Guilt's an ugly thing, but sometime's it makes death seem so beautiful.
Frank's shower lasted for thirty seconds maximum. Not even the warm flow of water over his skin could calm him down; instead, he felt like he needed to run all the way to his parents in Indonesia before he could even begin to think about standing still.
He got out of the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist, letting the water drip from his hair and onto his chest. Moving forward, Frank put a hand on the bathroom mirror and stared at his reflection.
Dark circles rimmed his green eyes. His black hair was soaked and plastered to his forehead, his bangs reaching downward to his chin. A wispy mustache was growing on his upper lip, looking like something a teenager would grow in tenth grade.
'I could have just ruined a family,' he thought at his reflection. 'I got my boyfriend shot, and now his parents must hate him.'
His eyes blinked back at him, completely blank.
Frank screamed and slammed his hands down on the sink, bending his head over it and letting his tears wash down the drain. Images of Gerard bleeding onto the carpeted floor of the video-game store exploded in his mind.
'You did that!' his conscience shrieked. 'He almost died for you!'
Frank angrily swiped at his eyes and drew a shuddering breath. Yeah, he did that. The man he loved took a bullet for him because Frank was nothing but a cheap whore.
Metal gleamed to his lower right; his razor.
Frank gasped. That was it! He could just take himself away! Gee wouldn't have to hurt for him anymore, no one would. A few quick cuts-
"No," he said firmly. Truly despising himself, Frank knocked the razor into the trashcan next to the toilet and left the bathroom without looking back.
Frank wiped his eyes and went into the living room, where his new guitar still sat on its stand. He unconsciously fingered the neck of the instrument, feeling the cold smoothness of it. He picked it up and played the first thing that came to mind: Demolition Lovers.
Playing the song was difficult, but once Frank got into it, he couldn't stop. Gee's voice flowed through his mind like water, drowning his thoughts in scarlet and staining them red.
There was Gee playing guitar, failing miserably but smiling as he did so. Gee drawing that picture; the one of the two demolition lovers that were doomed to die in a hail of bullets. Gee lying in bed, shirtless and sleeping, not a care in the world...
It hurt, but Frank played on. Only when his cellphone buzzed did he stop.
'Mikey' Frank read. Why would Gee's brother be texting him? Had something happened? Had Gee flatlined? Died? Oh God...
'Frank. The 'rents r POed, but I think they'll come around. G's fine.'
'The 'rents are POed,' Frank's mind echoed. Did they hate him? Want to tear their son away from him?
Frank dropped his cellphone on the kitchen counter, got dressed, and fled toward the hospital.
Gerard was dreaming.
In his dream, Frank was trapped on an island far out from shore. No matter how hard Gee tried, he couldn't swim far enough to reach him. He came close once, but he was dragged away from Frank as soon as their fingers touched.
It was hell. The sea was his parents, trying to separate Gerard from his boyfriend by raging around him. The island was where he wanted to be, not on shore. Why couldn't the sea just back off? Why couldn't it let him spend his life on the island with Frank?
Gee's eyes fluttered open. Someone was holding his hand, rubbing their thumb along the back of it in light strokes. He looked over to see Frank staring at the opposite wall with glassy eyes.
"Hey," Gee said softly.
Frank didn't answer, just tensed and kept running his thumb along the back of Gee's hand.
"How long have you been there?" Gerard asked, a little worried.
When Frank spoke, his voice was rough, as if it hadn't been used in days. "Three hours."
Gerard took his hand from Frank's grip and traced his boyfriend's collar bone. "You okay?" he said quietly.
"I've been better," said Frank, still staring at the wall.
"Why won't you look at me?"
Frank's face stiffened and then crumpled. His head bent down to stare at his knees, and Gee noticed his breathing speed up.
"I feel like it's my fault," Frank mumbled, taking in shaky breaths. "If I hadn't been... what I was, Henry never would've shot you. And now your parents hate me-don't shake your head, Gee!- and they're angry with what we are, and it's all my fault!"
Gerard frowned up at him. "Mom and Dad are just a little overwhelmed right now," he insisted. "They'll be alright eventually. And so what if they aren't? There are going to be people that'll hate us, but I don't care! Just don't feel like it's your fault, okay?"
Frank looked like he was he was biting his tongue. After a while, he nodded.
Gee sighed in relief. "Good. Now stop biting your tongue and put it to some use."
When the nurse came to change Gerard's bandages, Gee was lying with Frank on top of him and trying to convince his boyfriend to smuggle him home between kisses.
:::::::::: Demolition Lovers ::::::::::