The bubble bath.
Chapter Nine: Open Your Eyes
"Hey Jamia-san, how's my baby doing?"
"Missing her Frank-san! And so are his other two babies! When are you coming home baby, its been months!"
Frank sighed and peered out into the hallway from the guest room to make sure no one was listening.
"Gerards still having a tough time..."
"Oh, I know sweetie. But so are we. And contrary to popular belief, you married me, not him..."
"He doesn't have anyone else, Jamia...."
"He has Mikey."
"Mikey can't stay forever, he has Alicia."
"Mikey has a lot more flexibility to stay with Gee than you do Frankie. I mean have you completely forgotten about Cherry and Lily?"
"Of course not!"
"Then you need to work something out Frank. And that something better end in you coming home ASAP."
"...okay. I will."
"Love you too babe."
Frank hung up the phone and crashed into the mattress, wanting to sleep and forget everything running through his mind.
Rainforest. Gerard's favorite smell was rainforest-like smells. So that's why the next day, Frank Iero set out purchasing all the rainforest scented candles he could find. He spent the afternoon setting them up the bathroom.
So when nighttime came around, Frank suggested to Gerard he follow him after dinner. Gerard agreed eagerly, perhaps already expecting he had another surprise. Frank was confused to see Mikey glaring at him a bit, but Frank knew Mikey had probably been plenty stressed lately and so he shrugged it off.
When Gerard asked what they were doing as Frank helped him upstairs, Frank answered that they were going for a swim. He instructed Gerard to get on his swim trunks. Gerard stiffened a little, and seemed a bit disappointed. Frank worried that Gerard was still uncomfortable about the exposure of his own body. Yet 20 minutes later, Gerard appeared out of his room in blue swim trunks. Frank refrained from giggling when he saw the heavy blush on Gerard's face.
Frank grabbed Gerard's hand once more, and he was led in the direction of the bathroom. Was Frank intending to bathe him? How awkward. He heard the door being opened, and suddenly an incredible smell filled his lungs. It smelled like a forest after a fresh rain.
"It smells like the forest."
"It is the forest. And we're going for a swim in the lake."
Gerard giggled. Frank helped him into the bathtub, and he could feel warmth, and bubbles wash over him. He could smell the enchanting scent the bubble bath gave off. Flowers bloomed around him.
Frank was just about to turn and leave, when Gerard stopped him.
"Frankie....can you help me wash my hair?"
Frank was confused for a moment. He knew Gerard has been capable of washing himself so far. But, he wasn't about to deny him a request. So Frank stripped down into his boxers, and climbed into the bath with Gerard. Damn, this did feel amazing. The bathtub was also relatively narrow, so Frank had no choice but to be pretty much on top of Gerard.
In total silence, Frank grabbed the shampoo at the rim of the tub clumsily and poured some into his hand. He reached over and ran his hands slowly through Gerard's hair, beginning to message his scalp. Gerard moaned, and Frank hoped to god that Gerard didn't feel the erection Frank was growing.
"That feels good, Frankie..." Gerard purred as he tilted his head back from the pleasure. Frank was so tempted to suck at his exposed neck.
'You can't...' Frank kept thinking 'You can't....', but Gerard was being of no help whatsoever. He was making those moaning noises. Those damn moaning noises that often drove him insane when they were on stage. He felt Gerard run his hands over his body, and he lightly touched his ass. Frank couldn't fucking take it anymore.
Frank clamped his mouth around Gerard's and dove for it. Gerard was again very tense at first, but eventually relaxed as Frank explored him with his tongue. Eventually Gerard reciprocated with his tongue. After a while of making out, Frank found one moment of logic and pulled back.
"Are you okay sweetie?" he asked softly as he stroked Gerard's face.
"Yeah." Gerard grinned. "Get this shit out of my hair and lets take this to the bed."
Frank smirked. There was the Gerard he knew. He helped rinse off the shampoo he had drenched Gerard's hair in just minutes ago. Once it was (mostly) out, Frank climbed out of the tub and bent down to grab Gerard. He lifted the soaking boy and carried him out into the bedroom.
He laid Gerard down onto the bed. His fingers played with the top of his swim trunks. He looked straight at Gerard's face. Frank could not read his eyes, as they were nothing more than plastic. Yet Gerard reached up and squeezed on Frank's forearms in a way that said, "I trust you."
And just for that moment, all Frank's worries were laid to rest. He pulled down the swim trunks.
Frank was slammed against the wall of the laundry room, while a sneering Mikey Way hovered over him.
"Mikey, relax okay? He wanted it to happen, I made sure that he wanted it!"
"WELL OF COURSE HE WANTED IT! You've been fucking shrouding him in some weird fucking fantasy world for the past three days!"
"You played along!"
"Yeah, the first time was a nice idea, but dammit Frank you went too far!"
"Well not to boast or anything..." Frank huffed "But he hasn't stopped smiling for the past few hours! I mean did you see him at lunch? He was humming Mikey! Humming! The fantasy world, as you put it, is making him smile -- isn't that just what he needs?"
"Oh yeah... and tell me Frank, WHAT do you intend to do now? Are you going to divorce Jamia? Whose going to get custody of Cherry and Lily?" Mikey asked.
"What? What do you mean divorce? Why would I divorce Jamia?"
"So you're staying with her."
"Well of course I am, what does that have to do with..."
"So what are you going to about Gerard?"
"Gerard? Nothing! It was just one time! Just to make him feel better!"
Mikey laughed bitterly. "So you fucked him with no follow up huh? Wow, Frank, I didn't think you the type for one night stands."
Frank looked at him disbelievingly "Look, it was just like the stuff we used to do. It means nothing. Its just sex. And anyway, it's a hell of a lot better than the shit you've been doing. You're hardly even around anymore! When was the last time you even asked him if he was okay?"
Mikey looked even angrier at the fact that this was being turned around on him.
"I have been looking for more PERMANANT solutions. Because I KNOW I can't stay here forever, and I for one want be sure that Gerard'll have a fighting chance when I do leave!"
Frank sighed and just repeated "It meant nothing Mikey."
"Then you better be ready to explain to him that his one moment of affection since his wife left him meant nothing. Because I doubt he sees it the same way. But you know, I'm sure he'll understand."
Ouch. Even Frank flinched at how bad that sounded. Mikey had a coldness in his eyes that he rarely saw. It was frightening. Frank could tell that Mikey was even angrier than he was letting on.
"Why are you being like this?" was all Frank could say. Mikey crossed his arms and sighed.
"Because you have to go home eventually. And when that day comes, all these fantasies... these delusions you've built for him.... they're all going to come crashing down. And I'm going to be the only one he has to help him pick up the pieces. Don't you see Frank? You're not healing him. You're just setting him up to have his heart broken later. "
Without waiting for a response, Mikey turned and left. He refused to speak for the rest of the day.
Mikey was wrong. Thats all Frank kept telling himself after he and Mikey had had that little talk. Mikey was just being overprotective again, right?
He and Gerard were on the swing set on yet another early hour of the morning. Gerard was swinging to his heart's content yet again, although Frank felt as though he was the one who needed the swings tonight.
He wanted Mikey to be wrong. But something was lurking in the corner of his mind. If Gerard did make it into more than it was, if Gerard did want to start a relationship, where did that leave Frank? He had a family to come back to. And they were getting impatient. In all honesty, if it weren't for the twins, this wouldn't be so hard. In the end, he knew he had to do whatever was right for them.
Suddenly he felt a hand entwine his own. He looked over and saw Gerard on his swing, looking in his direction.
"Something's wrong." Gerard said.
"What? What's wrong babe?" Frank asked worriedly.
"You. I can't hear you doing any swinging. Is there something bothering you Frankie?"
Frank could hear the concern dripping from his voice. He looked at his angel with red locks and sighed. How could he possibly tell him?
...when you go, would you have the guts to say...
"No, nothing's wrong Gee."
"Good. I love you, Frankie."
Guess he was an idiot after all.
Next chapter: Mikey is surprised.