The aftermath of the fight.
After Frank had left, Ray and Mikey were left to pick up the pieces of the aftermath. Mikey, of course, took the role of consoling his brother. Meanwhile, Ray had taken the duty of trying to contact Frank. After the 23rd or so phone call, he finally resolved to just sending him a text that said, "Can you at least send us a text when you get to wherever you're going, so we know you got there safe?". A day later, Ray received a text back that simply read, "Here.", which did not divulge at all as to where "here" was.
With the sudden absence of a guitarist and key person in the band, they were now forced to cancel shows. Looking for a replacement would have been futile on such short notice, and neither Mikey or Ray would say it, but either of them doubted that Gerard was in any condition to play anyway.
They decided to wait for another day or so in the same town. Just to give a chance for Frank to come back and try to work things out. They checked into a nice hotel, getting a big suite to share. Mikey and Ray figured it would be nice for Gerard to have a little vacation. Get his mind off things. However with nothing to do and no shows to play, Gerard only found himself lost in his thoughts.
'You don't mean shit to me anymore.'
The words echoed in his mind over and over. He had become obsessed with the statement, no matter how much it hurt to think about it.
"You know he didn't really mean it." Mikey would say to him at random times, as though he was reading his thoughts. Ray nearly told him the same thing.
"Frank didn't mean anything by it, Gee. You know how he can get. He loves you, trust me. I think he just feels confused, and maybe a little abandoned right now. I think he feels like you're replacing him for Bert, and that scares him. He just doesn't know how to deal with that. If you really meant nothing to him, he wouldn't be acting this way. Just give him some time. He'll come around."
Yet despite everything they told Gerard, or themselves, as time passed, doubt began to grow like mold. What if Frank was really done?
It worried Mikey, as he watched his brother sulking by the window. He had never seen Frank lash out at Gerard like this. Still, it was not uncharacteristic of Frank. He was an angry little man. He had lashed out at Mikey, Ray, James, or Bob before. Just never at Gerard. He figured it was because Frank was just so opposite Gerard in nature. Gerard was shy, timid, fragile. So Frank had always been gentle. Had something in the relationship changed?
Mikey was honestly a little irked at Frank for hurting his brother like this. When the world was already collapsing on him. Still, Gerard would be all the more devastated Frank really left all together. If his wife leaving him dragged him down into a life of promiscuity, he could not even imagine what losing your wife and your best friend would do to Gerard. Still, there was nothing he could do. Mikey was left with the feeling of sheer helplessness as he heard Gerard begin to cry once again.
They all went out for dinner that night. Perhaps some fine cuisine would cheer Gerard up. During dinner they got some interesting news via text message from Jimmy Urine. He had fired Lindsey from Mindless Self Indulgence, claiming he didn't need any "hoez" in his band. He asked how Gerard was and told Mikey to tell him that he and Chantal would be visiting him soon. While Gerard refrained from saying much about Lindsey, his mood lightened considerably after.
Mikey was happy to see his brother smiling and laughing, half hearted though they may be. However when he went to the bathroom, he did not come back for some time. Mikey was alarmed by this, and immediately searched the room for him.
He and Ray both spotted him simultaneously, in the farthest right hand corner of restaurant (mind, it was not a very big place). He was chatting with a waiter, who was looking him over with great interest. Mikey had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. He almost got up to go intervene, but Ray stopped him.
"You don't wanna embarrass him. Let's just see what he does." he said.
Mikey raised an eyebrow at him, but agreed none the less.
Meanwhile, over in the corner, a rather flirtatious exchange was transpiring. Gerard knew where the guy was headed. He played along, slightly enjoying that this boy had taken an interest in him.
"I love your hair." the boy named Brian purred as he twirled a couple of locks between his fingers.
Gerard almost wanted to roll his eyes. They always went for the hair. It was the most remarkable feature about him, he supposed. Still, they could afford to be a tad more original.
"Thank you." he smiled anyway, giggling like some shy school girl.
"So um, you staying at the hotel?" Brian asked.
"Yup." Gerard nodded.
"How ya liking it?"
"Could use more free coffee in the rooms." Gerard grinned, not entirely joking.
Brian chuckled. "Well I can have them send you up some more. Or you know, you could always come back to my room. I have plenty."
"Oh really?" Gerard smirked.
"Actually, I get off my shift in just 15 minutes. What do ya say?" Brian prodded as he touched Gerard's face lightly.
Gerard's first impulse was to scream "Yes! Yes, take me with you!". He had not gotten any in a long time since the whole mess with Frank and Bert. Honestly, he felt like he needed it now more than ever, HIV be damned. Frank's remark had left him feeling unloved and unwanted all over again. This could fix that.
Still, it was Frank that left Gerard with the burning desire to prove him wrong. He was not anyone's bitch. He was better than that. It was time he acted like it. And maybe then, Frank would come back to him. Maybe then Frank would love him again.
Summoning all the self control he could muster, Gerard smiled politely and said, "I appreciate the offer. But I have plans tonight."
Not giving Brian the chance to say anything else, Gerard walked away. He fought the very strong impulse to turn back and change his mind. You can do this, he told himself.
He returned to a very welcoming Mikey and Ray, now feeling more in control than he had in a long, long time.
Next chapter: Gerard attempts to contact Frank, has a proposition for Bert.