Biology experiments and Gerard aren't always a good mix...
Gerard’s point of view:
As it transpires, clumsiness, a stomach full of nervous butterflies, a cute, Misfits loving lab partner you’re trying to impress (or at the very least, not ignite), shaky hands and extreme lack of concentration is not a good recipe for a successful Biology experiment.
It’s ten minutes into the experiment and already, I have managed to spill not one, but two beakers of hydrochloric acid, smash a test tube and singe the sleeve of my Murderdolls hoodie on the flame if the Bunsen burner.
So far, all Frank has done is sit, huddled up at the other end of the desk in total silence, hiding behind his hair and chewing his nails.
Either he’s fearing for his life after the many terrifying rumours of my relations with Bunsen burners (needles to say, most of which are true) and therefore putting as much distance between himself and any possible explosions, or he has more worrying things on his mind.
Unfortunately, judging by the way he’s hunched vulnerably in his seat, chestnut hair hanging lankly in his face, his hoodie inside out, the tiny beads of blood blossoming on his chapped lips where he’s been biting them too hard, and his stubby nails, which he’s biting continually, turning the skin surrounding them from a smooth ivory to a raw, scabby red, it’s the latter.
I must have been staring too long, because suddenly he glances up at me, as if he can feel my gaze.
My stomach lurches as his eyes meet mine, but not the usual, hyperactive-butterflies-on-speed type lurch like I’m used to, but more a sinking, sickening one, as his expression pierces my insides like barbed wire.
His eyes aren’t zombified, the way they so often are in school as he scuttles along behind Aled and his gang, their russety gleam mask-like, dulled and defeated.
They aren’t bright and shining with enthusiastic energy and intelligence; kind and open and unafraid, the way they were yesterday in the dappled afternoon sunlight of the park, as golden as the leaves that rained down around us.
They’re brimming with imprisoned emotion, silenced frustration; raw, bittersweet and wild, swimming with overwhelmed confusion, helpless desperation and insecurity, rimmed with deep purple bags of exhaustion and darting wildly round the room.
I have no idea what to say to do to make things better- he looks so lost, so confused- I just want to give him a huge hug, tickle him to death or suddenly start singing a Misfits sing at top volume, but I don’t have the guts and I don’t know if any of these things would actually even help.
I didn’t realise before now just how much it hurts seeing someone you care about upset- I feel like bursting into tears, stabbing the person who made him feel like this or hiding under the desk so I don’t have to see his heat-wrenching expression. Then again, maybe I didn’t realise just how much I care about him.
As I ponder over what I could do to make him smile, like the idiot I am, I knock over my third beaker of hydrochloric acid and watch in horror as it rolls across the desk towards Frank.
“Shit! Ooops!!” I gasp lunging for the beaker, missing by several inches, tripping over my laces and stumbling right into Frank.
“Oh god, sorry!” I groan into Frank’s inside-out hoodie where my face landed.
Frank looks at me, seemingly puzzled as to why there’s suddenly a blushing, apologising, unusually clean Gerard attached to his hoodie. He suddenly seems to snap back into reality and hastily grabs the beaker that’s rolling across the table, preventing it from spilling any more of it’s contents.
“Sorry.” I say again sheepishly, removing my face slightly reluctantly from the warmth of Frank’s hoodie. “I told you I’m shit at experiments!”
“You aren’t that bad.” Frank mumbles, going back to staring at the tabletop and resuming the anxious lip nibbling, which would actually be kinda cute if it wasn’t for the fact he’s biting them so hard they bleed.
I snort, raising my eyebrow and a half. “Look.”
Frank raises his head reluctantly and sees me pointing at my half exterminated, half blackened left eyebrow.
We stay like that for a couple of moments; me wiggling my eyebrow and a half and pointing unnecessarily, as Frank gazes at the effects of a failed Biology experiment.
He suddenly bursts out laughing, soft giggles leaking out of his chapped, pink lips, his hair falling away from his face.
It’s totally infectious; I start giggling uncontrollably too, and for a long time, neither of us can stop- just sitting there, laughing like gerbils on speed as I waggle my eyebrows.
“Mr. Way! MR. Iero! Work NOW, please!” Mrs. Evans calls crossly in our direction, and we sober up a little, wiping our eyes and shaking our heads.
I start to refill the beaker for the fourth time this lesson, still giggling slightly.
“ummm…maybe I should do that?” Frank suggests tentatively, biting his lip to stop himself from grinning as my tie flops dangerously close to the flame of the Bunsen burner.
“Fine!” I humph jokingly, thrusting the beaker at him.
Our hands collide for a moment, skin on skin, and my already jumpy stomach becomes hyperactive, hand tingling, sparks igniting up and down my spine that have nothing to do with the Bunsen burner. Frank seems to jump a little too, ducking his head again, but it’s probably my crazed brain imagining things again.
By the end of the lesson, it feels as if Frank and I have been friends for years. After I’ve stopped smoothing my hair nervously and checking my reflection in the silver test tube, and our giggling fit over my (utterly ridiculous) eyebrows, he seems to shake himself out of his despair a little. A heated argument on whether Green Day is better than The Bouncing Souls, a ginormous bitch about stereotyping and a discussion over the wonder that is coffee later and his eyes look almost as they did yesterday afternoon; bright, enthusiastic, intelligent, ALIVE, with only the tiniest trace of the rawness lurking beneath the surface. It also feels amazing to actually be myself with someone apart from Mikey and Bee- with him (admittedly, after I’ve stopped fussing over my appearance and got rid of the hyperactive butterflies) it just seems so easy.
Thanks to Frank’s help with the experiment, I have managed to escape with only a damp, strange smelling tie, which was accidentally dipped in a funny green chemical, and the burnt sleeve of my hoodie, which now smells distinctly of (burnt) toast if you block out the odour from my tie, and thankfully, both of Frank’s eyebrows are still intact.
We’ve cleaned up successfully, and are hurriedly scribbling the results of the experiment in our jotters when the bell goes and the rest of the class stampede their way out the door, leaving me, Frank and Mrs. Evans behind.
“Off you go boys- you can do that tomorrow.” She says impatiently, clearly wanting to get rid of us as soon as possible.
“Ok.” I say gratefully, shoving my stuff into my bag and slouching out into the corridor, Frank close on my heels.
“Thanks for helping with the experiment- I’d probably have blown the Biology lab up or something otherwise.” I grin at Frank as we wander down the corridor.
“No problem.” Frank smiles. “I’m pretty bad at experiments and stuff too, but I don’t tend to actually blow things up…or ignite my own eyebrows.” He adds teasingly.
“Shut up.” I say jokingly as we head out onto the drizzly, grey yard.
Frank chuckles. “So have you got your tickets for the Misfits gig yet?”
“Nope.” I’m hopefully gunna get them this weekend.” I say happily, trudging towards the back entrance of the school hall where Bee will probably be. “hey…wanna come too? I think Bee’s going.” Okay, apparently my mouth now has a mind of it’s own. What the fuck? He’s probably gunna think I’m some kind of freak now- I hardly know him and I’ve just invited him to a Misfits gig with me. Oh god, what if he thinks I’ve got some kinda creepy crush on him?!
You do, moron, says the irritating voice at the back of my head. I roll my eyes.
“oh my god, seriously?!” Frank squeals, stopping walking and staring disbelievingly at me.
“Ummm…if you want.” I mumble, embarrassed at my forwardness.
“oh my god!! Thank you soo much!!” Frank beams, and suddenly he’s hugging me, skinny arms wrapped tightly round my waist. I barely have time to comprehend it through all the dizzy butterflies before he pulls away, slightly pink and ducking his head.
There’s a slightly awkward silence for a moment, before Bee comes up to us.
“Hey.” She smiles. “you guys okay?”
“Yeah thanks. You?” I say.
“I’m good thanks. Hey, Frank, are you hanging out with us, yeah?” she smiles, looking at Frank.
“Ummm…” he mumbles uncertainly, looking from me to Bee.
“Yeah, want to?” I ask, trying to seem casual while my insides dance the tango.
“Uhh…” Frank isn’t looking at us anymore, he’s looking worriedly over at Aled’s gang at the other side of the yard.
“Frank?” Bee says tentatively.
“Umm…I…” he glances desperately from Aled, who’s beating up a first year, to me and Bee, standing, smiling encouragingly at him.
Ooohh, cliffhanger!! Who will the lovely Frankiekins choose?? You’ll have to wait and see…xD anyway, I hope you enjoyed, and pleeeeease rate and review- let me know what you think, what bits you liked/didn’t like- was the whole describing how Frankie’s eyes were too intense?? I wasn’t sure about it, but…yeah…R&R and I’ll update as soon as possible so you can all find out what happens! xD love you all so much for reading and reviewing this- I’m so happy you seem to like it! :D