The coffee shop, again.
He'd looked down, once again, into the alluring caramel coloured eyes of Frank Iero, his heartbeat speeding up slightly as the other boy smiled up at him after an initial look of confusion. Gerard began to feel vicious butterflies consume his stomach when he realised he should probably say something.
They just stood there staring at each other in a slightly uncomfortable silence for a minute or two before someone spoke.
'Uh, do you...wanna...coffee?' Frank asked, blushing, again, and making a vague gesture towards the coffee shop they were stood outside of.
Gerard smiled warmly down at the younger man, feeling a slightly alien warmth inside at the thought that Frank wants to spend more time with him.
'Sure,' he replied. Frank smiled back at him and went to step forward, to enter the shop, but Gerard was still gazing at Frank, causing him to tumble backwards and bang his head on the door of the coffee shop.
'Shit!' Gerard exclaimed as a sharp pain engulfed the back of his head before developing into a dull ache.
Frank stared up at him, eyes wide and swirling with panic, embarrassment and fear. Gerard noticed the apparent uncomfortableness of Frank and smiled down at him.
'You're making a habit of this,' Gerard said, smiling a huge smile down at Frank and rubbing the back of his head.
'Sorry,' Frank muttered, blushing again and ducking his head.
Gerard felt his stomach swoop at how sincere Frank was.
'Hey, it's okay, really,' Gerard reassured. Frank looked up at him, hopeful, and Gerard smiled warmly at him causing Frank to smile back.
'Coffee?' he asked again.
'Coffee,' Gerard confirmed, turning and walking into the shop, holding the door open for Frank to follow.
They ordered their coffees and sat at Franks table at the back.
'So, how do you know the lady who owns this place?' Gerard asked out of curiosity. Frank features flashed pain for a second before he smiled slightly.
'She's a good friend of my mums,' he replied.
'Oh,' Gerard said lightly, 'all my mums friends are right weirdos.'
Frank laughed breathily at that as Gerard smiled at him.
They both began sipping at their drinks in a warm silence before Frank spoke.
'Yesterday you said something about having to do a painting, are you an artist?' he inquired.
Gerard ducked his head lightly from embarrassment as he thought about who the painting was of, but kept his composure.
'Yeah,' he replied, 'I studied at SVA for a couple of years but now I have this sort of contract with this gallery, they put my art on display if I get it in on time. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to do but it's good enough.'
Frank stared at him for a second, expression unreadable, before he smiled at Gerard.
'That's pretty cool. What did you want to do though?'
Gerard looked down, embarrassed to admit the truth.
'It, it sounds stupid but I wanted to write comic books.' He doesn't look up at Frank but when the other man stays silent, he chances a look at him. Frank is staring at him when a disbelieving look on his face. Gerard cringes slightly.
'Yeah, stupid,' he mutters before taking a big gulp of his coffee.
'No, dude,' Frank says loudly, 'that is so cool, I freaking love comic books!'
Gerard looks up at him hopefully.
'Really?' he asks.
'Yeah, really,' Frank smiles and Gerard's heart floats a little within his chest, 'my favourite is Batman but I love the walking dead.'
'I love Xmen,' Gerard says in return and Frank nods enthusiastically, 'but Watchmen is like, the best graphic novel ever.'
'Yes!' Frank agrees, beaming up at Gerard, who smiles back.
'So anyway, what do you do for a living?' Gerard asked Frank after a small pause as they drank again.
'I own a bookshop, over he other side of town,' Frank replied smiling slightly at Gerard.
'That's cool. You own it? It must be pretty rad.' Frank sighed.
'Yeah, it is, but, it was my mums.'
'Was?' Gerard asked, stomach uneasy as he thought about what the answer to his vague question might be; he didn't want to upset Frank before he really knew him.
'Yeah, she died fourteen months ago,' Frank said quietly, staring sadly off into space. Gerard's stomach flipped. He was trying desperately to think of something to say that wouldn't sound insensitive or patronising.
'That sucks,' he said after a little pause, mentally cursing himself for saying something so stupid.
Frank turned to look at him with a small smile tugging at his features.
'What?' Gerard asked, a ghost of that infectious smile now playing on his own lips.
'You didn't say sorry or like, try to emphasise with me. Most people are really fucking annoying so, thanks.'
Gerard smiled properly at Frank.
'I'm not gonna pretend to know how you feel when I have no idea, that's just ridiculous.' Frank's smile grew with Gerard's words which gave him a warm, tingly feeling at the pit of his stomach.
He looked down slightly and that was when he noticed Franks t shirt. His green eyes widened a little.
'You like Black Flag?' he asked incredulously. Frank smiled.
'I love Black Flag. Do you?'
'Yes! That is so cool, what other bands do you like?' Frank stared off into space for a couple of seconds with a small pout on his lips, thinking.
'Well, I love Misfits and Nirvana, Thrice and Thursday are both awesome, as are Green Day. I like Blink 182, just, loads, I guess. What about you?' Frank smiled slightly as he spoke, as if the mere mention of those bands made him happy. Gerard smiled in response.
'I love Misfits too, as well as David Bowie and Smashing Pumpkins, Manic Street Preachers, but I'm slightly obsessed with Morrissey and The Smiths.' Frank smiled.
'Morrissey is awesome,' he said, looking sincerely at Gerard. Gerard smiles at him and takes a sip of his coffee.
A silence descends over the two men, but it's not uncomfortable. Gerard smiles to himself, thinking about the man sat next to him, so close he could reach out and just take his hand in his own. He never would though, he always waited for the other person to make the first move and he didn't want to push it with Frank; he probably wasn't even gay.
He could feel Franks eyes on him so, with gentle butterflies convulsing in his stomach, he turned to face him. He was greeted by a pair of soft, honey brown eyes staring unblinkingly into his own.
Frank blushed at having been caught staring and looked away. Gerard felt his heart ache at Franks cute embarrassment. He nudged the smaller man with his elbow until he turned to look at him. Gerard smiled at him warmly and Frank smiled back sort of apologetically.
Gerard's gaze falls slightly onto the scorpion tattoo in Franks neck. It's small and delicate but still edgy, just like Frank, Gerard thinks. He finds himself staring at it intently, studying every millimetre.
'Do you have any?' Frank asks, causing Gerard to look up into his startling eyes again.
His forehead creases slightly in confusion.
'Any what?' Frank let's out a breathy laugh.
'Tattoos,' he replies, 'I kinda noticed you staring.' Gerard smiles.
'I wasn't the only one staring.' Frank looks down and mutters something Gerard can't quite hear. He does pick out one word though; beautiful.
'Sorry, what was that?' he asks the other man softly.
'Nothing,' Frank replies, looking up and smiling at him again, 'so anyway, do you have any tattoos?'
'No, I love them but it's just, it's the needles.' Gerard shudders involuntarily at the thought of the long, metal spikes piercing his skin. Frank smiles like he's trying not to laugh.
'Hey, don't laugh!' Gerard says, nudging Frank lightly with his elbow and smiling a little too. Frank let's out a giggle and looks up at Gerard.
They just stare at each other for a moment, straight into each others eyes and Gerard can feel his stomach flip at the deep, swirling, caramel warmth of Frank's large orbs.
The smaller man looks away first, cheeks tinged pink. He goes to take another sip from his drink when he realises its empty. He frowns at the mug, lips pouting a little and Gerard thinks its adorable.
He looks down into his own mug and realises it is too empty.
'Do you want another?' Gerard asks slightly nervously. Frank sighs.
'No, ' he says after a pause, 'sorry. It was really nice to talk to you, Gerard but I'd better go.' He smiles at the older man who's heart melts and sinks a little at the same time.
'You too Frank.' They both stand up and pick up their mugs, putting them back on the counter to save Freya a job.
The cold air bites at them as step out of the coffee shop. A slightly more awkward silence descends between the two men.
'I guess I'll see you soon Gerard?' Frank says, slightly as a question.
'I guess you will,' Gerard replies, smiling. Frank mirrors his smile.
'Well, bye then,' he says, giving a timid wave of his tattooed hand before turning I walk away towards his car.
'Bye, Frank,' Gerard replies.
Then he remembers something.
'Frank!' he calls to the man just about to enter his car.
'Yeah?' Frank responds, turning to face Gerard.
Gerard runs the little distance between him and Frank and stand in front of him.
'Can I have your mobile number?' Gerard asks, stomach slightly fluttery. Frank beams at him.
'Yeah, yeah of course.'
They exchange numbers and bid each other farewell once again. Gerard turns the corner and begins the walk home, unable to keep the smile off his face.