Let me live before I die.
Warning:these chapters are not the longest. Less is more and all that.
First of the Gang to Die
That's How People Grow Up
Frank's eyes were watering up with hot tears as he watched the scene.
It wasn't disgusting or harsh in any way; it wasn't traumatizing or horrible. It was simply and beautiful, a truly gorgeous display before the sickened boy. He stood, biting his lip, crying quietly, as he looked onto it. He was in his pyjamas and socks; it was a reasonably liberal April evening. The breeze was warm and the night was filled with sounds of the nearby clubs and bars across the valley. Occasionally hoots and calls would make their way to the soundbarrier of the Way manor.
Gerard Way sat on the back porch, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, a cigar shortening between his lips, his content niece in his arms as the two Italians gazed up at the stars above them, twinkling and letting off a glow no light could ever match. The pair were talking quietly in humble, affectionate Italian; he caught stella and pianeta and brillare. Occasionally the boy would hear a little giggle or a low chuckle-he wondered how they were so alike, how their sense of humour, their personalities were so similar. Luciana was enthralled by the astrology-she was letting out small gasps as she tipped her head back, raven hair tumbling down her back. Frank overheard their quiet conversation from the back door, oblivious to the gangster and the girl.
"That one, that one," she murmured to her uncle, jabbing a pale finger to the moonlit sky. "What's that called?"
"Cintura di Orione," Way answered in their mother tongue, and Frank heard the click of jewellery. "See that? That little swervy line is the belt of Orion, a Greek god. And that spot above his belt is his arm. He's a warrior, sweetie."
"Look, look," Luciana said dreamily. "Stella represe!"
The pair watched as a gleam of gold soared across the sky, glittering it it's shadow. Frank let out a tiny gasp as it did and saw Gerard twitch just a little bit; the mobster had the best damn hearing in the tri-state area. The boy retracted behind the door frame again and watched from there.
"Look," the six-year-old chirped again. "Conigli!" She shrieked happily in his lap and trilled. "Cosi carino!"
Iero could not see the subject of which they were discussing. He tried to crane his neck over to see that a number of white rabbits were grazing in the garden, noses puckering, haunches shivering. The twenty-four-year-old squeaked softly at the sight of the the animals. He also saw Gerard physically weaken from his position.
"So pretty," the boss breathed, and rested against the chair again, letting his eyes slide shut slowly. "I love rabbits."
"You do?" The girl questioned, pleasantly surprised at the Don's quiet declaration. "You like bunnies?"
"Mmm, my favourite animal," Gerard responded. Tears of joy now trickled down the boy's pale cheeks. "So cute and innocent, so gorgeous. They look like the idea of perfection."
"That's because you call Franco it," Luciana said, smiling. "And he-zio?" She asked, upstarted, concerned. "Zio Gerardo, cosa c'e di sbagliato?"
"Nothing, baby, nothing's wrong," the Don reassured gruffly, wiping his eyes with the cuff of his sleeve. Frank was moved now; Gerard Way was crying for him. He felt the need to rush out and attend to him, but he wanted to do it with the boss alone, not with Luciana listening to them. "Just...Franco's so sick at the moment, honey, and I just...he's in so much pain right now." Gerard hugged the girl again. "I'm sorry, sugar plum, you don't need to worry." He sniffed as she hugged him tightly around his neck. "Lambchop, it's way past your bedtime. I'll take you up, okay?"
This was Frank's cue to hide. He ducked quickly in the dark as the gangster walked through the kitchen and up the stairs, the boy succeeding in escaping their field of vision. He heard Gerard ascend the steps, cooed goodnight to his niece and shut her door carefully. The boy with tuberculosis sat in the dark, waiting for his husband to return.
Gerard returned down the heavy steps and turned into the kitchen, stretching his back. He rubbed his eyes and yawned cutely, which Frank couldn't help but find adorable as the tiny teeth were on show, the gangster letting out a small mewling sound as he touched the ceiling with his fingers. As he did, the chains spilled from his collar. The boss caught sight of the wooden foot and held it in his large, calloused palm and pouted softly, lip quivering. He then rubbed the bridge of his nose, snuffled, and lit up his cigar again. Iero was still in the shadows, listening, watching intently.
Gerard sauntered slowly, that signature hip-rolling swagger, towards the back porch again, holding his cigar between his stubbed, cut fingers. He stood in the doorway, breathing deeply, sucking on the rolled up Cuban. The night was still full of drunken howls and laughter; the Way's happened to live in the county of Los Angeles, but a large valley acted as an echo-sounder to the city's bright lights. The gangster yawned again and went to the porch, settling back in the armchair he had left five minutes ago.
This was when the boy would intervene.
He brought his knuckles down on the door frame gently, rapping against the glass. Way instantly turned around suddenly and saw his husband, smiling weakly back at the boss. Gerard got to his feet quickly and placed his ringed hands on the forearms of the diseased, eye concerned and deep.
"Baby," the Don said as form of greeting. He had not seen Frank smile in months. He had barely seen Frank, period. "Sugar pop, are you alright?"
The boy widened the smile and leaned in to press his lips lightly to those of the Italian-American. This, again, was such an alien feeling to the made man; he had not enjoyed the warmth and softness of his lover's mouth since his husband was raped. There was no hesitation in the kiss; no tension or awkwardness, just a moment of brief, affectionate tenderness between the two. Frank reached up and wound his short arms around Gerard's neck, standing on his toes, deepening the kiss. The gangster went one step further and hitched up his waist gently, so that the boy was pulled up, his feet slipping onto Way's leather shoes. Iero let his mouth fall from the other's and focused on looking at the dip of his husband's throat, fidgeting with the collar of Gerard's shirt.
"Hi Gee," he murmured, lips turning at the corners. Way smiled back enthusiastically, so happy his bunny was relaxing from his ordeal. "Hey babe."
"Bunny," Gerard responded, planting another kiss in his hair. The twenty four year old smiled again. "Darling. I've missed you, sugar pop."
"I've missed you too, Gerard," Frank told him in the dark. "I'm sorry about the last few weeks." His lip trembled. "Or...months. I haven't talked to you in so long. Or kissed or hugged you, or...loved you," he breathed right in the gangster's ear. "But I've been thinking about it...and what I said to Kat ages ago...and I wanna talk to you." He flushed a little pink, and the boss grinned so wide his jaw clicked. That beautiful, purist blush that made Frank look so angelic. "But first I wanted to do that."
"I've missed you so much, sweetie," Way replied, cuddling him close. "I adore you so much, Frankie. I've hated seeing you so upset, baby, seeing you so fussed over that. And of course that's understandable, but..." he took a deep breath and let his hands slip down to his husband's waist. "Meds working okay?"
The boy shook his head.
"I haven't taken them for two weeks," he whispered. "Just the TB ones, not the stress ones. I still take my shots all the time," he said faithfully, and Gerard nodded, stroking him. "But I was sitting in our room one day and I started crying because...because you were out on a raid and I was scared." At this, the gangster shut his eyes and let his chin rest in brown tresses. "And then I was like...why the fuck am I scared? There's like a gazillion guards outside our room and all the windows are shut, no one can get in. And even if they could, I killed James motherfucking Romano, I can kill some random guy. And then there's this part of me that's always scared you'll hurt me..." he gulped and looked up into that glittering eye. "And then I thought about how you're the best person in the world to me and how much you love me and L-London and th-the bunnies and-" he forced himself together. Not now. "And I thought it all through realistically and thought about what I want for us in the future...and I didn't want to be like Evan," he breathed. Gerard blinked. "I don't want to have a boring marriage like everyone else, Gerard," he continued strongly, but still quietly. "No one loves each other as much as we do. And I don't want to be all jittery and weak." He blinked a crystal tear. "I want to be yours."
Frank took his husband's hand and pressed it to his midriff. The thirty year old looked at him with adoration and comiseration.
"We need to talk about our future, Gee," the boy told the gangster. He seemed to be calling the shots. He tugged on Gerard's hand and walked backwards, the made man enthralled by the young one. "Come talk with me."
The taller man's mouth was slightly open as he was lead by his husband out onto the lit deck, the moonlight splashing pools of darkness over the couple. Frank stopped at the ledge that seperated the garden from the deck. The twenty four year old gazed out onto the green as two hands were pressed to his sides.
"Conigli," Iero repeated in an imitation of the Italian, outstretching his finger along the moving white creatures in the night, nibbling and shivering. "Rabbits."
"Franco," Way murmured, tightening his hold around Iero. "My rabbit."
The medic grinned and turned around in his arms, rubbing the tips of their noses together. Frank giggled again and bit his lip, feeling a little more normal. He had been toying with talking to his husband for a while now, and the topic had now settled warmly in his stomach. He couldn't picture ever even looking at someone without comparing them to Gerard. The fact that his lover worked in an industry as disgusting and brutal as the Cosa just drifted in the back of his mind; Way's personality compensated for the Mafia.
"Will you...push me up?" The boy lisped, and the older man complied by lifting him up onto the wooden ledge. The sky was truly beautiful tonight...indescribable. "Thank you."
"Just mind you don't hurt yourself, baby, " the gangster said, returning to his over-protective ways. It made the rabbit giggle again. "If you feel like you're gonna fall hold on to me." He stood, back against the ledge, and hoisted himself with one hand. He then swathed his left arm around Frank as they snuggled closer, the raven hair brushing against the chocolate. "Mmm, God...how do you always manage to smell so good?"
Frank laughed again, looking up into the deep system of stars, knitting his fingers with those of the boss.
"I tell Louis to get a bar of lemon oil every month and then I like scour myself with it when I take a bath," the boy said breathily, and the gangster could feel himself hetting up at the thought of bathing with his husband. "Then my hair is-"
"Honey, right?" Gerard said, and the twenty four year old nodded, smiling widely. "Honey and...coconut. Haven't smelled you in so long, sugar. I love you, baby."
"I love you too, Gee," the medic replied, and readied himself for the conversation. "And I really wanna talk to you about something." He paused and looked to his lover, who met his gaze. "We should talk about something."
Way raised a hand to caress Frank's cheek, leaning in to brush their lips together. He spoke quietly into the other's mouth.
"You wanna raise a family, don't you, bunny?" He said, and the boy looked deeply into his eye, their faces inches from each other. Frank bit his lip and nodded, slowly and deliberately. "You wanna have a baby with me."
The rabbit, eyes huge and hopeful, nodded again. Gerard smiled sadly.
"Honey, you don't wanna do that with me," he muttered, holding his hand. "You don't want to bring a child into the world with me as one of the parental guardians. I'd be a terrible father, I'd fuck up everything and nothing I do would seem adequate-"
"Gee," Frank breathed, smiling, one hand on his cheek. "You're getting nervous."
"Not getting nervous, I am simply exagerrating the point of-"
"Yeah, you are," Iero lisped again, and pushed himself to lay his legs across Gerard's. "You start using big words I don't understand and you talk real quick." The polite smile widened a little. "I love you so much, Gerard. And you love me." His voice lowered just a bit. "You'd be such a great father, Gee. You're so good with Luciana, she adores you."
"Baby, even if we did...I'd never be around for him and her; they'd never be safe here in LA-"
"What if I said I didn't want to live in LA anymore?" Frank proposed silently, and the gangster looked carefully. "What if I said I want to leave?"
The boss regarded his husband for a long time. The younger man kept his gaze steadily, breathing sure and stable.
"Babe...you wanna move to..." he concentrated, cocking his head to the side. "To...NJ?"
The boy shook his head and traced his lips along the Don's jawline. "Not Jersey. I liked Jersey; I thought it was cool and I love how weird you acted when we were there. But I don't wanna live there." A warm smile. "I wanna go to Italy with you, babe. I know you want to go there real badly, Gerard, and I'd be willing to be with you all the time." Another deep breath. "I know we can't have a kid, Gee, but I wanna live with you and Luciana in Italy, like a family. I've never had a proper family, Gerard. I wanna be with you."
The Don nodded and leaned in to clasp hands with his boy.
"Do you mean that?" He asked, serenity swirling in his only medium of vision. "Do you honestly mean that, Frank?"
Spoken to nodded. Gerard slipped down from the ledge and then placed his hands on Frank's cheeks, who smiled again. The gangster lightly kissed him on either side and muttered words to the twenty-four-year-old.
"Prometto di rispetto, onore e amore si," he whispered into his clasped hands. He pulled the boy down so that his head was laying gently against Iero's waist, his midriff. He pushed the fabric of Frank's shirt up so he could pass his lips to his flat stomach. The shorter couldn't help but smile. "Tu sei la mia famiglia."
"Gee?" He trailed a hand through the black locks.
The boy pulled him up by the hand and pressed their lips together. Then he smirked wonderfully and gazed into the deep jade.
"I haven't given you your birthday present yet," Frank said with a flourish, and took the gangster by the hand into their house.