It was THE hoodie. You know. The one a guy gives his girlfriend. She wears it all the time. Then, when they break up, she gives it back in a huff. Repeat. Yeah. It was THAT hoodie.
"Gee!" Frank whined, wrapping his arms around himself and shivering as another gust of cold wind swept over him. "Let me in already! I've been out here for 10 minutes and I'm cold!" He drew the last word out a few syllables for emphasis, his teeth beginning to chatter.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Gerard yelled back.
So Frank waited, rubbing his bare arms to try and keep the goosebumps down.
Eventually, the door swung open to reveal Gerard, eyeliner smudged around his eyes and hair dripping wet.
"Finally!" Frank exclaimed. "What the fuck took you so long?!"
"I was in the shower," said Gerard defensively. "What was I supposed to do, answer the door naked?"
Oh my god, brain, shut up. Just shut up.
So maybe Frank liked Gerard. Just a little. No big deal. He'd managed to push the feelings aside for a few years now. As long as Gerard never found out, it would be perfectly fine.
Gerard then seemed to notice the fact that Frank was in only a t-shirt. And pants, obviously. He wasn't going to go to Gerard's house (and then school) in his fucking underwear.
"What the hell, Frank?" Gerard yelped. He grabbed his arm and yanked him inside the house. "Why aren't you wearing a jacket? It's November! You're going to get sick!"
Frank rolled his eyes, although secretly he thought Gerard's concern was adorable. "I couldn't find my leather jacket and my hoodies are all in the wash."
Gerard shook his head at him. "We both know your immune system's shit, Frankie. I don't want you to get sick."
"Well, what am I supposed to do about it?" Frank demanded.
Gerard looked thoughtful for a minute. Then he walked over to the coat rack. He hesitated before reaching out, grabbing a black hoodie and tossing it to Frank.
"Take mine," he said.
Frank caught it and his eyes widened. He turned it over in his hands, staring at it in awe. It wasn't... It couldn't be...
It was THE hoodie.
Gerard had bought it a few years ago. At first, he'd been the one wearing it. But then it became THE hoodie. You know. The one a guy gives his girlfriend and she wears it all the time and then, when they break up, she gives it back in a huff. And then the guy gives it to his next girlfriend and the cycle continues. Yeah. It was THAT hoodie.
And now Gerard was telling Frank to wear it.
Granted, it had been around 7 months since any girl had worn it, but it was still THE hoodie.
Frank opened his mouth to say something, but at the last second, decided against it.
It was like playing dress-up, he reasoned with himself. A little kid could put on plastic armor and make believe they're a knight. Frank could put on Gerard's hoodie and make believe he was Gerard's boyfriend. Probably wouldn't do any harm. He did have this one nagging little uncertainty about the idea, but he decided to wear it anyway. The thing that he was worried about probably wouldn't happen, anyway. He'd kept his feelings for Gerard seperate from his friendship with Gerard for years. He was amazing at hiding it. A hoodie wouldn't change that. Probably.
And so, Frank grinned at Gerard, gave him a characteristically over-enthusiastic thanks, and giggled when Gerard rolled his eyes.
And then he pulled the hoodie on.
It was actually really comfy.
In fact, he found himself wishing he could keep it.
He mentally slapped himself. Keep it together, Frank. You know you can't keep it. You have to give it back to Gerard. And then he'll give it to some girl...
He frowned bitterly, but quickly caught himself, hoping Gerard hadn't seen. He hadn't, mainly because he'd gone upstairs while Frank had been distracted and was now pounding on Mikey's door and yelling "Mikey! We gotta go!"
"Gimme a minute!" Mikey hollered back. "I'm straightening my hair!"
Gerar sighed in exasperation. "How much more do you have left to do?"
"Ugh! We're gonna be late!"
"I'm sorry! You can go ahead if you want!"
"Okay," said Gerard after a moment's hesitation. "See you at school, then."
He came back downstairs, grabbed his coat and said "Come on" to Frank, who nodded and followed him out the door. Because what else was he gonna do? Refuse to budge and just stand in Gerard's hallway all day?
They walked at a good pace towards their school, chatting aimlessly and bickering about stupid things, like whether Ray would look good with his hair straightened. And whether or not Frank was short, which he clearly was, but he refused to admit it.
"Come on, Frankie," said Gerard, slinging his arm around Frank's shoulders. "Are you actually trying to deny that you're short? Really?"
"I'm not short!" was Frank's brilliant and well-thought-out reply.
"Yeah, you are. I don't even understand how you can say you're not while keeping a straight face."
Frank pouted. "I am not short," he stated again, this time sullenly. "For the millionth time, Gerard, I'm fun-sized."
Gerard rolled his eyes, smiling. "Fine," he said, pulling Frank tight to his side. "You're fun-sized."
Frank beamed. He couldn't help it.
Ray was waiting for them at the bottom of his street. His head was turned away from them, and he didn't even notice them coming until they were within a metre of him.
"Oh!" he exclaimed, whipping around. "Hi guys! Where's..."
His sentence trailed off and his eyes widened in schock.
Frank was only confused for a second. Then he realized, just as Ray shouted "Since when are you guys dating?!"
He cringed. Shiiiiit.
"And you didn't even tell me before you gave him the hoodie?! Oh my God, Gerard, why would you not tell me about this?!"
"Ray-" Gerard began, but he was cut off.
"Seriously, you guys! Like, congratulations and everything, but honestly! How long has this been going on and why didn't you tell me?! I mean-"
"RAY!" Gerard yelled.
Ray stopped and looked at him.
"We're not dating."
Ray blinked a few times. "Oh."
There was an awkward silence, during which Gerard removed his arm from around Frank's shoulder. Frank's heart sank, but he didn't let it show.
"Anyways, we left without Mikey," said Gerard, breaking the silence but not really doing much to diffuse the awkwardness in the air. "He was straightening his hair."
"Oh," said Ray again. "Well... I guess we should get going then."
They were almost at school when from behind them they heard Mikey yelling.
"Guys! Wait up!"
They stopped walking and turned around, and Mikey stopped dead in his tracks. Frank sighed. Here we go again...
"You're dating Frank and Ray knew before me?! I'm your brother!"
"We're not dating, Mikey," said Frank, unable to keep the dullness out of his voice. He hoped Gerard would attribute it to annoyance.
"Well, then why-?"
"He was cold, okay? Drop it," Gerard snapped.
Mikey stared at him. He scowled, and Mikey looked down at the ground with a mumbled "Sorry."
Gerard sighed and forced a smile. "It's okay."
The air was so thick with awkwardness that Frank thought he might die. He briefly considered running, but then realized that would be stupid, because then later Gerard would want to know why he'd run and no lie he could come up with would sound at all believable.
You're not acting normal, he told himself sternly. They're going to get suspicious.
Using every single ounce of his concentration, he hitched a mocking grin on his face. "Me and Gerard?!" he scoffed. "Right. When Ray willingly shaves his head!"
"Well, you're wearing the hoodie," Ray mumbled, but Frank pretended not to hear him.
"We need to keep walking," said Gerard. "We're going to be late."
"Whatever you say, Gee baby," Frank cooed teasingly. Gerard shoved him playfully and he laughed, stumbling a bit. Gerard giggled. His smile wasn't forced anymore, to Frank's satisfaction.
However, the smiles were promptly wiped off their faces when they got to school. Before they even got through the doors, they heard the first whispered "Oh my God, are Gerard Way and Frank Iero dating?!"
Mikey and Ray both smirked and gave each other here-it-fucking-comes! looks.
And so it did.
First period, Frank had Chemistry with Gerard (ha-ha) and then they wouldn't see each other until lunch. Normally Frank thought that really sucked, but today, after suffering through a horribly awkward chemistry lesson during which several people (including the teacher) stared openly at them, he counted it as a blessing.
Not that the stares stopped when Gerard wasn't there. They were just a lot less awkward.
But all the looks and mutterings had an effect that he hadn't anticipated, and by the time second period came around, a sense of horror had started to set in. He hadn't thought for a minute that hearing it so many times, "Are Gerard Way and Frank Iero dating?", would bring down the mental barriers that he'dd worked so hard to put up. But it had, or at least started to. Hearing "are they dating?" so many times had made him want it, want it so badly. The longing he had so carefully contained for so long was seeping through, into the part of him that was Gerard's best friend. It was all mixing together, and he was horrified.
By the end of second period, he was feeling nauseous.
By the end of third period, he wanted to curl up in a ball somewhere and cry.
But then the bell rang for lunch.
Frank's stomach clenched. He considered hiding out in the bathroom until lunch was over, but he couldn't do that, not when he imagined the worry in Gerard's eyes if he didn't show up at lunch, or the hurt on his face when he realized Frank had abandoned him...
Okay, maybe he was being melodramatic, but either way, he found himself trying to re-seperate his fucked-up feelings. When that failed, he calmed himself down as best he could, tried to stop his knees knocking and his palms sweating, willed the butterflies in his stomach to go the fuck away (they did not oblige- in fact, they got more frantic) and walked out into the courtyard to meet his friends for lunch.
When he got to their normal meeting spot on the bleachers, only Gerard was there. Just my fucking luck. He hesitantly plopped down next to him. Finding himself unable to control his violently shaking hands, he clenched them together and placed them in his lap. He didn't even dare look at Gerard- he didn't trust himself not to lose it completely.
"So..." said Gerard quietly. "How's it going?"
Frank shrugged, not trusting his voice either.
"Getting a lot of shit?"
He nodded and Gerard sighed. "I'm sorry, I didn't think everyone would recognize it, I didn't mean for everyone to bug you about it-"
Frank meant to say "It's okay, you didn't know." But when he opened his mouth, what burst out was the phrase he'd been frantically repeating to himself all morning- "It's just a hoodie!"
"What?" Gerard asked, turning to him, and Frank automatically turned too, so that he was looking right into his eyes.
His heart practically stopped, and then started beating double-time as heat rushed to his cheeks. When he spoke, it took every single ounce of his concentration not to stammer.
"Everybody just assumed we're dating, just because I'm wearing your hoodie! It's so stupid! They all think you gave it to me for some big, particular reason!" he cried, throwing his hands up.
Gerard's face fell. He suddenly looked very sad. In fact, he looked like he might cry.
"I did," he mumbled.
Before Frank had even processed what he'd said, he'd gotten up and was walking away across the field. Frank stared after him, mind racing. And then it clicked.
He jumped to his feet. "Gee!" he hollered after his best friend's retreating form.
Gerard didn't even look back. So Frank ran after him.
"Gee!" He caught up and grabbed Gerard's wrist. Gerard stopped. "Gee, what do you mean, you did?"
"I- I just-" Gerard stammered. "Just... forget about it, Frankie, please?"
Frank didn't say anything, but he didn't let go either.
They stood there looking at each other. Gerard looked panicky, like he wanted to bolt.
"Gerard, tell me what you meant," Frank said seriously, trying to quash the swelling hope in his chest. You're being stupid. Stop it. His reason was that you were cold.
"I just thought..." Gerard was so quiet that Frank strained to hear him. "I thought I could pretend."
Frank froze. His breath hitched.
I thought I could pretend.
That was what he had thought that morning- I could pretend.
"You could pretend what?" he managed.
Gerard ducked his head. "I- I thought... if you were wearing my hoodie then... Then I could pretend you were mine."
Frank seriously almost squealed.
Gerard looked up fearfully and Frank, without even thinking about it, grabbed his face and kissed him.
Gerard froze and Frank nervously started to pull away. But he said-
His pulling away snapped Gerard out of his shock and he surged forward, hooking his fingers through Frank's belt loops and pulling him back. Frank felt his knees weaken. He tangled his hands in Gerard's hair and pulled him as close as he could.
Behind them, someone cleared their throat. Frank fully intended to ignore whoever it was who was trying to interrupt. Then they shouted "Hey!" and Frank realized it was Mikey.
Not that that at all changed his intention to ignore him.
"No way! You do it," he heard Mikey say quietly.
A few seconds later, someone grabbed him and dragged him off (and away from) Gerard.
"Hey!" Gerard complained to Ray, who had done the dragging and still had hold of Frank's arm, to stop him from getting away.
"I thought you guys weren't dating!" Ray said indignantly.
"Yeah, what happened to 'he was just cold, drop it'?" Mikey chimed in, glaring.
"Changed our minds," Frank pouted, struggling in Ray's grip.
"Obviously," Mikey snorted, but his expression softened. "Well, it was about time. I mean, it was super obvious that it was going to happen. And now I won't have to listen to Gerard's lovesick rambling all the time-"
"Mikey..." said Gerard, who had gone very red. "Shut the fuck up."
"Does this mean I have to shave my head?" Ray asked apprehensively.
The other three stared at him uncomprhendingly.
"You said 'Me and Gerard? Right. When Ray willingly shaves his head!' Well, we just found you guys eating each other's faces, so..."
Frank and Gerard looked at each other and then back at Ray. "Nah," they said in unison.
"If you'll let go of me," Frank added.
Ray reluctantly released his arm and he pounced on Gerard again.
Mikey groaned. "Come on, Ray. Let's leave these two lovebirds alone. I don't wanna see this."
Gerard and Frank smirked as Ray and Mikey walked away as quickly as they could.
And then they continued where they'd left off.
The walk home that evening was very awkward for poor Mikey, considering Frank and Gerard were holding hands and giggling and cooing at each other. But they didn't care how awkward Mikey felt. They were too busy being completely over the moon with lovestruck happiness.
When they reached the Way's house, Mikey got inside as fast as his feet could carry him. Frank reached up and gave Gerard a goodbye kiss. He turned to leave, but then stopped and turned back.
"Oh," he said. "I'm still wearing your hoodie."
He went to unzip it and give it back, but Gerard caught his hand and stopped him.
"You know," he said tentatively, "It's supposed to be cold again tomorrow."
"Yeah?" Frank said, liking where this was going.
"Yeah. And the next day too."
"Yeah." Gerard bit his lip. "In fact, maybe you should just... keep it."
Frank actually did squeal this time. He launched himself at Gerard, planting kisses all over his face.
When he got home, his mom was waiting for him in the kitchen. As it turned out, even she recognized what he was wearing- she'd met a bunch of Gerard's girlfriends, after all.
"Is that THE hoodie?" she gasped.
Frank grinned, pulling it tighter around himself. "Forget THE hoodie," he said happily. "This is MY hoodie now."
And it remained Frank's hoodie until it became too worn-out to wear. But by then it didn't matter.
He had a ring instead.
A/N: Sooo... rate and review, my lovelies? And if you wouldn't mind, could you tell me what your favourite part was (assuming you liked it)? For some reason that's something I really like to know.
Thanks for reading!