"My starlight, my fire, my guiding light."
Gerard was nervous.
The fact that that evening he'd sworn to himself not to drink made everything thousands of times more difficult, because a drink would've given him the strength and the protection he so desperately needed, because without a drink he felt naked and tiny and vulnerable.
He fidgeted with the coasters and the glass and the tiny china doll which had been placed as a cutesy decoration on the TV table of the room of a motel he knew far too well, a motel he'd been visiting for years, a motel that had almost become his second home.
The pit of his stomach was twisting and knotting and choking itself with the kind of fear that comes and takes hold of you whenever something's so beautiful it scares you, and the excitement mixes with the terror if it all going wrong, and it tastes bittersweet in your mouth, you find it hard to breathe.
Gerard was nervous, and scared, and terrified, and excited and each and every type of emotion in between because that night was different from any other night he'd ever lived, because that night Gerard was finally picking up the pieces, he was finally trying to fix himself.
He started tugging at one of his jacket's loose strings, and, as it started to come undone, pictured the entire bundle of thread falling apart. He pictured himself standing amongst the remains of his father's jacket, and for some reason it made him feel guilty.
He lighted a cigarette, hoping it would distract him. Smoking was the only addiction that he hadn't started for the pure purpose of destroying himself, what was left of him and what he'd become. What Frank had made him become.
But Frank, maybe, was about to make him whole again.
Gerard stared into space as he savored the smoke, its burnt, sweet flavor.
He waited. He waited for what seemed days and years and centuries, every second going by excruciatingly slow, and every second that went by meant Gerard became a little more nervous, a little more scared.
And then, somebody knocked on the door, and every cell in Gerard's body screamed.
He stood up. His knees were shaking. He swallowed, crushed what little remained of the cigarette and opened the door a fraction of an inch.
Gerard's eyes met Frank's, and both men's hearts skipped a beat.
Gerard gasped, ever so quietly.
It took less than a second, a mere heartbeat, and they both realized that it was, in fact, happening, sweetly, magnificently, maybe far too quickly.
Frank pushed himself inside, slammed the door behind him and grabbed Gerard's face between his hands. He kissed him, Gerard kissed him back, sweetly, hungrily. Way slipped his tongue between Iero's lips, searched for his and smiled because Frank was real and there and, with no doubt, his. He wasn't a dream or an alcohol-induced hallucination, it was Frank, his little one, his Anthony, his boy.
The taste of his skin, and the scent of his hair, and Frank's clothes flowing through his hands like water: all was real, beautiful, intoxicating.
There wasn't time to talk or whisper.
There wasn't time to even think, because they needed each other, they'd waited fourteen years for each other, and every kiss was the sweetest they'd ever given, and clothes felt uncomfortable, sandpaper against their skin. Belts broke easily, buttons popped off, and coats and shirts and pants fell to the floor without a sound.
But their naked skin touching, finally touching was louder than the screams of a butterfly breaking free of her cocoon, louder than blood beating and the shrieking of a mother giving birth, it was louder than bombs exploding and children laughing, it was loud, so loud, loud and powerful.
Frank pushed Gerard onto the bed, kissed him again.
They couldn't live without each other. In that precise moment, the heartbeat of one was the heartbeat of the other, they fed on each other's life and on the pure simple notion that they were both alive and real and pure, needing and wanting, simply breathing.
Together, as their tongues met once more, and their bodies became one.
Frank buried his face into Gerard's hair.
The older man smiled, drew Frank closer. He ran his hand along Iero's bare and sweaty back, delicately traced the curve of his neck, the point where it met the shoulder. The tips of his fingers lingered for a moment, brushed against his collarbone and started caressing it, ever so lightly. Frank didn't say a word, his arms placed around Gerard's neck. They didn't move for a while: they didn't feel the need to.
Gerard placed his thumb on Frank's neck, placed it so he could feel Iero's heartbeat.
A simple thing.
A beautiful thing.
He imagined air rushing through Frank's nostrils, up sinuses, down the trachea and into the lungs, which expanded and flexed and accepted the oxygen, made it useful. He imagined the oxygen being picked up by the bloodstream – red and powerful and vital – he imagined it flowing through the muscles, reaching every inch of him, nurturing him, feeding him. He imagined pores expanding, hair rising as an involuntary shiver rippled through the muscles.
They hadn't spoken yet. Maybe because it hadn't been necessary, or maybe because they hadn't been able to: emotions will sometimes do that. They'll snuff it all out, take control. It can be bad.
But it can also be magnificent.
Gerard kissed Frank's forehead, hugged him tighter, cradled him.
The words broke the silence, made the magic grow. They were delicate and barely whispered and sweet.
Frank placed a finger onto Gerard's lips.
“Don't lie, old man.” he said, smiling.
Gerard kissed Frank's finger.
He rested his forehead against Frank's.
“I would never lie to you. Not in a million years. Never.”
“I missed you, old man.”
But it was more than that.
Because 'missing' couldn't describe it all.
It couldn't describe the feeling of having a chunk of what made him Frank ripped out.
'Missing' couldn't describe the emptiness, the pain, the longing.
'Missing' couldn't describe the jealousy that came every time Way's lips kissed another's, or every time Iero would lie awake and picture Gerard in bed with someone else.
'Missing' couldn't describe the regret that came from every unspoken word, 'missing' couldn't describe seeing a sunset burn the summer sky and desperately wish for his arms around him, 'missing' couldn't describe it all, it wasn't enough. It never would've been.
Gerard smiled at Frank, ran a hand through his hair. He rested his chin against his head, eyes half shut.
It made Frank smile.
“You were always my boy. You always will be. My starlight, my fire, my guiding light.”
Frank smiled. He sat up, placed himself on top of Gerard, knees on each side of his hips.
He started kissing him. He kissed his nose, and each of his cheeks and then, ever so delicately, he pressed his lips against the other man's.
“I love you.”
Gerard smiled hearing this. It meant the world to him.
“I love you – Frank said again - and we are absolutely and completely crazy.”
“And why's that, Frankie?”
“Because if anybody finds out, we are going to lose everything.”
Gerard placed a hand on the back of Frank's neck, drawing him closer.
“Or maybe we're just brave.” he whispered into his ear. “Maybe it's just that, little one.”
Frank pulled up into his driveway.
He switched the car off, switched the radio off, let the engine cool down.
He smiled to himself and lowered the car window.
The air smelled of night, of fresh air, of stars.
He shut his eyes and breathed, the sound of before’s lovemaking still ringing in his ears. He liked that.
The lights in his home were all switched off. He wondered if it was the same at Gerard's, but doubted it. For some reason, though, he preferred to think about Jamia safely in bed, sleeping, rather than worrying herself sick perched on a chair waiting for him all night.
Jamia. A calm, still and secure pond, she'd been pushed into the back of his mind by the raging river that was Gerard's existence, by the fury and the passion, by the sheer bliss of finally holding him, of finally feeling him against him, of tasting him.
He'd found him again.
He'd touched him. He'd made love to him, muffled his moans with kisses, felt his nails dig into his back, felt Way's body tense and relax against his.
Things he'd never expect to feel again. Things he wished for every day.
Things he'd needed, oh so very desperately, for years.
He stretched and bended his neck back and licked his lips.
He stepped out of the car.
Their meeting had been short, far too short, but Frank knew they were both terrified of getting caught, and it pained him because now that he'd tasted Gerard again, he couldn't let him go. He needed him even more than before, and once a week would've never been enough for either of them.
But he was happy. With no doubt, Frank Iero was happy, the happiest he'd ever been in a long, long time.
The grass was wet with rain and dew.
He felt light-headed and cheerful and blissful, he was on top of the world, and everything was sacred and pure, everything was perfect.
He took his shoes off and, with no reason at all, lied down on his wet lawn.
He felt water seep into his two-hundred dollar wrinkled and crumpled suit. Two buttons were missing.
He'd worked his ass off to pay for that suit, and he found it nearly ridiculous that something as simple as water could ruin it forever. Grass stains and water stains.
Jamia would've been furious.
Frank started laughing.
He realized how crazy and out of this world that night had been, how insane they both were.
How magnificently mad his life had become in the blink of an eye. How that one kiss (but, after all, wasn't each kiss with Gerard as sweet as the first one?) had, at the same time, sealed their fate and opened a world.
He laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
He laughed because he was happy, he laughed because he was free, he laughed for no reason at all, laughed because he could, because nobody was there to tell him otherwise.
Frank Iero laughed, and felt himself finally break free.
Maybe we're just brave, little one.