying an own load of past that could not be fixed or improved. Damage was done, it was something you can’t control no longer. That’s what he’d learned as he knew that there was always a future. A new day, a change to say goodbye to the person you where and embrace the person you wanted to be. And everyone could make that change of heart and mind even if they didn’t know it yet.
And that’s where those second pair of guardian angels came in. His had been Brian and he hoped he could return the favor by being Frank’s.
I like this chapter a lot, I feel like the whole first idea I had for this story is slowly getting into place. Watched Teenage Dirtbag a few days ago and I’m completely in love with the story, characters and the vibe. It’s a little of what I want to do with this story. First I wanted to keep this all Gerard but that would be so boring for me to write and there is so much I want to point out with Frank I can’t leave his POV out.
Any little ramble from you readers will be loved and kissed and worshiped,