Gerard gets a bit out of control during dinner. He and Frank share an affectionate moment.
It was Saturday at last. Gerard embraced the weekend, glad at the idea of not having to go in for another day at that awful job. Mind, most of what made it awful was simply the fact that he had no idea what he was doing, but he was starting to get the hang of things. Mostly it involved entering in statistics. Filling out paperwork and going over forms. An extremely boring job, but Gerard found it paid surprisingly well.
Anyway, they had apparently been invited to dinner with some friends. Gerard was uncomfortable at the idea of going out with any friends of theirs, as he did not want to make a fool out of himself in front of even more people. He reminded Frank that he was struggling with his memory, and Frank had given him a hug and told him he didn't have to talk much if he didn't want to.
So, the time came, and soon Gerard found himself shifting nervously in the passenger's seat of their Toyota Camry while Frank drove them to the restaurant.
They arrived at around 8:30. After parking, Frank got out his cell and called whoever they were meeting.
"Hey, we're here." he informed. "Where are you guys?... Oh okay, we'll meet you there in a minute... Later."
He hung up and gestured to Gerard. Together they got out of the car and went into the restaurant, entering a waiting room. A man waved them over. As they came closer, Gerard saw that this was a couple they were meeting. A rather handsome man with shoulder length brown hair had his arm wrapped around a small, mousy type girl who didn't really look like she wanted to be there. Frank hugged them both. Gerard merely smiled at them both politely, as he was unsure as to how he normally reacted to these people.
They had to wait for a table, so they spent a bit of time chatting in the waiting room. Gerard noticed Frank was very friendly with this man, whose name was evidently Adam. After a while, Gerard could also tell that Adam was not entirely straight. Gerard could not help but feel a little uneasy as he watched the two exchange pleasantries, finding himself tugging at Frank's arm now and then for no apparent reason. "What is it baby?" Frank would ask him. Gerard would consider being honest, but he shied away from that, replying with embarrassed "Nothings." instead.
So when they were finally called for a table, Gerard was more than relieved.
Upon entering the restaurant, he saw that it was a much smaller joint than it had appeared on the outside. It seemed as more a bar than an eatery. Still, it must have been popular as it was very crowded. Gerard saw that most of the people present were of the younger crowd, artistic types to be specific.
They were seated in their booth. After they had ordered drinks, Frank and Adam continued their chit chatter --- much to Gerard's dismay. He drummed his fingers loudly on the table, as both a show of nervousness and perhaps a slight cry for attention. However, once attention was directed at him, he found himself regretting it instantly.
"So, Gerard, how have you been? How's work?" Adam grinned at him. The girl and Frank both looked at him as well, and Gerard blushed, unsure of what to say. Of course, a simple "Good." would have probably sufficed. However, the knowledge that he was trying to hide his lack of memory caused him to over think the questions -- rendering him a stuttering mess once more. This time however, he could not even manage to stutter, for his mouth would merely open and close shut repeatedly with absence of sound.
Frank looked at him sympathetically before trying to explain, "Gerard's fine, he's just been feeling a bit under the weather. Has a bit of a sore throat."
"Oh you poor dear." Adam tutted, reaching out to pat Gerard on the hand. Gerard refrained from glaring at him, his dislike for the man increasing minute by minute.
They all ordered their food soon enough. Gerard was forced to be silent most of the time, not wanting to blow Frank's cover of having a sore throat. He noticed that the girl, named Aubrey, did not speak much either. Probably miserable for having a husband who likes men more than her, Gerard amused himself with the thought. But as Frank broke in hysterical laughter at Adam's last joke, Gerard suddenly found it more annoying then amusing. He decided that Frank liked this guy way too much.
Of course, deep down, he knew that he was just jealous. Gerard was an easily jealous person, and he had grown to know the feeling all too well. Still, for the most of the night, Gerard still pointed mental fingers at everyone else for the feeling of nausea in the pit of his stomach. And then, to top it all off, toward the middle of the meal, a horrible sound met Gerard's ears.
Someone was singing, and singing terribly! He looked around and his eyes were met with a platform with a mic stand and some speakers on it. The mic was in the hands of a young woman who was up there, trying to sing a rendition of "Do You Believe In Magic?". The sound boomed loudly against everyone's ears, broken only by the shrill screams of her girlfriends that made themselves known in a table not too far from theirs.
This was fucking terrible, Gerard thought. He looked at a flyer by one of the windows and saw that it was indeed karaoke night. Which he normally would not mind, except that the was used to being surrounded by good singers.
When the woman stepped down, Gerard sighed with relief. Surely, no one could do worse than her.
The next person to come up was some middle aged man with a large beer belly, who didn't bother to dress in anything more than a wife beater and stained pants. He sang "Do You Like Pina Coladas?", and Gerard found himself covering his ears again. Mind, he wasn't as bad as the last one, but still pretty damn bad.
He looked at Frank and Adam, who seemed to be poking fun at the singers. Yet Gerard could not see how this could be fun at all. Unable to take it for much longer, after the third terrible singer, Gerard excused himself.
He had intended to go to the bathroom. He had no idea how he ended up on the platform. He wasn't aware he was there until he walked straight into the mic stand.
Gerard looked around him. The entire restaurant was staring at him. Never mind the fact that Frank was giving him a mixture of shocked looks, he had an audience. There was a mic in front of him. Hesitantly, as though reaching out for an illusion, he grabbed the mic and plucked it from its stand. He looked around again. People were waiting. Waiting for him to sing, to do something. Here, he felt the closest to home he had since he entered this reality.
"Hello, Vermont." He proclaimed into the mic. "We've --- I mean, I've never been here before but ---"
"Kid." the bald restaurant worker interrupted him, "Just sing would ya? We got other people waiting to use this thing too ya know."
"Oh, right, sorry..." Gerard hung his head shamefully. He chose a song and got ready to belt out notes. He'll show these people what real singing is. He's Gerard fucking Way, after all.
Suddenly, familiar intro notes blasted through the room. A couple of guys cheered. He took a deep breath, and started to sing, not even bothering to check if it was on cue.
"She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean! She was the best damn woman that I ever seen! She had the sightless eyes, tellin' me no lies -- knockin' me out with those American thighs!"
Without even noticing his actions, Gerard began to throw in some dance movements. A reflex, he supposed, as he swayed his hips and flirted with the audience --- who was clearly enjoying this. His voice did catch the interest of some, and it enticed him. It was like a calling. Gerard could not help himself -- he was born to perform.
"Takin' more than her share, had me fighting for air, she told me to come..." he sang as he struck a coopertone baby pose, "..but I was already there!"
For a moment, he glimpsed Frank. He did not look mad, merely baffled. Confused, as though for the first time, he was looking at Gerard and thinking -- this isn't my Gerard. His heart slightly sinking at the idea, Gerard averted his gaze.
The feeling that consumed him at the moment was so amazing, Gerard did not want to lose it. Especially since he was starting to wonder if he was ever going back again. True, Kenneth had said he had had the option -- but Gerard could not deny, the idea of staying was peeking into his mind more and more each day. Still, he had to be that singer. It was in his blood. It was how he poured out his heart. It was how he dealt with stress, which he had quite a lot of as of lately. Singing was just his way of getting attention. Gerard had for a long time now felt as though it was his only way of getting attention. Who would pay him any mind otherwise? There was nothing special about him when he wasn't singing. It was who he was.
Feeling more and more empowered by the music, Gerard began to strut into the restaurant as he sang. People were actually beginning to clap along.
"...And you, shook me all night long! Yeah, you shook me all night long!"
He swayed over to their table. His first intention was to gather Frank but Adam crept up on him instead. While Frank backed away in alarm, Adam got up and joined in with Gerard. Although Gerard had been growling internally at the man less than an hour ago, stage Gerard had now completely taken over. And just like a werewolf with bloodlust, stage Gerard could not tell friend from foe. He had one goal and one goal only --- and that was to put on a show. Give the folks what they wanted to see. If it was to be with this Adam fellow, then so be it.
It was Adam who gave the first touch. Just a simple graze, really. But that was more than enough to give Gerard the rush he needed. Gerard was of course, still aware that Frank was there, and just like with Lindsey, he tried to refrain from stepping over his boundaries. So Gerard merely snaked an arm around Adam's back. Adam then placed an arm around his waist. Soon, they found themselves practically groping each other, none the less to a song about sex.
"You really took me and you, shook me all night long! Sing it with me everybody!" Gerard held up the mic, happily jumping up and down.
"Oaaaaaahhhhhh you shook me all night long!" nearly the entire restaurant sang in unison, including the waiters and cooks.
"Yeah, yeah, you! Shook me all... night... loooong!" Gerard screamed that last part, earning immense cheers from complete strangers. Those cheers washed over him like that feeling you get when you first walk into an air conditioned room on an extremely hot summers day. He could breathe again. Completely seduced by the music, he let it take him --- only hoping Frank wouldn't hate him too much before the night was through.
"What the fuck was that?" was turning into the question of the night.
Gerard and Frank had a walk after dinner when Frank decided he wanted to talk. They strolled around the area, going into a lovely little park. They spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out Gerard's actions, which, now that the thrill of the stage had worn off, Gerard was not even sure he knew himself. Surprisingly, Frank was not particularly angry. Which confused Gerard more than anything else. The Frank he knew was very quick tempered, and had this been him, Gerard would have received a few punches in the face by now.
"I'm sorry, alright?" Gerard sighed, "I just --- I haven't sang in a while and I thought it would be fun."
"Okay, first of all." Frank argued as he looked down at his shoes, "You almost never sing anymore to begin with. And definitely not in public. And even then, that isn't really the issue. You know what I'm talking about Gerard, don't play dumb with this."
"No, Frankie, I don't know what you're talking about! Please do clarify!" Gerard threw his arms up in exasperation.
He looked up ahead. They were reaching a small river, with a bridge up above it. It was a very pretty sight. The moonlight shone onto the river beautifully. The bridge was made of cobblestone, and it was rather high up above the water. Something about this bridge looked familiar.
"Why were you touching Adam so much Gee?"
Gerard barely even remembered the handsy man from earlier. To Gerard, the antics he had done with him were merely part of the act. He had been a stage prop.
"Nothing, he touched me first. So I just kind of went with it, but it's not like I did anything that bad!" Gerard crossed his arms defensively. He nearly said 'It's just like the stuff you and I used to do, and Lindsey never had a problem with that!' but he bit his tongue just in time.
"No, you didn't, but it's Adam." Frank looked at him as though that one statement was supposed to help him make sense of the entire conversation.
"So?" Gerard raised an eyebrow.
"You don't remember?" Frank's shoulders slightly slouched as he looked at Gerard's clueless expression.
"No, I'm sorry." Gerard frowned.
"Well, I'm exhausted and I don't really want to go into details right now." said Frank. "But he's bad news, honey."
He and Gerard stopped walking when they got to the bridge. Frank leaned against it, looking down into the water with a contemplative expression. Gerard could see that he was remembering something, and it didn't seem like anything pleasant.
"Then why are we friends with him?" Gerard asked as he leaned against the bridge too.
"He's nice to see once in a while. But he's just one of those people you shouldn't um... get too close to. You should be careful around him. Besides, we were just meeting him tonight to get some information about another adoption agency. That's why I was being so nice." Frank shrugged.
"Oh. I understand. I guess." Gerard nodded, now slightly embarrassed at his thoughts from earlier.
"Still though...." Frank shifted uncomfortably, "You only used to sing for me..."
Frank trailed off and began to walk away. Gerard followed him, and they ended up on the other side of the bridge, only to be surrounded by more trees.
Gerard reached out and grabbed Frank's shoulder, spinning him around. "I'm sorry..." Gerard pouted, the guilt evident on his face. He hadn't meant to hurt Frank. He just didn't know. Just like he didn't know a lot of things. It was so frustrating. Another reason why he shouldn't stay here.
"Hey, hey, hey...don't cry." Frank said softly as he stroked Gerard's face. Gerard had not even been aware of the tears streaming down them. "It's okay, Gee. It's not a big deal, really."
"I'm not mad."
"Why not? Why, why have you been so understanding this whole time? Why are you so nice to me?" Gerard blurted out questions that had been itching at him, not even bothering to check if they made any sense or not.
"Because I love you, Gerard. With all my heart. I could never be mad at you. Don't you feel the same?"
Gerard hesitated before he answered, and hoped Frank did not catch it. Yes, he did love Frank. That would be true in any and every reality. Still, he was not entirely sure if he was in love with Frank. He was a married man whose heart belonged to someone named Lindsey Ann Ballato. Yet, as he looked at the beauty of Frank in the moonlight, and saw the affection in his eyes, he could not deny that that had begun to change quite some time ago.
"Of course, I feel the same Frank." Gerard replied, feeling there was no sense in breaking the poor boys heart with an uncertain answer.
"Good." Frank grinned, and without warning, he tackled Gerard down into the grass. Now that was more like it.
Gerard laughed as Frank pinned him down, suddenly showering him with kisses wherever he could reach. "Frankiiieee!" Gerard whined playfully, and he wrestled with Frank for a moment. Gerard tried to dominate Frank so that he was on top, but he was overtaken when Frank crashed his lips onto Gerard, slithering his tongue into his mouth. Gerard moaned with pleasure and returned it, now letting their tongues do the wrestling instead.
They laid there entwined in each other for hours. Frank stroked Gerard's hair, and Gerard buried himself in Frank's chest. Now this was an unfamiliar feeling to Gerard. He felt very far from home here. Yet he had to admit to himself, he liked it.
He remember Frank's words from earlier. 'You only used to sing for me.' Feeling like he suddenly knew how to make this right, he opened his mouth and tried something...
"If there's a place that I could be, then I’d be another memory. Can I be the only hope for you? Because you’re the only hope for me..." Gerard sang softly. Frank stopped stroking him when he began, looking down at him perplexedly. "Gerard..?" he whispered, turning the boy's face up towards him. Gerard smiled at him and continued, now stroking his own hands through Frank's hair.
"...and if we can find where we belong, we’ll have to make it on our own. Face all the pain and take it on, because the only hope for me is you, alone."
"What song is that?" Frank said with awe.
Gerard shrugged, "I just um... kinda made it up..."
"You're so amazing, babe." Frank grinned as he pulled Gerard closer to him.
"Well, duh." Gerard teased.
Frank smacked him playfully.
They embraced each other under the night sky, never wanting to let go.
Next chapter: Gerard discovers something horrifying.