Frank and Gerard have fun reminiscing, but a turn of events is just around the corner.
After the incident with Mikey, Frank figured that it may have been best to seclude Gerard for a little while, and disallow visitors. Mikey had still left the box of Gerard's things, and he spent the next few days with Gerard going over each item.
It was quiet a pleasant experience really, much to Frank's surprise. As he had met Gerard early in life, many of Gerard's memories were also his own. Frank also got to learn new things about Gerard's past, even if Gerard could not explain them.
He found notebooks and pads containing Gerard's first attempts at songwriting and books for children. Gerard actually seemed a bit abashed at Frank's interest in them, so Frank hid them away for reading where Gerard could not see.
"See how good you sang?" Frank asked him one day as they were watching videos of band rehearsals. They were both sitting on the floor coss legged, both in their pajamas on the living room carpet. Gerard stared at himself, transfixed by the image before him.
"Can you sing like that again? For me?"
Gerard looked at Frank, as though knowing Frank had requested something. Of course, Frank knew that Gerard could not really do such a thing, but was nonetheless curious to see if it would trigger any reaction at all.
The Gerard on the screen, the Gerard that Frank was once best friends with, emitted a loud scream into the microphone before him. Frank looked at the video, and when he looked back at the Gerard next to him, he laughed loudly.
Gerard was facing him with his mouth gaping wide open, as though he was trying to imitate the Gerard from the screen. When Frank laughed however, he closed his mouth abruptly, and had somewhat of a pout.
"Oh baby, I wasn't laughing at you." said Frank with a grin that proved otherwise.
Gerard stuck his tongue out at Frank, a habit he had been learning from Cherry and Lily, and they both went back to watching the video.
The trips down memory lane also brought Gerard back into sketching once more. He drew a lot of Mikey, and showed them to Frank in a confused sense. Frank felt very uncomfortable when he did so, because he simply did not know what to tell Gerard. On top of that, Frank was also taking upon himself to remove any traces of Lindsey and Bandit from the box. He did not want Gerard to remember them. Not yet.
Despite those things, Gerard and Frank were both glad to finally have something to bond over with rather than nightmares and arguments. It was probably the nicest time they experienced from this era, and sadly, it was also very short.
Frank was coming home from a small trip to the store one day, having left Gerard asleep for what must have only been half an hour. He had given him the sedative which should have been enough to knock him out for most of the afternoon.
Yet when he arrived inside his kitchen in order to put groceries away, it quickly became clear that this was not the case.
A variation of screams was happening in the backyard, one of them definitely Gerard's. Frank nearly dropped his bags and ran over to slam back the glass sliding door that provided entryway to the backyard. He jolted to the scene.
He found Cherry, Lily, Gerard, and Jamia all by the swimming pool. To his great dismay, Cherry, Lily, and Gerard were all very wet.
It was hard to tell who was screaming what at first: Jamia was screaming at Gerard, who was on his knees but screaming back. Cherry and Lily were both screaming at their mother, as though trying to argue something. And none of them seemed to notice that Frank was even there.
Frank was about to call for peace when he noticed something else. Jamia was gripping on one of Gerard's wrists and bending it backwards, which then explained what he was screaming about.
"STOP IT! STOP!" Frank found himself screaming at Jamia, "YOU'RE HURTING HIM!"
Jamia would not acknowledge Frank, although Cherry and Lily were silenced and stared fearfully at their father. Frank went forward to separate them, only to see that Gerard had many other fresh looking bruises on his face.
"WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?" Frank yelled ragefully at Jamia as he pushed her away.
"WHAT DID I DO?" she yelled back with equal ferocity, "GERARD TRIED TO DROWN OUR DAUGHTERS!"
"What?" Frank hissed, yet did back down just a little, "What the fuck are you talking about?"
"I SAW HIM! HE WAS DRAGGING CHERRY AND LILY INTO THE POOL!" Jamia screeched, "I DON'T REMEMBER WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GAVE A SHIT ABOUT THIS FAMILY FRANK, BUT MAY I REMIND YOU THAT YOUR CHILDREN DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SWIM!"
"You're fucking lying." Frank accused her, although doubt stirred in his stomach. "Gerard would never -- "
"THE OLD, SANE GERARD WOULD NEVER FRANK!" Jamia blared, with an expression that said that she had been holding all of this in for a very long time. "BUT HE'S DEAD FRANK! DEAD LIKE BANDIT AND LINDSEY! AND GERARD'S THE ONE WHO FUCKING KILLED THEM BY NOT WATCHING THE DAMN ROAD! WELL I WON'T LET HIM MURDER MY FAMILY TOO FRANK, I WON'T!
Frank did not have a very quick response to this, but stared in disbelief at her words. He only knew one thing: never had he wanted to strike a woman so badly in his life.
Yet he did not get the chance to. Next thing he knew, she had walked past him and was advancing on Gerard again. It took him a moment to realize why, but he saw that Lily was practically climbing on Gerard, and touching his swollen face.
The sound of skin hitting skin rang out as Gerard began to sob loudly.
"YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN! STAY AWAY FROM MY FAMILY!"
Frank acted quickly and pulled Gerard away from Jamia's reach.
"C'mon Gee, lets gets out of here okay?" Frank muttered to his wailing friend, as he dragged them both out of the backyard and into a little alley on the side of their house that led to the front yard.
"WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" Jamia screamed after him, but did not receive an answer until Frank had strapped Gerard into the passenger’s seat of his car.
"AWAY FROM YOU!" Frank finally yelled back when it seemed like Jamia was going to follow him. He quickly got into the driver’s side and started the engine.
"Its going to be okay baby..." Frank whispered to a panicked Gerard just before they backed up and drove away.
Next chapter: Frank and Gerard must face an uncertain future together.