And then there was Frank.
Chapter Six: Falling Awake
Gerard was sketching out of nervousness when the doorbell rang. His heart jumped to his throat. Gerard wasn't entirely sure as to why he felt so nervous about seeing Frank. Had it really been that long? Sighing, he got up from the kitchen table and wandered towards the door, smoothing his hair back with his hand by habit. He could hear the pitter patter of little footsteps as Bandit wandered out of her room and stood by the top of the staircase, leaning against the balcony so she could have a good view of the door. Gerard opened it.
Frank Iero was standing on their doorstep, amid a variety of suitcases, with a huge grin plastered on his face.
Gerard had cooked a big feast for their dinner: spaghetti with penne pasta and parmesan cheese, garlic bread, and salad. Frank was quite pleased, he had always thought there was something particularly delicious about Gerard's cooking. What, he didn't know, but he always got excited whenever he learned Gerard was preparing dinner. To think he was about to face three whole weeks of it just sounded too good to be true.
They caught up as they ate, Frank telling Gerard of the annoying people he sat next to on his flight over, Gerard telling Frank of the bemusing drawings Bandit had been coming up with. Neither of them had really touched on the subject of Lindsey, although Gerard was sure Mikey must have told him. Perhaps it was just that it had felt so good to see each other again, no one wanted to ruin the mood with negative vibes.
However, a weird moment came when Gerard asked about Jamia.
"How is she?", was all he had said as he grabbed another piece of bread. There was a long silence and Gerard peered up at Frank from his plate to see why his friend had suddenly stopped talking.
Frank seemed to have paled, and was staring down at his plate looking nauseated.
"Frank?", Gerard prodded. No response.
"Frank?", Gerard tried again. Frank suddenly looked like he was breathing bit fast.
"FRANK?", Gerard spoke a bit louder.
"Huh?", Frank snapped back into focus. "Oh, um --- Jamia. Yeah. She's okay.", he nodded, still avoiding eye contact.
"Well what was that?"
"What was what?"
"You kinda froze up on me for a second there."
"Did I?", Frank raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't aware."
"Oh..." Gerard twiddled his fork in his pasta. He had thought about what Mikey had said about Jamia taking Cherry and Lily and going on their trip without Frank. He had suspected something might have been wrong then, and this conversation with Frank now was not helping to quell those suspicions.
"Are you sure nothing's wrong between you two?" Gerard questioned.
Frank stared at him for a good minute before saying, "You know what? I think I'm done eating." and quickly leaving the table.
Gerard sat there for a while, feeling confused and angry with himself. Barely one night in and he's already screwed things up. Wasn't he just the doom bringer of all relationships?
He'll be needing his blade tonight.
"There you are. I would've found you sooner but I had to tuck Bandit in." Gerard sighed as he found Frank sitting atop the dryer in their closet sized laundry room. Frank had his head bowed and didn't indicate that he heard Gerard at all.
"Look." Gerard frowned, "I'm really sorry if I hit a nerve or pissed you off or anything. I was honestly just concerned."
He heard Frank sniff and Gerard walked closer to him, trying to get his attention, and he saw his face ever so slightly.
"Frank? Are you crying?"
Frank finally leapt off the dryer top and stood in front of Gerard with red eyes. A sense of despair radiated off him.
"There's a lot wrong...", he muttered shakily. "There's a lot wrong with me and Jamia..."
"Oh Frank, I'm sorry." Gerard pulled his friend into a hug, and he could feel Frank's shoulder shuddering slightly. Frank grabbed onto Gerard's shirt tightly. Gerard smelled so good. Like raspberry."You wanna tell me what's been going on?"
Frank pushed him away slowly. "Just... it's complicated. I don't really wanna talk about it. Honestly part of the reason I came here is I was hoping you'd help me forget."
There was a silence, and Gerard itched to talk about the issue more but he knew Frank wanted him to let it go, and he already messed up once.
"Of course, Frankie.", Gerard smiled.
"Thanks babe.", Frank grinned back and started heading for the door. "I think I'll go have some of that left over spaghetti. I'm starving."
Gerard chuckled. As he followed Frank from behind, he stared and wondered what could have caused such turmoil in such a perfect relationship as Frank and Jamia's. He figured he'd find out in due time.
The next day went much better. Frank and Bandit finally got some bonding time. Gerard smiled as he watched Frank sitting on the floor with Bandit on his lap, debating what colors to color certain parts of her Spongbob coloring book.
"Spongebob yellow!", she argued, putting the yellow crayon to his face to demonstrate.
"No, I think he's blue!", Frank smirked.
"Nuh uh!", she yelled.
"What does daddy think?" Frank asked.
"Well, obviously, he's purple.", Gerard chimed in, before taking another sip of his coffee. Frank laughed.
Gerard figured that spending time with Bandit must at least somewhat fulfill the empty space Frank felt whenever spending time away from Lily and Cherry. Not to mention that Frank was much better at this playtime stuff than Gerard ever was, so it was good for Bandit too.
After Bandit had been sent away for nap time, Gerard and Frank had gone over new songs Gerard had come up with, and there were quite a few, since Gerard had been forced to stay home so much. Frank felt a pang of concern upon reading the lyrics. They were all quite depressing, with lots of lines speaking of heartbreak and a few written death wishes here and there. Upon asking Gerard about it, Gerard simply shrugged and said they were all that came to mind. Frank held his tongue on the subject, and they proceeded to moved to the couch later on, and watch a few horror flicks they hadn't seen in a while. During which, Bandit made an appearance, then ran screaming back upstairs upon seeing Freddy Krueger on the screen.
Gerard drifted off to sleep happily that second night, his blade untouched. He felt more content than he had in literally months. He almost had a little grin on his face, as he fell into dreamland. Where he saw Lindsey, glowing and pregnant....Mikey congratulating him.....a newly built nursery....stuffed toys and pink walls....coloring books....but then blood...so much blood.
Next Chapter: Gerard maybe be falling in a bit too deep. Is Frank pulling him back up --- or just pushing him down further? Maybe he's falling too.