Both Frank and Gerard come clean.
Frank weaved in and out of the crowds of people. He had lost Gerard, but was desperately trying to find him again. It was a bit difficult, carrying the large bear and trying not to run over any little children.
Finally, Frank had reached the parking lot. A mane of long, cherry red hair stopped him in his tracks.
"Gerard!" he yelled out.
Gerard was getting into a black car off in the distance. Frank had to squint to see the driver, but he already knew it was Bert. Gerard glanced at him for a second. He looked... terrified. Yet he did nothing more to acknowledge Frank's beckoning as he got into the car, which drove away quickly.
Frank almost ran after the vehicle, eventually realizing it was impossible. They were long gone. Frustrated, angry, and disappointed, Frank begrudgingly called a taxi.
When he arrived back at the bus, he immediately got a screaming at from Mikey. He had expected it, after all, they had been gone with no explanation whatsoever for the entire day. Ray and Mikey seemed even more worried now that they saw that Frank was home, but Gerard was still gone somewhere.
However, Frank was also not exactly in the mood to deal with this. He ran to the bunks, throwing the bear into Gerard's and curling up on his own.
On one hand, he was angry at Gerard. They had been having such a nice time. He really couldn't say no to Bert for one fucking day? Frank had not been finished with their date. He had been planning to wine and dine Gerard at this fancy restaurant near the pier. But apparently Gerard would not even let him do that!
One another hand, Frank felt a bit angry at himself. He felt as though perhaps this was his fault. Perhaps the night he had taken advantage of Gerard for just a few moments had pushed him away irreversibly. And now, now Gerard would never trust him again. How foolish of him to think he could earn it back.
Yet above all, Frank was angry at Bert. Gerard had look scared when he had gotten into the car with him. What was Bert doing with him? Did Gerard have another date tonight?
What if Gerard got hurt again?
The thought came into Frank's mind abruptly, but when it did, it consumed him. Frank's mind was suddenly filled with images of Gerard getting thrown against walls, people forcibly stripping off his clothes, people hitting him, hurting him, forcing themselves into him, him screaming for help...
No, he can't let this happen. He had to protect Gerard.
Even if it meant breaking his trust for good.
He got up and went back out into the bus where Mikey and Ray were. Mikey was on the phone... from his frustrated demeanor, it seemed as though he was trying to contact Gerard again. He sighed and cleared his throat. Mikey and Ray both snapped their heads towards him. Frank noted how on edge both of them looked. He knew what he was about to tell them was not going to help very much either.
"Mikey, sit down. I have something to tell you." Frank told him. Mikey looked at him apprehensively but obeyed, sitting down on the sofa next to Ray. Frank sat down on the chair opposite from them. He took deep breaths before speaking to his increasingly impatient audience. He wasn't quite sure how to begin, so he decided to go straight to it.
"Gerard was raped." Frank blurted out. He stopped for a moment and took in the reaction.
Ray looked quite shocked. Wide eyed, with his jaw dangling open. Mikey looked... angry. Very, very angry. After a moment, he let out a "...what?" in a low, deadly whisper.
"H -- how do you know Frank?" Ray asked.
Frank thought before he spoke. What was he going to tell him? The truth? That it had slipped out as a result of Frank nearly raping him? Pinning him against the bed while he cried underneath him, begging for him to stop?
Frank looked at Mikey and saw the building fury in his eyes. He did not want to mess with that. Not now. That should be saved for Bert.
"Um... he told me in his room a few days ago. He hasn't given me a whole lot of other information. He seems pretty embarrassed about it."
"So he didn't say who did it?" Mikey asked, and Frank could tell that like him, he was just itching to get his hands on the perpetrator.
"No.. no but I think I know whose behind it one way or another."
Ray and Mikey both leaned in closer, listening intently.
"Bert McCracken. He took him tonight. Gerard said something about them having business here. I -- I don't have a good feeling about it, guys."
Gerard's face was buried in Bert's chest, as Bert stroked his hair repeatedly. Gerard's tears were creating a wet spot on his shirt, but Bert did not mind -- it was an ugly shirt anyway. Gerard's shoulders shook violently, and Bert held him tighter to him.
"Shh... I know babe..."
It was then that there was a loud banging on the door of Bert's hotel room. Bert told Gerard to hide in the closet. Gerard obeyed, scampering away and out of sight. Bert went to go answered the door.
When he did, a seething Mikey Way grabbed him by the shirt, pushing him backwards into the room. Bert could see Frank and Ray behind him, both looking equally furious.
"Where is Gerard?!?" Mikey demanded, nearly screaming it in his face.
"He isn't here." Bert narrowed his eyes at him.
"Fucking liar!" Mikey screeched, punching Bert in the face so hard, he fell to the ground.
"I know you took him." Frank growled, "I saw you!"
"If you've hurt my brother in anyway, Bert... I fucking swear..." Mikey shook his head.
"You're a fucking moron!" Bert snapped back.
Mikey seemed as though he was going to strike Bert again when Ray stepped in and stop him.
"God dammit Bert, just tell us where Gerard is! We won't call the police or anything..." Frank then raised an eyebrow at him, as though to say 'We won't?' "...we just want to know he's safe."
"I know you had something to do with him having been raped." Frank spat.
"WHAT?!?" Bert now looked utterly confused.
"Frank, how could you?!?"
They all turned their heads in the direction of the closet. Gerard was standing there, looking utterly heartbroken. He was staring at Frank with a tearful expression. Frank averted his gaze shamefully. He could not bear to look into that face.
"How could you tell them Frank? We had a deal!"
"Wait, wait, wait... you were raped?" Bert gaped. "Why the fuck didn't you tell me?"
"You didn't know?" Ray asked him curiously.
"He's lying!" Frank insisted "He's just trying to play dumb so he won't get charged with anything."
"You guys! Bert had nothing to do with the rape!" Gerard screamed at them, "Yeah, he's been setting me up on dates, but he didn't know..."
"Then why did you look so scared going into his car today?" Frank questioned.
Gerard sighed and he and Bert exchanged glances. Gerard walked over to one of the bed's and sat down. Bert got up and sat down next to him, Frank eyeing him suspiciously the entire time. Bert and Gerard exchanged a few whispers. Bert grabbed Gerard's hand and squeezed it. Frank felt something hiss inside him. Gerard looked like he was trying to muster something up.
He looked up at them and finally he said, "Frank, the night that you came into my room to talk to me... Bert had called me just a few minutes before then. He... he had found out that one of the dates I slept with was HIV positive. I came here because Bert wanted to help me get tested. And yeah Frank, I looked scared because I am scared. I'm really, really scared..."
"Oh jesus..." Mikey whispered. He went over to Gerard, practically shoving Bert out of the way, and embraced his brother. Still, Gerard only continue to stare at Frank, as though waiting for a reaction.
Frank however, did not know how to react.
So, he simply walked away, leaving Gerard with a horrible feeling of abandonment.
Next chapter: Getting through it together.