Baby, did you forget to take your meds?
But this chapter is just dedicated to Frank and Gerard. If you are looking for gore you’re gonna have to wait, because I always pump my story with fluff before something major happens...
Enjoy, my beauties.
First of the Gang to Die
Gerard Way woke up the next morning at around five thirty, to the sound of retching and tinkling coming from the en suite he shared with his husband. He reached over to the other side of the four-poster bed, and felt nothing but rustled sheets on Frank’s side. He cracked his eye fully open and slipped from the bed, grasping his stick as he saw a sliver of yellow light seeping from under the bathroom door. It was in the bleak, mid-November, bear in mind; darkness came at five in the evening and would not leave until nine the following day.
The gangster clicked and clacked along the wooden floor until he reached the bathroom. Frank was slumped against one cupboard below the sink, eyes swimming with hot tears and blood trickling down his chin and threatening his jawline. He was bright, sickly white; not pale but ashen and colourless, like he had been drained of all fluids. He was shaking as well-whether from cold or from ailment Gerard was not aware.
“Sweetheart,” he murmured, bending down to press a hand to his forehead, which was burning and slicked with sweat. “Baby, what’s the matter?”
He knew what the matter was-a syringe, dotted with thin, light scarlet, was lying on the floor next to his boy, rolling ominously around, the glass the source of the telling tinkle. Gerard looked away quickly. The needle was sharp and straight and lethal, leering at him like an old bully.
“I don’t know,” Frank moaned, exasperated. His voice was just a small croak. “I c-can’t breathe and I-oh fuck-“
He started to cough into his hand, spraying blood all over the small limb and splattering his collarbone. The retching sounded deep and painful, a horrible choking coming right from the centre of his chest, right in between his lungs. Every time he took a sharp, futile breath in between the wracks, his lungs would scratch and tickle until he felt forced to let another belt of a cough. When he was done, he leaned back again, exhausted, eyes swollen from rubbing, little chest pumping up and down. His lower lip quivered as he began to cry openly.
“Why the fuck do I have this d-disease?” He whimpered, gasping for breath again. “It’s so sore and it’s so gross and I hate it.”
“Take off your shirt please, darling,” Gerard asked calmly, stroking him again out of formality. “I need to see your ribs, honey.”
Frank tugged the material off weakly, with gentle help from the other, exposing the ribcage that stood out prominently in his torso. The bones seemed to swell and jut out, skin stretched over the cage like leather. The most striking and horrendous thing about the experience were the black spots visible on his skin, the welts, doused in red, surrounded his rib cage and hovered like disgusting spots of heresy.
“Frankie,” he whispered, reaching out to pet his hand gently. “Babe, you forget to take your meds?”
“No!” He squealed in frustration, but was too weak to be angry at the other. He rubbed at his already swollen eyes and made a little hmph noise. “I always take it. All the goddamn time,” he whined, pulling on his lover’s shirt. “And I’m sweating...but I’m so cold and I-” he wracked and retched again-“ugh, stupid fucking fever.”
“Honey, don’t worry,” he murmured, looking into the deep chocolate eyes smouldered with anxiety. “I’ll make sure you get better, sweetie, I’ll take care of you until you’re all healthy again.”
“You have a raid today,” the other interjected, tracing the gangster’s jawline. “You gotta go, Gee.”
“Says who?” Way questioned quietly, trying desperately to avoid the gaze with the stern eye of the needle. “I’m the boss, baby. I decide whether I go or not.”
“But you-” he tried to plead helplessly. “You can’t just stay here with me, you’ll get bored-“
“Mmm, babe, already made my mind up, and I’m staying here in our house as long as you’re feeling shitty. Now you can either get your pretty little ass up and accept that or I can carry you.” He raised both eyebrows. “What’s it gonna be, sugar pop?”
Frank crossed his arms over his chest.
“You can’t carry me.” He nodded at Gerard’s shins. “You haven’t put your leg on.”
Way glanced down to see that, in his haste, he had not reattached his prosthetic leg. He smirked a little.
“Well. Carrying it is, then.”
“Wait-Ger-what are you-AHHH-“
The leader of the Way gang had picked up by the boy with one arm and let him gently over his shoulder, with the other squeaking a little excitedly at his back. The murderer smirked as he strolled down the corridor of the house, then pushing open the large, looking chamber door of a spare room. He let the boy slip from his shoulders and onto the plush bed in the mystery room.
Gerard hadn’t meant to bring Frank in here; he had completely forgotten he was bringing his husband into his former study. It smelt of whiskey and leather, and was dark green and brown in colour. Way only used this room to meet with what he called his ‘associates’-the other gang members that would call to him on a fairly regular basis; everything else, like reading and sketching, took place in the top corridor. The bed here was another four-poster (what else, thought Frank) and was cool and crisp to the touch, the sheets clean and fresh.
“Why are we in your study?” The boy asked as Gerard pulled the sheets and duvet around him, tightening around his waist and his legs, but leaving the material around his chest lie loose.
“Our room is probably too stuffy,” the gangster replied, and the other was pleased at how thoughtful the gesture was. Frank noticed his husband stopped tucking him in and was looking uneasily at his walls, covered in pictures and portraits and tapestries. “Perhaps we should go to a different room. I do not particularly care for this one...”
That’s a little bit strange.
Iero touched his arm and smiled gratefully at him.
“I think it’s lovely, Gee.” Then he snorted. “How many spare rooms do we have?”
“Approximately nine,” the gangster replied, still in that abnormal trance as he gazed at the paintings. The younger let out a low whistle. “We have not been on our own in the house for such a long time, it seems. Most of my men and their wives slept here in the spare bedrooms.” A ghost of a smile. “They will be sleeping in their own beds from now on.”
That also sounded a little bit off, but promising; Frank did not question the Don, however-his husband was best left in his little pool of self-mystery.
“Gee?” He tugged at the black shirt. “Gerard, what’s wrong? You look sad.”
Way shook himself off and smiled again, back to normal, as he sat on the edge of the bed and stroked his boy’s hair, pressing his hand to his forehead, now freezing to the touch. The twenty four year old sighed in comfort and relief and took the larger hand in his and pressed it to his cheek, the warm radiation seeping from Gerard’s skin to his, making him writhe with heat and pleasure.
“You’re absolutely glacial, Frankie,” the gangster observed, frowning. “We should warm you up.”
“Sex?!” He nearly jumped a foot in the air and began attacking his clothes. “You are the best-“
“We are not having sex,” Gerard confirmed, and the other sank back down again. “I meant warm you up conventionally, not by jumping you or something.” He chuckled. “I swear, you are one of the most sex-crazed people I know.”
“Only because I have it with the best person ever,” he gushed, smiling ever-so-sweetly and batting his eyelids. “And because he’s soooo good at it.”
“Flattery is not going to change my mind, baby.”
The boy pouted and the other laughed again.
“Maybe later, okay? But first I just wanna get you better, sugar pop,” the criminal promised, gazing into the red-rimmed and swollen hazel eyes. “Just do whatever you want to do. Not sex,” he injected quickly, “but something that will aid your illness.”
“I don’t wanna be...like, demanding.” Frank said politely, leaning against his chest, and loving the feel of the steady beating heart below him. “You don’t have to stay with me, Gerard, you can go out. I’ll be fine, I swear, you have to go kill bad guys and stuff, I can’t-“
“First of all; that’s bullshit, babe, you’re really sick and you need someone to look after you. What do you think is more important to me; my gang or my husband’s wellbeing?”
“Exactly. Secondly; I have never left you alone and unsupervised, even for a minute. Why do you think I’d start when my bunny rabbit’s all sick? And lastly...hate to say it, honey, but I am the bad guy.”
“Killing the worse guys.”
“You could argue I am perhaps the worst, but we shall move on.” He raised his eyebrows. “Now, order me to do something. C’mon. Pretend I’m your slave.” He smirked. “Be Don of the Mafia for a day.”
“But you treat me so good all the time,” Frank tried to put to him, but the other was adamant. “I can’t just order you around like my slave, that’s mean. I’d hate being mean to you, Gee, I love you.” He smiled shyly, and the next words he spoke were quiet and affectionate. “But it would be really, really awesome if you’d stay here and talk to me.”
“As you wish,” Way murmured, and pressed their lips together, and pulling apart moments later. “Now; you have not eaten-what would you like for breakfast?”
“Toast is fine,” he answered. Gerard looked unimpressed.
“Toast? You realize, of course, you are married to someone who is from the most gastronomically superb country in the world?”
Frank was confused.
“No, babe, Italy. I’ll make you anything you want, you can have anything you want, all you gotta do is ask me.” He smiled and kissed him once more, encouraging him. “C’mon, honey, fuck being polite and nice, I wanna see my rabbit get all fired up and demanding,” he purred, eyes half shut, voice wet with lust. The boy even let out a small mewl of want. “I’m your husband, as well as your lover and your best friend. I don’t care if you treat me like a slave.” He closed his eyes and smirked fully, every incisor and canine on show. “I’d actually find that really sexy. So, sugar-I’ll ask you again; what do you want for breakfast?”
“Well...whatever you eat.”
“That narrows it down to about everything and anything, sugarmuffin.”
“Oh!” He lisped, the pet name inspiring him. “Can I have a muffin, please?”
“Frankie, I hear one more ‘please’ or ‘can I have’ and I might just sneak meat into your breakfast.” He rolled his eyes at the over compensation of graciousness but smiled to show he was not in all seriousness. “Of course you can, pet, what type would you like?”
“Good choice, I wouldn’t have given you a fruit one,” he muttered as he scribbled it down on a piece of paper, intricate writing more looped and curved than ever. “Fruit is so...icky.”
“Icky.” He looked to him again. “You want me to make some sorta vegetarian thing for you?”
“Oh, yes please, Gee, that’s so nice of you-“
“Frank Anthony Way, what have I told you about manners? I told you they are not to be used any longer in my presence. Swear, screech, shout-call me your little bitch if you like, but you can stop being so respectful, darling. It feels like you’re afraid of me or something.”
“Alright then,” he said triumphantly. “I want tofu and eggs and cereal and orange juice and hot chocolate with vodka in it and I want cream on my muffin, not too much cream but a lot of cream and I want an apple dipped in toffee and an omelette and a yoghurt-Greek style- and that Italian bread with the white stuff on it and Brazil nuts.” He nodded at him. “See if you can get that, bitch.”
“Great!” Gerard said, clasping his hands together. “I’ll be ten minutes, babe.”
“Oh no, Gee,” he stammered quickly,” I was just joking, don’t get me any of that, I was just kidding, Gerard, I’ll go downstairs and make toast, it’s fine-“
“Ah ah ah!” Gerard refused, wagging his finger with a significant amount of sass. “You asked me for those items specifically and now you are getting them. I am also giving you breakfast in bed, you are not inching away from that bed today, Frankie, or so help me God I will kiss you so hard your face will fall off.”
“Ger-I-oh-“ He stopped each time as the other shook his head. Iero groaned. “Why do you treat me so well, Gerard?”
“Because I love treating you like this,” he said simply. “I think it’s cute and you think it’s sweet and in the end we both benefit because we’re weird or something, I dunno.” Frank giggled. “It’s good to come home and be all gentle and soft with you as opposed to just coming back here and fighting and screaming,actions of which I have been doing all day, albeit with different men.”
The boy realized he was talking about Evan. He nudged his head under his chin and snuggled against him.
“I’d hate to fight with you,” he breathed. “Not just cause you’re stronger and stuff but because I’d hate to think I annoyed you or something.” He could feel his tears coming on-they always did when he expressed his feelings for Gerard. “I love you so much, Gerard, don’t ever hurt me, please.” He snuffled and squeaked as his lungs tightened from his crying. “Every person who’s ever been around me ends up hurting me and being such a bitch.” He tugged at his husband’s shirt. “I love you so much that if even you ever hurt me I think I’d still be with you.” He started crying all over again, for his past-James, every one James had affiliated with, his moth, his father-“Since you’r e b-being my b-bitch t-today, I want you to d-do something.”
“Anything, darling,” the Don promised in his ear. “You tell me absolutely anything, baby, and I will do it for you.”
“Tell me you love me,” he ‘demanded’ weakly, hiccupping from the pressure on his chest. His hair was being stroked again and his back rubbed as Gerard cuddled him close. “Tell me you love me as much as I love you.”
“I would trade anything for you, Frank,” he said softly, almost a whisper, as the other whimpered and sniffed. “I mean that. I would do anything for you, babe. I’d rip my eyes out, I’d kill any man who ever even looked at you funny-fuck it, I’d go on a diet for you, honey.” His husband laughed a little as he rubbed his eyes. “I mean that-vegan, vegetarian, any-fucking-thing, all for you. And I’ll never leave you. Ever.”
Frank sniffed again and kissed Gerard’s cheek. Then he thought about something.
“Well, technically you will. Because I’m gonna die before you.” The subject did not particularly upset him-he had thought about the bitter end many times in his mind. “People with TB often don’t live long. I’ll be lucky if I make it to thirty, Gerard. And by then you’ll only be thirty five, and there’s nothing wrong with you, apart from your eating. And you said it the night before we got married; you’re fucking indestructible. No one can kill you.”
Gerard shook his head, locking his fingers.
“That’s not true,” he said, gazing deeply at his husband. “That’s not true at all. There is one man who can kill me easily.”
He seemed a touch uneasy about the matter, and the other wondered why.
“You kidding me? I can take on that cocky old prick any goddamn time,” he shrugged, and then returned to formality. “No, my father is not who I am talking about.”
“Um...Marcus? Or some Romano guy?”
“Again, I would like to think my fighting skills are slightly more able than men who have an IQ of the same level of mental retardation.”
“Then...who?” He gasped. “Bob? Ray? Louis? Mario-“
“Who is it?”
He looked intently at the boy and mouthed the formation of a two-letter word between his lips.
Frank’s eyes widened and he stared at Gerard, still clasping onto his shirt.
“Sugar, calm down. There is nothing to freak out about.”
“You can never kill yourself, do you understand me?” Frank said, pulling at him, pressing their noses together. His lungs were tightening as he spoke but he didn’t care, or even have time to. “Ever ever, you never even think about doing something like that, ever, you-you can’t!” He hugged Gerrad tightly and nearly coughed up a lung in doing so. “I command you never to do that!”
Frank rested in his arms, exhausted, pouting a little. Then the other finally spoke.
“I am not saying I would do as long as you are alive. I am just stating that if there ever was a time in which you...” he squeezed his eyes shut. “In which you should come to your demise before I, then I would commit suicide. Not just to be with you wherever you should end up, but because there is nothing for me without you. Life is not worth living without you there with me.”
Frank nodded and drew back, kissing him again, slowly and sweetly. It was rare enough that he started off the passion, and the gangster was well aware of this.
“What if...what if...what if like, God sends me to Hell and you get to Heaven?” Gerard laughed at the unlikeliness of the event. “Or the other way around.”
“Well, in that case, my dear, I will beat up God and His only Son until they allow me to go wherever you go. I don’t give a shit about being Holy and our only Saviour, they’se gonna get their asses whupped once I die.” He pecked Frank on the lips and stood up. “I shall go change quickly and then make your breakfast, is that acceptable?”
“Of course, Gee, thank you-“
“Oh.” He crossed his arms and pretended to roll his eyes. “Yeah, fine, whatever, just get your fat ass back here by the time I turn twenty five, Gerard.”
“Oooh!” The killer jeered on from down the hall. “Feisty! I like it!”
Frank giggled and looked around Gerard’s former study. Bookshelves covered every inch of available wall that wasn’t already covered in paintings, literature in every language you could think of, and more. French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian-and English, of course. A large desk stood in the middle, and of course was less dense than the brother on the fourth floor, but still had books and scraps of paper scuffled around it, and a bulky, black telephone stood prominently at the edge. He briefly wondered how many illegal acts had been organized over that phone.
Frank heard as his husband descended the stairs and sauntered to the kitchen on the floor below him currently. The little things that gave him away were the tinkle and clanking of his jewellery and his glorious, wonderful humming. Frank made a mental note to order Gerard to sing for him once he came back from his cooking, as he always loved hearing the deep, dangerous drawl, currently doing a rendition of the House of the Rising Sun.
I know I know, it’s old and stuff, but Helena wasn’t exactly around in the nineteen thirties ya know. Tryin to make it realistic and all that jazz
“There is...a house...in New Orleans...they call...the Riiiiisin Sun...”
His voice was assisted by the sizzle and clanking pans as he worked, and Frank could hear the gust of steam gushing from the kettle, and the crunch as something was ground up and grinded.
The boy looked around to try and figure out what Gerard had gotten so uncomfortable about-and saw the smoking gun immediately when he turned himself around.
LA CASA PIU ANTICA E NOBILE DI VIA
The letters were old and Gothic, sharp and pointed as they gazed down upon the onlooker. The portraits that surrounded them were obviously old-fashioned, and intended to be that way. All black and white, three separate pictures of three separate men. The first man, was tall and thin and old, with a black beard and a questioning, superior eye. The marking in the gold frame stated MSV and then two dates; 1880-1910-perhaps this was his reign, Frank figured, still craning his neck from the bed to look at the pictures. The old man, possibly in his forties, was standing with a slightly theatrical pose, as in he looked rather interesting to stare at. His gaze was quizzical and rather Mona Lisa-like; he was not particularly sad or happy. One outstanding thing was his dress and appearance-he was dark, not African-American but simply very tanned with a thick crop of black hair. He wore a simple black shirt and trousers, and many thick rings upon his hand. He did not look rich in any sense of the word.
The next man Frank knew well-none other than Gerard’s father himself. The picture was taken, obviously, a long time ago, because Donald was...well...good-looking. He was shorter than Gerard, and not even extremely manly-maybe five seven or five eight. He was less golden than his father but still sparkled with an amber hue that enticed and teased the on looker. He was more severe than the man who preceded him, as he wore a stern gaze and a disapproving frown to match. Nonetheless, the boy saw what had attracted all those girls to Way when he was a young man, as Gerard had said. This time it was DBV and another two dates; 1910-1927. Even with the most basic mathematical education, Frank worked it out in his head-yes, as his husband had become Don at twenty two, a few days after marrying Evan. Donald was predominantly more wealthy then his father-he wore the full suit, and the background of the photograph suggested a manor rather than a house.
And then there was Gerard-oh Gerard, you’re so beautiful it’s criminally unfair to the rest of us. The then-twenty two year old was glaring at the camera, one rebel eyebrow raised in a cheeky, defiant manner. Gerard was right about his weight; he had been much skinnier back then, tall and thin and unspeakably gorgeous. The green eyes were not visible in the light-they were just black on white and demoted Way of his appearance. GAV-of course. Only one date this time; 1927 and a dash.
Below the three men, however, were more men and women-Bob was among them, RCB inscribed below the blond man. One of them was the woman with the same green eyes as Gerard-Donna. He was about to inspect more when he heard heavy footsteps on the stairs, and the chamber door was kicked open.
Gerard placed a tray full of every single ingredient in their kitchen (or so it seemed) on his lap as he perched on the edge of the bed. Frank grinned involuntarily when he saw the outturn. He barely noticed the gangster was wearing his black shirt and trouser braces, in lieu of his boxer shorts and t-shirt he had been wearing moments ago. He had tamed down his hair and also brought out his russet colour more. Of course, several rings clicked and chimed on his fingers.
“Okay then,” he started off, pointing at each respective thing. “Tofu, eggs, cereal, orange juice, hot chocolate with vodka, muffin a la creme, a toffee apple, vegetarian omelette, Greek style yoghurt, the Italian bread-ciabatta, by the way-and Brazil nuts.” He smirked, smug beyond belief. “I believe that is the correct order in which they were supplied to me. Is that satisfactory, sir?”
Frank giggled and leaned to kiss him on the mouth, minding not to spill or tip over any of the food or drink, and twisted his small hands in the raven hair, that, he was happy to observe, was growing long again. Once he had withdrawn from the lip-lock, he laughed again.
“This is cool, Gee.”
“Thank you. Now;” he smiled again and waited expectantly, “who’s the best husband in the world?”
“Fuck yeah,” Gerard said, taking something from his pocket and then waggling his finger at Frank. “But before you eat, baby, gonna give you the cough stuff the MD gave you, mmkay? Just open your mouth and swallow it.”
“Gee,” he whined, “I don’t wanna. It tastes like shit. Look at it, it’s fucking black oil.”
Gerard shook the bottle gently and saw the viscous liquid barely budge. Nonetheless, Frank was going to have it.
“Sugar pop, I’m sorry, but you have got to have this, you’ll get really sick if you don’t. Way sicker than you are now. You won’t be able to talk because there’ll be so much blood up your throat, you need to take this, please.” The boy was weakening. “I’ll give you a kiss when we’re done.”
“If you’re a good boy,” the gangster replied slyly. “If you behave well and take your medicine like you’re supposed to then tongues may be involved. If you are a bad boy and refuse-“ his tone darkened-“then no swapping spit for you, you got that?”
“That’s not fair!” The other petitioned, though he was giggling. “You’re blackmailing me with your tongue!”
Gerard ignored the protests and let the liquid crawl slowly onto the spoon.
“C’mon, Fwankie,” he cooed like he was talking to a child. “Open your mouth and let Gerard see aaaaall your pretty teeth.”
Frank pouted and crossed his arms.
“I’m not a kid, Gee, I can feed myself!”
“What are you talking about, you’re my sweetheart, you’re my baby, my sugar pop, my little fuckbunny, tasting so sweet and sugary and soft...”he sucked at a spot just below his jaw and the other opened his mouth to moan. “Mmm,I could just eat you up, honey,you taste so good...”
Quick as a flash, Gerard jabbed the spoon into his lover’s mouth and the boy gasped and swallowed. He said something that sounded like an angry cry of ‘Gerard!’ and the gangster saw his time to intervene, meshing their mouths together as the boy attempted to slap Gerard on the chest, but gave in, melting into his mouth and letting his hands rest on Way’s chest. The killer pulled away and grinned.
“Wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“It tastes like shit,” Frank repeated, unbudging.
“Yeah, but I didn’t, did I?”
“Well...no,” he conceded, sighing. “No, you taste good. Really, really...really good.”
He coughed again from his chest, and sticky, thick blood clung to his hand, a clump of bunched up cells.
“Oh, poor baby,” Gerard soothed, wiping his hand with a handkerchief. “Little bunny is so sick, aren’t you? Lie back, okay, sugar? Lie back and I’ll make you feel better.”
“Not sex, Gee,” he pleaded, and the erractic swings were back again-nymphomaniac one minute and completely abhorring the next. “I don’t want to, please please please, I’m sick and I just want you to take care of me, PLEASE NO-“
“Sugar pop,” the other man said so quietly it was barely there. “I’m gonna take care of you, okay? I’ll be so gentle, I promise, babe, I won’t do anything you don’t want me to. Just eat, okay, and relax for me. If you don’t wanna have sex we’re not going to. Want you to get better, baby,” he finished, almost whispering. “I want you to be okay again.”
Frank nodded and shivered, and could feel he was now steadily getting colder.
“I’ll get some more blankets, sweetie,” he said, getting to his feet. “I’ll get you nice and warm, darling.”
Way exited the room and clacked down the hall to find extra sheets whilst the other just sat in the bed, feeling awful. He was so selfish all of the time. Gerard and him hadn’t had sex for over a week-which may be small fry to some people but to this couple, who usually engaged in the act every night, at least once...Frank felt terrible, especially as Gerard was so understanding. When he came back with more sheets, the boy took them graciously.
“Thank you,” he whispered, his throat catching. “I love you, Gerard.”
“I love you too, pet,” he breathed, and kissed Frank on the cheek as he stood, and then placed himself on the edge once more, tucking something inside the bed. “I got you a hot water bottle too, since that bed must be cold. Is that a little better, sugar?”
“Yes,” he answered and then waited until the room was silent. “I’m really sorry, Gerard, about not doing it. I want to, it’s just-“
“Frank, you really don’t have to apologize,” he murmured, picking up the tray and placing a heaving mug of hot chocolate into the weaker hands of the boy. “I myself have never gone through the disgusting act...but I have heard it happen, the direct-“ he covered his eyes with his palm and hissed. “It is evil. It is putrid. I understand why you get shaken up, pet. You must know that I am never the slightest bit angry at you when you flinch or plead with me, I just feel love and pity and concern. I am simply furious with...him.”
“That fucking cunt,” he snarled with venom, and the other squeaked. “That disgusting piece of shit that deserves to rot in the fiery depths of Hell.” He shook his head and cleared his throat. “I’m so sorry about that, baby. But being honest, Frank, and you are one helluva lover, please do not misunderstand...I prefer being with you, like now, as opposed to being intimate. Seeing you giggle and smile and just chatting to me...I love it, darling. When we watched Dracula and you were in my lap, babe, and we were just chatting, and making out like teenagers or something...I don’t know, that was awesome.”
“It was really awesome. I can’t believe we ate all the food,” Frank mused, laughing, and sniffing the mug in his hands. “Ohmygodthisisamazing-“
“Yeah, I ground up Oreo biscuits and poured in hot milk,” the Italian-American shrugged. “Hope it’s good. And before you say anything, I didn’t put the vodka in.”
“Oh,” the boy said happily. “How did you know I was kidding?”
“Alcohol makes your head hurt,” Gerard said wisely, grabbing a cup of coffee out of nowhere. “I know you too well.”
Frank nodded and began to rip into the food, swallowing everything in sight. The omelette was gone in a matter of seconds and the cereal was tipped back into his mouth. Gerard smiled approvingly as he drank and scanned through the LA Times, happy his husband was hungry and slightly less sickly pale.
“Oh my God,” the twenty four year old said when he had finished the meal. “Oh my God, Gerard, that was so good. Is there anything you can’t do?”
The gangster thought pensively for a moment.
“I can’t swim,” he said finally. “I was never taught.”
“I don’t give a fuck about swimming,” Frank scoffed, the other placing the tray on the ground. “You’re just so good at everything.”
“I assure you, I am not.”
“I have something else I want you to do,” he declared in a satisfied manner.
“I want you to sing for me.” Gerard’s eyebrows shot up, but he said nothing. “Like you were doing down in the kitchen. You promised you’d sing for me when I turned twenty four but you never did.” He sat back into the pillow propped up behind him. “So I want you to sing for me now.”
“What should I sing?” He murmured, smiling.
“House of the Rising Sun,” he suggested, or demanded. “I want House of the Rising Sun.”
Gerard took a deep breath and repeated the same line he had fifteen minutes ago. It was followed by:
“They call...the Riiiiiisin suuuun...”
Frank grinned as his husband sung to him in his low, deep voice, and was impressed-and not to say surprised-when he could hit the very high notes when ‘it’s been the ruin’ came about. He was singing right from his stomach, and when the lyrics took a breather he hummed the main melody under his breath, A minor to C to D to F and back to A minor again. He sang very very quietly, so that Frank had to be totally and utterly silent whilst he did, straining his ear intently to listen. The boy just grinned as he sat and heard the strong tone carry through his eardrums.
“I’m goin back! To Neeeeew Orleeeeeeans! To wearrrr that ball...anchain!”
He picked up the pace and gradually got louder as he was finishing, lacing his fingers with Frank’s and reciting the final bars in a repentant, dull monotone that made the other giggle and beam.
“Not to do...what I...have done,” he hummed, gazing into Frank’s eyes with that glittering green eye-the red simply rolled and occasionally snapped back into place-underneath black, elongated lashes. “And spend...your life...in sin...aaaand mis-er-y...in the House...of the Risin...sun.”
When he was completed, he smiled a little and looked away.
“You should have been a singer,” the boy commented quietly, leaning up to kiss him on the lips. “That is...that was just amazing, Gerard, you’re such a good singer.” He backtracked. “Not that you’re not a good killer, but...”
“Thank you,” the gangster returned, not quite meeting his eye.
“You don’t like it, though,” Frank remarked. “Why? You look so...like, ashamed.”
Gerard cleared his throat.
“It’s...not...manly,” he said, grimacing a little. “Neither is painting. Neither is reading or anything I am remotely interested in...but how would it look? Stereotypically I am effeminate for being homosexual, although I’m not entirely sure how that works out, just because I like men does not mean I go shopping or I squeal all the time or call things ‘delicious’.” He frowned. “Unless, they are, actually appetizing and food.”
“Or me. You call me delicious.”
“I do, and I regret nothing about that.” He sighed as he looked down at his boy, wrapped up in sheets, smiling back at him. “But when my father was at the dinner a number of weeks ago? He said something and I got...very offended.” He was still huffing about it, even now. “Do you remember that?”
“Yeah. He called you a mean word.”
“Mmm, a fanook,” he muttered angrily, nearly spitting it out. “It means a fag, basically, someone effeminate, someone showy and willing to be your gay best friend or whatever.”
“You’re someone’s gay best friend?”
“Of course not. I am a friend of many people.” He shrugged. “And I happen to be gay. But the point I’m getting at is that most men who are found to be homosexual will be shot. I was so good they decided to let me live.”
“James was bisexual.” Frank repeated, though he never knew the true meaning. “What does that mean?”
“You are attracted to both men and women,” Gerard explained.
There was a small silence.
“Me? I classify myself as only being attracted to men.” He chuckled. “Women are wonderful creatures. But I could never be more than friends with them. Take, I don’t know, Kat, for example. She is beautiful. She is a funny and very friendly individual, but I am not attracted to her, if you understand me. But the way I understand it, and perhaps this classifies as bisexual thinking, I fell in love with you because of your soul and your mind, the way you act and think, the things you say, the things that I obsess about. While your physical attributes certainly do aid my adoration for you, I fell in love with your personality first and your looks second.” He sat up and rubbed his thighs. “I cannot help the fact that you are a man. So maybe that is bisexuality. But it does not matter anymore,” he grinned, “because I’m married to the best person on the planet.”
“Thank you,” Frank returned, looking deep into his eyes. Gerard had never fully gone into his sexuality before-it was like hearing a different person all of a sudden. “You’re really smart, Gee.”
The phone interrupted their conversation. Gerard grasped it with a jewelled hand.
Frank giggled as Gerard raised an eyebrow and mouthed ‘such a weirdo’ at him.
“Oh yes, Raymond, hello.”
Gerard nodded as something squeaked into his ear.
“Frank is ill, you see-alright, man, calm down, he’s got a cold and his lungs are at him, the boy isn’t dead yet, Jesus Christ. Your leader gets his eye cut out and his leg shot up and you barely bat an eyelid and yet his husband gets a headcold and you’ve got your knickers in a bunch.”
There was a tinkling laugh on the other end. Ray sounded excited.
“Tell him I say hi,” Frank whispered.
“Of course he’s sick, I’m not just taking a day o-oh really, now, Raymond,” he said, sounding amused and offended at the same time. “You think I would just lie about my husband’s health to get a day off to fuck the living daylights out of him?”Frank giggled. “Please, we never do that.” He winked at Frank. “Not on Monday’s, anyway.”
Gerard cackled and pulled the boy onto his legs, where Iero played with the collar of his shirt.
“He says hello anyway. Yes. Yes, of course. No, I doubt I’ll be there tomorrow either. Need my boy all healthy and proper, y’know, Raymond.”
Excited, exhilarated chatter. Then, from Gerard:
“Holy fuck, Ray!” He sounded ecstatic. “Congratulations, man, fucking awesome news! I’m so happy for you guys!” Frank wondered what was going on-Gerard was never this casual. “That is fricking excellent, man, obviously you are not just good in the Cosa, you get what I’m sayin?”
Gerard laughed as he heard more in the background, along with Frank clawing at him.
“Yes-well-you are officially excused by myself, Raymond, of course you are. Haha-yeah! Tell Chris I’m proud of her and she’ll be an awesome mom! Okay, okay...bye!”
“OH MY GOD!” Frank shrieked to the high heavens. “OH MY GOD, RAY AND CHRISTA ARE HAVING A BABY!”
“Lovely, isn’t it, babe?” he murmured into his ear. “That actually reminds of me of something.”
Frank was too busy giggling and rolling around in the bed. Gerard propped him back up again on his knees and looked him directly in the eye.
“I think it is something we should discuss as a couple. It is quite important.”
Frank calmed down and pulled the blankets around his shoulders, nodding.
“My father is going to die soon,” he breathed, and no matter how nasty and immoral it was, Way was forcing himself not to smirk. “And there are two matters of which are of important to the both of us. The first is that when my father dies I will become Don de la Via.” He paused. “That makes me head of every syndicate under my father’s current control.” He inhaled. “That, at the moment, is over three hundred gangs, both in Los Angeles and in Italy.”
“Being Don de la Via is a really big deal, Frank. No member of the Romano or any other enemy group can kill me, or harm me. It is basically like being king of the criminals.” He chuckled lightly; tinkling glass. “Re dei criminali. It’s the highest thing someone can ever get from being in the Mafia. You are head of the Famiglia; that’s the family. They usually do not fight or anything to do with the sort. Most men achieve this in a later stage in life.” He grinned, surprising childlike and admirable. “To get it at twenty nine or thirty is...amazing.”
“That’s cool,” Frank said, hugging him around the waist. “Is your dad sick?”
“He has Alzheimer’s disease,” the gangster said. “He apparently tried to punch every woman he sees. The other night apparently he called his nurse Donna.”
“Is he...is he old?”
“He’s fifty eight. I don’t know if that makes him old or not.” He shrugged. “But the point is that I was wondering if maybe we would be staying in America for the rest of our lives.” He lowered his voice. “I, personally, would not like to, but if you would then I’d be happy to.” He gestured toward Frank.
“Well...I’ve never been out of the US, Gee,” he lisped, and the older nodded. “But I mean...I don’t really want to stay.” He shuddered. “Bad...bad memories.” He took a deep breath. “You want to go back to Italy, don’t you?”
Gerard nodded and closed his eyes.
“I am not going to sugar-coat you with lies, I would like to return to Italy. But...I would never go anywhere without you, Frank.”
“I...I don’t mind,” he answered honestly. “I know that sounds stupid, but I don’t care as long as you’re with me and stuff.” He blushed. “That’s real fucking corny but I mean...”
“We do not need to discuss it right away. But the other is that we...may...possibly have to house Luciana.”
Frank nodded. “Of course. She’s so cute.”
“You do realize this may or may not be a permanent fixing?” He raised his eyebrows. “She may have to live with us until she is at least sixteen.”
“I have no problem with that, Gee, I don’t mind at all,” he confirmed, and they embraced.
Donald Way died three days later. The only person by his bedside for the last forty eight hours was Gerard.