Frank and Gerard deepen their relationship.
They were leaving tomorrow.
The night had been spent well. They had laughed, and the boys had asked him and Gerard and Mikey and Ray to play a couple of songs.
It had been fun.
But there still was that crushing feeling. It drowned the air out, made breathing hard.
Because although many had broken down and cried, he wasn't the type to let his emotions show so freely. Control was a big part of his life.
And the palm of his right hand tingled as vague memories of Gerard's skin against his still lingered.
He flexed his knuckles, cracked them. Sighed.
He had been sighing a lot, recently.
But he just didn't know what to do.
What to say.
The thought of Jamia breaking down in front of him, her eyes flooded with tears as he stood at the door and held her tight made his stomach churn and tense.
He missed her. Missed her voice, her smile.
But yet, whenever his gaze fell onto the delicate shapes of Gerard's face, he felt his heartbeat quicken and he knew his cheeks would be ablaze, like when he was a little boy.
And whenever his friend would laugh, his heart would explode with pure joy.
But everybody knew that that type of love was wrong. That daring to touch his hand was dangerous.
Because he didn't know how he would've reacted. But he had gone for it, nonetheless.
Despite the risk of being kicked out of the army, despite the risk of losing Jamia and his daughters.
Would he ever see his baby girls again?
He sighed, once more. Lighted a cigarette.
It was cold. The black night sky towered on top of him.
Made him feel small.
"You should quit."
Frank smiled as Gerard's voice reached his ears.
"So should you."
"I will. If I get out of this alive."
Iero inhaled. Exhaled.
"It's a pretty night."
"It is, Gee. - exhale, inhale - the stars really...really put everything into perspective."
"What do you mean?"
"We're so small. A mere speck. We're nothing, nothing compared to all of those stars. If there is a God, he doesn't care if some crazy guy in Germany blows us all up. There's too much to think about. If he's up there, he has to think about keeping everything in check, you know? Planets have to spin. Stars have to burn."
"You're saying he doesn't care about us...us assholes?"
They both laughed.
"Yeah, pretty much."
"I don't know. Maybe he cares. Maybe he doesn't."
Frank shook his head and shrugged as they let awkward silence deepen the gap that seemed to have formed between them.
So close and yet so far.
"We leave tomorrow."
Gerard lighted a cigarette as well.
"I know, Frank. I know."
"Are you scared?"
Gerard looked down.
"I'm terrified. I'm afraid of losing you. Or losing Mikey. Or Ray."
I'm afraid of losing you.
And for some reason Frank grasped that phrase, memorized the sound of it, the way his lips moved, and buried it deep inside of himself.
Because for some dark, mysterious reason he knew that those very words, almost whispered in that summer night would've saved his life, sooner or later.
"You know what, Gerard?"
Way crushed the cigarette butt under his shoe.
And Frank breathed in once more, felt his knees grow weak, drew from each and every ounce of energy he had in his body, leaned forward.
And before the other man could say anything, he pressed his lips against Gerard's.