Frank and Gerard finally get to spend some time together.
Chapter Thirteen: Cinderella
Their first stop was naturally a Starbucks. Frank didn't have to pay for anything as they were instantly recognized and received free coffee. They walked out of the Starbucks in then good spirits, as their day had started off splendidly. And it was still rather early.
An hour after they began strolling the streets, Gerard's phone started ringing multiple times. Frank still had the phone, and he silenced it before Gerard noticed. He refused to let Bert ruin this for him.
Gerard turned to Frank and said "So now what?"
Frank stopped to think for a moment. Currently they were in New York. What places were there to go in New York? Then he realized...
"Hey, you know where we've never been?" Frank mentioned.
"Hmm." Gerard said skeptically "We have haven't we? Isn't that where you dropped your ice cream cone and I gave you mine?"
Frank sighed, "You're thinking of that popular 90's show. That never happened to us, Gerard."
After a while of thinking, Gerard realized that Frank was right. He could not conjure up a memory of actually going to Cooney Island.
"You're right." Gerard nodded.
"Let's go." Frank said with a grin. And together they went off to Cooney Island.
Cooney Island was very similar to Santa Monica Pier, Gerard noted as he looked at the various rides and booths that surrounded him. There were little kids running around with sweet treats, ice cream, and cotton candy. There were many tourists taking pictures. Teenage couples groping each other in public.
Frank asked Gerard what he would like to do. Gerard asked the question back. They played toss with the question until Gerard spotted the ski ball booth. Frank saw Gerard's face indicate interest and gestured that they should try it out.
They went to the booth run by an acne ridden adolescent. Frank shelled out the 5 bucks per turn for both of them. They were given the balls required for play.
Gerard went first. He grabbed the first ball, which was rather heavy.
He threw it.
And he missed.
"Damn." Gerard muttered under his breath. He grabbed the second ball.
He threw it.
And he missed again.
This only left one more ball for him to use. He saw Frank smirking smugly and shot him a dirty look. Frank chuckled.
"You're throwing it weird." Frank laughed. "Here."
Frank went up behind Gerard and seemed like he was trying to hug him from behind. Gerard blushed but then realized that Frank was merely guiding his arms to show him how to throw properly -- in his opinion anyway. Still, the feeling of Frank's pelvis pressed against Gerard's backside was making him sweat a tad. He nearly forgot about the game until Frank stepped back.
"Well go on then." Frank nodded.
Gerard blushed even harder when he realized that he had no idea what Frank had just instructed him to do. He hadn't been paying attention. He had a vague idea, and he tried for it.
It fell in the center hole.
Frank cheered and Gerard smiled sheepishly. He was handed a small stuffed monkey for trying. Gerard stepped aside and let Frank have a go at it.
Frank stepped up to the plate. He took quite a while to start, but Gerard figured he was merely concentrating. Which must have paid off --- his first shot landed right in the center.
Frank seemed to glance at Gerard for a moment, possibly seeking approval. Gerard gave him a lame thumbs up, only because he wasn't sure of what else to do.
Frank took another shot.
It landed in the center.
Frank was pumped. Gerard was amused. Frank picked up the last ball. If he could get this last shot --- he'd win the big prize. Gerard held his breath. Frank seemed to take an extra amount of time to concentrate. He got into position, and got ready to throw the ball. Gerard had no idea why he wanted this so bad, but he was praying to the gods for Frank to succeed.
He threw the ball.
And he made it.
"YES!" Gerard literally jumped from joy.
Frank grinned at him happily. The unamused teenager in charge of the booth asked him to pick from one of the big prizes.
He had the choice between a variety of Care Bears. The Wish bear, the Love A Lot bear, the Good Luck bear, and the Bedtime bear. To Gerard's surprise, he chose the Love A Lot bear. Frank accepted his prize and went over Gerard. He stuffed the pink monstrosity into Gerard's arms.
"Here you go." Frank smiled proudly.
"Why this one?" Gerard asked curiously, inspecting his new friend.
"It reminds me of you." Frank said before ruffling Gerard's hair ever so slightly, leaving Gerard a blushing beet once again.
They went to the darts next. This time, they got to play side by side. A little boy no older than ten came along to join the game as well. The head of the booth took their cash and handed them each five darts.
They began to shoot at the square targets at the wall. Gerard wasn't getting any. Frank was getting a few. The little boy next to them was getting them all. Gerard glared at the little boy angrily. The little boy glared back at him. Frank looked at the two with alarm and faced Gerard.
He laughed "You know, we were never very good at booth games anyway. I saw an arcade back over there." He pointed in a slightly southwest direction.
"Yeah, fuck this noise." Gerard agreed.
They both left the booth together, not even finishing out the dart game. Gerard picked up his large pink Love A Lot bear and started walking with it. He noticed the little boy was staring at him as he walked away. When Gee saw Frank had his attention on something else, he turned his head and stuck his tongue out at the boy, making the boy's eyes grow wide.
He felt Frank smack him on the arm.
"Ow!" Gerard winced "Oh c'mon, he started it."
Frank chuckled and shook his head. Typical Gerard.
They arrived at the arcade, exchanged their dollars for coins, and immediately went to the racing games. During which, as usual, Frank defeated Gerard without breaking a sweat. But Gerard got his revenge during Tekken. They went through every game in the building. They even took pictures in the photobooth. In the second to last panel, Gerard planted a nice kiss on Frank's cheek. Frank returned one in the panel after. He had been nervous that Gerard would get tense about it, but he merely giggled and rested his head on Frank's shoulder.
With the arcade games, plus a bit of flirting on the side, Frank felt as though his best friend had returned to him at last.
Around sun down however, his blast from the past was torn to pieces.
They had been eating some ice cream, seated on a bench that had a lovely view of the ocean. Suddenly, Gerard realized he had not had his cell phone for the entire day. He turned to Frank and asked for it. Frank was skeptical, but in the end, he could not deny Gerard of his own property. He handed it hesitantly to Gerard.
Gerard took it and looked at it. His eyes grew wide as he realized the massive amount of missed calls he had. Not only from Bert, but from Mikey. He checked the voicemails. Frank saw him visibly pale. He looked suddenly ill. Gerard hung up the phone.
"We --- I have to go." Gee told him, his voice faltering.
"What? Why?" Frank said in disbelief.
"I'm sorry Frankie... I have to..." Gerard got up and threw his ice cream in the trash, starting to walk away without even finishing his sentence.
"Gerard!" Frank called after him. He threw his own ice cream and picked up the Love A Lot bear that Gerard had left behind. He tried to follow after him, the whole time just thinking -- Bert better not be behind this.
Next chapter: Frank's anger leads him to drastic measures. Gerard has a confession to make.