The tour was finally coming to a close. It didn’t hit me until the last show; the confusing thoughts plaguing my mind for the last half of it kept me preoccupied, at the very least. I was having a hard time admitting to myself that they were becoming the objects of an obsession.
How did I manage to let so many months slip by unnoticed? Gerard and the others could tell I was changing… it was obvious by the way they eyed me skeptically whenever I was uncharacteristically quiet. I was usually one of the more hyper, playful ones.
But it was over, and I had to at least make the end count. I had been playing mechanically for the night, rarely even realizing what song we were playing. My hands were on autopilot while I was fixed on Gerard’s as he let them roam across his body, one of his new favorite things to do. Toro was spiraling into his solo as I kept a steady beat on my guitar, Mikey was playing timidly on his bass, and Bob was going all-out on his drums.
Gerard made his way over to my side of the stage when the last verse came up, pulling me out of my daze. He held the mic between us, grinning at me through the lyrics, so I could sing backup. We screamed the last line of the song simultaneously, and as he occasionally did to keep things interesting, he grabbed the back of my head and pulled me into a kiss.
I’d grown so accustomed to the screaming fans that they were nothing but background noise when his lips met mine. I couldn’t even remember when we last kissed... was it back in San Diego or Chicago? Detroit? We often went through phases in which every other show for a month would have some kind of sexual play between us, but in-between those phases were long dry spells in which he barely looked my way. Somehow I found myself enjoying those much less, and I was relieved to feel his slippery lips glide hastily over mine again as he grunted the last syllable against them. I let a low chuckle pass between us as I wondered how the fans found such sloppy displays attractive.
Whether they were turned on by the kiss or upset at the thought of us possibly being gay, I couldn’t be sure. But either way, the girls in the crowd all but combusted into a self-destructive fit, this time making Gerard laugh huskily as well. I tilted my head to the side slightly, running my tongue along his bottom lip, begging for an entrance. His lips parted just long enough for his tongue to tease mine before he pulled away to wrap up the concert.
“You’re all fucking incredible!” he screamed, leaning over the edge of the stage and nearly being pulled down into the crowd. He backed away and glanced at all of us before focusing back on the audience. “I’ll tell you what: since you’re our last show until our next tour, I’ll be nice… do you want one more?”
My stomach lurched at the way he licked me off his lips and I suddenly felt cold without his body against mine. I lowered my gaze back to my guitar and tinkered with one of the tuning pegs before starting what I hoped would be the final song. I just needed a vacation.
The smell of coffee lured me out of my deep, long-overdue sleep. I stretched out in my bunk, exhausted from the concert and the sleepless nights prior. The steady vibrations of the bus told me we were on the road, on our way to our next destination, and I rolled over with the intention of letting them soothe me back to sleep. Just a few more minutes…
I was just drifting over the border between consciousness and sleep when the bus hit a huge bump, causing me to snap up and bang my head on the bunk above mine.
An all-too-familiar chuckle met my ears, and Gerard pulled the curtain of my bunk back, two mugs of coffee in his hands.
“It’s about time, sleeping beauty. It’s past noon.”
“Are the other guys up already?” I rubbed the top of my head, squinting, and took one of the mugs from him. The steam caressed my face and drew a sigh from my tense muscles.
“Yeah, they’re all watching recaps from last night’s show. You nearly killed me, I’ll have you know.” He grinned and lifted his shirt up, causing my stomach to lurch the way it did the night before. There was a big bruise that spanned across his ribs; I must have hit him with my guitar when I landed.
“Ouch. Sorry, man.” I pulled my legs out from under the blankets and exposed my red knees. They were raised into two swollen bumps from the impact of the stage floor. “You aren’t the only one.”
He was still grinning at me, but he didn’t respond. I could have sworn his smile took on a whole new wickedness when he saw my knees. God, I wished he would stop. I sucked my bottom lip in and toyed with the ring a bit, looking back at him questioningly.
Finally, he broke the silence.
“I’m gonna go watch the clips with the rest of the guys. If you want to see what it looks like,” he said, pulling a brochure out of his pack pocket, “this is the place we’re headed to.” He tossed the booklet into my bunk and left the small room, joining the rest of the guys in the main part of the bus.
I picked up the brochure and flipped through it, a small smile creeping across my lips at the beautiful pictures. The band had been saving up for as long as I could possibly remember to take a vacation together after our last concert on tour. Looking at the gorgeous beaches and comfortable hotels in Maui, Hawaii, I couldn’t help but imagine how amazing it would be to spend time there with Gerard. Alone. If he loved me.
I shook my head and pressed my palms into my eyes, trying to force the sleepiness out. Apparently my body reacted to sleep deprivation by mimicking some serious drugs. Or maybe Gerard just had a knack for mind-fucking me.
My smile faded and I took a long, soothing sip of Gerard’s famous coffee. Was there anything he couldn’t do? I downed the rest of the cup and put it aside, heading into the cramped bathroom. Leaning against the sink, I groaned and rubbed my eyes again.
Was there really any denying it? Being on tour with him nearly drove me crazy. The sweet torture of seeing him every day was enough; now I had to deal with seeing him every day, actually showered, and in a bathing suit to boot…
I suddenly felt myself hardening at the thought, and I had to splash cold water on my face to calm down.
Get it through your head, Frank. The kisses don’t mean anything. They’re merely publicity. Gerard. Isn’t. Gay.
But, God, would it be too much to ask?