Ever since his mom got sick, Frank has spent his days at the local park, alone and lonely until he meets Gerard- the weird art guy with the tiny teeth and the funny breath. FRERARD One shot!
Not that he ever noticed before, all that much, but the graffiti in this town has been getting really bad lately. Though, logically, he knows he shouldn’t really be that upset about it, the ugly yellow scrawl is really starting to get on his tits.
He supposes, fleetingly, that he probably just never had enough time before to notice. He was probably too busy- once upon a time- to pay the slightest bit of attention to the sprayed grey bricks confining the old park; with school, with his band, with his friends. But he has far too much time on his hands these days.
Frank thinks, that it’s probably one of my many factors harbouring the hate he has for the graffiti, but only if he’s thinking logically. Frank hasn’t been very logical lately.
Mostly, Frank is just bored- of Jersey, of the park, of the graffiti, of never having anyone to talk to.
When he dropped out of collage he pretty much lost all the friends he had made there –they were all, suddenly, too sparky and intellectual for him, and they kept giving him these looks like he was a lost puppy or something- and somehow the high school stoners weren’t really doing it for Frank anymore. Frank’s not very good at keeping friends, anyway. So mostly Frank sits alone at the local park- he got kind of bored of it by the first day but there isn’t really anywhere else he can go.
Well apart from home, but things have been getting worse there lately, he can barely stand to look at his Ma anymore, let alone his Dad and well he guesses, he prefers being outside anyway, Frank’s always been sort of claustrophobic, he grew up with the fear of being tied down.
Maybe that’s why he left school, maybe that’s why he can’t keep a girlfriend, maybe Frank shouldn’t blame it all on his parents.
He’s pretty lonely though, and after three weeks of sitting in the park smoking and staring loathingly at the graffiti Frank is pretty much ready for any form of social interaction. He thinks of maybe complaining to one of the elderly women that invade his small personal pocket of air daily, he’s pretty sure they’re allowed to get angry at the graffiti. But most days he chickens out before he can say anything and endures the staring match alone.
Some days women with buggies or small children come and sit next to him, these are exciting days in Frank’s book. He likes listening to the mothers hushing their children or talking feverishly on the phone to their friends or bosses. It’s amazing really, how someone he has never met can mean so much to the person sitting next to him.
Frank never talks to these women either though, mostly he just listens and scuffs his shoes, drawing the line somewhere between wanting to be noticed and not wanting to make a nuisance of himself.
Frank is only eighteen so his life really shouldn’t be over yet, but he’s having a hard time imagining spending his days doing anything different to working up the courage to talk to OAPs and running errands for his Dad.
He used to have dreams, one’s about rock bands and fast cars when he was a kid, then about culinary school and opening up a restaurant when he grew up a little bit. But now, not so much his parents need him around a lot so Frank’s dreams have to wait.
Frank pretty much left everything behind when he left school and his scholarship two months ago. Frank still dreams of leaving the town, dreams of a more exiting life, but he does little to act upon his idle fantasies so that’s pretty much all they will ever be.
It doesn’t bug him, at least not as much as it used to and, Frank realises with a sickening drop in his stomach, it doesn’t bother him nearly as much as the graffiti.
It is at this point that Frank decides that he should care and he should worry and he should do something about his fucking life. But also, if he’s going to do anything, he should take baby steps, teeny, tiny baby steps.
He turns to address who ever the hell has decided to share his bench on this day and then almost has a panic attack because the guy sitting next to him isn’t an elderly woman with dentures and hearing problems. Maybe this is fate, Frank thinks, maybe I’m being given a friend.
The guy turns and frowns slightly at Frank’s prying eyes, the guy is kind of weird looking with long black hair and a round face, he looks sort of girly, Frank thinks.
“The graffiti’s gross.” He says
The guy kind of laughs and looks at the ruined brick wall. “Yeah, not exactly inspiring the kids of tomorrow.”
It’s not a bad response, as far as responses go, Frank had kind of planned out a few scenarios in his mind in which the guy called him and idiot or a freak or maybe told him to get back to school punk ass kid.
Frank looks at all the ‘fuck you’s and the dicks adorning the wall and nods. “Jersey sucks.” He says, for lack of anything more substantial.
The guy may not be an asshole but he’s clearly an intellectual of some sort, and Frank is definitely not.
Not that Frank isn’t a clever kid; it’s more he has issues with putting his thoughts into words. Like maybe, he skipped one too many literature classes in high school or something- he missed the transition from playground slang to formal written English. He has ideas, and some of them aren’t half bad, but he isn’t very good at explaining them.
“Cultural capital of the world.” The guy rolls his eyes.
“You from here then?” Frank asks, absently picking at a hole in his jeans- he really needs to get it sown up before the whole lower part of the pant falls off but he hasn’t gotten round to it yet.
“Born and bread.” The guy laughs, “Well not quite but,” he twizzles his hand around in the air a little bit “I’m Gerard.” he says.
“Frank.” Frank says.
“It was nice to meet you, Frank.” Gerard smiles. “But I really have to go.” he stands up and waggles his fingers, Frank nods a couple of times
“You too.” He says.
It’s not that Frank hasn’t been expecting Gerard to come back to the park; he’d actually stayed up the majority of the night thinking about talking to him again. He had worked through several possible conversations in his mind and- yeah maybe that’s a bit sad but it’s been too long since Frank’s had a friend.
Conversations with his father never go too well, it’s not his Dad’s fault, Frank knows he’s only doing what he has to for his Ma but some days it’s just too much. Frank’s only one man y’know? Barely that.
And his thoughts were a welcome distraction to his Mother’s gurgling sobs echoing through the house long past midnight, after a while his Father’s coos did little to settle her and things got kind of violent. Frank plugged in his headphones and rolled over, away from the wall. He didn’t get much sleep that night.
So, Frank’s not too surprised when Gerard takes a seat next to him on the bench a little past four. He does jump though and stares a bit to make sure Gerard isn’t going to disappear as fast as he had just appeared.
“Oh, hey.” He says, once he’s gotten over the shock, he can already feel himself blushing, he's normally a lot cooler, it’s hard to sneak up on Frank.
Gerard looks a little different, like maybe he’s showered since Frank last saw him, and his eyes are smudged with black kohl, shining bright amber against the dark. Something about him looks a little dangerous, like a predator or a wild cat. He’s not quite ferial but his eyes hold a certain kind of madness.
“Hi.” he says and maybe it’s just Frank’s imagination but he looks a little nervous, a little giddy.
“You trying to steal my spot?” Frank asks, and it’s a joke but Gerard’s eyes go wide as he shakes his head.
“No! No I- just, I’m taking some time off work and I-” The words from then on are mumbled and incomprehensible.
“What?” Frank half asks, half laughs.
“I come here to draw, sometimes.” He says again and Frank notices the bound leather book in his lap.
Frank gets why he’s embarrassed, not that drawing’s something to be ashamed of or anything, it’s actually really cool but he knows that not everyone thinks the way Frank does. He used to play guitar, kind of well, he thinks, but his parents weren’t so proud of him. Apparently he had better things to be doing- there were more important things in Frank's life.
His dad wanted him to go into the family business but that didn’t go down so well with Frank. His dad’s a butcher, owns a small shop a few blocks from their house- or owned, past tense. They had to give it up last year when his mom got really bad- but Frank was- still is- a vegetarian so they weren’t quite a match on that.
Instead Frank went into cooking, working with meat free alternatives and creating his own stuff. Baking is his favourite, like science with a softer edge- Frank likes making things that taste good, that make people happy.
But then things got really bad, and Frank’s scholarship wasn’t even enough to keep him in school. His parents need him at home- it’s not their fault the health insurance doesn’t cover his mom’s illness.
So Frank gets why Gerard is shy about his drawing, it makes sense to him, often it’s better to hide the things you love.
“That’s really cool.” Frank says and Gerard visibly relaxes
“I guess.” he says and the crazy look is back, his eyes unruly and wide.
“So, like, what do you do? Y’know when you’re not drawing?” Frank asks- this is actually, almost a conversation starter that he had planned previously.
“Oh! I. I’m self employed, kind of, I like free lance I guess.” He says “but there isn’t a massive call for what I do.”
He says and something about his tone stops Frank from asking more, he seems – not sad exactly but kind of remorseful. Maybe his family don’t like what he does either, maybe it’s like the drawing.
Frank just nods and wrings his hands, stretches his fingers across an invisible chord, another, a fist. “I like it here,” he says in the end “The park’s nice.”
“You just don’t like the graffiti.” Gerard laughs.
“Or the dog crap.” Frank adds, then grins a little bit.
Gerard smiles too, and his cheeks squash up in a rosy mess and his little teeth stretch out under his thin lips. He shouldn’t be attractive, not really, in fact he looks a little like a jack-o-lantern, round face and burning eyes, but Frank thinks he’s kind of cute. He could maybe grow to like Gerard, he thinks he might.
He looks out across the park, spots the setting sun and hides a shudder, it’s not safe to be out here at night. Not with all the missing people, the murders, the bodies found in the lake just near Frank’s house. Not that it’s much better at Frank’s house anymore, he still likes to be home by dark.
“I should go.” he says and glances meekly at Gerard who’s staring off into the distance, an odd look on his face “It’s getting late.”
Gerard looks back then, and grins “Sure, it’s not safe round here anymore, not past dark.”
Frank nods once, twice, then gets up to leave, it’s not a long walk home but he still hurries, scurrying away before the dark can catch up with him.
His dad’s home, sitting at the kitchen table, newspaper folded neatly to the left of his clasped hands. Frank tries to creep up the stairs, he can smell something cooking, he can’t hear his Ma.
“Frank,” His Dad says, but doesn’t move, doesn’t even look at Frank.
Frank pauses, his foot resting on the bottom step “Yes?”
“How was your day?” His Dad turns now, just his head, and looks at Frank with wide eyes “You look flustered.”
Frank looks down and moves his foot from the top step, he can hear his Mom now, shuffling around somewhere “I’m fine.”
His Dad nods “Did you?” the question is slightly cut off by the air but Frank knows.
“Sort of.” he says, and then goes upstairs.
Gerard’s there when Frank arrives at his bench the next day, he looks tired, Frank probably does too he hasn’t been sleeping well. Gerard smiles softly when Frank sits down and offers Frank a fruit pastel from the pack in his hand.
“Hi.” Frank says, then takes one. “You’re here early.”
“Why are you always in the park, Frank?” Gerard asks, ignoring all the formalities his mother must have taught him.
“I like the park.” Frank says, a little confused but not too put off.
“Don’t you go to school?”
Frank avoids the question for a few seconds, just scuffs his shoes against the ground and picks at his fingernails. It’s a touchy subject. “No.” he says eventually.
It’s not so weird, him not wanting to talk about it, Frank knows that so he doesn’t get why people always feel the need to press him. He knows they can empathise, it’s not such a strange situation but people still ask awkward questions.
“Oh.” Gerard says and then, “Do you want to go somewhere with me?”
Frank does kind of, but he’s startled by the question; the conversation seems to have taken a funny turn, like maybe Frank zoned out for a bit, only he didn’t. But then Gerard seems like a pretty weird guy, so maybe he doesn’t construct his dialog the way everyone else does.
“New York.” He says, and then blushes, dropping his gaze to the gravel at their feet, his converse are turned inwards, his knees visible in the folds of the fabric smothering them, he pulls a sweet from the packet and pops it in his mouth.
Frank laughs and threads out a cigarette, Gerard kind of smells like smoke, so he doesn’t think he’ll mind too much if Frank lights up. “You’re kidding, right?”
Gerard shakes his head earnestly and looks back at Frank’s eyes. “There’s a gallery opening, it looked kind of cool.”
Frank’s never been to a gallery, he never went on any of the school trips and his parents aren’t into any art from that isn’t broadcasted on the TV, Frank’s not that into art either, but he likes it more than the telly. He looks down at his beet up chucks and his worn out jeans, his loose T-shirt and old jacket- he’s not really dressed for a gallery opening.
“Let me go home first, okay? I need to get changed.”
Gerard grins, splits his face in two with that row of tiny teeth, they look stranger and stranger the more Frank looks at them, he watched as Gerard’s lips pull back across them, thin and a little wet. He shudders and gets up.
“C’mon then.” he says.
Frank’s dad is home, sitting in front of the TV right at the end of the couch, Frank’s mom is next to him eyes lost to the world, she’s in her chair murmuring slightly the IV bag is hooked into her wrist. His dad turns around a soon as the door slams shut and he grins wide and bright at Gerard and Frank, hopping up as he says, “Oh, Frankie! You’re home early.”
Frank smiles a little too “Yeah, just came home to get changed. This is Gerard.”
Frank’s dad looks at Gerard and grins wider, somehow “Gerard! Nice to meet you!” He pulls Gerard into a hug and slaps his back “I’ll let you two get off then, dinner at six remember, Frankie.”
Frank nods and skitters up stairs Gerard hot on his heels, Frank closes the door to his room and makes an apologetic face to Gerard “Sorry, he’s a hugger.”
Gerard just looks at Frank wide eyed, his expression an open book, just written in a different language “What? No he’s fine.”
Frank nods a couple of times and looks down at the floor. He keeps his room pretty neat, his clothes are always put away and he doesn’t keep too much stuff laying around, just a few old comics on his desk, his CD player, his IPod. Frank doesn’t take his IPod out with him anymore, not after his last one was nicked.
He moves over to the chest of draws and pulls out some dress pants, a collard shirt, he doesn’t need a tie, not in the middle of the day. “Uh can you?” he makes a whirling motion with his hand, gesturing for Gerard to turn around.
Except, Gerard is actually a little closer now, his hot breath almost reaches Frank’s flesh and his nerves start to buzz. He looks at Gerard close up; his skin’s kind of greasy and his lips are too thin. Frank smiles and moves forward a little – not moving his feet, just shifting his weight.
Gerard’s eyes are still that crazy amber and his lashes crumple together at the outer corners, they’re nice eyes, Frank thinks. He watches Gerard study his face and wonders what he’s thinking, if he’s thinking at all. Gerard lets out a breath and this time Frank really feels it, hot and a little stale against his skin.
“I’d like to draw you, Frank.” He says and traces the pad of his thumb across one of the soft lines forming Frank’s cheekbone. “Sorry” He snaps back into the room then, dropping his hand and whirling around “I’ll let you get changed.”
Frank’s quick then, returning to earth in a fast jolt, he doesn’t give himself enough time to blush simply draws up his pants and slips on the shirt, trying all the while to not think about the proximity from before.
It’s weird, Gerard’s weird, Gerard’s a little greasy, a little too warm and sweaty, his hand was rough on Frank’s skin, Frank doesn’t mind, not too much. Frank’s never dated a guy before, he’s never really been into them, not that it was ever a conscious choice, he just hasn’t. But then Gerard kind of looks like a girl, sometimes, when he’s looking down or playing with his hair not exactly pretty- pretty is the wrong word entirely - but something.
Frank decides to think about it when he’s not with Gerard-- he makes a mental note, leaves a little reminder in the corner of his brain, a file marked for later. – And just grabs a jacket from the back of his chair, signalling, as he leaves the room, for Gerard to follow him.
They holler goodbyes to Frank’s parents and Frank thinks he hears his dad coming to see them out, but they’re out the door before he can make an appearance.
Their feet slap against the pavement and the sun is hot and ruthless, causing small pools of sweat to form at the base of Frank’s neck, for a while he’s not sure what to say even in his fantasies they never got this far. Or at least not this quickly.
They get to the station and stand by the board, watching the seven minutes roll down to nothing. They haven’t spoken much, not at all unless Frank’s thank you to the ticket office is being counted. He plays with the rail card and resists the urge to crumple it up, he watches it bend a little under the pressure of his hand and chews on his lip.
He stuffs the ticket into his pocket and drops his hands down to his sides, Frank’s always been a little awkward, he’s never really kept any friends, and girlfriends always have to go after a few weeks. He looks down at the exposed tracks and tries to count the wooden panels; he looses interest a few minutes before the train pulls up.
Gerard rubs his pinkey finger against the side of Frank’s hand and Frank smiles up at him. Gerard’s not much taller than Frank, which is weird because most people seem to tower over him. Gerard returns the smile a little crookedly and they both get on the train.
They’re just pulling into the stop before Grand Central when the announcement comes through; “Due to an obstruction on the tracks the train will be temporarily delayed” the voice apologises for any inconvenience then crackles out of life. Frank grips the pole a little and looks to Gerard.
He’s holding a brown paper bag with the gallery logo on and leaning lazily against one of the poles, his hair’s a little in his eyes but he’s smiling at Frank.
“You know that means a body, right?” He says, “C’mon, we’ll walk.”
They get off the train with a few other impatient commuters and Frank has to hurry to match Gerard’s longer strides “What?” he asks, frowning.
“On the tracks, it’s selfish really. Poor drivers.”
“You mean like a human body?” They’re on the street now, Gerard is still moving fast, Frank’s running out of breath “Gerard!” He shouts, stopping mid stride.
Gerard stops and a few businessmen in suites grumble as they are forced to make their way around the frozen man. His face is a blank canvas for a nanosecond, then the crooked grin is back “Sorry!” he says, “But we’re gonna miss the train back.”
Frank nods and catches up with Gerard, he’s moving again now, though not so quickly. “But you mean there’s a dead body on the tracks?”
Gerard nods solemnly “They usual throw themselves over as the train comes, it’s sick.”
Frank chews on his lip for a bit and they walk on in silence, only just making it to the train on time.
Frank’s late for dinner, but that’s okay, he tells his dead that he already ate out and tries to excuse himself to his room. The air in the house is a little too thick, it sticks on Frank’s throat and he tries to swallow it down his palms getting sticky. He can’t see his mom, but then the sun’s already gone down so she’s probably in her room.
“Frank, wait,” His dad calls and Frank jumps a little, coming out from his thoughts “That… boy, is he?”
Frank shakes his head. “No, Dad.”
Frank’s Dad pulls his lips up to the side and hms frowning as he does “Frank, you know”
“Yes! I know, I get it, I’m on it but not him.” Frank interrupts then shifts more towards the stairs, he can hear his mum in the cellar. “Can I go?”
His dad nods and moves back into the kitchen, Frank can smell cooking; red meat.
He goes up to his room and slips his headphones down over his ears, kicking his feet up under him on the bed, he sighs and scrolls to the S section, settling on Slipknot. He doesn’t like them, not really, but they’re loud and in your face and the perfect distraction.
Frank doesn’t get round to the little space saved in his head until past midnight, his IPod is out of battery, and he doesn’t want to get out of bed to charge it but he keeps the headphones on as a sort of comfort. The file is full of new scary ideas and information and Frank’s not really sure where to start.
Gerard is a boy, a man really, he’s kind of dirty and weird, a little bit awkward, he doesn’t look quite right and sometimes he creeps Frank out, only mostly he’s just intriguing, exiting. Maybe it doesn’t matter that Gerard’s not a girl, Frank’s not a homophobe, he’s just never thought about dating a guy before, he’s never met a guy he wanted to date, before.
This brings Frank to the second issue, question, whatever. Does he want to date Gerard? He wants to hang out with him, for sure, but is that the same as wanting to date him? Frank doesn’t quite know, he thinks about the moment in his room from earlier. He’s not sure what it really was, just a point in time, an almost kiss? His brain is simultaneously thrilled and repulsed by this idea, so Frank tucks everything back into the file and attempts to go to sleep.
Gerard isn’t at the bench the next day, or the next and Frank’s sort of glad he doesn’t have to face him at first, but by the third day Frank stops feeling thankful, he doesn’t try to look for Gerard though, just misses him quietly.
He considers telling the mothers that sit down next to him, to go away, but he doesn’t have the heart. Instead Frank goes back to glaring at the graffiti, he hates it more now, now that he knows he isn’t being too irrational, the graffiti is offensive, it ruins the park. The graffiti is just another of the endless reasons Jersey sucks.
Five days pass and Gerard still isn’t back, Frank doubts he’ll ever come back, maybe it’s a sign though, maybe he shouldn’t try to get any closer to Gerard. Frank goes home early on the sixth day, his Dad’s in but he manages to sneak past him and up to his room.
He sits on his bed for a little bit and listens to his dad moving around the house, shifting his weight and tidying up, chopping something on the block board in the kitchen. Frank waits to hear his dad leave, a half hour later, and then he moves.
He’s all worked up, stress constricting his joints and pushing against the inside of his brain. He kicks his small plastic bin across the floor and watches as the old tissues and crumpled sheets of paper rise up and out of the net. He lets himself cry then, he lets himself feel all the emotions bottled up inside of his body and he lets them go. He feels better then, like a weight has been lifted from his chest, he breathes shakily for a few moments then collapses in on himself.
He can hear his Ma, scratching about downstairs and for a moment he hates her. It’s not her fault of course, but Frank’s a mess right now and he’s all alone because she can’t get up the stairs.
The next day Gerard comes back, late in the day and just as Frank’s about to leave for home, his face is pale and his eyes are puffy, his hair is greasy and a little crazy like he’s been raking his hands through it a lot. Frank just looks at him and nibbles on the inside of his lip, he knows he’s holding his breath but he doesn’t think it’s too noticeable.
Gerard sits down on the bench and looks like he’s going to say something, wringing his hands open and closed repeatedly and blinking heavily, Frank realises with a drop in his stomach, that Gerard’s trying to hold back tears.
He waits for him to speak, and ignores the part of his mind revelling in having Gerard back, he dismisses it to the storage box in his mind and tries his best to be a comforting presence to Gerard.
Eventually, Gerard speaks “My wife’s dead” he says.
It’s a lot of information for three small words, and Gerard’s voice is so tiny Frank thinks for a moment that maybe he heard him wrong.
“I’m sorry.” He says, even though he thinks it’s weird to apologise for a death.
Gerard shakes his head and his lips twitch into a new shape, definitely not a smile, but something close. “Thanks.”
“How did she?” Frank asks with the silently, added it’s fine if you don’t want to talk about it.
“She was missing, for a long time.” Gerard says, sucking in a painful looking breath “they just found her, but she was killed a while ago”
Killed the word sticks in Frank’s mind, and he shudders a little. He wants to say something, but he doesn’t know what, so instead he just touches his hand to Gerard’s and stays with him until the sun goes down.
Frank avoids his parents that night
Part Two- Blood Is Sharp
Frank spends more time with Gerard over the next few weeks, they don’t go to his house again, though they do go to Gerard’s a couple of times. It’s a small flat, Gerard said he moved out of his old place a few months ago, it reminds him too much of Lindsey.
He’s not sure when the transition happened, but Frank’s pretty sure they’re dating now, things are different and not in a negative way. It’s unspoken, but definite, the looks Gerard gives him, make Frank sure. They’re not all that touchy, and they haven’t kissed yet but it isn’t just a friend thing anymore.
Frank’s not entirely sure it was ever just a friend thing, when he thinks about it, because he has never really been Gerard’s friend, the transition was really from, guy Frank spoke to in the park to all that really matters in Frank’s life.
His Dad’s asked him about it a little, but Frank knows he doesn’t understand, Gerard isn’t his boyfriend, he’s not going to bring him round for dinner- the relationship is more complex than that.
Sometimes Frank is disgusted by the idea of Gerard and his rows of small teeth and his sweaty hands and his apparent inability to shower but sometimes, when Frank has his hand on his dick, when everyone else has gone to sleep, he thinks about Gerard differently. He thinks he’d quite like to kiss Gerard, just once, just as a test.
Today, Frank slept in, he knows he shouldn’t have because it means his Dad is up and puttering around in the kitchen, occasionally hitting things and saying stuff to his Ma.
Frank considers climbing out of his window, but it’s too high really so he dashes the thought. Instead he’s just quiet as he gathers his clothes and makes his way to the bathroom. He knows at least his Mom has heard him, but she wont do anything- she can’t.
Frank spends a long time in the shower and listens to his Dad’s muttering and slamming downstairs for ten minutes once he’s out of the hot water. He sits, leaning against the door and waits, eventually the front door slams and Frank is safe.
He gets up, the towel still hooked around his waist, and pads out of the bathroom he gets dressed as quickly as he can and listens hard, his dad could be back at any second, though he probably wont be.
Frank hurries downstairs and hopes he hasn’t left Gerard waiting for too long, his Mom’s in her chair in the living room, her face turned away from the day time TV, Frank can smell her from the cloak room.
“I’m going out, Ma” He says carefully and his mother’s eyes snap towards him a low gurgle escaping her parted lips “I love you, I’ll be back later”
He slips his pumps on and grabs a hoodie, it’s getting cold again, the summer months slipping into winter. He opens the door slowly and closes it with a soft thunk, locking it behind him. He’s half way down the path when a voice stops him.
“Frank” It’s his Dad “I need to talk to you”
Frank turns to see him leaning against the wall of the house, he looks small out in the open and his hair’s grey and falling out, the bags under his eyes heavy and red. He doesn’t look the same out in the open, he doesn’t put Frank on edge so much.
“I have to go”
“Frank” His Father insists, pushing off the wall and moving towards Frank. “That boy, you bring him round soon”
Frank shakes his head and tries to get away from the smell of his Dad’s breath “Gerard’s not like that”
“Sure he isn’t” His Dad smiles, his mouth closed. His smile is so different to Gerard’s, there’s no warmth just a promise, always the same. “You bring him round, this week”
Frank rolls his eyes a little “Whatever” he says.
“I know you’ll do what’s right, Frankie” His dad calls, but Frank’s off down the path again.
His dad watches him go, Frank can feel his eyes boring holes as he turns the corner of his street, he hurries a little, tripping over his feet in an almost skip, then he starts running.
He crashes into Gerard at the park, his breath heavy in his chest, his palms growing slick. Gerard draws him in close and tries to calm Frank with soothing hands on his back and in his hair.
“Hey, it’s okay. What’s wrong?” Gerard asks, holding Frank at arms length.
Frank blinks a few times and doesn’t let any tears slip from his mind; he watches Gerard’s face, creased up in concern. He takes Gerard’s hand and pulls them towards the bench.
He doesn’t speak for a few minutes, once they’ve sat down, Frank’s heart is still crazy in his chest and his brain can’t go down any line of thought for long enough. His voice is hushed when he finally does open up “It’s my mom” he says, “She’s not getting better”
Gerard puts his arm around Frank’s shoulders and Frank allows himself to snuggle in to the touch, not thinking about those emotions, they’re not important right now.
“And my dad gets funny about it, it’s hard for him but I can’t always help him, I don’t want to help him” Frank can feel the tears crawling back up into his eyes, he pushes them away again.
“It’s okay, Frankie, I know” Gerard shushes him, running soothing hands up and down Frank’s arm “I can help you, you know I can”
Frank shakes his head and says, “I don’t want you to” his voice barely a whisper.
They stay in the park all day, talking and staying close, Frank finds himself looking more and more at Gerard. He’s become almost fond of the little teeth and the crazy hair, but he still hasn’t gotten used to the eyes, bright and knowing.
Frank skips dinner when he gets home and goes to sleep early; he wants to be out before his parents get up tomorrow.
“This is a bad idea” Frank says, his hand linked with Gerard’s. They’re at the end of Frank’s path and Frank’s having second thoughts, his feet are icy like the dead. “You should go, or we could go to the park”
Gerard gives his hand a squeeze “No, c’mon we’re already here” their eyes hold together and Frank almost nods.
“It’s just my dad he’s”
“Under a lot of stress, it’s fine, Frank, all our families are a little weird” Gerard interrupts, and then leads them towards the house.
“You don’t have to stay over though” Frank insists but Gerard just scoffs.
Frank’s dad opens the door, a grin spread on his face “Hey, boys!” he says, pulling them both into a tight hug.
Frank’s Ma is in the corner, her hand working the joystick on her chair, she’s looking at Gerard through her hair, the tube leading up through her nose is only just visible through the tangles.
“Hey, Ma” Frank says and moves over to crouch in front of the chair, he takes her hand within his and smiles up at her blank face “This is Gerard, you remember Gee don’t you?”
Gerard moves over too, he’s kneeling on the other side of the chair his hands on his knees, a keen smile on his lips, little teeth present and awkward “Hi, Mrs Iero, it’s great to meet you properly”
Frank’s Mom doesn’t respond, just continues to stare at Gerard, low gurgles forming in her throat. Frank watches the almost exchange and smiles a tiny smile before drawing his eyes back up to his Dad.
“Dinner’s ready, if you want to go through,” He says with a quick flash of teeth.
Frank swallows heavily and breathes through his nose, he can smell it, hot and fresh, leaking through into the lounge. “Okay”
Frank watches Gerard’s face as they walk into the kitchen, the dining room is covered, different cuts and joints, all rare and pink. His face it neutral for a moment and Frank holds his breath, waiting for the freak out. When the change comes it’s minute, just a flash of something then the easy smile is back and Gerard sits down.
Frank doesn’t eat, he just watches Gerard, who doesn’t eat much either, just tucks a few delicate pieces of the flesh into his mouth and chews slowly, nothing is obvious on his features.
Frank apologises when they get upstairs “My Dad’s a butcher” he explains, and feels his cheeks grow hot. He knew it was a bad idea bringing Gerard over.
Gerard just smiles and wraps his arms around Frank’s waist “It’s okay, Frankie” he says, nuzzling into Frank’s hair “stop worrying, I’m not going to run away”
When Frank wakes up in the night, a little past one, Gerard is gone.
He lays staring at the ceiling for a few drowsy seconds then there’s a scream. Frank sits up and curses, there’s scratching downstairs and slamming around, the record player is on and playing a song from Frank’s childhood. There’s another scream and Frank races to get his trousers on, he’s quick out his room and thumps down the stairs, more screams escaping into the dead house.
The cellar door is open and more screams leak up from the stairs and into the kitchen, the music still loud and merry. Frank shouts down the stairs and tumbles down them “Stop!”
Gerard is hanging with his arms above his head, a gag in his mouth and his nightshirt riding up a little, exposing his stomach. He screams more, seeing Frank.
Frank’s Dad turns to him and pulls a wide spread grin across his face “Ah, Frankie I was wondering when you’d wake up” he runs a knife along the back of his hand, tugging at the skin but not piercing it.
“Dad, I said not him, not Gerard!”
Gerard struggles against his restraints and Frank can hear a shuffling behind him, his Ma is on the floor, her nails long and stained, she chews on the remains of Frank’s last girlfriend’s hand. Frank looks away.
“Frank, come around now” His dad sighs, “You know what you have to do” he offers the knife out to Frank and Gerard screams again.
“Dad, I can’t” Frank can feel tears now, hot and heavy against the back of his eyes.
“Do you want your mother to die Frank?” His Dad raises his voice
“Cause that’s what will happen, Frank”
Frank looks at his mother again, the flesh from the hand is stuck between her teeth and her eyes are a milky white, veins standing up against her skin. She looks weak, she’s been getting worse lately, and Frank knows it’s his fault. He just had to find another girl, another girl and Gerard would have been fine.
It’s too late now though, Frank realises, the hand is all that’s left of Jamia and that won’t last past the night, she’ll die if she doesn’t have Gerard. Frank thinks he might too.
Frank looks at Gerard, he’s crying too; amber eyes wide and scared “I’m sorry” Frank says and takes the knife.
A/N so this may be altered and edited at a later date but for now I really wanted to get this thing posted because I've been working on it for a while now. It was based off the short film The Hunger by Blackbox TV and this is the first horror story I've ever written so I'm sorry if it sucks. Thank you to my wonderful Betas especially my good friend Maple, (and her brother Daniel har har har you sick freak) I still wouldn't understand grammar without you my lovely little lamp
Thank you so much for all the reviews so far, they really mean so much to me- if we can get this story to a green I will give you all blowjobs (unless you're a male/ you live near me/ you're Maple/ you have to be Frank Iero/ where is this going?)