Gerard tries to reach out to Frank.
Frank quickly pulled the razor away from his cheek: a single droplet of blood now adorned his skin.
He stared at himself in the mirror.
He didn't wipe it off, admired as red trailed along his face.
It stung, but not uncomfortably. It stung, and it woke him up.
The chemical your brain produces whenever you get hurt.
It balances the pain out.
Could it balance the guilt out, too?
Tomorrow we go to die.
He sighed, smiled at himself at the thought that the enormity of that hadn’t quite sank in yet.
He let the words roll around in his skull for a while.
Death was something he’d never really thought about: it was a concept too big and scary.
It was the type of thought that forced him up in the dead of night, that made him creep into the twins’ room and kiss their little heads, marvel at their slightly moving chest and at their perfect hands, five fingers each, the way their lips curled in a smile as they slept.
His and Jamia’s.
He missed them.
Missed them all three.
He felt lonely.
So damn lonely.
His head spinned an instant.
He walked out of the bathroom, found Gerard hunched on the floor, furiously writing away in his journal.
They hadn’t talked since the “bathroom incident” and although it pained him, he knew it was necessary.
The right thing to do.
He’d decided it was time to get better. Avoid his impulses, try and fight the illness.
But he missed him.
The other man’s head snapped up, suddenly.
“Frank. Frank. I--I didn't hear you."
Trying to remain sane.
Trying to make some sense of it all.
Frank slipped out of his shirt.
What the fuck are you doing?
For some reason, sensing Gerard's eyes creep up along his bare chest gave him chills, in a good way.
In a terrifying, horrible good way.
Way lowered his gaze, suddenly uneasy.
"I'm fine, Frank."
"Then why did you ask?"
Because I care about you.
"You're my friend, that's all."
You're not just a friend.
I don't know what you are.
I don't know.
Why is everything so complicated?
"What happened to your cheek?"
Way suddenly stood up, grabbed his face, twisted his head.
"Did you cut?"
"Then why did you just fucking deny it?"
I don't know.
Everything's so fucking confused, baby.
"What's going on, Frank?"
Why did you scream.
Because I fucking felt like it.
Just don't hit him.
His eyes glazed over for an instant.
The pain. The desperation.
Suddenly, the air in the room crushed him.
Pinned him down.
Made breathing hard.
He pushed Gerard's hands away from him.
The black feeling inside of him swelled, choked the light out, as his head started spinning in panicked circles again.
You love her.
The sudden, voracious urge to vomit.
The door slamming exploded through Gerard's brain.
What's going on?
Frank felt the rain soak him.
And it's raining.
And the Brits will think you're crazy.
And they'll kick you out.
Oh my God I hope nobody sees me.
He crouched behind the bushes.
How did his cousin do it?
It hurts. It burns.
But it calms you down.
I need him.
Gerard ran out, after Frank.
So desperately holding on.
He hated the rain.
Cold, wet, damp.
The British rain they'd arrived with three days earlier, three days that felt like years, three days during wich Frank had slipped even more out of his grasp.
His safe place, since forever.
His shelter from the storm.
His friend didn't stop, walked quickly in the other direction.
What were you doing behind that bush?
"FRANK! LISTEN TO ME!"
"What is it! What is it! WHAT IS IT!"
"I NEED YOU!"
He finally stopped.
They were soaked.
Iero didn't turn around. He just stopped.
He rested a hand on his shoulder.
Frank shook it off.
I don't deserve you.
"Frank, what's going on?"
Shush. They'll hear you.
Just leave me alone.
I don't want to talk.
"Nothing happened, Gerard."
He turned around.
It was cold.
"CHRIST, FRANK. DO YOU THINK I'M STUPID?"
I could never.
The way you smile. The way you laugh.
I'm the twisted one.
Why can't you see it?
"I don't deserve you."
I said it.
Now just go.
Gerard looked at him, placed a hand on his cheek. The rain stung his still open wound.
"You do, baby."
He hugged him, cradled him.
"I don't want to lose you."
"You never will."
Frank closed his eyes.
If only it were true.
Tears, hot, salty, mixed with the rain.
And the enormity of everything suddenly exploded inside of his brain.
I don't want you to die.
And although thinking it didn't feel completely right, it didn't feel completely wrong either.