Suggested by CypherDetonation Everyone loves chocolate. But in the collapsed economy where nobody's nice to anybody but their families, Frank can't afford it. But Gerard can. FRERARD. R&R
My feet. I can't feel my feet anymore. They're so cold. Why are they so cold?
Because it's fucking February and you're wearing those stupid holey shoes again, dumbass.
I grip the chains of the swing tighter, and stamp my feet, trying to revive my frozen toes. The feeling comes slowly back, but with it comes the pain. Ow, ow, ow! Fuck, fuck, fuck!
My whole body is cold. My holey shoes don't help, but neither does my paper-thin shirt, which still has stains of my blood on it from earlier, when I had a run in with the Toro family on their property. Well you shouldn't have been stealing their apples, Iero. But I was so hungry. I'm still hungry. I can't remember the last time I ate anything. And besides, they run an apple market!
Stupid Ray Toro. I used to think he was alright, but when the economy began to collapse, he turned straight into a fucking arsehole, and his brothers with him. I didn’t know he had brothers, until about twenty minutes ago when they held my arms out wide while Ray kicked the shit outta me.
They look kinda like Ray – well naw, idiot, they’re fucking brothers. They have his eyes and the three of them all sound alike - with the stupid girly voice - but only Ray has the trademark shock-mop ‘fro, the thing I’d noticed first about him. His brothers have lifeless, colourless, flat hair, hanging there like dead things on their cheeks, unlike Ray’s do, which stands proud and unique. Like him, in a way.
Despite the slight differences, the three Toro brothers are equally nasty when it comes to protecting what is – apparently – theirs. They’re bloody fast too, but I’m faster; evidently I survived the chase they’d given me, but they’d given up after I’d sprinted three blocks and my lungs were burning.
My stomach growls, and my fingers throb and I double over, wrapping my arms around my torso, trying to compress the hunger pains. I wish my mother would wake up and smell the coffee. I don’t have any coffee in the house anymore, so I don’t make it in the morning, but that’s not the point.
I want her to snap out of her drunken stupor, and turn back into a human being. I want her to change from the alcohol-guzzling zombie she is into my mother again.
I can cook for myself; sticking to the very basics is the cheap way to stay fed, even if the food tastes disgusting. But since my mother stopped working and started drinking, she’s stopped bringing in money, and the benefit money we get is being blown on her booze and drugs.
My fingers are freezing. The fingerless gloves that my father got me last Christmas before he upped and left are beyond awesome, but right now I wish they had fingers, so that mine won’t drop off. I stick my hands under my armpits, and squeeze my eyes shut, stopping the tears escaping my eyes and rolling down my icy cheeks.
My feet are STILL cold. I stamp them so hard that my knees start to hurt, and I just want to cry. I want to cry for the state I’m in. I want to cry for the state my mother’s in. I want to cry for the state I let myself and my mother get into. I want to cry for the collapsed economy around me. I don’t have much family, so there’s hardly anyone to be nice to me. My dad’s left, buggered off with some blonde bitch from England, my mother’s too absorbed in her own binging, and my grandmother lives far away, nowhere near Jersey. I want to cry for my lovesick heart, pining after the one I love but can’t have, because he’s probably not even gay. My life is shit.
Go on then. Cry. That’ll make it all better, won’t it. Cry like the stubborn, hard-done-by fag that you are. Even my inner monologue has turned against me.
Sighing a cloud of steamy breath into the icy air around me, I slowly stand up, shoving my hands into the pockets of my skinny jeans. I ram my earphones into my ears and turn my iPod up full blast, escaping through the tunnel that music creates for me. My legs are stiff, but I grit my teeth and force them to move, carrying me out of the park. I head out onto the street, and keep my head down, avoiding all the unwanted, unfriendly stares that the passersby are surely giving me.
They hate you, Iero. They all hate you. Who wouldn’t? You’ve not done anything with yourself, you’re failing in school, you’re nearly seventeen and you don’t know what you’re gonna do with yourself in the world, you’ve got no friends, your home life is falling apart faster than the economy, and on top of all that, you’re gay.
You’ve got nothing going for you, Iero.
My face scrunches up into a frown, the cold wind blowing my floppy black Mohawk into my eyes. Urgh! Why am I even alive?!
A warm gust of air ghosts welcomingly over me as a tall kid in front of me opens the door to the local sweet shop and steps inside. I almost follow him in, before remembering that I’ve got no money on me. I’ve got no money, full stop. My stomach clenches again as I stand on my tiptoes and peer in the window at the happy families picking sweets for each other. I can’t remember the last time my mother ever bought me anything, let alone bought me sweets.
I decide that I can treat myself. Not to sweets, no I can’t afford to even look at those, but to a few minutes of warmth before I have to brave the freezing walk home to a cold, dark house that won’t pay the gas bills.
I step into the shop, and the wave of warmth washes over me, warming my body, but not my spirits. The air in there smells sweet – well it is a sweet shop, asshole. God, you’re so stupid Iero.
My name is Frank. Use it. In fact, don’t. Don’t talk to me.
The air smells of sugar, and warmth, and love. And chocolate. I love chocolate. More than, well, anything. I’ve not tasted chocolate for years, and I find myself standing by a little shelf piled with chocolate bars from the world’s finest chocolatiers. Why they’d sell their chocolate in this dreary shithole of a city I’ve no idea, but they do, and it’s the best chocolate known to man. According to me. And I stand by that decision, even if I don’t stand by anything else I say.
Get away from the chocolate, Iero, before you start drooling all over it. You can’t even afford to think about it, you’re so poor. You wouldn’t be if you got off your miserable ass and got a job, actually earning the money to pay for all this crap you pine over, but no. You’re stuck, a feeble child in this adult’s world. This is no kind of world for anybody, children and adults alike, and I certainly don’t want to be in it.
The chocolate is pretty; it’s wrapped in pinkish red foil with a red, sparkly ribbon around it, ‘a loving touch that’s in every bar.’ You would find that pretty wouldn’t you, Iero, you big gay boy. Wait no, you’re not big. You’re a fucking midget –
I jump as my inner insults are cut off by a sweet, familiar voice behind me. I turn around and look up into the most delicious hazel eyes I’ve ever seen, making me forget about the chocolate for a few seconds.
He’s standing close to me, as if he were looking over my shoulder previously, his long black hair tousled and dishevelled from the wind outside hiding part of his pale, gorgeous face. I try not to gawp at him, but fail, staring at him as I have done so many times before.
My best friend.
‘Gerard! You came back!’ I throw myself at him, wrapping my arms around him in a hug that I’ve not given anyone for almost half a year. I pull back when he giggles, and look up at his face again. He’s smiling, and he’s beautiful.
Gerard has been my best friend since before the economy came crashing down around me, even when everyone started hating each other, Gerard was there, supporting me through my deteriorating family life and helping me cope with life. Until he moved away from Belleville three months ago, when his brother Mikey needed to be closer to a big hospital after being diagnosed with heart problems. When Gerard had left, my world had fallen apart – well, it was already falling apart before he left, but when he disappeared it began disintegrating faster than usual before my eyes.
But now he’s back, and the shattered fragments of my happiness rapidly begin to piece themselves back together.
‘Yeah, my parents split,’ he says casually, smiling down at me. My grin fades a bit.
‘Oh, I’m sorry, man.’
‘Nah, it’s cool. I’ve wanted to come back ever since we left, and when they split, my dad said he was coming back to Belleville, while my mom said she’d stay with Mikey. And so, I came back, and here I am.’ He gives me a warm smile, which manages to make me warmer than the heat of the shop had.
‘I’m glad you’re back, Gee. I don’t know what I’d have done if you’d stayed away any longer.’ I instantly wish I hadn’t said that as my face flushes red, and I hide behind my fringe.
He laughs softly and pats my head, a weird thing he does, but a totally Gerard thing. ‘So, do you want one?’
‘Huh?’ I say, staring at him like he’s just spoken Japanese.
He giggles again, an adorably cute giggle that can only come from Gerard and my knees go funny. ‘The chocolate, Frankie? Want some chocolate?’
Frankie. It’s been so long since I’ve heard my first name. Even my mother doesn’t use it; she doesn’t call me ‘Iero’ like the other people who talk to me do, but she just calls me ‘boy’. And the sound of my name in Gerard’s voice makes me smile.
I nod eagerly. ‘Wait, are you sure you can afford it?’ I joke. Gerard’s father is a major business man, so the whole Way family are loaded.
‘I don’t know...’ Gerard pretends to think. Then he pulls out his wallet and takes a twenty from it. ‘I’ll make an exception, just for you, Frankie.’ That made me love him even more, which I know will end up hurting me and probably him too. ‘Pick one.’
I pick up a chocolate bar for myself, and he takes it from me and strolls lightly to the counter, where the white-haired clerk gives him a strange look, which soon changes when Gerard hands him the twenty. He takes it greedily, shoving the chocolate in Gerard’s direction and holding onto the money like it’s more valuable than it really is.
The family are staring at me coldly, but I don’t care as Gerard turns back to me, handing me my chocolate bar and ushering me from the shop. The icy wind doesn’t seem so cold with Gerard walking beside me, but instead of heading home, I walk back towards the park I’ve just come from, my best friend close behind me. Sitting down on the park bench, I try to open my chocolate bar, undoing the ribbon successfully, but my freezing fingers fumbling on the wrapper.
I groan in frustration and Gerard laughs softly, taking the chocolate from my hands and opening it with ease. I pout at him, but he just sticks his tongue out and breaks off a piece of the chocolate, putting it to my lips.
The chocolate tastes better than I remember, the sweetness exploding on my tastebuds and crackling all the way around my mouth and down my throat. The chocolate is warm, but not melting, just how I like it, and it tastes even better because Gerard gave me it.
Bloody hell, Iero, you’re so gay.
I smile at Gerard, and he smiles back. I swallow the chocolate and say, ‘Thanks, Gee.’
‘No problem, Frankie,’ he replies, and hands me my chocolate bar. I take it, and break off a piece, popping it into his mouth.
He beams at me, swallows, and then he leans in, pressing his lips to mine. My eyes close and my heart bursts with happiness. His arms snake around my skinny waist, pulling me closer and my fingers tangle in his hair, keeping him locked to me.
Gerard Way is kissing me! It’s just as I imagined kissing him would be, and better. He tastes sweet; he tastes of peppermint, tobacco and chocolate, all mixed in together in a delicious combination of all the love that I could have ever wanted.
He pulls away, the soft smile on his cherry-coloured lips mirroring mine, although I’m sure mine looks a lot less attractive than his.
But I don’t care.
I don’t have all the money in the world, I don’t have the perfect family, and I certainly don’t have as much luxury as most other people. But right now, I’m blissfully happy.
All I have is a bar of chocolate, and Gerard Way, the boy I love, which right now, is all I need.
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