Gerard and Frank see the neurologist. Frank expresses his concern.
Chapter Four: Misplaced Affections
"I recommend you see Dr. Ron Shultz. He's a good friend of mine, and a counselor that may be able to assess as to why this is happening."
The neurologist that sat before them was a stout, chubby man. He wrote an address and a phone number down on paper with his fat, stubby fingers. He had diagnosed Gerard with an idiopathic, mild case of amnesia.
Gerard had tried his best to elude seeming insane, but they had drilled him and stumped him with questions for about an hour now, most of which he was unable to answer. He sat in his chair feeling ashamed and uncomfortable, despite knowing it wasn't really his fault. This perhaps had something to do with Frank's facial expression, which looked as though his head was going to explode with concern.
Yet something was even more troubling. The doctor had asked if Gerard was on any medications. Gerard nearly answered no, but then Frank said yes. Gerard then heard Frank tell the doctor that he was in fact still dealing with clinical depression, and that he took medication to try to stabilize it. But sometimes, they did not help.
This was terrible news for Gerard. It was not even the fact that he was still battling depression, which he had hoped to never feel again --- but he and medication did not mix well. The Gerard from this life perhaps could take prescription drugs, as he never did get driven into drug addiction by fame and fortune. However rock star Gerard had, and while he had been able to have a drink here and there, antidepressants were something he had never touched again.
"You're all set." the neurologist smiled at them and gave them the paper with his referral on it. Frank took it, they both thanked the doctor, and left.
When they went to bed that night, Gerard could not help but notice Frank was looking very stressed. He was pale and appeared scared or nervous. As they watched TV, he fidgeted a lot and did not seem to be paying attention at all.
After a while, it became impossible to ignore. So, Gerard paused the Twilight Zone on their Netflix and turned to Frank, asking "What's the matter Frankie?"
Frank stared at him for a moment. It looked as though he was deciding whether or not he should answer truthfully. Finally, he uttered out, "I -- I'm just really worried about you Gerard. I'm really scared that you might be getting worse..."
"Oh, Frankie. Come here." Gerard pulled him into a tight embrace, and as he did, he felt his shoulder damped with Frank's tears. Frank squeezed Gerard in his own muscular arms. They stayed there just holding each other in silence for nearly thirty minutes. Gerard ran soothing circles on Frank's back. Gerard himself felt very comfortable and secure in Frank's grasp, as though no harm could ever come to him -- for he was protected.
Part of Gerard told him not to get too attached. That this wasn't his Frank. That he'd be leaving this reality and everyone in it soon enough. Yet there was some part of his heart that still broke to see this Frank so stressed and upset. It was as though the Gerard that existed in this reality, the Gerard that had married Frank Iero and never became a famous rockstar, was reaching out from somewhere inside him. Trying to comfort the man he loved.
"Don't be scared Frankie." Gerard spoke to him in a gentle tone. "I'm just fine. I'm just having a bad week or something, that's all. It's nothing to worry about."
"Baby, we're starting a family together." said Frank as he pulled away from the embrace, "You know how long I've wanted this. But adopting is a big responsibility. I'm just nervous that you might have something serious that might get in the way of that."
"I understand." nodded Gerard. "Well hopefully, we'll see the counselor and everything will be okay. Maybe.. maybe I can just take medication for it. And then it'll be fine."
"I hope so." Frank sighed, "I love you, Gee. And I'm so, so proud of how strong you've been. I know you'll be a great parent either way."
"Yeah." Gerard smiled sadly, "I think so too. You'll make a great parent as well, honey."
"I wouldn't be one with anyone else." Frank grinned.
Frank cuddled up to Gerard and placed an arm around him. They shared a tender kiss and Gerard pressed himself against Frank's forehead as he reached out and stroked his raven hair. All the while, a voice in his head reminding him repeatedly: This isn't my Frankie.
When Gerard woke next, he felt himself being shaken violently. He bolted up, still slightly expecting to be in the tour bus with the guys. However his disillusion lasted mere seconds, and he remembered where he was. Frank had been the one shaking him awake.
"Babe, you're late for work!" Frank looked at him with wide eyes.
Gerard mumbled some gibberish as he tried to wake himself up. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was only 9 AM. Where the hell did he work anyway? He knew he was going to have to ask. He did not want to worry Frank even more, but there was no way he could get to work without even knowing what he did. Of course, he could always just say he was going, and wander off somewhere else entirely, but that would just be unethical.
So, his shoulders sulked in defeat, he turned to Frank and stupidly asked, "Frankie, what do I do and where do I work?"
Frank stared at him with a baffled expression.
"Just humor me, please?" Gerard pleaded.
"You're a cancer registrar at the St. Ann's hospital two blocks from here." Frank told him.
"Right." Gerard nodded as he got dressed in whatever he could find. "I remember, I just um...I was just testing you."
He looked up and saw Frank was looking at him with a highly unamused expression from the bed. Averting his gaze, he grabbed his phone and entered in "St. Ann's hospital" in Google Maps. It located an address just as Gerard was finished dressing up.
More used to the routine, Gerard stopped to kiss Frank on the lips before heading out the door and off to work.
Next chapter: The counselor's.