Could I Lie Next To You? – Chapter 12 REVISED
I had no clue what to say to him. What was I supposed to say?
There was a struggling pause, then: "I miss you." Well, that was nice to know. It took all I had not to snap at him; I had to keep reminding myself that I didn't want to make matters worse.
"I've missed you, too. For the past two months." I could almost see him wince.
"Please, I'm sick of purtendin’ nothin' happened…." Was he drunk? "C'mere…"
Hearing him so messed up crushed me. I couldn't say no. After all, I’d waited for those words for two whole months; I'd be stupid if I didn't run right over. And if he wasn't going to clean up on his own, I'd have to help him.
"On one condition: if you drink one more drop between now and the minute I get there, I'll leave."
"I won't, I pr'mise."
I told him I'd be right over and tossed my phone onto the passenger seat with a bitter curse. I was preparing to make good on my word and head over to his house since I was healed, anyway, but he caught me completely off guard. Quickly pulling out of the parking lot, I must have broken the world record for the longest time speeding without getting a ticket. Only a few minutes of maneuvering around slow drivers (or maybe they were actually doing the speed limit, who knows) and going through endless red lights seemed to be hours. When I finally pulled up to his house, my car had barely come to a halt before I jumped out and ran up his steps.
He answered the door before I even had a chance to knock; he was waiting for me by the window. I pulled him into my arms wordlessly, mentally repeating I will not cry, I will not cry over and over. He buried his face into my shoulder and leaned his unsteady weight against me, assaulting me with a lungful of old booze.
A glance over his shoulder left me mortified. His house was in complete disarray: broken bottles strewn about the floor, his belongings all out of place, his works of art carelessly tossed off of the walls and never picked up, a bottle of pills turned over on the dining room table—
My eyes fell on some suspicious white powder on the small coffee table.
"My God, Gerard," I croaked.
I pried him off of me and studied him at arm’s length. His hair was longer now, disheveled and greasy. His clothes were wrinkled and red veins stretched across his eyes in haphazard patterns. Had he taken care of himself at all?
"What—" I cleared my throat, trying to coax my voice out of a coarse whisper. "What did you do?"
He didn't answer, just shook his head shamefully and rested it back in the crook of my neck with a whimper.
"Shhh," I cooed with a sigh. "Come on, let's get inside."
The first thing I did once he was seated was take away the bottle of vodka that sat beside the couch. I took it to the kitchen and dumped it down the sink, following it with the other bottles of various liquors that were stored in the cabinets. Jesus. He’d really stocked up, hadn’t he? Rum, Vodka, Gin, Whiskey – the works.
I returned to him sitting silently in the living room where I left him, looking down at his feet. I knelt before him and held his face in my hands to make him look at me.
"The alcohol is gone. All of it."
He looked me in the eyes and I stared back. There was no doubt my expression was one of pure business. He broke down with a short nod and glanced away.
"Look at me, Gerard." He did. "Talk to me. Tell me why you did all of this. And I know it's been going on for a while—even on our vacation you reeked of booze."
"I—" He paused, took a deep breath. "I started on vacation 'cause I was worried. I didn't wan’to ruin the band or our fr’ndship. I was scared."
"I was worried too, but I dealt with it. Why couldn't you?" My eyes were locked with his and I refused to let him look away, no matter how many times he tried. I shook my head. “Fuck, I’ve been practically immobile for two months, between the coma and broken bones, waiting around for you to call. If I didn’t start drinking, there’s no reason you should have. So why couldn’t you deal with it?”
I stepped back, running a hand over my face and taking a deep breath. Now wasn’t the time to let two months’ worth of anger get the better of me.
"I… just couldn't. I'm sorry." When I didn't respond, he continued, the muscles in his face twitching. "Once you got beat up I got so scared that I couldn't imagine bein' with you again. I thought for sure you'd get hurt and I didn't want that. I was so scared when you were in that coma… I th-thought for sure I lost you." Tears glistened in his eyes and it was my turn to look away. Hearing him like that was bad enough, forget seeing him cry.
"When you woke up I prom'st myself I wouldn't be with you 'cause I wanted to protect you, ev'n if it hurt both of us. Then you didn't wanna talk t'me, and I miss't you and I got really depressed—" he glanced over at the bottle of pills on the table – "and I had to get back on medication so I wouldn't do something I wouldn't be alive to regret…"
I shivered. It had been a while since I heard him talk like that, and the thought of him possibly returning to suicidal habits made me want to reach for the bottle, myself.
"If you were depressed, why didn't you call me? I missed you too, you know. So much…"
"I thought you hated me. 'Cause I hated myself for not bein' there for you when you needed me. I was an idiot, I ran away instead of stayin' to help you." He held up the empty glass that was sitting on the table. "I didn't have the conf'dence to call you until I was this mess't up."
He sniffed and raised the back of his palm to his nose and wiped at it, smearing blood across his hand. I grabbed an old tissue off of the coffee table and wiped it off, then wiped his nose for him.
"It isn’t only alcohol, is it.”
It was more of a statement than a question. But he was ready to deny it, so I glanced purposefully at the white powder scattered across the table in the remnants of what used to be a straight line. He dropped his gaze to the hand I held in mine and finally let a tear fall.
"No, it's not. Tha's why I didn't want you to come when Mikes and the others came. I was too 'shamed for you t'see me like this."
A tear rolled down my cheek opposite of his, mirroring it.
"I love you," I breathed shakily. "I still do."
The faintest smile managed to brighten up his features tenfold. I had a sad feeling it was his first in a long time.
"I love you, too. I was afraid you'd never say that t'me again."
“You never gave me the chance.”
His lip trembled then, drawing my attention to it. I grabbed him by the shoulder of his black Iron Maiden t-shirt and kissed him with all I had, letting a tiny sob pass from my lips to his. He kissed back weakly, his tongue cautiously exploring my lips until I let it slip between them. I wove my fingers together through his hair as his hooked into my back pockets, making sure I made up for every kiss we lost during those two awful, lonely months.
"Gee." I whispered the nickname affectionately into his ear, pushing the stray locks out of his face. His hair had grown out; brown roots peeked out from under the black dye. He let out a long, unsteady breath and pulled me to eye-level with a relieved smile.
"I feel ten times bett'r now."
"Good." I smiled back and pecked his lips once more before standing up. "Take a nap, you look exhausted. I'm going to stay and take care of you for a while."
"What? No. I don' wan' you to."
My heart skipped a beat and I panicked for a moment, afraid the last few minutes were all a part of my sick imagination.
"I don' deserve it," he clarified. "I didn't take care of you when you need'd me."
"That doesn't matter now. I wouldn't have let you, anyway," I said with a grin. "Please, let me stay with you."
"Okay," he sighed. Ha, as if it were really that much of a nuisance. I leaned over and kissed his forehead softly, telling him once more to sleep and pulling him up into a standing position.
With one arm supporting him, I climbed the steps and took a quick glance around. Mostly everything was untouched. In fact, it looked like he hadn't been up there for weeks. I laid him down in bed and pulled the covers up to his chin, tucking them under him and wrapping him up like a small child. The beautiful sound of his soft laughter filled the room, relaxing me further before I left to scour the kitchen for more alcohol.
My search proved mostly useless except for a half-empty bottle of wine in the refrigerator, so I dumped whatever remained of that and set to work on the house. Careful not to wake Gerard, I picked up shards of broken glass from around the dining room table and swept up the smaller bits, deciding to wait until he was awake to vacuum. I tried to ignore the fact that the anti-depressants scattered around didn't even fill half of the bottle.
I had no idea he'd gotten this bad. Scenes of his old drinking days flashed through my mind with every trace of a crutch I found: Gerard and Mikey drunk as can be during their first show, Gerard happily downing the last few beers in the tour bus, Gerard stumbling across the parking lot and passing out beside the highway…
I shook my head. Think happy thoughts, as one of our own songs goes.
That didn't last long. My heart sank into my stomach when I returned to the living room and found a discarded straw and razor beside the white powder .I picked them up and swept the tiny grains into my hand, tossing everything into the garbage pail I was carrying around. God, I was such an idiot. Why hadn't I sucked it up and called him? He wouldn't have been like this if it weren't for me…
I can't begin to let you know just what I'm feeling…
I set the pail down and settled into the large armchair a while later. An all-too-familiar soft snore floated down the staircase, allowing me to sink back into the recliner and let down my guard.
He was asleep. As soon as he woke up, I could vacuum up the rest of the glass and get his doctor’s number to discuss the medication. Then we could start, once again, on the road to recovery. For both him and us…
I shot up, nearly falling off of the chair. The sudden movement caused me to lean on the remote and the TV clicked on, exploding into a loud action scene of whatever movie was playing at the time. According to the cable box, it was three in the morning. Hadn't I only dozed off for a few minutes? I scrambled, momentarily dazed from the nap, and for a few moments the panicked cries blended into the eplosions and car chases so that I couldn’t tell what was real and what was fake.
But I knew his voice anywhere, and when I finally wrestled down the volume and heard Gerard’s distressed voice, I bounded up the stairs. He was thrashing around in bed, eyes squeezed shut, pleading and whimpering. I ran his side and grasped his shoulders.
"Wake up! Gerard, it's only a dream. Come on, wake up!" My gentle shakes became more urgent when he refused to open his eyes, only ceasing when he awoke with a gasp.
He stayed silent for a moment, staring at me and panting. His knuckles were white from gripping the bed sheets and sweat dripped across his temples. I pulled him into my arms.
"What was it, baby?" I asked, stroking his lower back. In a way I was relieved — it sounded like something awful was happening rather than just a dream.
"Just a nightmare.” He was fixed on the sheets before him, his jaw set tight. I released my hold on him and sat back to try to catch his gaze. When I asked what it was about, he shook his head.
“You got sick of me relapsing and —" he shuddered "—you didn't want to be with me anymore. You walked out on me."
I couldn't look him in the eyes after that. All I kept thinking was, I've done it –I've destroyed him.
I swallowed back what felt like a golf ball and glued my gaze to the same spot on sheets he had just been staring at.
"Oh, well … I… I bet you feel like crap after all of that drinking, so… I'll just… get you some aspirin and water." It wasn’t as if I could assure him that would never happen. I couldn’t imagine leaving him, especially when he needed me, but I still had a lot of thinking to do. Could I just take him back without question, after what he did to me?
I started to stand but was gently pulled back down by my wrist. Gerard placed his hand on my cheek and tilted my head toward him, making me face him as I’d made him look at me before.
"I know a better cure for hangovers."
A husky whisper replaced the panic in his voice. He was gazing at me calmly, searching my eyes for an answer before leaning in and kissing my lips tenderly. My breath left me as I realized what he meant, and before I could register what was happening, I was lying beneath him on my back.
"Gerard…” I whispered. He smiled down at me and slid my shirt over my head, tossing it aside.
"No one to interrupt us this time," he said eagerly. My eyes shut as he trailed kisses down my chest and tugged at my belt. An eternity later his clothes fell into a pool on the floor beside mine and I was reaching down to stroke him. He returned the favor and we moaned simultaneously, arching into one another with desperate gasps.
Everything around us faded to a blur; nothing was important anymore but him. I needed all of him—as much as I could get—before I lost him again.
With each movement our breathing became more urgent. I took a fistful of the sheets in my free hand and squeezed, moaning out as I grew as hard as I could. Gerard's supporting arm shook by my head and he shut his eyes, his head hanging as a low moan rumbled through his bare chest.
Suddenly he let go before I was ready. I whimpered, glancing up at him with a plea. His lips twitched up into a bashful smile and he reluctantly pulled my hand off of him, leaning down to place little kisses along my neck. I squirmed at the slight suction and groaned, tugging at his hair.
"I know," he chuckled breathlessly. "I just want to make it last…"
He leaned over and reached into his night table drawer, pulling out a tube of what looked like lubricant. Squeezing some out, he rubbed it between his hands and took a hold of me with both of them, massaging it on. I threw my head back and gasped loud.
Wow, and I thought I knew pleasure before tonight.
I grabbed the tube and started doing the same for him, getting a similar reaction. A moment later he grunted in a mix of desire and impatience and grabbed my hips, turning me over onto my stomach. Burying my face into the pillow, I moaned loud as he pressed his body against mine and kissed down my back.
"Gerard, please. Just fuck me already."
The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. Gerard chuckled and hooked his arms under mine, leaning on his forearms as he gently pushed into me.
"Ow, that fucking hurts!" I whined, pressing my face further into the pillow. I inhaled deeply – it smelled like him. The familiar scent soothed me and I tried not to get past the pain, but it was unavoidable. It hurt. Like hell.
"Shhh," he hushed. "I'm sorry babe, I'll be easy…"
I nodded, trying not to tremble. He pulled out slightly and pushed back in, sending another wave of pain throughout my body. Soon he was moving more regularly, slow and deep, accustoming me to the new feel. I made a snide remark about not prepping me properly for it and his laugh came out in a dry heave of lust and strained self-control that made me unthinkably harder for him.
He was as gentle as he could be for a good while. It was obvious it was a struggle for him, and I could only wait so long, so as soon as the pain subsided a bit I nodded impatiently over my shoulder and promised him I was okay. He started to pump into me a bit faster, gliding more easily with each thrust. Soon I forgot about the pain altogether and moved with him, arching back and moaning his name loud. I'd never felt anything like it; I wasn't a virgin or anything, but… let's just say Gerard was the first person to be inside me, rather than the other way around.
"Ah, God… Frank…" He groaned loud, hardening even further if possible. He started lengthening his thrusts, pushing deeper and faster into me than before. I was in total ecstasy: the pain was gone and every movement sent ripples of pleasure from my hips through my torso and into every nook of my body. There was no way it could get any better.
Oh, how happy I was to be proved wrong.
He pulled one of his arms out from under mine then, balancing himself on the other as he took a hold of me firmly. He started sliding his hand up and down in time with his thrusts, sending me into a flushed, trembling fit. I once heard someone say that sex is better with someone of the same gender because you both know exactly what feels good. Damn, was that person right.
Too soon I felt myself starting to drip. I held the bulk of my orgasm back until I felt Gerard tense up over me and finally let go with him. He landed on me with a shiver, kissing up and down the back of my neck as he caught his breath.
Yeah, that pretty much summed it up.
His chest vibrated with a soft, disbelieving laugh. "How was that?" He whispered, resting his head on my shoulder. He shifted his weight and I moaned weakly; he was still inside me.
"Perfect." I smiled, reaching back to comb through his hair. "Absolutely perfect…"
"It's been too long. I'll never leave you again," he promised. I smiled and sighed contentedly, stretching out under his weight.
"I know you won't. I have one question, though…"
I grinned, pushing him off of me and flipping him onto his stomach with a playful laugh.
"What's it like being on top?"