Gerard cries himself to sleep.
Lindsey entered the room and took Bandit from my lap. "C'mon sweetie, bathtime," She said, not even acknowledging me.
"Daddy do it!" Bandit demanded, stretching for me. I got to my feet, smiling. Lindsey frowned.
"No, honey, Mommy will do it. Daddy's just got home - he'll be tired," She said.
"Babe, if Bandit wants me to do it, then I can- it's not a problem," I tried to take Bandit from Lindsey, but she wouldn't let me.
"Daddy do it, Daddy do it, Daddy do it!" Bandit yelled, threatening to burst into a tantrum at any minute.
"C'mon, baby. Let me do it - I haven't seen her in weeks," I said. Lindsey groaned.
"No, you might screw it up," She said, unkindly. It stung, but I didn't show that.
"Linds, I've been washing myself for about thirty years - I think I know how to do it," I reminded her.
"Fuck's sake, Gerard, I'm giving Bandit her bath, alright?" She yelled, with so much venom that I found myself flinching.
"A-Alright," I said, quietly.
"Good," Lindsey took a deep breath. "C'mon, sweetheart. Mommy will give you a bath then put you to bed." And she took Bandit out of the room without so much as a 'goodnight.'
About an hour later, Lindsey returned to the room. She sat on the couch - so I sat beside her. She sighed but didn't move away. I put my arms around her and pulled her right up close to me. Normally she'd lean her head on my shoulder and snuggle against me. Now she held herself, stiff and rigid, until I sighed and dropped my arms from around her. "Are you okay, baby?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm fine," She snapped. Still, I pressed on.
"I missed you while I was on tour," I told her, giving her what I hoped was a sweet smile.
"Yes - you said on the phone," She reminded me.
"Oh. Yeah," I sighed. God, this was trying. I tried a more affectionate route. "Sweetie, I had a long journey today. Can I have a kiss, please?" She didn't even think before she shook her head. "Well... can I have a cuddle, then?" Another shake. "Just a quick hug then. Please?"
"What part of no do you not fucking understand?" She mumbled.
"Sorry," I sighed. A long, tense silence stretched out between us. Then I broke it. "I'm gonna go to bed."
"Okay, whatever," She sighed.
"I love you, baby," I told her.
"Mm." She replied.
I left the room and went and lay on our bed. For the first time in about fifteen years, I cried myself to sleep.