It's not always easy to let go. [EDITED]
But what if letting them go was something you couldn’t change, even if you tried?
Enter, Frank Iero and Mikey Way.
Sitting in the sickly white hospital room, they waited. As Mikey, a victim of Leukemia for the past three months, sat on the edge of the hospital bed, Frank, his faithful boyfriend of two years, sat next to him, holding his pale, slightly shaking hand and gently stroking the back of it with his thumb. Getting test results back were always slightly nerve-racking, but when it was something this serious, it was hard to describe how much sitting around and waiting really killed.
“I love you, you know,” Frank whispered against Mikey’s ear before kissing his cheek and leaning his head against his shoulder.
“I love you more.” Mikey replied, sleepily.
When the doctor finally walked into the room, Frank immediately sat up. When he went to stand, Mikey gently tugged him back to a sitting position next to him. Mikey often wished Frank didn’t worry about him so much. He loved that he cared, he really did, but sometimes Mikey felt like he just wasn’t worth the trouble, and Frank was simply wasting his time.
Once seated again, Frank and Mikey both looked towards the doctor expectantly.
Frank’s hand subconsciously gripped Mikey’s a little tighter.
“Well…?” Frank asked.
The look the doctor gave them made Frank heart shatter.
The doctor started talking, going into a lengthy explanation. However, Frank barely heard a thing she said. Except one word. A word that was going to destroy Mikey, and himself.
Frank’s heart felt like it was sinking in a thick, hot liquid, and he felt Mikey’s hand go slightly limp in his. The doctor kept stuttering, watching the two men slowly break down in front of her. Frank’s eyes were already brimmed with tears by the time she stopped talking, and when the doctor left, he let them fall. Mikey wrapped his thin arms around Frank and held him close, kissing his temple.
“It’s alright,” He whispered, “It’s all gonna be alright.”
They say six weeks is the best to hope for. But a more realistic view is four.
After a week and a half of staying with Mikey in the hospital, and crying quietly while he slept, Frank was lying next to him, with his arms around him.
“It’s funny how everything seems now.” Mikey thought out loud. He’d been doing it a lot, and Frank knew not to talk, but just to listen, “Like, everything that used to matter doesn’t anymore…I mean, not everything. Of course, you still matter, and Gerard. You guys will always matter. But, just, like…everything else. I can’t believe I got so worked up because I didn’t get that job in the music store last month. It doesn’t even matter now. And I--”
“I can’t do this anymore,” Frank blurted out.
Mikey’s breath hitched and tears came to his eyes. As he turned to face him, while still lying down in his arms, Mikey thought the day finally came that Frank realized how pointless it was to stay with him.
It still hurt, though.
“W-What?” Mikey stuttered.
“I can’t do this.” Frank said, nearly in tears again, “I can’t let this happen here. Not here. It can’t happen here.”
“What are you saying?” Mikey asked, wiping a stray tear from Frank’s face.
“I-I wanna take you home.” Frank whimpered, trying to contain his sobs, “Please. I love you so much, and it’s gonna kill me even more if it happens here.”
“Hey,” Mikey whispered, holding him as he cried, “Hey, calm down, baby. It’s alright, okay?”
“No,” Frank shook his head in Mikey’s chest, crying harder, “It’s not alright. Please. I talked to Gerard. He agrees with me. It just…It just can’t be here. You‘re being so fucking brave, and I‘m crying like an idiot and it can‘t be here, Mikey. It can‘t.”
“Shh, Frankie,” Mikey said, kissing his nose, “You’re not an idiot. You’re allowed to cry. It’s okay.”
“Come home. I want you there. Don’t you want to be there?” Frank whispered, rubbing his nose against Mikey’s, "I just want you to come home."
“Of course I do, baby. But they’re not gonna let me out.”
Frank looked him right in the eye with the slightest hint of a smile that Mikey hadn’t seen since the news was told, “Gerard and I have a plan.”
“Oh, god,” Mikey chuckled.
It was tricky, yes, but they did it.
After Gerard caught the attention of Mikey’s nurses by, very convincingly, fainting down the hall from his room, Frank helped him up and they ran. Mikey stumbled a few times, so Frank ended up half carrying him out to the car, but they made it.
Mikey decided his brother should have been an actor.
Frank decided he’d deal with the bullshit, later.
It was worth it, after all. To have Mikey back in their home. It wasn’t fair to let It happen in that stupid room. Not fair at all.
“Bitches, move, I have pizza!” Gerard called before bursting into their bedroom, where Frank and Mikey were laying together.
Mikey looked up, and weakly smiled at his brother.
Gerard always made the rudest of entrances, yet somehow, with him, it was totally okay. He walked over to their bed with two boxes of pizza and a bottle of soda that they never bothered getting cups for. They always just passed the bottle around.
“Okay,” Gerard breathed, placing the pizza on Frank and Mikey’s legs, “We can sit and chill bang, or we can watch a movie. Whaddya wanna do?”
“Mikes?” Frank asked, tucking a stray piece of hair behind the thin boy’s ear.
“Movies,” Mikey smiled, “Night Of The Living Dead.”
“Alrighty,” Gerard said before walking back out of the room to retrieve it.
Frank grazed his hand over Mikey’s cheek, and brought their lips together in an innocent kiss. Frank couldn’t stop smiling at Mikey’s movie choice. He always reminded Frank of the best memories in simple ways. Frank loved him for it. So much.
Frank remembered everything about that night. They’d been together for a few months, and Mikey had invited him over to hang out. They ended up eating pizza with Gerard, watching Night Of The Living Dead. Halfway through, Gerard fell asleep on the floor while they were cuddling on the couch.
Then it happened; the first time they ever said the words they’d repeat forever.
Frank had gently coaxed his hands around Mikey's neck, softly kissed him, and told him, “I love you, you know.”
Frank would never get over how big Mikey’s grin was when he replied, “I love you more.”
“Doubt it.” Frank giggled.
Frank was snapped out of his flashback when Gerard walked back in the room, cursing about how messy Frank and Mikey’s DVD pile was. Mikey just laughed and told Gerard he was worse. The older brother had no choice but to smirk and shrug his shoulders in response before putting the movie on.
After the movie was finished, Gerard announced that he had to go.
He got up and pulled Mikey into a hug. A hug that was a little too tight, but he’d been doing it ever since he found out about It. He kissed his brother’s forehead, and told him that he loved him.
“Love you too, bro. Now get the fuck out of here,” Mikey smirked.
“You’re a sweetheart,” Gerard chuckled, “Bye, guys.”
Then he left.
Three weeks after they’d been told, Frank decided to take Mikey back to where they began.
Frank had met Mikey at a bad time in his life. He’d just told his parents he was gay, and they didn’t take it too well. His parents were extremely strict in the Catholic sense and the second he told them, they'd started to yell that he was a mistake. An accident. A failure and waste of space. In fact, after that night, Frank never saw his parents again. Understandably, Frank had been miserable and was at a loss at figuring what the hell he was meant to do.
He walked to the park, near his house. The park that had a conveniently high bridge above a river overflowing with rocks.
Most of them: sharp.
Frank walked to the middle of that bridge, the cold wind of the night practically freezing his tears to his face. Carefully, he climbed on top of the railing, gained his balance and stared down at the rocks that were about to cause his demise. He had his mind entirely set on jumping, until he heard that innocent little voice for the first time.
Frank rolled his eyes at that voice. He wasn’t about to let some random stranger convince him life was worth living. That is until he turned his head and caught sight of the person who called out to him.
A thin man stood on the bridge below him, staring up at him through thin glasses with captivating eyes. He wore a beanie and a fitting black hoodie, with skinny jeans and converse. He literally took Frank’s breath away because a moment later, he noticed that he stopped breathing.
“I don’t know why you’re doing this, but you really shouldn’t.”
“I don’t care,” Frank whispered, “Why should you? You don’t even know me.”
“I know,” The mystery man said, “But I’d like to change that, if you’ll let me.”
Frank scoffed at him, and stared back at the rocks, when suddenly he felt his hand being pulled. He fell from the bridge, but not in the direction he wanted. When he crash landed on Mystery Boy’s legs, he was more than furious.
"What the hell, man?!" Frank hissed, snatching his arm away, "Why'd you have to do that?"
"I'm sorry," Mystery Boy squeaked, "B-But I couldn't just let you--"
"Oh, shut the fu--" Frank's words caught in his throat when he met the eyes of the man he fell on top of, "I mean...I'm sorry."
"Why?" The boy gave a small, shy smile.
"For...being a dick?" Frank mumbled, embarassed because he'd very nearly punched this gorgeous guy in the face.
The boy giggled quietly, and Frank found it adorable, "It's fine...Wanna get up?"
"Oh!" Frank realised he was still on top of the guy's legs, "Right."
The guy giggled again as Frank jumped up, grabbed his hand and helped him up.
It took a few moments for Frank to realise he was still holding the other man's hand.
"So..." The man said, "Instead of, uh, doing what you were about to do, how about some coffee? One can never think straight without caffine in their system."
Frank smiled and nodded, "I think that's a good plan. I haven't had any coffee today."
"Good," The boy smiled, and tugged on Frank's hand to start walking away from the bridge.
"By the way, my name's Frank."
"Nice to meet you, Frank," The boy grinned, "I'm Mikey."
"Nice to meet you, Mikey..."
Frank wrapped his arm around Mikey’s waist as they walked back to that bridge.
Despite what Frank would have done on the bridge those two years ago, the bridge only brought back great memories. Mikey saved him. It was the mark of the end of his old life where he hid who he was, and the start of his new one with Mikey.
It hurt to an extent, however. Just to see how Mikey was now. He was getting thinner and paler by the day, and wore his beanie all the time. His face looked sunken in and there were always dark circles under his eyes no matter how much he slept. It was a constant reminder to Frank of who he was going to lose, but he refused to think of it until the time came.
He constantly prayed it wouldn’t be anytime soon.
“Meeting you was the best that ever happened to me,” Mikey said when they reached the bridge, “I really hope you know that.”
Frank couldn’t help the tears that came to his eyes. It always happened when Mikey said things like that, “I could say the exact same thing to you.”
Mikey turned to Frank and frowned, “What’s wrong?”
“I--I’m gonna miss you,” Frank said as the tears started to fall, “It’s just not fucking fair. You deserve so much more. And it’s not fair that you saved my life…and I can’t save yours.”
Mikey brought Frank into his arms as he broke down into tears, “Babe, it’s okay. Please don’t cry.”
“I love you,” Frank cried into Mikey’s shoulder, “I love you so fucking much. I don’t want you to go.”
“Frankie,” Mikey said, pulling the shorter man’s head up to look him in the eye, “Everything’s gonna be fine. You already saved my life.”
“How?” Frank choked out.
“You know that night we met. Ever wondered what I was doing here at 2am?” Mikey asked, brushing Frank’s tears away.
“I guess not,” Frank whispered, “What were you doing?”
“Before I found you, I was gonna jump too.”
Frank’s eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped. His immediate instinct was to kiss the breath out of Mikey. The thought of him doing...that almost made him sick.
“Why?” He squeaked after they pulled apart, "Why would you even--"
“I was just lonely, Frank,” Mikey said, his own eyes starting to water, “For a long time. But when I came here, I saw you, and I couldn’t just let you do that. When I pulled you down, something just happened. You know it did. We both felt it. I just realized then that saving you meant I wasn't the only person who felt that bad, and maybe we could help each other. And we did. So, just remember that, okay? We saved each other, and I love you so much for it. And no matter what happens after this, you promise me that you’ll never stop. Never give up again.”
“I c-can’t promise that,” Frank choked again.
“Yes, you can,” Mikey said firmly through his tears, holding Frank's face in his hands, “You can do anything. I love you so much. Never give up. For me. Please.”
Frank nodded and hugged Mikey as tightly as he could while they both cried.
“I love you, you know,” Frank whispered, kissing Mikey’s temple.
“I love you more,” Mikey sobbed.
Days later, Frank and Mikey were lying in bed.
Mikey had lost the strength to get up and move around. Therefore, whenever Frank wasn’t running to get something for his lover, he was lying right next to him, holding him close.
The phone ringing pulled them both out of their little world.
“Hello?” Frank answered.
“Frank Iero, I presume?” A lady’s voice came the other end.
“Yes,” He said, frowning, “Can I help you?”
“Yes. We’d like to let you know that the doctors at this hospital know your address, and we know you’ve been ignoring every call we’ve made. So, we’re giving you 24 hours to return the patient or we’re calling the authorities.”
“You don’t scare me. Don’t think I’m taking him back,” Frank spat into the receiver.
“Look, Mr. Iero, we understand that the whole situation is rather distressing, but you need to think about what’s best for Michael.”
“His name is Mikey, and what’s best for him is being where he belongs which is at home. With me. Fuck you.” Frank hissed before slamming the phone down.
He took a moment and sighed, “Sorry about that, Mikes. I just-”
A shaking hand on his arm stopped him. Frank turned around and crawled up to his boyfriend, “Mikey? Mikey, what’s wrong?”
"N-Nothing, baby. Nothing," Mikey smiled warmly, "C'mere."
Frank obeyed and wrapped his arms around Mikey's frail body. It didn't look like nothing. Frank noticed Mikey's hand were trembling slightly, and his breath was uneven, "Mikey? Babe, you're scaring me. Please. Tell me what's wrong."
"I'm okay," Mikey whispered, "I love you so much."
"I love you too," Frank mumbled, before pressing his lips against Mikey's. That's when he notcied Mikey's lips were trembling too, "Mikes?"
Mikey pressed his nose into the crook of Frank's neck, breathing in as much of his scent as he could, "Frank, say it."
"Tell me you love me."
"I love you, Mikey," Frank whispered desperately, kissing Mikey's forehead, "I love you so fucking much. I'll never stop loving you."
"Say it our way," Mikey breathed, shakingly, "P-Please, say it for me."
Frank frowned, his heart beating abnormally fast with worry, "I--I love you, you know."
Mikey sighed and smiled into Frank's neck, "I love you more."
Mikey leaned up and crushed his lips against Frank's, sliding his tongue against the other's and wrapped his body around Frank's so tightly, it nearly killed him.
It was killing him.
"You should never ever doubt it," Mikey whispered against Frank's lips, smiling, "Because it's true, baby. It always has been...I love you."
His eyes fluttered closed and Frank suddenly couldn’t feel Mikey’s breath on his lips anymore.
“M-Mikey?” Frank whimpered, looking down upon his pale face, “Mikes?...Are you okay?”
Mikey didn’t respond.
Then Frank realised; It was over.
“Mikey, wake up,” He breathed as endless tears rolled down his face, “Please, wake up.”
Frank sobbed harder than ever as he sat up and pulled Mikey’s limp body into his arms, refusing to let go.
“I love you, Mikey,” Frank sobbed, kissing his forehead over and over, “I love you, I love you. I‘ll never stop loving you. Fuck, please come back...Don't leave me! Please don't leave me! Just come back. Please.”
Mikey didn't come back.
There was no acting when Gerard found out. Frank had to catch him when he collapsed.
And the funeral was straight-up agony for the both of them.
But with many tears shed, and hugs given, they got through it.
Frank felt empty time he walked back into what was now just his apartment. He missed playing around with Mikey by calling out ‘Honey, I’m home!’ and being greeted with a cheesy Hollywood kiss. He missed waking up with Mikey’s arm over his waist. He missed Mikey’s lips. He missed Mikey’s smile. He missed Mikey getting mad at him for using his toothbrush.
Frank missed Mikey, and it was killing him.
One day, about a month after Mikey passed, Frank was going through some of his stuff. He never got rid of Mikey’s clothes. They smelt just like him. Frank sometimes used them instead of their blanket.
As Frank was skimming through his stuff, he came across a strange envelope, with his name on it.
In Mikey’s handwriting.
Frank didn’t hesitate in ripping it open, and reading the letter.
Hey, Frankie baby.
My time is almost up, and to be honest, I accepted it long before we found out.
So, I wanted to write this, to tell you that you really were the best thing that ever happened to me.
We both met at a difficult point in our lives, and I like to think that fate brought us together.
I saved you, but you saved me too. We were meant to be, baby. I fucking believe it and you’d better believe it too.
I won’t lie. There’s still so much I want to do, but since my life got cut short, I obviously can’t do them.
But it’s okay. Spending every moment with you is more than I could’ve asked for. Really. Thank you, baby. I love you so much.
When I’m gone, I don’t want you to be sad all the time. I want you to smile and laugh that stupid laugh you laughed whenever you poked fun at me. I want you to play your guitar with as much passion and energy as I saw you play with the first time. I want you to be happy, and live until you’re old, grey and chasing kids off your lawn with a shot-gun.
One last thing, I want to say thank you for everything you’re doing for me. I can tell it’s wearing you out.
Thank you for saving me, and thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me that not everyone is an asshole. You’re amazing, and I’ll always love you. I’ll love you until the day I die, and if there’s a life after death, I’ll keep on loving you through then.
Never give up. I love you, I’ll always be with you. Never forget it.
Forever yours, Mikey.
P.S. When you stop crying, take a deep breath, and let me go. It’s gonna be okay.
Frank, through his tears, smiled a little at the ‘P.S.’.
Mikey always knew him far too well.
But when Frank eventually did stop crying, he took a deep breath, just like Mikey said. Letting him go, however, would take more than just that.
Frank visited his grave, once a week. Every week. Never stopped. Gerard sometimes came along too. Frank told Mikey everything from what was happened, to what he was feeling and how much he missed him.
He told Mikey he missed him every single day.
Frank, eventually did let Mikey go, though. He went back to smiling, laughing and playing his guitar.
He let Mikey go, but never forgot him.
And there will never be a day where Mikey won’t cross his mind.
Or his heart.