Frank and Gerard have some short lived moments.
Chapter Six: Falling Apart.
They were on their way to Salt Lake City, Utah. The guys had bought more gauze from a CVS as it was the sort of thing that needed to be changed daily. Gerard had been healing well as far as the swelling went. Frank had taken on the duty of helping Gerard with the changing of the gauze for tonight. It was an extremely uncomfortable thing to think about -- it would be the first time Gerard's wounds would have been exposed since they found him, and some of them were in very intimate areas. So there they were, sitting in the bathroom of the bus. Neither of them said anything as neither of them really knew what to say, but Frank supposed he would have to be the one to guide Gerard through this.
"Right, umm... I kinda need you to take off your clothes for me.", Frank mentally face palmed the minute he said it. It just sounded so inappropriate, no matter how many times he re phrased it in his head. Gerard sat on the covered toilet, and continued to stare, not moving. Frank sighed and kneeled down so he was level with Gerard. His face was inches away from Gee's, and he could see clearly into the depths of Gee's eyes. They looked lost, confused. Still staring into them, he gently took a hold of both sides of Gerard's shirt and pulled it over his head. Neither of them broke eye contact. Frank went for the pants next, unzipping and pulling them down. He could hear and feel Gerard's breath quickening, he saw his eyes widen. Frank raised his hand to stroke one side of Gerard's face whispering, "Shh, its okay.", in his best attempt to put the boy at ease. He figured it would be best to leave Gerard's underwear on, they were rather small and covered none of the wounds that needed gauze anyway.
Finally breaking the gaze, Frank set about his business, this time avoiding eye contact with Gerard. Frank winced and frowned at some of the deeper looking wounds, and he felt sicker and sicker as he kept going. Gerard was looking everywhere but down, he himself hadn't seen his own wounds properly. Felt them, but not seen them, as he had been unconscious when they bandaged him. The funny thing was, both Gerard and Frank had imagined something like this before. One or both of them nude or at least nearly, the close contact. Frank had wanted to run his hands over Gerard's beautiful body for the longest time. But not like this. Not when it was in such ruins. Gerard, as a person, was in ruins. Frank's heart broke at the tragedy of that. Frank finally got to the particularly large one on Gerard's abdomen and stopped. Frank had to close his eyes for a minute, and for the second time that week, he felt like crying for Gerard. Gerard was puzzled at what caused the sudden cessation of contact, and he looked down at the wound that Frank had uncovered. He traced his fingers over it. In a very sloppy manner, the word "WHORE" had been carved into his skin.
Mikey kept staring at the bathroom door. What was taking them so long? Mikey knew he should have been the one to do this, but Frank had insisted. Said he needed to spend alone time with Gerard, as he hadn't been able to since everything fell apart. Mikey wondered what that even meant. He was resisting the urge to go barging in himself when the door flung open. Gerard stormed out first, looking like he wanted nothing more than to run into bed and be left alone. He stomped off to the bunk beds silently. Moments later, Frank walked out as well, looking uneasy. Mikey approached him.
"What happened in there? What's going on?", Mikey asked.
"Nothing." Frank said with an unreadable expression, "It's done."
"Well why does he look so upset?" Mikey prodded.
"How could he not be? He's been through a horrible ordeal."
Frank saw Mikey narrow his eyes. Frank felt annoyed. Frank knew Mikey had been really on edge over his brother since the deaths of Lindsey and Bandit, and current events had not helped in the slightest. And for the most part, Frank sympathized with the younger Way. But this was hard on everyone, and everyone was worried and nervous and scared. Mikey just had to understand that.
"I'll take care of the gauze next time.", Mikey said sternly.
"Fine.", Frank replied just as coldly. He didn't need to argue with Mikey right now. He was tired, rather disturbed after what he just saw, and he just wanted sleep. Frank shoved the gauze kit into Mikey's chest rather roughly and retreated to the bunk beds himself.
Frank woke up at around 3 AM. He could instantly locate what had awoken him. Gee was sobbing again. Frank sighed, he knew he wasn't going to get back to sleep unless he did something. He looked at Mikey, who was on the bunk on top of Gerard's, just to make sure he was still asleep, and once he did, he quietly tip toed his way over to Gee's bed, crawling into it beside him. He put his arm around him, and Gerard turned over, so he was facing Frank, and he buried his face into Frank's chest, both his hands desperately gripping at Frank's shirt like if he didn't, he'd fall to his death. Frank embraced the petite figure tightly, never wanting to let him go.
"I'm scared F-Frank." Gerard said between sobs. This the first time Gerard had really said anything since the night with Bert. Frank felt shamefully flattered that Gerard would open up to him first.
"Shh," Frank soothed, stroking at Gerard's hair, "Everything's going to be okay now, nobody's going to hurt you anymore."
"No," Gerard said, his sobs having quelled down, but his voice still painfully strained, "The show -- I don't know if I can ---"
"Hey," Frank said, "You don't have to do a single thing you don't want to. We still have time to cancel, you just give us the word and we'll go straight back home."
"I want to. I really, really want to. I just don't know if I can."
"You can do anything you set your mind to. Fuck, that sounds fucking cheesy.", Frank cursed. Gerard snickered a bit. That made Frank smile. "You're so amazing Gee. I mean thousands of people idolize you, think of you as their hero. You're my hero. I know you're going to get through this okay."
If it wasn't so dark, Frank would have seen the small smile that Gerard cracked. And it was a real smile, not drunken, nor was it twitchy. It was small, but it was there. He would never dare say it, but at least here, in Frank's arms, he finally felt safe.
Gerard awoke and there was an empty space on the bed where Frank had been. He frowned. Where had he gone? It was then Gerard heard yelling coming from somewhere at the end of the bus, and he identified the voice as Mikey's.
"HE. DOESN'T. NEED. THIS. RIGHT. NOW!", Mikey shrieked.
"NEED WHAT? Comfort? Friends?" Frank was yelling back, "NO MIKEY, obviously that's the last thing he needs!"
"Guys --- ", chimed in Ray, who was trying desperately to calm both parties down. Usually angry Mikey was bad enough, but Frank was enraged.
"He doesn't need YOU! He doesn't need you trying any shit on him right now!"
"Is that what you fucking think I've been doing? You seriously fucking think, after he's been fucking molested I would seriously be like 'Hey baby, want to go out for good fuck tonight'? Do you even fucking KNOW me?"
"I SAW YOU IN HIS BED THIS MORNING!"
"He was FUCKING crying last night! I was trying to console him! It's a fuck lot more useful to him then all the fucking finger pointing you've been fucking doing!"
"Frank --- ", Ray attempted again.
"FUCK YOU!," Mikey screamed, his voice at ear shattering volumes, "Stay the fuck away from my brother!"
"WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM?", Frank retorted, his voice now matching the ferocity of
Mikey's, "I already FUCKING told you, I wouldn't even fucking think of bringing up--"
"Who said you needed to fucking ask? Bert fucking didn't! I don't want you trying to take advantage of him right now!"
"MIKEY!", Ray yelled in disbelief.
"How dare you --- you fucking think-- what the fuck?" Frank stammered, now at a loss for words, "If you actually fucking think I would EVER, EVER hurt Gerard --- then you fucking don't know me at all. I don't fucking know you. Fuck this, I'm leaving."
The sound of a door slamming. Silence. Wait, what?
It was barely then that Gerard noticed they weren't moving. They must have arrived already, and they either let him sleep in or under all the commotion they had forgotten to. The warm, safe feeling that Gerard had barely been able to achieve just last night now slipped away. He fell into despair once more. His band was falling apart. Their friendships were falling apart. Mikey hurt Frank. All because of his stupid mistakes. It was all his fault. He felt a panic swelling up in his chest again, and his eyes stung. He needed something, now. He knew the guys had removed all the booze and pills from the bus the first night Gerard had stumbled home from hanging out with Bert. Finding a small mirror, he smashed it against the bed post until it broke it into shards, and picked out a particularly sharp looking one. This would do just fine.
Next chapter: Jimmy, Steve, and Chantal are displeased. Mikey loses control.