Booze, blues, bar fights and broken hearts.
(Longer note at the bottom.)
Frank sat in the bar, whiskey in hand and a hideous feeling of guilt settling in his stomach. He had promised Ray to try and stay out of these situations, but at the end of the day, he didn’t feel like Ray really understood – he had the love of his life back at home with him.
He didn’t feel bitter towards his oldest friend (well, not really), but he was jealous. Ray was happy, with a woman he loved unconditionally, and her feeling the same way. Not like him, with a fractured heart, hazy memories and dreams haunted by intoxicating green eyes.
The mere thought of those eyes depressed him further, so he threw back the glass of whiskey, relishing the hot burn of the alcohol down his throat and gestured for another. Once the glass was plonked down in front of him, Frank began to scan the bar with both his mind and his eyes, looking for the next man to spread his legs for.
He knew it wouldn’t work, wouldn’t burn away those painful yet cherished memories, but it was the best solution he had found for coping with the sweetly poisonous thoughts he had about California still.
It would take the bitter edge off them, and it would let Frank imagine that the men grunting between his legs was the one he’d ever really wanted.
Frank continued to scan, made his mind focus on the task at hand, when some drunken asshole slammed him into bar, not even apologizing before cursing at the barman to serve him another Jack and coke. Frank was now pinned to the bar by this degenerate, and didn’t appreciate it, so he shoved the guy hard, sneering when he saw the guy stumble backwards.
He went to move away, to mingle among the crush of people until he found someone else to hook up with, until he saw the glint of the drunk’s face in the dim light of the bar.
High cheekbones set in thin face with the palest skin he’d ever seen, framed by raven hair that swung slightly past his jaw line. Tiny teeth in the soft mouth that was currently twisted in a snarl, but Frank knew he’d seen it curl up in a smirk, or flash into a smile.
And the eyes.
Eyes that were still the vibrant green that Frank had remembered so vividly. The same ones that haunted Frank’s dreams, the same ones he’d seen flash with lust, or widen with concern, or light up with happiness whilst they were still teenagers.
The very same vibrant orbs that had drawn him to the boy – no, man now – in front of him in the first place. The ones that were locked onto his, and widened almost comically in surprise. Frank had no idea what expression was on his face. Fuck, he barely had any idea what he was even feeling.
And then Gerard – fucking Gerard, who’d walked away, who’d run because of his dad, who’d left Frank with his heart in pieces, who Frank hadn’t seen in four years – straightened himself up, brushed past Frank, and picked up his drink from the bar and walked away.
Breaking Frank’s heart again in the process. It was like he was eighteen again, watching Gerard yell at him in their dorm that morning after graduation, watching they boy he loved cry over the grief ridden memories he harboured. And the lines that Gerard had carved into his heart that day suddenly re-opened, and they were gushing blood, and it felt like Gerard had spit poison back into those barely patched wounds.
Frank wasn’t watching him walk away this time. That had been his mistake last time, he’d let Gerard cry and flee back into those horrible memories, and where had that left him? Back in filthy Jersey, with a reputation he hated, and a heart stamped to pieces.
He wasn’t going to stand by and let it happen again. That would practically be begging Gerard to snap his heart in half, and well. Frank had never been the type to snivel and let the world overtake him.
Except he kind of had, over the last four years.
Well, Gerard was somewhere in this goddamn bar, and he wasn’t letting his chance go. He quickly motioned to the bartender for another whiskey, downed it in one swallow, and slid the money across the bar, paying for his tab for the entire night. He didn’t know yet whether he’d be back at the bar any time tonight, so better to pay the man now, he decided.
Heat searing through him from the whiskey, Frank began to shift through the crowd, keeping his eyes constantly dancing over the mob in front of him, and letting his telepathy wander freely, hoping to pick up on Gerard’s familiar “voice”.
The voices rushed into his head, a familiar yet horribly nostalgic feeling, and he began to poke around in his own head, still letting his eyes roam over the people in front of him, still searching in the murky bar.
Frank swirled through the crowd, being shoved from side to side, and then. He heard it.
Gerard’s voice in his head, and again, suddenly he was transported back to the year at ‘Red Academy’. He could see himself standing in that dorm, seeing Gerard for the first time, the jocks trying to beat the shit out of him, the fucking door always swinging shut, Gerard hanging out the window the night he hadn’t returned, Gerard’s sleepy smile the morning after the best night of his life, the fury in the green eyes as Frank taunted Gerard over the edge – he could picture it all, and suddenly, all Frank wanted to is curl up with a bottle of whiskey and cry himself to sleep.
He forced himself to follow that voice in his head, to find the man he was still so desperately in love with, and so he kept moving forwards, until he came to one of the more secluded tables in the corner, and found who he was looking for. Gerard was nursing the drink he’d slammed into Frank to get hold of, and had his arm around some girl – some slut, as Frank branded her in his mind – and was drunkenly telling her some story, fingering the strap of her bra suggestively.
She giggles, sliding a hand down his thigh at the same time, and Frank can’t identify the feeling that roared through his chest.
It felt like someone was simultaneously pulling his guts up through his throat and twisting them, like a hand is clenched tight around his heart, and as if someone just punched him in the stomach, leaving him gasping for breath. He wheeled around, sucking air into his lungs frantically, feeling an ominous clutch of emotion settle around his gut, and fighting the desperate urge to find the closest bin and throw up until there’s nothing left of him to hurt.
He’s so fucking stupid. Gerard was never going to be anything other than straight, how could he be? With a threat like that hanging over his head, what else was he going to do? Run off with Frank and live happily ever after?
This was the real fucking world and of course Gerard slept with sluts like the girl he was groping now. Knowing all this still crushed Frank to pieces. His stupid eighteen-year- old thoughts drifted through his head, making everything so much worse. How he thought he could live if he had one more fix of Gerard, how he’d thought he wouldn’t care about the consequences.
He wanted nothing more to walk up to Gerard and fucking kiss him senseless, to try and tell him through the kiss that Frank would never let anything happen to him, how he’d protect Gerard from his father, how he’d never let the green eyed man go.
He turned back slowly to face the table where Gerard and his slut were sitting, and Frank saw his pale hand sliding into her bra, and his tongue making its way into her mouth. He saw the slut press herself closer to him, and suddenly all Frank wanted to do was walk over there and tear her head off, and then fuck Gerard possessively into the table.
The words “I want, doesn’t get” rang in his ears, and suddenly, getting blind drunk seemed like a suitable solution to all his problems. He turns away from the love of his life, and stumbles back to the bar, ordering two vodka shots, and a pint of beer.
The bartender looks confused that he’s not ordering whiskey, but Frank knows that his intolerance to vodka will get him drunk faster, and the beer will soothe away the harsh chemical taste of the vodka.
His drinks are placed in front of him, and he nods to the bartender, before picking up one of the tiny glasses filled with the clear liquid, and knocking it back in one go, hating the cloying sensation of the bitter drink. He shudders, and slams the glass down on the bar, before picking up the second one, and downing it much like the first.
Once the two glasses are empty, he begins to nurse the beer, sipping every now and then when the taste of vodka creeps back up his throat. The buzz from the alcohol makes his brain a little fuzzy, but he needs it, needs the slight blur to dull the pain.
He’s suddenly reminded of seeing Gerard at graduation – how he had planned over and over what he was going to do when he saw the raven haired boy again. And here he was again, appearing out of no-where. And once again, Frank had no fucking clue what to do.
He raises the beer glass to sip at the cool liquid inside, but instead finds it to be empty.
Angrily slamming the glass back on the bar, he orders three more shots and a glass of whiskey, ignoring the concerned look of the bartender and the mild disgust of the other people sat around him.
He can feel the liquid seeping down his throat, he can feel the way it dulls the ache in his chest, and all he wants, all he’s ever wanted was for it to stop hurting so damn much. It was like the misery had bled through all the skin, and the muscles, and was now lodged deep in his bones.
But when the final shot is swallowed, he feels something else. The damp sadness still lingers, but... There’s something else. Something bitter, and twisted, like bile in his throat, and in a vision of clarity his alcohol consumption should really not allow, Frank realizes the rotten taste is anger.
It’s metallic, it’s hot, it’s dark and it’s furious; fuelled by four years of anguish, and Gerard’s smug fucking face. His fucking face. Again. This... utter shit makes him feel like he’s back in sunny California, wanting to smash Gerard’s face in, and then kiss it all better.
Well, isn't this a nice little merry-go-round of shit, lust and fury.
As it always fucking seems to be with them. Another bloody circus tangled by threats, over eager hearts and the bitter attraction, like the last damn time - the same way it is, every time.
The drink is sparking the embers of Frank’s rage, and he doesn’t try to slip a leash on it, instead, he lets it pound in his veins and sear through his head. The chandelier flashes in his mind, and he roars into the moderate quiet of the bar, blaring his fury out with a single, trembling sound.
It tears through the patrons, and Frank feels no better for it, but he wants to be sick, and kill something, and bring down the chandelier.
Every-fucking-thing happened back in California, and it’s happening here, and New Jersey was supposed to be his home, not another god damn stage for the Frank-and-Gerard Show to take place in, dammit.
Fuck Gerard. And fuck. This.
The shocked silence doesn’t break through his haze of red-hot rage, and he can taste it on his tongue, as tangible as lust, except he doesn’t want Gerard’s body as a reward, he wants Gerard’s fucking blood.
He wants to tears each limb off of the stunning man, rip of each finger or toe, smash his ribs, and let his heart ooze into whatever empty cavity it would fit into. He wants Gerard’s lungs to spill blood, craves to see the man’s intestines sprawled across the floor in some sort of lewd dance, and he wants nothing more that to take his fists to that face. The one he loved, and the one he lost.
He wanted to rip the man apart.
Tear him in fucking two.
The bar is beginning to blur around the edges; and the fury building in Frank tips into blind fucking rage. It’s all fucking Gerard’s fault, everything the green-eyed man has inflicted on his fractured heart burns in his mind as much as the vodka burns his throat. He’s dimly aware that his hands are shaking, and that he’s moving.
He’s pushed up against some fucking idiot at the bar, and then he feels the searing pain tear through his hand, and the guy is swearing, and there’s a purple bruise blossoming on the guys face, and those green eyes are glittering, and Frank’s knuckles are throbbing.
The pain is reminiscent of Jersey street fights and Frank belatedly realises that he’s just socked his guy in the jaw. The guy is still cursing at him, and then his eyes flash – bright green.
Frank grins viciously – Gerard is just the guy Frank’s been desperate to tear to pieces; and from the looks of it, Gerard thinks he’s just some drunken asshole. Well, Frank hates to disappoint, so crashes off the tall barstool, and smashes his fist into Gerard’s face again, relishing the white heat that soars through his hand and his belly as Gerard swears angrily again.
“What the fuck is your problem, you fucking asshole?!”
“Well...” Frank draws the word out, baring his teeth in something that was most certainly not a smile when recognition seeped into Gerard’s perfect features. “My fucking problem is you.”
He can’t help himself; Gerard is right there, in the dim light of the dirty bar, so close to Frank’s face, with two bruises blooming under his skin, courtesy of the tattooed man himself, and with that frozen look of stunned shock on his face, Frank isn’t quite able to resist.
He swings his fist recklessly, and chucking slightly manically when it catches Gerard right in the stomach, winding him, and causing the older man to double over.
And the bloodlust peaks and boils, and Frank is letting fly, shoving his fists into Gerard’s ribs as if they’ve killed his mother, kicking the other man is violently he can feel the bones in his ankles protesting.
Muscles and bones and ligaments and tendons are shuddering under - as well as because of - the desperate assault, and with each new pain Frank inflicts on Gerard, he can feel the blood rising to the surface, his anger forcing it’s way up his throat.
Gerard isn’t entirely helpless, managing to launch his foot into Frank’s shin once or twice, and then Frank’s not punching him – the green eyed man hasn’t moved, but the blows Frank’s dealing out aren’t meeting their target. He’s reminded of how the door vanished for their first art class – “it was always there, only you couldn’t see it”.
A furious fist collides with his cheekbone suddenly, and Frank stumbles back into the bar, feeling his vertebrae shrieking as they crash into the wood. He tries to straighten up, but he’s been pinned there, and then there is another shot of pian straight through his ribs. He almost laughs.
“Funny” he manages to grunt through gritted teeth “I never thought you’d be the one to beat the shit out of me, Gerard.”
“Woulda said the same for you Frankie-boy,” is the snarled reply, and Frank lets a smirk dance across his features, and then brings his knee up, catching the green-eyed man straight in the balls.
Gerard goes down like water down the drain. Frank spits on the curled up figure on the floor, on him and his bloody perfect face, with the motherfucking haunting eyes and the freaking gorgeous lips. He steps over the form on the grubby floor, and goes to walk away, when his left ankle is kicked out from underneath him.
He registers the pain that flares up his leg, and the next thing he knows, his arm is being gripped, and he’s thrown out the door, landing bodily on the cold concrete. Someone else lands next to him, and the groan he hears tells him that the person he’s lying next is none other than Gerard himself.
The rage is still bitter in his throat, but longing bubbles up out of no-where, and fuck, he can't deal with this. He can't face it, doesn't want to, because that will make this real.
And if it's real he has to be adult about it, or come to terms with the fact that all he's ever wanted is staring him in the face, and they don't want him. They can't.
So Frank peels himself up from the pavement, and turns to walk away. It's all he can do.
Thank you guys so, so, so much for reviewing the notes I left on this - they gave me the confidence to keep writing this! And I'm very, very happy that you all seem to be enjoying this still (for some reason) and that this story now has over 3000 views, as well as all the chapters previous being green!
I'm gonna try get back into writing this a little more regularly, and get it finished for you all.
(Mercenary has been put on a not-at-all-voluntary hiatus, as the second part is nearly finished, but is saved on my laptop. The charger's broken. URGH. So that will have to left until I get the charger fixed.)
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UNTIL NEXT TIME :D