Round my hometown, memories are fresh.
You guys: YES, WE SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE, LORNAIGH, HA FUCKING HA.
Looooooong chapter. Tis the Jersey one :D
Next chapter after this is another one in NJ (bit more happy)
Next after that is Frank’s birthday present!!!! Yaaaaaaaaay
First of the Gang to Die
“I’m so excited,” Frank said for about the ninth time that morning.
“Don’t get your hopes up,” Gerard would reply sullenly whenever he’d say it.
It was four thirty in the morning, in Union Station, on Sunday, the second of September, nineteen thirty four. They were, along with four guards, travelling to Newark, and would stay there for a week for two main things; to get up on the latest goings on on the New Jersey murder scene, and for Gerard to go back to his hometown, show Frank where he grew up and mostly, to relax. He’d been working very hard for the last few months, what with the constant threat of being ratted out by some fucking teenager and the rapid case of tuberculosis infested in his lover’s lungs, as well as generally being the Don of the Way family, which ain’t no molfucking walk in the park.
Presently, Frank was sitting next to his husband, sleepy and flushed, but still bubbling with excitement. They were in the main foyer of the station, with about ten other people; trains at that time was so expensive that many people could not afford it, and also because only clinically insane people like Gerard went to places at five in the morning. They were going Sunday morning because that was the least populated day, and also because it would take them a day and a half to get to Jersey-it would be an overnight train and they would arrive early Wednesday morning, after disembarking at the station in Newark.
“Y’alright, babe?” He asked quietly, knitting their fingers together, the accent refined and thick, slow and accentuated. “If you’re too tired you can rest on my shoulder or something.”
“I’m okay,” he replied, snuggling up to him and still yawning-Way woke up early enough usually, but the other was so used to sleeping in this was like jet lag for him. “I’ll sleep on the train or something.”
Gerard looked a little intimidating-his pin-stripe suit and his hat, dark glasses and leather gloves, tied together with his lack of leg and finger, his dark complexion, his even darker tone. Iero felt so relieved that his hand was being held tightly by the gangster.
“I might doze off for a second, ‘kay?” He whispered, tilting his hat so that it fell over his eyes and he relaxed into the rigid chair.
“I might pour wine over you,” Frank muttered.
The boss laughed and kissed his knuckles.
“If you do then make sure it’s expensive shit, I don’t want no fizzy water or something,” he mumbled, before closing his eyes and his mouth, drifting into sleep.
“So, Frankie, you ever been to Jersey?” Bob asked, shovelling his hands into a bag of chips. “What’s it like?”
“I’ve never been there,” the boy answered, digging his hand into the bag and being slapped lightly on the arm, but not before fishing out a few. “Haven’t you?”
“Nah. Not from LA, ya know.”
“Really?” He had sort of thought of that before-Bob spoke much differently to everyone else. “Where are you from?”
“Chicago, Illinois,” he replied smugly, obviously proud of his origins. “Best goddamn place on the planet.”
“Is it nice?”
“Not nice, just awesome as fuck,” Bob shrugged, “grew up in tha ghetto, ya know-“
“Bob!” Ray whined, cowering away. “You’re spraying bits of potato chips everywhere, Jesus!”
“Sweet baby Jesus, grow a pair, will ya, Toro.” He paused and looked at his sleeping boss. “He never tells us anything bout his home state. Don’t think he’s fond of it.”
“Fucking keep your mouth closed, Bryar-“
Bob hit him on the shoulder and called him a word Frank had never heard before-it was probably in Italian. Raymond retorted by slapping him on the leg and they began to fight and bitch childishly.
“Stop that,” Gerard ordered curtly from under the brim of his hat. “Christ, it’s like I have two children.”
“But sir, he keeps spitting out his food on me, it goes on my hair, sir-“
“With all due respect, il mio Coro, he needs a good kick up the-“
“Fighting again, boys?” Christa asked as she sat down between the quarrelling men, placing a hand on her husband’s arm. “I hope you weren’t bothering the Capa.”
“Oh, they were,” Way sighed from under again. “But I highly doubt I will sleep anyway.”
“The ‘Capa’?” Frank questioned. “I thought his name was the Coro.”
“I have quite a lot of names,” was the answer from his hat, “but none of you are to call me any one of those here, it’s too suspicious. Just don’t address me as anything.” He pointed a finger at Bob, and his tone was playful. “You hear that, Bryar? No more calling Raymond bad names in Italiano.”
“If Robert is bothering you with his eating habits then go piss off somewhere else, Raymond, Christ, am I your mother or something?”
“Nah, I’ll go, wanna get some smokes anyway,” Bryar grunted, picking up his hat and donning it stylishly. “Yo, Frankie, you wanna come or what?”
“Look after him,” Gerard demanded roughly. “One hair on his head harmed and your ass’ll be in a sling.”
“Always so fuckin charmin,” Bob muttered, leading Frank by steering him by the shoulder, walking toward the bar at the end of the station. “You drink or smoke? Oh shit, the TB thing, Jesus, sorry.”
“Oh, it’s fine,” Frank brushed off, shrugging as Bob surveyed his options. “I can’t smoke or I generally start coughing up half a lung.”
Bob laughed and paid ten dollars for twenty cigarettes, though he promised not to smoke around Iero, which the boy found kind of touching in an odd way.
“How old are you, Bob?” He asked, hoping he wouldn’t sound rude. “Are you older than Gerard?”
“Gerard?” Bryar asked, pouring a glass of rum. “Who’s that?”
“Um...y’know...the y’know...your boss...who I’m married to...”
“Oh!” He looked genuinely shocked. “That’s his name, yeah, I forgot it there. He isn’t very keen on us callin him that, ya know.”
“Yeah, sorry,” Frank said, before putting the question to him again.
“Imma be twenty six in December,” the gangster answered, and Iero was a little shocked-he was only two years older than him. “Why? That surprise you?”
“Kinda,” he shrugged. “You’re really young.”
“How old are you again?”
“I’ll be twenty four at Halloween,” he replied, thinking happily of what Gerard would get him, and a smile spread across his face.
“Your birthday is Halloween? Man, that’s awesome. Mine’s on New Year’s, but that sucks compared to yours.”
Iero grinned a little. “Yeah, it’s pretty cool, I guess. I didn’t really plan it, to be honest.”
When they arrived back at the seats, the man and two women were getting their things together, leather suitcases (packed with guns and grenades rather than clothes) and jackets. The other people around them also looked quite wealthy-they wore fur and jewels and talked rather like Gerard. The latter slid his arm around Frank’s middle and they walked toward the ticket cashier of the train.
“Goddammit,” Bob swore under his breath, “where the fuck is Kat-“
“Here!” She presented herself, smiling, looking a little paler. “They have the nicest Dior foundation in there, Bobby, Chris and I couldn’t resist-“
The boy yawned again and squeaked quietly as he stifled it. Way kissed his hair and looked at him lovingly.
“Poor tired little rabbit,” he murmured, getting out the boarding passes. “I’m sorry it’s so early, darling, you can sleep on the train, I promise.”
They were the last couple to the ticket master, presenting their passes and the old man stamping them begrudgingly. Gerard pulled his hat down further and tugged the sleepy boy onto the train.
They had their own carriage; Frank had expected that. He couldn’t really think that Gerard would ever be willing to share with someone else, or be willing to go coach-beds, dining carts and mini-televisions decorated the train. The walls were red, with gold leafing along the frames, and the carpet were also a deep mahogany, rich and thick. A telephone was in the corner of the carriage, and there were three, curtained, separate compartments for the passengers. Gerard strolled toward one of them, pulled back the curtain, pulled Frank in and shut the door and the piece of cloth surrounding them, cut off from the others.
There was a double bed, a dresser, paintings-it was like a hotel suite. Iero was impressed; it was nearly like their home, except with gold as opposed to black.
“It’s pretty,” the boy said, sitting down on the bed to test it out, pleasantly surprised that it was bouncing and springy. “It’s such a posh train.”
“Yes, it is quite upper-class, I suppose,” he replied, lying down on the bed and rubbing his eyes. “I hope you’ll be alright on the train for nearly three days. There’s a chess board and stuff outside, you can play, can’t you?”
Frank nodded and sat over by the ledge on the window sill, looking at the industrial city full of movie stars and starlets that he had never left in his life. He pressed his nose to the glass and waved at the station.
“Goodbye LA,” he whispered, wondering if he’d like this new state better.
“You’re not emigrating, baby, you’re just going cross-country,” he explained, stripping of his clothes and climbing under the covers, turning the light off. “You gonna come over here, sugar pop?”
The boy tried to begin to undress, but like before, he found himself stalling and starting, the file where disrobing had been stored suddenly vanished.
“Gee? Are you awake?”
“Mmm, yeah, honey. Why? You okay?”
“I...uh...I can’t...”he felt so weak, so dependant, so stupid. “I can’t take off my clothes.”
Gerard sat up and beckoned him to the bed, the other placing himself in his lap, his nimble fingers working at his shirt, popping the buttons and pulling down the zip of his trousers, caressing his neck with soft, gentle kisses as his lover snivelled a little.
“Don’t be upset, bunny rabbit,” he reassured softly, pushing back the folds of his shirt, kissing the dip in his collarbone. “Your memory isn’t the best at the moment and sometimes you just forget stuff, there’s no need to be upset at all.”
“But what if I forget more important things? What if I forget our wedding or I forget that we’re married or-“
“Shhhh, sugar, please don’t strain yourself. Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”
The rabbit nodded and shuddered, getting a little nervous from Gerard working at his clothes, snuffling and coughing weakly, until he kept looking away, ashamed.
“Babe, what’s wrong?” He purred in his ear, taking off his shirt and pulling down his trousers, another squeak coming from the boy. “Honey, don’t squirm please, it makes-oh cupcake, why are you crying?”
He didn’t want to tell him-it felt so awful, so heart breaking that it bordered on sympathetic. It almost hurt to think about it.
“When James used make me do it,” he lisped, “y’know, to other men and stuff, they used to undress me.” He looked at Gerard’s lap. “It’s so embarrassing that I can’t even do it myself, and when you do it, I just-“ his voice cracked. “It reminds me of being in that room, some guy raping me, raping me until I passed out, and then afterwards James wouldn’t even hug me,” he whimpered, lying against his chest. “There’d be blood all over my thighs but he wouldn’t even talk to me, just to the shit-head rapist that fucked me...”
Gerard manoeuvred him so that his back was to his chest, his arms hooked under Frank’s armpits, pressing his nose into his hair. The light outside switched off so that they were in complete darkness-the only sound of verification was Way’s breathing.
“Listen to me,” he said softly into his ear drum, hearing his little heart patter and race. “I’m not going to fuck you or rape you like any of those cunts did-I could, Frankie. You know that, right? I’m stronger, bigger, and more powerful than any of those fucks-you wouldn’t be able to walk properly for a month if I raped you. You’d beg and plead for mercy, baby, like you did so many times, but I wouldn’t listen, I’d just carry on violating you, making you bleed, making you cry out and gasp in agony-remember how you did that, sugar?”
“Gee,” his rabbit squeaked, shaking in his grip, falling apart, fat tears rolling down his cheeks, hot and pricking. “Gee, you’re scaring me.”
“I could do those things-fuck you up, rape you, make your little mouth suck me off; but I don’t.” The last three syllables were said in a softer, tender tone, in a voice he would only use to comfort his love. “I don’t want to make you do that, make you feel more pain, make you my sex slave. You know why?”
“Because I love you,” he said huskily, and Frank felt himself swell when he heard it. “And I want to take care of you in the most loving way I can. I want to help you fight this disease and help your memory as best I can, and there are going to be hard times, sugar, but I assure you that we’re getting through this, that you’re going to get better. You shouldn’t be scared of me, babe, you know I wouldn’t hurt you, ever, that I couldn’t.” The younger felt his boxer shorts being pulled down and whimpered a little. “I’m not one of those pieces of scum, sugar; I’m your husband, I adore you.”
The boy felt vulnerable and exposed as he sat, basically naked, under Way’s stern gaze, and was thankful that they weren’t facing each other, and that it was dark.
“I don’t want to do it now,” he whispered, leaning against him. “Is that okay?”
“Of course that’s okay, sugar,” he replied, and worked his charm, changing the subject, snuggling under the sheets, Frank resting on him, now chest-to-chest. It felt so strange, two hearts beating together, one jumping at a rapid pace and the other ticking every so often in drawn out thumps. Iero sniffed and rested his head into the crook of Gerard’s shoulder. “You excited for Jersey?”
“Yeah,” he answered truthfully, happier. “Do famous people live there? Is it like Los Angeles?”
“Er...not really,” he laughed quietly, closing his eyes and placing his hands on the others hips. “There’s like an unofficial divide in NJ, north and south-“
I have talked to a few people from the state, and they all say this
And when I was in the states this chick was like “oh it’s like Northern Ireland” I was like “please fuck off”
“South Jersey is all the gangs and Mafia, Italian and Irish immigrants that didn’t want to go further north to Boston. That’s where the beaches are, if you’ve ever heard of the Shore.”
An actual nice place before society MTV’d all over it
“Just a strand, it gets warm there sometimes, it’s pretty okay, I guess. Then North Jersey is more farming and stuff, country landscape.”
“I’m gonna take a wild guess here and say you’re from the South.”
“You’d be right, I was born in Newark, that’s on the South side.”
“Are we gonna stay in Newark?” Frank asked as he snuggled into Gerard’s neck further.
“In my old house, yes.” He thought for several moments. “I haven’t been there since I was a teenager. My father doesn’t like revisiting his past and his sins.”
Three Days Later: Newark, New Jersey
The remainder of the train journey went without qualm or misgivings; it was quite relaxing in a modern, industrial way. The train was now pulling up to the third platform of the station, coming to a screeching, steady halt at the tracks marked LOS ANGELES-NEWARK. Gerard smiled at the fond nostalgia and shook the other lightly.
“Frankie,” he whispered, pushing his fringe back. “Baby, we’re here.”
“We are?” He asked, still tired but excitement replacing the fatigue. “In New Jersey?”
“Yeah, honey, we’re in New Jersey,” he replied, and the boy was pleased to see he was dressed casually-well, casually for Gerard, which was dress trousers, sleek shoes and a white shirt rolled up to his elbows, only one gold ring-one with an onyx in the middle, which had been kissed numerous times by other members of the gang-on his right ring finger. A heavy bullion band hung from his wrist and slunk on his arm. “It’s raining, pet, you might want to put on your coat.”
“Raining? In September?”
“Welcome to the east coast, sweetheart,” he sighed, taking his cane and walking to the window. “Jesus Christ, there’s the fuckin pike. This is so weird.”
“What’s a pike?”
“A turnpike is a division in a road or railway,” Ray answered for him, “and New Jersey is home to quite a large one.” He grinned wickedly. “Which turn off it are you, sir?”
“Oh fuck off,” he responded, and Toro laughed loudly, and Frank felt a little confused. “We dockin in yet?”
“Just arrived, sir, minor delay of seven minutes before stepping off.”
“Awesome. Now fuck off for a sec, Toro, I wanna talk to my boy.”
Iero wore a small smile, the sharp, slow twang returning to Gerard’s voice, drawn and dangerous. He was like a different person. Way sat down on the bed as Frank stood above him, who was joyous when he felt taller than the gangster.
“Want you to know,” he said softly, “that here Imma talk a lil differently to what I do back in LA, ‘kay, babe? This is where I’m from and people know me betta here-they hear me talkin like I do normally they’d fuckin stick a sword up my ass. But if you feel like I’m mistreatin you or I hurt your feelings then you fuckin holler at me right away, got it?” He caressed his cheek with light fingertips, but frowned a little when the younger looked a little worried. “Something wrong, sugar?”
“You’re not gonna hit me, are you? Or call me names?” The rabbit squeaked, placing his tiny hands on Gerard’s arm and looking into his odd orbs. “I don’t want to, Gee, I don’t want to be your punching bag, please don’t hurt me.” He was getting upset at the thought of his lover disrespecting him. “It’ll hurt and I hate it when it hurts.” The rape-it always came back to the rape, Way noted. “I just wanna make you happy, Gee, but please don’t make me. The names hurt my feelings and I hate being beaten.” He looked into his eyes again, the bloody and the jade. “You’re bigger and stronger and scarier than James and I’d never want to be hurt by you because I’m so much smaller and weaker, I’d have no chance against you.” His voice cracked. “I’m your bunny rabbit,” he whimpered, “I don’t wanna be used all over again.”
“Oh babe, of course not,” he soothed, pulling him into a warm embrace, the boy shuddering in his hold as he stroked his hair. “I’m not gonna do that, I treat my little rabbit good, don’t I?” His husband nodded into his shoulder. “I’m just gonna speak with my normal accent, sugar pop, I ain’t ever gonna lay my hands on you unless I hug you or hold your hand, sweetie, and I only call you pet names because you’re so goddamn precious to me, and I’ll stop callin you em if you wantin me to.” The boy shook his head. “And honey, I would never fuckin do that to you, you know you’re so important to me and I wouldn’t be disrespectin you like that, that shit just ain’t goin down, you’re my bunny rabbit and I love you to death, I dunno how that fuckin bastard got to sleep at night after even thinkin about what he did to you, let alone doin it.” He pulled him tighter and kissed the tip of his nose. “Look at how adorable you are, how sweet you are, how fuckin nice-uva person you are, I thank God every day you came into my life, you’re my favourite person in the whole world, baby.” Iero nodded and wiped his eyes. Way spoke in a low voice next. “And I hope I ain’t scarier than James, pet, you know I ain’t no fuckin rapist piece a shit motherfucker who beats on you and hurts you. I told you that shit earlier and God help me I’ll say it again.”He concluded by pushing him lightly on to his knees, still snuffling. “I treat you well, don’t I, babe?”
“Really well,” he whispered, linking his arms around his neck and kissing the older. “I’m sorry, I just made a fuss.”
“Nah, you didn’t, I’m just fuckin scary as shit when I talk normally, sugar, must sound so fuckin elegant.” Frank giggled and the boss smiled widely like the Cheshire cat. “C’mon, honey, platform’s comin. Imma be outside waitin for ya, ‘kay? Just in the hall, you come out when you’re ready. Your eyeliner’s all over your beautiful fuckin face, darlin, you might wanta check it out.”
“Thanks,” he muttered, getting off of him so he could slope out, cane rapping the floor, stoop particularly bad today. Frank looked in the mirror, seeing that his makeup had smudged across his cheekbones, licking his finger and wiping at it furiously, before making sure he looked alright and pulling on his coat, noticing that both suitcases had been carried out previously.
Gerard was there when he emerged from their room of the last few days, talking to Bob, who was nodding sternly.
“Yeah sir, no problem, I’ll get tha shit in order, man, don’t you worry.”
“I’ll see you here in four days time,” Way said, waving him off the train. “And tell your wife not to smash the city tonight, she’ll fuckin tear the state apart!”
Bryar laughed and disappeared into the crowds on platform three, lost in a mass of people and luggage and hysteria. The older turned around and saw his husband standing in the doorway, a little nervous smile on his lips.
“C’mere,” Gerard said, taking his hand. “Mind the gap between the platform, babe, don’t want you fallin under a train.”
He was dragged into the manic, ladies searching desperately for lost offspring, men in business suits pushing people out of the way as they ran toward a platform. Way kept him close, however, holding his hand so securely that it was like being caught by a vice.
“Hey man, you wanna fuckin watch where you’re goin-“
“GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY WAY, SHITBAG!”
“Oh sorry dude I mean-“
Frank couldn’t help but stare at the scene before him, his Mafioso husband pulling him through the crowds at Newark train station, screaming at other commuters, being tugged and dragged until light flashed through and a bustling, busy street was in sight.
“Iero,” Gerard grunted to the ticket master, the other giving his hand a grateful squeeze.
“Have a good day, sirs.”
“Don’t tell me what to fuckin do,” the twenty nine year replied childishly for no reason at all, striding out of the underground with enough sass to make the cheekiest of teenagers cower. Sunglasses and a hat were applied to disguise him. “Welcome to Newark, sugar. It’s a lot like New York in that it’s crowded as fuck and it ain’t like New York at all.”
Gerard pulled him along the furrowing street, crashing into other people, ramming into small, wild children, pressing every button on the pedestrian crossing, giving the finger to passing taxis who evaded the red light. The younger loved not only the feeling of being in a new place, but this juvenile, careless, wonderfully fun man who seemed to have taken over from Frank’s mature, dignified husband just moments ago.
“Get outta the fuckin way, fuckwad, looks like you’re holdin up fuckin traffic a Jersey here, Jesus H Christ-“
“Don’t you talk to me like that, you filthy fag-“
Gerard kissed the other straight on the mouth, so powerful that Frank gasped and clung to his neck for support. The driver swore and drove off.
“Gerard!” Frank shouted breathlessly above the train and cars pumping their horns, his throat sore from laughing. “You’re so fucking insane!”
“I ain’t insane, I’m just crazy,” he replied, strolling across the street so slowly and drawn out that drivers beeped and cussed him. “Oh, fuck you all, go suck my dick, motherfuckers!”
Gerard reached the other side of the street to Frank, shaking with laughter and crying. The gangster dragged him aside and they were soon on a quieter, less inhabited street. Evidence of the crash five years earlier was evident from the empty, abandoned buildings that were huge, towering, and dark. It seemed like something out of the movies, a picture of black and white.
“Gerard in New Jersey is way different to the normal Gerard,” Frank remarked happily, so utterly elated. “You’re giddy and stuff!”
“Don’t gotta act mature in fronta all my men,” he said proudly, puffing his chest out, tapping his stick against the pavement. “I’ve been acting like a fuckin adult since I was fifteen, it’s time to fuckin let go, y’know?” He paused and looked at Frank, jerking his head toward a bush. “You wanna do it?”
“Gee!” He squealed, being pressed against a wall as the other sucked and nibbled at his neck. “Are you on drugs or something?”
He didn’t see the nun walk towards them as he was ravished by Way, enjoying every second as they teased each other openly, kissing and tugging and pushing, giggling at each other as they did, Iero gasping with laughter.
The woman in black walked straight up to Gerard, pulled him off Frank and slapped him across the face. The gangster, eccentric and kiss-swollen, stared at her.
“You should be ashamed,” she hissed. “If man lie with man the way he-“
“Lieth with woman, both of them shall be stoned as it is an abomination, yeah yeah, lady, thanks for the goddamn tip, I did my fair fuckin share of Bible bashing back in the day, certainly don’t need you fuckin shoving your God down my throat.”
“How dare you-such filthy-“
“No no no; how dare you, you nosey Catholic bitch, in the middle of me molesting my lover just outside my house, interrupt me eating off his face to preach to me about your goddamn religion.” He stooped down to meet her gaze; she was shorter than Frank. “So why don’t you go off and fuck Jesus or whatever it is you people do?”
“I’d love to stay and chat, really I would, but I’m pretty swamped, y’know, husbands ain’t gonna seduce themselves, are they?” He turned to Frank again. “God, baby, you’re makin me so hard-“
She gasped and ran down the street, shrieking. Gerard smiled vindictively and faced the door of the building behind him, where their bags miraculously stood.
“Gerard, what even...”
“Don’t pretend you weren’t impressed, sugar pop, you looked just as fuckin horny as I did, no harm done.”
“I was actually going to say amazing, but that suits too.” The boy looked at the grey, derelict house above him. “This was your house?”
“My parent’s house when I was a kid, ya know,” he shrugged, trying to jolt the door open. He looked up at his husband. “Keys are assholes.”
“You can use a pin or something,” the younger suggested. “Oh!” He reached to his lip and pulled the piercing out. “Use this.”
Gerard looked at him like he was a Godsend.
“You are the best person to have ever lived,” he told him, slipping the metal into the lock and fidgeting it carefully, jiggling it in the hole. “Feel like the time I lost my virginity or something.”
“I didn’t even think you ever had virginity.”
“What? Born a sinner, yeah?”
The door gave and Way kicked it open an edge more, exposing a towering mansion decked out in black and white. It was unlike their own home in that it was obviously ignored and neglected, although the extent of the wealth was proved when works of art were along the main foyer, and statues of Greek muses dressed the hall. There was rising dust on all of the initial visible furniture-they were covered in it, like a thick brown skin. It was absolutely huge and intimidating; the sort of place where you could be killed and never found.
“Jesus,” Gerard remarked, taking in the surroundings. “It’s really let itself go, hasn’t it?”
“When did you live here?” Frank asked, stepping in under his arm, looking at the spread staircase, like something out of Cinderella. “How old were you?”
“We moved when I was six,” he said, putting his hands in his pockets and staring at the dishevelled house before him. “I used come here with Mikey and that cunt I call my father up until I was fifteen or somethin, and then he started to hate me, so I fuckin gave up on that. Haven’t been here since.”
Frank made his way toward the staircase, trying out the railing and then placing his foot gingerly on a step.
“Careful, babe, that’s probably hella unsafe or whatever,” Gerard warned, walking behind him. “If you go back, fall back on me, sweetheart.”
The boy made his way to the top in his agile, lithe frame, looking into one room that caught his eye.
He had never seen a glimpse of the former Gerard, only in photos three years ago. That was the extent he went to-for the most part, Iero assumed, his child and teenage hood had been unhappy. But the room he was now in was obviously his; a double bed was propped in the corner of the room, with black sheets and coverings, the edge turned down like a triangle. Beautiful, astonishing, tragic pieces of art adorned the walls, not so much paintings as just millions of sketches and colourings, some superheroes, some villains, looking he had created his own comic strip, tiny boxes shaded in intricately, so much effort into every line and curve. A candle in a holder stood by the bed, quills and a charcoal falling off the side. A gramophone was also in place, although the pin looked rusted and overused. A baby’s pram, black and frilled, stood next to the music player, a stuffed animal perched by.A maple desk was in the very centre of the room, obviously used for his passion, with fresh, white paper loaded under a candle. There was no trace that this rather innocent child was in any way connected to something as dark and dire as the Mafia.
“Gee?” He called out, eager to show him his discovery, until he heard metal dropping on wood. “Gerard?”
He walked down the winding corridor to find the noise, a little scared of what may come, to peer around a door and see his husband kneeling at something, head bent and muttering to himself, presumably in Italian. This room was absolutely huge-like a ballroom. There was a four-poster bed with black curtains drawn around it in the foreground, a massive walk-in wardrobe still crammed with clothing, shoes lined neatly up like soldiers at attention, handbags coordinated to size. More painting and sculptures and statues, mostly Italian artists, and Frank swore before God that a Michelangelo piece would have fitted in there, La Pieta looking like a strong contender.
The boy figured he wouldn’t want to be annoyed currently, so he lurked outside, finding aid and comfort in the fact that one black-and-white photograph was thrown across a coffee table carelessly.
Frank’s eyes were drawn to it immediately; there were three people in it, a young woman, a boy, and what looked like a toddler, standing in a parlour, all regarding the camera with cheeky curiosity. The girl was absolutely stunning; short and slim, with bright, vivid jade eyes and dark ebony hair tumbling past her shoulders. She wore a long black dress that hid her feet, but was dotted with red roses, scarlet ruffling around her middle, so ghostly pale that it reflected in a near-by mirror. The boy in her arms was frowning intently, one fist wrapped around his mother’s locks, tugging at her. He was also in black, a blanket of some description.
Then there was Gerard; he was the only one smiling, the one beaming at the photographer, still in a shirt-and-trousers combination, white and black at the time. His hair, just as raven then as it was now, was messy and parted at the side, a trait Way had obviously brought into adulthood. He had a pencil stuck behind his ear and his jewelling orbs gleamed and flashed in the light. He was undeniably adorable, and the change in looks was not hugely terrifying.
He glanced at the back of the plastic.
D, G & M Marzo 1911
He put the photograph back down on the table and saw that Gerard was still kneeling at the hatever-it-was, shoulders hunched. The younger decided to intervene gently.
“Gee?” He whispered, stepping inside the beautiful bedroom. “What are you doing?”
“I’ll be out in a minute,” was the quiet, concentrated reply. He didn’t want to be disturbed. Frank saw that he was at a small table, elbows bent and hands clasped together.
“Are you praying?” He put to him almost inaudibly, so silent it was like floating in the breeze.
Gerard nodded and continued to mutter quickly in the foreign tongue, the rattling pattering every so often.
“Is it for your mother?” Iero asked even more meekly, wondering if the other would snap any minute now and punch him in the face.
Another small nod. The boy made his way over to him, getting down on his knees and pulling out the crucifix he wore under his shirt, which he took and did as the other was doing, closing his eyes and muttering.
He found out what the metal tapping was-Way was emptying his pistol of all its rounds, the silver bullets falling to the floor and scraping against the wood, hollow and metallic, and would occur whenever Gerard would finish one series of muttering. He figured it was a makeshift rosary.
The Los Angeles native took his in hand and began to roll it in his hand, preaching that hail Mary, the Lord is with thee, blessed are thou amongst women, and blessed are the fruit of thy womb, Jesus-bow-
He finished after a short while, and when he noticed he was no longer in unison and that the other man was standing above him, listening to him recant prayers in English. He opened his eyes, blessed himself, bent down to press his lips to the altar, and stood up.
Way didn’t say anything, just regarding him with a sort of amused look on his face. Amused may be too comical.
“Are you angry at me?” Frank asked, a little unsure.
“I ain’t angry,” he murmured, still not very responsive. “I ain’t angry with you at all. I’m really pleased is all.”
“That was a big fuckin sign of respect, babe,” he whispered, taking his hand. “Thank you very much.”
He shrugged. “I was just being kind. I know you’d do the same for me, so...”
He reached up on his toes, shaking slightly, and kissed the taller. The kiss wasn’t deep or wild but stayed sweet all the same, without swapping spit or playing tonsil tennis.
“Is this where we’re staying? It’s so awesome.”
“Yeah, babe, the others are staying down some hotel 'cross the street." He remembered something, digging in his pocket. "Here's your lip piercing, sugar."
The younger took it from him and tried to jab it in, until the older jumped in.
"Babe, babe, let me, you're fuckin stabbin yourself." He slipped the metal through his lip and fastened it, then quickly pressing their lips together. "There you go."
A gunshot went off frighteningly close to the house, and the boy jumped out of his skin and into his husband’s arms.
“What the fuck?!”
But Gerard laughed in his ear and set him down, raising his hands as if to say what’cha gonna do?
“It’s Jersey, baby,” he said simply, before leaving Frank to think about what he had said.