Frank tells his story.
For all its anticipation, the procedure was very quick. A physician named Dr. Mariti gave Gerard a once over, asked him a few questions beforehand. He was then sent to the lab, where they sat him on a chair that he shifted on restlessly. They came in and did the blood work. Essentially Gerard had been getting over his fear of needles, yet he still could not bring himself to look at the sharp, pointy object that was being lowered down into his arm. He squeezed his eyes shut and focused instead on the comforting strokes that Frank's thumb was doing against his hand.
When it was over, they told him that they would be notified of the results in about a week. Afterwards, they all went to lunch. Frank did not say much, and Mikey could tell he wanted to talk to Gerard in private. So, halfway through, Mikey insisted that he had some shopping to do near the area.
"There's some nice galleries and stuff you can look at around here. I won't be long, and you can call me if you guys need to be picked up?" Mikey propositioned.
"Okay." Gerard nodded.
Mikey said farewell to them and fled the rather awkward situation. This left Frank and Gerard alone with each other for the first time in what had truly been some very long months.
"Sooo..." Gerard started them off, "You wanna tell me where you vanished off to?"
Frank took a minute of thought before he began. His head was slightly bowed, as to show he was not particularly proud of the situation. He sighed and began.
"Well, when I left you guys, I realized there was no place to go so I really just went home..."
Gerard shook his head, wondering why the hell they hadn't thought of that before. Frank continued.
"When I got there, I was umm... angry. And I sort of continued to act like an asshole. I didn't mean to, but I guess there was just more bothering me than I had originally thought. I just kept myself in this really bad mood the whole time. And that pretty much escalated into Jamia and I fighting a lot. We hadn't really been on very good terms to begin with to be honest with you, but not really in an angry way. Just.. in a distant way."
Frank paused, looking as though he was hesitant to say to the next part.
"Anyway, it was a lot of fighting. It got to the point where she threatened to leave. And then things got even worse when I didn't try to stop her. Then I had this whole other situation on my hands. Which is mostly why I didn't really get a chance to contact you guys. But I was worried about you, and I thought about you a lot."
Frank looked at Gerard, and Gerard could tell from his face that he wasn't lying about that.
"Then um... then Bert McCracken came to visit me."
"What?" Gerard audibly gasped. Immediately, his first thought was that Bert had harmed or yelled at Frank. Yet he waited patiently as Frank continued to explain.
"I'll admit, he had been trying to contact me for a while. I really put up a struggle, but there was nothing I could do once he was actually on my doorstep except hear him out. He told me you were sick. God, Gerard, I was so scared for you when I heard. We talked for a while. He told me that you... you were really miserable. That you talked about me a lot. He also said that he had to leave to go back home to his wife, but he didn't wait you facing today alone."
The tension in the room was quite thick at this point. Gerard was slightly upset that Bert had had this conversation behind his back, telling other people his sob stories. Yet clearly, Frank had quite a heavy tale to tell, so Gerard tried to put his petty issue aside.
"I felt so bad." Frank sighed. "A lot of what he said got me to thinking. And I realized that I was being unfair. Not only to you, but to Jamia too. So, I talked to her... and Jamia and I agreed to file for a divorce."
Gerard's jaw dropped. This could not seriously be happening.
"No, no, no, NO Frankie! You can't be fucking serious?!?"
"Unfortunately, I am Gerard."
"Please at least tell me that it had nothing to do with me?" Gerard frowned.
Frank looked at him and smiled sadly. "Well, it wasn't entirely you at least. Jamia and I had been drifting apart for some time now. I'm not sure things would have played out the same way had Jamia and I been all happy and in love..."
"What about Cherry and Lily?" Gerard stared at Frank, still seeming unconvinced.
"They'll be okay." Frank nodded. "I'll see them on weekends and everything. Anyway, that's what it's like normally since we're always on tour." he shrugged.
"Wha --- but-- Frank, I can't let you do this." Gerard shook his head.
"Gerard, stop worrying. Its fine."
"It's my fault.."
"No! Gerard, it's not." Frank insisted. "Please, try not to freak out about this. What's done is done. I had my reasons. Right now, we just need to worry about your health and what we're going to do about the band, okay?"
Gerard hesitated, but finally nodded yes.
"Good boy." Frank grinned at him, patting him on the shoulder.
"So now what?" Gerard asked.
"Now, I guess we wait." Frank shrugged. He looked at Gerard's uneasy face. "...It'll be okay, honey. I promise."
Gerard almost laughed, "Shouldn't I be the one telling you that?"
"Yeah well, I guess we both need a bit of hope right now." Frank sighed. "But I think everything'll be okay, as long as we stick together from now on. I mean, even if you do have it, there's medicine and stuff.. and Mikey and I'll be there to take care of you."
"And you're always welcome to stay with me if you need a place after the whole Jamia thing." Gerard offered. "I mean even though I was hanging out with Bert a lot and stuff, you never stopped being my best friend...I guess I should have made that more clear from the beginning. I'm sorry I didn't."
"See? Everything's going to turn out fine." Frank grinned widely, seeming to relish in what Gerard had just said.
"Yeah, I think so." Gerard laughed, "Also.. I umm.. I think I'm ready to talk about... you know... what happened to me. If you still wanted to hear it."
Frank nodded, his expression suddenly serious.
They talked for a bit longer, and eventually Mikey had to be the one to call them and tell them it was time to go home. As they waited for Mikey to pick them up, Frank entwined Gerard's hand in his own. It was only then Gerard noticed the absence of his wedding ring, as Frank felt on Gerard's hand. The nakedness of the skin on their fingers felt strangely comforting to both, as though the start of a new beginning.
Next chapter: The results, plus a surprise.