If I busy myself enough, I don't give my mind any free time to dwell on things I've otherwise filed away in the 'Do Not Open' section of my brain.
I know I've been gone for a million years and I'm a terrible person for letting this story get pushed down on my list of priorities.
But y'know, school and stuff sucks.
BUT! I'm now on summer vacation and you know what that means...plenty of updates and awesomeness :D
I really hope you guys haven't given up on this story because I've got a bunch of things in store now that I actually have time to focus on my writing.
Now go enjoy Gerard and Frank's pining!
One thing I've come to realize about London in the three weeks or so that I've been here, is that people weren't kidding about the rain. I always thought that was an exaggeration, because it sure as hell rains a lot back in Jersey, but for the past 48 hours the rain has been resilient. The drops of precipitation are cold and heavy on my thin jacket, seeping through easily until I can feel the ice cold water in the very core of my bones. As I look around, I seem to be the only one being so greatly affected by the weather. Bert, Jeph, and Quinn are walking alongside me, giggling like teenage girls and making easy conversation. Whether it's the drugs they're on or just the natural tolerance they've built against the harsh weather, I want in on their super natural abilities.
Bert soon takes note of my chattering teeth and trembling body, and makes his way over to me, no doubt to tease me about being such a wuss.
"Can't handle the cold, Jersey Boy?"
Quinn and Jeph snicker behind their cigarettes, walking a couple paces ahead of Bert and I.
"Me? I'm fine. It gets pretty cold in Jersey too, y'know."
I mumble under my breath, that is now visible thanks to the plummeting temperatures, that it's the god forsaken rain that's driving me insane. How Bert hears me when I spoke in no louder than a whisper amazes me.
"The rain does suck. I'm with you on that one. Let's get out of it then, yeah?"
Bert speeds up his pace, leaving me alone in my misery, and makes a sharp right into the entrance of a building. It's not until I walk up to the fogged up window next to the entrance that I realize it's a bar. Although, being with Bert and all, what else did I expect? A hair salon? Not likely.
I'm the last one to enter, slightly hesitant to throw myself into this dark club that should be brighter in the middle of the afternoon, but isn't. There's a few guys leaning against the bar that seem to be friends of Bert's, all talking cheerfully and sipping on their drinks. This helps me unwind a little bit and get up the courage to make my way to the bar and order a drink of my own. I wave my hands around a bit when the bartender turns his attention to me, signaling that I'll have whatever the rest of the guys are having, and take a seat next to Bert.
I'm ignored for the most part, which is probably the best thing that has happened to me all day. By now Bert has picked up on the fact that I'm not exactly a social butterfly and prefer to stay quietly in the sidelines when around a crowd of people. He says that's not the case when I'm drunk, apparently I turn into some alter ego of my true self, but whatever. I don't usually recall the times when I get into that state, so I figure that's not really me, just some other person completely.
I'm contemplating names for my alter ego when Jeph throws a wadded up napkin at my face and almost startles me enough to fall off my bar stool. Everyone laughs jokingly, Bert being the loudest of course, and recede back into their easy conversation. If anyone says I began to blush, they're lying. I figure I should at least pay some attention to the people around me after that, y'know, just in case.
A guy sitting on the other side of Bert sporting a ridiculous pair of glasses and an unkept beard is the one to pick up the conversation once again.
"You guys see the band that performed here last weekend?"
"Nah" says Bert offhandedly, "Why? They any good?"
One of ridiculous glasses' friends is the one to answer this time.
"Fuck yeah! They're called Mad Gear. The lead singer is pretty strange, but their new guitarist is fucking hot."
At the mention of a hot guitarist, Bert's attention peaks.
"Oh, really? In that case we should come check 'em out next time. Wouldn't want to miss out on good music, right?"
Bert turns to me, winking. He obviously can give a shit about "good music", he just wants a shot at this guy. I simply offer a shrug in return. As long as there's booze and enough pills in my pocket, I'm in. Naturally, Bert begins to ask questions about this guitarist. Ridiculous glasses gives a very detailed explanation in which I zone in and out of. Once he mentions tattoos I make a conscious effort not to think about round, hazel eyes and choppy black hair. Needless to say, this doesn't work for very long.
Thinking about Frank has become a daily routine. As cliche as this may sound, every god damn thing reminds me of the little fucker. I can't drink Starbucks without remembering the way he burnt his tongue that night after landing in London. I can't hear a Bouncing Souls song without remembering how passionately he spoke of them. I can't even see someone smile without thinking about his adorable lop sided grin.
I down my drink quickly and hastily make my way outside before my thoughts can consume me. The guys eye me warily, so I wave my pack of cigarettes at them as an excuse. It's still drizzling outside, but this time I find it welcoming. The ice water dripping down my neck and the smoke entering my lungs acts as a perfect distraction. It's usually the dark cloud of depression that I need to distract myself from, but lately most of that has been filled with Frank. Sadly, I can't tell which one's worse.
When did this become my life? I find myself wondering. Somehow I never thought I'd end up in the middle of London, smoking outside of a dingy bar, fighting to focus my thoughts on my next fix rather than the teenage boy I barely know that I am silently pining over. Sounds like I belong in a Lifetime movie.
Just then, Bert stumbles out of the bar singing Michael Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal' at the top of his lungs while giving Quinn a piggy back ride.
Okay, maybe not a Lifetime movie. I don't think Bert is fit for cable television.
My voice travels through the apartment and bounces off the walls of the quiet hall leading to the living room. That's strange. Usually the minute I unlock the door I hear Gabe complaining about some television sitcom or another at the top of his lungs or Pete yelling cat calls at my entrance. James is a little more composed. Luckily, he's the one I live with. Although, Pete and Gabe are around enough to be considered roommates as well.
After checking through all the rooms I discover that I am in fact, for the first time since I arrived in London, utterly and blissfuly alone. My first instinct is to strip down to my underwear and curl up in front of the television with a bowl of cereal, watching what I want to for once. I'm sure James wouldn't mind if I made him sit through a cheesy horror flick every now and then, but I always feel as if I'm over staying my welcome, despite his reassurances.
"Frankie", he sighed the other night when we were all sprawled out on the floor, deciding on what toppings to order on our pizza, "Will you stop looking at me like I'm gonna wet you with a spray bottle every time you voice an opinion? Because last time I checked you're not a cat and I'm not that cruel."
"Whatever you guys want is fine with me", I said quietly, ducking my head once James gave me another exasperated look.
"Aren't you vegetarian or Buddhist or something?" Gabe remarked from his place on the carpet. He had his eyes closed for the past twenty minutes and I was beginning to think he had fallen asleep. But, knowing Gabe, he was probably just contemplating the meaning of life or trying to decipher the meaning behind the crack on the ceiling of James' room.
"He's vegan, you idiot. Buddhists just don't eat fast food."
How Pete uttered that sentence with complete confidence, I'll never know. James glances over at his two friends like they're a safety hazard to have around the apartment, which in all actuality they probably are, and turns back to me.
"Come on, I'm totally fine with following your weird vegan guidelines, it's no problem. No cheese on your half, right?"
I nod sheepishly and feel myself blush a little at being so timid around the guys with things like this. Pete leans over, wraps an arm around my waist, and places a wet kiss on my cheek. I try my hardest not to push him off.
Giving in to part of my instincts, I grab the remote from off the couch and switch on the television to some sci-fi channel. The squeal that slips out of my mouth when I realize Frankenstein is playing is embarrassing. Luckily no one is around to hear it. I try to pay as much attention as possible, even though I have been able to recite lines from memory ever since I was ten, but my eyes begin to slip shut against my will.
I've been exhausted lately. Between being employed part time at that music store I met Pete in and working on band stuff, I've barely had time to myself. As tiring as it has become, it serves as a great distraction most of the time. If I busy myself enough, I don't give my mind any free time to dwell on things I've otherwise filed away in the 'Do Not Open' section of my brain.
And like clock work, exhibit A has entered the room. Pete and I's, I wouldn't necessarily call it a relationship because relationships usually entitle some sort of mutual interest, situation has been making my head spin in confusion. He's taken it upon himself to show his attraction to me publicly ever since that kiss in the restroom before our first show. He never even discussed it with me, just assumed that I felt the same way and proceeded to flaunt me around like his own personal boy toy. It hasn't gone any further than kissing and casual touching yet, but I don't want to sit around and wait for it to escalate.
Part of me knows I'm over thinking things. Pete's not a bad looking guy, far from it, but I can't help but feel used. Any sane person would just voice their thoughts to Pete and fix the dilemma but I've never been one to take things so lightly without over thinking them to death. Pete's the reason why I have a roof over my head, friends in this unfamiliar city, a job, and a band. That's way more than I could have ever dreamt of having back in Jersey, and for that I am forever grateful. But it feels so wrong letting him have his way with me just because I don't want to upset him. I'm not some cheap whore.
But then again, Pete could take away everything good in my life at the moment just as easily as he provided it. What then? It's not like I know anyone else in London that I could go to once James and Gabe figure out I'm not as great as Pete claimed I was. There's no one else. No one else but…Gerard. But that's another file hidden away that I refuse to open.
The rain must've picked up outside since I got to the apartment because Pete's t-shirt is soaked even though he had a thick coat on underneath. He hangs the dripping coat on the rusted nail by the door and heads over to the couch, casually peeling off his t-shirt mid stride. I drag my eyes towards the television, not wanting to give Pete mixed signals by staring at his tanned chest. He collapses on the empty space next to me, shaking his hair in my face once he gets close enough.
"Augh, Pete! I had just managed to dry off, fucker."
I turn my face away from Pete and wave my hands around in protest. Pete mistakes this as an invitation to grab them and pulls me onto his lap in one easy movement. I stay still, neither protesting nor encouraging him to go any further. Not that Pete has ever needed any encouragement for his actions. Soon enough, he's planting kisses on my neck. They're playful at first but gradually turn into something more heated. Pete's sucking and biting softly at my skin, and I'm desperately searching for an excuse to stop this.
"Hey, come on, I was watching something."
Pete seizes his attack on my flesh to look up at the television and raises an eyebrow once he sees what's playing.
"This shit?", he scoffs and flicks the off switch on the remote.
It takes careful neutralization of every atom in my body not to brutally murder Pete then and there. He takes no notice in the glare I give him and places a sloppy kiss on my down-turned mouth. I eventually give in and let Pete kiss me until his attention strays elsewhere as usual. Only this time, the kiss stretches on for longer than it ever has before. Pete even goes as far pushing me to lie down on the leather material of the couch and climb on top of me to straddle my hips.
Pete begins to press harder against my lips and aligns his body perfectly against mine so that when he grinds on me his more-than-noticeable-hard-on rubs against my growing one. I let out a quiet moan that I instantly regret and snap my hips up before I can stop myself. Fucking teenage hormones.
Thankfully, the sound of someone unlocking the apartment door breaks us apart before things can go any further. Pete places one last kiss on my cheek before getting up and letting me know he's going to go find a towel and a dry change of clothes. James finds me in the same position, thrown on the couch, hair a mess, and lips probably swollen and wet. He looks more than a little awkward and begins to ramble in an effort to ease the heavy silence.
"I-uh, didn't know Pete was here. Um. If I interrupted something, I could just-"
"It's cool dude, really."
I finally compose myself enough to sit up and try to pat down my hair.
"You sure? I could go out for a bit. Gabe and I were going to-"
"No!", I cut off, giving James what must be the most pathetic pleading face in existence, "Stay. Please."
That was maybe a bit much, because James seems kind of surprised and confused. He doesn't say anything though, thank the heavens for people like James Dewees, just sits shrugs and makes his way to the kitchen and offers me a soda.
"Yeah, sure. Thanks."
"No prob. Oh, there's something falling out of your pocket, by the way."
I look down, and true to his word, a folded up piece of paper had fallen out of my jeans pocket and is now resting on the cushion beside me. I pick it up and unfold it, confused as to what it might be. When I discover what it is I wish James hadn't of spotted it at all. It's the cartoon vampire Gerard drew for me on the plane that I thought, and still do, was the best thing in the world. His spidery signature is carefully placed in the corner of the drawing, followed by what looks suspiciously like a tiny heart.
I find myself wondering why I even bothered creating that file in my mind when it is very clearly ignoring the 'Do Not Open' label placed smack in the middle of the folder. Bolded. And highlighted. And underlined. Twice.
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