Categories > Celebrities > My Chemical Romance > Sing It Like the Kids That Are Mean to You

Phantom Other

by benzedrine_barbie 5 Reviews

An improbable rescue, hospital smuggling, and a terrible discovery.

Category: My Chemical Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Humor - Characters: Frank Iero,Gerard Way - Warnings: [!!!] [V] - Published: 2011/12/17 - Updated: 2011/12/18 - 6519 words

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Phantom Other

I’m about to head down to the bar with some friends, but I thought I’d get this out of my system before I left. Sorry there’s no sex in this one, just emotional stuff. But hey, fluff and violence is all right by me. Title from a song by Department of Eagles. Enjoy !

~*~

“FRANKIE!” I yelled at the top of my lungs as I ran down another darkened Jersey street. I’d been searching for nearly an hour, frantic and slowly losing hope. I’d gotten home around ten; Mikey and the others had been asleep in the living room, and Frank was glaringly, horrifyingly absent. None of them had any idea where he’d gone, except maybe home. I sprinted to his house, too tense to drive, but all the lights were off and the faded blue two-story was empty. I knew then that something had happened to him, and I’d been combing the streets ever since, hoping to see that familiar short, dark-haired figure. My breath was coming in sharp, ragged pants; when I coughed it tasted like blood. For the hundredth time, I regretted ever taking up smoking. But I would look for him all night if I had to. I couldn’t even think of an alternative, because giving up would mean leaving him for dead, letting Jason take the only thing I valued in the world. I was nothing without Frank Iero, and he knew it. God only knew what he’d done to him. My mind was spinning in circles, and I was sick at heart. I’d failed Frankie; he was in danger, he was in pain, and I had no idea where he was.

Ray and Bob cruised by in Ray’s battered red sedan, hanging out the window to talk to me. I could see the fear in their eyes, and I knew my face must have been murderous, the picture of a man unhinged.

“Maybe Jason has him,” Bob supplied hesitantly. “Maybe we’re wasting our time and we better just head to his place.”

“I doubt he’s that organized,” I ground out. My jaw tightened at the thought of little Frankie held hostage. “He probably just left him for dead on the street. He’s out there somewhere.”

Ray swallowed hard. I could tell what he was thinking, that kids don’t just disappear in Fair Haven and miraculously return unscathed. If we didn’t find him, someone else would. I refused to acknowledge the possibility that he was dead. I was teetering on the brink, and my old friends knew it. I didn’t want to live in a world without Frank, and I was pretty good at getting my way.

“Keep looking,” I ordered. The car pulled away, leaving me with silence, only the thoughts racing in my head for company.

I kept running, kept screaming his name with every last shred of hope I had in me. I couldn’t let him go. My heart sank with every empty street I looked down, every empty garden I passed. He had to be somewhere.

~*~

Something wet brushed against my battered face. My eyes were caked shut and my head throbbed with agonizing pain. I felt like throwing up, but I was too weak to even move.

I’m alive, was my first thought. What the fuck? As I’d lain in Gerard’s arms, I’d been sure I was dying. I’d wanted his voice to be the last thing I heard.

“Shh,” a female voice whispered. “Can you remember what day it is?”

“The first of December. Monday,” I croaked, noticing I’d lost a tooth. There was just a disconcerting hole where my back right molar should have been, and my mouth tasted like blood. “I hate Mondays.”

“Can you remember your name?”

“Frank,” I said hesitantly. I could barely feel the rest of my body, and I was sure I didn’t want to. Memories were starting to come back, just a foggy blur of the dark street and a terrible, crushing pain. “Frank Anthony Iero.”

I realized she was wiping my face gently with a cloth, dabbing at my eyes until they were clean. I cracked them open slowly, one at a time. When I winced at the bright light above my head, my whole face felt like it was on fire. A girl swam into view in front of me, her long white-blond hair hanging like a curtain.

“It’s me,” she said. “Casey.”

I struggled to get up, to get away from her, but she held me down with surprisingly strong hands.

“I’m not going to hurt you, Frank,” she murmured. “I hate my brother and everything he’s done to you. Please. Just hold still, or you’ll pass out again.”

I complied reluctantly, recognizing that there wasn’t much I could do anyway. “What...happened?” I asked weakly.

Her mouth curved into a frown. I noticed the cloth she was holding was stained with bright red, and shuddered. “You were out alone at night, and Jason and his friends found you. They like to wait outside the Ways’ house when they have nothing else to do. It’s a sport, to them; it never crosses their minds how the victim must feel. They beat you up really bad, left you in the alley when they thought you were dead. I knew he was going to do something awful tonight; I followed him in my car and when they left, I brought you here.” She looked over her shoulder, smiling. I got why Mikey had fallen so hard for her — she looked like an angel, with huge blue eyes and a cute button nose. I personally didn’t find her as attractive as Gerard, with his pale features and carelessly tangled dark hair, but if I batted for the other team...

“Where is here, exactly?” I questioned. When I turned my head, my neck twinged painfully, so I immediately returned to staring at the ceiling. We were in a small wooden room, the windows showing only empty black sky spotted with stars. She readjusted the flashlight propped in a corner.

“My old playhouse.” She smiled ruefully. “It was the only place I could think of. Jason doesn’t remember where it is; I don’t think he ever really played, even as a little boy. I couldn’t take you to my home because he’ll be back soon. This place is way out in the woods, but there’s a road nearby. I didn’t have to drag you too far.” Her face fell. “You’re badly hurt, Frank. I learned to fix most injuries over the years — my brother never learned to sew, and I want to be a doctor when I grow up — but I can’t help you very much. I think you should go to the hospital.”

I thought it over. The pain wasn’t too bad, as long as I didn’t move. I had no idea how I was going to get home, though. Casey didn’t look strong enough to even pick me up, let alone carry me, though I knew she must have. If I went to the hospital, there was no way my mom would let me ‘take care of things’. If I went back to the Ways’, Gerard would freak out — assuming the same thing hadn’t already happened to him. I guessed Casey had shot me full of painkillers. My body felt numb, and I couldn’t think too clearly. “I’m fine,” I said, struggling not to slur my words. “I’d prefer not to.”

She bit her lip, shook her head. “I think your ribs are broken. There’s something wrong with your arm, it’s probably dislocated, and you’re all cut up. You’re losing a lot of blood, Frank.”

I ignored that, trying not to pass out again. “If you could call Gerard and Mikey’s home phone, I’d really appreciate that. They must be wondering where I am.”

She blinked. “I’ll do that.”

“Why’d you break up with him, anyway?” I asked. It was childish, especially now, but I still couldn’t forgive her. “You messed up his whole life, just when I thought he was starting to come into his own. Now he won’t eat, he won’t sleep. He was crazy about you.”

Her pale eyes filled with tears. “That’s exactly why I had to. There is something wrong with my brother, Frank. He must be autistic or something; he just can’t understand that when he hurts people, they actually feel pain. He’s afraid of himself, and he deals with it by hating those who aren’t like him. Jason would kill Mikey if he knew we were together, because he hates me. I go against everything he thinks and believes in, and he only leaves me alone because we’re family. I couldn’t stand by and watch Mikey get hurt over and over; I had to end it. I’d rather be unhappy than see him die for my sake.”

“So you do still love him,” I concluded, satisfied. At least Mikey wasn’t the only one who was hurting. “Then it’ll work out somehow.”

She nodded. “I hope so. I miss him.” A gunshot rang out in the night, loud and nearby. Her eyes widened. “Let me get you to the car.”

I doubted she’d just take me home, but I couldn’t protest. It was only a few dozen feet to her shining Mercedes, parked on the thin road right on the edge of the woods. She dragged me on an old tarp, not wanting to carry me and risk puncturing my lung. I could feel the bones in my chest grating like broken glass, and black spots exploded in my field of vision. The world was swimming around me, melting away much too soon. I could sense the pain underneath, dark and looming, ready to wash over me. “Call Gerard...” I mumbled before I fell unconscious again.

~*~

My heart leapt as my phone lit up in the middle of another empty street. I answered the call from an unknown number, and a female voice said that a Frank Iero had been checked into Fair Haven Hospital half an hour ago. Whoever it was hung up, but I barely noticed; all I could feel was my pulse pounding in my ears and a heavy sense of dread.

I stumbled blindly down the long, sterile white hallway behind my brother. I hated hospitals with a bitter passion; they reeked of slow death and the bleach smell made my eyes water. Being here reminded me of the same night two years ago when Mikey had driven me here to have my stomach pumped, but I pushed those memories away quickly, burying them deep in my mind. I couldn’t breathe right, I was so scared. Mikey paused outside a blank door, his eyes flickering to the number.

“This one, Gee. You go ahead, I’ll wait outside.”

It took all the courage I had to keep going, to see if he was all right. I was happy he wasn’t dead, of course, but seeing him so badly hurt made me physically ill. I bit back a sob as I saw him lying in the hospital bed, looking much too small and fragile against the white sheets. Machines whirred and beeped all around him; I was relieved to see the steady peaks of his heart monitor. His head was wrapped in bandages, but blood was seeping through in a bright red rose. Every breath was labored, and his face and neck were mottled with dark bruises and deep cuts. The nurse had told me his ribs were broken, his shoulder dislocated. They couldn’t stop the internal bleeding, and said I just had to hope it’d heal up by itself. Whoever had rescued him had refused to give his mom’s number to the hospital. I was grateful for that, because I got him all to myself, and I could drink in the delicate planes of his face for a little while longer. I sank down next to him, stroking his hair gently. He showed no signs of waking up.

“What did they do to you, baby?” I whispered, taking his thin, bandaged hand in mine. I silently vowed to kill them all, those sick fucks who thought they could almost kill an innocent boy and get away with it. I’d promised Frankie time and time again that he was safe with me; that I’d take care of him and never let anything happen to him. And here I’d waltzed off to relive the good old days with Matt, leaving him alone and unprotected. This was all my fault, and I’d agonize over it for the rest of my life. I settled in to wait, listening to his harsh, unsteady breaths, and began to plan my revenge. I’d failed him once, but I sure as hell was not going to repeat my mistake.

~*~

I opened my eyes. Everything was blurry, but there was an unmistakable black-haired figure sitting across the room from me, his legs stretched out and his head resting on his chest.

“Gee?” I squeaked inaudibly. But he started awake and rushed over to me, his face alive with emotion. At last his ivory features settled into a smile as I reached out and took his cold hand. I was a little confused by the bandages on my fingers, and how stiffly my wrist moved. It should’ve hurt like hell, but I was feeling dreamy, and figured it was more medication.

“Hi,” he said quietly. That voice, soft and low, like light shining under the door of a dark room. I could have listened to it forever, played back that simple word a million times. In an instant, I was safe from every monster and nothing on earth could touch me.

“Where am I?” My throat was scratchy, like I’d slept for a long time.

“At the hospital, baby,” he murmured, kneeling down beside me so we were eye-to-eye. “Don’t worry, your mom doesn’t know yet. Someone very kind dropped you off here almost six hours ago.”

“Casey Bateman,” I said, making a face when my voice cracked embarrassingly. “Can I have some water?”

“Sure, baby, of course.” He grabbed a glass from the bedside table and held it to my parched lips, tipping it gently so I could drink. I settled back onto the pillows. His eyes watched me like I might break into a thousand pieces, constantly checking for anything wrong. There were dark circles under them. He looked tired and half-crazy, but no amount of sleep deprivation could erase the simple beauty of his features.

“T-thanks,” I stammered, licking my split lip.

“Casey Bateman?” he asked lightly, his brow furrowing. He was trying to keep the conversation going, keep me at ease, while something was roiling in his mind. I saw right through him.

“She rescued me after Jason and his thugs left me in the alley,” I explained, noting the rage that flickered across his features. “She brought me here because she hates him and only broke up with Mikes so Jason wouldn’t hurt him.”

“Seemed to do more harm than good,” he said humorlessly. His eyes glinted, cold like green glass.

“M’ so happy to see you,” I said, carefully wrapping my arms around his neck. Something wasn’t right with him, but he sighed and buried his face in my hair. He was breathing heavily, and I realized he was crying.

“I’m so glad you’re okay,” he sobbed brokenly, tears running from his red eyes. “I thought I lost you, Frankie, I thought you were gone forev—ever...”

“It’ll take more than some dipshit homophobe to do me in.” I wiped away his tears with a finger, tracing it down to the soft curve of his mouth. “Everything’s fine, Gee. You and me, we’re still here, that’s all that matters.” I didn’t know how to convince him. Tears still leaked down his cheeks at a steady pace. “Please don’t go chasing after anyone, trying to get revenge. I know you want to, but I’d really like it if you stayed here with me, for a little while. Please?”

His hazel eyes widened and a small grin spread across his lips. “Baby, I ain’t going nowhere without you ever again. You’ll have to get used to eating, sleeping, peeing with me by your side.”

I pursed my lips. “Well, I already do two of those things with you, and I doubt Jason will be lurking in my bathroom.”

He laughed shortly. “That’s so terrifying I don’t even wanna think about it.”

“He’ll come bursting out when I’m brushing my teeth,” I giggled, imagining his huge frame concealed behind my flowery pink shower curtain, “and sock me in the face...”

His laughter cut off abruptly. “Frankie, how can you say that and laugh?”

“What? It’s funny.” I stared at him, almost afraid.

“If you think,” he growled, his nose almost touching mine, “that I’m not absolutely serious about killing that prick bastard and flinging his guts all over Fair Haven, then you don’t know me at all. He fucking almost killed you, Frankie — have you looked in the mirror lately? You’re not doing too hot, kid; you could have died tonight. I don’t care what I have to do to get revenge, I’ll do it. He will not hurt the thing closest to me and get away with it.” His hair was wild, his eyes were narrowed to blazing green slits, his lip curled in fury.
Then, as I watched, that fierceness melted into a terrible vulnerability. His fingertips traced my cheek, seeking comfort. Different impulses flickered across his face, grief and anger, love and shame.

“Besides,” he breathed with downcast eyes, “I did this to you. I left you alone with no explanation because I was selfish, and I didn’t want to tell you about my past. And I was late coming home, because I was reliving the glory days and couldn’t be bothered to think of how you’d feel, how worried you’d be. I’m so stupid, I could just kill myself. Forgive me, Frankie, please,” he begged, barely daring to press his lips to my wrist. It hurt to see him like this, beating himself up over my mistake.

Fuck him and his apologies. I chose to go out alone, and it was my bad luck that those guys followed me. Nothing could have stopped it from happening, it’s over and I am safe now, and I am where I belong, with him.

“There’s nothing to forgive,” I told him. “None of this was your fault, and if you don’t get over it, I’ll honestly smack you for being so fucking stubborn. I love you, Gerard, and I always will, but I can’t take it if you blame yourself for every shitty thing that happens to me.”

He sighed. “At least let me do something about this kid, Frankie baby. I’ll be careful, but I’m not going to sit on my ass while he terrorizes other innocent kids.”

I raised one eyebrow, ignoring the pain. “Oh, I didn’t say we couldn’t stop him. I wanna take him out just as bad as you do, if only so he can’t hurt anyone else.”

His face lit up, and he ruffled my hair with the gentlest of touches. “Deal. Now get some rest, baby, okay? I want you better as soon as possible.” He bent down and brushed his lips against mine.

“Will you stay?” I asked, clutching at his hand as he turned away.

He looked over his shoulder, his eyes opaque. “Forever, Frank.”

I watched, relieved, as he settled into a chair and the dawn slowly crept through the window.

~*~

When I was discharged from the hospital, Gerard borrowed Ray’s car — he’d returned the corvette, reluctantly — and drove me to my house. He took each turn slowly and evenly, like he was trying to jostle me as little as possible. His eyes darted nervously over my body.

“Christ, Frank, you’re skinny,” he muttered. “You and Mikey are getting all anorexic.”

“Hospital food blows,” I retorted, folding my arms over my chest defensively. “I’ll gain it all back, you’ll see. Just don’t get between me and a cheesecake, I will take no prisoners.”

A smile ghosted over his face. He’d stayed with me for three whole days and nights, reading me romance novels in his sexiest voice, playing me the latest finds from his cd collection, and attempting to smuggle a whole pizza past the desk, hidden in his coat. He looked tired and wan, much older than his seventeen years. I wished I wasn’t such a burden on him. I’d come to rely on him for everything, and I didn’t want him to crack under the responsibility.

“How are you, Gee?” I mumbled, blushing a little at the inane question — I hadn’t just spent the last seventy-two hours in his presence, or anything. My fingers brushed his cheek.

He bit his lip. “This has been...hard, for me,” he said in a raw voice. “I never mind staying with you, baby, but seeing you so beat-up and in pain...and Mikey, too. I don’t know how to help you guys.”

I rested my head on his shoulder, watching the road through the windshield. “You are helping, just by being here. I can’t describe what it’s like, just feeling so safe all the time, knowing you’re looking out for me and I don’t have to worry anymore.” I shuddered as my mind drifted to the scars on my back, to memories I’d rather not recall. “I used to be a victim, Gee, but you changed all that just by being yourself and loving me.”

He gave me a heartwarming grin, sniffing and swiping at his eyes. “I love you so much, Frankie boy. Whatever you need, I’ll do it — if you want a glass of water in the middle of the night, or fuck it, a glass of Kool-Aid; if you wanna ride on my back and pull my hair and stick raisins up my nose; if you break Ray’s guitar and need someone to take the fall for it, whatever. I’m all yours.” He paused. “Mikey actually did try to stick raisins up my nose once. I huffed and they flew out and smacked him in the face.” I burst out laughing. He rolled his eyes. “It was a highly traumatic incident. I could’ve had dried fruit embedded in my brain, Frankie, and then where would we be?”

“Back in the hospital,” I giggled.

He pulled up outside my house. It looked unfamiliar, not like home anymore. Gerard got out and walked around the front, hands in the pockets of his ever-present black leather jacket, pale as a vampire through the cracked windscreen. He pulled the door open and paused to tuck my jacket closer around me before he picked me up and carried me up the path. It was just like the first time I’d seen him; I let my head rest against his chest, smiling as he moved as smoothly as possible. My ribs still grated a little — they’d had to reset them at the hospital — but it sure beat walking.

My mom pulled the door open before Gee could even knock, embracing me gently. When she moved away, I could see she was blinking back tears. My face still looked like a punching bag, with a big black eye and gashes on my forehead and my cheek. Thankfully my nose wasn’t broken, but my eye was still swollen almost shut. I kind of enjoyed looking scary, but she clearly couldn’t bear to see me like this.

“Hi, mom,” I said thickly.

Her smile was shaky. “I’m glad you’re okay, Frankie.”

I walked past her and headed down the hall, not really wanting to answer her questions. I was fine, and as far as I was concerned, that was the end of it. Gee paused in the doorway.

“Sorry we had to meet like this,” he said in a low voice, charming as ever. “I’m Gerard Way.”

My mother shook his outstretched hand. “Linda Iero. Won’t you come in? I was just baking some cookies.”

We sat around the table in our tiny kitchen, drinking milk and waiting. The smell of chocolate chips filled the warm air.

Mom sure knows how to do this whole host thing. Gerard was practically drooling, because he'd been too worried to leave my side or eat, but he kept up a stream of polite small-talk, and seemed completely at ease. I mostly kept silent, my stomach rumbling.

“You draw, don’t you?” My mom asked, placing a plate of piping hot cookies in the middle of the table. “What kind of drawings?” I loved the way she treated him like a newfound friend, rather than playing the whole don’t-fuck-with-my-son card like other parents did. His eyes lit up.

“Some comics, some oil paintings and stuff, but it’s hard to get the materials. Mostly charcoal, sketches of people and landscapes. I’m into graphic design; sometimes I do things on the computer. I really like Warhol, that whole era — that whole circle he created around him. That’s something I’d like to do one day, maybe, create a place where people are free to make whatever kind of art they want, and live whatever lifestyle they want — a place of freedom.”

She nodded in appreciation. “And what do your parents do?”

He kept control of his face, but something shifted in his eyes. A certain light went out, and he was more careful about the way he spoke. “Both my parents teach at a college in Newark. It’s mostly just me and my brother Mikey, because they stay over at a friend’s place on weekends, to avoid the commute, you know. It’s not so bad; we have a lot of fun together.”

It was pretty much word for word what he’d told me. Well, because it’s true, idiot, and there isn’t anything else to say. But it was exactly the same, down to the last idiom, like he’d rehearsed it a thousand times. His eyes flickered to mine, and he frowned as if he didn’t like what he saw there. I summoned a peaceful smile, but I wondered...

Now that I thought about it, it was a little bit weird. Gerard never willingly spoke of his parents — I knew nothing about them, and though I was in and out of the Ways’ house all the time, I’d never seen them or been there while they were home. There was only one photograph of them, on the hall table in a gilt frame, and it wasn’t even recent. Gerard was a pale, mischievous boy of about five, and Mikey just a chubby-cheeked toddler with a shock of light brown hair. Their parents were both good-looking, smiling into the camera, and there was a tree in the background with yellow leaves. There was nothing in the house that showed adults lived there; no kitschy throw pillows, no coffee-table books, no razor in the bathroom. Gee always referred to taking care of Mikey like it was his job and his alone. Whenever I asked after his parents, he would gently change the subject, casting his eyes down, like it made him sad.

Maybe they’re just not that close. I could see them resenting him, so beautiful and misunderstood. Maybe they fought; maybe they didn’t like that he was gay. I forgot sometimes how lucky I was to be close to my mom, and that other kids didn’t have it so easy. He bit his bottom lip, staring at me through his long, dark eyelashes. I bit into another cookie and smiled. I had secrets too, everyone did.

After a few more minutes, Gerard made up some innocent-sounding excuse about how he’d lent me some cds that he needed for a sampling project, and my mom left us to our own devices. I took the stairs one at a time, wincing and reaching for the banister. I’d still barely registered I was hurt, but physical exertion left me feeling like a giant fist was closing around my ribs.

“Hey,” Gerard murmured, pausing and descending back to my level with a look of concern. “You okay, baby?”

“Fine,” I gasped, wrapping my arms around my torso. It felt like it would fall apart. “It’s just my ribs—”

He nodded. “The doctor said that might happen. They had to wrap ‘em real tight so they wouldn’t heal all wrong, but when your heart speeds up, you need more air...Just sit for a minute, babe,” he ordered softly, and I sank obediently to the carpet.

“I hate feeling so weak,” I muttered. He stroked my hair comfortingly, tucking a few stands behind my ear with his delicate fingers. I found it hard to believe those hands were capable of such violence, that they could throw a punch as easily as they held a paintbrush. He pulled me close, resting his chin on my head.

“You’ll be better soon, Frankie,” he purred, planting a soft kiss in my hair. “These things take time, is all. Do you know how frustrated I get when I’m resting up in bed after a fight, after a couple of cokeheads on the street thought my wallet was nice? It takes fucking forever, sugar. And my hands are the worst of all. They don’t heal because I keep using them, and the cuts keep reopening.”

He held up his left hand, tilting it so I could see the massive scar that ran across his white palm. It parted the lines and wrinkles with a thick slash of new skin.

“It still hurts, from time to time,” he confided.

I nodded. “I know, I get that too. Phantom pain.”

“Where?”

“My back,” I said, my voice dropping unintentionally. “I can still feel it burning sometimes, even though it happened years ago.” Those little, round white scars were the reason I didn’t smoke. Even now, I shuddered when I saw cigarettes. Watching him smoke was the one time I wasn’t afraid.

I turned my gaze back to his palm. It was like someone had tried to stab him, like he’d held up a hand to protect himself. I traced it with a wondering finger.

“Who did it?”

He laughed. “Matt. We’re close, but we fight like cats and dogs.”

“So he...knifed you.” I pursed my lips. “That’s a perfectly reasonable reaction.”

“We have a very strange relationship,” he said, smirking at the understatement. “And he was on PCP at the time, I believe.”

“What is that? Like PVC?”

He rolled his eyes. “Not quite. Shrooms, Frankie darling. They make you see things. He probably thought I was a vampire.”

I laughed and was surprised when it didn’t hurt. My chest felt lighter, and my pulse wasn’t pounding in my ears anymore. “Help me upstairs, Gee? Please?”

He tipped my head back and kissed me, his lips working against mine, hot and soft and utterly delicious. “Of course.”

He relaxed his grip and let me settle myself comfortably on my bed. It was neatly made, and the whole room was tidier; clearly my mom had been at work. My towering stacks of cds were neat (and alphabetized) on a new set of shelves; the floor was clean and a rug lay on the bare floorboards. Gerard did a slow turn, smiling at the posters of bands we both loved and collages of weird images. The floor creaked a little under his feet.

“I love this place so much,” he said quietly. “It reminds me so much of you.”

“Huh.” It felt like I hadn’t been here in forever. “I hope that wasn’t too bad down there. The cookies were good, at least.”

“I like your mom.” He smiled, revealing pearly teeth. “She’s a real classy lady.” He lay down next to me, tugging at the curtain so the moon shone down across the bed. The light caught the hollows under his cheekbones, turned his eyes into bright sparks surrounded by shadow.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think he does it on purpose. He knew how beautiful he looked in this light, and stretched luxuriantly, muscles popping. I brushed my fingers over his creamy bicep, choosing my words carefully.

“Gee, if you don’t mind, I’d really like to meet your parents. I know — maybe it won’t be like meeting my mom,” I added as his eyes widened in panic, “maybe they won’t approve of me, but you can’t lie to them forever, right? At some point it’s just easier to tell the truth.”

“Frankie,” he breathed, shutting his eyes tight and rubbing them with the heels of his hands. His voice was flat, devoid of emotion. “I...that’s really sweet, but things haven’t been good lately, with me n’ them. This is a bad time to ask for a new toothbrush, let alone introduce you into the equation. I mean no offense, and...maybe someday, I will, but please don’t ask this of me right now.”

My heart sank. He gazed at me with those troubled hazel eyes, curling up into my side so I could feel his warmth.

“It’s okay, Gee,” I said absently. “I don’t know what I would’ve done if you’d said yes.”

He pressed his lips against my neck, trailing them up to my jaw. I caught my breath, and my ribs ached warningly, but I wasn’t about to stop him. Lying there in the hospital had been torture — there had been nothing to do but stare at him all day, follow each sensuous curve of his mouth, the graceful line of his broad shoulders. He groaned and propped himself up on his elbows, continuing his path upwards to nibble and suck on my ear. My hips bucked upwards, and I moaned, flushed and so hard for him. His lips finally ravished mine, but he did nothing else. I told myself not to be ungrateful, and kissed him until he was breathless, his hair wild around his face.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he panted, lying back down and wrapping his arms around me. “I want you to get better, Frank, as soon as possible, and be healthy and well again.”

I couldn’t argue with his logic. “Well, shit. I better start eating my vegetables.”

His face softened. “I do love you, though. So much.”

“Me too.” I kissed his cheek and he squeezed me gently in response. He was asleep in under a minute, his breath warm against my neck. He must’ve been exhausted, but he was too stubborn to show it. I sighed happily and lay there warm and contented for a long time. The feeling was almost too good for me to give up, and sleep evaded me, just out of reach. I just thought about what it would be like when I was better and could take the bandages off, and whether I’d have a couple of cool scars to show for the whole ordeal.

Gerard’s phone rang around midnight, vibrating somewhere in his jeans. I went through his pockets until I found it, not wanting to wake him. He stirred and mumbled something in French, and then went still. I answered his phone.

“Hello? Is this Gerard Way?” a businesslike female voice said.

“Yeah,” I lied before I could think, automatically dropping my voice so it sounded more like his. “Who’s calling?”

“This is Denise Jones, with Child Support Services. I’m just calling to confirm that your brother, Michael James Way, has missed twelve consecutive days of school. His grades are suffering and he’s in danger of suspension. As you are his only remaining family, I suggest you have a serious conversation with him about his education. If he misses more school, I will have no choice but to report you to your social worker and seriously consider removing him from your care. Michael deserves the best life possible, and you need to accept that may not be living with you. Do I make myself clear?”

My ears were ringing. It felt like the earth had shifted under me, and I looked at the innocent boy sleeping next to me with wide eyes.

“Do you mind if I call you back?”

~*~

DUH-DUH-DUHNNNNNN. Another cliffhanger, ftw! I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but the second half only really occurred to be this afternoon, so sorry if it’s rushed. I also told multiple people I’d post the next update on Thursday, so sorry I lied. Watching American Horror Story ate all my free time, and then I got sick and my room is littered with tissues :( I got out of school yesterday, so the upside is that I’ll be writing more and updating more frequently. If I can get my shit together. For this chapter, I like “Future Starts Slow” by the Kills and “My Halo” by Atlas Sound. It’s this kind of nauseating song, really quiet and weird. I think it ties in kinda nice with how good of a person Gee is. Bradford Cox, the singer, has Morfan Syndrome, which is this really interesting disease and it makes you all long and skinny…I don’t know why I’m telling you this. Ah, yes – it’s one in the morning and I’m high on Nyquil. But seriously, it’s cool, go google it and edify yourself. I’ve decided I’m not posting again till this chapter (and maybe others?) is green, so go to it and I’ll love you with a deep and undying passion. Let me know what you liked/if this is going in an acceptable direction. Also, have you guys ever heard of Zola Jesus? If you haven’t, go listen to her shit, because it’s the only thing I can bear to hear on my way to school, and it really reminds me of this story. R & R!!! xo
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